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Kehinde Andrews, Associate Professor in Sociology at Birmingham City University, wants to talk about studying black subjects. Birmingham City University has opened a black studies university course. The black experience in Britain is worthy of study, of course it is. But doesn’t this course limit black students, make what should be a full education with all the navigating between opinion, debate and textual evidence into a ‘safe space’ where minds are narrowed? It’s more divisive than it is empowering, offering segregation over equality. He writes in the Guardian:
While in the UK the student body has also become undoubtedly more diverse, the staff and therefore academic interests have remained overwhelmingly exclusive and white. Black British-born staff make up only 1% of full-time staff, representing just 85 out of the UK’s 18,510 university professors and face barriers to promotion once employed. The unfortunate reality is that black studies has not emerged sooner because there has not been a critical mass of staff who could teach the subject.
Only black teachers can teach black subjects? Is work by non-black scholars like Harvard’s Roland Fryer into the causes of economic disparities between blacks and whites invalidated? What of non-black academic Eugene Genovese’s studies on slavery and the role of religion in black American history? Is black history only for blacks? As she asks, is the course about black justice, politics and rights or a bona fide filed of study?
We have started to build a network of scholars, a research community and to publish work on black studies in Britain. Sadly the majority of academic departments in the UK have no black members of staff at all, let alone enough to even hold a conversation about starting a black studies degree.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, large populations of poor immigrants arrived in the U.S.–Irish, Italians, and Jews from Russia and Poland. Their extreme poverty placed them at the bottom of the social ladder, and they were often treated with contempt. Yet just a few generations later they were assimilated, and their rapid upward social mobility had produced mayors, senators, judges, and even Presidents from among their ranks. None of this could have happened without first-rate public education.
To be sure, they worked hard to get ahead, but they were not obstructed by something that afflicts the have-nots of today: as they walked through the school gates they were not met by people intent on luring them into Irish or Italian Studies programs whose purpose was to keep them in a state of permanent resentment over past wrongs at the hands of either Europeans or establishment America. Instead, they could give their full attention to learning. They took courses that informed them about their new land’s folkways and history, which gave them both the ability and the confidence needed to grasp the opportunities it offered them.
When we compare this story with what is happening to minority students today, we see a tragedy.
Dr Andrews says that’s not so:
“Birmingham is the perfect place to launch Black Studies, being one of Europe’s most diverse cities, with a strong history of community activism and engagement. For too long UK universities have overlooked the experiences and perspectives of those in the African diaspora. The contributions of Black scholars, activists and communities have not been recognised, creating a limited curriculum.
“Student movements have recently demonstrated this across the country, complaining of a ‘narrow knowledge’ in universities, including the ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ campaign “The new degree offers students a critical understanding of British and global society, international study abroad opportunities and experiences working to improve conditions in communities.”
Isn’t University education meant to be expansive? Is this a course in a bubble? Would you sign up?
Labour’s Future, Why Labour Lost in 2015 and How it Can Win Again, to be published this week, says the party is losing socially conservative voters to Ukip in droves, while appealing most to metropolitan liberals who tend to be better off and to have been to university.
Thankfully, Islington’s knowing and elitist dinner party chatters aren’t in the majority…
Madeleine McCann: a look at the missing child in the news.
The Sunday Mirror leads with the child it calls “Maddie”. The headline thunders: “Sharon’s Shocking Rants Over Missing Maddie.”
Foul-mouthed, pixie-voiced reality TV show Sharon Osbourne, for it is she, has said something. With no other news to report on (what – no killer wasps in your picnic basket and Great white sharks in Devon? – ed), Sharon’s words are front-page news.
Outspoken star Sharon Osbourne has been blasted by the parents of missing Madeleine McCann after she branded them “insane” for leaving their daughter alone.
Outspoken woman speaks out! That’s a shock? This is Sharon who is married to drug-addled rock star and bat-head-biter Ozzy. If anyone knows insane… Which makes us wonder: is Sharon trolling the McCanns?
Former X Factor judge Sharon made the hurtful claims on her US chat show The Talk as she criticised parents for leaving children without supervision.
How cutting-edge is The Talk in talking about a news item from 2007 that has trundled on in the media, turning the missing child into the benchmark of all missing children. The ‘Missing Maddie” story is a fallback news item. Just press f9 on the keyboard and watch as the journalisamobile churn out some non-news.
In a clear attack on Kate and Gerry McCann, Sharon said: “I will tell you a very quick story. There was a husband and wife on holiday in Portugal. They left their baby in the room sleeping, sleeping while they went to dinner in the restaurant. While they were in the resort their baby was taken. And it is like, ‘Oh but we can see everything that is going on’ and it is, like, insane.”
Quick story, yes. One with no ending and – get his – Sharon can’t even get the facts right. The McCanns left three children in their apartment. Madeleine McCann was not a baby – she was aged 4. Then she vanished. Them’s the facts. it. It’s a single-thread story.
Sharon’s comments are facile, desperate and appear calculated to attract headlines (job done).
Of course, this is the story of Madeleine McCann and the Mirror is every bit as desperate. It too presses f9, slaps the non-news on its front page and then asks “Kate and Gerry” for a few words, which they duly don’t give.
A family friend said: “It’s very disappointing when someone with such a high profile makes this sort of ignorant, ill-informed comment. She should think about the effect it could have on Madeleine’s brother and sister, as well as the wider family.”
Chances are the children wouldn’t have heard Sharon’s words on her dire US telly show. So, good of the Mirror to broadcast them in the UK and tell them what they missed. Cheers. Not that anyone under 16 buys the Mirror.
When Oxfam began to bemoan ‘tax avoidance’, it was inevitable some would cast their eyes on the charity’s tax affairs. Oxfam is hot on everyone paying there ‘fair share’, having published such articles as:
As does the Institute of Economic Affairs’ Richard Teacher, who writes:
While it is commonly assumed that charities are exempt from tax, that is not actually the case. Although they are exempt from tax on certain types of income (from donations, rent or investments), the profits they make on business or “trading” operations are taxable, except in specific circumstances. By setting out the very limited circumstances in which trading profits are exempt (see section 524 of the Income Taxes Act 2007), Parliament made it very clear that it intends charities’ other business income to be taxable.
The reaction of Oxfam, and most of the other charities, has been to run their business operations through a separate company. That company would be taxable on its profits, but it donates all its profits to its parent charity through the “Gift Aid” scheme, which exempts them from tax.
This fits the standard definition of tax avoidance – an artificial structure (separating out some of the charity’s activities into a separate legal entity) that gives it a tax advantage.
Of course I do not think there is anything wrong with Oxfam doing this; like all good tax avoidance it is perfectly legal and it is an ingenious way to escape a tax liability. But should Oxfam really be criticising other businesses for avoiding taxes when it does just that with its own?
Intolerance of alternative viewpoints is spreading to places that make me, a moderate and a liberal, most uncomfortable. Only last year, we saw an online petition to ban Donald Trump from entry to the U.K. It garnered half a million signatures.
Just a moment.
I find almost everything that Mr. Trump says objectionable. I consider him offensive and bigoted. But he has my full support to come to my country and be offensive and bigoted there. His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine. Unless we take that absolute position without caveats or apologies, we have set foot upon a road with only one destination. If my offended feelings can justify a travel ban on Donald Trump, I have no moral ground on which to argue that those offended by feminism or the fight for transgender rights or universal suffrage should not oppress campaigners for those causes. If you seek the removal of freedoms from an opponent simply on them grounds that they have offended you have crossed the line to stand alongside tyrants who imprison, torture and kill on exactly the same justification.
Boris Johnson’s wife Marina Wheeler is the victim of a “sex smear”, says the Sun. The attack on Marina is “designed to derail his battle for Britain to leave the EU”.
You might well roll your eyes. So what if Marina Wheeler has been playing away. What business is it of ours? Her husband is no paragon of virtue.
The Mail had more on Petronella Wyatt and her affair with Bozza the boffa:
Her four-year affair with Boris Johnson, which ended with her having a termination, led to Johnson being sacked from the Shadow Cabinet after famously rejecting reports of the affair as an ‘inverted pyramid of piffle’.
Is the Sun’s issue with the fact that a woman is now accused of straying outside her marriage? Is it different for girls? The paper adds:
False claims have been swirling around Westminster and online that Marina Wheeler was the high-profile QC caught in a drunken clinch with a fellow lawyer at Waterloo station last summer. And it’s members of the Remain camp that have helped fuel the lie, a Tory minister says. Sources claim the slur was spread around a champagne reception for Lord Ashcroft in early March. But a pal of Boris, 51, said she was “categorically” not involved and branded the slurs “pure poison”.
The Sun knows the real identity of the QC at the centre of the affair, but cannot reveal it for legal reasons.
Maybe that Sun story should run: “BORIS Johnson’s wife is the subject of a vicious sex smear campaign designed to derail the battle for Britain to STAY IN the EU.”
How did the baby opossum get into a San Diego, California, woman’s toilet? She says she has no idea how the creature got there. San Diego County Animal Services don’t believe the opossum crawled through the plumbing.
Which makes your wonder if it was something she ate? Or if that luxury toilet paper is a little too bulky to flush…
Marry Anne Noland’s obituary was published in Virginia’s The Richmond Times. She’d rather die than vote for Clinton or Trump:
NOLAND, Mary Anne Alfriend. Faced with the prospect of voting for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Mary Anne Noland of Richmond chose, instead, to pass into the eternal love of God on Sunday, May 15, 2016, at the age of 68.
Last week in Yellowstone National Park, visitors were cited for placing a newborn bison calf in their vehicle and transporting it to a park facility because of their misplaced concern for the animal’s welfare.
In terms of human safety, this was a dangerous activity because adult animals are very protective of their young and will act aggressively to defend them. In addition, interference by people can cause mothers to reject their offspring.
In this case, park rangers tried repeatedly to reunite the newborn bison calf with the herd. These efforts failed. The bison calf was later euthanized because it was abandoned and causing a dangerous situation by continually approaching people and cars along the roadway.
When you see the police and those pointed helmets does you mind wonder to breasts? A Greater Manchester Police officer has been suspended after an alleged row with another wooden top over whose bosoms were the most attractive.
Assistant Chief Constable Rebekah Sutcliffe and Superintendent Sarah Jackson allegedly debated the issue at a bar in Manchester’s Hilton Hotel. They were attending the three-day Senior Women in Policing Conference when ACC Sutcliffe, 46, a thrice married mother-of-three, allegedly exposed her breasts. Sutcliffe has been suspended for her alleged ‘inappropriate behaviour’. Superintendent Jackson is not facing any sanctions.
Thomas Manning, 64, who lost his penis to cancer has received a penis transplant. If you could get one, would you go larger?
Relatives of the donor involved in the first successful penis transplant in the U.S. say they are opting to remain anonymous. Alexandra Glazier, CEO of the New England Organ Bank, says the family of the donor – who had died – is praying for recipient Thomas Manning’s continued recover. Glazier says the family indicates that Manning’s well-being is helping them cope as they mourn the loss of their loved one.
If you get a new penis, do you go for one larger than the one you had before, or is it just another organ, so you need a familiar fit?
Do you trust machines? Would you buy a driverless car? To Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, where a 23-year-old woman who followed her car’s SatNav instructions ended up in a harbour.
Ontario Provincial Police say the driver “took a wrong turn into Little Tub Harbour… weather conditions and the driver being new to the area, a fully submerged vehicle was the result,” police said. The woman escaped by sliding from the car’s window and swimming 30 metres to the shore in 4°C water.
To a park in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, where a dog walker has found an ear lying on the grass. He calls Warwickshire Police. They explain:
“Police were called to reports of a human ear being found in parkland near Frensham Drive, Nuneaton. The call was made with good intentions but thankfully the ear turned out to be a prosthetic and this incident is now closed.”
A prosthetic human ear? Anyone out there with wonky glasses?
It reminds me of David Lynch’s 1986 film, Blue Velvet. Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle Maclachlan) finds a severed / prosthetic ear in a field. Lynch explained:
“I don’t know why it had to be an ear. Except it needed to be an opening of a part of the body, a hole into something else… The ear sits on the head and goes right into the mind so it felt perfect”.
To Miami International Airport, Florida, where a naked Ricardo Nogales, 47, is being arrested on a breach of security charge after he jumped the perimeter fence and entered the restricted airfield area.
Miami-Dade Police says Nogales is a Cuban national. He’s also unemployed. He said he jumped the fence because he wanted to go back to Cuba.
Manchester United v Bournemouth was called off yesterday. A suspect package was discovered at Old Trafford. The Telegraphtells the sorry tale:
A farcical security blunder led to Manchester United’s final Premier League game of the season being cancelled on Sunday, after a private security firm forgot to remove a fake bomb taped to the back of a toilet door as part of a training exercise at Old Trafford.
The colossal error had sparked fears of another potential terrorist attack and resulted in the match against Bournemouth being called off as tens of thousands of fans were evacuated from one of the world’s most famous sports grounds.
Heads will roll. No, not at ISIS. It wasn’t a bomb. At the security company that didn’t find all its ‘bombs’, then forgot to collect and count them. But really it’s just pretty funny.
PS: What’s odd is the Guardian’s front page, which leads with a picture of a sobbing child and a morose adult. Manchester United fans, which they surely are, should be delighted. That was the most urgency seen at Old Trafford this season:
Abortion is a serious issue. Pope usually have a view on it. The Mail reports:
Britain’s biggest maternity union has joined forces with abortion providers and radical feminists in an ‘extreme’ campaign to abolish the legal limits on abortion. The Royal College of Midwives, which represents nearly 30,000 midwives and health workers, is calling for women to be allowed to terminate an unborn child at any stage of pregnancy – and face no criminal sanctions.
Abolishing abortion law would do away with the current time limit of 24 weeks of pregnancy, after which a woman can only have a termination for medical reasons.
The legal limits are a shifting sand, changing from 28 weeks to 24 weeks under the terms of The Human Embryology and Human Fertilisation Act 1990. The 28 weeks limit was set under the Abortion Act 1967. Before that abortions were illegal.
It’s not an exact science.
The sensible move it to trust women to decide on their pregnancies, for both moral, social and health issues, and permit doctors to perform safe abortions without fear of criminality. That abortion is a matter of State law is lamentable.
Maybe a museum will buy it. In 2015, the BBC reported:
An assault rifle used in seven unsolved murders has been discovered on public display at the Imperial War Museum. BBC Panorama has learned that investigators re-examining paramilitary murders in Northern Ireland found the gun on display in an exhibit on the Troubles. The families of the murder victims had previously been told by the police that they had disposed of the weapon… Forensic tests conducted in the 1990s showed the rifle was one of two weapons used in an attack on a Belfast betting shop in 1992. Five Catholics, including a 15-year-old boy, were killed in the attack on the Ormeau Road by Protestant paramilitaries. The rifle has also been linked to the unsolved murders of two other men in 1988.
Is the Zimmerman gun an American artefact? He says:
“I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American firearm icon. The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012.”
We will know its value by its sale price. Zimmerman can sell it – but let’s see who buys it and for how much.
On Yahoo! news (via Press release) of student loans and student debt:
Eight in 10 U.S. adults with student loans (81 percent) say they made financial or personal sacrifices because of the amount of their loans. Half (50 percent) say they delayed contributions to retirement accounts, a 22 percent jump from 2013, when 41 percent delayed saving for retirement. An increasing number of Americans are working a second job as a result of their monthly loan payments, with 46 percent in the current survey saying they’re moonlighting, a 48 percent increase from the 31 percent who did so in 2013. These are among the latest findings of a new telephone survey of 1,005 U.S. adults conducted in March by Harris Poll on behalf of the American Institute of CPAs.
As Tim Worstall, often of this site, puts it: “Presumably it would be better if everyone had to struggle with their tax bills to pay for the university educations of other people?”
So, Sky News presenter Eamonn Holmes said an attack by a few West Ham fans on the Manchester United team bus was like the 1989 Hillsborough disaster in which 96 innocent people died.
Said Manchester United fan Holmes: “Now this is going back to the 70s and to the 80s to everything you were seeing that was bad about Hillsborough for instance.”
No, Eamonn. Everything bad about Hillsborough was caused by a corrupt police, media and State treating football as a “slum sport watched by slum people“. The elite then spent 27 years blaming the victims for their own deaths at a football match.
We all know the Truth about Hillsborough. Only a fool or swine would deny it. It took the longest jury case in British legal history to clear supporters of any blame for the tragedy. The 96 had been unlawfully killed due to “a catalogue of failings by the police and ambulance services”.
Hillsborough had nothing to do with hooliganism. Sad, indeed, that police and media lies continue to pervade the Holmes brain matter. Not that he gets it. He tweeted:
“Just being made aware of someone trying to use me to stir up trouble re The Hillsborough disaster. How low, how disgusting. The Hillsborough families have suffered enough without distasteful sniping like this. For the record there is no comparison between events last night at West Ham and Hillsborough. On the programme I was trying to talk about images we never ever want to see again.”
Eamonn, who made the comparison, is outraged that anyone could make so disgusting a comparison. He’s the victim. Got it? He then softened a little, tweeting:
“I apologise unreservedly if anyone thought I was making that connection.”
Spot that “if”. If you twisted his words and thought something disgusting, then he apologises for your wrong thinking. It’s a wonderfully dishonest form of apology, the non-denial denial.
And spare us the outrage from big media. The police and elite hate football fans, the frothing mob they seek to control in ever more insidious ways. From being penned in physically in the 1980s, football fans are now regulated in more conniving ways. Lord Justice Taylor’s report into the Hillsborough tragedy didn’t only order the removal of the metal posts and pens that trapped so many at Hillsborough. He noted: “This inhospitable scene tends to breed bad manners and poor behaviour.” The old fans were to be kicked out with the old concrete grounds. To make football safe for the new, wealthier fans, you can no longer booze and smoke in the stands, swear, sing what you want to, stand or engage in anything another human being – most likely a steward – deems offensive to mind and body. And it’s expensive. The police still treat football fans as criminals-in-waiting, enacting kettling, bubble-match restrictions and Section 27 orders.
After the verdict was delivered and the heroic survivors and the loved ones of the dead who had fought the lies breathed, the Guardian wrote, “The authorities failed the Liverpool fans at Hillsborough. But so did the real hooligans.” No. Fans played no part in the crime, other than to be the victims. Spare us the thought that fans who had a drink and were rowdy, who called the police “murdering bastards” should be stained with such horror. You don’t go out with your mates to the match to be prudes and saintly. You go to let off steam and enjoy yourself.
You want justice for the 96. The media says the bereaved got it. They didn’t. They haven’t. Not yet.
This picture may only be used within the context of the Hillsborough court case. An undated file showing the tunnel at the Leppings Lane end of Sheffield Wednesday's Hillsborough ground, shown to the jury at Leeds Crown Court. * ...at a private prosecution brought by the Hillsborough Family Support Group. Match commander Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield and Superintendent Bernard Murray deny the manslaughter of two of the victims of the disaster at the FA Cup Semi-Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Sheffield Wednesday's ground on April 15, 1989.
PAPERS! The Guardian has news of a plot to make you a card-carrying Brit, or European Unionist, or African etc.:
Government measures making people prove their nationality or face prosecution risk damaging community relations and are discriminatory, critics have warned. The Conservatives want to give police and immigration officers the power to order people who have been arrested to state their nationality and require those believed to be foreign nationals to produce their nationality documents, such as a passport.
Believed to be foreign? Out there in Government someone thinks this is going to end well.
Failure to do so within 72 hours would become a criminal offence under the policing and crime bill currently going through parliament.
Do you have a passport? How about your birth certificate? And what would either document prove, anyhow?
But who cares for sense? Pull over, son. You been on holiday in the sunshine, sunshine? Papers!
For his first act as the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump strode on stage, extended his arms and conducted the crowd through a chorus of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
“We need to put our miners back to work!” he shouted Thursday to the crowd of more than 12,000 in the sunken, cavernous concrete Civic Center here. Hundreds of miners invited by the campaign to sit behind his podium rose in an extended standing ovation.
They love him. He’s local. Hell, he’s local everywhere:
Mr. Trump spent extended riffs going after Hillary Clinton, repeatedly referencing her comments about wanting to put the coal industry out of business (her campaign says she misspoke). He called the Clinton Foundation “disgusting,” referred to the investigation into her emails as secretary of state and Bill Clinton’s role in creating the North American Free Trade Agreement, and made a thinly veiled joke about Mr. Clinton’s infidelities.
“The Clinton administration, of which Hillary was definitely a part,” Mr. Trump said, continuing, “she was a part of almost everything. Almost, I say, not everything. Almost.”
He paused for a beat, as the crowd grew into a mix of laughter and cheers.
“Terrible,” Mr. Trump said, a wry joking tone in his voice. “I didn’t think the people of West Virginia thought about that. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Terrible, terrible people.”
Mr. Trump even donned a hard hat after receiving the endorsement of the West Virginia Coal Association, miming using a pick and shovel, before taking it off and risking his carefully crafted hair.
“You know you’re not allowed to hair spray anymore because it affects the ozone,” he said.
He added, in an allusion perhaps to his campaign’s overall slogan: “Hair spray’s not like it used to be. It used to be real good.”
The so-called rust belt states — in the north-east and midwest — are ripe for the picking. Trump does best in areas where the death rate among white people under 49 is highest — the downtrodden working class. Many of these people traditionally vote Democrat, but they have been voting for Bernie Sanders — Hillary Clinton’s Left-wing rival for the Democrat nomination — rather than Hillary herself. She lost the Michigan contest to Sanders, just as she lost Indiana to him this week.
Yes, Sanders is a socialist and Trump a billionaire plutocrat. But on trade — protection of American jobs — Sanders and Trump are on the same page.
Add a dash of Trump’s xenophobia and he’s in business.
Those who voted for Sanders because he speaks up for the little guy might well feel that Trump is closer to their hearts than Hillary.