Few people know that Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was actually entitled “Normalcy, Never Again.”
The famous line for which the speech came to be known came as an improvisation as King was ending and Mahalia Jackson called out: “Tell them about the dream, Martin!”
Today the 50th anniversary of the speech was celebrated at the US Capitol, as reported by the BBC as follows:
“Thousands have gathered in the US capital to mark 50 years since Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech on civil rights. Today’s civil rights activists came to Washington with concerns that include jobs, voting rights and gun violence. They marched to the Lincoln Memorial and a new monument, the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial.
“The mother of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager shot dead in Florida last year, was among those due to speak. Sabrina Fulton told the BBC many young African Americans had been left afraid by the acquittal of his killer, neighbourhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. She called for a change to laws in many American states which allow the use of deadly force if a person feels seriously threatened. Mr Zimmerman’s acquittal sparked protests in more than 100 cities. Eric Holder, the first black attorney general in US history, paid tribute to the original protesters, in a speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
“They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” he said.He said the spirit of 1963 now demanded equality for gay people, Latinos, women, the disabled and others. Saturday’s event is being led by the Rev Al Sharpton and King’s son Martin Luther King III. It comes a few days before the actual anniversary of the original march on 28 August 1963. King, who was assassinated in 1968, led about 250,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall and delivered his famous speech from its steps. Continue reading “Normalcy, Never Again”
The right of faculty members to speak out on matters affecting their colleges and universities has long been viewed as central to the way academic freedom and shared governance are supposed to work in American higher education, reports Inside Higher Ed
“The University of California Board of Regents affirmed that right this month with an amendment to the system’s “Statement on the Professional Rights of Faculty.” In so doing, the board sought to undercut the impact of a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has been used in some cases to question the faculty right to speak out on institutional governance.
“The new language states that faculty members have the “freedom to address any matter of institutional policy or action when acting as a member of the faculty whether or not as a member of an agency of institutional governance.”
“While many faculty members might just assume that they have that right, the 2006 decision (which was not about higher education) led some courts to question such rights. That ruling, Garcetti v. Ceballos, was about a suit by a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles who was demoted after he criticized a local sheriff’s conduct to his supervisors. The Supreme Court ruled that First Amendment protections do not necessarily extend to public employees when they speak in capacities related to their jobs. Continue reading “Univ of Calif affirms speech rights”
Facebook has announced plans to renew its effort toward monitoring, and where appropriate, removing gender-related hate speech from its users, per a post on the company’s Facebook Safety page Tuesday, reports arstechnica: “In its most recent battle, Facebook appears to be trying to differentiate what is “cruel and insensitive” and what is “distasteful humor” in order to answer complaints from groups including Women, Action, and the Media.
“WAM wrote an open letter to Facebook on May 21 that asserted the company seems to apply its hate speech mandates unevenly when that hate speech is gender-based. The group cites several Facebook fan pages, including “Fly Kicking Sluts in the Uterus” and “Raping your Girlfriend,” which have now been removed but were presumably present at the time of WAM’s writing.WAM claims that pages like these and others that constitute hate speech toward women are allowed to exist while similar hate speech pages based on religion, race, and sexual orientation are quickly moderated. WAM cites hateful images or content that get a media spotlight as the exception:
“You have also acted inconsistently with regards to your policy on banning images, in many cases refusing to remove offensive rape and domestic violence pictures when reported by members of the public, but deleting them as soon as journalists mention them in articles, which sends the strong message that you are more concerned with acting on a case-by-case basis to protect your reputation than effecting systemic change and taking a clear public stance against the dangerous tolerance of rape and domestic violence. Continue reading “Facebook vs gender related hate speech”
Free-speech moved a little closer to extinction in Russia today, as legislators voted overwhelmingly
in favor of a measure criminalizing “homosexual propaganda. Meanwhile, protesters opposing the law are being arrested.
Russian police have detained 20 gay rights campaigners and militant Orthodox Christian activists near parliament as politicians overwhelmingly backed a the proposed law. ” “Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, voted 388-1-1 for the law that makes public events and the dissemination of information on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, or LGBT, community to minors punishable by fines of up to $16,000 (£10,000),” reports The Guardian. “After two more readings, the bill will have to be signed by President Vladimir Putin.
“Earlier on Friday three dozen LGBT rights campaigners had gathered near the State Duma to protest against the law when militant Orthodox activists started assaulting and pelting them with eggs. Police intervened, but mostly detained the LGBT campaigners. At a similar rally on Tuesday Orthodox activists violently assaulted LGBT campaigners, who had gathered to kiss each other in protest against the planned legislation. Continue reading “Free speech failing in Russia”
Famous for its reactionary takes on many issues, the American Family Association (AFA) issued a condemnation of President Obama’s broad stance on human rights in his Inaugural Address.
In its remarks, the AFA joined other right wing groups like the Family Research council and National Organization for Marriage, who recently have been stepping up their criticisms of White House policy. The AFA’s Bryan Fischer condemned President Barack Obama’s inaugural address, pointing specifically to it specific references to the LGBT community. As Huffington Post quotes Fischer: “Homosexuals do not have a constitutional right to engage in sodomy.” The story continues:
“Noting that sodomy was a
felony for the first 200 years of America’s history, he added, ‘It’s absurd in the extreme, it’s ridiculous, it’s ludicrous for homosexuals to claim that they have some kind of constitutional right to engage in sexually deviant behavior. Continue reading “American Family Association condemns inaugural speech”
A researcher at the University of Colorado has presented new evidence
on how word pronunciation affects gender recognition among listeners.
While this may not be a great revelation to those who provide or receive speech training for gender reassignment, the story has significance in further documenting the social construction of gender identity.
The story appears on a noteworthy site called RedOrbit (see link below) on science and health. According to the study, “the style of a person’s speech may help listeners guess their gender just as much as the high or low pitch of their voice.” The researcher examined transgendered people during transition to figure out how humans associate gender categories with different characteristics of speech. Continue reading “Speech style and gender performance”