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CSUSB professor calls Riverside teacher’s math lesson ‘racial mockery’

The Press Enterprise

Oct. 21, 2021

A student’s video of a Riverside teacher wearing a faux Native American headdress and dancing in front of her math class has gone viral and sparked calls to fire the instructor and halt teaching tactics perceived as disrespectful to some cultures.

“It’s essentially mockery is what it is — racial mockery,” said James Fenelon, director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at Cal State San Bernardino.

In the video, which hit social media Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 20, and blew up on the internet, the John W. North High School teacher — who was placed on leave — appears to be sharing with students the word “SohCahToa,” a mnemonic device used to help students remember advanced mathematics concepts.

Fenelon, a Lakota-Dakota scholar and professor, said the teacher may have been trying to help kids remember something but that doesn’t excuse how the lesson was presented.

Read the whole article at "Riverside teacher placed on leave after mimicking Native Americans during math class."

CSUSB professor comments on major civil lawsuit involving ‘Unite the Right’ rally

Yahoo! News

Oct. 21, 2021

A major civil lawsuit under the Ku Klux Klan Act against the “Unite the Right” rally is set to begin, more than four years after the rally took place, where hundreds of neo-Nazis gathered in person, meticulously planning the deadly event.

The plaintiff’s attorneys said their main objective is to find justice for the victims. But should they succeed, the impacts could reach far beyond monetary payments.

“This is the victims fighting back through the law,” said Brian Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Because of the First Amendment, “we have to tolerate bigotry in the marketplace of ideas,” he said. “But when that bigotry turns into conspiratorial violence, there is redress.”

Read the whole article at "Major civil lawsuit under Ku Klux Klan Act against Charlottesville rally set to begin." 

Criminal justice professor interviewed about an upcoming tactical event to train Christians in combat

Kansas City Star

Oct. 21, 2021

A group that says its mission is “to halt and push back the forces of darkness” is holding a tactical event in southwest Missouri this weekend to train Christians in “hand-to-hand combat” and “fighting from your vehicle.” Called the Missouri Embattled Warriors Event, the gathering is reminiscent of the militia exercises and preparedness training that spread across the country in the 1990s.

Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, said the language “sounds very similar to the rhetoric of Christian Patriot militias that I tracked during the ’90s.”

“This doesn’t quite sound like Boy Scout camp to me,” Levin said. “But it’s my hope that they operate in a way that is consistent with Missouri’s very clear law on militias. ... When folks combine aggressive weapons training with demonizing public officials who are already under threat, that’s not a recipe for civic dialogue.” Levin said Missouri, like all other states, has laws that ban private militias, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1886 that states have the authority to do so.

“Additionally, federal law prohibits the training and violent methods to foment civil disorder,” he said. “If history has taught us anything, it’s that private armies that do not answer to the rule of law constitute a threat.”

Read the whole article at "Group says it will train Christians in 'hand-to-hand combat' at SW Missouri event."

Director of CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism interviewed about far-right group


Oct. 22, 2021

At one point in 2020, Defend East County (DEC), a far-right group, boasted a Facebook following of more than 20,000 members. The platform eventually suspended the group due to violent, racist rhetoric on its page.

“These social media platforms like Facebook have enabled people who would just be banging the kettle on a quarter somewhere to use the power of symbols, memes and videos to create fear on anecdotes and identify villains,” Brian Levin, CSUSB criminal justice professor and director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Watch the whole segment at KPBS-FM (audio starts around 7:48).

‘This is the victims fighting back through the law,’ said CSUSB professor regarding ‘Unite the Right’ trial

Black Information Network

Oct. 22, 2021

The Charlottesville “Unite the Right” trial is set to begin the jury selection process. A group of nine plaintiffs has filed a lawsuit against approximately two dozen “Unite the Right” organizers in an effort to gain financial compensation. Under the Enforcement Act of 1871, the plaintiffs claim that the defendants violated the act in an effort to harm people of color and Jewish people.

“This is the victims fighting back through the law,” Brian Levin of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino told NBC News.

Read the whole article at "Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' trial set to begin jury selection process."

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