Task Force Issues Recommendations to Address Racial Discrimination
The San Jose State University-appointed task force assigned to study discrimination in the school’s dorms has issued a list of recommendations to improve diversity and inclusion in their on-campus community, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The task force was established in the wake of a series of incidents against a black student by his three dormmates, who are now being charged with hate crime offenses. The roommates’ alleged abuse included referring to the student by a racist nickname, putting up a Confederate flag in the dorm, and barricading him in his room after they fastened a bike lock to his neck. Three of the four students involved in the alleged abuse have been expelled.
Mohammad Qayoumi addressed the incident in an email sent to faculty, staff, and students. "It is our job as professional educators to help them recognize these signs,” he said. “Their failures are our failures. We must do a better job of training them, and we will.”
The recommendations put forward by the task force include the creation of a diversity office headed by the university’s vice president, expanded training of residential officers on hate symbols and racial bias, mandatory faculty diversity training, and the the implementation of a straightforward means of reporting hate incidents to campus authorities.
The full list of recommendations is online at the SJSU website. Read more from the San Jose Mercury News
DOJ will Train Cops to Work with Transgender Community
The Department of Justice has launched a program to train local police departments to better respond to the needs of the transgender community, according to the Associated Press.
"It's clear that such a training is as necessary as it is overdue," said Associate Attorney General Tony West, "because too often, in too many places, we know that transgender victims are discouraged from reporting hate crimes and hate violence due to their past negative interactions with and perceptions of law enforcement."
Transgender community members are disproportionately targeted for hate violence and often have negative experiences with law enforcement who lack experience with and understanding of transgender people, according to a 2011 national study on transgender discrimination. This leads many transgender hate crime victims to not report crimes against them.
The training will be overseen by the DOJ’s Community Relations Service, which works with communities to prevent and respond to hate crimes.
Read more at the Associated Press.
Local Leaders, State Senator condemn Pennsylvania KKK Neighborhood Watch
A local chapter of the Pennsylvania Ku Klux Klan started a neighborhood watch in Fairview Township, allegedly in response to a series of break-ins in the area. The township's local leaders came together in late April to discuss how to stand up to hate into their community, according to PennLive.com.
Leaders from the NAACP and other local multicultural organizations were present. Homer Floyd, chairman of the labor and industry committee for the Harrisburg, PA NAACP explained, "We have found over the years that the Klan is still the Klan of old. They simply try to present themselves in a way that is legitimate, in a way that helps the community, but at the same time preach their white supremacy and tout their views of doing so with guns.”
Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes also spoke out against the KKK and its activities on Monday. “It’s real simple. We cannot allow the intolerant behavior form the KKK to go unaddressed,” Sen. Hughes said. “The concept of a ‘Neighborhood Watch’ is making all residents in a neighborhood feel safe. It is apparent through history and even to this day that the Ku Klux Klan is only concerned with the rights and protections of a specific group and is not concerned about the general welfare. This neighborhood watch clearly has the potential to increase racial profiling and racial tension.”
Read more from First Post.