Rise Up!

Talking back to post-election hate speech.

I walked into my office one recent Monday, coffee mug in hand and noticed the red light signaling that a voicemail awaited me.

Has it started already? 

That morning, my op-ed about post-election acts of hate on college campuses appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer.  The piece discussed incidents at universities in Illinois, California, and Pennsylvania, complete with hypertext links,  and explained why, contrary to conservative pundits, student fears were based on reality and not a temper tantrum about Trump’s victory.  I praised institutions for taking action and argued that Mr. Trump’s campaign rhetoric gave license to  misconduct targeting people of color, Muslims, and frankly all the groups the candidate insulted and denigrated on his way to the White House.

Based on prior experiences, I was braced for negative responses from conservative readers in the comments section.  In truth, I had planned to avoid those like a Ted Nugent concert.  But, a voicemail?  Readers usually never called to complain. Maybe I was overreacting.  I decided to listen.

It started off innocuously enough.   Continue reading “Rise Up!”

We’ve Been Here Before!

What Academics Can Learn from Black Sociology’s Response to Jim Crow America.

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Guest Contributor: Earl Morris II, UC Africana Studies Professor

On November 8, 2016 Donald J. Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States of America. Many Americans greeted this fact with trepidation Trump’s presidential campaign garnered the favor of groups including, but not limited to, the Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazis and other White supremacists. Trump became their candidate of choice because of his divisive rhetoric on such groups as Muslims, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. In the aftermath of an election where he won the Electoral College but lost the popular vote by nearly three million, this nation has witnessed a surge in hate crimes.

Trump’s shocking win dismayed not only by the groups mentioned above, but also by many academics experiencing unease and anxiety from campus environments altered in new, troubling ways since the election.  Conservative groups have launched an aggressive aggressive campaign that encourages college students to “out” liberal/progressive faculty. Essentially, encouraging and promoting a “hit list” of “unpatriotic” faculty, which places the lives of many faculty engaged in social justice work, whether in the class or via research, in jeopardy.

While events surrounding the 2016 presidential election are causing some to literally fear for the lives and livelihood of themselves and their family and friends, I would be remiss if I did not remind you that, “we’ve been here before!” What I suggest in this brief essay is that contemporary academics can learn from Black Sociology, or Jim Crow sociology, how to navigate this current era of “Trumperica.” Continue reading “We’ve Been Here Before!”

Calling it Like it is

“Alt-right” is a euphemism for white supremacist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic, sexist ideology. Period.

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Corrine Yu

Guest Contributor: Corrine Yu, Managing Policy Director, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Let’s take a quiz. The “alt-right” is:

  1. A new Spotify playlist.
  2. A keystroke shortcut (like Control-Alt-Delete).
  3. A movement that includes and is heavily shaped by white supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-Muslims, nativist, and other extremists.

The correct answer, of course, is “c”. Since the election, a number of news organizations, including the Associated Press and The Washington Post, have sought to clarify the use of “alt-right” or “alternative right.” NonProfit Quarterly wrote a piece on this, as did The New York Times.

As the NonProfit Quarterly piece notes, following the publication of its profile of Richard Spencer, The Washington Post received thousands of comments protesting the description of the white nationalist, white supremacist movement that Spencer says he leads as “alt-right.”

The New York Times had its own case study, which involved its article on the man whom President-elect Trump wants as his chief strategist in the White House—Stephen Bannon. As the executive chairman of Breitbart LLC, Bannon turned the website Breitbart.com into bb-logo-highreswhat he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” Times readers tweeted their complaints, as well as emailed the newspaper’s public editor, about the article’s use of the term “populist” to describe Bannon, which seemed to normalize his views.

Nothing is “normal” about the “alt-right” or what it stands for. Continue reading “Calling it Like it is”

More Questions than Answers

Questions for the University of Cincinnati community in the wake of the Tensing trial.

Guest Contributor: Robin Martin, UC Associate Professor

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Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters has decided to retry Ray Tensing for the murder Samuel DuBose after a mistrial.  As this process unfolds, it is time for UC employees, the city of Cincinnati and universities across this country to revisit the core principles of inquiry and questioning and start blazing a different trail toward justice. Continue reading “More Questions than Answers”

Sen. Sessions: Unfit for Justice

Trump’s choice for Attorney General is hostile to civil rights.

President-elect Trump has announced his intention to name Alabama Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III to the position of Attorney General.  This Confederate general namesake couldn’t be a worse fit for the job.

As you probably know by now, former President Reagan nominated Sessions for a federal judgeship in 1985 when he was serving as the U.S. Attorney for Alabama.  Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected him after evidence of Sessions’ racism emerged. The Huffington Post, provided excerpts from the hearing, including testimony that:  Sessions derided the NAACP and the ACLU as un-American and for “trying to force civil rights down the throats of people trying to put problems behind them”; referred to a white civil rights lawyer as a traitor to his race; and warned the only African American Assistant U.S. Attorney to be careful what he said to white people.

Reagan’s selection of Sessions was all the more problematic given his unsuccessful attempt to prosecute Black civil rights leaders for allegedly engaging in voter fraud just four months earlier. Continue reading “Sen. Sessions: Unfit for Justice”

Second Look – A month in review.

Confessions Of A Lesbian Refugee From Iran – Iranian refugee, Jannat, thought the US would be heavenly, but with a looming Trump presidency, her fears are heightened on several levels. The Establishment discusses Jannat’s experiences as both a refugee and a member of the LGBT community.

Accessibility Problematic for Girls with Disabilities – Marginalization is common for women with disabilities in the workplace and beyond. Many women feel unable to participate in community activities due to accessibility. Women’s eNews talked with disabled women to shed light on the issue.

The Tricky Thing About Being Trans and Having a Mental Illness – The Editors at Everyday Feminism have created a comic that attempts to break down and explain the experience of trans folks with mental illnesses. The comic is a short, yet informative, look into the mind of someone with a mental illness who is also faced with a barrage of negative messages about their identity.

Continue reading “Second Look – A month in review.”

Mourning in America

Making sense of the election.

I had a dream.

On election night, a bright blue map would emanate from my flat screen TV.  We’d be elated by news of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.  From sea to shining sea, the results would repudiate Trump, his hate-filled campaign, and drive a stake in the heart of the Southern strategy of using race to leverage working class white votes.

We know how that turned out.  On Wednesday, I could barely bring myself to work.  Heart heavy, I felt as if I’d experienced a death.

What’s bugging me now is the attempt to negate the implications of Trump’s bigotry for the outcome.   For example, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says we shouldn’t label Trump supporters as racists:  “many are good people who had voted for Obama in the past.”     Maybe they’re not, but they supported a racist, sexist xenophobe. Continue reading “Mourning in America”