A student at Notre Dame Stadium flashed a disputed hand gesture. A debate about campus rhetoric ensued

first_imgMinutes before the start of the Sept. 28 Virginia-Notre Dame football game, an NBC camera zoomed in on the announcers reporting from the student section. Many students were cheering. One was not.This student stuck out his arm, his thumb and forefinger touching to form an upside down OK sign out to his right side. The gesture was fleeting and may have gone unnoticed by many viewers. In a video of the incident, students nearby did not seem to see it. It is the universal symbol for OK, widely-used to signal understanding or approval and even appears as an emoji.But to others who saw it, the student’s gesture had a sinister cast. In recent years, the OK sign has been appropriated by white supremacists, according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Observer File Photo In a file photo from 2016, the Notre Dame student section cheers on the football team with rally towels in hand.The student’s motives are unknown. Nevertheless, his gesture has become the latest flashpoint in ongoing conversations about the importance of tolerance, the boundaries for freedom of expression and the viral nature of hate speech.The incident also underscores tensions on campus in recent months, where divisiveness — centered around issues as varied as gay rights, pro-life and pro-choice movements — has heightened sensitivity surrounding both political and apolitical discourse.The student who made the gesture — editors at The Observer have chosen not to identify him by name — has been criticized online since the game. Through faculty in his program, the student, who denied multiple interview requests from The Observer, said the gesture was just an innocent way for him to show excitement about the game.What began as a mockery of liberals has stuck with the white power movement. In 2017, members of the discussion board 4chan began a hoax to convince liberals the symbol has racist connotations in the hopes they would take up the charge and face ridicule. However, white supremacists later began using the sign.The Christchurch mosque shooter, who killed 51 Muslims in New Zealand last March, flashed the gesture during a court hearing. President of white nationalist think tank the National Policy Institute, Richard Spencer, was photographed making the gesture outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on the night of the 2016 presidential election.The ADL notes context is critical when evaluating the gesture’s intent, and uses of the OK symbol in many contexts is completely innocuous. In addition to being used to signal approval, the sign is also used in the “Circle Game,” in which a person attempts to trick another person into looking at an upside-down OK symbol made below the waist.Regardless of intent, public use of the symbol has sparked controversy and backlash.An individual who made an OK hand sign in May at Wrigley Field in Chicago was banned from the venue indefinitely. A high school near Chicago announced it would reprint more than 1,700 yearbooks after students making the sign were noticed in photographs.This is not the first time a hand sign has been co-opted by a group, effectively changing the sign’s meaning. The gang MS-13 uses a once-innocuous sign which originated in heavy metal culture — a fist with the forefinger and the pinky extended.Regarding the student in Notre Dame Stadium, Paul Browne, the vice president of public affairs and communications at Notre Dame, said, “I’m unaware of evidence that anyone at the game used a gesture knowing it had racist connotations.”The state on campusIn the 2018 Inclusive Campus Student Survey, 47% of students said they had experienced adverse treatment they felt was due to a personal characteristic. One in five students felt the adverse treatment was due to their political views. Among those students, 68% said it had a somewhat or very negative effect on their feeling of belonging on campus and 20% said the treatment had a somewhat or very negative effect on their feeling of safety on campus.In recent weeks, charged battles have played out in the Observer Viewpoint section, from the poem “There’s queer blood on homophobic hands” to “There’s innocent blood on pro-choice hands.”“We’ve kind of ripped off the facade of civility, so we’re really, really struggling,” linguistic anthropology professor Susan Blum said.Since the 2016 election, Blum said movements like #MeToo and Black Lives Matter have gained a more prominent voice, but also have been challenged and mocked more.Language use causes tension in partisan spheres. Despite what a word or symbol means to one group, others might understand it differently, Blum said. A Confederate flag, for example, dredges up character assumptions even if the person holding sees it to be nothing beyond a flag.“I think it’s important that intention is not the only thing to pay attention to in language and in signs in general, but how they are received,” Blum said. “The effect they have is just as important as some sort of claimed intention.”Anthropology professor and department chair Agustín Fuentes noted that at such a divisive time, people are hyper-attentive to potential instances of racism. According to Fuentes, the incident in the stadium is larger than just the student who made the hand sign. The issue lies in why people should care about the hand sign and what the response should be in instances of bigotry.“How do we make it so that everyone knows what that sign is and no one wants to see it?” Fuentes said. “How do we get to a place where people understand why these perspectives are problematic, why they’re antithetical to what we believe as a country?”To achieve that, Fuentes believes there should be more dialogue on campus dealing with issues like racism and white nationalism, and that Notre Dame has not yet done enough to address the increasing hate seen around the country. “Notre Dame should be leading in many more ways than we are. I have no trouble saying that,” Fuentes said. “We should be a beacon for an absolute stand against hate.”Among the student body, Student Government hopes to build more bipartisan understanding through their program, Converge, which pairs together people of differing political views to discuss their views amicably.Senior Alex Yom, director of community engagement and outreach, is leading Converge this year. In 2018, its first year, Converge had around 150 participants. This year, there are 209. After the 2016 election, Yom said he has seen polarization increase on campus. Yom said people struggle to talk about race, in particular.“If people say something that they might not want to come off as insensitive, but they genuinely made a mistake, I think it’s important not to immediately call them out and say that they’re crazy and rude,” he said. “We have to come to an understanding of being open to mistakes.”The reason behind the student’s gesture in Notre Dame Stadium remains uncertain. But it added to a conversation about free speech and the politicization of language on campus and beyond, Blum said.As seen with the man at Wrigley Stadium, gestures, however innocuous, can have consequences.“Kids joke around,” Blum said. “But joking around at this tense moment doesn’t feel very good to me.” Tags: Anti-Defamation League, OK Sign, OK Symbol, Racism, racist, White Power, White Supremacylast_img read more

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Mexico: 14 alleged Zetas arrested

first_img ZACATECAS, Mexico — The Mexican army detained 14 alleged members of the Los Zetas drug cartel on June 27. Military personnel patrolling the municipality of Lagos de Moreno, in the state of Jalisco, spotted a convoy of four luxury SUVs. The convoy refused to stop when told to halt by the patrol but the vehicles were eventually detained as they crossed the state line into Zacatecas. Authorities seized 11 assault rifles, 2,800 assault-rifle magazines, 10 grenades and communications equipment from the SUVs. The alleged Zetas, 13 men and one woman, were transferred to police and Attorney General’s Office personnel for questioning and processing. By Dialogo June 28, 2012 [Excelsior.com.mx (Mexico), 28/06/2012; Eluniversal.com.mx (Mexico), 28/06/2012]last_img read more

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Cybersecurity requires a multi-faceted defense

first_imgCharged with protecting their members from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, today’s credit union information security professionals must navigate a complex web of regulations and implement robust lines of defense.The most important elements in an effective defense strategy are your people, processes and technology—in other words, your credit union’s organizational culture.This was the advice given by cybersecurity experts Leo Maduzia, senior vice president at $6.9 billion asset San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU), and Jim Brahm, CEO of Security Compliance Associates.They co-presented a breakout session during this week’s CUNA Tech/OpSS Council Conference.Brahm shared the timely example of an unnamed credit union in Florida recently victimized by a string of social engineering attacks. The fraudsters focused on draining members’ accounts through debit card point-of-sale charges and depositing fraudulent checks via remote deposit capture—to the tune of $500,000 in losses for the credit union per month. continue reading » 12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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The Netherlands put Croatia on the ‘orange list’ of countries

first_imgThe warning applies not only to Croatia, but also to Sweden, Bulgaria and Romania. Although self-isolation is not mandatory, 14-day self-isolation upon return to the country is strongly recommended for Dutch citizens. According to certain landlords and agencies, cancellations of guest reservations from the Netherlands were recorded last night. Croatia has been on the Dutch orange list of countries since Tuesday night due to an increase in coronavirus cases, according to the page of the Dutch government.last_img

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Biden accuses ‘toxic’ Trump of fanning US unrest

first_imgTopics : Kenosha flashpoint On Tuesday, Trump will promote his own perspective on what’s wrong in America’s cities by visiting Kenosha.The city, in one of the most significant swing states of the electoral map, has been in turmoil since the shooting by a white police officer of an African-American man in front of his children during an arrest this month.A microcosm of the racial and ideological tensions of the Trump era, Kenosha has seen Black Lives Matter protests, riots, and the arrival of armed, white vigilantes, culminating in an incident where a 17-year-old militia enthusiast, Kyle Rittenhouse, allegedly shot dead two people at the protest and badly injured another. Democrats and police reform advocates see Kenosha as a symbol of institutional racism leading to deadly encounters between officers and black suspects. They see Rittenhouse, a Trump supporter, as emblematic of right-wing militias that are increasingly brazen about brandishing weaponry in political settings and attempting to act as amateur law enforcers. Trump, however, is making clear he comes with a different priority: countering what he has repeatedly described as the “anarchy” in Democratic-led cities.He will “meet with local law enforcement and some business owners and he’ll survey the damage” from the unrest, spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany told reporters.Trump described his desire “to see the people that did such a good job for me,” referring to law enforcement units that quelled the rioting.Trump also declined to condemn the killings that Rittenhouse, who was in the streets with a rifle, is suspected of. Trump called this “an interesting situation” and said the teenager seen in video footage of the killings — allegedly Rittenhouse — was reacting because he was attacked.The White House said there were no plans for Trump to meet while in Kenosha with the family of the black man shot by the police officer, Jacob Blake.Although Biden has talked by telephone with the Blake family, Trump also ruled this out, saying the relatives wanted a family lawyer to be in on the call.”That’s inappropriate,” he said, without explaining further.Trump said he had instead had a “great talk” with “the pastor,” whom he called “a wonderful man.”Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr, said Trump’s comment mystified him.”We don’t have a family pastor,” he told CNN. “I don’t know who he talked to, I don’t care.”Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has asked Trump not to visit, out of fear of greater tensions.Trump responded that his trip “could increase love and respect for our country.” With Trump exalting in the shift of debate from his widely panned handling of the coronavirus pandemic to his favored theme of crime, Biden risks losing the momentum that has put him ahead in the polls for the November 3 vote.But the 77-year-old Democrat punched back, branding Trump’s presidency “a toxic presence in our nation.””Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames rather than fighting the flames,” Biden said.”The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth, incapable of facing the facts and incapable of healing.”  Joe Biden on Monday accused President Donald Trump of stoking violence after a week of deadly unrest catapulted law and order to the top of the political agenda barely two months before the US election.The stakes for Biden’s speech in Pittsburgh, in the swing state of Pennsylvania, could not have been higher a day before Trump heads to the city of Kenosha, Wisconsin, to deliver his dueling vision on the upheaval.Emerging from months of Covid-19 travel restrictions, Biden finds himself suddenly on the defensive, mocked by Trump as weak in the face of events combining leftist anti-racism protests, riots, deadly shootings and right-wing vigilante actions in Kenosha and in Portland, Oregon. While Trump has spent much of the past week warning voters they “won’t be safe” in Biden’s America, the Democrat sought to turn tables on the Republican in his 22-minute speech — delivered in a mostly empty hall due to coronavirus concerns — with the question: “Do you really feel safer under Donald Trump?”Trump “can’t stop the violence, because for years he has fomented it,” Biden charged.Trump “may believe mouthing the words ‘law and order’ makes him strong, but his failure to call on his own supporters to stop acting as an armed militia in this country shows you how weak he is.”Biden, who has been accused by Republicans of insufficiently denouncing violence by leftist anti-racism protesters, tried to set this to rest.”Looting is not protesting, setting fires is not protesting,” he said.”None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple, and those who do it should be prosecuted.”At a White House press conference, Trump still complained that Biden “mostly seemed to blame the police and law enforcement,” not leftist radicals.last_img read more

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MPs call for auto-enrolment review, halt to CDC legislation

first_imgOn the imminent changes to the DC market that see the ending of compulsory annutisation at retirement, the committee said it would take time for the industry to understand consumer behaviour.It said the recommended pensions commission should assess the impact of the Budget flexibilities on default investment strategies, and consider whether a default decumulation option were required for savers making poor decisions.The recommendation tied in with a proposal by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), which called for savers to be defaulted into a secure retirement income system if no active decisions are made.MPs also said the commission should assess the impact of the reforms on the suitability and accessibility of retirement products, and recommend market interventions where it was not working in savers’ best interest.On CDC, a policy from junior coalition pensions minister Steve Webb, MPs called for a halt on diverting any resources until auto-enrolment is complete and the DC market operating effectively.MPs said the independent commission should review auto-enrolment, including making recommendations on minimum contributions and defining adequacy of retirement income and how the policy should be assessed as a success.The committee said using opt-out rates to measure success would not be meaningful in the long term.As a policy, auto-enrolment was born from a similar independent commission set up by the previous Labour government in 2002.Dame Anne Begg, Labour MP and chair of the committee, said good progress had been made on auto-enrolment but that current reforms had not benefited from the same careful approach as the 2002 commission.“There is much more to be done,” Begg said.“A new independent pension commission would be able to identify any emerging risks and explore with stakeholders how these can best be addressed.“[It] is needed to provide coherence in pensions policy and to build public confidence and long-term stability in the system.”The committee also reiterated a 2013 call for regulation to be managed by a single body rather than TPR managing trust-based schemes and the FCA insurance-based schemes.It said, given the changes to the DC market and a growing divergence between trust and insurance contract regulation, a single body would provide a “clear focus” on retirement savings.Webb supported a similar call and suggested the current set-up of government was inadequate for pensions and long-term care solutions. A UK parliamentary committee charged with scrutinising pensions policy has recommended the government create an independent commission to review a range of legislation after the upcoming general election.The cross-party committee recommended the commission review several aspects of government policy including the impact of the changes to the defined contribution (DC) market and auto-enrolment.It also said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should not divert resources towards developing collective DC (CDC) or shared-risk schemes – a flagship policy for the current pensions minister.The committee said pensions regulation should be managed by a single body – not the current split between The Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – and criticised the government for sluggish progress on automatic transfers of DC pots.last_img read more

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$2.9 Million in Lake Ontario Flood Relief Funds

first_imgGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the awarding of $2.9 million in Lake Ontario Flood Relief funds to local governments in Wayne, Orleans, Niagara, Cayuga, and Jefferson counties dedicated to restoration resiliency and recovery efforts following last year’s flooding.“The Lake Ontario shoreline experienced historic and damaging flooding last year, and we continue to stand with New Yorkers whose communities are still recovering,” Governor Cuomo said. “This funding supports our mission to build back stronger and smarter and help every impacted town and resident get back on their feet.”The funding is part of the State’s $95 million commitment to the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence Seaway Shorelines. The recovery program started with an initial $45 million commitment for aid to residents, small businesses, and municipalities affected by the flood.It was supplemented with two $5 million grants from the State and Municipal Facilities Program to bolster previous relief and provide necessary financial assistance to recovery efforts. The Fiscal Year 2019 State Budget recently signed by Governor Cuomo included an additional $40 million for the recovery program.RuthAnne Visnauskas, Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, said: “This funding is essential to our Lake Ontario communities in supporting their efforts to recover from last year’s flooding. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s leadership, our shoreline communities are building back stronger than ever before.”The projects supported by the funding include shoreline reconstruction and stabilization, reimbursement for emergency repairs during the flooding, and seawall reconstruction.last_img read more

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Dearborn County crash kills one, injures another

first_imgDearborn County, In. — A fiery crash on State Road near Nowlin Avenue killed one person and injured another Thursday.Police responded to the scene around 2:45 p.m. and discovered the flaming crash involving two vehicles, and a semi-truck.There has been little information released by authorities. State Road 1 remains closed between Nowlin Avenue and Georgetown Road.last_img

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Deadline approaches for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program enrollment

first_imgBrookville, In. — Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Richard Fordyce reminded producers today that the deadline to sign up for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is Friday, Aug. 17, 2018.“Any agricultural producer that has eligible land should review the benefits of this program,” said Fordyce.  “It removes from production marginal, erodible land and, in doing so, improves water quality, increases wildlife habitat and provides more opportunities for recreational activities, including fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing.”For this year’s signup, limited priority practices are available for continuous enrollment. They include grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices.FSA will use updated soil rental rates to make annual rental payments, reflecting current values. It will not offer incentive payments as part of the new signup.USDA will not open a general signup this year, however, a one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less.CRP GrasslandsAdditionally, FSA established new ranking criteria for CRP grasslands. To guarantee all CRP grasslands offers are treated equally, applicants who previously applied (prior to the current sign-up period) will be asked to reapply using the new ranking criteria.last_img read more

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Priority to develop female football in Essequibo

first_img… says executive memberBy Elroy StephneyESSEQUIBO is set to benefit from the resuscitation of female football in the Region. Speaking to Chronicle Sport, executive member of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) Maxine Stewart, who also serves as an executive member of the Essequibo Football Association (EFA), confirmed that female football will be a priority for the local administration since it is also a mandate from the GFF to develop female football in all regions.She expressed great optimism of having a wide cross section of females being involved in the sport and according to her “the EFA will ensure that the necessary mechanisms are put in place to encourage, support and sustain the drive to have female football thrive in the region”.Ms Stewart further stated that “moves are already in place to form clubs within various districts” while acknowledging “that same was already done in Dartmouth and Henrietta”.The EFA executive disclosed that the concentration will be on training at the Under-17 level with sessions already commencing at the Anna Regina Community Centre (ARCC) ground in the afternoons.GFF and EFA executive member Maxine StewartIt was also revealed that Travis Bowen and Ranzolin Durga, technical directors assigned by GFF, are working with the female players and will generally develop football across the region, including hinterland districts.Meanwhile Stewart, who remains committed towards realising success in football in Essequibo, is appealing to all stakeholders including the Government and Private Sector to cooperate in realising that dream through continued sponsorship, mentorship, better facilities and training opportunities.The veteran administrator remains one of the highly driven individuals in Essequibo whose love and passion for football is unquestionable.In this regard, she was impressed and happy with the large attendance of approximately 65 young footballers who participated in a recently held coaching clinic in Dartmouth.“Essequibo has an abundance of raw talent, and we want to harness them into becoming the final product,” she emphasised.Further, the forthright campaigner was also pleased with the grassroots academy where the GFF and the EFA are partnering to capture talent across the Essequibo Coast and Pomeroon. The players with potentials must be given the opportunity and exposure to be involved in formal training, with prospects towards possible selection in the future.While the sport remains popular, “getting the structure right is what is required in order for our footballers to excel,” Stewart added.In this regard, the champion female football enthusiast is prepared to trot the extra mile to fulfil the dreams of countless footballers in the county, and in particular to give prominence to female football in Essequibo.last_img read more

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