No longer judged on your character.
Via Fox News:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor says the Supreme Court needs more diversity, amid the politically charged debate about filling a vacancy on the high court.
“I … think there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school,” Sotomayor, the court’s first Latina justice, said Friday at Brooklyn Law School.
However, she did not mention by name Judge Merrick Garland, a white male with a Harvard Law School degree whom President Obama recently nominated to fill the vacancy of Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative voice on the court. Scalia died unexpectedly in January.
She also told the audience that several of the eight justices are, like her, from New York City and that none has practiced criminal defense law outside white-collar settings. Sotomayor graduated from Yale Law School.
The Garland nomination has spark a sharp debate in Washington and across the county about whether Obama should fill the vacancy in his final months in office or the next president who takes office in January.
Obama has essentially argued he has a constitutional obligation to submit a nominee to Congress and that Garland would be a moderate in a court now split 4-4 among liberals and conservatives.
However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he will not hold nomination hearings while Obama is in the White House, saying Americans should be part of the decision by electing the next president.
Some liberal groups hoped Obama, who had previously tapped Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan, would nominate another woman
The 63-year-old Garland is Jewish and the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Sotomayor didn’t mention Garland or touch on the nomination. But in answer to diversity-related questions submitted by Brooklyn Law students, she said she felt that varied backgrounds help justices “educate each other to be better listeners and better thinkers because we understand things from experience.”
Via The Advocate:
In a show of support for LGBT North Carolinians, Wells Fargo lit up their Duke Energy Center tower, a 54-story building, in Charlotte, in the pink, white, and blue colors of the transgender pride flag last night.
The bank lit the highrise in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, only a week after the governor of North Carolina signed House Bill 2, a law barring transgender people from accessing public facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, and eliminating all LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state.[…]
n a show of support for LGBT North Carolinians, Wells Fargo lit up their Duke Energy Center tower, a 54-story building, in Charlotte, in the pink, white, and blue colors of the transgender pride flag last night.
The bank lit the highrise in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, only a week after the governor of North Carolina signed House Bill 2, a law barring transgender people from accessing public facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, and eliminating all LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances in the state.
Via Campus Reform:
Still reeling from last year’s student protests, the University of Missouri took action this week on two more diversity demands, hiring a chief diversity officer and requiring students to complete diversity-themed courses.
The College of Arts and Science at Mizzou announced Wednesday that undergraduates will now have to complete three credit-hours of “diversity intensive” (DI) courses in order to graduate, saying the courses will focus on “understanding differing social groups” and “will explore at least one form of social inequality, broadly defined.”
“The proposal builds on decades of student activism and the work of previous diversity committees.”
The College accounts for more than half of all Mizzou students, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled.
First Asian I’ve heard of joining ISIS.
A Japanese man who had attempted to join the Islamic State militant group has been detained by Turkish security forces near the Syrian border early on Wednesday, security sources said.
The 24-year-old was on his way to Syria to join the ranks of the radical group when he was detained in the Karkamis district of Gaziantep province, just across the border from the Islamic State-controlled Syrian town of Jarablus, the sources said.
The man, who Turkish media are calling “M.M.”, made contact with the militants through social media, the sources said. He is due to be deported once authorities finish with his interrogation, the sources said.
Judge by the color of their skin and not their character.
Via NJ Com:
A veteran state trooper alleges in a whistleblower lawsuit she was retaliated against by her superiors after raising objections that police academy background checks were compromised because of pressure to increase racial diversity among State Police ranks.
Acting Sgt. Jaclyn Jiras, who spent five months working as a background investigator at a time the division was being scrutinized for its lack of black cadets, claims she was reassigned and denied a promotion when she flagged applicants with troubled legal histories and criminal backgrounds.
Court records and administrative documents obtained by NJ Advance Media also show Jiras and another trooper, acting Sgt. Christopher Griffin, were disciplined for allegedly leaking information from confidential background investigations to a retired trooper who ran a Facebook group for State Police members.
Jiras claims in her suit that her superiors, under pressure from the state Attorney General’s Office to boost recruit class diversity on short notice, approved candidates who had been automatically disqualified for having suspended licenses, criminal affiliations and active warrants.
The lawsuit names the state of New Jersey, the State Police, Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes, and Capt. Mark Santiago as defendants.
Spokesmen for the State Police and Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the allegations.
Jiras was responsible for conducting background checks for the division’s 152nd and 153rd academy classes in 2012 and 2013, according to the lawsuit, filed Feb. 10 in Superior Court in Mercer County.
Both classes were touted in succession as the most diverse in State Police history. But they came only after the New Jersey chapter of the NAACP threatened legal action because the division had accepted a class with just five black troopers in 2011.
The 2011 drop in black recruits was seen as particularly troubling for the State Police, which historically struggled to grow its ranks of racial minority and female troopers but was publicly increasing its outreach efforts. The division also had spent a decade under federal monitoring for racial profiling and entered into a settlement with the NAACP in 2000 that mandated improved minority recruiting.
“We’re not looking to change the process or lower the standards,” said Melvin Warren, the criminal justice chairman for the state NAACP who has worked with State Police on recruitment efforts. “But we live in a diverse state. That’s a fact. The makeup of the State Police needs to represent the state of New Jersey.”
Warren declined to comment on the case because he was not familiar with the specific allegations.
Jiras’ attorney, Katherine Hartman, said her client was not opposed to diversity efforts, but raised objections because the division was taking shortcuts.
“The way to (increase diversity) is through mentorship programs, forming partnerships with local police departments — not through manipulating the process,” Hartman said.
Note to Dems: Your vote doesn’t count.
If Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have each won one state so far, how is Hillary Clinton so far ahead in the delegate count?
If you presumed Bernie Sanders is riding high after a commanding victory in New Hampshire and virtual tie in Iowa, it’s true.
He’s up 36 to 32 in the delegate count, but add the “super” delegates, and Clinton is absolutely crushing him. Those delegates aren’t bound to their state results, and have free reign to vote at the convention for whomever they want.
According to The Associated Press, the total with those all-powerful super-voters – Clinton’s up 481 to 55.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the DNC, talks about the super-strategy to sway.
Thuman: What do you think of that, smart strategy?
Schultz: Well I need to provide clarity for folks about our pledged vs unpledged process. First of all, unpledged can change their minds at any time and the reason that we have unpledged delegates is because those are party leaders and elected officials we try to make sure that we have tremendous diversity at our convention.
But what about critics who say it’s another way to protect Clinton’s path to the nomination?
Schultz: Oh, that’s just typical campaign fodder…voters decide the outcome of elections, not political parties.
Preserving the history of transgenders is of utmost importance.
Via Boston Globe:
A digital transgender archive was launched Thursday at the College of The Holy Cross, a compendium of historic documents, oral-history transcripts, photographs, and newsletters from years past. Organizers believe it is the first time such a trove of transgender-related digital material has been available.
The archive materials have been gathered from 13 collaborating institutions, with eight more poised to donate in the coming months. Seven are universities and include Harvard, Cornell, the University of Victoria, and the University of Michigan.
Holy Cross spokeswoman Cristal Steuer called it the first digital undertaking of its kind. The archive, www.digitaltransgenderarchive.net, came about after a local academic struggled to find transgender-related research materials for his Ph.D.
“I had a lot of conversations about how extensive the problem was,” said K.J. Rawson, an assistant professor of English at Holy Cross and director of the archive. “Eight years after I first encountered these challenging research experiences, I finally started developing this resource.”
Historically speaking, transgender is a relatively new term, appearing at the end of the 20th century, Rawson said. In the midst of his research, he looked at issues of privacy, language, and ethics as well as the broader idea of challenging and transgressing gender norms throughout history.
Via Daily Caller:
The Department of Defense’s (DoD) director of diversity broke rules to funnel more than a million dollars to groups like the NAACP and the office was home to numerous incidents of violence, auditors found.
Women workers also found the diversity office to be an unfriendly environment. Three women observed a male worker “routinely touch and massage the genital area of his pants while speaking to them,” a newly released inspector general’s report said.
“He was fondling his package,” one said, with all three saying it was not accidental.
Too funny… wait, they’re serious?
Citadel being forced to lower their standards after one special snowflake became offended. Update to this previous story.
Officials with the Citadel announced the results of an investigation into photos of cadets with pillowcases on their heads that appeared on social media in December.
Fourteen Citadel cadets were disciplined in connection with the photos, which went viral after a woman posted them on Facebook. The 14 include seven juniors and seven freshmen, school officials say.
The punishments range from on-campus punishments to suspensions and one dismissal. A dismissal requires a cadet to spend two semesters away from campus, school officials said in a statement.
“The investigation revealed that the cadets attempted to dress as ‘ghosts of Christmas past,'” Citadel President Lt. Gen. John Rosa said. “What disappoints me is when several of the people, both the younger folks and the older cadets, realized the way it might be perceived, nobody took any action, and it continued.”
The second they thought the cadets’ appearance could have been viewed as offensive, they should have stopped, Rosa said, calling their failure to do so a “leadership failure.”
“It’s not what we do,” Rosa said. “We produce principled leaders, and we expect folks to step up and make the tough decisions and the timely decisions.”[…]
“While the skit had no ill intent, it did show poor judgment. It demonstrates that we must integrate an even higher level of diversity education into cadets’ daily activities, and into the already extensive leadership and ethics curriculum. We are working on that now,” Rosa said.
He said the school already has several programs in place to address diversity and support and recognize minority cadets.
“But we’ve got to do more across our campus, and we realize that,” he said.
Rosa is creating the President’s Task Force on Advancing Diversity and Inclusion as a result of the incident. The council will be led by the college’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Council.
“What this proves to us is that even as we have an assistant provost for diversity and we have a diversity council, we need to come together and take a hard look at where we are and where we need to improve,” Rosa said.
Targeting the older members to remove their voting rights, it’s age-ism…
Longtime members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) are speaking out after the organizations’ Board of Governors voted unanimously Thursday to approve a dramatic overhaul of its voting rules and organizational structure in an effort to increase diversity at the Oscars and across the broader film industry.
In extensive interviews with the Hollywood Reporter, older members of the Academy blasted the organization’s leadership for the rule changes, which mandate that members must be “active” in filmmaking within ten years in order to cast a vote for Academy Awards nominations, unless they have previously been nominated for, or have won, an Oscar.
Debate is no longer allowed in academia.
Via The College Fix:
A student-run debate club at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently had so much difficulty finding a professor who could argue the conservative side for one of its events that its members had to turn to Smith College, a private liberal arts school eight miles away, to secure a scholar.
That’s saying a lot considering UMass Amherst employs some 1,300 faculty members.
The experience was the impetus for The University Union, a politically neutral student-run debate club at UMass Amherst, to launch a petition this month calling on administrators to offer more “intellectual diversity” on campus.
“We came to the conclusion that the petition was necessary because planning debates has been so difficult,” Owen Wiggins, a junior business management student at UMass and president of The University Union, told The College Fix in an email. “The diversity of thought among the faculty at UMass is so slim that we’ve had to ask professors from Smith College to participate in the debates we have planned.”
The petition accuses UMass Amherst professors of pressuring students into agreeing with their left-leaning beliefs.
The Olympics have gone downhill since Team USA defeated the Russians in hockey and professional athletes can compete.
Via Think Progress:
Transgender athletes will no longer be required to undergo gender reassignment surgery in order to participate in the Olympics, according to documents obtained by Outsports on Thursday.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reportedly updated its transgender guidelines at an unpublicized “Consensus Meeting on Sex Reassignment and Hyperandrogenism” last November, and the guidelines are expected to be adopted before the Summer Olympics in Rio later this year.
“To require surgical anatomical changes as a pre-condition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights,” the new guidelines state. “It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition.”
Transgender athletes were first allowed to participate in IOC-run events in 2004, ahead of the summer games in Athens. However, the guidelines put in place then required those athletes to change their sex both legally and anatomically. Trans women also had to undergo two years of hormone replacement therapy post surgery in order to be eligible to compete.
Those rules have been criticized, not just because gender reassignment surgery is incredibly expensive and not accessible to all, but because genitalia itself has no relationship to athletic performance. The policy was “in all likelihood” intended only to prevent trans female athletes from competing with testicles and the associated higher testosterone levels, even though those levels can be chemically blocked without surgery.
Recently, the guidelines were being challenged by Chris Mosier, an American triathlete and duathlete who has qualified for the World Championships this June. Mosier, a trans man, was unsure if he would be able to compete in those championships since he has not undergone reassignment surgery, and the athlete was geared up to fight the IOC.
(Shudder) Keep reading…
Via NY Post:
The film academy is pledging to double the number of female and minority members by 2020, and will immediately diversify its leadership by adding three new seats to its board of governors.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the changes Friday, following a weeklong storm of criticism and calls for an Oscar boycott after academy members nominated an all-white slate of actors for the second year in a row.
“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” she said in a statement.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 51-member board of governors unanimously approved a series of reforms late Thursday to “begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition,” Isaacs said. The number of minorities currently serving as members of the academy has not been revealed.
And yet the host, producer, and president of the Academy Awards are all black.
In an Instagram post Monday, Lee wrote that he means no disrespect to his friends, host Chris Rock, producer Reggie Hudlin, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
“But, how is it possible for the 2nd consecutive year all 20 contenders under the actor category are white?” Lee wrote. “And let’s not even get into the Oscar branches. 40 white actors in 2 years and no flava at all. We can’t act?! WTF!!”
None of the nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, or Best Supporting Actress are performers of color.
Nikki broke the beloved Democrat glass ceiling by becoming the first woman Governor of South Carolina.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed the Republican Party’s choice of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union address demonstrated the party’s lack of diversity.
Oops! Has she looked at the Democratic lineup of presidential candidates lately?
“It’s pretty clear that Nikki Haley is being chosen because the Republican Party has a diversity problem,” Wasserman Schultz, who’s also a Florida congresswoman said in a conference call, according to The Hill, which reported:
Haley, who was born in South Carolina, is the daughter of immigrants from India. She will be delivering the GOP’s official response to President Obama’s final State of the Union Tuesday night.
The GOP had a response to the DNC chair’s statement — given its own lineup of presidential candidates.
“Like most things Debbie Wasserman Schultz says, that’s just ridiculous,” said RNC spokesman Michael Short.
“No one disputes the fact Republicans have the most diverse presidential field in the history of either party, though the Democrats do have us beat when it comes to fielding self-described socialists and candidates under FBI investigation.”
Surprisingly, no plays about the joy of wearing a burqa.
Via Free Beacon:
A play about food stamps, a performance by a San Francisco drag queen, and the production of Cocked, the tale of two anti-gun lesbians, each made the list of projects backed by the taxpayer-funded National Endowment of the Arts.
The agency announced its first round of grants for fiscal year 2016 last week. Projects include “sustainable” housing for struggling artists and a mural by an artist who painted portraits for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
Taxpayers were billed $10,000 to support the “world premiere” of Cocked, a play by Sarah Gubbins.
“The play follows the relationship between a Caucasian woman from rural Iowa and her African-American girlfriend, who are staunchly opposed to gun ownership,” the description for the project reads. “When a family member arrives unexpectedly to stay in their Chicago condominium, their position corrodes as new discoveries surface and the lines between safety and protection are blurred.”
Gubbins’s previous works include I Am Bradley Manning and The Kid Thing, which examined the “effect on two lesbian couples of one couple’s pregnancy” and premiered at the fifth annual “Summer Pride Festival of LGBT performances” in Randolph, Vt.
Part of a $30,000 grant is going to the ODC Theater in San Francisco for a mini-series entitled “Gender in Transition” by the drag queen Monique Jenkinson.
Jenkinson’s alter ego is “Fauxnique,” who was “born out of the scene at Trannyshack.”
“Jenkinson emerged out of a feminist, postmodern, improvisational dance and choreographic lineage at Bennington College, but grew toward a tradition of radical queer performance that uses glamour, excess, and drag to entertain, transcend and horrify,” according to her website. A clip from a past show can be viewed here.
Struggling artists in San Francisco can look forward to government-subsidized housing through another grant from the agency. The San Francisco Arts Commission received $35,000 for “Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities for San Francisco Artists.”
A play entitled #therevolution by Kristoffer Diaz in Philadelphia received $20,000 to “offer a portrait of a revolution that is rife with vision, solidarity, and passion yet searches for practical, actionable solutions for a new world order.”
The New York City premiere of Smart People, a play set in a Harvard faculty lounge, is costing taxpayers $30,000.
Via Campus Reform:
Several dozen University of Kansas students descended upon the Chancellor’s office Wednesday hoping to enforce obeisance to their diversity demands.
The demonstration convened at noon in an area outside an academic building known as Wescoe Beach, and the group’s exploits—from ambushing administrators to challenging a charity fundraiser for children with cancer—were catalogued on Twitter by @InvisibleHawks and others.
“In 7 minutes, you have the chance to show solidarity w/ students of color,” one participant tweeted just before the event was scheduled to start. “Head over to Wescoe now!”
UPDATE: Not a lot of black faces among the diversity enforcers.