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CSUSB professor reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
The Press-Enterprise/Southern California News Group
Feb. 24, 2022

In an article about the region’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the newspaper interviewed Luba Levin-Banchik, assistant professor of political science at Cal State San Bernardino, was born in Belarus and her husband is from Ukraine. They both speak Russian.

“I wasn’t able to sleep all night,” she said.

Levin-Banchik worries about the future of Ukraine.

“It’s clear that if he (Putin) takes over Ukraine the people will lose hope and they will lose a lot of freedoms,” she said. “The freedom of expressing what is on their mind. The freedom of speaking in public. The freedom of choosing their own leaders and criticizing leaders — that’s an important part of democracy.”

Her husband has an uncle and a cousin who live in Ukraine. She said she does not believe their lives are in immediate danger. Still, she is concerned.

Levin-Banchik said she and her husband are Jewish. And she worries there will be a rise of anti-Semitism in the aftermath of the invasion because Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, is Jewish.

“Historically, we know that when things go in a wrong direction people may look for scapegoats,” she said.

Read the complete article at “In Southern California, Ukrainian, Russian expats react as invasion unfolds.”

Frances Berdan, CSUSB professor emerita, fact-checks meme about Aztec sacrifices
Australian Associated Press
Feb. 25, 2022

Frances Berdan, a professor emerita of anthropology at California State University San Bernardino, who has written and edited several books on Aztec society, was one of the experts the news service consulted as it fact-checked a viral meme that falsely claimed Aztecs killed their leaders to ward off pandemics.

“As far as I know, there are no recorded instances of Aztec rulers being sacrificed to the gods for any reason,” Berdan said in an email to AAP FactCheck.

While it is possible epidemics took place in Aztec society before European contact, major pandemics in South and Central America were documented as nearly wiping out entire societies during colonization. There are estimates up to 80 per cent of the population in Mexico perished in the 16th century due to the impacts of multiple diseases, war and famine.

However, Berdan said Aztec society worked to improve conditions for the population during famines and droughts, rather than executing its rulers.

“The people did experience droughts, frosts, floods, earthquakes, and rodent/insect infestations, some of which led to famine. When the worst of these occurred (such as the multi-year drought in the 1450s), the Aztec (Mexica) ruler’s obligation was to distribute as much food as possible from his stores, and he did.”

Read the complete article at “Brutal Aztec pandemic claim sacrifices the truth.”

CSUSB professor named principal guest conductor of San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra
Redlands-Loma Linda Patch
Feb. 24, 2022

Lesley Leighton, Cal State San Bernardino assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, has been named principal guest conductor of the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra.

"As the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra continues to expand, it is critical that we add a world-class principal guest conductor to share artistic responsibilities on the podium and give our orchestra and our audience an extra musical perspective," Anthony Parnther, the orchestra's music director and conductor, said.

Read the complete article at “CSUSB professor named principal guest conductor of San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra.”

‘Constellation of aggression and anger’ on the rise, CSUSB professor says
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Feb. 25, 2022

Columnist Charles T. Clarke wrote, “Last week I wrote about the rise in hate crime we’ve witnessed across many of America’s largest cities over the past several years.

“But one thing I didn’t get into last week was how this rise in hate factors into another trend we’re seeing in American society, something Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University San Bernardino, described as a constellation of aggression and anger that seems to be on the rise in American society.

“‘In our kind of new normal of anger, division and strife, something we’re seeing is aggression manifested across an array of social science markers and milestones,’ Levin said, noting such things as family estrangement, aggressive driving and certain types of interpersonal violence and crime.

“‘There is a certain atmosphere of aggression ... It’s not just that bigotry is back; it’s the same kind of multi-faceted set of cancers that make the body politic weak, but distributed across various areas.’”

Read the complete article at “Column: Hate crimes, political polarization, road rage, air rage — we’re getting angrier.”

Research by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism was also cited in the following news articles:

State assembly member cites CSUSB center’s latest hate crime study
San Francisco Bay Times
Feb. 25, 2022

Phil Ting, a state assembly member from San Francisco, wrote an op-ed about the rise in hate crimes against Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the past year, citing the latest report by CSUSB’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Read the complete article at “More troubling AAPA hate crime numbers.”


CSUSB center’s study on hate crime cited in survey about issues that concern young people
Feb. 24, 2022

A survey by the website that found that addressing racism is the top social cause young people are passionate about in 2022 cited the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSUSB), which revealed that Black Americans remained the most targeted group across most cities in the U.S., while anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339% in 2021 compared to the year before, with New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other cities surpassing their record numbers in 2020. 

Read the complete article at “What social causes are young people passionate about right now?

This news clip and others may be viewed at “In the Headlines.”