Mayim Bialik Discusses Feminism, Hollywood and Weinstein

OneWorld Progressive Institute

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our community work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6 

Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  You can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the links below:

ONEWORLD PRESENTS IMPORTANT WEINSTEIN-RELATED QUESTIONS.

Trying to deal with the pervasive culture of white male power and exploitation against women one case at a time will not change the overall culture that exists in 2017!  A great deal has been said about the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment revelations.  One of the curious question is this — if this man had been behaving so inappropriately for all these decades, and his behavior affected so many people and was known to so many, why hadn’t the members of his board of directors held him accountable before?  Clearly, there has to be much more to this story; otherwise, it makes NO SENSE!  Mr. Trump said he is not surprised; he knew about Weinstein.  Of course he did; they are members of the same ‘boys club.’  Mr. Trump himself has set a new national standard for morality.  Because he was elected after his personal despicable conduct became public knowledge, every powerful white male in America (who thinks it is open season on women) is puzzled as to why any one of them should be treated any differently than Trump has been treated.

OneWorld makes a few statements below and also pose some questions about the Weinstein situation and ask that every reader reflect on and share this blog with others.  Thank you.

WHY DIDN’T THE ALL-MALE WEINSTEIN BOARD KNOW ABOUT HIS BEHAVIOR AND ADDRESS THE MATTER YEARS AGO?  WHAT ARE THE REAL ISSUES BEHIND THE BOARD’S CONDUCT?
Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and millions of powerful men are the manifestation of an abusive and oppressive culture wherein the sexual, phychological, and financial abuse of women are standard.
  1. All men, who do not stand against the various types of conduct that subject women to such behaviors, are colluders. Their silence– whether they actively participate or not– makes it possible for it to go on.
  2. The media reported that ‘One-third of the ‘All-Male Weinstein Board Resigned’ after the sexual harassment complaint became public knowledge.’
  3. Think about this: were these resignations about their outrage at Weinstein’s behavior towards women, or are they really about protecting themselves as board members?
  4. For decades, boys clubs power houses have existed in various segments of American companies. It has been how business is done. No, not in all companies, but going back 30 to 50 years it was the standard in many companies as well as in government offices and agencies. Women had to play according to the rules dictated by men in order to stay in jobs! 
  5. Reportedly, Weinstein paid out money to many women who complained.  How could all of these payments happen over decades and these board members know nothing about it?
  6. Weinstein must be just as shocked to find out from some of his compadres that they are upset with him!  Why now? Weren’t their silence inherrent collusion?
  7. Punishing Harvey Weinstein and the other lecherous cads that are in our culture is the easy part. 
  8. Changing the culture in America so that this nasty, oppressive culture wherein women are abused daily, as a part of their very existence, ceases to be so.  
  9. Don’t forget that America elected a foul-mouthed, sexual predator after he bragged about his sexual conquests of women, and talked about walking into dressing rooms where teenage girls are naked. “When you own the pagent, you can do that.”
  10.  “You know, no men are anywhere. And I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant. And therefore I’m inspecting it… Is everyone OK? You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible-looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”  (These are Donald Trump’s words on the Access Holywood tape with Billy Bush)  
  11.  A few questions are: as a society, why are such abuses allowed?  What is it in the American culture that would prevent powerful, talented women such a Angelina Jolie, Gwenneth Paltrow and others from stepping forward and exposing this man?  Interestingly, Ms. Paltrow complained to her then boyfriend who stepped in to protect her, but he did not address Weinbstein’s predatory behavior in general; therefore, Weinstein was able to carry on preying on other less protected women.
  12.  Hollywood (and America) NEEDS to address the fact that an integral part of its culture is about a conspiracy of silence; it also has predatory, coercive and bullying  aspects that need to be addressed in totality and not just with individuals.   We  have seen this over and over, yet the behaviors continue.  Powerful white men need to know they cannot continue to do this. They need to know there are certain to be consequences, and that those consequences are a part of the new normal.
  13. We are addressing white men because black men already know they should not do it. They see what happened to Bill Cosby; even awards he got legitimately 30 years ago have been taken away; his entire life destroyed. He has been lynched in the media!
  14. Mayim Bialik wrote an interesting piece in the New York Times on Oct. 13, 2017.  We invite you to read it; she has some wise suggestions; many would benefit from her advice.

Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World

Mayim Bialik as Blossom Russo in season one of “Blossom.” Credit Alice S. Hall/NBC, via Getty Images

I entered the Hollywood machine in 1986 as a prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old — basically a scrawnier version of the person I am today. Back then we didn’t have the internet or social media or reality TV, but I didn’t need any of that to understand that I didn’t look or act like other girls in my industry, and that I was immersing myself in a business that rewarded physical beauty and sex appeal above all else.

Nothing has been a harsher reminder that I work in an industry that profits on the exploitation of women — and not just on screen — than the accusations of Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual assaulter, particularly of aspiring young actresses. Though I am shocked and disgusted by the scope of his alleged predation, the fact that he may have abused his position of power does not surprise me in the least.

I have always had an uncomfortable relationship with being employed in an industry that profits on the objectification of women. Though pressure to “be like the pretty girls” started long before I entered Hollywood, I quickly learned that even as a preteen actress, young girls with doe eyes and pouty lips who spoke in a high register were favored for roles by the powerful men who made those decisions.

I grew up constantly being teased about my appearance, even from members of my family; my nose and chin were the main objects of discussion. As a teenager I started obsessing over the possibility of a nose job so that I would look more like Danica McKellar, with a chin job to balance things out. Soon I wondered if I should get breast implants to look more like Christina Applegate, who got so much attention for her curves. I consistently felt like a troll compared to many of my contemporaries. A “TV Guide” critic described me, in a review of the pilot episode of “Blossom,” as having a “shield-shaped” face of “mismatched features.” I never recovered from seeing myself that way.

I always made conservative choices as a young actress, largely informed by my first-generation American parents who were highly skeptical of this industry in general — “This business will use you up and throw you away like a snotty tissue!”— and of its men in particular: “They only want one thing.” My mom didn’t let me wear makeup or get manicures. She encouraged me to be myself in audition rooms, and I followed my mother’s strong example to not put up with anyone calling me “baby” or demanding hugs on set. I was always aware that I was out of step with the expected norm for girls and women in Hollywood.

Mayim Bialik, in red, with fellow members of the cast of “The Big Bang Theory” at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards. Credit Kevin Winter/Getty Images

I eventually left the business when I was 19 to pursue a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles. I craved being around people who valued me more for what was inside my brain than what was inside my bra. After 12 years away from Hollywood, I returned to acting, largely because I had no health insurance and missed performing and making people laugh.

As a “nontraditional”-looking woman, I came back to an industry that had me auditioning for the “frumpy friend” or the “zaftig secretary,” though I eventually landed a role that has earned me four Emmy nominations. Is it a surprise that I play an androgynous, awkward, late bloomer?

I am grateful to bring Amy Farrah Fowler to life on the No. 1 sitcom in America. I am honored to depict a feminist who speaks her mind, who loves science and her friends and who sometimes wishes she were the hot girl.

I can relate. I’ve wished that, too.

And yet I have also experienced the upside of not being a “perfect ten.” As a proud feminist with little desire to diet, get plastic surgery or hire a personal trainer, I have almost no personal experience with men asking me to meetings in their hotel rooms. Those of us in Hollywood who don’t represent an impossible standard of beauty have the “luxury” of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men in power unless we can make them money.

I still make choices every day as a 41-year-old actress that I think of as self-protecting and wise. I have decided that my sexual self is best reserved for private situations with those I am most intimate with. I dress modestly. I don’t act flirtatiously with men as a policy.

I am entirely aware that these types of choices might feel oppressive to many young feminists. Women should be able to wear whatever they want. They should be able to flirt however they want with whoever they want. Why are we the ones who have to police our behavior?

In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing — absolutely nothing — excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naïve about the culture we live in.

I believe that we can change our culture, but it won’t be something that happens overnight. We live in a society that has treated women as disposable playmates for far longer than Mr. Weinstein has been meeting ingénues in luxury hotel rooms.

One major bright spot: We are seeing more women taking on prominent roles behind the camera. Women like Jenji Kohan and Jill Soloway are showing the kinds of female characters on their shows that we all know in real life but never got to see on TV. And more women and men are waking up to the fact that it is on us all to sound the alarm on unacceptable behavior.

In the meantime, I plan to continue to work hard to encourage young women to cultivate the parts of themselves that may not garner them money and fame. If you are beautiful and sexy, terrific. But having others celebrate your physical beauty is not the way to lead a meaningful life.

And if — like me — you’re not a perfect 10, know that there are people out there who will find you stunning, irresistible and worthy of attention, respect and love. The best part is you don’t have to go to a hotel room or a casting couch to find them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/13/opinion/mayim-bialik-feminist-harvey-weinstein.html

In a statement on Tuesday, his (Weinstein’s) spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, said:

  • “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.
  • Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.
  • He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”

Take note of the real meaning of this part of the Weinstein statement: “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”  In other words, why didn’t more women refuse?  Interesting way of blaming those who are now complaining. 

Harvey Weinstein Paid Off Sexual Harassment Accusers for Decades

Update: The Weinstein Company’s board has fired Harvey Weinstein after reports of sexual harassment complaints against him. Find more coverage here.

Two decades ago, the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein invited Ashley Judd to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for what the young actress expected to be a business breakfast meeting. Instead, he had her sent up to his room, where he appeared in a bathrobe and asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower, she recalled in an interview.

“How do I get out of the room as fast as possible without alienating Harvey Weinstein?” Ms. Judd said she remembers thinking.

In 2014, Mr. Weinstein invited Emily Nestor, who had worked just one day as a temporary employee, to the same hotel and made another offer: If she accepted his sexual advances, he would boost her career, according to accounts she provided to colleagues who sent them to Weinstein Company executives. The following year, once again at the Peninsula, a female assistant said Mr. Weinstein badgered her into giving him a massage while he was naked, leaving her “crying and very distraught,” wrote a colleague, Lauren O’Connor, in a searing memo asserting sexual harassment and other misconduct by their boss.

“There is a toxic environment for women at this company,” Ms. O’Connor said in the letter, addressed to several executives at the company run by Mr. Weinstein.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/us/harvey-weinstein-harassment-allegations.html?

Harvey Weinstein Is Fired After Sexual Harassment Reports

The Weinstein Company fired its co-founder Harvey Weinstein on Sunday, after a New York Times investigation uncovered allegations that he had engaged in rampant sexual harassment, dealing a stunning blow to a producer known for shaping American film and championing liberal causes.

The statement announcing the firing said the decision had been made “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.” In an interview, Lance Maerov, one of the company’s four board members, said it had been brought to their attention that Mr. Weinstein had violated the company’s code of conduct at some point in the past week, but he would not specify what the violation was.

Mr. Maerov said Mr. Weinstein had been notified of his termination by email Sunday evening. The action was taken by Mr. Maerov, Bob Weinstein (Mr. Weinstein’s brother), Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar. A fifth board member, Paul Tudor Jones, resigned on Saturday.

The firing was an escalation from Friday, when one-third of the company’s all-male board resigned and four members who remained announced that Mr. Weinstein would take a leave of absence while an outside lawyer investigated the allegations.

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  • OneWorldProgressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.
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What’s The Real DOJ Agenda: Image Rehab Or Sinister Plot?

OneWorld Progressive Institute

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our community work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6 

Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  You can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the links below:

Sadly, history and experience have taught us that Jeff Sessions cannot be trusted, certainly not when it comes to protecting the rights of those he sees as being outside of the conservative mainstream.  So exactly what is the real motivation behind this new Dept of Justice move by Mr. Sessions?  Read the NY Times article below and draw your own conclusions.  Keep Mr. Sessions history on civil rights firmly in mind, and see the ‘related coverage’ articles link below this October 15, 2017 article. Now ask and answer for yourself: Can Jeff Sessions EVER be trusted when it comes to civil rights issues for minority groups?

  1. What are we to make of his seemingly contracdictory stance on matters pertaining to civi rights?
  2. Might confusion (of the public) be at the heart of his larger strategy? If so, why?
  3. He declared that the Justice Department no longer considered gay or transgender people to be protected from workplace discrimination  and (he) reversed a policy encouraging schools to let transgender students use bathrooms that fit their gender identities.
  4. He abandoned objections to voter identification requirements in Texas and signaled that he would not try to force federal oversight on police departments suspected of abuses.
  5. Given the many frightening things that are happening on the Alt-right (with Trump, Bannon, Miller, Kushner, McConnell and the many unseen GOP operators), how can any of Sessions conflicting moves be taken at face-value?  What are his actual long-term objectives?  

Aiding Transgender Case, Sessions Defies His Image on Civil Rights

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has dispatched an experienced federal hate crimes lawyer to Iowa to help prosecute a man charged with murdering a transgender high school student last year, a highly unusual move that officials said was personally initiated by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In taking the step, Mr. Sessions, a staunch conservative, is sending a signal that he has made a priority of fighting violence against transgender people individually, even as he has rolled back legal protections for them collectively.

The Justice Department rarely assigns its lawyers to serve as local prosecutors, and only in cases in which they can provide expertise in areas that the federal government views as significant. By doing so in this instance, Mr. Sessions put the weight of the government behind a small-city murder case with overtones of gender identity and sexuality.

Kedarie Johnson, a 16-year-old in Burlington, Iowa, was shot to death in March 2016. Family and friends told local newspapers that he was gay, identified as both male and female and occasionally went by the name Kandicee. Christopher Perras, a Justice Department lawyer, will serve as a county prosecutor in the case, according to court documents filed on Friday.

“This is just one example of the attorney general’s commitment to enforcing the laws enacted by Congress and to protecting the civil rights of all individuals,” said Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

 Kedarie Johnson, a 16-year-old Iowan who identified as both male and female, was killed last year. The Justice Department is sending an experienced hate crimes lawyer to help prosecute the case.

Nine months into his tenure as the nation’s top law enforcement official, the nuances of Mr. Sessions’s civil rights policy are coming into focus. As a senator from Alabama, Mr. Sessions had spoken out against same-sex marriage and voted against expanding federal hate crimes laws to protect transgender people, and civil rights groups were livid when President Trump nominated him to be attorney general. They predicted he would reverse policies on discrimination, police abuses and other areas.

In many ways, Mr. Sessions has fulfilled those predictions. He declared that the Justice Department no longer considered gay or transgender people to be protected from workplace discrimination  and   reversed a policy encouraging schools to let transgender students use bathrooms that fit their gender identities. He abandoned objections to voter identification requirements in Texas and signaled that he would not try to force federal oversight on police departments suspected of abuses.

But he has also brought several hate crime cases, including one against a man accused of burning a mosque. He condemned white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., far more forcefully than the president. And he has vowed tough action against hate crimes, speaking aggressively in ways that few of his most ardent opponents could have predicted. He has tied enforcement of those crimes to his tough stance against violence, a cornerstone of his policies as attorney general.

“Hate crimes are violent crimes,” Mr. Sessions said in a speech in June. He has publicly applauded aggressive hate crime prosecutions, including one in which a Mississippi man received a 49-year prison sentence in the death of a transgender woman. That case was brought in the final weeks of the Obama administration. “No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe, or how they worship,” Mr. Sessions said.

During the Obama administration, the Justice Department pushed the boundaries of civil rights, routinely arguing for a broad reading of the law. Mr. Sessions takes a much narrower view. When civil rights laws say “sex,” Mr. Sessions argues, they mean only that — not gender identity or sexual orientation.

Critics and supporters agree that Mr. Sessions is more likely to pursue civil rights matters in individual cases, rather than trying to address larger, systemic issues, as the Obama administration did. He has promised to “punish any police conduct that violates civil rights,” for example, but is skeptical of efforts to force department-wide overhauls. He supports prosecuting those who commit violence against transgender victims but opposes reading the law in a way that broadly extends discrimination protection for transgender people.

RELATED COVERAGE

  • In Shift, Justice Dept. Says Law Doesn’t Bar Transgender Discrimination, 
  •  Sessions Emerges as Forceful Figure in Condemning Charlottesville Violence, 

  • Justice Department Says Rights Law Doesn’t Protect Gays, 

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/nyregion/justice-department-gays-workplace.html

    Sessions Closed Sterling Case. Odds Are, His Predecessor Would Have, Too.  
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/04/us/jeff-sessions-police-shooting-civil-rights.html?
  • OneWorldProgressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.
  • Please remember to subscribe (it’s free) to our YouTube channel:   https://goo.gl/q3YhD6  

Please write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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DACA Reps Bring Desire, Focus, Determination & Success to US

OneWorld Progressive Institute

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our community work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6 

Civic Engagement, Education and Health Literacy are our main areas of focus.  You can learn much more about OneWorld’s investment in each area by visiting the links below:

There was a time when America, especially in the northeast, was looking for highly skilled, well educated black people such as engineers, teachers, nurses and technicians.  It was the heady days of the 1970s.  Due to historic racism and discrimination over the decades, black Americans had been prevented from getting the foundational education needed to acquire degrees in electrical, design engineering and in the STEM sciences. The American embassies in the Caribbean (West Indies) were recruiting highly skilled people to immigrate to America and particularly to the northeast.  It was shocking to know that in Connecticut AT&T did not have a single black engineer.  They had two black technical draftsmen; both were from the West Indies.  When the first black electrical  design engineer arrived he spoke English, Spanish and German.  It was eight years later, through a class-action lawsuit filed in another state, that he realized that he was being paid at the rate of a draftsman.

The white engineers who were less skilled, less knowledgeable, and less experienced were being paid much more. Additionally, Black Engineer #1, also had an MBA in Operations Research.  He could read the most highly prized design literature in German.  No white engineer at AT&T in CT was as credentialed or as capable.  Imagine the mental anguished of knowing that even when you were needed for the benefit of a major American corporation, because of the color of your skin, you were being exploited and underpaid!   Such is the power of integrated racism in America then and now.

Immigrants 2017: Reject the hateful narrative of Donald Trump and his cohorts.  Talk to your parents about why they came to America in the first place. Reach into yourself, find that something in your family that will help you to reject the hateful, narrow-minded narrative being framed by the Alt-Right, KKK, the neo-Nazis and others.
Fight back by creating your mental dream; carve out a pathway, and stay focused against the negative narratives. Never allow it to seep into your soul; never allow it to distract you from your mission to accomplish your goals.

The Frank Bruni article below is certainly worth reading; it provides some valuable information especially about the benefits of immigrant diversity and contributions to America.  Don’t forget, most Americans were immigrants.

Frank Bruni writes about: Politics, social issues, education and culture.

 Frank Bruni, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since June 2011, joined the newspaper in 1995 and has ranged broadly across its pages. He has been both a White House correspondent and the chief restaurant critic. As a staff writer for The Times Magazine, he profiled J. J. Abrams and a health-obsessed billionaire who planned to live to 125; as the Rome bureau chief, he kept tabs on both Pope John Paul II and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

In his columns, which appear every Sunday and Wednesday, he reflects on diverse topics, including: American politics, higher education, popular culture and gay rights. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Maybe “some are rapists,” in Donald Trump’s nasty words. But many are geniuses. Just ask the MacArthur Foundation, which responded to our president’s frequent demonization of immigrants, including that infamous phrase, by doing a little math.

Every year since 1981, the foundation has bestowed so-called genius grants on more than 20 of the country’s most accomplished and promising scientists, scholars, artists and writers. These awards are a huge deal, trumpeted in the media and worn with pride forevermore. And the winners, typically in the middle of their careers, get $625,000 each.

Of the 965 geniuses (or, more properly, MacArthur fellows) to date, 209 were born outside the United States, according to Cecilia Conrad, who leads the fellowship program. That’s 21.7 percent. The 2010 census determined that less than 13 percent of the American population is foreign-born.

Conrad wondered whether MacArthur fellows are anomalies. They’re not. She looked back over the past three and a half decades — which is the life span of the fellowships — to see who’d received other top honors given only to United States citizens and residents.

She found that immigrants were overrepresented among the winners of the Pulitzer Prize for music, of the National Humanities Medal and especially of the John Bates Clark Medal, which recognizes brilliant American economists under the age of 40. Thirty-five percent of these economists were foreign-born, including people from India, Turkey and Ukraine.

The far-right paranoiacs and scaremongers who pressured Trump to end DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) hate to acknowledge what we reality-moored types understand: Many of our country’s finest minds and brightest ideas are forged when dreamers from elsewhere encounter an unfamiliar place with unimagined possibilities. There’s a creative spark in that convergence. It has powered American greatness.

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won a MacArthur grant in 2008.   CreditGeorge Osodi/Ass Press

That’s the moral of the MacArthur Foundation’s math, which it shared first with The Times. That’s also the moral of the Nobel Prizes. According to an analysis late last year by Adil Najam, a Boston University professor: “Since its inception in 1901, the Nobel Prizes and the Prize in Economic Sciences have been awarded 579 times to 911 people and organizations. The U.S. alone has had more than 350 Nobel winners. More than 100 of these have been immigrants and individuals born outside of the United States.” If immigrants to the United States were considered their own country, Najam wrote, their tally of Nobels would exceed that of every country but the United States.

 Junot Díaz, a writer born in the Dominican Republic, won a MacArthur grant in 2012.Credit: Jeffrey Henson Scales/The New York Times

An article about immigrants in The Atlantic just a few years ago noted that the four United States-based physicists who sounded the 1939 warning about nuclear weapons that led to the Manhattan Project were born outside the United States. The article went on to point out that “immigrants or the children of immigrants have founded or co-founded nearly every legendary American technology company, including Google, Intel, Facebook, and of course Apple (you knew that Steve Jobs’s father was named Abdulfattah Jandali, right?).”

Edwidge Danticat, a writer born in Haiti, was a MacArthur grant winner in 2009. Credit Barbara P. Fernandez for The New York Times

And Jennifer Hunt, a professor of economics at Rutgers University, has done research showing that among graduates of American colleges, immigrants are twice as likely to receive patents as native-born Americans. Her research further suggests that this doesn’t come at the expense of native-born Americans but in fact stimulates their innovation, too. “You’re bouncing ideas off each other,” Hunt told me.

Her findings speak to the oft-charted success of American immigrants in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields. The MacArthur grants cover the humanities, too; the past decade’s winners include such celebrated writers as Junot Díaz, born in the Dominican Republic; Edwidge Danticat, born in Haiti; and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the author of “Americanah,” born in Nigeria.

José Quiñonez won a MacArthur grant in 2016. Credit: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

José Quiñonez, named a genius last year for his pioneering work in financial services, was born in Mexico, the country vilified in Trump’s “rapists” remark. He told me that he and his siblings immigrated illegally in 1980, after their mother died, to live with relatives in San Jose, Calif. He was 9.

 He studied hard and got a master’s degree from Princeton. He said that his four siblings, like him, have good jobs, two as high school teachers. Long before Trump’s campaign, he heard and cringed at complaints that Mexican immigrants were criminals, freeloaders. “Especially early on, I began to believe: Maybe I was lazy, maybe I was broken?” said Quiñonez, 46, who now lives in Oakland, Calif. “But there was something in our family that helped us reject that narrative. We fought back against that narrative. I never allowed it to seep into my soul.”

It’s possible that the bounty of immigrants who’ve won MacArthur grants demonstrates some predisposition among foundation executives toward certain life stories and a desire to promote people who have been overlooked and underappreciated. Some critics of the foundation have asserted that.

But it’s worth noting that if the foundation took into account children of immigrants as well as immigrants themselves, the percentage of its geniuses that reflects the benefits of immigration would be higher than 21.7. It’s also worth noting that for most of the grant’s history, foreign-born people constituted less than 10 percent of the United States population.

An-My Lê, a photographer who won a MacArthur grant in 2012.CreditMatt Carr/John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, via Associated Press

The immigrants who’ve won MacArthur grants include refugees, and I spoke with one, An-My Lê, 57, who fled Saigon as a teenager at the end of the Vietnam War. She finished high school in Sacramento, went to college at Stanford, got graduate degrees there and at Yale, and drew acclaim for photography with war and military themes. Her work has been exhibited at the country’s most prominent museums. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at Bard College in upstate New York.

 I asked her what she made of immigrants’ prevalence among MacArthur geniuses. “I think most of us feel very lucky to be here, so we work extremely hard,” she said. “I think maybe trauma is part of what drives us.” She added that in terms of innovation, “Having the different perspectives, having the different life experiences, makes you see things differently.” Fresh ideas and great art are often born that way.

They come with a sort of hunger and a kind of gaze that don’t subtract from what those of us already here have but, instead, add to it. They give us insights, inventions, art. Embracing their genius is the genius of America.

Correction: September 24, 2017 
An earlier version of this column described the acronym STEM incorrectly. It stands for science, technology, engineering and math, not science, technology, economics and math.I invite you to follow me on Twitter (@FrankBruni) and join me on Facebook.

Random Comments from NYT site:

Lawrence DeMattei,  

I have always thought that the hatred of immigrants is a skin color issue. If all the illegal immigrants were coming from countries such as…

“Designing the future requires “risk takers”; “dreamers” with “fresh ideas” and that “creative spark”. And because we have in many ways a blank canvas to paint the future on, people with “different perspectives, having different life experiences” who “see things differently” have a very valuable skill set.
And they don’t need to be MacArthur geniuses. This is going to come from the bottom-up.”

“Immigrants now can do the same thing the Italian, Irish, and Polish immigrants did in the 20th century: after being scorned by the elites, they cleaned up the mess made by the “real Americans” that led to the Great Depression. And they literally built America.”

“The immigrants from Mexico, India, China, the Middle East, and Africa can do the same now: clean up the mess made by Wall Street, and rebuild America for the 21st century, built on a new economic model of shared prosperity, just as immigrants did in the 20th century.”

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  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/23/opinion/sunday/macarthur-grants-immigrants.html?

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  • OneWorldProgressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.
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Emergency Petition: We Need Gun Control NOW! Stop H.R. 3668

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our community work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6 

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What to Know About the Pro-Gun Bills Before Congress

PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES.  SAY NO TO THESE NEW GUN BILLS. They are before Congress now (in early October and might be voted on very soon.) You should also know that according to some reports there have been 273 mass shootings in the USA so far in 2017. A mass shooting is described as an incident in which four or more people are shot/and or killed in a single incident at the same time. 

The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668) AND The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38)

The United States Congress is working according to the dictates of the National Riffle Association (NRA).  The two bills listed below are not in the best interest and safety of citizens.  For example, Connecticut has some of the strictest gun laws.  However, this new bill H.R. 38 will allow people from outside of CT to come into the state and violate our gun safety laws as explained here:

Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017: WILL MAKE CONCEALED CARRYING (OF GUNS) EASIER ACROSS STATE LINES. 

This bill amends the federal criminal code to allow a qualified individual to carry a concealed handgun into or possess a concealed handgun in another state that allows individuals to carry concealed firearms.

A qualified individual must: (1) be eligible to possess, transport, or receive a firearm under federal law; (2) carry a valid photo identification document; and (3) carry a valid concealed carry permit issued by, or be eligible to carry a concealed firearm in, his or her state of residence.

Additionally, the bill specifies that a qualified individual who lawfully carries or possesses a concealed handgun in another state: (1) is not subject to the federal prohibition on possessing a firearm in a school zone, and (2) may carry or possess the concealed handgun in federally owned lands that are open to the public.

The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668)  WILL MAKE GUN SILENCERS EASIER TO ACCESS.

Emergency petition: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now.

Tell Republicans in Congress:

“It is time to put your constituents before the National Rifle Association. Reject currently pending legislation that would gut regulations on gun silencers and armor piercing bullets, block the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, and take immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which have no place in the hands of private citizens.”

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►
Dear Visitors:

Emergency petition: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now.

Sunday night in Las Vegas, a lone gunman rained gunfire down on a country music concert, killing 59 people and sending more than 500 to the hospital. It was one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.1

Republicans in Congress – who have fought for years to block any legislation that would protect Americans from gun violence – were quick to offer their “thoughts and prayers” in response. But thoughts and prayers are not enough to keep weapons of war out of dangerous hands and begin to address our country’s horrific gun violence epidemic.

It is time for Republicans in Congress to join Democrats in standing up to the National Rifle Association and pass commonsense gun control laws that will save American lives.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click here to sign the petition.

Sunday’s shooting is far from an isolated incident. According to Newsweek’s John Haltiwanger, there have now been “273 mass shootings and over 11,000 deaths from gun violence in America” in 2017 alone.2

But instead of working to protect Americans from the gun violence epidemic, Republicans in Congress are planning to vote as soon as this week on two bills that would make Americans even more vulnerable to gun violence:

  • The SHARE Act (H.R. 3668), which would repeal restrictions on gun silencers and make it harder to detect the source of gunfire during mass shootings.3
  • The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38), which would undermine state efforts to protect residents from gun violence by forcing states to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state, no matter how lax the state’s permitting standards are.4

We must forcefully demand that Congress reject both of these dangerous pieces of legislation and take immediate action to ban weapons of war, including assault weapons and large capacity magazines. Please add your name to our emergency petition now.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click here to sign the petition.

Stephen Paddock, the suspect in the Las Vegas shooting, reportedly had at least 23 guns in the hotel room he used as a sniper perch.6 There’s simply no good reason for a private citizen to have access to that many weapons of war, but it should not come as a surprise.

Nevada has some of the weakest gun control laws in the United States. There are no limits on the number of guns an individual can own, and assault weapons are legal in the state as long as they are registered.5 The combination of weak state and federal gun laws made such a horrific attack possible.

There’s one reason why Congress consistently fails to take real action on gun violence: the National Rifle Association. The NRA has a chokehold on Congress that keeps most bills about gun control from even coming to the floor for a vote. Politicians beholden to – or afraid of – the NRA are willing to turn their backs on their constituents when it comes time to implement reasonable limits and controls on guns. But you can count on them for a “heartbroken” tweet about their “thoughts and prayers” when a tragic shooting makes the national news.

Finally breaking the NRA’s chokehold on Congress will require massive grassroots pressure on our elected officials, demanding that they deliver more than thoughts and prayers in the face of our epidemic of gun violence.

Tell Republicans in Congress: Thoughts and prayers are not enough. We need gun control now. Click the link below to sign the petition:

http://act.credoaction.com/sign/las-vegas?t=8&akid=25282%2E10058438%2E1oPVwR

Thanks for everything you do,

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name, and please share this petition with others by sending them this link to this page so that they too can sign the petition.  The Las Vegas shooter had 23 guns in the hotel room.  Imagine if he had silencers on those guns how many hundreds more would have been killed because they would have been killed silently. They would not have been able to hear the gun shots and take cover.  They would not have been able to tell what directions the shots were coming from.  We need to focus on saving lives.  This is not about making gun enthusiasts comfortable.   This bill HR3668 will protect the hearing of the sport enthusiasts and put millions of lives in jeopardy!

Please click on and read some of the articles below.  Say ‘NO’ to Gun Silencers; ‘No’ to state reciprocity, and ‘NO’ to modifying guns so they can be more effective in killing more people a lot faster.  Let us RESIST the NRA.  Contact your congressional representatives today! (NSS)

Sign the petition ►
  1. Greg Sargent, “This is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. How should we talk about it?” The Washington Post, Oct. 2, 2017
  2. John Haltiwanger, “Tweet,” Oct. 2, 2017
  3. Peter Ambler, “Gun silencers make it easier to commit crimes quietly,” Chicago Tribune, Sep. 29, 2017.
  4. Michele Gorman, “Guns in America: What is national concealed carry reciprocity?” Newsweek, March 3, 2017.
  5. Callum Paton, “Las Vegas gun laws: Open carry, concealed weapon, machine guns all legal in Nevada,” Newsweek, Oct. 2, 2017
  6. Rick Jervis and Kevin Johnson, “What guns were used in the Las Vegas shooting?” USA Today, Oct. 3, 2017
  7. Please read this article in Teen Vogue: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/pro-gun-bills-before-congress
  8. According to this source: “There Have Been 273 Mass Shootings In the US So Far in 2017” — Here’s the Full List   http://www.businessinsider.com/how-many-mass-shootings-in-america-las-vegas-shooting-2017-10

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., invites visitors to visit our web home page: http://www.oneworldpi.org

  • OneWorldProgressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.
  • Please remember to subscribe (it’s free) to our YouTube channel:   https://goo.gl/q3YhD6  

Please write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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White Supremacy And Lynching On The March Again In USA 2017

OneWorld Progressive Institute

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., is a 501(C)3, 100 percent  volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996. Please visit our YouTube channel to see examples of our community work: https://goo.gl/q3YhD6 

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In this the United States of America in the year 2017, the purveyors of hate, racism and white supremacy are in positions of power and leadership.  They are functioning as protectors and enablers of those who carry out acts of violence as expressions of the hatred they share for people of color. As a result, we are seeing a resurgence of many of the evil actions brought about by racism and all of its associated poisons.   We call your attention to the article below from the New York Times, dated Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.

One of the many comments posted to the article is not only poignant, it is scary. It says: Trump and his enablers have lifted the huge rock, and now the creatures are slithering out. The past GOP dog whistles are now like Tornado Sirens, blaring 24/7. NOTHING is too vile for them in a quest to maintain power.”

  • As the article below points out: “Rarely, if ever, did the leading white citizens of the community – or anyone, for that matter – raise a public objection to this or other forms of terrorism against African Americans.
  • “Few memorials of lynching and its victims exist today.
  • Although the overwhelming majority of lynchings occurred in the South, Northern scholars of “scientific racism” concocted theories of a “dangerous” and “devolving” race to portray African American men as subhuman and predisposed to rape —  a potent pretext for lynching and other forms of racist violence and discrimination.” 
  • The same concept is used today to justify white cops shooting black men and boys; they are perceived to be dangerous; the cops are afraid for their lives; it does not matter the age of the black child.  Police have placed an 8 year-old in handcuffs!
  • Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice was playing by himself in the public park; he was gunned down by a white cop 20 seconds after he arrived at the park!  He walked free, as they almost always do, regardless of the evidence. 
  • What is equally shocking about this case on August 28, 2017 in New Hampshire is that the police (reportedly) covered up the incident; no news reports. Why is that?

Call a Lynching By Its Name

BY SINDISO MNISI WEEKS AND DAN WEEKS

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 12:23

Dan Weeks and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks are parents to two biracial kids in New Hampshire and were horrified to learn about a recent attempted lynching in their state.

Dan Weeks and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks are parents to two biracial kids in New Hampshire and were horrified to learn about a recent attempted lynching in their state.Credit Courtesy of the Weeks Family

In recent days, we have read gut-wrenching accounts of an alleged attack on an 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont, New Hampshire. Like the local police, who did not issue any public statements until more than a week after the incident, under pressure from the boy’s family, state media have also been circumspect in their coverage. Nowhere in the reporting by top state media outlets on this tragic event does the word “lynching” occur.

Sadly, it should.

As parents of a young biracial boy and girl in New Hampshire, we shudder to say the word and consider its implications for the state we love. Yet as an American and South African couple, we have read enough American history and experienced enough of South Africa’s past under apartheid to arrive at the conviction that past is ever prologue unless we stare it in the face and publicly exclaim, “Enough!”

Consider with us the sordid history of lynching in America, a history that is often overlooked or misconstrued.

From the end of Reconstruction in 1877 until 1950, white Americans lynched 4,084 African Americans across the American South, according to documentary evidence gathered by the Equal Justice Initiative. Another 300 racial terror lynchings were perpetrated in non-Southern states across the country.

Although hanging from a tree was the most common form of lynching, victims were sometimes tortured and burned alive. Their mutilated body parts – lips, teeth, fingers, internal organs – were sometimes removed and sold as keepsakes.

The perpetrators did not call themselves racist. Most did not bother to don white hoods. Ninety-nine percent were never convicted of a crime and Congress never passed a law making lynching illegal. In fact, lynchings were frequently photographed and published as postcards, which served as popular souvenirs in the South. A lynching could be attended by thousands and take place on the courthouse square.

Rarely, if ever, did the leading white citizens of the community – or anyone, for that matter – raise a public objection to this or other forms of terrorism against African Americans. Few memorials of lynching and its victims exist today.

Although the overwhelming majority of lynchings occurred in the South, Northern scholars of “scientific racism” concocted theories of a “dangerous” and “devolving” race to portray African American men as subhuman and predisposed to rape —  a potent pretext for lynching and other forms of racist violence and discrimination. Although progress has been made, two forms of discrimination in particular —  mass incarceration of young African American men and the vastly disproportionate rate of police shootings of unarmed African American men — continue to this day.

New Hampshire is one of six states in which no known lynchings occurred or were attempted – until now.

We may never know all that happened in that backyard near Barnes Park on the afternoon of August 28. But we know enough from newspaper accounts to treat this incident with the seriousness that an attempted lynching demands and to take a cold, hard look at racism in our state at a time when white supremacy is literally on the march again.

We know there were white teenagers who hurled sticks and stones and racial epithets at an 8-year-old biracial boy on more than one occasion, according to his family. We know there was a rope hanging from a tree and a picnic table nearby. We know the young boy was playing with his 11-year-old sister when the teenagers approached, and that he was found a short time later with rope burns and a bleeding neck.

We know the account his sister and grandmother gave of the teenagers getting the rope around his neck and shoving him off the picnic table before running away and leaving him hanging from the tree. We know the boy was rushed to Valley Regional Hospital by his mother and then airlifted to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital that evening, where doctors described the incident as consistent with a hanging and “said he should have been dead,” according to his grandmother.

We know the Claremont Police were silent until the mother’s Facebook post went viral more than a week after the incident. And we know that at a community vigil in support of the distraught family, white men flaunted a Confederate flag and decried the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

That is not all.

We know that in the age of Donald Trump, a president who openly equates the proponents of white supremacy with those who protest it, Americans must still confront our nation’s history of slavery and the legacy of racism and institutional inequality that remains.

As parents of children deemed black in New Hampshire, we now feel a kind of fear Dan never imagined growing up in an idyllic, all-white town some 50 miles from Claremont, a fear Sindiso hoped never to remember from her childhood in South Africa’s largest township under apartheid.

As Americans, old and new, who believe fervently in our nation’s founding creed of “liberty and justice for all,” we refuse to accept this unacceptable state of affairs on behalf of our children and the community we love.

To begin, we must call this violence what it is, according to the available evidence: an attempted lynching. By saying the word, we are acknowledging our sordid racist past. Only then can we act in unison to stamp out the many vestiges of systemic racism and inequality today.

Dan Weeks is chair of Open Democracy in Concord, N.H. and Sindiso Mnisi Weeks is an assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Boston. They keep a blog on race and society at www.SindisoAndDan.org.

Related Comments from Readers

MadasHelinVA –  Beltway of DC 8 hours ago

My heart bleeds for the family of the 8-year-old biracial boy in Claremont and his entire family. It’s too horrible to contemplate your son’s ordeal and I can’t even imagine your grief, to say nothing of your anxiety of even allowing your children to play outside ever again without the presence of an adult. My heart aches for you and every family with biracial children because no one knows who will be next.

Where did those teens get the idea that performing a lynching would be a good way to conduct playtime? What did their parents say when confronted by the police? Why did the police not make a public statement regarding this crime and have the found the teens responsible? Where was the media? How could the media not say as word about this heinous event when it occurred? And Nicholas is right – the word ‘lynching’ should absolutely be spelled out whenever

 Frank –  New York 8 hours ago

Yea, one isolated incident doesn’t equate with white supremacy. What happened to this boy was awful. But am I allowed to take, say, the black teenagers who tortured a disabled white boy and say this is a clear sign of blacks all over the nation hating whites? I would never do that. But your logic suggests that such a conclusion is the only one to draw when a few black teenagers attack a white boy because of his race.

 Jonathan Katz –  St. Louis 8 hours ago

This was attempted murder, apparently with racial motivation, but it wasn’t an attempted lynching. By definition, a lynching is the killing by a mob of someone accused of a crime. Hence the expression “Lynch Law”, the substitution of mob violence for the due process of law.

Although race often was a contributing motivation, the majority of lynchings had white victims and had nothing to do with race. “The Ox-Bow Incident” is a classic fictionalized account of a lynching in which race played no role.

Phyliss Dalmatian –  Wichita, Kansas 8 hours ago

Trump and his enablers have lifted the huge rock, and now the creatures are slithering out. The past GOP dog whistles are now like Tornado Sirens, blaring 24/7. NOTHING is too vile for them in a quest to maintain power.

 

 Martha Shelley –  Portland, OR 8 hours ago

The teenage perpetrators need to be prosecuted–and their parents should be forced to pay damages. Kids don’t behave this way unless they learn racism at home.

https://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/call-a-lynching-by-its-name/?

Hate in America: A list of racism, bigotry, and abuse since the election.

Hate in America –  (Taken from) An updating list.

 Since the election of President Donald Trump, news outlets and social media accounts have swelled with reports of swastikas at schools, racist taunts, and other hate-fueled attacks and acts of intimidation. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has aggregated media reports and gathered submissions from its website, catalogued 1064 such incidents, 13 of which were later debunked as false reports, in the first month after Trump won the presidency. (Twenty-six of those incidents were perpetrated against Trump supporters.) The SPLC has presented that data in aggregate, creating an invaluable record of the scope of post-election hate crimes.
Posted Aug. 14, 2017 5:58 pm
Photographer captures apparent assault in Charlottesville garage.  In Charlottesville, members of white hate group beating a black teen in a garage.

OneWorld Progressive Institute, Inc., invites visitors to visit our web home page: http://www.oneworldpi.org

  • OneWorldProgressive Institute, Inc is a 501(C)3, 100 percent volunteer organization serving Greater New Haven and the broader CT community since 1996.  We produce three categories of television programs: health literacy, education and civic engagement. We also engage the community, and particularly students, in critical-thinking forums, an oratory competition and radio discussions. What we do depends largely on what we can financially afford to do at any given time and on an ongoing basis.  We invite and appreciate technical and financial support.
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Please write to us at: OneWorld, Inc. P.O. Box 8662, New Haven, CT 06531

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