Well that’s just way too many for one.
Sent from Barbara’s iPhone
On Sep 22, 2020, at 4:58 PM, Bruce G. Potter <bpotter> wrote:
Well that’s just way too many for one.
Sent from Barbara’s iPhone
On Sep 22, 2020, at 4:58 PM, Bruce G. Potter <bpotter> wrote:
Fall of the frat house: Students target Greek life amid America’s racial reckoning
[Photo caption: Graham Payne-Reichert, left, was the vice president of a fraternity chapter at American University in D.C. before he and other members voted to disband the group. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)
Emenike, who is Black and Asian American, was once a key player in advancing the types of internal change that administrators were promoting that day. She knew firsthand that sorority recruitment could be daunting for women of color — especially for those such as she who could not afford a new outfit for each event. But she had been pleasantly surprised when she walked into a campus building to find a diverse group of women greeting her at the door.
“The presence of people of color in the room made me feel included and safe right away,” she recalled.
During her first semester in her sorority, which she declined to name to protect the privacy of her sisters, Emenike found best friends, mentors and secured a $1,500 academic scholarship.
But the more time she spent in Greek life, the more she noticed its dark underbelly.
Upperclassmen would warn her to avoid certain fraternity houses where “there were increased chances of sexual assault.” Members of the LGBTQ community would describe feeling isolated in their sororities. And invite lists to Greek life parties seemed at times to automatically exclude women who looked like her.
Caught between gratitude and resentment, Emenike at first tried to improve the social system herself. She spent hours re-engineering social events to be more inclusive and spoke at roundtables with campus administrators to discuss decreasing the financial burden of Greek life, which she hoped would improve diversity.
But Emenike’s eye toward reform shifted after people around the world reacted to Floyd’s killing by calling for an entirely new system of policing. If she could help take down one system, she thought, she might as well try to do the same for a different kind of system on her college campus.
She has yet to drop her sorority because of logistical challenges but says it is only a matter of time before she officially leaves.
Since June, all nine sororities at Washington University in St. Louis have talked about whether they should permanently disband. They have also begun to discuss a new social system that could replace Greek life, suggesting fraternity houses could transform into cultural spaces for marginalized groups on campus.
“I truly loved my experience in Greek life and I wanted to make it more equitable for people,” Emenike said. “But then there was this cultural shift that showed us we don’t have to commit to the systems in place. We can replace them with new and better systems.”
‘I saw more value in staying’
The process of dismantling a historic system — made up of loyal university donors, a vast network of graduates and powerful public figures — is complicated.
When Payne-Reichert and his brothers voted to disband the Delta Tau Delta chapter at American University, they thought they had effectively ended its campus presence. But that was not the case.
As they learned, a national Greek letter organization can decide to preserve a chapter by sending one of its own representatives to campus to recruit a fresh class of brothers.
Jack Kreman, CEO of the national Delta Tau Delta organization, did not allow American University’s chapter to disband simply because Paye-Reichert and his brothers voted to end it.
“No decision has been made regarding the future of the chapter at American University at this time,” he said, adding that “the level of diversity in the local chapters is determined by the choice and preference of the local members.”
The national organization’s decision can only be challenged by members of university administration or a school’s Panhellenic Conference or Interfraternity Council — both groups that have historically supported Greek life as a hallmark of campus life and promoted its restructuring rather than eradication.
Judson Horras, president and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference, said the question of abolition is not worth consideration.
“It is not going to happen. These are very large institutions,” he said in an email. “Where we are going to make the most difference is our members’ commitment to positive change.”
“That is what we have always done, change to meet the needs of members and their campus community,” said Dani Weatherford, CEO of the National Panhellenic Conference, adding the board of directors is in the process of appointing an “equity and access advisory committee.”
By the fall, hundreds of chapters that had voted to disband learned that national organizations would keep their charters alive. There has yet to be a college or university to publicly ban Greek life in response to the mounting calls for abolition.
With influential institutions resistant to systemic change, students bent on ending Greek life say they are increasingly relying on social pressure to minimize the status and prestige that gives power to campus chapters. But not all students want Greek life to disappear.
Sean Woytowitz, a 20-year-old student at Duke University, was sitting in his car in San Diego one day in July, midway through his Instacart shift, when he scrolled through Instagram and saw a classmate calling for the end of Greek life. He felt a wave of dread wash over him.
Alpha Tau Omega had been the bedrock of his college experience, introducing him to friends that were as funny and loyal as the tightknit group he had struggled to leave behind in high school. The fraternity had also helped him feel more confident in his own interpretation of masculinity by connecting him with other men who “didn’t conform to cookie-cutter ideals and were really just a weird group of people.”
In his car that day, Woytowitz struggled to reconcile his love for his brotherhood with the stories of racism and sexual assault in Greek life that flashed on his phone screen. Distraught by what he was reading, he considered for a moment leaving Alpha Tau Omega and resigning from his position on Duke’s Interfraternity Council, where he served as director of inclusion, health and safety.
But then Woytowitz contemplated what Greek life would look like if he and his friends dropped out. He shuddered to think about what would remain without the brothers and sisters who had been advocating for change.
“In the end it actually was a pretty easy decision,” he said. “If everyone wasn’t going to drop, then I personally saw way more value in staying and reforming.”
Woytowitz has since helped launch an affinity group for men of color in fraternities to share experiences and crowdsource ways to make Greek life more inclusive. The group is working to establish channels of communication between fraternity men of color and first-years of color who are interested in joining Greek life. They are also in the midst of establishing a new racial bias policy and protocol to help prevent incidents of sexual assault.
“I don’t want Greek life to be abolished and then four years later there is another problematic system in place,” he said. “So we see value in students leading reform because students know the student experience.”
Emily Davies is a reporter working on the local desk in D.C.
Published on page A1 in the Wednesday 16 September Washington Post and at
A Maryland suburb known for a slaveholding past confronts its racist present
[Photo caption:Jordan Keemer, 18, of Pasadena, Md., stands in front of Chesapeake High School with his parents, Nichole Keemer, 38, and Terry Keemer Jr., 40. All of them experienced racism as students at the school. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post)]
By Ovetta Wiggins September 15, 2020 at 3:37 p.m. EDT
Two years before George Floyd’s killing forced a reckoning with American racism, Jordan Keemer was in his high school government class in Pasadena, Md., acting as the judge in an exercise that resembled a mock trial.
The teen doesn’t remember the topic, or his verdict.
But stained in his mind are the stinging words he says his teacher uttered quietly as he sat, a 16-year-old Black student surrounded by mostly White classmates: “I don’t trust you n
From Reuters News:
[in response to this Reuter’s’ hilarious story, I have made the following offer:
“ On behalf of the Eastport Annapolis Communist Party, I’d like to offer our politically misguided Texan boater brethren FREE LESSONS in basic seamanship (otherwise known as “Don’t Swamp Your Neighbor” — a basic Communist principle.)”
A boat parade in support of U.S. President Donald Trump crowded Lake Travis in Texas on Saturday, generating waves and choppy waters that led at least four boats to sink and others to crash into rocks, local officials said, adding that no one was hurt.
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Thanks Alexandra Petri
The perfectly logical case for Donald Trump
Opinion by Alexandra Petri
August 28 at 10:57 AM ET
If you think things are bad under Donald Trump, vote for Donald Trump, who will fix things.
To make America great again, again, you must vote for Donald Trump! If you think things are bad now under Donald Trump, vote for Donald Trump, who will fix things. The chaos will continue unless you vote for Donald Trump, who will bring needed change by serving another term as president.
Any bad things happening now were sent by Joe Biden, from the future. Do not be fooled by the fact that they are happening in the present, when Donald Trump is president. They are not happening now; they are a preview of what will happen when Joe Biden is president.
Joe Biden wants to destroy the suburbs; he wants, also, to put America’s great workers into houses and basements, where he will force unwanted government assistance on them. Joe Biden has controlled all of government for the past 47 years but, confusingly, he has never gotten through any of the radical policies he really wanted — until now, when he assuredly will. His first act will be to get rid of hamburgers and make cows illegal.
Joe Biden is 40 feet tall, made of wood, hollow and filled with socialists. Joe Biden is also a puppet whose strings are pulled by China, and he would be a pushover to them, unlike Donald Trump, whom John Bolton remembered telling Chinese President Xi Jinping to “go ahead” building concentration camps for Uighurs because it was “exactly the right thing to do.” Joe Biden wants to defund the police, which is why he is advocating not defunding the police.
Most of all, Joe Biden wants to destroy America’s greatness. (Greatness is what we have right now, under Donald Trump, but also don’t have yet, but will definitely have in the future.) Joe Biden will never create jobs, the way Donald Trump has, by first presiding over the loss of millions of them. Under Donald Trump, America has never been safer. It has also never been more dangerous. We must elect Donald Trump to make us safe again, which he has already made us, never more than we are now, although we also aren’t, and won’t be, unless we elect him! If you see.
Donald Trump supports law and order, except the Hatch Act, which he doesn’t think Americans care about. He was briefly impeached, but it was a big misunderstanding and doesn’t indicate anything about his respect for rule of law, which is absolute. Also, impeachment is illegal (not many people know this), so the most respectful thing is to resist it and call it illegitimate. The fact that impeachment seems to be included in the Constitution is another paradox from the Joe Biden timeline, to be ignored.
Donald Trump is a crusader against nepotism, corruption and the abuse of power for personal gain, wherever it may lurk. The fact that four of the main speechmakers on the four nights of the convention were his children was simply because they were literally the best people in America. He despises people who profit from public office, and the times when he has urged people to stay at Trump properties were just because he gives and gives without thinking of himself. We will see his tax returns very soon.
Elect him and nobody will be canceled, except those of whom Donald Trump disapproves, but that is okay because they did something bad. He is not racist and his appeals contain no dog whistles, but you are racist for thinking so.
In conclusion, Donald Trump has accomplished more than any other president, ever, in his single term, including some accomplishments that did not even happen during his term, like his landmark achievement, the Veterans Choice Bill, passed in 2014 under President Barack Obama. There is no pandemic to speak of, or to put on a mask for; if there ever was one, it was someone else’s fault; also, Joe Biden did not take it seriously, unlike Donald Trump, who does, and is continuing to, at his large unmasked gatherings of supporters breathing and shouting together. Donald Trump does not look at America and see thousands of people needlessly dying and millions losing their jobs — this is what Joe Biden sees. Donald Trump sees greatness!
Donald Trump has made America great again, and he will make it great again, again, if reelected, but right now, Joe Biden and the Democrats are ruining America and filling it with chaos. So don’t you think it’s time for a change?
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Dear Bruce —
Many, many thanks for passing this along. I feel a little better just reading it. In a "large, loose, baggy monster" of a memoir I finally finished during these existential COVID-19 times, I regretted I hadn’t been more assertive–as you were–about racial segregation at W&M during our senior "Flat Hat" year. Passing it off as youthful myopia doesn’t really work for me.
In filling out the recent W&M renaming form, I asked the committee to consider whether the fact Ole Miss (and Centre College) could integrate in 1962 had something to do with Paschall’s role in Virginia’s "Massive Resistance" program in the late ’50s.
I’ll pass this along to Steve Mosier, who joined me carrying a sign "William and Mary Honors Martin Luther King, Jr." during his "I have a dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial just before we began our senior year.
Kentucky news: Sandy & I aren’t convinced Amy McGrath can actually beat Mitch McConnell in November–but Amy’s now polling within a few points of the Trump turtle/lapdog, causing McConnell to spend massively on advertising here that would otherwise go to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc. We’d planned on finally returning to Williamsburg before a family reunion in June, maybe even surprising Crow & Carol Ann. It is what it is.
[Kincey and Bruce were 1964 graduates of W&M; they were married in Wren Chapel in 1966. Bruce was threatened with expulsion from the College (“or any other institution of higher learning in the State of Virginia. . .”) if he wrote anything about the integration of the College in 1963-64.
William & Mary approves design for memorial to those the school enslaved
A rendering of the Memorial to African Americans Enslaved by William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va. (Baskervill/William & Mary)
By Joe Heim August 25, 2020 at 7:14 p.m. EDT
At least 180 individuals were enslaved by William & Mary from the college’s founding in 1693 until the Civil War. Some were owned by the institution for most or all of their lives. On Tuesday, the school approved a final design for a memorial to them and announced that it had secured all of the funding for the project.
The memorial, titled “Hearth,” resembles a large, brick fireplace and will include the names of those men, women and children known to have been enslaved by the university in Williamsburg, Va. The design, created by the architectural firm Baskervill, is based on a concept submitted by William Sendor, who graduated from the school in 2011.
Sixteen feet wide, 45 feet long and 20 feet high and located on the south side of the Wren Building — the oldest building on campus — the memorial is intended as a gathering place for students and visitors to reflect on the school’s past.
“The final concept design has the gravitas we sought. It gives dignity and presence to those who were enslaved by William & Mary and whose labor built the university — without romanticizing that painful history,” President Katherine A. Rowe said in a statement. “In the process of refining the design, we recognized that the memorial site will reimagine the Jamestown Road entrance to campus. Both symbolically and actually, the first step for many on campus will be through this more forthright telling of our history.”
Work on the memorial, which will cost $2 million, is expected to begin early next year and be completed by October 2021.
A powerful new memorial to U-Va.’s enslaved workers reclaims lost lives and forgotten narratives
Sendor, whose entry was one of more than 80 designs submitted for the memorial, told The Washington Post last year that he created his hearth design because it brought people together and because he was inspired “to figuratively illuminate the forgotten history and memory of these enslaved people who sacrificed and contributed immeasurably to William & Mary for over half of the College’s history, and then to physically illuminate a shared space for community gathering and reflection for generations to come.”
The push for a memorial, and for William & Mary to more closely examine its history of slavery, began in 2007 as an effort by student leaders to demand acknowledgment and accountability. Two years later, the school created the Lemon Project, named after a man who had been enslaved at the school, to research and report on William & Mary’s legacy of slavery.
In a statement Tuesday, Jody Allen, director of the Lemon Project and assistant professor of history, acknowledged the 2007 resolution by former students Tiseme Zegeye, Richael Faithful and Justin Reid that led to the memorial and said she hoped “it inspires current Student Assembly senators to move their ideas forward despite not being able to imagine the outcome.”
Their work, she said, led to “the uncovering of a more complete history of this 327-year-old institution, and soon a memorial to those known and unknown African Americans who played a vital role in the establishment and maintenance of the university.
“The women, children and men who toiled here without remuneration for 172 years will not be forgotten again. Indeed, this grand and beautiful addition to the campus will be a constant reminder of their lives and their contribution to this community.”
William & Mary unveils design for memorial to enslaved people who worked on campus
Reid, who is now director of community initiatives at Virginia Humanities, said he was excited to learn about the final approval for the memorial and believes it will be a powerful addition to the campus that can’t be overlooked and will have resonance today.
“This isn’t a memorial just to the enslaved people at William & Mary,” he said. “To me, it’s a memorial to their legacy, to what they persevered through and what their descendants persevered through and accomplished.”
Susan Svrluga contributed to this report.
Washington Post: Business
Zoom went down for hours, disrupting schools and businesses
The outages hit remote workers and online classrooms reliant on the videoconferencing platform
Zoom has become a crucial part of life for schools, businesses and organizations since the pandemic. In this image, members of the Vermont House of Representatives convened a parliamentary session in April on the videoconferencing network.
By Hamza Shaban
August 24, 2020 at 4:43 p.m. EDT
Zoom outages disrupted meetings and classes around the country Monday, highlighting Americans’ growing reliance on video software to keep things running during the pandemic.
After roughly four hours, the company confirmed it had resolved an issue that kept some users from being able to join Zoom meetings and webinars. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience,” the company said in a statement.
Zoom first said it was experiencing partial outages on its status page, which it began investigating before 9 a.m. Eastern time. It’s unclear how many users were affected; clients in North America and parts of Europe have reported problems, according to the website Downdetector. The platform was back in working order by midday.
Zoom and other videoconferencing tools have become crucial during the public health crisis, a form of connection for business, school and social groups when face-to-face interactions are discouraged or prohibited because of the coronavirus. Its stock has more than tripled since the beginning of the year.
Zoom does not disclose the total number of daily active users on its service, a key metric that technology companies and analysts use to measure the size and growth of a platform. But the company reported in April that it has 300 million daily meeting participants, although people in multiple meetings could be counted more than once by that metric. By comparison, Google Meet claims more than 100 million daily meeting participants. And Microsoft reported in the spring that its communications platform Teams has 75 million daily active users.
The surge in video conferencing underscores the massive shift to working from home that has been greatly accelerated by the pandemic. In 2010, less than 10 percent of American workers worked at least part time from home, the Census Bureau found. Now, according Stanford economics professor Nicholas Bloom, a remarkable 42 percent of the U.S. labor force works from home full time.
“It really shows just how important this kind of technology is and how this technology has, generally speaking, enabled us to pretty seamlessly transition to working from home,” said Julie Samuels, executive director of Tech: NYC, a group that represents New York-based technology firms. “If the pandemic had struck even 10 years go, it’s inconceivable how we would have functioned, and I think this morning kind of indicated that.”
She cautioned, however, that no matter how great the technology is, there are inherent limitations, especially when it comes to simulating in-person collaboration, like in classrooms for young children. Essential service workers employed by grocery stores and hospitals also don’t have the option of working from home.
Zoom’s technical issues interrupted the first day of virtual classes for many schools, colleges and universities. Since the pandemic shuttered campuses in March, the platform has been adapted by educators who teach everyone from squirmy preschoolers to doctoral students.
Atlanta Public Schools, which has more than 50,000 students, was set to start the school year virtually Monday, but struggled with Zoom problems. So did Durham Public Schools in North Carolina and Pennsylvania State University, which has nearly 100,000 students. All told, more than 100,000 K-12 schools use Zoom at no cost for online learning.
“We have resolved an issue that caused some users to be unable to start and join Zoom Meetings and Webinars or manage aspects of their account on the Zoom website,” Zoom said. On social media the company has been responding to people’s complaints with similar messages.
Zoom’s phone and chat services were not impacted by the outages, the company noted. The disruption was tied to an authentication problem with the company’s website.
As with previous outages of office productivity software, like the workplace chat service Slack, the disruption was met with frustration but also exuberance. Without Zoom, there can be no meetings, at least some people hoped. And as working, learning and socializing from home has dragged on for many Americans, so has the burden of appearing “camera-ready,” of having strangers gaze into people’s most intimate spaces, and of carrying on simulated social interactions without physical and tactile feedback, which can be exhausting in its own way.
Staff writer Moriah Balingit contributed to this report.
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Hamza Shaban is a technology reporter for The Washington Post. Previously, he covered tech policy for BuzzFeed. Follow
Fascinating article about the current status of Caneel Bay, the former keystone property of the Rockefeller family owned RockResorts, linked directly to Laurance Rockefeller’s acquisition of the St. John properties that were donated to the US Government to become the Virgin Islands National Park.
The second lesson in this article is the long time disruptions which are on-going from the hurricane devastation of Irma and Maria, THREE years ago, 2017.