Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Still a young country

I have often written about how this country has a long way to go with race relations partly because the sins of the past are still within “living memory” of people.

I heard this story this morning, which further proves my point. Can you believe there are people alive whose parents fought in the Civil War and who had met Abraham Lincoln?

“Numbers Dwindle Of Living Children Of Civil War Veterans”

“Children of Civil War Veterans Still Walk Among Us, 150 Years After the War”

The last “known” children of slaves was reported to have died in 2011, which mean there are many grandchildren of slaves alive and well.

You cannot understand the present unless you understand the past, and the past always influences the future.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, November 17, 2014

Africa is a huge diverse continent not a country!

Every so often, I read something or encounter a situation of supreme ignorance about the continent of Africa that boggles my mind. When I was younger, I used let the folks wallow in their ignorance or sometimes add to it with extremely bad and funny information (I did not think they would take it seriously but they did). Nowadays, as an educator, I feel I must try and truly educate the individual(s) because I realize it is not their fault.

We do not teach a true and rich curriculum about the continent, in fact, you will be surprised how many people know nothing about the continent beyond the latest Ebola fear story in the news. Case in point: “Teacher Told to Stay Away on Return From Africa”

“A teacher in a Roman Catholic school was told to take a leave of absence for 21 days when she returned from a mission trip to Kenya, even though the country is thousands of miles from the center of the Ebola outbreak.”

“The school, St. Margaret Mary in Louisville, Ky., told religion teacher Susan Sherman to take mandatory leave when she returned Oct. 26 because several parents were worried about the Ebola outbreak, according to her husband, Paul Sherman. She resigned. Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz last week acknowledged that was "not the right judgment."”

“The Shermans spent nine days in Kenya, working with a relief organization that provides health care, food, and water and builds churches and distributes Bibles.”

The distance between the Ebola area in West Africa and Kenya is more than 3000 miles!

There is no such language as African, all Africans are not brothers, and if you know someone from a country do not expect someone else you meet from that country to know them (especially if it is Nigeria which has a lot of people).

Learn, teach, and do not be ignorant about the second largest continent in the world.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Same stuff different shovel

Political election results in the U.S is always presented as winners and losers; and I often wonder why because if you think about it does not make sense, because no matter who is in power at the time, the people should be winning.

The two party system here in the U.S, fosters such intense, divisive, and mean-spirited rivalries that spew vitriol and hatred; all the while forgetting they are supposed to be representing real people with real problems.

I vote because that is my civic duty, I have no right to complain if I do not vote; I hate elections though, for many reasons:

  • How much money is wasted and spent on winning elections? The jobs do not pay that much but yet we spend so much! Why don’t we spend that election money on something more important?
  • It seems we have forgotten the rules of debate because all the arguments are full of fallacies. They would all fail my professional presentations course, and these are supposed to be educated people!
  • Politicians you are not average everyday people, so please do not pretend that you are. Being smart, educated, and wealthy is not going to be held against you if you truly are for the people.

I could go on but hopefully my point is made that this is not the time to celebrate, in fact, there should be no celebrating at all, please just govern. We do not send you to office to party.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, November 3, 2014

Who is Isis? Probably not who you think…

One definition:

“Isis (/ˈaɪsɪs/; Ancient Greek: Ἶσις; original Egyptian pronunciation more likely "Aset" or "Iset") is a goddess from the polytheistic pantheon of Egypt. She was first worshiped in Ancient Egyptian religion, and later her worship spread throughout the Roman empire and the greater Greco-Roman world. Isis is still widely worshiped by many pagans today in diverse religious contexts; including a number of distinct pagan religions, the modern Goddess movement, and interfaith organizations such as the Fellowship of Isis.”

A fun definition:

“The Secrets of Isis (a.k.a. simply Isis) starred JoAnna Cameron as Andrea Thomas, a high-school science teacher who found an ancient mystical amulet on an archeological dig in Egypt. The amulet belonged to Hatshepsut, an ancient Egyptian Queen, and it gave the wearer the powers of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Whenever Isis was needed, Andrea would reveal the amulet (which she wore as an everyday necklace) and recite an incantation ("O Mighty Isis!"), transforming her into the goddess/superhero.”

Who Isis is not is terrorist, she has nothing to do with stuff we see on the news, she predates Islam.

Why am I talking about this? It is simple, we give power to things even when we should, we are giving power to the a group and letting them co-opt an honorable name and historical figure. There are some good people I know named Isis or who name things they possess Isis, and they are currently being attacked, for having a name that most people do not truly understand.
I am an educator, therefore I must educate on this issue: if you meet someone named Isis, or if you meet someone who happened to name something Isis (even if they are Muslim), do not assume the worst because you will be completely wrong. It is a name!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele

The ETeam

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do you wonder why reporters have a bad rap today? #charlesfleminglatimesisrude

Charles Fleming

As an educator, when I see a wrong fact I feel I must educate. In addition, if I am wrong I have to problem admitting when I wrong because we learn something new every day.

I am a biker, not a hidden fact, and I try and be a student of history. I responded to this story today by Charles Fleming of the LA Times:

I simply reminded him of know facts that the true and original builders were never credited. Apparently Charles Fleming LA Times has no manners, apparently he feels it is appropriate to respond to a polite suggestion from a reader with a rude and ignorant statement. Here is the exchange:

“From Fleming, Charles Charles.Fleming@latimes.com”

“To: Flavius Akerele”

“You insult me, in your own ignorance. I did my research. We didn’t have room to include every fact in this strange, long story. I reached out to Vaughs, tracked him down, and emailed him, trying to get his voice into the piece. He declined to respond.

Blame him for his absence from the story, not me.


From: Flavius Akerele
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2014 4:04 PM
To: Fleming, Charles
Subject: Regarding 'Easy Rider's' 'Captain America' bike sold for $1.35 million


Please remember to give Credit to the people who really built and designed the bikes Ben Hardy and Cliff Vaughs. Do your research please.

Dr. Flavius A B Akerele III

I did not realize that I was ignorant on this subject, in fact him calling me ignorant is contradicted by the rest of his statement. Mr Vaughs is very easy to find, and if he chose not to comment, it does not mean I was wrong; if anything it shows he has made peace with this issue.

To you Mr. Fleming, I salute your rudeness! You are the epitome of today’s non-gentleman who feels when challenged should respond to with insult. Best of luck wallowing in your own excrement #charlesfleminglatimesisrude.

Dr Flavius Akerele

The ETeam

Monday, October 27, 2014

Good things do happen in education and please be aware of your personal issues

Coincidentally, I had been thinking about two subjects this morning when I found these two articles I am going to share. I have been thinking about all the good things that happen in education because of the recent field day the media has been having with a teacher who had sex with a student: news flash most teachers do not do that so do not condemn the whole profession.

“Why Do We Ignore All That Is Good in Education?”

“If there is one teacher in a system that has an affair with his/her student, it gets reported on.”

“When 1 in some random huge amount perpetrates a scandal, it gets recognized and publicized.”

“If one didn't know better, one would say that the media and government want the world to think ill of teachers, or why else would there be such a focus on the few who do bad things.”

“Let's face it, if journalists go on an expedition to find the unsavory aspects of teaching, they'll find it. It's always there, just like in every profession or aspect of life.”

“The usual scope of a teaching job goes well outside the job description of conveying content knowledge to students during school hours. Regardless of the misconception that teachers only teach from 8-3 and have the summers off, most of us spend the better portion of our lives treating every child in our spaces as if he or she was our own.”

Let us celebrate the good in education not the very minority bad.
This next article has more to do with personal experiences and observations over my career that I have only just begun to notice. I am pretty well insulated against dumb comments because I am fortunate to have a strong family background and long historical grounding. However, other people I know have started pointing out to me some of these “microagressions” that have always happened and I just brushed off.

'Dear White Academics ...'

“Wow, you’re so articulate.”

“Are you the cleaning lady?”

“Do you have a Ph.D.?”

“James? What’s your real Asian name?”

“You’ve heard (or heard of) statements like these. Students and scholars call them “microaggressions”—casual, everyday comments and questions that might not rise to the level of a verbal altercation or a physical beatdown, but are rooted in stereotyping and racially-biased assumptions nevertheless.”

“Some microaggressions are obvious. But it can take a well-tuned ear to perceive the subtleties and nuances in others. The people delivering coded comments might actually intend them as compliments, not realizing that they are holding on to stereotypes that are invisible to them.”

“Added over time, these slights and jabs—at scholars of color’s appearance, intelligence, scholarly work, and their mere presence on campus—can take an emotional and physical toll. Some underrepresented scholars have told me they’re exhausted from being battle-rammed in interactions with hiring committees, with students in the classroom, and in department meetings with fellow faculty members.”

This kind of speaks for itself, so I would ask that if you are one of those folks who does this, just stop doing it. We should all have better things to do in education than this.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam