Saint Mary’s engages in conversation about anti-racism

first_imgIn coordination with Black History Month, members of the Saint Mary’s community discussed the importance of fighting against racism in modern society during a brown bag lunch discussion Wednesday. “Beyond White Guilt and Anger: Becoming Actively Anti-Racist,” sponsored by Student Involvement and Multicultural Services (SIMS), addressed systematic racism and inequality in terms of white privilege and guilt about the legacy of racism.  The conversation was moderated by Marc Belanger, associate professor of political science, who said white people must acknowledge how race affects them personally for this anti-racist discourse to effect change.  “It is important to me for whites to see the negative consequences of race within their own lives,” he said. “Not in the sense of reverse discrimination, but rather how white privilege has consequences for people of all races.” Belanger said racism is a system of advantages based on white privilege, but systems of privilege based on gender, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status also pervade society. “There are many different types of privileges,” he said. “We are complicated people that come from all different backgrounds, and all of that shapes who we are.”  Belanger also said the key to eradicating modern-day racism lies in changing the systems that propagate racism in society. “Ending racism needs to include the white population,” he said. “They are the ones who created the system and need to be active participants in breaking it down.” Although overcoming the taboos surrounding discussions of race can be challenging, this particular discussion was a necessary step in anti-racist discourse, Tamara Taylor, assistant director of SIMS, said. “I felt as though this discussion was important because we tend to be hesitant to talk about race,” Taylor said. “We are afraid to bring it up, so if people were willing to come to this discussion I was willing to put it on.” Taylor said the unique perspective of the conversation helped guide it in a productive direction. “Having this discussion from a white perspective allowed for more open talk about race,” she said. “It did not allow for whites to feel left out.” Belanger said this spirit of racial inclusion is crucial for people to be active participants in the fight against racism, but it is often overlooked in the case of the white majority. “Psychologically, racism is a damaging process to white people as well,” Belanger said. “Not to say it is comparable to the hurt caused by those targeted by racism, but it does leave many whites feeling confused and disempowered.” Belanger said whites are often afraid to be actively anti-racist because they may not know how to effectively address and act on the issue of racism. “Many times people want to change the system but just do not know how to make a society free of racism,” he said. These ideas sparked discussion within the audience, which included several faculty members, health professionals and students. Several attendees shared personal anecdotes about the effects of racism on their lives today. “Racism limits you. It puts up barriers. Even if you would like to reach beyond them, you sometimes just can’t,” Cyndie Horton-Cavanaugh, a nurse in Women’s Health, said. “We can benefit from relationships with people from all different experiences, but racism limits us from really knowing and experiencing people.” Other attendees expressed the importance of having the courage to make a change and fight against racism. “We must look at ourselves and have the courage to break through the barriers,” senior Jacquitta Martin said. “It needs to be a joint effort, and barriers must be crossed on both sides.” With the discussion as a prime example, Belanger said the first step in finding a solution to end racism is simply talking about the issues. “There is only so much we can say in 50 minutes, but this is a good start and these conversations must continue to occur,” he said.last_img read more

Ecuador’s Minister Of Defense To Go To Russia To Seek Military Assistance‎

first_imgBy Dialogo March 19, 2009 Javier Ponce, Ecuador’s Defense Minister, ‎will travel to Russia to launch an agreement for military assistance, according to a ‎statement provided Wednesday to AFP by a source from within.‎ ‎”The minister will proceed with the military assistance plan signed by both countries,” ‎stated a top military official, who requested to remain anonymous.‎ The official reported that Ponce’s visit to Russia will last four days, and that during this ‎time he will talk to the country’s military leaders.‎ Last November Russian chancellor Sergey Lavrov visited Quito for the first time, an ‎occasion in which the governments improved their relations by establishing a series of ‎commercial, military, and nuclear energy assistance commitments.‎ ‎”We have already discussed extensive commercial, financial, and military ‎cooperation. They have great, high quality military equipment,” said President Rafael ‎Corres, a harsh critic of the United States who is organizing the removal in 2009 of the ‎North American troops operating an antidrug base in the Ecuadorian coast.‎ Since 2008 the Executive Branch has been pushing for modernization of the Armed ‎Forces through the purchase of Brazilian combat aircraft, Chinese radar, and Indian ‎helicopters, as well as used fleets from Chile. ‎last_img read more

Operation Sicilia Strikes at Extortion in Colombia

first_imgBy Yolima Dussán/Diálogo September 08, 2017 Units of the Colombian Army, National Police, and Office of the Attorney General dealt a heavy blow to extortion gangs in 26 of the nation’s 32 departments. The outcome of this successful operation was announced to the nation by Minister of Defense Luis Carlos Villegas and Army General Juan Pablo Rodríguez, the commander in chief of the Colombian Armed Forces, on July 28th at the general headquarters of the National Police. “During Operation Sicilia (Sicily), 42 operations with 67 raids were conducted between July 25th and 27th,” Minister Villegas told Diálogo. “During those raids, firearms, cell phones, narcotics, and log books containing the names of potential victims were seized, 197 criminals captured, 188 [arrested] by court order, and the other nine caught red-handed.” The gigantic operation was a nationwide offensive. It particularly focused on dismantling criminal organizations that spent several months extorting drivers, small merchants, and unlicensed vendors in Bogotá and in 26 municipalities nationwide. Extortion rates decrease Operation Sicilia required four months of investigative work. It was a detailed search-and-tracking effort that took down a huge network and greatly impacted the structure of criminal organizations that mercilessly preyed upon the civilian population, even going after people who perform simple and very small-scale jobs to survive. “Through these types of operations focused on tackling extortion, we have been able to reduce this crime. Extortion has fallen by 44 percent nationally, meaning that the crime is now at half the number of cases recorded in the prior year,” Minister Villegas pointed out. “Results such as those from Operation Sicilia allow us to be more effective in fighting crime, and represent a meaningful change in the lives of the communities where interventions are made.” Dangerous gangs dismantled Through this nationwide offensive, the Colombian Army dismantled six criminal gangs: “Los Congos” (The Congos) in Magdalena; “Los Empleados Públicos” (Public Employees) in Medellín; “Los Parmalat” in Antioquia; “Los Cafeteros” (The Coffee Growers) in Arauca; “Los Socialistas” (The Socialists) in Norte de Santander, and “Pescado Frito” (Fried Fish) in Santander. Sicilia’s results included another 37 criminal organizations that were impacted, such as “Libertadores de Vichada” (The Liberators of Vichada) and “La Cordillera” (The Mountain Range) in Colombia’s coffee belt. So far this year, the Colombian Armed Forces have captured more than 1,600 extortionists nationwide. They have broken up more than 80 gangs and organizations dedicated to this crime, which is often managed from inside the jails, a situation that has resulted in surveillance and control measure to be beefed up in recent years. Countering extortion against the civilian population The dismantling of extortion gangs has revealed the devastating effects of this crime. For example, business people, parking lot owners, truckers, and drivers of food delivery vehicles in Itagüí, Antioquia, were forced to pay the criminals between $3 and $170 a week in exchange for not threatening their security. In some cities, residents were extorted for their water consumption, and bus, bicycle taxi, and auto rickshaw drivers were forced to pay to drive along certain routes. Small business owners were intimidated for trying to sell eggs, sugar, or salt, according to information provided to Diálogo by the General Command of the Colombian Armed Forces, which delves into a full exposé on the forms of extortion. “The ‘Los Pepes’ gang that was arrested is accused of extorting shopkeepers in the municipalities of Atlántico department, and the members of the crime group ‘Los Gualiva’ are being tried for collecting an alleged ‘collaboration’ fee from business owners and truck drivers in Soacha, Cundinamarca, to improve their security situation,” the document confirms. “In Cali, the ‘Los Boqueños’ crime group was hit, catching 10 suspected criminals who had requested payments from the residents of Vallado, an area inhabited by people with scant resources.” Program to boost the GAULAS Extortion is one of the largest scourges in Colombian society. This crime is liable to spread due to the post-conflict situation. Dissident guerrillas may resort to extortion as a source of financing. “The great challenge is working with greater efficacy in order to counter organizations and people involved in extortion,” Gen. Rodríguez acknowledged. “We’ve lowered the rates of this crime but the goal is to get it down to zero.”. The military is working a program to boost the 30 Unified Action Groups for Personal Liberty (GAULAS, per their Spanish acronym). These groups are located at strategic points throughout Colombia, plus two elite GAULAS that the high command has activated to address special situations when any zone is beset by specific extortion activities. “The result of Operation Sicilia is its clear demonstration that our interagency work is yielding excellent results in countering extortion and kidnapping,” Gen. Rodríguez added. “All of this institutional effort has averted the payment of sums calculated at $2.5 million so far in 2017. Our capabilities are now better structured and have greater reach. Sicilia is an example of that.”last_img read more

Mr. John Osborn Archer

first_imgMr. John Osborn Archer, age 81, of Moorefield, Indiana, entered this life on April 27, 1937, in Switzerland County, Indiana, the loving son of the late, John Kendric and Elberta Mae (Osborn) Archer. He was raised in Moorefield, Indiana and attended the St. Mary’s School in Moorefield where John and Mary currently reside. He was a 1955 graduate of the Vevay High School where he participated in the drama club, choir, basketball, cross country and baseball and was a member of the 1955 sectional championship team. John was united in marriage on June 29, 1956, at the Caledonia United Presbyterian Church in Caledonia, Indiana, to Mary Leo Lewis and to this union arrived three sons, John Michael, Mark Curtis and Alan Jay to bless their home. John and Mary shared nearly 62 loving years of marriage together until his death. John and Mary with the help of Julian and Louise Hartman began “The 129ers” 4-H Club, which was an all boys club in the Moorefield and Pleasant area. He was employed for the company that built Kocolene Stations in Greensburg, Indiana, US Shoe Factory in Vevay, Indiana, for several years and for Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana, for two years. John enjoyed farming the dairy farm with his father. They raised tobacco and corn and later drove for the amish. John worked for Jam Construction with his son, Mike for several years. John served on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors for two terms, coordinated the Switzerland County Horse Pull for its duration and served as the Director of the Blue Ribbon Championship Horse Pull at the Indiana State Fair for more than 40 years. John also assisted with maintenance and lawn care at the Switzerland County 4-H Fairgrounds for many years. John was awarded Mr. Switzerland County 4-H in 2015. John supported the grandchildren as 10 year 4-Hers and watched the first of 12-great-grandchildren compete. The Archer Farm which was established by John’s grandfather and has been in the family for six generations was recently awarded the Hoosier Homestead Award. John was a District FFA Officer and was a member of the Switzerland County Saddle Club, Indiana Horse Pullers Association, Southern Draft Horse Association, FHA Board of Directors and the Caledonia United Presbyterian Church. John enjoyed judging at the Indiana State Fair for the horse pull. John also enjoyed a good card game, spending time with his grandkids and his family, camping and visiting neighboring states for a horse pull. John passed away at 6:20 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, 2018, at the Swiss Villa Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Vevay, Indiana.John will be deeply missed by his wife, Mary Leo (Lewis) Archer of Moorefield, IN; his sons, John Michael Archer and his wife: Deb of Moorefield, IN, Mark Curtis Archer of Moorefield, IN and Alan Jay Archer and his companion: Carlyn Wilburn of Moorefield, IN; his grandchildren, Josh Archer and his wife: Kendra, Adam Archer and his wife: Carly, Kodi McAlister and her husband: Dan, Jessica Whitham and her husband: Chris, Trisha Archer and Kaleesa Archer; his great-grandchildren, Halle Archer, Braydon Archer, Lainie McAlister, Zoe Whitham, Hudson Archer, Bryson Archer, Adalyn Archer, Poppy Archer, Landen McAlister, Lynleigh McAlister, Beckham Archer, Jett Archer and Asher Whitham; his sister, Gayla Smith of Piqua, OH; his brother, Kenneth Ray Archer and his wife: Di of Bedford, IN and his several nieces and nephews.He was preceded in death by his parents, John Kendric Archer, died April 24, 1982 and Elberta Mae (Osborn) Archer, died June 6, 1999; his grandson, Derek Alan Archer, died July 19, 2017; his niece, Deb Gebeaur; his great-niece, Robyn Gebeaur and his brother-in-law, Harold Smith.Funeral services will be conducted Monday, May 7, 2018, at 10:00 am, by Pastor KC Banta at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Interment will follow in the Caledonia Cemetery, Moorefield, Indiana. Friends may call 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Sunday, May 6, 2018, at the Haskell & Morrison Funeral Home, 208 Ferry Street Vevay, Indiana 47043. Memorial contributions may be made to Caledonia Cemetery Fund, Switzerland County FFA or Charity of the Donor’s Choice. Cards are available at the funeral home.last_img read more