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Africa News in Brief (9/24/13)

By Africa News in Brief, News & Current Affairs

GRUESOME PHOTOS OF KENYAN MALL SHOOTINGS SPARK DEBATE

Sep. 24 (GIN) – The shocking terror assault at a popular shopping center in Nairobi sent shivers around the world as global news media supplied minute to minute coverage of the deadly event.

Some 68 people were killed and 170 injured in the attack by alleged Somali Al-Shabab insurgents who, for four days, held hostages in a siege at the upscale store.

News photographers at the scene snapped graphic images of frantic store visitors but also victims who lay bleeding and possibly dying. Horrific pictures, on page one of a New York daily and in several papers in Africa, soon sparked a fierce online debate.

“How much blood is too much?” asked columnist Richard Prince in his column Journal-isms. In a piece titled “Race Factor Raised in Graphic Images from Kenya,” he quoted Michael Deibert, a white journalist, who observed: “Quite honestly… I was shocked and dismayed by this… Would the New York Times run photos of blood-soaked dead white Americans after one of the many mass shootings that occur in the United States? I doubt it.”

Senior faculty member Kenny Irby of the Poynter Institute told Prince: “There continues to be an apparent double standard which I refer to as the ‘exotic rule’. The farther away and the browner the faces, the less sensitive I find the ethical rigor. For instance, I could not find a body in the Navy Yard or Boston Marathon shootings.”

NY Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan defended the occasional use of sickening pictures such as those recently published from Syria. “Images of war matter,” she wrote, citing such iconic shots as the brutal execution of a Vietcong guerrilla, a naked Vietnamese girl burned by napalm and the charred corpses of American contractors hanging from a bridge in Falluja, Iraq.

Photo editor Michele McNally added: “I think our audience is very sophisticated. They don’t want us to pull our punches.”

Meanwhile, back in Kenya, a front page picture of a blood-spattered woman shrieking in agony sparked a torrent of furious complaints. It prompted Nation Media Group CEO Linus Gitahi to issue an apology. “Kenyans, we made a poor judgment on our front page photo today. We sincerely apologize for the hurt caused.” The apology was forwarded on Twitter 1,192 times.

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The Age of Hyper-Racism: White Supremacy as the White Knight of Capitalism

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Michael Ortiz
We’ve heard the argument over and over. “Of course we’re in a post-racial society; racism is over; slavery is long gone; the president is black, etc.” And then we’ve heard the counterargument over and over. “Post-racial?! How can that be the case when health disparities remain significant along racial lines? When unemployment and incarceration continue to disproportionately affect people of color, etc.?”

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Will Black Nationalism Reemerge?

By News & Current Affairs

By Sean Posey
In the summer of 2008, a tidal wave of liberal and youth activists began to carry presidential candidate Barack Obama on a journey leading inexorably to the White House. Town halls and campaign stops attracted droves of admirers-with Obama taking on a persona more akin to a rock star than to a senator from Illinois. However, during a campaign stop in St. Petersburg, something unexpected happened.

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News from Kingston

By News & Current Affairs

St Vincent PM wants Caribbean reparations group established

KINGSTOWN, St Vincent, Friday March 15, 2013 – Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is calling on Caribbean countries to establish a regional reparations committee, pledging to spend the rest of his life seeking compensation from the British for land, genocide against the Garifuna, and slavery.

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Africa News in Brief (9/18/13)

By Africa News in Brief, News & Current Affairs

CONGOLESE NUN RECEIVES HIGH U.N. HONOR

Sep. 17 (GIN) – A Roman Catholic nun who rides a bicycle deep into the bush in the north-eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo to help female victims of war is to receive a top UN award for her courageous work.

Sister Angelique Namaika is a familiar site, pedaling down dirt roads to visit the women and to run a center she called Maman Bongissa in the village of Dungu. The center trains displaced women and girls in basic income-generating activities they could use to improve their lives.

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Dominican Colorism

By Commentaries/Opinions

Claudio E. Cabrera
Last week, I saw a video shared on my Facebook timeline that featured children in the Dominican Republic undergoing the same colorism study children in the 1940s underwent in America, where two black psychologists used dolls to study children’s attitudes on race. That same study has been replicated in recent years by numerous news networks to show how the issue of colorism is still a powerful one in our country.

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The Egyptian Revolution’s Next Barrier

By Commentaries/Opinions

When the Egyptian army first began its offensive against the Muslim Brotherhood, many speculated that such an assault would likely be extended to the same revolutionaries who demanded — in massive demonstrations — that President Morsi be evicted from office.

There have been several signs that this has already begun, though most notably the government repression against striking workers at Suez Steel and the Scimitar Petroleum company, where the striking workers were accused of being influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Black America and A New Freedom Budget

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Paul Le Blanc and Michael D Yates
“A Freedom Budget for All Americans,” published in 1966 by the A. Philip Randolph Institute, demanded that the federal government put in place policies and programs that would eliminate poverty within ten years. Its authors demonstrated with clear and realistic assumptions about government taxes and revenues that this could be accomplished easily. The “Freedom Budget” was a direct descendant of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The organizers of the march and the architects of the “Freedom Budget” – people like A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. – understood that ending poverty, achieving full employment, guaranteeing incomes, winning higher wages and providing good schools, national health care and decent housing would not happen without tremendous struggle, one that challenged not only the federal government but the basic structure of a capitalist economy. Their sensibility was democratic and socialist; it envisioned a society both egalitarian and controlled by the people themselves.

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Conversations with Great Minds – Dr. Ron Daniels (Video)

By News & Current Affairs, Video/Audio

0For tonight’s Conversation With Great Minds – I’m joined by Dr. Ron Daniels – President of the Institute of the Black World – 21st Century. Dr. Daniels has had a wide ranging career in politics and activism – previously serving as the Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights – the Executive Director of Rainbow / PUSH – and the Deputy Campaign manager for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign. In 1992 – he ran for President himself as an independent candidate.

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The “Systematic Murder” of Philadelphia Public Schools

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Rania Khalek

When Philadelphia public schoolchildren returned to their classrooms on September 9, 2013, there were fewer schools, fewer educators and fewer opportunities because of mass school closings and what amounts to financial starvation. It all started late in 2012, when the Philadelphia School District (PSD) revealed it would be shutting dozens of schools to fill in a $304 million budget gap.

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