Daily Archives: July 5, 2021

Rev. McMickle spelled it out on whats really driving GOP critical race theory campaign – cleveland.com

Posted: July 5, 2021 at 5:55 am

Thank you, Rev. Marvin McMickle, for speaking the truth, and freeing others to expand their understanding of what critical race theory is, and is not ('Critical Race Theory hyperbole is just an attempt at misdirection, July 2).

CRT, as framed by Republican legislators at the local, state, and national level, is viewed as liberal indoctrination a la political correctness and cancel culture. Their dual intent is to spread misinformation, fear, and distrust to an already underinformed base of supporters and to prevent teachers from teaching and students from learning the truth about how systemic racism is integrated into the history of the United States.

McMickles column is powerful because it is simple, honest, and evidence-based -- the trifecta for encouraging one to rethink assumptions and open ones eyes and mind to a new understanding. Too bad the media would rather give more coverage to the political propaganda of partisans than the informative and insightful commentary of leaders like the Rev. McMickle.

Tony DiBiasio,


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Quentin Tarantino Tells Joe Rogan How He Helped The Film Industry Overcome Cancel Culture/Political Correctness In The 90s ‘I Never Let Them Stop Me’…

Posted: at 5:55 am

Legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino sees a lot of similarities between cancel culture today and political correctness that emerged in the 80s before he started making films.

According to Tarantino, who made an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience on Tuesday, the 80s were one of the worst eras for movies because a lot of film companies self-censored themselves to have likable characters unlike many of the anti-heroes of the 70s.

The 80s and the 50s were the worst times for movies ever because it was this politically correct time, in the 50s it was different because it was just society, in the 80s self-censorship was going onIt was the rise of political correctness after the 70s where everything was just go as far as you can then all of a sudden everything got watered downthe most important thing about a character was that they were likable, and every character had to be likable.

Tarantino went on to tell Rogan that he was inspired by wild over-the-top foreign films in the 80s to make whatever movies he wanted to make without allowing they to stop him.

There was nothing like that available in America, I was like oh my God this is the wildest shit ever man, this is amazingSo I remember I was sitting in Video Archives and i remember saying I want to do shit like that when Im making movies and then one of the guys said well, they wont let you do that Quentin, and my answer was whos they? Who are they to tell me what I can and cant do.

Tarantino credits his bold attitude at the time with helping the film industry overcome political correctness in the 80s and early 90s.

The proof is in the pudding, I never let they stop me, I did what I wanted to do and by doing what I wanted to do we changed the 90s, the 90s stopped being politically correct and all of a sudden in one year Reservoir Dogs, El Mariachi, Man Bites Dog, Romeo is Bleeding all these wild, ironic, violent movies started coming out that didnt exist in 1989.

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The new threat of corporate wokery – Spalding Today

Posted: at 5:55 am

In his regular Hayes in the House column,MP Sir John Hayes addresses 'political correctness'.

Our great wartime leader, Winston Churchill, said that an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile hoping it will eat him last. Now, almost a century later, extremists have realised the power they hold over spineless corporate executives, by rallying their ferocious, unrepresentative, social media followers to bully businesses into appeasing them by pulling advertising from anyone they label as politically incorrect.

The latest target of their petty wroth is GBNews, the venture by veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil to offer the British public a news channel that, rather than trotting out the same, tired-old metropolitan liberal viewpoint, prides itself on breaking with that cosy consensus by airing the views of the silent majority.

For the sin of being insufficiently PC, Neil and Co. have become the target of left-wing group Hope, Not Hate, who have bombarded firms, including Kopparberg and IKEA, into pulling their advertising. Thankfully, GBNews has the financial and moral substance to stand strong against this kind of intimidation, but ordinary employees and smaller enterprises are not so fortunate. The campaign to use the financial power of big business to shut down open discussion and fair public debate is schemed to mean that only those with the correct opinions can speak freely.

Whether this is a cynical ploy to feed the woke crocodile, or deliberate thought policing, such menacing power has far-reaching ramifications. With the free exchange of honestly held contrasting opinions undermined, our open society is at risk.

As woke crony capitalist monopolies continue to antagonise and sideline millions of ordinary Britons who would otherwise be customers, the marketplace of both goods and ideas is being inhibited a little more each day. The fears for the survival of free speech are persistent. Just as Churchill rallied our nation against the Nazi tyrants, so George Orwell, informed by his disgust at the ideological zeal of Spanish communists, wrote chillingly in his novel 1984 of the spectre of Big Brother.

Public bodies have always been susceptible to waves of political hysteria, whipped up by activists shielded from real world concerns. What is startling in our brave new woke world is that this most recent bout of extremist ideology has infested the normally cold, calculating world of big business.

The demands for safe-spaces, gender-neutral changing rooms and Maoist-style hate sessions against wrongthink have wormed their way from leftist local authorities into boardrooms, imported by twentysomething employees fresh from their unworldly university bubbles. What is surprising is how readily some experienced and commercially-savvy bosses have drunk the Kool-Aid and now sing from the same radical, globalist hymn sheet.

The consequences of this capitulation range from ludicrous to laughable. Reverse Mentoring schemes whereby recent graduates take older employees under their wing to coach them about diversity issues; unconscious bias training, which leaves participants more, not less, prone to racial and gender stereotypes; and the hypocritical differences between the Western social media accounts of corporates which parade their allyship during Pride month, while at the same time approaching markets abroad excluding such virtue signalling.

Despite the absurdity of this performative wokeness, the influence wielded through big business in servitude to Maoist cultural norms presents a clear and present danger to individuals and society at large.

Decent people have been fired for expressing an opinion which goes against the orthodoxy of woke warriors, while mandatory diversity training seeks to instil the dishonest and now discredited ideas of white privilege and unconscious bias in the minds of employees. The attempt by powerful corporates, with no democratic mandate, to dictate what is acceptable public discussion is just as sinister as any dystopian nightmare Orwell envisioned.

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Exclusive polling: the Labour Party’s base isn’t as woke as you think – New Statesman

Posted: at 5:55 am

When it comes to so-called culture war issues, Labour voters havea nuanced, if not split, set of attitudes.

An exclusive poll of 2019 Labour voters for the New Statesman, conducted byRedfield &Wilton Strategies, reveals just 25 per cent of Laboursbase backs defunding the police, compared with50 per cent who are outright opposed.

This finding, however, comes with some sharp generational divides.

While 74 per cent of Labour voters over the age of 65 are opposed, just 28 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 saythe same.

Younger Labour voters are the most supportive of the idea, with 44 per cent of 18- to 24-year-oldssaying they agree with defunding the police.

50 per cent of Labour's base opposes defunding the police

"To what extent, if at all, do you support or oppose defunding the police?"

Redfield & Wilton poll of 2019 Labour voters, 24 Jun 2021

The poll, taken on 24 June, poses a series of questions to those who voted for the Labour Party at the 2019 general election.

When asked if theyd support analysing societys problems through the lens of white privilege, Labours base appeared nonplussed:44 per cent either declared not to have an answer, or did not know how to answer.

Some 32 per cent voiced support (young people being the biggest advocates, at 51 per cent), while 24 per cent declared themselves opposed.

What these findings expose is not necessarily a Labour Party out of step with its own voters, but rather a base of support more logged-off fromculture war issues and, consequently, less supportive of them than their logged-on activists.

Just 29 per cent of Labours voters, for instance, say they feel white privilege is a useful term inpublic discourse, including only half of young Labour supporters.

Labours base here displays similar generational divides to the country at large,although that doesnt tell the whole story. While a majority of Labours young voters are positive about woke identity politics, they are not overwhelmingly so. And the middle and ageing generations in comparison are not as supportive, if at all or at least lacka solid opinion.

Despite increasing useof the term in newspapers, only 59 per cent of Labours vote know what woke means. That doesnt stop 76 per cent having an opinion on it, however.More than half (52 per cent) of Labours base regards woke practices as having gone too far, compared with24 per cent whosay otherwise.

Plurality of Labour's voters believe in analysing society's problems through the lens of white privilege, but 52% agree "woke practices" have gone too far

Redfield & Wilton survey of 2019 Labour voters

Young Labour voters are also split on the sentiment. A slim plurality (43 per cent) agree that woke practices go too far; 35 per cent disagree.

Figures like these play to other pollson the broader subject of political correctness,a term which appears to mean different things to different people. According to Ipsos MORI, the country is in broad agreement that political correctness has gone too far.

On the subject of tearing down the statues of unsavoury figures, theNew Statesmans Redfield &Wilton pollfinds Labour voters are supportive in the plurality, butnot overwhelmingly so.

Just 44 per cent agree that statues of certain historical figures [should be] taken down if their views or actions are now considered unacceptable.

Meanwhile 25 per centdont have a view, and 27 per cent are opposed.

Most Labour voters back tearing down unacceptable statues

"Do you agree or disagree with statues of certain historical figures being taken down if their views or actions are now considered unacceptable?"

Source: Redfield & Wilton

Where there is broad agreement among Labours base is on the topical theme of footballers taking the knee. The majority 68 per cent say footballers should have the right to do so, and 54 per cent say when they do, they would support them. Just 15 per cent say they would oppose, and 31 per cent are either indifferent or unsure.

Majority of Labour's base support footballers taking the knee

"To what extent, if at all, do you support or oppose footballers taking the knee before football matches?"

Source: Redfield & Wilton

These revelations suggest voters are not as motivated by these subjects as some in the government may think. Stirring them up for electoral gain may not lead to the results intended.

When even Labours own base isnt enthused by Americanisms such as defundthe police or woke identities that dominate the social media discussion, it is questionable how far a focus on such matters could influence voters at the ballot box. Equally, Labour figures seeking political capital will struggle to motivate their base by promoting woke issues.

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The Left Has Lost Its Sense of Humor – videoageinternational.net

Posted: at 5:55 am

By Dom Serafini

In the 1970s, progressive producers like Norman Lear created TV sitcoms like All in the Family, whose main character, Archie Bunker, could be described as an equal opportunity offender, in the sense that the character disparaged every nationality, sex, and race. It is now considered the fourth greatest TV series of all time by TV Guide. Too bad that it could no longer be replicated.

U.S. comedian Don Rickles was famous because of his offensive antics towards anyone and everyone, including (and especially) his fellow Jews. He referred to his own mother as the Jewish [General George] Patton. To get a glimpse of this raunchiness, just look up one of Dean Martins Celebrity Roasts TV shows from the 1970s on YouTube (pictured above). Rickles billed his routines as insult comedy, and was nicknamed the Merchant of Venom. Rickles was also a lifelong Democrat, however, the politically correct doctrine that was taking hold in the 1990s would not let him continue with that stage character, and in 1993 his last sitcom, Daddy Dearest, was canceled after 11 episodes (of which only 10 aired), even though it aired on FOX.

Another progressive comedian, George Carlin (who despite his progressiveness was not a fan of political correctness), was dubbed the dean of counterculture comedians because of his focus on taboo subjects. In 1978, his seven dirty words TV routine ended up being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court during a case brought by the U.S. Communications authority. Carlin went on to win that case.

Yet another stand-up comic, Lenny Bruce, was one of the first to be known for performing a sort of social criticism from the lefts perspective. In 1961, he was arrested for obscenity, because, at the time, his act was viewed as contrary to a social and political status quo that inflicted pain on poor people and minorities.

Today, that era could well be described as Live, Laugh, Love, as in the recent cartoon in the weekly New Yorker, that stalwart of progressive thoughts. Unfortunately, its politically and socially sterilized cartoons are no longer funny.

Progressive politicians have also used humor since the dawn of time. The new book How to Tell a Joke by Michael Fontaine showed that even Cicero in ancient Rome used it (e.g., What kind of man gets caught in flagrante delicto? A slow one). President John F. Kennedy also used humor, but conservative presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush were funnier. One famous conservative leader who used unorthodox humor was British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (e.g., Mr. Churchill, youre drunk. Lady, youre ugly, but tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be ugly).

Today, only cussing (and not social irreverence) can be used by stand-up comedians to get laughs, because their routines are now guided by political correctness.

Curiously, according to linguist John McWhorters new book, Nine Nasty Words, cuss words (or curses) are mediated by peoples left brains.

In order to get some irreverent humor 15.5 million Americans used to tune in to a radio show hosted by right-winger Rush Limbaugh (before his death in February). Conservative publication National Review called him a hilarious entertainer.

On the progressive side, there is the recent Disneyland backlash over the Snow White ride, which made big news in Europe. In some progressive U.S. circles, it was argued that Prince Charming is kissing a sleeping Snow White without her consent, meaning that that cannot possibly be true love.

Earlier this year, U.S. news reverberated throughout Europe when the publisher of progressive author Dr. Seusss childrens books removed six of his books from circulation, citing racist images in them (prompting many people to rush to buy them online).

Todays progressive society lives in an era of cancel culture, a term popularized in 2014 as part of the #MeToo movement, which is affecting Hollywood, as well as books and newspapers.

Will The Godfather be next? The 1972 film and its sequel, which won nine Oscars, disparaged Italian-Americans, as did the 1999 HBO TV series The Sopranos, and the 1992 movie My Cousin Vinny, among scores of others.

What about West Side Story? Will Puerto Ricans now object to the 1961film and 1957 Broadway play about fear of immigrants and racism? And could the 1978 funny film La Cage Aux Folles (The Birdcage in the 1996 U.S. version with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane) be made in todays cultural climate?

Not only has the left lost its sense of humor, but it also wants to rewrite history from a modern perspective. For example, it wants to declare Christopher Columbus a racist, when such a word did not exist in 1492. (It was coined in 1902.) Plus, theres the fact that, in an effort to save the natives, he requested that they be baptized, and called them, in Spanish, indios (meaning with God). These facts are often overlooked by advocates of cancel culture.

Nowadays, the only folks who can talk frankly without paying any consequences are the populists, ultra-conservatives, and nationalists, who are all epitomized by former U.S. president Donald Trump, who famously said, I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldnt lose voters. Trump also attempted to be humorous with quips directed at some 60 U.S. political leaders (plus foreign leaders and media figures). He called Senator Elizabeth Warren Pocahontas. He referred to Joe Biden as Sleepy Joe. And he called Senator Marco Rubio Little Marco.

The U.S. is now faced with a political situation in which the humorless far-left needs the rage caused by the antics of the far-right in order to mobilize its base and remain relevant, while the political right is eroding the Democratic centrist movement (especially among blue-collar workers), which no longer relates to the popular culture impositions by the far left.

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Laughter Returns To The Heritage Center Theater In Cedar City With SimonFest! – The Independent | News Events Opinion More – The Independent |…

Posted: at 5:55 am

The SimonFest Theatre Company is back in swing with four masterful plays to hit the boards this July at the Heritage Theater.

The SimonFest Theatre Company is back in swing with four masterful plays to hit the boards this July. Oh, boy, do we ever need this, claims Founder and Artistic Director, Richard Bugg. It is time to have shared experiences againto experience these great theatrical journeys as a groupin the same room!

Bugg seeks to ensure his audience that the SimonFest brand of storytelling will be unadulterated. While the religion of political correctness has taken over much of our society, we wont politicize our art, explains Bugg. We tell stories with which we invite our audience to go on delightful and cathartic journeys. The catharsis that we share, whether in a drama or comedy, expands our empathy. That increased empathy is the key to finding peace in our communities, our country, and our world. While occasionally one of our stories might deal with a political subject, we will always focus on the story and the personal discoveries that the characters makenever on punishing our viewers for having a different viewpoint or a different life experience.

This Summers mix of romance, mystery, and mirth includes: Ken Ludwigs comedy-mystery Baskerville: a Sherlock Holmes Mystery, directed by Utah Shakespeare veteran Brandon Burk and starring SimonFest favorite, Richard Hill; Ira Levins diabolically clever Deathtrap, directed by celebrity guest, Clarence Gilyard; Gordon & Cairds charming and romantic musical-comedy, Daddy Long Legs, directed by SimonFest regular Douglas Hill and starring Sceri Ivers; and James Stills graceful and moving, Looking Over the Presidents ShoulderBugg will be directing the film and television star, Clarence Gilyard, in this one-man show about the life of Alonzo Fields butler to presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, and Eisenhower.

While the company was forced to shut down last Summer, due to Covid restrictions, it hasnt been idle during the pandemic, having mounted Driving Miss Daisy last October and Its a Wonderful Life for the Christmas season. In fact, because of such an enthusiastic response, SimonFest plans to repeat these offerings this coming October and December.

The company of actors and artisans has gathered to build and rehearse in preparation for a July 7th opening. While still adhering to state safety recommendations, SimonFest will move forward with a live Summer season that will play a mix of matinees and evenings through July 31st at the Heritage Center Theater in Cedar City. Two of the shows, Deathtrap and Daddy Long Legs, will then travel to the Kayenta Arts Center in Ivins to perform during the first two weeks in August.

Show dates and ticket information can be found at http://www.simonfest.org or by calling 435-267-0194.

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Germanys Left Party convulsed by effort to expel internal critic – The Irish Times

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If there was a competition for Germanys most contrary politician, Sahra Wagenknecht would easily make the final round and possibly take the top prize.

After a lively 30-year career, however, she faces expulsion from her political home, the Left Party, over her claims in a new book that it and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) are betraying their traditional voters.

The Holier-Than-Thous argues that German left-wing politics has been co-opted by a middle-class academic elite which has little interest in the concerns of todays working class, from precarious labour contracts to a growing housing crisis.

Behind their professions of solidarity, she sees an evangelical obsession with identity politics, political correctness and the welfare of minority groups and a rabid intolerance of those who see things differently.

An important claim of liberalism is tolerance . . . while the left understood itself as engaging for those who have it harder in life, she writes. But many people the left label no longer stands for the pursuit of social justice but for aloof academic debates that bypass peoples needs.

In her analysis, Germany started on its downward slope during the 2015-2016 refugee crisis, gathered speed in the climate debate and, with the pandemic, has reached a political nadir.

What unites all three debates, she suggests, is a reflex in Germanys media and political classes to negate critics of mainstream positions rather than engage with and challenge constructively their concerns.

She attributes some of this aggressive atmosphere to the rise of Trump-era populism, but says his new far-right has found an unlikely ally in the new left-liberal milieu. Together, she argues, these two camps need each other, amplify each other and live off each other with a shared love of emotionalised outrage rituals, moralised defamation and open hatred of those who think differently.

The book picks up on the international debate on so-called cancel culture and a recent survey in which 44 per cent of Germans the highest number ever said they feel unable to express their views in public, particularly on immigration.

Her warning, that the Left Party is heading towards self-imposed extinction, hung over election night earlier this month in Saxony-Anhalt.

The eastern state was once a Left Party stronghold but this time around it secured just 11 per cent backing, with the SPD faring even worse on 8.4 per cent. Meanwhile, more than a fifth of voters backed the far-right Alternative fr Deutschland (AfD), making it the second most popular party.

While her party struggles for survival ahead of Septembers federal poll, Wagenknecht was nominated with two-thirds support of constituency party members as their Bundestag candidate.

Among her loudest critics is Left Party co-leader Susanne Hennig-Wellsow. She accuses Wagenknecht of left-wing populism and of causing huge damage to the partys efforts for a more progressive, emancipatory leftist politics that embraces feminist, queer and migrant concerns.

But not even the Left Partys own Rosa Luxemburg Foundation is convinced, warning that this political focus has resulted in an inability to hold voters, leading to former voters orienting themselves in new, colourful ways.

Sensing growing divisions, and an upcoming election disaster, Hennig-Wellsow has attacked the push inside the party to expel Wagenknecht as counterproductive.

What Wagenknechts rivals hoped would be an open-and-shut case against her has been complicated by her top spot in the non-fiction chart and rave reviews. The liberal Zeit weekly, in a deliberate nod to her party critics, noted: Wagenknecht doesnt push emotional buttons, she argues and analyses.

The Sddeutsche daily said the book was convincing . . . not as a counter-programme to the Left Partys election manifesto but to a left-wing politics she thinks is wrong.

Even the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine (FAZ) daily called the book spectacular. A century after Germanys left lost its voters to far-right fascism, with catastrophic results for Europe and the world, the FAZ urged Wagenknechts party to heed her warnings.

Rather than shoot the messenger, it urged a radical rethink of 21st century left-wing politics in the interests of the lower social half of the population in Germany.

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The China Question: The Party, The Propaganda, and The Schools – Observer Research Foundation

Posted: at 5:55 am

Mr Jo Johnson in conversation with Dr Samir Saran

The rise of China and its increasingly aggressive posturing has put the spotlight on unexpected quartersits student community and academic engagement. After completing their graduate work, some students secure jobs at cutting-edge technology firms in the West, and fears have been expressed on potential national security threats posed by Chinese students, especially the ones working in the sciences. Research collaboration between the UK and China has increased significantly over the years. Now a study titled, The China Question led by UKs former Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, proposes strong measures to oversee the relationship between the two nations.

Since the reforms in the late 1970s that opened up the insular Maoist economy to the world, China has encouraged youngsters to study abroad and utilised this human capital for the nations benefit.

Opening the discussion, Dr Saran pointed to the Chinese axiom mentioned in his book Pax Sinica of borrowing a boat to cross the river which denotes co-opting existing institutions like premier educational institutes to Chinas advantage. Mr Johnson said the key motivation for delving into the study was that UKs research institutions were its knowledge assets. He disclosed that Chinas research partnership with the UK was increasing, and it stood second in the scientific collaboration rankings after the US. Mr Johnson revealed that while most impactful research between UK and China was being done in material science, automation and telecommunication, adding that there needed to be an extensive evaluation of the benefits accrued to both nations to ascertain who benefitted most from the collaboration, and how research breakthroughs were used.

Amongst the measures mooted to map the challenges arising from the interaction between UKs higher education and research facilities with their counterparts in China are an annual risk assessment disclosure of the UKs dependence on other countries across different areas of research and development, and a traffic light mechanism to alert policymakers with respect to dependencies in specific areas of research. But such steps can be seen as government interference in education sector, and politically controversial especially in liberal democracies.

Dr Saran drew attention to the practice of China enticing academic in their personal capacity with blandishments like financially rewarding assignments to engage with the Chinese regime. Mr Johnson asserted that universities must protect academic freedom appropriately when dealing with China, and that academic freedom was a sine qua non of the Wests education system, and it would not be subordinated to expectations of political correctness or the Party line from Beijing. He warned of the potential of using lucrative research partnerships, academic exchange agreements and training programmes based in China as bargaining chips by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). He posited that these incentives that the CCP dangles could persuade leaders of academia to strike a balance between the freedom of teaching faculty to raise issues related to the security law in Hong Kong, the crackdown on students in 1989 at the Tiananmen Incident, the plight of ethnic groups in Tibet and Xinjiang, and the corruption within the CCP. He supported the right of academics to speak on issues that China considers as no-go zones. He warned that if on account of UKs relationship with China circumscribed the freedom of educators, then it would mean a threat to the values enshrined in liberal democracies. He said that protecting academic freedom is a joint responsibility of universities, governments, regulators, financial donors amongst others, and that enforceable provisions should be written into contractual agreements on issues like freedom of speech to deter China.

Since publication of the report, a unit within the department of business, energy, and industrial strategy called the Research Collaboration Advice Team has been established to assist researchers with partnerships, at the same time protect them on issues related to export control and protection of intellectual property.

Regarding an appraisal of China by Britons, Mr Johnson said the relationship between the two nations with respect to higher education has been below the radar in public mind. He admitted that there was not much awareness on issues related to the dependencies on Chinese research institutions and financial income accrued to UK from Chinese international students.

The report also proposes the need for Western democracies to evolve a consensus in the fields of academic research. Mr Johnson theorised that while having a broad accord between the US, EU and India was difficult to achieve in the short term, but there was increasing awareness that China was taking steps to counter the US in the field of higher education. He predicted that with China taking strides to become a knowledge economy and using education as a soft power outreach all nations would eventually see the need to have a plan. The former minister cautioned regarding extreme responses to Chinas influence like complete decoupling or trustingly embracing. He maintained that people-to-people links in the education sector were certainly needed to make most of the opportunities for cooperation with a superpower taking giant leaps in research and development, while mitigating security risks.

On the prospects of UK-India cooperation, Mr Johnson declared that both nations were on the trajectory of improving their bilateral relationship starting in the sphere of trade. The former Universities Minister expressed hope with respect to Indias efforts to make it easier for reputed international educational institutes to set up campuses here. He advised that more investment and greater autonomy of institutions would give a boost to international collaborations, which will drive up research. Dr Saran concluded by welcoming more British investment in Indias higher education institutions. He also put forth a proposition regarding greater synergy between UK and India, spelling out the possibility of Mumbai playing host to UKs largest university.

This report was written by Kalpit A Mankikar

ORF research and analyses now available on Telegram! Click here to access our curated content blogs, longforms and interviews.

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Explore Latino/A/X Identity in the Contemporary US; "The Latino Experience" – Starting July 6 at 9 pm – WOUB

Posted: at 5:55 am

Posted on: Wednesday, June 30, 2021


Premieres Tuesdays, July 6-20, 9:00 p.m.

New Three-Part Showcase of Short Films Explores the Identity and Culture of the Latinx Community

As part of its commitment to support and present diverse content created by a broad array of storytellers, PBS presents THE LATINO EXPERIENCE, a new three-part anthology series of short fiction and nonfiction films. The series premieres Tuesdays, July 6-20, 2021, 9:00-10:00 p.m. on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video app. Featuring 13 original films made by filmmakers working across genres, the shorts explore a wide range of experiences, perspectives and styles to highlight the rich diversity of the Latino/a/x community across the United States and Puerto Rico. From dramas to documentaries, comedies to magical realism, THE LATINO EXPERIENCE showcases an exciting lineup of creative talent, both in front of and behind the camera.

We are excited to highlight and shareTHE LATINO EXPERIENCE,a compilation of shorts that showcase the wide-ranging talent, diversity and complexity within the Latinx community in the U.S. and abroad, said Wendy Llinas, Senior Director, Programming & Development, PBS. These narrative and scripted shorts reflect the joy, creativity, courage, humor, pain and resilience in our communities with top-notch authentic storytelling that reflects the many lived experiences of Latinos/as/x at this moment in history.

Films included in THE LATINO EXPERIENCE were selected from entries received by PBS following a call for submissions in August 2020. Chosen by a panel of experienced filmmakers, the shorts received funding support as well as a national broadcast as part of the series.

Episode 1 Tuesday, July 6

Death and Deathability: A Period Piece. Mystified by the unexpected arrival of her first period, Ceci (Blanca Ordaz) concludes she must be dying. She prepares a bucket list to accomplish on her final day, including her first real kiss and her own funeral, because death should be an art. Written, directed and produced by Maria Victoria Ponce. Produced by Sofia Cortez, Vincent Cortez and Heather MacLean.

Folk Frontera is a magical-realist portrait of life in the borderlands. The film follows two fronteriza women as they struggle to find their place in the vast Chihuahuan Desert, a region whose culture is thousands of years old, but which is bisected by the U.S.-Mexico border.

Directed and produced by Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn. Folk Frontera is a co-presentation of INDEPENDENT LENS.

The Blue Cape is set in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico two months after Maria hit the island. Ten-year-old Junior (Yanniel A. Arce Rivera) is summoned by his mother to search for the medicine his grandfather so desperately needs. To embark on his journey, Junior wraps himself in a cape made from the blue tarp that covers his roof. Written, directed and produced by Alejandra Lpez. Produced by Mara Jos Delgado.

La Tienda profiles Daniela del Mar and Camila Araya Prez, two artists and Latinx letterpress printers in Portland, Oregon, whose work intertwines social justice and Spanglish with the craft of traditional printing techniques. Directed by Karina Lomelin Ripper. Produced by Ripper and Jessica Daugherty.

Dear Queer Dancer follows two LGBTQ trailblazing couplesAngelica and Jahaira and Luis and Ngocon their way to compete at the World Latin Dance Cup. Defying the genres legacy of machismo, their message to the Latin dance world is make room. Were here. Directed and produced by Sarah Taborga.

Episode 2 Tuesday, July 13

Un Pequeo Corte reveals what happens when 6-year-old Elizabeth (Lucia Malagon) cuts off one of her pigtails while at school and must face the consequences. Her strong-willed and super protective mother (Camila Arteche) rushes Elizabeth to the beauty parlor, where she is the center of attention for all the wrong reasons. A first-generation Cuban American in Miami, Elizabeth seeks to find her own identity with the help of a new friend. Written, directed and co-produced by Mariana Serrano. Produced by Mark Pulaski.

Body and Spirit in Times of Pandemic follows Edwin Siguenza, a Guatemalan immigrant truck driver and pastor of a Latino Evangelical church in Los Angeles. When the pandemic hits, Edwin has to navigate the risks of being an essential worker while attending to the needs of his congregation and the pressure to keep the church open. Directed and produced by Andrs Caballero.

Our Lady Lupe is the story of Chico, a 10-year-old boy (Derrick Delgado) who spends all his time playing video games. When his hard-working mothers car breaks down, Chico embarks on a journey to fix it with the help of a mystical mechanicand learns a lesson about tradition and family. Written, directed and produced by Dominique Nieves.

Pasos de Valor tells the story of Val (Nathalie Carvalho), a pregnant MBA student whose due date and final exam are in conflict. Determined to create opportunity for her Mexican American family, Val takes the exam despite her professors refusal to make accommodations. Written, directed and produced by Natalia C. Bell, the film is inspired by the directors own birth story.

Episode 3 Tuesday, July 20

Mi Fango, Mi Cerro is a portrait of Chemi Rosado-Seijo, an artist who yearns to find utopia in Puerto Rico. After a long search, he believes he finds it in El Cerro, a rural, working-class community nestled in the mountains. For 10 years, he works with the community to paint houses across the hillside in different shades of green. Directed and produced by Julia Mendoza Friedman.

The Daily War is the story of a veteran (Adelina Anthony) and her son, who struggle to make ends meet. When a job opportunity presents itself, it ends up triggering her PTSD. Directed and produced by Karla Legaspy. Co-produced and written by Adelina Anthony. The Daily War is a co-production with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB).

Cuban American Gothic is the comic and slightly surreal story of Maggie (Maggie Diaz Bofill), who is living alone in New York City during the early 2020 pandemic. When her Cuban parents return from the dead to help, they remind her of their immigrant journey and that they have given her everything she needs to rise above the moment. Inspired by an original monologue by Bofill, the film is produced and directed by Mara Teresa Rodrguez and co-produced by Bofill. Cuban American Gothicis a co-production with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB).

Noche Buena takes place on Christmas Eve as a dysfunctional Cuban family gathers around the dinner table. Caro (Erica Adams) struggles to get through the night as everyone grapples with political correctness, current events and the incessant battle between left and right. As resentment escalates into verbal and literal diarrhea, they uncover hard truths about themselves all before the an. Written and directed by Andres Rovira and produced by Rovira and Ray Tezanos, who also stars as Javi.

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Explore Latino/A/X Identity in the Contemporary US; "The Latino Experience" - Starting July 6 at 9 pm - WOUB

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Dispelling Myths On The Barriers To Minority Representation On Corporate Boards – Forbes

Posted: at 5:55 am

Op-ed co-authored by Todd Sears, Founder & CEO of Out Leadership, with research from Quorum, Out Leaderships LGBTQ+ Board Leadership initiative, and Esther Aguilera, CEO, Latino Corporate Directors Association (LCDA).

Representation of minorities on corporate boards is still at staggeringly low levels. Through our respective organizations, and with support from our partner firm, Equilar, weve conducted extensive research into the state of minority representation and what can be done to move the needle toward more inclusive Boards.

By any measure, Latinos are the least represented racial and ethnic group in the nations boardroomsleaving 87 percent of California-based public company boards dangerously disconnected from their customer and employee base. As an example, Latinos make up almost 40% of the population of California, but only 2.1% of California-based Boards. Similarly, over a five year period, openly LGBTQ+ representation on Boards only increased from 10 to 25, (Source: Visibility Counts: The LGBTQ+ Board Opportunity) representing an alarmingly low 0.2% of all Board seats. Compare this to the latest Gallup poll that estimates that 5.6% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+.

Recent legal and regulatory changes alongside private sector initiatives such as Goldman Sachs new board diversity requirement to take companies public have attracted considerable public attention to the minority Board representation gap, but also fierce resistance to change. In this context, Todd and Esther felt it necessary to dispel four of the most damaging myths on minority Board representation.

Myth 1. Race and Sexual Orientation do not matter in Directors selection: it is an equal level playing field

Some opponents to Californias AB979, which requires publicly-traded companies headquartered in the State to have a minimum level of Board members from under-represented communities, or to NASDAQs recent proposal to require listed companies to have diverse directors, pointed out that discrimination in employment on the basis of race or sexual orientation is already illegal in the United States. They used that argument to condemn mandated Board diversity as grandstanding of identity politics, political correctness and virtue signaling, claiming: we are all individuals and not defined by a set of stereotypes. Yet, the data mentioned above clearly shows that it is not the case. While Todd and Esther do not believe that companies or recruiters act in bad-faith or are proactively discriminatory, significant barriers to fair representation on corporate boards exist, including lack of access to the informal networks through which most Board seats are filled; a focus by companies on targeting a limited, largely-homogeneous pool of candidates (such as current and former CEOs and directors of public companies, who are overwhelmingly male, white and straight); the scarcity of Latinos and LGBTQ+ Board members serving as role models; as well as the more subtle question of trust and comfort. All these factors perpetuate a vicious cycle of exclusion which can only be broken by concerted efforts including by legislators.

Myth 2. Mandated diversity on Boards will bring unqualified directors

Stereotypes about aptitude and capabilities are another key barrier in diversifying corporate boards. In-group members will favorably assess the credentials and accomplishments of their own members, ascribing them to intelligence, drive, and commitment. Meanwhile, the credentials and achievements of out-group members are seen as unmerited, and due to a fluke or preferential treatment. (Molina, 2018)

Research such as the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people trust people like themselves. That is much more a barrier than the real aptitudes and achievements of LGBTQ+ and Latino aspiring directors. In fact, both Quorum and LCDA boast hundreds of exceptional board-ready candidates. The argument that mandated diversity will bring directors that are not the most qualified candidates to the Board is simply proven wrong by recent appointments. Moreover, the idea that promoting diversity means ignoring merit has always been a code to justify exclusionary practices and a defense of the status-quo. However, both Quorum and LCDA are confident that mandated diversity will also encourage companies to identify, develop, promote, and retain suitable minority talent for the corporate board leadership structure, strengthening the existing pipeline. Out Leadership offers its members firms talent initiatives that are built to promote LGBTQ+ people in leadership positions.

Myth 3. Where will the slicing and dicing end?

Disability, veteran status, race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity Where do we stop, and on what basis? Fabrice Houdart, who co-leads Quorum at Out Leadership caricatured that argument in a recent piece titled Whats next? Redhead quotas on corporate boards?.

While we understand that policies weighing minority status in Board members' selection might create a sense of unfairness and sometimes cause people to question whether they or their peers were admitted because of their minority status, the alternative of having homogeneous Boards composed exclusively of dominant groups is worse. In response to AB979, there was a rather interesting piece on the discrimination faced by people of Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) descent in the US today. We feel that companies should take it in consideration. Similarly socio-economic background is another area which is relevant to the modern corporate Board. If we truly want Directors to be the best and the brightest in business then we need to reopen Board candidate slates to the whole of society and use criteria that actually reflect the capacity to represent a wide variety of opinions and experiences.

Myth 4. Mandated diversity is anti-constitutional and a threat to capitalism

The legal consensus is that laws such as AB979 are constitutional because the state interest is compelling and a Board position is not a common occupation. I prefer to leave markets to reach equilibrium on their own is another frequently heard argument when it comes to diversity mandates. If there is one lesson from progress achieved in gender representation on corporate Boards, it is that the regulator has to step in. Legislation generated the most substantial change to the representation of women on boardsfar greater than any other effort. The 2020 Women on Boards found that the U.S. states where a diversity law was mandated or is in progress added more female board directors versus the states that did not make any such announcements (see Board Diversity: No Longer Optional). In addition, the threats of delisting, going private, or registering in another country never concretized. Californias SB826, which preceded AB979 and required minimum levels of gender diversity on the boards of public companies in the state, also faced fierce opposition which has by now largely disappeared; nearly 96% of California public companies have satisfied the laws requirements. Clearly good intentions are not enough given the abysmal LGBTQ+ and Latinos representation on Boards, when the Quorum initiative celebrates its 5th year of advocacy and LCDA has been around for 10 years.

Both Quorum and LCDA believe it is important to listen to the voices that resist Board diversity efforts and continue to articulate the business and economic case. Ultimately, the best way to dispel myths on minority representation will be the success and valuable contributions of the cohorts of Latinos and LGBTQ+ Board members which might have an opportunity to serve, thanks to these latest developments.

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Dispelling Myths On The Barriers To Minority Representation On Corporate Boards - Forbes

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