27/02/2018

Will the Children Lead Us to Better Gun Control?

“Most adults have bills to pay – house notes, rents, car notes, utility bills, but young people…are not hooked with all those responsibilities,” observed James Bevel, in arguing for recruiting children to participate in the 1960s civil rights movement. Over 50 years ago, the Children’s Crusade had a profound effect on changing America’s attitude towards racial segregation. Young black schoolchildren walked through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, protesting for their civil rights. The images of the local police using attack dogs and powerful firehoses against the demonstrators precipitated federal intervention and shamed local authorities to begin the process of desegregation.

Lire la suite

17/02/2018

Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields

Where is Michael Fields today? What has he done? Has he killed someone?
Michael Fields was my student in a Harlem elementary school years ago. He was placed in my 4th grade class with a file folder bulging with anecdotal records of his violence in and out of school. Numerous warnings about his dangerous behavior were properly recorded from the school’s guidance counsellor to social workers to local police to church authorities.

Lire la suite

14/02/2018

Are you up for the Olympics?

Time matters. It is not easy to be up at two in the morning to follow what is happening at the Olympics in South Korea. Not only is it windy and cold over there, but the different time zone makes it most uncomfortable over here for Europeans to be in real time. Far more congenial, a major U.S. broadcasting company, NBC, on most nights of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, will begin showing live events at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time,7 p.m. Central Standard Time, 6 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. In other words, a major U.S. broadcasting company will be live during peak viewing hours while Europeans will have to get up in the middle of the early morning to get live action.

Lire la suite

08/02/2018

Public Service, the Internet and Democracy

The upcoming vote in Switzerland on public subsidies for the national television and radio raises fundamental questions about the concept of public service and the relationship between the internet and democracy. While the March 4 referendum only touches citizens’ payments to the Swiss broadcasting system, the underlying issues behind the vote are the diminishing relevance of the public sector and the rise of privatization through social media.

Lire la suite