AP World History Is Worth Saving

Teachers are pushing back against proposed changes they say would reframe AP World History as Eurocentric. Teaching Tolerance stands with them.

Source: AP World History Is Worth Saving

The College Board, which makes these tests, should be coming out with a response to all of the teachers who have told them what a terrible, dishonest switcheroo this would be.

Also, one argument that I didn’t hear Teaching Tolerance making has to do with other existing AP history courses– namely AP European and US History (and to some extent AP Art History) which between them seem to duplicate most of the material that would be covered in an AP world history course from 1400 to the present.

Trump executive order called ‘disturbing’ by Duke University leaders, who say they won’t release student data without subpoena | News & Observer

Duke University President Richard Brodhead and Duke Provost Sally Kornbluth seek to reassure students and faculty, calling president’s executive order ‘confusing’ and ‘disturbing.’

Source: Trump executive order called ‘disturbing’ by Duke University leaders, who say they won’t release student data without subpoena | News & Observer

Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia!

Rob Brezsny’s Astrology Newsletter November 16, 2016

FreeWillAstrology.com

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Some readers seem surprised by the fact that I’m heartbroken and outraged about Trump’s victory.

“It’s not pronoiac to be so sad and angry,” one person said.

To correct that misunderstanding, here’s a relevant passage from my book Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia:

Pronoia is fueled by a drive to cultivate happiness and a determination to practice an aggressive form of gratitude that systematically identifies the things that are working well. But it is not a soothing diversion meant for timid Pollyannas strung out on optimistic delusions.

It’s not a feel-good New Age fantasy used to deny the harsh facts about existence. Those of us who perceive the world pronoiacally refuse to be polite shills for sentimental hopefulness.

On the contrary, we build our optimism not through a repression of  difficulty, but rather a vigorous engagement with it. We understand that the best way to attract blessings is to grapple with the knottiest enigmas.

Each fresh puzzle is a potential source of future bliss — an excitingteaching that may usher us to our next breakthrough.

Do you want to be a pronoiac player? Blend anarchistic rebelliousness with open-hearted exuberance. Root your insurrectionary fervor in expansive joy instead of withering hatred. Enjoy saying “no!” but don’t make it the wellspring of your vitality. Be fueled by blood-red yeses that rip against the grain of comfortable ugliness.

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“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”― Audre Lorde, A Burst of Light

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The wise Charles Eisenstein writes: “We are exiting an old story that explained to us the way of the world and our place in it. Some may cling to it all the more desperately as it dissolves, looking perhaps to Donald Trump to restore it, but their savior has not the power to bring back the dead.”

“Neither would Clinton have been able to preserve America as we’d known it for too much longer. We as a society are entering a space between stories, in which everything that had seemed so real, true, right, and permanent comes into doubt.”

“For a while, segments of society have remained insulated from this breakdown (whether by fortune, talent, or privilege), living in a bubble as the containing economic and ecological systems deteriorate. But not for much longer.”

“Not even the elites are immune to this doubt. They grasp at straws of past glories and obsolete strategies; they create perfunctory and unconvincing shibboleths (Putin!), wandering aimlessly from ‘doctrine’ to ‘doctrine’ – and they have no idea what to do.

“Their haplessness and half-heartedness was plain to see in this election, their disbelief in their own propaganda, their cynicism.”

“When even the custodians of the story no longer believe the story, you know its days are numbered. It is a shell with no engine, running on habit and momentum.”

Read Charles Eisenstein’s whole piece:

charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/

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I’m not naïve. In my years on the planet, I have witnessed and experienced the atrocities of racism, misogyny, homophobia, militarism, nativism, plutocracy, hate-mongering, and bigotry of many stripes.

Since I was 16 years old, I have fought these evils. That’s why I have had knives brandished at me by bigots — bottles thrown at me and insults hurled at me. While participating in political protests, I have been tear-gassed and clubbed by police. I have felt the barrel of a cop’s gun against my head, and have been strip-searched and harassed by law enforcement officers.

And much, much more. I won’t mention here all the abuses I’ve seen directed at gay, female, black, Hispanic, or impoverished people I care about.

And yet I am finding it a challenge to fully integrate the fact that 60 million Americans just voted for a person whose own words have revealed him to be a racist, misogynist, homophobic, militaristic, plutocratic hate-mongerer. I’m heartbroken. My grief and anger are deep.

I’m open to the possibility that some redemption will ultimately emerge from this tragedy, even it takes decades. I will search for and work to create that redemption.

But for now it’s my duty to explore the teachings of this pain.

One thing that’s important to my process is to ask whether my perceptions of Trump’s dangerous intentions are real. Am I projecting my fears onto him? Have I been fooled into exaggerating his terror? So far, my answers to those questions is “No.” I invite you to send me good evidence to the contrary.

Here are compilations of the evidence Trump himself has provided:

tinyurl.com/gunpsq7

tinyurl.com/gu63a6k

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A voice in my dream said to me: “I believe redemption will come from this disaster — that the Trump election is a desperation move to preserve a dying paradigm. And I affirm that the work to birth the new paradigm requires me to steadfastly practice the seemingly impossible discipline of love.”

Here’s how I replied to the voice in my dream: I agree. But we also need the fuel of our anger. Which is why I’m meditating on these questions:

How do we summon the right blend of practical love and constructive anger?

How do we refrain from hating other people even as we fight fiercely against the hatred and danger they have helped unleash?

How do we cultivate cheerful buoyancy even as we neutralize the bigoted, autocratic poisons that are on the loose?

How can we be both wrathful insurrectionaries and exuberant lovers of life?

How can we stay in a good yet unruly mood as we overthrow the mass hallucinations that are metastasizing?

In the face of the danger, how do we remain intensely dedicated to building beauty and truth and justice and love even as we keep our imaginations wild and hungry and free?

Can our struggle also be a form of play?
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A reader who is upset about my outrage at the election results sent me this meme: “Believe there is good in the world.”

Here’s my response: For more than a decade, I have been a tireless advocate for the importance of believing there is good in the world. But if we believers in the world’s wonder and glory fail to identify and acknowledge the world’s suffering, our advocacy is empty and feeble; our credibility is zero.

To celebrate the good — indeed, to create and cultivate the good — we must deal regularly with the darkness.
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MORE PRONOIA RESOURCES:

In the California race to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer, Kamala Harris, daughter of Indian & Jamaican immigrants, was voted the nation’s first Indian-American and second black female Senator.

In Oregon, Kate Brown was the first openly LGBT person to be elected to a US governorship.

Lisa Blunt Rochester earned Delaware’s sole seat in the House of Representatives, becoming both the first woman and the first African-American to represent Delaware in Congress.

In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, a former refugee, is the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to a state legislature.

Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada is the first Latina elected to the Senate.

Tammy Duckworth took back Obama’s Senate seat in Illinois.

In Florida, Stephanie Murphy was the first Vietnamese-American woman elected to Congress, defeating a 23-year Republican incumbent.

Pramila Jayapal will be the first female Indian-American Congressional Representative. An immigrant from India at 16, she was elected to represent the Seattle area on a Bernie-Sanders-style platform.

In NJ, Josh Gottheimer, first time Democratic candidate, beat Representative Scott Garrett, seven-term Republican incumbent and one of the most conservative Tea-Party-aligned members of Congress.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio was ousted in Arizona.

A woman handily won the popular vote for President of the United States.

(Note: I endorse these because I like them. They aren’t advertisements, and I get no kickbacks.)

Please tell me your own nominations for PRONOIA RESOURCES: Truthrooster@gmail.com.
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Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte – The New York Times

Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte

By WILLIAM BARBER II SEPT. 23, 2016

Charlotte, N.C. — Since a police officer shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday afternoon, the ensuing protests have dominated national news. Provocateurs who attacked police officers and looted stores made headlines. Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard joined police officers in riot gear, making the Queen City look like a war zone.

Speaking on the campaign trail in Pittsburgh on Thursday, Donald J. Trump offered a grave assessment: “Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world’s leader. How can we lead when we can’t even control our own cities?” Mr. Trump seems to want Americans to believe, as Representative Robert Pittenger, a Republican whose district includes areas in Charlotte, told the BBC, that black protesters in the city “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.”

But Charlotte’s protests are not black people versus white people. They are not black people versus the police. The protesters are black, white and brown people, crying out against police brutality and systemic violence. If we can see them through the tear gas, they show us a way forward to peace with justice.

On Thursday, I joined 50 Charlotte-area clergy members who were on the streets this week. Yes, a few dozen provocateurs did damage property and throw objects at the police, after being provoked by the officers’ tear gas, rubber bullets and military-style maneuvers. But as we saw, thousands more have peacefully demonstrated against the institutional violence in their communities.

Protesters demonstrating against police brutality in Charlotte, on Wednesday. Credit Nicholas Kamm/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

That systemic violence, which rarely makes headlines, creates the daily traumatic stress that puts our communities on edge, affecting both those of us who live there and outside observers who often denounce “black-on-black” crime. We cannot have a grown-up conversation about race in America until we acknowledge the violent conditions engendered by government policy and police practice.Anyone who is concerned about violence in Charlotte should note that no one declared a state of emergency when the city’s schools were resegregated, creating a school-to-prison pipeline for thousands of poor African-American children. Few voiced outrage over the damage caused when half a million North Carolinians were denied health insurance because the Legislature refused to expand Medicaid.

When Charlotte’s poor black neighborhoods were afflicted with disproportionate law enforcement during the war on drugs, condemning a whole generation to bad credit and a lack of job opportunities, our elected representatives didn’t call it violence. When immigration officers raid homes and snatch undocumented children from bus stops, they don’t call it violence. But all of these policies and practices do violence to the lives of thousands of Charlotte residents.

As a pastor and an organizer, I do not condone violent protest. But I must join the Charlotte demonstrators in condemning the systemic violence that threatened Mr. Scott’s body long before an officer decided to use lethal force against him. And I must condemn the militarization of Charlotte by the authorities who do not want to address the fundamental concerns of protesters. For black lives to matter in encounters with the police, they must also matter in public policy.

The North Carolina N.A.A.C.P. has called for full transparency in the Scott case, including a Justice Department investigation. There are still many unanswered questions, which is why we demand that the governor release video from body cameras recording the shooting. And we want accountability for officers who did not have their body cameras on when they confronted Mr. Scott while he was waiting for his son to get off the school bus.

Our protests are about more than the Scott case. Every child on that bus — every person in Mr. Scott’s neighborhood — is subject to systemic violence every day, violence that will only increase if Mr. Trump and others continue to exploit the specter of violent protests for political gain.We have seen this before. After the civil rights movement pushed this nation to face its institutionalized racism, we made significant efforts to address inequality through the war on poverty. We did not lose that war because we lacked resources or met insurmountable obstacles. We lost it because Richard M. Nixon’s “Southern strategy” played on white fears about black power by promising to “restore order” without addressing the root causes of unrest.

In the Scriptures, the prophet Jeremiah denounces false prophets for crying “peace, peace when there is no peace.” We cannot condemn the violence of a small minority of protesters without also condemning the overwhelming violence that millions suffer every day.

Instead, let’s look again at the vast, diverse majority of the protesters. This is what democracy looks like. We cannot let politicians use the protests as an excuse to back reactionary “law and order” measures. Instead, we must march and vote together for policies that will lift up the whole and ensure the justice that makes true peace possible.

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Source: Why We Are Protesting in Charlotte – The New York Times

Man Is Shot in Charlotte as Unrest Stretches to Second Night – The New York Times

Violence broke out in a “civilian on civilian” confrontation during protests in the city’s Uptown district over the death of Keith Scott.

Source: Man Is Shot in Charlotte as Unrest Stretches to Second Night – The New York Times