Denmark approves new classification and requirements for low-income immigrant neighborhoods
- The Danish government plans to classify low-income, predominantly Muslim immigrant neighborhoods as “ghettos,” triggering a set of household requirements for the receipt of welfare benefits.
- Starting at one year of age, children will be separated from their families for 25 hours a week for education in “Danish values” (including Christian religious traditions), while other Danish children typically do not begin school until age six.
- The policy comes as anti-immigrant sentiment has increased in the country, with political figures (including the Prime Minister) denigrating immigrant enclaves and demanding assimilation.
“Denmark to school ‘ghetto’ kids in democracy and Christmas” (Reuters | May 2018)
“In Denmark, Harsh New Laws for Immigrant ‘Ghettos’” (The New York Times | July 2018)
“‘No ghettos in 2030’: Denmark’s controversial plan to get rid of immigrant neighborhoods” (Vox | July 2018)
Discussions of systemic racism in France provoke backlash
- Recent rows in French government and civil society have pitted anti-racism activists against government officials over discussions of the state and other political institutions’ role in propagating racial inequality.
- Journalist Rokhaya Diallo was removed from France’s national digital council only a week after her appointment following a campaign by right-wing activists and officials that targeted her for, among other things, her discussions of “institutional racism.”
- The same use of the term by the teachers union SUD-Education 93 led Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer to indicate he will pursue complaints against the organization as well as for having hosted workshops reserved for people of color.
“French race row erupts as feminist forced off advisory body” (The Guardian | December 2017)
“Blanquer porte plainte contre un syndicat qui a utilisé l’expression «racisme d’Etat»” (Le Monde | November 2017, in French)
“Les ateliers « en non-mixité raciale » du syndicat SUD-Education 93 créent une polémique” (Le Monde | November 2017, in French)
“When will France admit that police racism is systemic?” (The Guardian | March 2017)
The Fall Before the Rise in South African Higher Education
Over the last two years, a new set of student movements has situated the South African university as the site of a contentious conflict over higher education’s role in the perpetuation of racial and economic inequality. As the battle has shifted from public representation to economic access in the transformation of Rhodes Must Fall into Fees Must Fall, black South African students have taken on the deeply entrenched systemic and institutionalized inequality of South Africa’s higher education system. But beyond education, the struggle has called on South Africans to examine the “unfinished business of apartheid,” as one scholar has described it. BuzzFeed News investigates the emergence of the new student movements in South Africa and the stories of those driving its evolution.
“Poor, Gifted, and Black” (BuzzFeed News | May 2017)
“The faces behind South Africa’s Fees Must Fall movement” (CNN | October 2016)
(Image Credit: Alon Skuy/The Times/Getty Images, via BuzzFeed News)
Hundreds of protesters clash with police at campus rape protests in southeast South Africa
- Police used rubber bullets, stun guns, and pepper spray to disperse hundreds of protesters at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
- The protests erupted after the names of 11 alleged perpetrators of sexual violence were circulated on campus and via social media.
- Demonstrators disrupted lectures and organized the #RUReferenceList and #Chapter212 campaigns to call for a reform of the campus sexual assault policies and trauma services, leading to an indefinite shutdown of academic activity.
“Protesters demand reform following release of #RUReferenceList” (Mail & Guardian)
“South Africa police fire rubber bullets to disperse protesters at Rhodes University” (Reuters)
“Academic activities disrupted at Rhodes University” (SABC News)
(Image Credit: Sophie Smith/Mail & Guardian)
Tibetan education activist charged with inciting separatism
- Tashi Wangchuk has been detained in Yushu, Qinghai Province, for months in secret and faces up to 15 years in prison.
- While Tashi’s writings promote widely accepted Tibetan autonomy, the Tibetan entrepreneur has publicly opposed Tibetan independence.
- Tashi has been a vocal advocate for Tibetan-language education in line with constitutional guarantees to ethnic autonomy.
“China Charges Tibetan Education Advocate With Inciting Separatism” (The New York Times)
“Inciting Separatism Charge for Tibetan Education Advocate” (China Digital Times)
“Tibetans Fight to Salvage Fading Culture in China” (The New York Times, November 2015)
(Image Credit: Gilles Sabrie/The New York Times)
Oromo Ethiopians clash with government over land, language rights
- Members of the ethnic community have been protesting in a cycle of dissent and retribution since November, with activists reporting as many as 200 dead despite largely peaceful demonstrations.
- The Oromo have clashed with the government over land rights as they have found themselves pushed off their land by ongoing urban development driven by the country’s economic boom.
- Language rights have been a particular flashpoint, with the government’s refusal to officially recognize Oromo, the country’s most widely spoken native language, leading to Amharic-only instruction in schools.
“Video: Anger among Ethiopia’s Oromo ethnic group boils over” (France 24)
“What do Oromo protests mean for Ethiopian unity?” (BBC)
“Ethiopian students demand end to police crackdowns in rare protest” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: via BBC)
Disproportionate Suspension Rates in U.S. Charter Schools
A new study has found that black students and students with disabilities are suspended at considerably higher rates than their peers in charter schools at both the elementary and secondary level. At the secondary level, Latino and Native American students join them in disproportionate suspension. The report from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the UCLA Civil Rights Project spells particular trouble for black students with disabilities and has troubling implications in the fight against the school-to-prison pipeline.
4.1% (all students) vs. 9.7% (with disabilities) vs. 3.7% (without disabilities)
Suspension rates at the elementary level by ability
4.1% (all students) vs. 8.7% (black) vs. 2.1% (white) vs. 2.4% (Latino) vs. 3% (Native American)
Suspension rates at the elementary level by race/ethnicity
11.6% (all students) vs. 20.8% (with disabilities) vs. 10.6% (without disabilities)
Suspension rates at the secondary level by ability
11.6% (all students) vs. 22% (black) vs. 5.6% (white) vs. 9.1% (Latino) vs. 10.9% (Native American)
Suspension rates at the secondary level by race/ethnicity
7.8% (charters) vs. 6.7% (non-charters)
Suspension rates at the K-12 level
15.5% (charters) vs. 13.7% (non-charters)
Suspension rates of students with disabilities (K-12)
7% (charters) vs. 5.7% (non-charters)
Suspension rates of students without disabilities (K-12)
Suspension rate of students with disabilities at 235 charter schools
Years studied: 2011-12
Charter Schools, Civil Rights, and School Discipline: A Comprehensive Review (The Center for Civil Rights Remedies)
“Students With Disabilities Suspended More Often At Charters” (Disability Scoop)