Abby Dawson’s bad day got worse


First there was this

Ms. Dawson an advisor at Kennesaw State University literally redefined harassment when she told kevinbrucestudent, Kevin Bruce of the University that his sitting and waiting to talk someone about his classes was harassment. If you watched the video you heard her say that.  She didn’t make the claim that the student was talking to anyone, catcalling, whistling, disrupting office work any of that, his merely sitting in office supplied furniture and waiting to see an available employee of the University was intimidating to Ms. Dawson.  Kudos to Mr. Bruce who despite the dynamics, he a black male and Ms. Dawson a white female in the South never claimed it was about race but rather about an employee who acted unprofessionally.

KSU saw it Bruce’s way

KSU says it is suspending Abby Dawson from her advising responsibilities at the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management.

“It’s something that needed to be done,” said one senior, who said she also had Dawson as an adviser.

Dawson will be reassigned, and not permitted to advise students unless she completes new training.

“We have made it very clear to Ms. Dawson and her supervisors that the behavior she demonstrated on the video will not be tolerated; and while we have apologized to the student directly, we also want to publicly apologize for her behavior, which is not representative of KSU’s student-centered culture,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Ken Harmon.

Harmon says they plan to reorganize their advising system and add more advisers to increase the adviser to student ratio.

“While we in no way condone Ms. Dawson’s actions, we also acknowledge that we need to make some changes in our advising structure to provide more training and support for our staff so that they are better equipped to help our students navigate their college experience,” said Harmon.

I applaud both Mr. Bruce and KSU for handling a delicate situation delicately.  I hope Ms. Dawson gets the help she so clearly needs.

 

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The French Government and Hypocrisy- One and the same


lorealLet me see if I understand this correctly, the French government can impose limits on what a hijab-demo-17jan04-741person can wear or not wear in order to attend government schools, yet a private company cannot say who it can hire to be sales staff for its products, even when the people appearing in those products are people of color?

France can ban the wearing of religious symbols even when those wearing them are doing so of their own free will in an expression of their religious beliefs in a society thatsupposedly  promotes, liberty, fraternity and equality, while insisting at the same time that companies do not have the right to determine who they can  employ in selling their products?  No one sees the slightest bit of hypocrisy in the French position?

People, who of their own free will,  practice a faith that may be different and not customary to the wider society  and choose to wear clothes that express themselves in ways different than the majority, but who are at the same time law abiding citizens who do not  frighten or intimidate others, should not have laws legislated which seek to limit or curtail that expression.  In fact the beauty of liberty and freedom means acts of social interaction are interpreted based on the law, which should should not be enacted to deny expression, but rather the acts of illegality that expression may or may not encourage.  Therefore, if a school girl walking down a French street is the victim of sexual harassment or assault it is the perpetrator of that action who should be limited not the girl wearing an article of clothing.   What the French want to do is take the act of discipline off their hands by removing the object of people’s ire, and in the process limit the freedom of its citizens.

Likewise, companies who have broadly used women of color in their advertising campaigns but choose to hire a sales staff they think may be able to sale their product to a broad based clientele should not have the weight of the State descend on them in a punitive way.  L’Oreal in France has to have the support of a majority of women of color in order to be profitable.  If hiring people that reflect a certain demographic will give them that market, how can the State justify changing that dynamic and jeopardizing the viability of the Company?  Will the State then say that the public MUST buy certain products in order to insure the success of a company so that it doesn’t go under because of the financially oppressive measures of the State?  Don’t be surprised if that happens next.

For now, France is following in the tradition of other western countries that seek to use expressions of liberty and freedom as slogans  which fall quickly when government wants to intervene in the lives of its citizens.  The tools the state uses for this intervention are usually fear and loathing of opponents who are unknown or unfamiliar.  Civilized people should recognize such tactics for what they are.  Ignorant people are too easily persuaded and succomb to the deceit.  The two cases above highlight how France is counting on the latter with its citizens!  Que sera, sera!

Goodness shows


woldteven when you’re wearing a black abaya, or at least that’s what  one one young lady found out while traversing the streets of Arab, Alabama.  The deep south is my home and even I’m amazed at the changes that have gone on there during my lifetime.  The people are generally good, and kind, although easily misled at times.  The main stream media realized that a long time ago and joined with the Bush Administration to demonize a segment of the American population so that the rest would never want anything to do with them.

Hailey Woldt found out their plan hasn’t quite worked.  You can read about her story here.  It echoes the stories of countless others who are different have been maligned by demagogues in our not too distant past, but who are still accorded their rights of citizenship and respect by other law abiding Americans.  We’re trying to fight our way through the haze of fear and suspicion of the last eight years and at the moment we seem to be winning the fight. Take a look at the video below to see what I mean.

Stay tuned!!

Islam is here to stay, so let’s move on


amalAmericans, and those who live within its borders, come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and while some of the American dream and the meaning of the words, ‘send me your tired and your poor; your huddled masses yearning to be free’ has not always turned out the way those huddled masses wanted at the time, America has been a largely successful experiment.

It is however, a work in progress, continually defined, reshaped, molded in a way that meets the needs of most of the 300 million plus who live within its borders.  America has seen all sorts of people come and go.  Many have blended and integrated themselves into the social fabric, indistinguishable from the whole, while others have chosen to retain their identities.  The common thread has always been the rule of law that’s kept the entire cloth from unravelling.

Sure there are times in the Nation’s history we can point to when the administration of the law has not been equitable, but social agitation (something sorely missed in today’s citizenry) always corrected that inequity which resulted in a better mix of brown, whites, reds, and yellows.  We discovered along the way that it wasn’t necessary to lose those colors or attitudes in the elixir of America; that sometimes it was healthy to keep them distinguished not seperated, visible, not homogenized, ‘in order to form a more perfect union.’

So it is that now we have black, white, Jew, Gentile, Muslim unbeliever living, perhaps askew, but in relative peace and with the knowledge they can take their grievance to the Law should the need arise.  This is what happened to Amal Hersi  a Somali American Muslim woman who was told service at a credit union was only possible if she blended and forsake her Muslim identity.

For Amal this was not an option, so she took her case to a higher authority, in this instance the people in charge of the credit union.  No doubt the employee of the bank forgot their roots, forgot that despite the finely coiffed hair and contemporary styled clothes they wore that day, they most likely had an acestor, perhaps not too far in their past who looked like Amal and chose to stay that way…….or not.  Most likely that distant relative decided when he/she ran into an obdurate public servant bent on defining their place in the American fabric they weren’t going to bend and that act of resistance made it possible for Amal to refuse today, which made the quilt that much more pretty and pliable for the common good.

Muslim women in the West have defined their role as one of modesty wrapped in clothes they’ve chosen to express their identity.  In most cases, if not all, it is their conscious choice to wear hijab just as they also choose to obey the law and just as there is no penalty for embracing the latter, neither should there be for the former.  The officials of the credit union, more in touch with the spirit of the Law than the wayward employee who started this all, recognized that instantly and issued a statement which said in part:

Navy Federal values and respects all its members. Working with the law enforcement community, we have recently implemented a policy to make sure we can positively identify everyone we serve in our many branches.

Navy Federal weighed very carefully the need to accommodate religious and cultural customs, as well as medical conditions. Our policy does not prohibit nor discourage the use of headscarves, and will make sure it’s thoroughly understood to all employees.

I salute them and nothing further needs to be addressed to them. To the employee who lost her way I would encourage a quick visual primer on American history. Perhaps they will see someone they know or someone who looks like them. While they’re at it they’ll most likely see someone who looks like Amal Hersi too.