Issue: The Dean of Hampton University’s Business School, a historically black school, has banned MBA students from wearing cornrows or dreadlocks on the basis that individuals with cornrows and dreadlocks are not ‘businesslike,’ and the strict hair policy will help students land jobs.
Issue: In an effort to explain his stance on abortion, Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate nominee from Missouri, said that in instances of what he called “legitimate rape,” women’s bodies somehow blocked an unwanted pregnancy. Akin, a six-term member of Congress who is backed by Tea Party conservatives, made it clear that his opposition to the practice was nearly absolute, even in instances of rape. “It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Mr. Akin said of pregnancies from rape.
Issue: Although he predicted it would not happen, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it would be “wise” for President Obama to take Vice President Joe Biden off the Democratic presidential ticket and replace him with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “I think it might be wise to do that but it’s not going to happen obviously, for a whole variety of reasons,” McCain said in an interview on Fox News. McCain had some harsh words ready for Biden, saying that the vice president “continues to say things that are unacceptable in American politics,” and specifically referenced Biden’s remarks in Danville, Virginia, where Biden said to the crowd, “look at their budget, and what they are proposing.
Issue: Gabby Douglas now has an individual all-around gold medal in women’s Olympic gymnastics to go with the team gold she won with her U.S. teammates. The 16-year-old Douglas becomes the 4th American gymnast and first African-American gymnast to win the Olympic all-around competition, but she also stands out because of her race.
Issue: According to data collected by a Republican New Hampshire state legislator, Kindergarten is a major driver of crime. Bob Kingsbury, 86, recently claimed that analyses he’s been carrying out since 1996 show that communities in his state that have kindergarten programs have up to 400% more crime than localities whose classrooms are free of finger-painting 5-year-olds. Pointing to his hometown of Laconia, the largest of 10 communities in Belknap County, the legislator noted that it has the only kindergarten program in the county and the most crime, including most or all of the county’s rapes, robberies, assaults and murders.
Issue: The first black head football coach at Vanderbilt University, James Franklin, said during a radio interview that one of the first things he does when looking at prospective hires is size up their wives. “I’ve been saying it for a long time, I will not hire an assistant coach until I’ve seen his wife. If she looks the part, and she’s a D-I recruit, then you got a chance to get hired. That’s part of the deal.” He said his ideology comes from the movie “Moneyball,” in which a scout quips, “Ugly girlfriend means no confidence,” and Franklin thinks there’s something to that.
Issue: Single-sex classes began proliferating after the U.S. Education Department relaxed restrictions in 2006. With research showing boys, particularly minority boys, were graduating at lower rates than girls and faring worse on tests, schools were paying attention. In 2002, only about a dozen schools were separating the sexes, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. Now, an estimated 500 public schools across the country offer some all-boy and all-girl classrooms.
Issue: Of all the things that schools could ban kids from doing, hugging is now apparently unacceptable behavior. Some schools in Arizona, New Jersey and Canada have banned hugging. Schools instituted the rules following some “incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions.” We have had roughly 30 years of “good touch/bad touch” programs in schools and communities, but almost all of the attention has been on bad touch. When we ban touch altogether, there are no opportunities for healthy contact. In school, the main benefit of touch is to build friendships and human connections, whether it is brushing one another’s hair or roughhousing playfully. Like adults, children touch to say hello and goodbye, to express affection, to test their strength, and to give and receive comfort.
Issue: President Obama was heckled by a reporter during his immigration remarks. Obama announced that the Department of Homeland Security will stop deportations and grant work permits for students who meet certain requirements, but during his remarks, Obama suddenly addressed a person in the crowd, telling him that he was not yet taking questions. "Excuse me, sir, it's not time for questions, sir," Obama said. "Not while I'm speaking." At the end of his speech, Obama referred back to the person who interrupted him. "And the answer to your question is sir, and the next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question, is this the right thing to do for the American people...I didn't ask for an argument. I'm answering your question," he said, speaking over the man's protests. "It is the right thing to do for the American people."
Issue: Residents in Middleborough, Mass. have voted to make the foul-mouthed pay fines for swearing in public. At a town meeting, residents voted 183-50 to approve a proposal from the police chief to impose a $20 fine on public profanity. Officials insist the proposal was not intended to censor casual or private conversations, but instead to crack down on loud, profanity-laden language used by teens and other young people in the downtown area and public parks.