Whites riot over pumpkins in NH and Twitter turns it into epic lesson about Ferguson

Police were forced to descend on Keene, New Hampshire Saturday night after students and outside agitators turned the city’s 24th annual Pumpkin Festival into “a destination for destructive and raucous behavior.”
Those words — spoken by Keene State College President Anne Huot to CNN — only begin to describe the scene, which led to dozens of arrests and hospitalizations.
One rioter, Steven French, told the Keene Sentinel that he traveled from Haverhill, Massachusetts to attend the festival because he knew it would be “f*cking wicked.”
“It’s just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops,” he continued. “It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”
The police viewed the behavior of French and his cohorts less favorably, barricading streets and firing tear gas into crowds in an effort to disperse them.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, users marveled at how different the police response to these unruly young adults was to another recent event:


Gag: Interview Magazine x Shia LaBeouf

Interview Magazine Photo Shoot Reveals Annoying Douche Shia LaBeouf Is Actually A Hottie

shia labeouf

News Break: You Can Now Go to College in Germany for Free, No Matter Where You’re From

By Rebecca Schuman

Last week, Lower Saxony made itself the final state in Germany to do away with any public university tuition whatsoever. You read that right. As of now, all state-run universities in the Federal Republic—legendary institutions that put the Bildung inBildungsroman, like the Universität Heidelberg, the Universität München, or theHumboldt-Universität zu Berlin—cost exactly nichts. (By the way, they weren’t exactly breaking the bank before, with semester fees of about EUR 500, or $630, which is often less than an American student spends on books—but even that amount was considered “unjust” by Hamburg senator Dorothee Stapelfeldt.)

Well, you might be thinking, isn’t that just wunderbar for the damn Germans, with their excellent supermarket commercials and their spectacular beach nudity and their pragmatically dressed Chancellor. Now with their free college they’re just showing off. Well, here’s the kicker: Germany didn’t just abolish tuition for Germans. The tuition ban goes for international students, too. You heard me right, parents of Amerika: You want a real higher-education bargain? Get your kids to learn German and then pack them off to theVaterland.
Of course, while it is both uplifting and jealousy-provoking to see our Teutonic friends put so much public investment into higher education—while we do just the opposite—there are important reasons that German universities have been either inexpensive or free for their entire existence. The German university experience isn’tworse than the American one, but there are vital cultural and infrastructural differences between our systems that bargain-hungry students (and their parents) might want to consider before bidding Auf Wiedersehen to Big State U.
First of all, the concept of “campus life” differs widely between our two countries. German universities consist almost entirely of classroom buildings and libraries—no palatial gyms with rock walls and water parks; no team sports facilities (unless you count the fencing fraternities I will never understand); no billion-dollar student unions with flat-screen TVs and first-run movie theaters. And forget the resort-style dormitories. What few dorms exist are minimalistic, to put it kindly—but that’s largely irrelevant anyway, as many German students still live at home with their parents, or in independent apartment shares, none of which foster the kind of insular, summer-camp-esque experience Americans associate closely with college life (and its hefty price tag). It’s quite common for German students simply to commute in for class, then leave.
Speaking of class: Academic life is quite a bit different over there. German students are typically accepted into particular majors—none of this “expanding your horizons” and declaring halfway through your junior year. You apply to college in Germany to study law, medicine, literature, engineering, etc.—and you take that program’s requirements, the end.
There is also little in the way academic advising, which in the U.S. is now so hands-on that it has become its own cottage industry within the administration. Over there, you’re expected to know what you need to take, and to take it. And by “take” I mean something markedly different than American students might expect. For example, a freshman-level literature class in the United States might have 25 students registered, and a professor who is expected to know all of them by face and name by, say, week two—not to mention grade an entire semester’s worth of assignments. A similar lower-level Vorlesung (lecture) in Germany might have an ever-changing coterie of 200 or so students, who show up when it suits them. (Yes, that includes milling into and out of the lecture hall at any point during the advertised class period.) Even in more intensive upper-level courses, students are often allowed to forego official registration until the end of the semester, when they elect to sit the sole exam or turn in the lone seminar paper. (Or not!)
Again, this system is not worse than the American one, it’s just different. But it is these differences, coupled with Germany’shigher tax investment in all things public, that account for a massive disparity in what students must pay. The tuition might be free, but if you are not a highly self-motivated learner who is fully fluent in German (with a social life based somewhere other than campus), you may still pay the price.
Still, there are plenty of mature, autonomous, self-motivated learners in our country who can’t afford college (and no, MOOCs don’t help, since they don’t offer credit unless you pay one of the universities that affiliate with them). Don’t we owe these ideal students a prestigious public option they can actually afford? Would it ever be feasible for us to adopt some German-style reform in just a few of our public institutions? I’m not saying demolish the lazy rivers (calm down, dudebros!). But what if our flagships could offer a different, deeply discounted “package” for commuter students who simply don’t want all those stupid amenities? I’m not even saying it should be free—this isn’t and will never be the socialized idyll/hellhole (depending on your point of view) that is the Federal Republic. But maybe, just maybe, we should find a way to make public education here a better bargain than round-trip airfare to Munich.

Trans Woman Brutally Beaten in Bushwick

BY ANDY HUMM | A 28-year-old trans woman was beaten by four men on a Bushwick street at about 11:20 p.m. on October 12, according to the New York City Police Department.
The incident, which police say occurred outside of 1250 Bushwick Avenue near Halsey Street and involved the perpetrators making “anti-gay statements,” is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
The woman, whose name has not been released, was a client of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth. Kate Barnhart, the group’s executive director, said the victim was walking with a gay friend when the men approached them “and asked what they were doing in the neighborhood.”
Second anti-LGBT attack in the Brooklyn neighborhood in recent weeks
Barnhart added, “When they figured out from her voice that she was transgender, they starting calling her a ‘faggot’ and beating her with a 2 X 4.”
Media reports have cited NYPD sources describing the weapon as a plexiglass board.
The victim’s friend was able to escape without injury, Barnhart said. According to Barnhart, a bystander captured cell phone video of the incident and police have surveillance video as well as the weapon used in the attack.
“She is listed in stable condition,” Barnart said of the victim, “but it is not clear if she will have permanent brain damage.” According to the NYPD, the victim was “transported to Elmhurst Hospital in critical condition.”
Barnhart added, “It is outrageous that transgender people are still not safe in what is supposed to be the safest LGBT city in the world.”
Advocates are planning a rally this evening, October 14, at 7 p.m. at the site of the assault. The Halsey Street stop on the J train is the most convenient transit station for 1250 Bushwick Avenue.
The October 12 attack was at least the second anti-LGBT bias incident in recent weeks in Bushwick. Three men have been charged in connection with the shooting of a 22-year-old man on September 27 at about 7 a.m. on Broadway near Putnam Avenue.
According to media reports as well as information from the Kings County District Attorney’s Office and the New York City Anti-Violence Project, the victim identifies as a gay man and was, with several friends, dressed in feminine clothing when they were approached by three men who yelled slurs including “faggots” and “tranny.” When the victim and his friends tried to leave, the victim was shot in the buttocks. After treatment at Brookdale Hospital, he was released.
Police charged 21-year-old Matthew Smith with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, and menacing, all as hate crimes. Cody Sigue, 22, and Tavon Johnson, 17, were charged with menacing and aggravated harassment, both as hate crimes.
While one media source identified the victim by name, at this point Gay City News is not doing so. –– Additional reporting by Paul Schindler

To Raise, Love, and Lose a Black Child

Last Friday, I called Jordan Davis's mother Lucia McBath. It's been almost two years since her son was murdered by a man who took offense to his music. The murderer was Michael Dunn. After shooting the boy, Dunn drove to a motel with his girlfriend. He ordered pizza. He mixed a few cocktails. Then, the next day, he turned himself in and claimed that he was defending himself against a shotgun-wielding Davis. No shotgun was ever found. In his first trial, Dunn was convicted of attempted murder, for shooting—unjustifiably—at Davis's friends. He was not convicted of murdering Jordan Davis after the jury deadlocked. The state of Florida retried the case, and this time convicted Dunn of first-degree murder.
McBath and I had talked twice before and each time I'd found her to be a woman of direct and open feeling. The first time we talked she cried as she recounted the life of her lost son. The second time she stood before my son and insisted that he mattered, though all the powers of the world might tell him different. With wild theories of phantom shotguns now banished, I wanted to know how McBath felt and how she was filling the yawning space left by her departed son.

"I guess I'm speechless," she said. "Excited. Happy. It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted. But I definitely am waffling back and forth. I was elated about justice for Jordan, but I would prefer to have him here, thriving and growing. I wish that was my reality, but in light of everything this is the best I can get."
She told me that she'd taken the energy that she'd once put into child-rearing and given herself over to activism. She has set up a scholarship fund in her son's name. She is working with President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative.
"I've been working with them because my heart is for our people," she said, speaking of My Brother's Keeper. "My heart is for everyone, but I know that there is a lot of work that has to be done for my own people."

McBath spoke about the need to inculcate our young with certain values and morals. But I knew that she had taught those same values and morals to her son. And they had not saved him.
"It's very difficult to know that it doesn't matter what morals you instill in your children," she said. "That there are certain people who will never see the value and known who they are."

Davis hailed from the striving class of America. He grew up with all the comforts and possibilities that black people associate with Atlanta, where he was raised, and which Americans at large associate with middle-class life. And yet African Americans raised in such circumstances understand that in so many ways they are not that far removed from the block. Many of them are just a generation away, and they still have cousins, brothers, and uncles struggling. Their country cannot see this complexity, and thinks of the entire mass as the undeserving poor—which is to say, in the language of our country, criminal.
"For these people, The Cosby Show was just amusement," McBath said. "They don't know that in the black community the Cosbys exist. They don't know that we educate our children, we train up our children, we have fathers, nurturing, and supporting. We have that. But that's the America that a lot of people don't know exists, and they don't know because they don't want to see it."

But American blindness had not dissuaded her, and when I asked about the path forward she spoke mostly (like the president she supports) of communal self-improvement. "We've become apathetic and comfortable, thinking we have arrived," she said. "A lot of us know we have an African-American president, but they don't know how he got there. They don't know what our forefathers did to get him there. And you can't fault our children. Shame on us, the parents. Shame on us."

In this I heard the essential problem of 21st-century black philosophy. Black people are a minority in the country they built. The legacy of that building has remanded them to the basement of America. There are only two conscious ways to escape the basement: (1) Appeal to the magnanimity of white people. (2) Become super-human. The first option is degrading and demoralizing, in that concedes the possibility of not being human. Whatever can be said of the nonviolent protests of the '60s, they rejected a right that Americans cherish in all their myths and histories: the right of self-defense. The appeal essentially says, "We will be human when you allow it."

The second option—being twice as good—is impossible as a reality. And, to paraphrase Michelle Alexander, this is not because there is something wrong or special about black people, but because we are, like everyone else, ultimately human. Indeed, the notion that 40 million people will prove themselves "twice as good" as some other million is the opposite of humanism. Perhaps "twice as good" works as a kind of religion—a personal inspiration for those of us who cannot bring themselves to say, "We will be human when they allow it."

The unspoken option is guns. But this is not really an option at all—and not merely because it is impractical. Black people are Americans, one of the oldest classes of Americans. It is crucial to understand this. We are not seeking integration into someone else's burning house. We built the house. It belongs to us as much as it belongs to anyone. And I think we will no more destroy our own American home than we would shoot down our own American children. Perhaps that isn't even the 21st-century problem. Perhaps it's the problem of a minority. But something happens to the black person who realizes that his fundamental political condition consists of navigating between a suite of bad choices.

And white people know this. And white people want no part of this. The day I talked to Lucia McBath, I read a story about a white couple suing over "wrongful birth." The "wrongful birth" came about because one of the mothers was mistakenly artificially inseminated by a black man. The mothers claimed that their desire was to "find a donor with genetic traits similar to them." There are all sorts of genetic traits influencing everything from height to weight to eye-color to predilections to certain diseases. But the traits that the couple wanted were those that firmly would place their child under the protective dome of white America.
Instead the parents (Jennifer and Amanda) got a black girl (Payton) who belongs to an outlaw class. One need not doubt the mothers' claims of love to understand what is happening here:
Jennifer bonded with Payton easily, and she and Amanda loved her very much .... Even so, Jennifer lives each day with fears, anxieties and uncertainty about her future and Payton's future .... One of Jennifer's biggest fears is the life experiences Payton will undergo, not only in her all-white community, but in her all-white, and often unconsciously insensitive family .... Jennifer's stress and anxiety intensifies when she envisions Payton entering an all-white school .... Jennifer is well aware of the child psychology research and literature correlating intolerance and racism with reduced academic and psychological well-being.
This scenario is almost indistinguishable from any black parent forced to confront the future of their child in this country. The heart of the problem is that the mother's child has been kicked out the dome and thrown into the wiles where—like all of us—her child stands a not-insignificant chance of becoming Jordan Davis.

And this was the summer of Jordan Davises, the summer of bodies when every day, a black parent could log on to the Internet and see the bodies of black people choked into oblivionbeaten on the side of the roadstalked and raped,tased for straying too longpistol-whipped for running too fastshot down for mental illnessshot down for cos-play, shot down for allegedly ignoring orders,shot down for too quickly obeying orders.
"I’m still watching," McBath told me. "It might be a different circumstance, but it all brings back to my mind what happened with Jordan. This is what certain individuals believe about black people. Our forefathers have spent a lot effort trying to get rid of these prejudicial ideas."

I asked her about Trayvon Martin. And she told me again that Jordan had been horrified by Martin's shooting. "Jordan kept saying, 'Mom, that could have been me. Mom, that could have been me.' We talked at length," she said. "He said, 'He didn't even do anything wrong.' And I told him, 'Jordan, you don’t have to be doing anything wrong. You are a young black male and they are certain people who will never give you respect.'"

News break: Furious students burn Mexican govt. building in protest over police corruption

Hundreds of residents in a southern-Mexican city smashed up the state capital building in a furious protest over the continued lack of information about 43 local college students, believed to have been abducted by corrupt police.
The local police are allegedly working with a powerful drug cartel and it’s feared that 10 newly discovered mass graves may contain the bodies of the students taken on September 26. “Up to 20” charred remains were discovered on Saturday.
As an investigation is underway, 26 police officers have so far been arrested, a number of which admitted to working with the Guerreros Unidos – an infamous drug cartel. Arrest warrants have also been issued for the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Albarca, his wife and his security chief, but they have gone into hiding.
The building in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, was seen from a distance, engulfed in flames.
According to local authorities, the crowds included hundreds of students and teachers from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college, who blockaded the building and used sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails to attack it.
They initially tried to get into the state congress, but police in riot gear repelled the crowd.
This comes more than two weeks after a serious incident in Iguala, also in Guerrero state, involving the shooting of six students by police during a rally in support of rural teachers’ rights. The law enforcers opened fire on a bus carrying protesters and arrested dozens of students, who have not been seen since.
The situation touches on a problem that’s been plaguing Mexico for a long time – police corruption and rampant organized crime by ruthless cartels.
Firefighters attemp to extinguish a fire at the Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state after students set it on fire on October 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez)
Firefighters attemp to extinguish a fire at the Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state after students set it on fire on October 13, 2014.(AFP Photo / Yuri Cortez)

Monday’s events come after a case of mistaken identity, during which the police shot and wounded German student Kim Fritz Keiser of the Monterey Institute of Technology, according to state authorities.
Keiser was travelling with her other foreign classmates in a van from Acapulco, which passes through Chilpancingo. At the time, the police were involved in another, unrelated confrontation with kidnappers, and erroneously assumed the people in the van had some sort of connection with the kidnapping. The state prosecutor’s office told AP that, as the officers tried to pull the van over, some crackling sound resembling a gunshot was heard from inside the vehicle. The police shot back, wounding the student.
Fearing that it was a case of armed men kidnapping students, the driver of the van refused to stop and drove away from the scene.
The officers involved in the incident have been detained and their weapons are being examined, authorities say.
Warnings have been issued by US authorities in the past to avoid the northwestern part of the state of Guerrero, because of frequent violence occurring in places like Iguala.