THE BROWN DAILY HERALD THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
VOLUME CLI, ISSUE 115
Laughing Gorilla fills Kitchen’s void Joseph ’04 lectures on race, Brazilian migration to U.S.
Restaurant temporarily rents out breakfast joint, serves ‘global street food’ for lunch, dinner
Alum describes perspectives of migrants, perceptions of race in transnational context
By ROLAND HIGH SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Federal Hill’s Kitchen is known for being a small breakfast restaurant with a big line of people outside, serving classic American fare and extrathick slabs of bacon. But at the end of August, Howard Crofts, the one-man owner, chef and server, decided to take a six-month break for his health. Meanwhile, the owners of Laughing Gorilla, a new catering company that launched this spring working both festivals and private events, were looking to put down roots. They found out about the vacancy at Kitchen sometime in September, said co-owner and business manager Leigh Vincola, and they quickly reached a deal with Crofts to run their own restaurant in the space until he was ready to come back. Vincola is grateful for the opportunity. “A permanent brick-and-mortar spot has always been the goal,” she said. “So this allows us to test the water and see how things are going.”
By BELLA ROBERTS STAFF WRITER
ARTS & CULTURE
COURTESY OF LAUGHING GORILLA
While Kitchen’s owner takes time off, Laughing Gorilla has moved in. Vincola’s co-owners are Jason Timothy, the catering company’s chef, and Sean Larkin, an award-winning brewer in charge of beverages. Together, they create what Vincola calls “global street food,” an international mix of flavors that is down-to-earth, hearty and delicious. Laughing Gorilla is taking advantage of the pop-up structure by playing
with different menus, Vincola said. In any culinary setting, Timothy “likes to keep things different and keep things moving,” she added. Some of the flavors featured on the menu stem from personal influences. Timothy, her partner, is half-Jamaican and draws from jerk flavors in his » See RESTAURANT, page 3
Tiffany Joseph ’04, assistant professor of sociology at Stony Brook University and author of “Race on the Move,” gave a lecture titled Race, Migration and the Transnational Racial Optic Wednesday in the Joukowsky Forum of the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. The lecture was hosted by the Watson Institute and co-sponsored by the Department of Africana Studies. In the lecture, Joseph discussed the premise of her book, which addresses contrasts between racial prejudices and perceptions of them in Brazil and the United States, as well as research that went into producing the book. “This year, the key topic has been equality and social inclusion,” said James Green, director of the Brazil Initiative and professor of modern Latin American history and Portuguese and Brazilian studies, when introducing Joseph. Joseph’s research centered on this topic. She interviewed migrants from
Brazil to the United States to gather their perspectives on racial equality. “The objective of my book was to compare race in Brazil and the U.S. through the lens of individuals who lived in both countries and to examine retrospective racial conceptions before, during and after the U.S. migration,” Joseph said. Joseph argues that migrants develop a “transnational racial optic,” which she defines in her book as “a lens which migrants use to observe, negotiate and interpret race by drawing simultaneously on transnationally formed racial conceptions from the host and home societies.” Joseph found that many of the migrants she interviewed developed a transnational racial optic by maintaining social, cultural, economic, political and familial ties to their home while in their host countries, mainly through the ease of technology. She addresses this further by exploring it through social psychological theory, which describes how migrants see the world through socially constructed lenses such as race and gender. Joseph also provided a brief history of Brazilian migration to the United States. It began informally in » See JOSEPH, page 2
UCS approves Low-Income Portu-Galo captures taste of Portugal Providence food truck Student Events Fund scene enriched by Council discusses U. support for DACA-status, undocumented students in wake of election By ROSE SHEEHAN SENIOR STAFF WRITER
The Undergraduate Council of Students passed the Low-Income Student Events Fund Implementation Resolution at its meeting Wednesday night. The resolution will make certain University events and activities accessible to students with an expected family contribution of less than $5,000. Emily Doglio ’17, who co-wrote the proposal that resulted in the creation of the First-Generation College and LowIncome Student Center, also spoke, and the council discussed University support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and undocumented students. The Low-Income Student Events Fund is a partnership between UCS, the Undergraduate Finance Board and Vernicia Elie, assistant dean for financial advising. The fund will initially consist of a UFB allocation of $5,000 per semester, said Viet Nguyen ’17, UCS
president. The fund will be put toward low-income student admission to sports events, off-campus parties, theater shows and ticketed Student Activities Office events held by student groups. “All these activities — … going to a show, going to school-sponsored events — are part of the college experience,” Nguyen added. “We want everyone to have equal access regardless of their financial background.” The fund should give each student who utilizes it access to up to five ticketed events per semester, Nguyen said. Students eligible for funding will receive a list of events by email and will be able to sign up for the events that interest them on a shared document up until a week in advance, he added. Elie will then contact individual student groups to ensure that the students who have indicated interest will be admitted to the upcoming events and activities of their choice, Nguyen said. “This is different from other models that have students bring a card to the show, and there’s a separate line,” he said, adding that this method clearly indicates what students are low income, which can be alienating for them. » See UCS, page 2
flavorful Portuguese sandwiches, ‘small bites’ By MADISON RIVLIN SENIOR STAFF WRITER
Offering up rich cultural ties and delicious “small bites,” sandwiches and street food, the food truck Portu-Galo succeeds in “bringing Portuguese flavor to the people” of Providence, as the company claims on its website. The vibrant black and neon-accented truck that frequents Waterman Street was first conceived in 2013 when owner Levi Medina graduated from Johnson and Wales University. “I always loved food and wanted to do something in the food industry. My hobby was cooking, and it’s always been my passion,” Medina said. While working for his family’s construction business, Medina noticed that 2013 had seen a surge in culinary innovation. “The food truck craze was getting big — not just in Providence but all over the
ARTS & CULTURE
COURTESY OF PORTU-GALO
Portu-Galo offers three takes on the Portuguese sandwich, the Bifana. country,” Medina said. “But there was no Portuguese food truck despite the huge Portuguese community here. I thought, ‘Let me give it a shot.’” With a cheaper startup cost than a brick-and-mortar business, Medina purchased and stocked a FedEx delivery truck, which serves as the “entirely mobile” business’ home base. Red hearts with blue and white dotted accents that speckle the truck refer to the legend of the “Rooster of Barcelos,” a popular Portuguese tale in which a man wrongfully convicted of stealing is freed after he correctly predicts that a dead rooster will crow. “The Galo de Barcelos is a really
popular Portuguese symbol. It’s a rooster tail, and we played off of that for the name of the truck and the decorations,” Medina said. Influenced by memories of the many childhood summers he spent visiting and eating with his family in Portugal, Medina began to craft the menu using authentic flavors and his own twists while maintaining the simplicity of food-truck cuisine. Medina chose to showcase the Bifana sandwich, a Portuguese staple. “Bifana for Portugal is like the hamburger for the United States. You can find it anywhere.” » See PORTU-GALO, page 3
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
ARTS & CULTURE Citizen Wing food truck wins Rhode Island Monthly award for best fried food
ARTS & CULTURE Curator Ruth Fine discusses new exhibition on African-American painter Norman Lewis
COMMENTARY Esemplare ’18: Progressives alienated working-class whites, cost Democrats election
COMMENTARY Flynn ’20: Instead of ignoring problematic histories, universities should hold selves accountable
59 / 43
51 / 37
PAGE 2 • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
SARA RUNKEL / HERALD
The Undergraduate Council of Students approved the Low-Income Student Events Fund Implementation Resolution. The resolution allocates $5,000 to be used by low-income students to attend approved events. The council also discussed the University’s support of DACA and undocumented students as Inauguration Day nears.
» UCS, from page 1 Students whose expected family contribution exceeds $5,000 can still apply for funding and have their applications evaluated by Elie, said Naveen Srinivasan ’19, chair of the student activities committee. The council set the cut off at $5,000 based on the expected number of students who will use the service. “As we move the cut-off higher, (the number of students eligible) exponentially grows,” Nguyen said. “If we raise it to $10,000, the funding would be too thin to help individual students.” But the council hopes to increase the fund and the range of activities that it covers in the future, Nguyen added. Going forward, “we hope to expand it to also cover dues for student activities,” Srinivasan said. “When we do institutionalize this, it should increase the
magnitude of funds available.” The remainder of the meeting was dominated by discussion of the FirstGeneration and Low-Income Student Center. Doglio, who co-wrote the proposal, also spoke at the meeting about the history of first-gen activism at the University. She said that the first 1vyG Conference, which was organized by Brown students and brought together first-generation students from different Ivy League institutions, created “buzz around campus — really a lot of excitement about exploring the first-generation identity more.” At the same time, Doglio joined a group of students who met weekly with deans to discuss the experiences and needs of first-generation students, she added. When the group of students “found that we didn’t have the autonomy that we wanted or the funding that we wanted,”
they formed the organization FirstGens@Brown, Doglio said. “We used that as a platform … to really advocate for the (First-Gen and Low-Income Student Center) … and all of the initiatives,” she added. Before 1vyG and the creation of FirstGens@Brown, “no one had talked about class issues at Brown, and when they did it was very hush-hush,” Nguyen said. The focus of the center is making “sure that the institutional resources are there to support students.” It also aims to add nuance to an identity that was previously simplified in order to secure a “support system and buy-in from the administration and the community,” Nguyen added. “Separating first-gen and low-income is one of the first steps because those are used interchangeably a lot of the time, but they’re not the same,” he said.
Nguyen also spoke about the University’s efforts to support DACA-status and undocumented students in recent weeks. “They’re bringing in the top immigration scholars to Brown to talk to undocumented students about giving them legal advice on how to navigate the uncertainty, not only for them but for their families — things like providing legal services (and) providing emotional support,” he said. While Columbia recently declared itself a sanctuary campus for undocumented students and aligned with DACA, President Christina Paxson P’19 wrote in an op-ed for The Herald that the University cannot be a sanctuary school. “A lot of fears that university presidents have right now is — if they make a bold statement, especially among elite institutions — how that will affect their undocumented students, their DACA
students,” Nguyen said. “They’re worried that doing certain actions will put a target on their back and put students in more jeopardy.” As a self-declared sanctuary campus, Columbia is not doing any more or less than Brown has already promised to do, said Tim Ittner ’18, UCS vice president. “A lot of the services and supports that the University will provide are exactly the same as what Columbia will be doing,” he added. “University presidents don’t want to promise something that they can’t deliver on,” Nguyen said. The council also passed the Fall Appointments Resolution of 2016, which assigns student candidates to empty seats on University committees, and the Student Group Constitution Resolution of 2016, which authorizes the existence of new student groups and re-categorizes existing student groups.
GUS REED / HERALD
Assistant Professor of Sociology at Stony Brook University Tiffany Joseph ’04 discussed perceptions of race in the United States and Brazil among migrants between the two countries in a talk Wednesday.
» JOSEPH, from page 1
Letters, please! email@example.com
the 1960s, accelerated in the 1980s and began to flag in 2008 but is now picking up again as a result of crises in Brazil. The research Joseph conducted may be pertinent beyond the scope of Brazil. “Even though I was focusing on Brazilian return migrants in the book, there are similar experiences among
other immigrants on the move, dealing with being a minority group and what that means in the U.S.,” Joseph said. The concluding chapter of her book touches on her experiences with race in a transnational context in relation to those of the people she interviewed. “I made the choice to leave the U.S. to come to a place where I was racialized very differently,” Joseph said. “I wasn’t classified as white or black because of my skin tone. People talked a lot about
phenotype rather than skin color. It made me think of the role of colorism in the U.S.” Joseph ended the lecture by addressing the future of immigration to the United States under the administration of President-Elect Donald Trump. “Under the Trump presidency, this is something to think about with immigrants in general but specifically Brazilian immigrants and who is allowed here,” Joseph said.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016 • PAGE 3
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Professor compares effectiveness of pain medications in study Researchers find NSAIDs just as effective as opioids, likelihood of use after six weeks higher for opioids
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Francesca Beaudoin investigated and compared the effectiveness of various opioid treatments and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, in a study accepted and made accessible online in the journal Pain earlier this month. Beaudoin and 10 co-authors analyzed a dataset with pain outcomes from 948 patients recorded after they had been injured in car accidents. The study found that the level of pain patients reported after the crash did not statistically differ based on which treatment the patient was prescribed. But those given opioid treatments were more likely to be using them six weeks later. The study emerged in part from Beaudoin’s work as an emergency room physician and the problems she sees “on a day-to-day basis, both in terms of pain management … and the problems surrounding opioids — specifically misuse, abuse, dependence (and) overdoses,” she said. Referring to opioids and NSAIDs, she said, “These two medicines that we prescribe most frequently are actually not that well studied and haven’t been compared yet for most conditions.” Specifically in regards to injuries sustained from car accidents, there is not yet sufficient research to indicate which treatment is best,
Beaudoin added. The study was conducted using an observational data set. The data set included pain outcomes of car accident patients six weeks, six months and one year after the original injury, though the initial aim of data collection was not to investigate pain medicines, Beaudoin said. There were many factors that led to the use of observational data and discouraged implementation of a randomized, controlled experiment, including logistical reasons — such as cost — as well as ethical issues. “There’s some ethical considerations when you’re studying pain and not giving people specific pain treatments,” Beaudoin said. Using an observational data set, the researchers had to account for various factors that influenced the decision at the provider level regarding which treatment to prescribe, Beaudoin said. “We know that age affects how people report pain, (and) age probably also influences if a doctor gives you an opioid or an NSAID.” Because the study’s goal was to compare the effectiveness of each drug independent of additional factors, the researchers worked to match cases that were as similar as possible. “Propensity score matching … tries to make all the characteristics between the opioid group and the NSAID group similar so that the only thing that’s different between the two groups on average is which treatment they got,” Beaudoin said. Ultimately, the researchers were able to match 284 cases directly. The study indicated that the difference in risk of moderate to severe pain six weeks after a car accident
» RESTAURANT, from page 1
» PORTU-GALO, from page 1
cooking, Vincola said. Her own Italian heritage has yet to make an appearance, she said. “We keep most of the pasta at home.” Laughing Gorilla is open for lunch and dinner, and each week’s menus are announced on Instagram and Facebook. At lunch, the restaurant serves several different sandwiches, including this week’s olive oil-poached tuna sandwich with baby kale, pickled shallots and lemon-caper mayonnaise on toast. “It’s not your run-of-the-mill sandwiches,” Vincola said. Laughing Gorilla announced Wednesday that it is now making lunchtime deliveries in partnership with DASH Bicycle Shop. Certain days of the week bring special offerings. Every Thursday, Laughing Gorilla hosts a “taco shop,” an afternoon of loud music and a selection of fish, chicken and beef tacos. “Fridays and Saturdays, (there) are a little more elevated dinner services” featuring multiple courses, she said. The menu for a recent weekend included pan-seared scallops with bacon and onion jam, monkfish in pesto, braised pork ribs and a chimichurri ribeye special. While Laughing Gorilla will continue serving elaborate lunches and dinners until Kitchen reopens, part of the agreement with Crofts was that it not serve breakfast, preserving a special niche for Kitchen until it returns.
Medina offers three takes on the pork loin Bifana sandwiches, all served atop a papo seco: the PortuGalo Bifana, the most popular sandwich with caramelized onions and garlic aioli; the Lisbon Bifana, with caramelized onions and mustard; and the St. Michael Bifana, with sliced cherry peppers, mixed greens with aioli and piri piri sauce. Medina’s creations have been well
By STEPHANIE ZHANG STAFF WRITER
ANITA SHEIH / HERALD
In a study published in the journal Pain, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine Francesca Beaudoin found pain levels for injured subjects did not differ between opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. between the two treatment types was not statistically significant. But patients prescribed opioids were 17.5 percent more likely to report continued use at week six. These results may prompt a reevaluation of current pain management practices, especially in the context of the opioid epidemic occurring across the country. “One of the problems is … not so much the opioid itself, but the fact that people are continuing to use the opioid. It’s pretty addictive,” said Roee Gutman, assistant professor of biostatistics. Gutman added that opioid addiction may in some cases contribute to other drug abuse issues. “Once the prescription for opioids has stopped, they might try to use heavier drugs,
which could lead to other issues.” The key to addressing this issue may lie in specializing usage of drugs to certain cases. “It might be better to reduce use of those drugs when they’re not really needed,” Gutman said. “Given the public health crisis with opioids … I think there’s a little bit of a push to figure out what is the most effective pain treatment and who is it most effective for,” Beaudoin said. “I don’t think that with this opioid problem we should throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Beaudoin also spoke about moving toward individualized medicine. “Some people benefit better from one treatment than the other. It’s not a one-size-fitsall approach,” she said. The study’s coauthors are currently conducting further
research on why opioids or NSAIDs are more effective, for which people and in which cases. While Beaudoin and Gutman both said they do not think this study alone is sufficient to change clinical practice or usage of opioid treatment, they hope that additional research will continue to add to our understanding of pain medication. “Myself and other authors are working to develop a clinical decision aid to determine who would benefit from which treatment — who should get NSAID and who should get opioid,” Beaudoin said. “You’d think that in 2016 we would know how to treat pain — but there’s not a standard approach to pain management,” Beaudoin said. “With pain, this is still really a work in progress.”
received since he first started selling food on Thayer Street, Charlesfield Street and elsewhere in East Providence. “Right from the first day people were all over Facebook and social media, writing about us,” Medina said. His own two favorite dishes are the Portu-Galo Bifana and the Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich, a grilled chicken breast served on a Portuguese massa roll with red onion, mesclun greens, garlic aioli and piri piri sauce. The
Piri Piri Chicken Sandwich is also a favorite of employee Kevin Teixeira, who began working with Medina two years ago. Since then, Teixeira has aided Medina in grappling with inclement weather conditions and parking difficulties. The two of them have catered numerous festivals and events including Day of Portugal — a three-day event celebrating the cultural richness of the Portuguese community — and a Portuguese block party in Bedford, Massachusetts,
Teixeira said. Teixeira has learned the ropes of the food-truck business under Medina’s tutelage. “I learned a lot working for (Medina) because I didn’t know how to cook before,” Teixeira said. Like Medina, Teixeira said he enjoys his time working in the food truck business. “Every day there’s a different location and a different environment, so you get to develop great relationships with the regulars, but you also get to meet new people every day.”
MARLON JAMES Booker Prize-winning author of
A Brief History of Seven Killings
Friday, 2 December 2016 at 5:30 pm 120 List Art Building, 64 College Street, Providence Sponsored by Literary Arts at Brown with support from the Brown Arts Initiative
ARTS & CULTURE PAGE 4 • THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
Local food truck voted best fried food in Rhode Island Citizen Wing offers beerbattered seasonal menu, prizes creativity, unique takes on classic dishes By JUSTIN FERENZI STAFF WRITER
Citizen Wing, a food truck serving the greater Providence community, received the “Best Fried Stuff ” award in the most recent issue of Rhode Island Monthly. The quirky vendor is known for its fried chicken wings, along with other staples such as po’ boy sandwiches, french fries and chicken and waffles. The company was started in spring 2014 under the direction of chef Nick Lefebvre and his business partner, Amy Lavoie. “The food truck and its menu sprung from my desire to do something different,” Lefebvre said. “There were no other fried chicken-centered food trucks out there at the time. We wanted to build a brand that would be fresh and viable years into the future.” After attending a community culinary school and working as a sous chef at Portafino’s in Warwick, Lefebvre enrolled at Johnson and Wales University. While working as a caterer, he came across the food truck that would later become Citizen Wing. The truck “was different from anything else I’d ever seen. We really built the brand around the truck,” Lefebvre said. Citizen Wing’s menu includes a core ensemble of fried food, along with rotating seasonal options. “We are constantly trying to do different things and explore our options. We tried to build a brand that could evolve over time while still keeping our core values,” Lefebvre said. The chicken and waffles, for example, is served with a scoop of cheddar cheese ice cream in lieu of the traditional pat of butter. “We get to bring variety to the
COURTESY OF CITIZEN WING
In this month’s edition of Rhode Island Monthly, Citizen Wing, a food truck based in Providence, was given the “Best Fried Stuff” award. Citizen Wing prides itself on creativity, updating the menu seasonally and battering much of its food in beer from a local brewery before frying it. streets. A lot of where we appear is at festivals with other food trucks, where people can pick and choose what they want from each truck,” Lavoie said. “We keep things interesting to stand out of the crowd.” The food truck batters much of its fried food with beer from Foolproof Brewery in Pawtucket, and it appears frequently at festivals hosted by the brewery.
For now, the company’s sole truck is manned by Lefebvre, Lavoie and hired hands, but Citizen Wing hopes to expand in the future. “Ultimately we hope to grow and see what the future brings us — maybe open up a restaurant at some point,” said Lavoie, who handles much of the company’s logistical operations such as ordering supplies and booking events. “If we ever had a restaurant, we
would have to be more balanced, but the food truck allows us to be more creative and do things like build an entire recipe around a fun ingredient,” Lefebvre said. In the short term, Citizen Wing hopes to expand the number of locations at which it can appear. Until recently, Providence regulations on mobile vendors made it difficult for food trucks like Citizen Wing to set up shop
in a lot of places, including around the Brown community. But recent changes to those laws opened a lot of doors for Citizen Wing. “We never know what to expect year by year,” Lavoie said. “We’re always rolling with the punches.” Still, the logistical difficulties do not bother Lefebvre all that much. “The best part, for me, is the creativity,” he said. “We’ve always been happy to be different.”
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016 • PAGE 5
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
re turn to brown
SATELLITE DINING ANDREWS COMMONS
Pizza: Na’cho Pizza, Spicy Five Cheese and Garlic, BBQ Bam Bam Make-Your-Own Pasta Station JOSIAH’S
Fire Roasted Vegetable, Chicken Artichoke Florentine
DINING HALLS SHARPE REFECTORY LUNCH
Falafel, Apricot Sesame Beef with Lo Mein Noodles, Chicken Vegetable Soup, Magic Bars
Sweet and Sour Pork, Romano Cheese and Dijon Breaded Chicken, Frosted Brownies
Chicken Mulligatawny Soup, Peanut Butter Sandwich Bar, Tortilla Casserole, Magic Bars
Swiss Steak, Stuffed Spinach Squash, Antipasto Bar, Basque Cake with Raspberry
ELI WHITE / HERALD
Boston University Professor Cornel Ban discussed his new book, “Ruling Ideas: How Global Neoliberalism Goes Local,” Wednesday. Ban served as deputy director of development studies at Brown until 2012.
Q U O T E O F T H E D AY
“The more I look at him, the more complicated and beautiful his work gets.” — Ruth Fine, curator of the Norman Lewis exhibit
See exhibit on BACK. CORRECTION An article in Tuesday’s Herald (“Elitzer, Silver win Marshall Scholarship,” Nov. 29) stated that Silver will use the scholarship to “fuse” his experiences in Providence and Bali. In fact, he will use it to explore forms of art different from those he has experienced in Providence and Bali. The Herald regrets the error.
calendar TODAY DECEMBER
There’s a ‘D’ in Diversity 12:00 P.M. Alumnae Hall, Crystal Room Lobby
The Future of Food 6:00 P.M. Smith-Buonanno, 106
Post-Election Discussion with Professor Arenberg 12:00 P.M. Wilson Hall, 105 Orchestra Concert 8:00 P.M. Sayles Hall, Auditorium
TOMORROW DPS Bicycle U-Shape Lock Giveaway 9:00 A.M. Main Green
Security Implications of the Trump Presidency 12:00 P.M. Watson Institute
Piano Workshop 4:00 P.M. Grant Recital Hall
Extreme Gingerbread House Competition 4:00 P.M. Barus and Holley
COMMENTARY PAGE 6 â€˘ THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
R O L A N D H IG H
comics A Horse of Any Other Name | Zach Silberberg
Ampersand | Wasita Mahaphanit
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COMMENTARY THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016 • PAGE 7
THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
The failure of progressivism NICHOLAS ESEMPLARE staff columnist In the aftermath of a historic and surprising election outcome, Americans have come forth with a plethora of explanations for the seemingly inexplicable, many of which focus on the electorate’s latent sexism or former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s perceived shortcomings. But while these issues likely played a role in her ultimate defeat, there is another seldom-discussed factor that I find particularly interesting here at Brown. While many on our campus have used the election result as an excuse to further denigrate President-Elect Donald Trump’s voter base, it is necessary to acknowledge the culpability of the progressive movement as it currently stands. In the election’s wake, there has been much talk of “Trump’s America.” One apparent consensus among pundits is that Trump’s core demographic — white, working-class Americans — rallied around him because of a be-
lief that traditional politicians had forgotten about them. As Dan Hopkins of FiveThirtyEight poignantly put it, people felt “like strangers in their own country.” Many students on Brown’s campus dismiss such sentiments as standard xenophobia or bigotry. I think we’re smarter than that. Students at Brown and other elite universities across the country have forgotten that progressivism is about
for the people it purportedly seeks to convert. We have forgotten that changing minds is hard. Ivy League students preach of binaries and spectrums that many Americans can’t even begin to understand. Instead of a spoonful of sugar, we accompany our message with a judgmental glare. Progressivism failed in this election because it has become not only unpalatable but incom-
gic. The phrase “check your privilege” calls for deep and difficult introspection, but it is so often accompanied by disdain and judgment that it is more likely to alienate than convince. This form of activism predictably fails to cause change. At the extreme, progressivism can devolve into an elite and exclusive movement that rarely stoops so low as to engage with the other side. It is a trap that anyone seeking to effect
Progressivism failed in this election because it has become not only unpalatable but incomprehensible to many Americans. changing minds. At its best, it represents the slow and steady march toward a set of ideals. Social change is never sweeping, nor dramatic; it is incremental almost by rule because changing the closely held beliefs of others is never easy. But on Brown’s campus and in similar communities across the country, this is not what progressivism looks like. Instead, it has devolved into a self-righteous and unaccepting movement with little regard
prehensible to many Americans. A far cry from any ideal of tolerance, social justice activism on Brown’s campus often looks more like the venting of pent-up anger than any real attempt to persuade the other side. Yelling “check your privilege” may feel good, but it inspires strikingly few to engage in the desired action. Anger is certainly warranted in the face of the many injustices students on this campus see, but that doesn’t make it strate-
change would do well to avoid. In challenging the efficacy of judgmental progressivism, I call heavily on my own experience. When I came to Brown, I possessed an incomplete knowledge of many social issues discussed on campus. I did not oppose them; I was simply unaware of them. When I attempted to engage in conversation on these issues to improve my understanding, I was frequently lambasted for my ignorance. In circles
of ‘tolerance,’ my inexperience made me complicit. Brown students, with our disdainful and insulated brand of progressivism, are among those culpable for the rise of Trump. We have given up trying to teach others about our message because judging is easier than educating. We fight with each other over the moral high ground without acknowledging that our tolerance has become intolerance and that our fights don’t make sense to those outside of our own community. We insulate ourselves on campuses in which almost everyone agrees with us and then begin to disagree with each other. Students at elite universities so often squabble about inaccessible theories while coal workers in Middle America worry about buying groceries. It’s no wonder they felt forgotten. We forgot them. We found an Ivy League bubble and got lost within it; we directed our message at 6,000 students instead of 320 million Americans.
Nicholas Esemplare ’18 can be reached at email@example.com.
History and its ugly but important legacy JAMES FLYNN
op-ed contributor A little less than a year ago, as part of a wider controversy surrounding racial tension at Princeton, student protesters demanded the removal of Woodrow Wilson’s name from campus institutions. Wilson — a Princeton alum, 13th President of the university and 28th President of the United States — is commemorated by the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and by Wilson College. The students’ objections to his commemoration were not at all unfounded. Many pointed to the Wilson administration’s policies deliberately created to resegregate the workforce and deprive African-Americans of recently acquired political and social rights as reasons to remove his name. According to the New York Times Editorial Board, the “toxic legacy” of this “unapologetic racist” established “federal discrimination as a national norm.” These actions are undeniably morally reprehensible. Like other critics, the Times’ Editorial Board unequivocally calls for the immediate rescinding of all honors that Princeton has bestowed upon Wilson. But while the intent of these protests is commendable, Wilson’s legacy, no matter how ugly, should on principle remain commemorated at the university. There are two primary reasons as to why: It is very important to honor the other more positive facets of Wilson’s legacy, and there is ideological and educational value in remembering his historical wrongs. The Times’ Editorial Board never explores the reasons Princeton has continued to celebrate Wilson’s legacy. In 1896 and again in 1902, Wilson gave speeches at Princeton in which he coined the phrase that has now been amended to “Princeton in the nation’s service and the service of humanity,” Princeton’s unofficial motto. Wilson’s speeches demonstrate how his achievements relate to Princeton’s “educational mission.” The school took his name because those who named it believed Wilson’s achievements embody this mission — and for good reason.
Wilson transformed the objective of American foreign policy to internationalism. His Fourteen Points helped establish the League of Nations, setting a tone of international diplomacy that now characterizes global politics. Domestically, he championed the progressive agenda, and his cohesive governmental programs for economic oversight, according to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, “reflected a deep commitment to the humanization of the industrial system.” These achievements do not excuse his racist policies. But by the same logic, his racist policies do not discredit these achievements. We cannot simply dismiss the historically significant and socially beneficial accomplishments of an individual on the basis that some of his other views or actions are incompatible with today’s ethical
enforceable liberties in the United States as it is hypocritical in his participation in the industry of slavery. While we must remember these figures for their faults, their historical achievements nonetheless weave the fabric of our society and culture, and they ought to be commemorated accordingly. More importantly, the preservation of Wilson’s namesake is essential to confronting the legacy of racism in our country. Issues of racial injustice are still prevalent in the United States, a fact that is inextricable from our history. Injustice stems from the oldest and most prominent of American institutions, including universities, and from some of the most prominent Americans, including presidents. To recognize the roots of racial bigotry and mistreatment as stem-
To recognize the roots of racial bigotry and mistreatment as stemming from the very core of American society is essential in working to mend these injustices.
standards. If we seek to eliminate honors for anyone whose actions, statements or views were widespread during their times but are now viewed as immoral, virtually every historical figure of, say, more than 50 years ago can be retroactively censured for a certain view that fails to comply with today’s moral standards. I challenge the reader to find any figure in our history who cannot be so counted. Martin Luther King, Jr. — idealized as the quintessential civil rights activist — also once called a boy’s same-sex desires a “problem” that he had “to deal with” and recover from, ideally by seeing “a good psychiatrist.” But it would be unheard of, and rightly so, to demand the removal of the MLK Jr. Memorial from the National Mall, for example. Thomas Jefferson’s legacy is as integral to the establishment of legally
ming from the very core of American society is essential in working to mend these injustices. A similar controversy arose recently at Yale regarding the name of Calhoun College, named after John Calhoun, prominent 19th-century politician and defender of slavery. After much deliberation, Yale President Peter Salovey opted against the name’s removal, which he asserted would “(downplay) the lasting effects of slavery and (substitute) a false and misleading narrative, albeit one that might allow us to feel complacent or, even, self-congratulatory.” It would be dishonest for Princeton to whitewash its history; on the contrary, it is very much educationally productive to embrace it. It may seem that universities hold on so tightly to these historical names merely for the sake of tradition and prestige; absent in this view is the ideologi-
cal and educational value that there is in retaining these figures’ legacies, for all of their accomplishments and their faults. Brown also deals with issues concerning some of the darker moments in its history. The foundings of New England, the state of Rhode Island and Brown were all tied deeply to the institution of slavery. Brown’s namesake is Nicholas Brown, who himself had no substantial connection to slavery in occupation, but his family did: His brother John Brown, for instance, was a merchant now infamous for his commercial transportation of African slaves. In 2003, then-President Ruth Simmons appointed a Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, charged with two purposes: to investigate and to prepare a report about the University’s historical relationship to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade and to organize public programs that “might help the campus and the nation reflect on the meaning of this history in the present, on the complex historical, political, legal and moral questions posed by any present-day confrontation with past injustice.” This committee made its recommendations to the University in 2006, though students, faculty members and administrators still grapple with the implications of this history. How to approach our historical legacies remains a complex and contentious topic, especially for a modern generation that seems more inclined than ever to disavow the values and traditions of its ancestors. Our society’s institutions, particularly its older ones, face this question when the morality of their historical figures cannot withstand the critical examination of a modern perspective. So if not to remove the names, how might universities genuinely and productively make reparations for historical wrongs? Georgetown University’s recently announced preferential application process for the descendants of slaves sold to finance the university and Brown’s Steering Committee of Slavery and Justice are examples of steps colleges have taken to atone for the institutions’ flawed legacies without erasing them.
James Flynn ’20 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARTS & CULTURE THE BROWN DAILY HERALD
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2016
Ruth Fine discusses latest exhibit on work of Norman Lewis Art curator speaks on trends of artist’s career marked by political poignancy, use of color By ETHEL RENIA STAFF WRITER
Ruth Fine, curator of the exhibition “Procession: The Art of Norman Lewis,” visited campus Wednesday to discuss the life of 20th century African-American artist Norman Lewis. Fine has had an illustrious career in the art world. Among other achievements, she was a curator of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. for four decades. Fine has collaborated with big names including Jasper Johns, John Marin, Roy Lichtenstein and Georgia O’Keeffe, said Wendy Edwards, chair of the visual arts department. The exhibition, comprised of nearly 100 works, opened Nov. 13 at the museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The exhibition is divided into several sections that study Lewis’ formative years as well as his various artistic interests. “Lewis had a complicated life. He truly straddled the world of Harlem and the world of the wider artistic community,” Fine said. As a young artist, Lewis was mostly self-taught and visited the Museum of
Modern Art frequently to study the most recent artwork on display. He was inspired by the tribal art featured in the museum as well as by works of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Lewis transitioned to abstraction in the mid-1940s. Fine discussed his work post-1945 in terms of five different trends. The first trend, titled “Visual Sounds,” is a collection of paintings that seem dedicated to transcribing to canvas the experience of listening to different genres of music such as jazz. “He had a way of drawing a line and pulling it (across the canvas),” Fine said. One section of the exhibition, “Rhythm of Nature,” seems to pursue his interest in painting the intangible. “Ritual” covers his interest in painting parades or public gatherings of people. His first painting of this kind was painted after the first Labor Day Caribbean street parade in Harlem in 1947. “Civil Rights” is what Lewis is perhaps most known for today. His subjects ranged from Ku Klux Klan marches in Washington to softer, romantic abstractions. These abstractions “were his way of staying sane” during the turbulent years of the Civil Rights era, Fine said. Most of these paintings are in black and white. “The last large show of his work in 1998 focused mostly on these black paintings,” Fine said. The last section of the exhibition,
LILLY NGUYEN / HERALD
Curator Ruth Fine, whose latest exhibition chronicled the work of Norman Lewis, came to campus Wednesday to discuss Lewis’ life and methodology as a preeminent artist in postwar America. titled “Summation,” highlights Lewis’ striking use of color. Some of the paintings gathered from the later years of his life use bright and happy colors like yellow, while others seem more ominous with his use of black and bright red. The mission of this new show “was to prove that he did not only do back and white paintings. He was also an amazing colorist.” Much is still unknown about Lewis, who is believed to have produced 2,000 works during his lifetime. “The most
basic questions still surround him,” Fine said. It is unknown where Lewis’ family originated. He also rarely dated or titled his paintings, making it difficult to keep track of his artistic evolution. It is unclear how he made his art and what materials he used to paint or draw. “The more I look at him, the more complicated and beautiful his work gets,” Fine said. But some things are clear about Norman Lewis: He was one of the great
artistic innovators in postwar America. He was a recognized black artist who — while esteemed by the larger New York art community — struggled to find his place in the galleries of the Met. He was one of the co-founders of Cinque gallery, which was devoted to promoting young minority artists. He also struggled throughout his career with tension between a school of thought dictating that African-American artists devote themselves to political art and his eclectic range of interests.
‘In My Mother’s House’ delves into Eritrea’s colonial past Professor of Anthropology Lina Fruzzetti explores Italian, Eritrean culture, traces story of her mother By ELIZABETH TOLEDANO STAFF WRITER
Wednesday night, the rain echoed Professor of Anthropology Lina Fruzzetti’s tears as she told, in a soft, rhythmic voice, the story of her mother. As the crowd filled the room, she hugged the people she knew, transforming the space with strong, welcoming gestures that prepared the viewers to enter into her story. Last night’s screening of “In My Mother’s House” was sponsored by the Office of the Provost. The event was a forum for “faculty sharing research with one another and building intellectual community,” said Provost Richard Locke P’17. The documentary film, created by Fruzzetti and her husband Ákos Östör, follows Fruzzetti’s mother’s story as an 18-year-old widow in Eritrea, raising the two children she had with the Italian colonial officer with whom she eloped. The film will make its public debut in January 2017. Because she was away at boarding school, Fruzzetti did not learn her mother’s story until long into her adulthood after she had moved to the United States. When she asked her mother to disclose her past, Fruzzetti said she “realized what an amazing person she was, that there was a reason I always had her in front of me in every decision I made.” “When my father died, she began working as a nanny in British homes. From there she went on to run one of the biggest businesses in the Sudan. As
MAXWELL SIMEON / HERALD
Professor of Anthropology Lina Fruzzetti presented her movie “In My Mother’s House” Wednesday. After the screening, Fruzzetti discussed the film and the lessons she learned from her Eritrean mother’s experiences in colonial Italian Eritrea. a Christian and a woman, she was very, very successful,” Fruzzetti said. “In My Mother’s House” involves the viewer in an almost casual discourse, unraveling the story as Fruzzetti herself discovered the truths about her family. In the film, Fruzzetti interacts with various family members, discussing family, colonialism and her mother’s story. As the film evolves, viewers get a sense of Italian and Eritrean cultures, each profoundly singular yet permanently intertwined. The scenes often revolve around meals: In spite of the cross-cultural tensions in a postcolonial environment, the familial gatherings — interspersed with shots of pastas, Italian wines and traditional Eritrean
food — exhibit the strength of the cultural bonds that surpass the countries’ complicated history. “It’s hard because the topic is difficult. … I had to deal with people who ignored my mother and brother,” she said. She described how her brother’s initial attempts to reach out to family members in Italy were futile until he had a friend suggest to the family that two Eritreans who had “made it big in America” were looking for their Italian relations. Soon after that, they heard from their cousins. Fruzzetti also discussed navigating the postcolonial atmosphere as a refugee. “As a person of color, where do I feel mostly comfortable and at ease?
In Italy, I have a problem because I’m half Italian. In Eritrea, I’m half Italian. When I’m in India, people don’t question who I am because I look like them. In the (United States), I feel comfortable: I have some rights. There’s a law I can adhere to if there’s an issue,” she said. Fruzzetti hopes “others can learn from the film and see relevance in their own lives if they have gone through similar things.” The film has been shown around the world, with outstanding responses in Italy and India. After a showing in her father’s hometown, people hugged Fruzzetti on the street, apologizing to her for Italy’s colonial history. In India,
viewers compared the film to India’s relationship with Pakistan. The story transcends the limits of context, she said.“It’s the human story of families falling apart.” The questions the film poses echo Fruzzetti’s work in the anthropology department. “My research is all about women,” she said. “I work on the construction of gender.” When pursuing her research, she often asks “questions of what happens to women when they deviate from tradition.” In this film, she realized that when “looking at the strength of women and young girls” who made their own decisions, “all along I had my mother in my mind.”