Thursday, December 8, 2016

Arizona State University

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carry guns

After Obama’s 2013 executive order authorizing the study of “causes and consequences of gun violence” the National Institutes of Health has released $288,529 to Arizona State University to conduct a study.

However, the study is restricted only to research of young “urban” males, which they later explain is limited to “minority” males and their reasoning for carrying firearms.

The grant title, “Psychological and socio-contextual factors in gun carrying and firearms violence” came with the following description, which appears to draw its own conclusions:

Murder is the second leading cause of death among young males in the US, with most of these killings resulting from gun violence in urban minority communities. Policy and behavioral interventions to address this problem have been largely ineffective. Existing research on this issue has been almost exclusively cross- sectional, meaning that many of the factors linked to gun carrying and use (i.e., as part of an antisocial lifestyle, for self-protection, or as a product of social influence) may or may not be influential.A 2013 Presidential Memorandum provided an opportunity to conduct NIH-funded research on the causes and consequences of gun violence in urban males (PA-13-363); research previously banned by Congress. This is a response to that call for innovative research to address this issue. Longitudinal studies would provide more valid information than currently available about the purported factors related to gun carrying and use. These would, however, be lengthy and costly. The proposed project uses two of the most comprehensive longitudinal studies of males ever conducted to examine the mechanisms related to gun carrying and use in urban males from adolescence to young adulthood. Complementary analyses, using comparable measures, will be conducted with a high-risk community sample (i.e., Pittsburgh Youth Study; N=1,009) and a sample of serious juvenile offenders (i.e., Pathways to Desistance study; N=1,107). Together, these studies have information on gun carrying/use as well as theoretically relevant factors related to these behaviors (e.g., drug dealing, victimization) measured at least annually from ~ages 10 to 25. Both have a substantial proportion of youth who have carried guns and shot at others. This is a unique opportunity to do theoretically, programmatically, and policy relevant research on a pressing social problem. Applying state-of-the-art longitudinal approaches, this study will a) use intra-individual analyses to delineate the inter-related effects between individual psychological and socio-contextual variables across development, focusing on factors implicated in the current theoretical formulations regarding gun carrying and use (e.g., psychopathy, gang membership), b) examine the bidirectional effects (i.e., variables as both a cause and a consequence) of gun carrying/use and victimization and attitudes toward violence, c) identify the factors related to the transition from gun carrying to gun use, and d) examine whether certain factors (e.g., drug dealing) are more influential for gun carrying/use among minority vs. White males and whether any racial/ethnic differences are attributable to a disproportionate exposure to specific risk factors (e.g., neighborhood crime). This proposed project is a unique, cost effective opportunity to move research on gun violence forward substantially. It enriches theory about the processes of gun carrying/use, and informs interventions to make them more effective. It will identify what specific risk factors should be targeted, to whom certain types of interventions are most relevant, and the developmental point when specific interventions are most salient.

The study is clearly aimed at those young black makes who illegally carry, despite gun laws such in Chicago that are the most restrictive in the nation despite the highest crime rate.

How young black males obtain firearms as they pretend to be gangsters is not a focus of the study, rather a touchy, feely, “how do we intervene” and get them to stop wanting firearms.

The government could have saved nearly $300k of taxpayer’s hard earned dollars by realizing that in areas where violent crime is most prevalent (Chicago and D.C.) is also where citizens are not permitted to own firearms.

The correlation to race has nothing to do with a desire to own a firearm.

Personal protection, regardless of a criminal/legal occupation is a necessity . . . and only criminals own firearms where none are permitted. Those who illegally carry in a virtual “gun free zone” wield significantly more personal power and the equivalent social standing. I.e., it’s cool.

The government can make it “uncool” by honoring the Second Amendment.

There you go.

[Note to the National Institutes for Health: please remit a check for $288,529 through the address on our contact page.]

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Citation-needed

An Arizona State University (ASU) black history professor who “authored” a book on black history and landed a $268,800 consulting contract to bring “cultural consciousness training” to the Phoenix police department, has been exposed as a plagiarist by his academic peers who accused him of “borrowing’ heavily from Wikipedia, other websites like Infoplease and published books by other authors.

The finding, which was reported by the Daily Caller News Foundation, said that despite the evidence, Professor Matthew Whitaker will face nominal “slap on the wrist” punishment for academic dishonesty.

His title will change from professor to associate professor, his salary will be reduced $10,000 to $153,800 and he will be forced to accept a co-director at the university’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy – a department he founded as a professor.

The scandal did not hit critical mass until this past week when complaints from Whitaker’s fellow academics and an anonymous blog forced the school to investigate one of his textbooks, “Peace Be Still: Modern Black America From World War II to Barack Obama”.

Upon inspection, the university discovered “significant issues” with the book including passages from other books and websites like Infoplease.

The website Inside Higher Ed compared passages in Whitaker’s book to uncited outside sources when accusations surfaced is 2014 including this from the Infoplease website:

“Fueled by ‘angry white men,’ a backlash against affirmative action began to mount. To conservatives, the system was a zero-sum game that opened the door for jobs, promotions, or education to minorities while it shut the door on whites.

In a country that prized the values of self-reliance and pulling oneself up by one’s bootstraps, conservatives resented the idea that some unqualified minorities were getting a free ride on the American system.

‘Preferential treatment’ and ‘quotas’ became expressions of contempt. Even more contentious was the accusation that some minorities enjoyed playing the role of professional victim.”

Compare this with an uncredited passage in Whitaker’s book, “Peace Be Still”:

“Fueled by ‘angry white men’ as well as by white women, an all-out battle for the life of the policy emerged. For Conservatives, the system was a zero-sum game that opened the door for jobs, promotions, or education to people of color while it shut the door on whites.

In a nation that has celebrated the values of independence and ‘pulling oneself up by one bootstraps,’ conservatives soon argued that ‘unqualified’ racial minorities were getting a ‘free ride’ in American schools and in the workplace because of affirmative action policies.

They referred to affirmative action incorrectly and contemptuously as a system of ‘preferential treatment’ and ‘quotas.’ Some even claimed that many people of color enjoyed playing the role of ‘professional victim’ to exploit the policy for their own benefit.”

Examples like these and other major problems with Whitaker’s book would have led to the suspension or academic dismissal of a student.

The biggest financial hit Whitaker will take won’t be the reduction in rank and salary as a professor but rather the loss of a consulting contract worth nearly $300,009 that he landed with the city of Phoenix to give police officers “cultural consciousness training”.

Sensing a greater scandal with greater consequences, Whitaker withdrew the contract after the city’s police department expressed concerns that the professor could credibly teach police on how to improve “trust, accountability and mutual respect” on the job.

Despite the substantial evidence against him, Whitaker blamed the attacks on racism within ASU ranks.

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