It Would Be Funny If It Wasn’t Cultural Diversity News

June 11, 2012

Asylum seekers from Africa are not enjoying the freedome once they are received in Israel, according to a report in the June 2-8 2012 publication of The Economist. As the number of asylum seekers from parts of the African Continent such as southern Sudan and Eritria have risen, the attacks on them by Isrealis have in kind. Not all Israelis support the mistreatment of the Africans. Protests against the presence of these Africans are often accompanied by protesters in support of the asylum seekers.

Isreal and it black immigrants: Keep out. The Economist, June 2-8 2012, pp. 60.

June 11, 2012
Kenyans have dominated the marathons across cities internationally to such an extent that one some marathon organizations in Europe and America believe that it is is “undermining the event”. The Kenyans tend t win hours ahead of the competition from other countries according to an an article in the June 2-8 publication of the Economist.

Kenya’s athletes: A surfeit of talent. The Economist, June 2-8 2012, pp. 62.

January 30, 2012

This happened on TAM airlines. From Fun Pictures –

A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man. Visibly furious, she called the air hostess.

“What’s the problem, ma?” the hostess asked her
“Can’t you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t seat here next to him. You have to change my seat”

– “Please, calm down, ma” – said the hostess
“Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”

The hostess left and returned some minutes later.

“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seat in this class- economy class.
But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there isn’t any empty seats in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”

And before the woman said anything, the hostess continued

“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.
However, given the circumstances, the commandant thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel sat next to an unpleasant person.”

And turning to the black man, the hostess said:

“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in the first class…”

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.”


April 28, 2011
SU students to hold rally today
By Tricia Pursell
 The Daily Item Thu Apr 28, 2011, 11:35 PM EDT

SELINSGROVE — Fifty to 100 Susquehanna University students are expected to march around campus carrying banners this afternoon, hoping to draw more awareness to what anonymous reports have indicated has been a problem of minority students being treated unfairly by biased professors.

Their destination?

The provost’s office, where they will present a petition of more than 200 signatures, along with demands that include professors receiving mandatory diversity training every other year.

Speakup, a student group consisting of six to eight individuals under the guidance of the university’s Center for Diversity and Social Justice, organized the rally in response to a lack of action when a smaller group of students previously made demands.

While the administration was supportive, according to student Katie Taylor, there wasn’t enough awareness or support among students and staff at that time for them to enforce mandatory training.

All week, the group’s demands have been displayed at the Campus Center, along with the petition for students, faculty and staff to sign.

Fewer than 20 incidents of bias have been officially reported to the Biased Response and Education Team at the university, Taylor said, but not a lot of people know about the team.

“While these things are happening, some of them are being reported,” Taylor said, “but probably a lot are not.”

“The most documented incidents have been against the African American population,” she said. Multiple times, a report claimed that a teacher was showing bias against an African American woman in his class by grading her unfairly.

Today, the provost’s office will present a letter explaining what BRET is about, Taylor said, along with six demands, including mandatory diversity training for faculty and staff, mandatory attendance by faculty at the annual Martin Luther King convocation ceremony and the establishment of a formal system through which students can submit incidents of bias that happen on campus to BRET, with separate and distinct reports for students and faculty.

The rally will begin at 1 p.m., and the march will begin at 1:30 outside the Degenstein Center. Participants will march down Academic Row, past the library, back up Academic Row and end at the office building.

January 12, 2011


The FDNY’s use of a college entrance like recruitment test discriminated against black and Hispanic applicants for years, according to a Brooklyn, New York federal judge.  The exams, which uses content similar to the SAT college entrance exam  bore “little relationship to the job of a firefighter,” according to the January 11, 2011 ruling.

Brooklyn federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis said the “discriminatory effects” of the SAT-style tests helped limit the number of minority firefighters to just 303 blacks and 605 Hispanics — or 3.4 and 6.7 percent, respectively — out of a total force of 8,998 in 2007.

Read more:

December 06, 2010

Pizza Hut Requires Black Professional Soccer Players to Pay in Advance

Dorset, England

It seems as if racism is present worldwide and that regardless of occupation or economic status, some things may not ever change. This past week in England, Pizza Hut made a major faux pas that may have given the company a serious black eye when it comes to race relations. Six well dressed black men who just so happened to be professional soccer players entered one of the chain’s restaurants in the seaside town of Dorset, England. However, they were informed by staff they would have to pay for their food in advance because of the “the way they look[ed].” The players were from League One Side Bournemouth and had stopped by the establishmentfor lunch since their scheduled practice had been cancelled due to snow.However, they refused the request when they saw a group of white youths who arrived after them had not been asked to do the same.  At this point according to reports, the manager called the police.”We ordered the food and the next thing the manager came up with the bill and said ‘Would you mind paying first?’ explained League One player Anton Robinson. ‘We asked if that was the policy and he said ‘no’. When we asked why he had asked us, he said, ‘It’s the way you look.’ The players left when the police arrived. Since the incident, Pizza Hut has  apologized to the group of men that included starters Marvin Bartley, Anton Robinson, and Liam Feeney. However, a spokesman for the company indicated that the company had recently introduced a new policy of asking certain customers to pay advance, but that exercising it was up to the discretion of staff. Pizza Hut management indicated that they had only used the policy with blacks, but stated that it was not racially motivated.

December 4, 2010

Polish parliament gets its 1st black lawmaker

WARSAW, Poland

John Abraham Godson, who is a councilman in the central city of Lodz, became Poland’s first ever member of the country’s parliament. Godson is of African lawmaker, a teacher and Christian pastor. He is from Nigeria and has lived in Poland for 17 years and is a Masters of Arts graduate of Lodz Academy of International Studies. The 40-year-old will fill a seat in the national parliament vacated by a fellow lawmaker from the Civic Platform party.

August 31, 2010

Teaching the teachers lessons on culture
Group, students propose training after incidents
By James Vaznis
Globe Staff / August 23, 2010

One student says an eighth-grade teacher in Roxbury scolded classmates for speaking Spanish among themselves, exclaiming: “You are in America; we speak English here.’’

Another reports that a Jamaica Plain teacher had little to say when a boy pulled off a Muslim girl’s head scarf.

And in history lessons on the civil rights movement, students say, teachers across the city often overlook the role of Latinos, the largest student group in Boston.

The incidents, recounted in recent interviews, reflect what some say is a gap in city teachers’ knowledge of students’ culture, language, and customs.

Follow this link to read the full article

August 30, 2010

Barring women from being Catholic priests is not the result of sexism 2,000 years ago, it’s because women cannot fulfill a basic function of the priesthood, “standing in the place of Jesus,” a leading British Catholic thinker argued Monday.

Click Here to read the full article.

August 25, 2010

Poland: Textbook Is Criticized

The Association for Diversity, a gay rights group, urged the government on Wednesday to withdraw a textbook authorized for use in secondary schools that it said portrayed homosexuality as an illness that could be cured. The group said the book, one of two authorized recently for use in family and sex education classes, limited itself to a narrow, traditional view of homosexuality espoused by the Roman Catholic Church.


August 19, 2010

Black Man at La Ronde told to cover up Bob Marley t-shirt or leave

By Max Harrold, Montreal Gazette August 19, 2010 11:41 AM
MONTREAL – Check out the “family-friendly” dress code before heading over to La Ronde or you could end up on a fast ride to the amusement park’s exit – as one man recently learned.

Brunaud Moïse, who is black, said his skin colour is the real reason two La Ronde security guards approached him on Aug. 6 – near the end of his three-hour visit in the park – and told him to either turn his Bob Marley T-shirt inside out or leave.

The T-shirt shows the head of the late Jamaican singing icon, famous for his message of peace and for his personal marijuana use, with hair made of pot leaves. There are no words on the shirt.

“It was humiliating for me,” said Moïse, 32, a sales representative for a medical equipment company. The security guard waited outside a washroom while Moïse reluctantly flipped his shirt. Moïse’s 15-year-old brother waited nearby.

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August 4, 2010
California Prop 8 Ruled Unconstitutional
The California Courage Campaign announced that a federal court judge ruled Propositional 8 unconstitutional! The decision to rule against the California proposition that attempts to end same gender marriage was immediately appealed and is expected to end in the Supreme Court.

July 23, 2010
Staff writer
Tacoma Schools says an equity and diversity coordinator is unnecessary in eliminating post
Tacoma Public Schools is eliminating the position of equity and diversity coordinator, which has existed since the 1960s
The office, which handles racial discrimination and sexual harassment complaints among students and staff comes during a year in which the school district has pledged to work hard to close the test score achievement gap between white and minority students. The majority of students are members of racial and ethnic minority groups.
The decision to eliminate the position held by Da Verne Bell since 2007 comes after a consultant’s report that provided the district with a list of suggestions for closing the achievement gap. Improvement in the recruitment and retention of diverse employees and encouraging students to have a voice on diversity issues were central parts of the summary that the district is presumably working on.
It appears that the change in focus on achievement made the diversity coordinator’s complaints management role obsolete. Marilyn Walton, who retired from the district after more than 15 years as head of the school district’s equity and diversity office sees the change resulting from a drop in the number of race-based complaints. She says that sexual harassment, disabilities and sports gender equity have increased. Walton was not entirely certain that eliminating the position and having the responsibilities distributed will be effective.

June 29, 2010

Beijing, China (CNN) — In China, white people can be rented.

For a day, a weekend, a week, up to even a month or two, Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair-faced foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners. Some call it “White Guy Window Dressing.” To others, it’s known as the “White Guy in a Tie” events, “The Token White Guy Gig,” or, simply, a “Face Job.” And it is, essentially, all about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections — real or not — to businesses abroad.

Click Here to read more . . .

May 28, 2010
Philadelphia City Schools Chief Diversity Officer Resigns
Staff Writer

The head of the city School District Diversity Office, Theos McKinney, resigned after eight months on the job. He was hired to the position created to help solve racial problems at South Philadelphia High.

McKinney, who is an attorney, came aboard in October 2009. He became chair of the district’s Task Force for Racial and Cultural Harmony in December which was created in response to the Dec. 3 violence at South Philadelphia High. The incident involved a series of attacks on about 30 Asians that were carried out by groups of mostly African American students. The assaults sent seven Asian students to hospitals and triggered a week-long boycott by 50 students. Formal inquiries by the district, the state Human Relations Commission, and the U.S. Justice Department followed.

Theos McKinney presumably left the district this week to accept an out-of-state job offer. It is said that he had spoken of missing corporate life. McKinney was previously was director of diversity for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

Read more:

Latest news about cultural diversity and inclusion in organizations!

In defense of diversity: Supreme Court benefits from varied life experiences among justices
April 16th, 2010

The main argument that conservatives had against Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court centered around a statement she made in 2001, where she said, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” This quotation expressed a certain liberal conception of jurisprudence, one that possesses a lot of merit, but also one that conservatives love to decry because it is inextricably tied up with the concept of diversity— a notoriously hand-wavy idea, but one that nevertheless has real importance for the Court.

Part of what Sotomayor was claiming in her infamous quote was the idea that one’s personal experiences and background play a role in how that person will interpret the Constitution and apply the law. Perhaps this is an unpleasant opinion, one that relegates the law to the status of relative opinions and interpretations, without absolute right answers. Unpleasant or not, however, it seems like a perfectly reasonable stance on the role of the judge. After all, a justice’s job is, first and foremost, to interpret the Constitution; and as we well know, there are no hard, fast, and easy rules when it comes to making sense of the document or deciding how to apply it. To deny that personal experiences shape the way justices read the Constitution is ultimately naïveté. A few examples are warranted here.

First of all, there were the Samuel Alito hearings. In the then-nominee’s own words, “When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender. And I do take that into account.” Now this is interesting—it certainly seems like Samuel Alito is saying that his own personal experiences influence the way he thinks about certain cases. However, there was no outrage about this remark when it was first made; nobody protested against it at all. Maybe even conservative justices are unable to escape their own personal histories when it comes to certain cases. Can anyone really doubt that Clarence Thomas’s experiences as someone who was a beneficiary of affirmative action, but who oftentimes suffered painfully condescending treatment at the hands of employers who did not consider him gifted enough to have gone to Yale Law based on his own merits, had some effect on his passionate opposition to such programs?

Then there are cases like Plessy v. Ferguson, which provide emotionally charged but relevant examples for this argument. It is precisely the kind of ignorance of the experiences of minorities that would allow a Supreme Court Justice like Henry Brown to write, “We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff’s argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it.” I can accept that most legal and jurisprudential questions are complicated and that merely demanding diversity does little to nothing to solve them. But given that American legal history is full of examples of Supreme Court justices incapable of sympathizing with the minorities who have turned to them for help, does that not imply that policy makers should strive to create a more diverse Court, so that it could better relate to and address the grievances of the powerless who turn to it for help?

If we accept that different experiences will have an effect on one’s jurisprudence, and that being a minority or a woman necessarily means having different experiences, we can begin to understand why diversity matters. A diverse bench means justices can engage in dialogue and help each other understand where the plaintiffs are coming from. Consequently, justices are better able to sympathize with those who are standing in front of them, claiming that their rights have been violated. If more diversity on the Supreme Court leads to a more sympathetic bench that is more capable of relating to and understanding the hardships of all Americans, then how can anyone really claim to be against it?

Ultimately, then, President Obama and liberals as a whole should not abandon diversity as an ideal worthy of pursuit. When it comes to replacing the retiring John Paul Stevens, I can understand Obama not wanting to court controversy and wild-eyed accusations of racism. But I hope he continues the trend started with Sotomayor. I hope the Democrats in the Senate continue to acknowledge the function and importance of diversity on the Court. Don’t get me wrong—diversity is not the only thing that makes just Supreme Court decisions possible. After all, Supreme Court benches comprised of nine white men have handed down wise decisions on issues regarding race and gender in the past. It is certainly possible to reach across the various barriers that separate people and try to look at the world from their perspectives, even if you have never experienced what they have. I am not saying this is impossible. However, given the history of the Court, it seems obvious that it just does not happen often enough.

Peter Ianakiev is a second-year majoring in Political Science at University of Chicago

Hockey is Diversity Kampagne 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HOCKEY IS DIVERSITY is an initiative of former and current German Pro Ice Hockey Players with a Migrant Background. Founded by the first former Korean-German player Martin Hyun of the Krefeld Pinguine in 2010, the initiative is committed to celebrate and raise awareness of diversity.

Ice Hockey is about participation. It is about inclusion and citizenship and plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration. The coolest game on earth has the power to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance and justice. Former and current players with a migrant background in Germany are urged in assisting the initiative. Sports is not a cure-all for development problems but can make a difference in ones environment.

Recognizing the importance of sports as bridge to unite people of all backgrounds, cultures and religions, it aims to motivate young players with a migrant background to play hockey. Hockey knows no ethnic and cultural barries. It is not only the coolest game on earth but means above all DIVERSITY.

How one Democrat solves the lack of diversity at his rallies: PhotoShop
April 28, 2010

Andrew Romanoff, a Colorado Democrat who’s waging a primary campaign against incumbent United States Senator Michael Bennet, has figured out a simple way to assure diversity at his rallies. It’s called PhotoShop. Romanoff’s crack tech team merged at least three photos – Romanoff amidst a group of people, a separate crowd shot and a separate photo of a black woman – to create a website banner worthy of the Rainbow Coalition.

The Denver Post has the story:
A photo montage on Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff’s website was manipulated to make it appear as though an African-American supporter was standing directly at his side in the shot.

…add an unrelated black woman and Voila! You have the website banner shown above

The [African American] woman, former Denver School Board candidate Andrea Mosby, was at . . . . Read more

Sharples advocates mass powhiri for Asian arrivals
By Yvonne Tahana

March 19, 2010

Asian immigrants aren’t made to feel welcome in New Zealand and to alleviate that, the tangata whenua should stage a mass powhiri, Maori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples believes.
To mark Race Relations Day, Dr Sharples will deliver a speech tomorrow at the Orakei Marae on the state of race relations.
Dr Sharples said he was unsure of what the mass powhiri would look like, except that it could include up to 1000 warriors.

March 19, 2010
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

TORONTO, March 19 /CNW/ – In 1966, The United Nations proclaimed March 21st as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day honours the lives of anti-apartheid demonstrators who were killed by police on March 21, 1960 in Sharpeville, South Africa.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) marks this day noting that racism and racial discrimination are not things of the past. A few days ago, the CRRF and the Association for Canadian Studies (ASC) released a Leger Marketing survey which captures the state of race relations in Canada.

March 18, 2010
School board debates handling of diversity consultant contract
York Daily Recod

The York City School Board voted 5-2 Wednesday to reject a new contract with a diversity consulting firm that’s been working on district building projects.
The board voted against hiring Harrisburg-based Young & Company to be the firm that helps minority, women and local contractors get work on district building projects. The firm had worked on several building projects, but had come under fire by some board members. Read more . . . .

March 16, 2010 | 6:12 p.m.

Few blacks serve in top U.S. diplomatic posts
Los Angeles Times – By Paul Richter and Tom Hamburger

The State Department is searching for new ways to bring minorities to high-profile positions. New assignments this summer will increase diversity, one official promises.

The State Department has fallen short in its efforts to promote African Americans to key frontline diplomatic posts, department officials and diplomats said, despite efforts to increase diversity under two black secretaries of State and a black president.

The State Department has high numbers of black employees overall, and some prominent African Americans in top positions, such as Susan E. Rice, ambassador to the United Nations. But officials said few minorities were climbing to senior frontline posts that wrestle day to day with some of the nation’s most urgent international challenges in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Only one U.S. embassy in Europe is led by a black ambassador, for example.

The situation has stirred concern at the top ranks of the State Department, and officials . . . .,0,1639575.story?track=rss

March 16, 2010

The University of Denver Sturm College of Law has created a new associate dean position to promote diversity and inclusiveness within the institution. … “The main reason we wanted this position was to send a pretty clear message that this is important to us,” said Martin Katz, who was appointed as dean of the law school in February. “The way to do that, in my mind, was to put someone in a top position at the law school.” Read on …

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