Friday, August 27, 2010

Nettleton Middle School Declares President Obama Is White

I ran across this story on Gawker last night, reporting that at Nettleton Middle School in northeast Missisippi, class officer elections are segregated by race! (The story was first broken by on August 25, see here, then picked up yesterday by Gawker and The Smoking Gun. For a local report radio report by by also dated Aug 26, see here.)

UPDATED 12:44pm PDT: School district has reversed the student election policy, scroll down to bottom for updated info.

Here's the real flyer they distributed to students:


Brandy and Dondi Springer, who recently moved to the area, found out about the policy when their daughter got excited about running for class "reporter" but found out that that position was set aside for black students. The daughter was encouraged to run for president, however, since that is a whites-only job. In fact, all the president positions are set-asides for whites. (Ya see -- we already have a black president, Obama! Get it? Har har har. You know someone had to have been making that joke down there in Nettleton.)

Brandy couldn't believe what her daughter was told was true, but she found out it was, as the flyer proves.

Brandy is Italian and Dondi is African-American. Her oldest daughter is white, and her youngest two kids are biracial. When she asked what category they would fall in, she was told, to "go by the mother’s race b/c with minorities the father isn’t generally in the home.”

W.T.F.1!?!?!!?!!?!?!!? (However, this helpful rule proves that President Obama is not the first black president. But now he's eligible to run for 6th grade president again!! YAAY!!!)

Apparently, Brandy was also told that "a city court order is the reason why it is this way." This surprises me because the US Departments of Justice and Education have made clear that segregating class positions like this is illegal. As stated in 2004:
As a new school year begins, we write to advise you of a recurrent issue that we have encountered involving extra-curricular activities: the allocating of awards or honors on the basis of race. We have found, for example, that some school districts have racially separate Homecoming Queens and Kings, Most Popular Student, Most Friendly, as well as other superlatives. We have also found that school districts have assisted in facilitating racially-separate proms. Indeed, our attorneys have been made aware of several examples of these types of activities as recently as last year.

These practices are inconsistent with federal law. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Department of Education will act promptly to remedy such violations where they occur, through litigation if necessary.
So, the school district has put out a release saying they are examining their policies, which is a very good sign, under the hastily added link for "media satements" (sic), see here:
"Student elections have not yet been held at Nettleton Middle School for the 2010-2011 school term. The processes and procedures for student elections are under review. We are reviewing the origin of these processes, historical applications, compliance issues, as well as current implications and ramifications. A statement will be released when review of these processes is complete."
So its a good thing that the school district is "examining" policies that violate U.S. law, I suppose. I really wonder how long this has been going on. (Nettleton, by the way, is not too far south of Fulton, home of Itawamba Agricultural High School, which just this year barred lesbian student Constance McMillen from attending its prom with a same-sex date, and then created a fake prom to shuttle her off to, resulting in major legal problems for the district.)

The school district's handbook has come off their website. But here is page 52, however, which provides for separate black and white homecoming queens!

RACIAL PURITY!!!wheeee11!!

W.T.F.!!@#?!??!?!??!??! Its always intriguing to find blatant violations of law in your kid's student handbook. Makes you wonder what else is being taught.


Other commentary on this controversy:
  • Blacks Clearly Unfit to Be President, (Aug. 26, 2010), "It’s interesting that school principal Van Ross (pictured) is African-American."
  • nettleton 0, facebook 1, (Aug. 27), "there were several jarring aspects to the paper not the least of which is the erroneous expectation that a child is either black or white."

ETA 10:33 am PDT: MSNBC has the story with an interview of Mrs. Springer, also posting the homecoming policy!

ETA 10:38am PDT. Brandi Springer reports on facebook: "Brandy Springer MSNBC just sent me an email the school board is having an emergency board meeting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! RIGHT NOW about a minute ago"

ETA 12:44 pm PDT: The school district has eliminated the policy, which reportedly stood for at least 30 years, see here.

Here is the press release:

Media Statement
After being notified of a grievance regarding upcoming student elections at Nettleton Middle School, research was conducted that evidenced that the current practices and procedures for student elections have existed for over 30 years. It is the belief of the current administration that these procedures were implemented to help ensure minority representation and involvement in the student body. It is felt the intent of these election procedures was to ensure African-American representation in each student office category through an annual rotation basis.

It is our hope and desire that these practices and procedures are no longer needed to help ensure minority representation and involvement. Furthermore, the Nettleton School District acknowledges and embraces the fact that we are growing in ethnic diversity and that the classifications of Caucasian and African-American no longer reflect our entire student body.

Therefore, beginning immediately, student elections at Nettleton School District will no longer have a classification of ethnicity. It is our intent that each student has equal opportunity to seek election for any student office. Future student elections will be monitored to help ensure that this change in process and procedure does not adversely affect minority representation in student elections.

Thank you


Russell Taylor

I could have bet they would have said this. What about the homecoming court, though?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Michael Enright (filmmaker) - Wikipedia article

This is the text of the wikipedia article for Michael Enright as it appeared maybe an hour ago. Various iterations of the same article have been serially deleted from Wikipedia today, even a deletion discussion was rapidly aborted.

Michael Enright (filmmaker) is an American film student.

==Childhood and education==

Enright grew up in [[Brewster, New York]]1 and is 2007 graduate of Brewster High School. Enright studies film at the [[School of Visual Arts]] in Manhattan.1 As a film student, he arranged to be embedded with the First Battalion, Third Marine Regiment in Afghanistan by working as an upaid intern with the online video company, Worldwide TV. He joined the marine unit on April 5, 2010, in Helmand Province. He departed on May 10. Although there were no casualties while Enright was with the unit, there had been 5 men killed shortly before he arrived.1

==Embedded with troops in Afghanistan==

==Taxi incident==

Enright was arrested on August 25, 2010 and charged with a hate crime after attacking a New York City taxi driver.1 According to the taxi driver, Ahmed Sharif, Enright inquired whether he was Muslim and offered him the traditional Arabic greeting, “salaam aleikum,” ( “peace be upon you.”)1 He enquired whether Mr. Sharif was observing Ramadan, then began ro curse and slashed Sharif's face with a knife, saying the he, Enright, had to stop the King of Saudi Arabia at a checkpoint.1

Arresting officers believed that Enright was inebriated.2 Enright told the police that he had begun drinking at 2pm, 4 hours before the attack.1 According to the New York Times, Enright has been in counseling for alcohol problems.1

==Public response==

The attack drew wide public attention because it occurred in the midst of a national controversy over the construction of the Cordoba House mosque.1

1. "Man in Cab Stabbing Showed Zeal for Veterans,", Ray Rivera, Aug. 26, 2010, New York Times.
2. "Rider Asks if Cabby Is Muslim, Then Stabs Him,", N. R. Kleinfeld, Aug. 25, 2010, New York Times,

Analysis of deletion (for wikigeeks only):

At least four versions of a Michael Enright article were created in the last 24 hours. Each were rapidly deleted. A deletion discussion aimed to have a discussion on the subject was also rapidly closed. The theory behind the deletions it that Michael Enright is only famous for something bad, and only one event, and that these kinds of articles "disparage" the subject. I disagree in this case because I have found that in cases like this, the subject's wikipedia article is usually the least biased source of information out there, because it is so highly watched, etc., by wiki editors while its a big news event. Without a wiki article, googlers will be directed to any number of wacko blogposts that are much more biased, less comprehensive, and likely inaccurate.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Truth About The Burlington Coat Factory Mosque

The shrill prejudice and idiocy regarding the "Ground Zero Mosque" (Park51) and calls to destroy our Constitutional guarantee to freedom of religion by banning all mosque building in the United States, because all mosques are alleged terrorist training centers, is driving me crazy. (Of course, a recent two-year scientific study showed that mosques actually deter the creation of militants. But we can't let scientific inquiry, a foundation of America's preeminence in the world, get in the way of ignorant prejudice anymore, can we?)

To clear up the most popular misconceptions, assuming facts matter to you:

1. Its NOT at Ground Zero. Many people are totally misinformed on this. Its actually a few blocks (2.5 blocks) away from the Twin Towers site. In Manhattan, every block is like its own city. The site, at 51 Park Place, used to be a Burlington Coat Factory. In the below map, using a 1997 photo of lower manhattan from Google Earth, you can see marked the former locations of where WTC1 and WTC2 stood, and the planned location of "the mosque" on Park Place (marked "Burlington Coat Factory"). You can't even see 51 Park Place from Ground Zero, nor vice-versa. Also on the map is the location of Masjid Manhattan, which is just to the north. This is an existing mosque which has been open since 1970 (should it also be stopped??). And, lastly, also marked is the location of New York Dolls, a strip club. As far as I'm aware it has not been redubbed the "Ground Zero Stripclub."

The Burlington Coat Factory Mosque

Current view of planned site for Park51:
street view

2. Its not a mosque. "The Ground Zero Mosque" (actually called the Cordoba House, but later renamed Park51 after the crazies started coming out) is not really a "mosque" at all. It is meant to be a 13-story community center, like the YMCA (modeled after the 92nd St Y in Manhattan in fact), though it certainly will contain a decent sized worship/prayer space. But it will also have a restaurant, a pool, a basketball court, child-care center, and a 500-seat performing arts center.

3. Manhattan's local government has approved the construction of this muslim community center. You know, local government? The concept of self-governance? Democracy? You heard of that? E.g., on August 3, the City's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-zip to deny an effort to declare the Burlington Coat Factory a historic landmark. Prior to that, the project was approved by Community Board 1 , which is a 50 member body of local citizens who make recommendations for the neighborhood where Park51 will be built. The 12-member Financial District committee of the Board (the World Trade Center was the heart of the financial district) unanimously approved it. The Community Board also subsquently approved it, 29-1 on May 25, 2010 (with 9 abstentions).

In attendance at the vote approving the center was the mother of Mohammed Salman "Sal" Hamdani, a police cadet and EMT who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11, medical bag by his side. Yeah, Sal was a devout Muslim.

Much of the controversy over the "Ground Zero Mosque" comes from people who do not reside in Manhattan and do not pay a penny in NYC taxes. They get stirred up by folks who want to spread hatred, like Mark Williams, the recently-fired racist Tea Party leader who said Park51 will honor "the terrorists' monkey god." Meanwhile, the people who want to build Park51 actually bought the property, which was always private property. It is not "sacred ground," it is not subject to eminent domain. (Note, conservatives and liberals rightfully went crazy when the US Supreme Court upheld a taking of private property in Kelo in 2005, so its crazy to argue that it would be proper here to try to stop the project.)

Total nutjobs destroyed the Twin Towers on 9/11, and other nutjobs abused Islam to convince them to do it. Ignorance and intolerance is the source of terrorism. Sadly, many of those opposing Park51 are unwittingly being swayed by the same ignorance and intolerance. I think Sal deserves better.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Fake Conservative Chicks on Twitter, Example #1

OK, I know there are fake twitter accounts out there all over the place, but this one was so absurd it I just had to call it out.

I recently have added a number of twitter followers, courtesy of my current top-rated tweet for the #tcot hashtag right now, "top conservatives on twitter" - for a tweet noting, quote, "prop 8 calif. federal judge was appointed by that crazy liberal Pres. George HW Bush!!! #tcot #prop8." I know, I'm a master of English prose, right?

Anyway, one of these new followers is an alleged conservative chick, LaurieT333. With a suitable avatar photo of a fairly attractive young female, "Laurie" describes herself as "Raised in horseback country. I'm a conservative girl who can shoot, vote, and think for myself - which pisses off liberals."

The most intriguing thing about LaurieT333 is that she never sleeps. Just scrolling back through her posts in the last few days, she just keeps posting and posting with never a break of more than 2 or 3 hours. She never posts a personal opinion about anything, just a conservative talking point with a link to some crazy article.

Below is a sample of her tweet posting times for Fri-Sat August 6-7, 2010 (all times are Central Standard Time, or Eastern Daylight Time). She often posts a number of tweets at a time, but this clearly shows that LaurieT333 has no time to sleep, eat, shit, or do any of the fun things most attractive young American females are doing when the rest of us ugly geeks are arguing politics on the internet. And even so, the rest of cannot tweet nonstop.

Its so pathetic that some conservative operative groups have to resort to such blatant hoaxing. No doubt LaurieT333 gets a good smattering of conservative dudes to follow her (she has 280 followers so far, and its a relatively new account it appears). It's like Twitter blow up dolls, go figure.

I would love it if someone could track down the source of the avatar photo, like Media Matters did in the bizarre Kevin Pezzi episode last week (scroll down to the "astroturfing" section of that link to see what I am referring to).

How many of these fake conservative twitter accounts are there? If the expose of the right-wing scheme to corner Reddit that came out last week is true, I bet there are tons.

Sat Aug 6

Fri Aug 6

Thurs Aug 5