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Scholarship named after CSUSB professor
IE Business Daily
Oct. 11, 2020

Thomas Pierce, professor emeritus of economics at Cal State San Bernardino, has had a $100,000 scholarship endowed in his name.

The donation, which honors Pierce’s devotion to his students, was made by John Kennedy and his wife Ann Kough, longtime supporters of Cal State San Bernardino.

Read the complete article at “Scholarship named after CSUSB professor.”

CSUSB’s James Fenelon discusses why Native American mascots are considered racist
The Sun
Oct. 11, 2020

In October 1995, Cal State San Bernardino sociology professor James Fenelon was teaching in Cleveland. While the Cleveland Indians played the Atlanta Braves in the World Series, he saw fans in the city donning Native American headdresses and warpaint while shouting battle cries. It was a familiar, yet disturbing, sight for Fenelon, who is of Standing Rock Dakota/Lakota ancestry.

“People say it’s just a symbol or that these mascots are honoring the history of Native Americans,” said Fenelon, whose book “Redskins?: Sports Mascots, Indian Nations and White Racism” published in 2016. “Imagine what would happen if any other ethnic group was being mocked in such a manner. So, why do so many people accept and protect those images and that kind of behavior when it comes to Native American mascots?”

Read the complete article at “Inland schools rethink mascots as pressure mounts against Native American, other ‘racist’ nicknames.”

High Desert survey, co-written by CSUSB professor, finds a region with much to recommend
IE Business Daily
Oct. 12, 2020

The Institute of Applied Research & Policy Analysis at Cal State San Bernardino, directed by Barbara Sirotnik, helped conduct a survey of High Desert residents on their quality of life, the news site reported.

More than 13,000 people responded, enough to get an accurate assessment of the region, which has a population of more than 424,000.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed called the High Desert a “very good” or “fairly good” place to live.  One respondent praised the region’s “clean air and open space,” while another said people “look out for one another” and called the High Desert “a great place to live and raise our kids.”

It’s when the survey delves into specific issues that cracks begin to show. A typical comment is “I love the High Desert but….” according to one slide in Sirotnik’s PowerPoint presentation.

Homelessness and crime probably elicited the strongest responses, Sirotnik said.

“I don’t think there was a lack of empathy, but a lot of people said they’re afraid of being hurt by a homeless person,” Sirotnik said. “People were very serious about that, and I think that’s a red flag to every elected official in the High Desert. They’d better do something about homelessness.”

Read the complete article at “High Desert survey finds a region with much to recommend.”

Role of social media in foiled plot to kidnap Michigan governor highlighted by CSUSB professor Brian Levin
Detroit Free Press
Oct. 10, 2020

The 13 men charged Thursday in a conspiracy to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used Facebook and secure messaging apps to connect and plot their attack. The group's use of Facebook spans almost a full year. Members began to use the social media platform as a recruitment tool in November 2019, according to an affidavit filed by Brian Russell, a detective sergeant with the Michigan State Police.

Their use of social media likely facilitated the group's growth, experts say. “This was on the larger side of what we call small cells,” said Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

And social media platforms can bring individuals with different grievances together, he said. “These elastic movements, they’re really subcultures but they were in these petri dishes on Facebook that grew from a dish into a grand canyon."

The men charged in the conspiracy, however, continued to use Facebook in July, according to the FBI's affidavit.

 “What the hate and fringe world lacked before was a gathering place in the mainstream and sustained messaging of approval from the bully pulpit,” Levin said.

Read the complete article at “How social media played a critical role in Gov. Whitmer kidnap plot.”

Laws on private militias discussed by CSUSB professor
The Crime Report
Oct. 12, 2020

Laws against private militias are rarely enforced, the news website reported in an article about the failed plot by a self-styled militia to kidnap Michigan’s governor, and prosecutors are often unaware of the laws.

“The required legal thresholds are often difficult to meet because they generally require proof that the suspect activities were motivated by an additional specific purpose to foment violence or civil disorder,” said Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino.

Cases against private militia before they actually carry out a plot have been tough to win. The Wolverine Watchmen defendants were charged under Michigan’s antiterrorism act stemming from their plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Two members face several counts, including threat of terrorism and gang membership; the other five face counts including providing material support for terrorist acts.

Read the complete article at “Private militia groups operate in violation of state laws.”

CSUSB professor weighs in on Iraqi resistance groups halting attacks to allow foreign troops to leave
Press TV
Oct. 11, 2020

A statement by Iraqi resistance groups to halt to attacks on U.S. and other foreign troops currently to allow them to pull out of Iraq was the focus of an interview with David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history.

“I think the announcement, overall, is a positive one, in so far as diplomacy and dialogue is always preferable to war and/or violence,” Yaghoubian said. “But the rub, if you will, the problem is that we currently have the optics of a U.S. draw-down in Iraq with 2200 of the 5200 American troops stationed there ostensibly being pulled out. And this process is ongoing. But what that leaves is three-thousand-too-many American soldiers occupying Iraq illegally as per the vote in early January of the Iraqi Parliamant.”

Watch the segment at “Iraqi resistance groups halt military ops against US forces to allow departure.”

CSUSB professor discusses latest round of U.S. sanctions against Iran
Press TV
Oct. 9, 2020

David Yaghoubian, CSUSB professor of history, was interviewed for a segment on the Trump administration imposing new sanctions on Iran’s financial sector, targeting 18 Iranian banks. Administration officials say it is seeking to choke off Iran’s access to funds to pursue what they called “aggressive activities.”

“With this move, should the remaining banks that still have access to foreign currency be essentially frozen out, this would only further diminish the channels that Iran utilizes to import important humanitarian goods, such as food and medicine,” Yaghoubian said. “Therefore, as such, one can only conclude that this latest round of sanctions, in conjunction with all of the sanctions that have already been placed on Iran are designed to harm the Iranian civilian population, and specifically the weakest members of Iran’s civilian population.”

The Trump administration imposed economic sanction on Iran in an effort to pressure it back to the negotiating table after the U.S. was pulled out of Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the multi-lateral agreement regulating Iran’s nuclear program, in May 2018.

Watch the segment at “New U.S. sanctions.”

CSUSB professor writes that ‘social distance is not emotional distance’
Psychology Today
Oct. 5, 2020

Anthony Silard, a CSUSB public administration professor co-wrote an article on the mental and emotional side of social distancing to curb the spread of COVID-19 for the blog “Art of Living Free.”

“In actuality, what we need to engage in is not social distancing at all, but physical distancing,” Silard wrote with Mora Zharya. “In this sense, we need to clarify that social distance is not emotional distance. As human beings, we are meant to be social; accordingly, we need to view our relationships as a matter of mental health during this confinement.”

Read the complete article at “The problem with social distancing.”

These news clips and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”