LIE Links

The Execution of George Junius Stinney, Jr., Age 14 [Race-Talk]

**Trigger Warning for description of execution at the link**

“Over 67 years after 14-year-old George Junius Stinney Jr. was put to death by the state of South Carolina, he may soon be cleared of the crime that people familiar with the case say he never could have committed.

A lawyer and an activist both told Raw Story recently that new evidence will show that the black boy could not have possibly murdered two white girls, 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker and seven-year-old Mary Emma Thames…”

These are the opening paragraphs to an article published in online at Raw Story. Reading the entire piece is heartbreaking. The picture of the child’s mugshot drives the stake even further into one’s chest as you peruse the piece. This murder was committed in the name of United States Citizens.

A Colombus Day Challenge [Crunk Feminist Collective]

Recently, while at a conference, Jessica Yee, of the Native Youth Sexual Health Network, asked a group of us in the audience whether we knew whose land we stood and sat upon. She asked us if we knew the people whose land we were on. After an uncomfortable silence, someone spoke up. There were about 300 activists in the room, and perhaps 2 knew the answer to her question.

Do you know? Wherever you sit right now, do you know who lived, worked, loved and died there before your history books begin the story?

Today would be a good day to find out.

Kicked-Out Then Dropped-Out [National Education Policy Center]

Does a policy of kicking “bad kids” out of school so “good kids” can learn really work? Discipline Policies, Successful Schools, and Racial Justice, a new report authored by Dan Losen of the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, documents how disproportionately large numbers of minority students across the nation are being removed from schools for relatively minor infractions. According to the study, the overuse and abuse of zero tolerance polices and other forms of student discipline are having a detrimental effect on student achievement. Furthermore, while so-called “problem children” are being removed and suffer academically, no evidence suggests that other students benefit from the removal of their classmates.

“The application of discipline is unfair and unequal in this country,” said Losen. “Kicking out students for minor offenses has no academic justification. Yet, students and especially minority students are removed for small infractions every day, causing them to suffer academically.”

The Losen report does more than identify a problem; it points to more effective discipline alternatives and provides examples of states such as Maryland and Connecticut that have legislative approaches aimed at keeping kids in school. Maryland, for example, passed in 2004 a law requiring that if suspensions reach 10 percent of an elementary school’s enrollment, the elementary school must engage in a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program.

RIP to the World’s Most Famous Mixed Race Adoptee [Mixed Race America]

But is he Syrian? He was raised in a white household by white parents and by and large seemed to have navigated in a predominantly white world (the nascent diversity of California in the 1970s not-withstanding). By all accounts he did not have a close relationship with his birth parents—he wasn’t really in touch with either one. And I can’t really find anything that suggests that Jobs was curious about his Syrian heritage, at least not curious enough that it would come up on a google search or appear in one of the many obits about his life that have been appearing in every magazine, newspaper, and blog.

I guess what I’m asking is, if race is a social construction—is ethnicity constructed as well? Can you really be Syrian if you were not raised Syrian? And particularly since Jobs, for all intents and purposes, appeared to navigate the world as a white man, is this, indeed what he was?

Of course, like everyone else, Jobs was so much more than just the sum of his race, ethnicity and gender. This is the man who wasn’t afraid to drop out of school and to take courses that appealed to him and to be a perfectionist. Most of all, it’s the words of his commencement address to Stanford University that I think is a great summation of what his life represented: Stay hungry, stay foolish. Great words for all of us to live by.

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