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Juan Rico

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Member since: Wed May 14, 2014, 10:30 AM
Number of posts: 19,597

Journal Archives

Prof: Algebra, geometry perpetuate white privilege

A math education professor at the University of Illinois argued in a newly published book that algebraic and geometry skills perpetuate “unearned privilege” among whites. Rochelle Gutierrez, a professor at the University of Illinois, made the claim in a new anthology for math teachers, arguing that teachers must be aware of the “politics that mathematics brings” in society.

“On many levels, mathematics itself operates as Whiteness. Who gets credit for doing and developing mathematics, who is capable in mathematics, and who is seen as part of the mathematical community is generally viewed as White,” Gutierrez argued. Gutierrez also worries that algebra and geometry perpetuate privilege, fretting that “curricula emphasizing terms like Pythagorean theorem and pi perpetuate a perception that mathematics was largely developed by Greeks and other Europeans."

Math also helps actively perpetuate white privilege too, since the way our economy places a premium on math skills gives math a form of “unearned privilege” for math professors, who are disproportionately white. “Are we really that smart just because we do mathematics?” she asks, further wondering why math professors get more research grants than “social studies or English” professors.

Further, she also worries that evaluations of math skills can perpetuate discrimination against minorities, especially if they do worse than their white counterparts. “If one is not viewed as mathematical, there will always be a sense of inferiority that can be summoned,” she says, adding that there are so many minorities who “have experienced microaggressions from participating in math classrooms… judged by whether they can reason abstractly.”

To fight this, Gutierrez encourages aspiring math teachers to develop a sense of “political conocimiento,” a Spanish phrase for “political knowledge for teaching.” Gutierrez stresses that all knowledge is “relational,” asserting that “Things cannot be known objectively; they must be known subjectively." Campus Reform reached out to Gutierrez for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Before execution, Alabama cop killer inmate defiant with words, actions

(The murderer and his victim)

ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — A convicted cop killer who sued Alabama over its lethal injection method was put to death Thursday night, but not before he cursed at the state and said: "I hate you."

As the procedure began, Torrey Twane McNabb, 40, raised both of his middle fingers in a show of defiance. McNabb's attorneys had unsuccessfully sought to stop the execution since he is one of several inmates in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the humaneness of the state's lethal injection procedure.

McNabb was convicted of killing Montgomery police officer Anderson Gordon in 1997. He shot Gordon five times as the officer sat in his patrol car after arriving at a traffic accident McNabb caused while fleeing a bail bondsman, prosecutors said.

Gordon's relatives said in a statement that the 30-year-old officer — known as "Brother" — was devoted to his family, his two children and his work as a police officer.


Students storm library, shut down College Republicans meeting


A College Republicans meeting at the University of California, Santa Cruz was taken over by protesters screaming that the group’s existence is a threat to the safety of students. Shortly after the CR meeting convened, one student entered the ground floor room of McHenry Library to ask attendees which group was assembling. After being informed that the meeting was a gathering of College Republicans, the student returned about 15-20 minutes later with company.

One of the ringleaders of the protest was student activist Haik Adamian, who posted an announcement in the official UCSC Student Facebook group calling on students to deny the CR group its First Amendment rights. “White Supremacist, fascist sympathizing College Republicans are having a meeting at McHenry library, room 0332. Everybody be aware of this violent racist activity happening everyday on this campus!” he wrote, adding that “We need a movement of people on this campus that rejects the ‘right of assembly,’ or ‘right of free speech’ for white supremacists and fascists.”

Heeding Adamian’s call, student activists disrupted the meeting by banging open the door to the meeting space and shouting accusations that the members were “fascists,” “racists,” and “white supremacists.” According to the UCSC College Republicans, their offers to discuss the concerns of the protesters were met with exclamations that “dialogue is violence,” after which the protesters called the club’s presence a “threat to the library” and demanded that the CR members vacate the space immediately.

The protesters even reportedly berated library staff members when they refused to shut down the pre-approved meeting. One staff member eventually asked the CR members to leave in order to end the disturbance, but meeting attendees chose to respond by sitting quietly and refusing to leave the area. The commotion culminated in one of the student activists running out into the main library area screaming that there were “Nazis downstairs,” but while the gimmick drew several spectators, many of them expressed indignation at the actions of the protestors.

"As a Democrat, I am embarrassed that some people on the left act this way,” remarked Phil Leonard Vogel, creator of the moderate campus news publication City on a Phil. “They give all of us a terrible name." After nearly two hours, school officials eventually called the police, who reportedly arrested three of the protesters.


Hillary Clinton campaign lawyer argues voting is burden on minorities

Hillary Clinton’s former campaign lawyer is meddling in Nevada politics. Worse, he’s saying that voting in a special election would be an “undue burden” on minorities. Imagine the outrage if a Republican argued that voting is a “burden” on minorities. The lawsuit shows just how desperate Democrats are to stop recall efforts against Sens. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, Nicole Cannizzaro, D-Las Vegas, and Patricia Farley, I-Las Vegas. Marc Elias, general counsel for Hillary for America, filed the complaint Monday in federal court.

Recall supporters have been gathering signatures since August to replace those senators with Republicans. Nevada’s constitution specifically allows voters to demand a recall for any reason, which the lawsuit acknowledges. The complaint, filed on behalf of five Clark County voters, contends that Nevada’s recall laws are “unconstitutional and invalid under the Voter Rights Act.” A “recall election imposes undue burdens on the right to vote by requiring Plaintiffs and other voters to vote again (emphasis original) in an off-cycle special election.”

Let’s translate: Giving voters an opportunity to vote takes away their right to vote. This is why lawyers get paid so much. It’s hard to make that argument without bursting into laughter. “Hillary Clinton’s D.C. attorney wants to undercut the constitutional rights of Nevada voters by telling us who we can and cannot vote for,” Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, a recall supporter, said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton’s D.C. attorney thinks it’s wrong to recall Democrats in Nevada, yet he was more than happy to help with the recall of Republicans in Wisconsin.”

The lawsuit asserts that voting is more painful and takes longer than visiting the dentist. One plaintiff claims that voting would require her to miss an entire day of work as a substitute teacher. Every plaintiff grumbles that they’d “have to spend time learning about the specifics of the recall election.” Please. Voting usually takes less than ten minutes, especially for what the brief simultaneously argues will be a low-turnout election. Filing a lawsuit also takes a whole lot more work than opening your mailbox and reading the coming onslaught of campaign flyers. The lawsuit then claims that the recalls seek to “nullify” previous election results. Not so. Every vote those senators cast in the previous legislative session still counts. Recalls simply give voters an additional way to hold politicians accountable.

The lawsuit then makes its most absurd argument. It asserts that minorities “are more likely to support” the sitting senators, citing a single Cannizzaro poll taken six months before the 2016 election. Left unmentioned is that Cannizzaro beat Latina Republican Victoria Seaman to win her seat. The complaint then says that “minority voters are more likely to bear the undue burdens of having to vote in a special recall election,” because of higher levels of poverty and unemployment. Thus, the recall elections, the lawsuit says, won’t give “equal opportunities for minority voters to participate in the political process.” The success — or failure — of the recall should rest with the Nevada people, not with a Clinton crony arguing that voting is an “undue burden” on minorities.

A woman and her children are threatened with murder and rape. DU's response? She has it coming.

After all, they don't like her politics.

Father pleads guilty to avoid death row after rape, murder of teen daughter

A long-running case that began in Santa Clara County when a judge awarded a man with a lengthy criminal record custody of his kids came to an abrupt end Tuesday in Modesto when the father admitted mid-trial to drugging, sexually abusing and killing his 14-year-old daughter.

Mark Mesiti, 49, now faces life in prison without parole rather than the death penalty after pleading guilty to all 49 charges against him, including the 2006 murder of his daughter. He killed her less than a year after being awarded custody of her and her brother by Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Vincent J. Chiarello.

According to court documents, the judge was aware at the time that in the seven years prior to being awarded custody, Mesiti had been convicted of state and federal charges, including bank fraud and drunken driving. He also was charged with domestic violence and ordered to attend anger-management classes after pleading guilty to a lesser charge. After failing to comply with court orders to attend drug- and alcohol-treatment programs, he landed in prison for violating probation.

Alycia’s mother, Roberta Allen, was described by a court investigator as an unfit mother who had battled with depression. However, in an investigation by this news organization after Alycia’s body was discovered in 2009, Roberta Allen described her years-long legal battle as “very angled toward Mark. I couldn’t afford an attorney. He had one.”


Activist kicked off American Airlines flight, alleges 'white male aggression'

New York-based activist and co-chair of the Women’s March on Washington Tamika Mallory says she was racially discriminated against when she was kicked off an American Airlines flight in Miami on Sunday over a seating issue. Mallory, who is black, said she was targeted by a white pilot and removed from a flight from Miami to New York. “It definitely was white male aggression. I was singled out, I was disrespected, and he was trying to intimidate me. I was discriminated against,” Mallory told the New York Daily News.

(tweet) I was just removed from an .@americanairlines flight because of white make aggression. I will fight this until I die!

An American Airlines spokesman said the Fort Worth-based carrier is taking the allegation seriously and has spoken to all involved, including Mallory.

“Due to an error with a seat change request, Ms. Mallory was informed her requested seat was not available and she was given her original, pre-reserved seat. Our team members apologized for the error and attempted to de-escalate the situation,” spokesman Josh Freed said. “Ms. Mallory was rebooked on the next flight to New York’s LaGuardia airport.


Australian gun advocates raise $21K to help farmer in self-defense fight

Australian gun rights advocates have raised $21,000 to help a farmer get back his firearms and gun license, which were taken after after he used an unloaded gun to protect his family against a knife-wielding trespasser. David Dunstan encountered the trespasser, who was armed with a knife and wooden club, at the back door of his Riverine property in the eastern state of New South Wales last month, according to a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the farmer. Dunstan then grabbed his unloaded .22-caliber rifle and was able to ward off the man and convince him to sit in his car as Dunstan’s wife called the police.

Officers then came to Dunstan’s property and arrested the man in the driveway. However, police also returned later that day to confiscate the farmer’s firearms and gun license. So far no charges have been pressed against Dunstan, but his firearms and license have not been returned, the Herald Sun reported. To date, the GoFundMe page has raised $21,000 to help the farmer legally fight for the return of his guns and license. “I am amazed by the support. So many people are concerned about what right they have got and self-defense,” Dunstan told the Herald Sun.

“I just look at it as a waste of taxpayers money because every case is different and this is a totally different situation to people not using their guns correctly,” he continued. “Sometimes you just need a bit of common sense.” Combined Firearms Council Victoria chairman Bill Paterson said the gun rights community had rallied behind the farmer because many think he did nothing wrong. He noted that police have not told him exactly why his firearms and license were confiscated.

According to the New South Wales Firearms Legislation (Amendment) Act 1992, gun owners are required to cite a “genuine reason” for possessing firearms, and personal protection is not considered a “genuine reason” in the state. Now with this incident, it appears even lawfully owned guns cannot be used in self-defense, as Dunstan was a licensed firearms owner. Such a slippery slope has Paterson and other gun rights advocates seriously concerned. “When you understand the situation it seems over the top,” Paterson said. “From a civil liberties point of view it is pretty horrendous that a man who relies on his guns can have this happen.”

Man attacks disabled, homeless man on bus: :"You owe me for making my grandmother a slave"

SILVER SPRING, Md. (ABC7) — A black man on a Metrobus attacked a 52-year-old disabled, homeless passenger, spitting in his face, and blaming the victim, who is white, for decades of slavery in the United States, police say. The incident occurred on a Q1 bus, which had departed the Silver Spring Transit Center and was headed for the Shady Grove Metro Station. It was around 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 24.

According to court documents, Marquis Evans-Royster, 27, approached the disabled, homeless man, looked directly into his eyes and stated, "You owe me for making my grandmother a slave." The victim remained calm and did his best to ignore the racially motivated comments. However, the confrontation became tenser when Evans-Royster allegedly began to rummage through the victim's pockets. A number of bystanders attempted to intervene, prompting Evans-Royster to charge at various passengers, spit in the victim's face and threaten to douse the victim with a cup full of urine.

"Who carries around a bottle a urine," Metrobus rider Desi Cureton stated with a confused look upon his face. "If I was the judge, I would send him for mental health evaluation." The bus driver threatened to call the police, prompting Evans-Royster to exit the bus near the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Connecticut Avenue. Yet, before fleeing, the 27-year-old allegedly snapped off one of the bus’ side view mirrors, valued at around $250.

The bus driver told investigators that Evans-Royster boarded the bus without paying a fare and "almost immediately" started to harass the two white passengers. In addition to the slavery remarks, the bus driver recalled Evans-Royster stating all white people are evil and suggesting that the bus’ two white passengers should die. Metro Transit Police caught Evans-Royster four days later at the Wheaton Metro Station. They have since charged him with a slew of crimes, including, race/religious harassment, robbery, theft, second-degree assault, destruction of property and possession of a false I.D. All told, the charges carry a combined maximum penalty of more than 30 years in prison.


UK: NHS provokes fury with indefinite surgery ban for smokers and obese

The NHS will ban patients from surgery indefinitely unless they lose weight or quit smoking, under controversial plans drawn up in Hertfordshire. The restrictions - thought to be the most extreme yet to be introduced by health services - immediately came under attack from the Royal College of Surgeons.

Its vice president called for an “urgent rethink” of policies which he said were “discriminatory” and went against the fundamental principles of the NHS. In recent years, a number of areas have introduced delays for such patients - with some told operations will be put back for months, during which time they are expected to try to lose weight or stop smoking.

But the new rules, drawn up by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in Hertfordshire, say that obese patients “will not get non-urgent surgery until they reduce their weight” at all, unless the circumstances are exceptional. The criteria also mean smokers will only be referred for operations if they have stopped smoking for at least eight weeks, with such patients breathalysed before referral.

East and North Hertfordshire CCG and Herts Valleys said the plans aimed to encourage people “to take more responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, wherever possible, freeing up limited NHS resources for priority treatment”. Both are in financial difficulty, and between them seeking to save £68m during this financial year

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