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A Georgia Middle School Is Trying to Avoid Offending White People While Teaching the Civil War

March 13, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

Some parents believe the school is trying to put a positive spin on slavery.

Parents in Johns Creek, Georgia are upset about a middle school visual rhetoric assignment that asked students to identify and analyze features of a Reconstruction-era editorial cartoon depicting blacks in a situation that is “worse than slavery,” WSBTV reports.

The cartoon, drawn by lifelong abolitionist Thomas Nast and published in the October 24, 1874 issue of Harper’s Weekly, depicts a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a member of the White League shaking hands over a cowering black family. In the background, a black man can be seen hanging from a tree. The image is intended to represent the position that even though institutionalized slavery no longer existed, there were still quasi-governmental structures — like the KKK and the White League — that prevented blacks from enjoying the freedom promised to them.

Parents at the Johns Creek school, however, see it differently. 

“It looks like a Ku Klux Klan flyer of a lynching,” Emzie Glass told WSBTV. Another parent, Jeff Royster, agreed, saying that “I thought that was pretty over the top for an eighth-grader to have to handle.” 

Both Glass and Royster claim that this is merely the latest in a string of racially insensitive lesson plans devised by the school’s eighth grader social studies teacher. 

“He had made a comment that slavery should have not ended with a war, but should have ended with just sentiments in the South changing,” Royster said. “They’re teaching the things that don’t offend whites.”

Fulton County schools spokeswoman Susan Hale told WSBTV that the district had been made aware of Glass and Royster’s complaints, but that it had not been able to substantiate claims that there had been a pattern of racially insensitive lesson planning by this teacher.

Fulton County Schools released a statement in which it defended the teaching of the cartoon, but acknowledge that it could have been presented in a more culturally sensitive manner. 

“The political cartoon was included in a packet of class materials about the Civil War and Reconstruction,” the statement read. “In …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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A Georgia Middle School Is Trying to Avoid Offending White People While Teaching the Civil War

March 13, 2015 in Blogs

By Scott Kaufman, Raw Story

Some parents believe the school is trying to put a positive spin on slavery.

Parents in Johns Creek, Georgia are upset about a middle school visual rhetoric assignment that asked students to identify and analyze features of a Reconstruction-era editorial cartoon depicting blacks in a situation that is “worse than slavery,” WSBTV reports.

The cartoon, drawn by lifelong abolitionist Thomas Nast and published in the October 24, 1874 issue of Harper’s Weekly, depicts a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a member of the White League shaking hands over a cowering black family. In the background, a black man can be seen hanging from a tree. The image is intended to represent the position that even though institutionalized slavery no longer existed, there were still quasi-governmental structures — like the KKK and the White League — that prevented blacks from enjoying the freedom promised to them.

Parents at the Johns Creek school, however, see it differently. 

“It looks like a Ku Klux Klan flyer of a lynching,” Emzie Glass told WSBTV. Another parent, Jeff Royster, agreed, saying that “I thought that was pretty over the top for an eighth-grader to have to handle.” 

Both Glass and Royster claim that this is merely the latest in a string of racially insensitive lesson plans devised by the school’s eighth grader social studies teacher. 

“He had made a comment that slavery should have not ended with a war, but should have ended with just sentiments in the South changing,” Royster said. “They’re teaching the things that don’t offend whites.”

Fulton County schools spokeswoman Susan Hale told WSBTV that the district had been made aware of Glass and Royster’s complaints, but that it had not been able to substantiate claims that there had been a pattern of racially insensitive lesson planning by this teacher.

Fulton County Schools released a statement in which it defended the teaching of the cartoon, but acknowledge that it could have been presented in a more culturally sensitive manner. 

“The political cartoon was included in a packet of class materials about the Civil War and Reconstruction,” the statement read. “In …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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SUNDAY: Gillibrand & Booker to Meet with NY, NJ Families About New Bipartisan Medical Marijuana Bill to Allow Patients to Access Necessary Care without Fear of Federal Prosecution

March 13, 2015 in PERSONAL LIBERTY

By drosenfeld

Five Local Families with Children & Loved Ones in Need of Treatment Will Join Senators to Discuss Landmark Proposal to Let States Legalize Medical Marijuana

New York City – On Sunday, March 15, at 2:00 PM, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) will join five New York and New Jersey families who would benefit from the new bipartisan bill to allow patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana to access the treatment without fear of federal prosecution. Both New York and New Jersey have legalized use of medical marijuana.

March 13, 2015

Offices of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Cory Booker

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Source: DRUG POLICY

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What Would FDR Think of Today's Trade Debate?

March 13, 2015 in Economics

By Daniel R. Pearson

Daniel R. Pearson

When Franklin Roosevelt became president early in 1933, he not only inherited the economic meltdown left by the previous Republican administration, he also inherited their now-infamous trade policy. The former Republican chairmen of the Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees, Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah and Rep. Willis Hawley of Oregon, favored “protecting” the American economy by keeping out goods produced in other countries. The “Smoot-Hawley” Tariff Act of 1930 set import tariffs at their highest levels in over 100 years. Other countries retaliated by raising their tariffs, U.S. imports contracted, exports also sank, and total world trade plummeted. Smoot-Hawley generally is credited with serving to deepen and lengthen the Great Depression. Torpedoing international trade also proved not to be an effective political strategy. Neither Smoot nor Hawley was returned to office in the 1932 election.

Roosevelt set about repairing the damage. His secretary of state, Cordell Hull, actively promoted passage of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act of 1934. This law gave the president authority to negotiate tariff reductions with other countries on a balanced basis. Congress agreed to approve or reject tariff-reduction packages by a simple majority vote. Hull’s 11-year tenure made him the longest-serving secretary of state. He also was awarded the 1945 Nobel Peace Prize, largely for his efforts to establish the United Nations. Hull’s reciprocal approach to tariff reductions demonstrated that collaboration among nations could lead to meaningful economic and political benefits. It laid the groundwork for trade liberalization in the post-WWII era.

President Truman moved the process forward by joining with 22 other nations to create the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947. Congress provided the president with negotiating authority, and the GATT accomplished three rounds of tariff reductions — known as the Geneva, Annency, and Torquay Rounds — between 1947 and 1951.

For the first time since Roosevelt began the shift toward a more-integrated global economy, a president may conclude his term without ever having authority to negotiate.”

During 20 years on the sidelines, Republicans had plenty of time to rethink their positions on trade policy. Even they could see that reducing trade barriers led to greater freedom for people in the United States to do business with willing buyers and sellers elsewhere in the world. This approach seemed to be working a lot better for the U.S. and global economies than had been the case …read more

Source: OP-EDS