Newsroom round up 1/31

Local News

JMU’s “Holocaust-Centered” program is distasteful and non-inclusive.

Two-dozen Jewish faculty, faculty emeriti, and staff from JMU intended to boycott “Holocaust-centered” lectures, according to an article published on January 26, 2023, by The Breeze. The event lacked support from the Jewish community as well as several others. The event, which we supposed to be a Holocaust commemoration, turned more into a lecture on the Holocaust and its history. According to an article by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, described how the event had been planned with little to no input from Jewish faculty and staff members, and that three Jewish faculty members who were added to the planning committee late in the process, all resigned.  

This is not a good reflection on JMU and its commitment to diversity and inclusion. The board released a statement in 2016 renewing their commitment to diversity stating: “We believe that a deliberate inclusion of diverse points of view and lived experiences enhance learning and understanding for all members of our Human Community.”  By not valuing the lived experiences of Jewish faculty and staff members, this lecture directly went against JMU’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The words “inclusion of diverse points of view and lived experiences” give JMU a mission to properly represent the communities they teach about. This lecture should have had the opportunity to include real lived experiences, but instead highlighted the complete ignorance of the JMU promise of diversity and inclusion. 

National News

“Everything Everywhere All at Once” received a Best Picture Nomination at the Oscars and four actor nominations, gathering the most Oscar nominations this year.

With a very high rating of 95% on rotten tomatoes, it is no surprise that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” received eleven Oscar nominations. The film is centered on Chinese-American immigrant Evelyn Wang, played by Michelle Yeoh, who received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (and is rumored to be a frontrunner for winning). While being audited by the IRS, Wang discovers that she must connect with all versions of herself in different parallel universes to save the universe from a powerful multi-dimensional being.” To be an immigrant is to live in a fractured multiverse, one riven with geographic, temporal and psychical dissonances,” says the Washington Post. 

The film has pushed boundaries in continuing to increase proper Asian Representation in Hollywood. According to the Washington Post, this is a deeply Asian-America Film, centering on the different lives an immigrant could lead; including a businesswoman, kung fu master, gifted mind-traveler, and a woman with hot dog fingers, all real personas Wang took on in her exploration of the multiverse. As violence against Asians has continued to rise in the United States, it is important that we see a non-stereotypical representation of Adia Americans in films. In Hollywood, many movies are centered on white cis-gender men and women, and the representation of POCs will look more stereotypical than actual lived experience. In this film, we see an Asian woman portrayed as an action hero not bound by stereotypes, but still recognizing the immigrant Asian American experience. Michelle Yeoh wonderfully took on the lead role in “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and her performance was recognized by the Academy, opening the door to increased diversity in Academy nominations in Hollywood. 

Global News

Beyonce performed at a private concert in Dubai and was paid $24 million dollars.

On Saturday, Beyoncé headlined the launch of the ritzy ‘Atlantis the Royal hotel in Dubai, where the songstress is reported to have pocketed $24 million for the hour-long set, according to Forbes, making her one of the highest earners in the lucrative world of exclusive events. The backlash against Beyoncé and her Dubai concert spread across the internet where pictures and videos were shared from her performance, even though they were strictly prohibited. The backlash against Beyoncé and her profiting off a capitalist world brought up many questions including the major one, would Beyonce have received this kind of widespread backlash if she were a cis-white man? 

Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade, made explicit comments about black womanhood and communities in American culture with ideas against racist and patriarchal narratives. To go directly against the normative ideas in American culture, led to widespread backlash on Twitter with many white republican men boycotting her album. These are the same men who also support Aaron Roddgers, Greenbay Packers Quarterback who makes $50.3 million per year playing football according to Insider.  This goes to show the hypocrisy against black women in higher-paid fields. Widespread backlash does not happen against Aaron Rodgers because of his race and gender, but when Beyoncé, a black woman, makes huge sums of money, she does receive widespread backlash. Even if huge sums of wealth can be considered unethical on any front, why is it that Beyoncé receives backlash for her success, when her counterparts do not? 

Global News Continued

The constant fight for women’s rights in Afghanistan and the Middle East is still going on.

Recently, on January 25th, the UN chief spoke out about the harms of women’s rights being erased by Taliban leaders. Taliban leaders said they would restore “women’s rights in due time,” but no timeline has been set according to the United Nations News Desk. Taliban leaders have prohibited the teachings of medical fields to women in Afghanistan, removing women from the workplace, and restricting education to women. Human Rights activists, including Amina J Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, have committed themselves to “find a way forward for women and girls to be seen and their human rights respected,” said Ms. Mohammed on Twitter

The UN delegation has been having delegated meetings about the Taliban structure of increasing women’s rights, but have only found “red flags” and the complete loss of all rights for women and children. Every day, delegates are trying to find a way to protect women and children in Taliban-ruled nations, but the fight doesn’t stop there. We must speak and bring power to women all over the world to fight for equal human rights around the globe, not just in the USA. With more speaking of what is happening internationally, a better chance of international support for these women and children.

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