February 8, 2017 issue of The Egalitarian

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87/53 Some clouds in the morning will give wayt o mainly sunny skies for the afternoon.

wednesday, FeBruary 8, 2017 • vOl. 44, nO. 2 • www.hCCeGaliTarian.COm • @hCC_eGaliTarian

In Today’s Issue

HCC students advised not to travel abroad alYSSa FoleY

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Controversial bill passes Texas Senate votes 20-11 to preliminarily approve an anti“sanctuary cities” bill punishing local governments.

see News, Page 3

Aaron’s fight for justice James Aaron discusses his life from growing up in Pleasantville until the series of events that lead to Carl Hampton’s death.

seec Community, Page 4

It has been a long week and a half for individuals from the majority-Muslim countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s now-overturned Executive Order. According to the State Department, the U.S. canceled the visas of up to 60,000 foreigners in the week after the ban on travel from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen took effect. Trump also suspended nearly all refugee admissions for 120 days and barred Syrian refugees indefinitely. The order blocked numerous college students, researchers and others from entering the U.S. and sparked protests at airports and a multitude of legal challenges around the country. Locally a University of Houston graduate student from Iran was unable to return to the U.S. Trump attached the U.S. District Judge James Robart who put his ban on hold. On Sunday, the president tweeted: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!” While Super Bowl 51 was played on Sunday, immigrants were arriving at airports with few issues. Within three days of the Executive Order, Houston Community College advised in a press release that students, faculty and staff members who are not United States citizens

‘A Dog’s Purpose” features typical plot twists, logic gaps that take away from the film’s actors — both human and canine.

see Culture, Page 10

should not travel internationally at this time. Before the ban was lifted, there was genuine concern that students who are not U.S. citizens would not be able to be able to return to the U.S. or return their classes if they were to leave the country. There has been many mixed signals and

confusion for travelers during the first few weeks of Trump’s presidency. The order came with nearly no warning, and while it is overturned now there is no reassurance that Trump’s administration won’t attempt to see

Travel, Page


Two HCC cafeterias violated code alYSSa FoleY

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‘Purpose’ lacks promise

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP Muslims rally during Muslim Day at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, in late January. Thousands of supporters protected hundreds of Muslims who attended the rally by forming a human chain around them. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott made no mention of President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations during his State of the State address that was going on inside the Capitol.

On recent inspections, a Houston Community College Central campus cafeteria received two health code violations while the Coleman campus cafeteria received one health code violation. The Houston Health Department conducted routine, unannounced inspections of the two French Corner cafeteria locations on Jan 19. At the French Corner cafeteria inside the Central Campus Learning Hub-Science building at 1300 Holman, city health inspectors reported that besides not having properly sized or maintained plumbing, the food establishment had multiuse equipment or utensils which were not safe, easily cleanable or maintained in good repair.

Christopher Sparks, the chief sanitarian over retail food inspections at the Houston Health Department, explained that this violation is could mean something like having a cutting board with too many scratches, making the surface too absorbent and causing it to be a breeding ground for bacteria. Sparks said that the sanitarian who inspected the cafeteria did not note exactly what was wrong, but noting the exact issue is not required for completing the inspection report. At the French Corner Cafeteria inside the Coleman campus building at 1900 Pressler, city health inspectors reported that the establishment was in violation of the Houston health ordinance because the handwashing sink was not accessible to employees at all times. The health inspection report notes that the violation was corrected

Ana Ramirez/The Egalitarian The French Corner Cafe at HCC’s Central campus recently received two health code violations from the Houston Health Department. The cafeteria at the Coleman campus also received a violation. on site. The January inspections are an improvement from these cafeterias previous health inspections. In an August inspection, the Central campus cafeteria received violations

The OFFiCial sTudenT newspaper OF The hOusTOn COmmuniTy COlleGe sysTem

due to food-contact surfaces of equipment having accumulated grease deposits and soil, as well as food service items not being


FrenCh COrner, Page 2


Wednesday Febraury 8, 2017

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Judges hammer attorneys on both sides of ban case Sudhin Thanawala Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — President Donald Trump’s travel ban faced its toughest test yet Tuesday as a panel of appeals court judges hammered away at the government’s arguments that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears but also directed pointed questions to an attorney who claimed it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims. The contentious hearing before three judges on the San Franciscobased 9th Circuit Court of Appeals focused narrowly on whether a restraining order issued by a lower court should remain in effect while a challenge to the ban proceeds. But the judges also jumped into the larger constitutional questions surrounding Trump’s order, which temporarily suspended the nation’s refugee program and immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries that have raised terrorism concerns. The hearing was conducted by phone — an unusual step — and broadcast live from the court’s website to a record audience. Judge Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush nominee, asked an attorney representing Washington state and Minnesota what evidence he had that the ban was motivated by religion. The two states are suing to invalidate the ban. “I have trouble understanding

French Corner, From Page 1 The January inspections are an improvement from these cafeterias previous health inspections. In an August inspection, the Central campus cafeteria received violations due to food-contact surfaces of equipment having accumulated grease deposits and soil, as well as food service items not being handled correctly in order to prevent contamination. In September, the Colman cafeteria received a violation because potentially hazardous foods were not kept at the proper internal temperature. Back in August, the French Corner location next to the Central campus bookstore at 1215 Holman received a violation for food service equipment not being in good enough repair to prevent food contact surfaces from being unsanitary or toxic. The ice machine at that location was also found to be in a state of disrepair which could lead to ice contamination, but it was corrected on site.

why we’re supposed to infer religious animus when in fact the vast majority of Muslims would not be affected.” Only 15 percent of the world’s Muslims are affected, the judge said, citing his own calculations. He added that the “concern for terrorism from those connected to radical Islamic sects is hard to deny.” Noah Purcell, Washington state’s solicitor general, cited public statements by Trump calling for a ban on the entry of Muslims to the U.S. He said the states did not have to show every Muslim is harmed, only that the ban was motivated by religious discrimination. Clifton also went after the government’s attorney, asking whether he denied statements by Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who said recently that Trump asked him to create a plan for a Muslim ban. Judge Michelle T. Friedland, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, asked why the case should not move forward to determine what motivated the ban. “We’re not saying the case shouldn’t proceed, but we are saying that it is extraordinary for a court to enjoin the president’s national security decision based on some newspaper articles,” said August Flentje, who argued the case for the Justice Department.

The French Corner next to the Central Campus bookstore has not been reinspected since August. All food establishments in the city are inspected by the Houston Health Department at least once per year. Sparks explained that there are two ways an eatery like The French Corner would be reinspected more than once per year. If a food establishment is given a high score on an inspection, it’s automatically scheduled for re-inspection sooner than one year. The second way an eatery would be re-inspected sooner is if the Health Department received a complaint. Sparks explained that once a report is received, it is assigned to an area supervisor and given a priority ranking. Sanitation and sickness complaints are investigated within 24 to 48 hours. Anyone can file a complaint to the City of Houston Health Department on a food vendor within city limits by calling 832-393-5100 or filling out the anonymous online form here: http://bit.ly/2ke9OHZ

On Campus



(compiled from HCC Police crime logs) Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: Feb. 6 at 4 p.m. Location: Northline Campus, 8001 Fulton Description: Student left his keys inside the vehicle and his car was stolen. Offense: Criminal Mischief Incident occurred on: Feb. 6 at 3-5:45 p.m. Location: Hayes Road Campus, 2811 Hayes Description: Student’s motorcycle was found lying on its side after the student returned from class. The motorcycle was parked on a solid level surface in the north side parking lot.

Location: Administration Building, 3200 Main Description: Employee’s vehicle was struck in the parking garage during her work day. Offense: False Alarm or Report Incident occurred on: Feb 2 at 12:27pm Location: West Loop Campus, 5601 West Loop South Description: Adult student was arrested and charged after he intentionally pulled a false fire alarm.

Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: Feb. 6 at 7:30 a.m.5:30 p.m. Location: Northline Campus, 8001 Fulton Description: METRO patron’s vehicle was burglarized while he was at work.

Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: Jan 31 at 11:15am Location: Central-Midtown Campus, Parking Lot 2 Description: Adult suspect, a registered but not enrolled student, was arrested and charged after an eyewitness identified him breaking into a car.

Offense: Public Intoxication Incident occurred on: Feb. 5 at 12:40 p.m. Location: Central-Midtown Campus, Parking Lot 15 Description: Adult male, non-student, was transported to the Sobering Center after he was discovered passed out in the parking lot.

Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: Jan 30 between noon2:00pm Location: Eastside Campus, Angela Morales Building Description: Student’s vehicle was burglarized in the student parking lot.

Offense: Burglary of Vehicle Incident occurred on: Feb. 4 at 10:15 a.m.1:15 p.m. Location: Eastside Campus, Angela Morales Building Description: Employee’s vehicle was burglarized in the parking lot.

Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: Jan 30 between 7:50am-2:45pm Location: Eastside Campus, Workforce Building Description: Student’s supplies were stolen from the cosmetology classroom.

Offense: Theft Incident occurred on: Feb. 2 at 10:30-11 a.m. Location: Stafford Campus, Scarcella Description: Funds were stolen from an employee’s purse which was inside her desk in an unlocked desk drawer and office. Offense: Failure to Stop and Give Information Incident occurred on: Feb. 2 at 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

Travel, From Page 1 abruptly change the rules again. Even citizens of countries not listed in the ban were told to expect increased visa delays when traveling outside the U.S. and to be aware of the risk that entry rules may change while they are traveling. Besides foreign nationals, HCC is also advised that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA students should also review the latest updates on immigration issues before departing the U.S. DACA gives people who were brought to the U.S. as children a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation. The HCC press release noted that non-citizens should consult their own immigration counsel before making international travel plans. When contacted, HCC administrators pointed to the press release and offered no further comment. Mohammed Yahya is a HCC graduate currently studying chem-ical engineering at Texas Tech University, he is an international student from

Offense: Impersonating Public Servant Incident occurred on: Jan 26 at 11:30am Location: Northeast Campus, Learning Hub Description: An adult male suspect dressed in a generic police uniform detained an employee and asked for her identification. The employee was released by the suspect was driving a gray Nissan crew cab truck. Suspect was a white male, 6’1”, short hair, no facial hair.

Yemen. “I was taken back by Yemen being on the list,” Yahya said he was surprised and confused when he heard the news about the executive order, but “with the campaign, I personally expected something was going to come from the new administration on immigration.” “We just started the semester, there is no reason for me to travel internationally short term,” Yahya noted. However, if Trump’s order was in effect over the summer, it would affect his ability to visit family or take research opportunities in other countries. International students like Yahya have nonimmigrant student visas to study in the U.S. Individuals can apply for such visas after they receive an acceptance letter from a U.S. institution of higher education. Niloofar Afhami attended HCC before transferring to Texas Southern University. She immigrated from Iran to the U.S. with her family in 2006 when she was 16 years-old after they received green cards or legal permanent resident status. Afhami and her family became U.S. citizens as soon as they

were eligible. If Trump’s executive order went into effect when Afhami received her green card, she may have been blocked from immigrating to the U.S. At first, green card holders were also swept up in the president’s travel ban. Afhami said she cried when she heard the news about the ban, she believes that the order and its implementation is “very unfair and very unorganized.” While the executive order was titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States”, it does not include any countries of origin of radicalized Muslims which have killed Americans since Sept. 11, 2001. Absent from the ban is Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan. None of the countries banned are the birthplace of a Muslim extremist responsible for a deadly attack in the U.S. in the last 20 years. “It’s not about being safe, it’s more personal than thinking about the safety of America because if it was, he would have banned countries which terrorists came from,” said Afhami.


3 Texas Senate OKs ‘sanctuary cities’ bill @HCC_Egalitarian

Wednesday February 8, 2017

Jim Vertuno & Will Weissert Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate on Tuesday night preliminarily approved an anti-”sanctuary cities” bill punishing local governments that don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities, as state Republicans look to further crack down on an issue already championed by President Donald Trump. The 20-11 vote along party lines came after hours of sometimes-emotional debate and clears the way for the proposal to sail through the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature in record time after stalling in previous sessions. It still needs final Senate approval later in the week, then must clear the state House, both of which appear likely. Gov. Greg Abbott has made the bill an “emergency item” greatly speeding up the process. Republicans swatted down a parade of amendments meant to weaken the bill and other fierce objections from Democrats, who didn’t have the votes to stop it. A protest from demonstrators who had previously threatened to descend on the Texas Capitol and voice loud opposition didn’t happen, and a long day and evening in the Senate stayed eerily quiet. Things were different last week, when hundreds of people spent 16-plus hours pleading with a Senate committee not to advance the bill but were ignored in a post-

Eric Gay/AP Photo Texas Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, left, talks with Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Tyler, debate an anti-sanctuary cities proposal in the Senate Chamber at the Texas Capitol, Tuesday in Austin, Texas. midnight vote that set up Tuesday’s floor debate. Republicans muscling the measure toward final approval say it’s too urgent to delay. The term “sanctuary cities” has no legal definition, but Republicans want local police to enforce federal immigration law as part

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of a larger effort to crack down on criminal suspects who are in the United States illegally. The issue has become contentious in states across the country, especially with Trump promising to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities, wall off the entire U.S.-Mexico border and impose strict

federal immigration policies. Texas’ bill applies to local police forces and law enforcement on college campuses, and seeks to strip authorities of state-controlled grant funding from local jurisdictions that don’t hand over immigrants already in custody awaiting possible deportation. It calls for fines for noncompliant counties and even mandates possible jail time for individual police officials who refuse. Supporters say local law enforcement agencies must enforce the law. Bill sponsor Sen. Charles Perry, a Republican from Lubbock in West Texas, blamed some of the opposition to the bill on “fear mongering” and read a list of people from Texas who were killed by immigrants in the country illegally. “This is not a deportation bill,” Perry said. “My bill doesn’t affect those (immigrants) who are here, working and feeding their families as long as they don’t break the law.” But opponents say it opens the door to discrimination and intimidation. Although some law enforcement groups support the proposal, many individual sheriffs and police chiefs in heavily Democratic areas have long opposed enforcing federal immigration law, warning it will make their jobs harder if immigrant communities, including crime victims and witnesses, become afraid of police. Perry countered that his bill bars police from asking victims and witnesses about their immigration status.

Army to allow completion of Dakota Access oil pipeline Blake Nicholson Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. — The Army said Tuesday that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, clearing the way for completion of the disputed four-state project. However, construction could still be delayed because the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, which has led opposition to the pipeline, said it would fight the latest development. The Army intends to allow the Lake Oahe crossing as early as Wednesday, according to court documents the Justice Department filed that include letters to members of Congress from Deputy Assistant Army Secretary Paul Cramer. The stretch under Lake Oahe is the final big chunk of work on the 1,200-mile pipeline that would carry North Dakota oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. Developer Energy Transfer Partners had hoped to have oil flowing through the pipeline by the end of 2016, but construction has been stalled while the Army Corps of Engineers and the Dallas-based company battled in court over the crossing. The Standing Rock Sioux, whose reservation is just downstream from the crossing, fears a leak would pollute its

drinking water and will challenge to the Army’s decision to grant an easement, though the details were still being worked out, attorney Jan Hasselman said. The tribe has led protests that drew hundreds and at times thousands of people who dubbed themselves “water protectors” to an encampment near the crossing. ETP says the pipeline is safe. An assessment conducted last year determined the crossing would not have a significant impact on the environment. However, then-Assistant Army Secretary for Civil Works JoEllen Darcy on Dec. 4 declined to issue permission for the crossing, saying a broader environmental study was warranted given the Standing Rock Sioux’s opposition. ETP called Darcy’s decision politically motivated and accused then-President Barack Obama’s administration of delaying the matter until he left office. The Corps launched a study of the crossing on Jan. 18, two days before Obama left office, that could have taken up to two years to complete. President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Jan. 24 telling the Corps to quickly reconsider Darcy’s decision. The court documents filed Tuesday include a proposed Federal Register notice terminating the study. The tribe argues that under the Fort Laramie Treaties of

Tom Stromme / AP Photo The Army has notified Congress Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, that it will allow the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline to cross under a Missouri River reservoir in North Dakota, completing the four-state project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois. 1851 and 1888, the federal government is obliged to consider a tribe’s welfare when making decisions that affect the tribe. “The Obama administration correctly found that the tribe’s treaty rights needed to be respected, and that the easement should not be granted without further review and consideration of alternative crossing locations,” Hasselman said. “Trump’s reversal of that

decision continues a historic pattern of broken promises to Indian Tribes and violation of treaty rights. They will be held accountable in court.” ETP has been poised to begin drilling under Lake Oahe as soon as it has approval. Workers have drilled entry and exit holes for the crossing, and oil has been put in the pipeline leading up to the lake in anticipation of finishing the project. ETP spokeswoman Vicki Granado

did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Army’s decision. Those protesting the pipeline at an encampment the tribe set up on federal land have at times clashed with police, leading to nearly 700 arrests. The camp’s population thinned to fewer than 300 as harsh winter weather arrived and as Standing Rock officials pleaded for the camp to disband before the spring flooding season.

Community The Beautiful Struggle: James Aaron 4

Wednesday February 8, 2017

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Jimmieka Mills The Egalitarian

By all accounts, James Aaron had a happy childhood. Growing up in the segregated south for most blacks was a constant thought with the visible reminders of ‘Whites Only’ signs on all things that seemed humane. Though for Aaron growing up in Pleasantville, an all-black middle-class neighborhood within Houston, this reality had yet to reach him. He remembers growing up with immense pride in his community and its foundation. “Pleasantville was a little spot of land that developers decided to build some houses on about three miles from Fifth Ward for black people. One person who was involved in development of those houses was Judson Robinson who later became a city councilman. In fact, he became the first black city councilman in Houston Texas.” Aaron admits that although he may not have felt the heat of segregation and racial tension within his own community, he did experience it when he would venture outside of Pleasantville. Lunches with his mother in downtown Houston were held at segregated eateries. Aaron recalls his summer visits to his grandparent’s farm in Opelousas, Louisiana and the simple yet detrimental orders his grandfather gave. “Integration started in the country before it did in the city because blacks and whites both had land. There was my grandparent’s house and right across the street was a white man. Directly across the street, and that’s before the city was integrated. My grandfather would tell us, “Y’all don’t go on that man’s property” which we never did. He would never speak to us and we never spoke to him. I could tell clearly between black and white as a kid.” Racial tensions between blacks and whites were unsurprisingly elevated after the 1954 Brown V. Board of Education ruling deemed separate but equal unconstitutional forcing the integration of schools. The impact this ruling had on the black community locally, specifically Pleasantville, was a bit more complex. “There was a school in Fifth Ward for blacks called McReynolds which was one of the first to integrate. I remember it causing division in the black community because all of us did not go to McReynolds a lot of us continued to go to Phyllis Wheatley and other black schools. Some of us that went to the white schools started feeling a little privileged, so that caused a division in the neighborhood. Those who went to the integrated schools associated with themselves and those who stayed at the black schools associated with each other.” As he grew older the internal division he once saw within his community began to dissolve when the division of the nation became clearer to him. “I couldn’t avoid activism because it was on TV every day. I’d turn the TV on and see black people getting hosed down and dogs sicked on them—that affects your mind. That’s what it did to my mind and it made me active.” As Aaron searched for ways to channel his activism positively he began to elevate his thought process and seek information from many sources. “The first organization I associated with were the Black Muslims. They were one of the few black organizations in the city at that time. They’d have people come out on corners where you’d be standing and they’d see

James Aaron, Page 5

Bill Thompson/Houston Post The scene outside the People’s Party II headquarters, 2828 Dowling St., in July 1970, before a police shootout resulted in the death of Carl Hampton, the group’s founder.

TIMELINE OF HOUSTON AND THE BLACK PANTHERS Dec. 17, 1948: Carl Bernard Hampton Born Oct. 15, 1966: Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton form the Black Panther Party for Self- defense in Oakland, California. Group adopts name from the black panther mascot used by the Lowndes (Ala.) County Freedom Organization. December 1966: Eldridge Cleaver Joins Black Panther Party January 1967: The BPP opens its first official headquarters in an Oakland storefront, and published the first issue of The Black Panther: Black Community News Service. February 1967: BPP members serve as security escorts for Betty Shabazz. May 2, 1967: Thirty people representing the BPP go to Sacramento, California, to protest at the California State Assembly. Armed with guns, the group protested the Mulford Act, which would make carrying loading firearms in public illegal. The group entered the assembly carrying their weapons, prompting police to arrest Seale and five others. May 17, 1967: Racial tensions lead to riot on the Texas Southern University campus. Five hundred officers eventually stormed Lanier Hall, the men’s dormitory, from which the first shot supposedly came. When the smoke cleared, one police officer was dead, one student and two officers were wounded, and 488 students were arrested. Rookie officer Louis Kuba was killed in the conflict, and five students stood trial for Kuba’s death. Chargers were dismissed when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict. August 1967: FBI directs its COINTELPRO program to “neutralize” what officials called “black nationalist hate groups”. The goals of the program were to prevent the unification of militant black nationalist groups and to weaken the power of their leaders, as well as to discredit the groups to reduce their support and growth. Oct. 28, 1967: Huey Newton allegedly kills police

officer John Frey. There are fewer than one hundred Party members. April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated. Riots break out nationwide. April 6, 1968: A team of Panthers led by Eldridge Cleaver ambushes Oakland police officers. Panther Bobby Hutton is killed. Cleaver is jailed from April until mid June. July 1968: Huey Newton’s murder trial commences. Panthers hold “Free Huey” rallies outside the courthouse daily. September 1968: days before he is due to return to prison Cleaver flees to Cuba and later Algeria. November 1968: the BPP finds numerous supporters, establishing relationships with the Peace and Freedom Party and SNCC. 1969: Carl Hampton returns to Houston determined to establish a Black Panther Party Chapter. People’s Party II is formed. April 1970: Bobby Joe Connor, a black youth who was stomped to death by Galena Park police, causing protests and unrest throughout Houston. July 26, 1970 Carl Hampton killed in shootout with law enforcement officials March 15-18, 2006: After nearly 32 years, former members of the Houston Black Panther Party were reunited at the National Council of Black Studies annual conference at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Houston. July 26, 2016: Houston Black Panther Party reunites for the 46th anniversary of the death of Carl Hampton. —Data compiled by Jimmieka Mills

Wednesday February 8, 2017


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Discovery Green shines during Super Bowl Juan A. Lozano Associated Press

The go-to place for many of the Super Bowl related festivities in Houston this week hasn’t been a swanky nightclub or a hard to get into restaurant but a popular 12-acre park that has helped revitalize the downtown area as well as become the heart of the city for many local residents. Discovery Green, which is expected to have 1 million visitors as the site of the Super Bowl Live fan festival, didn’t even exist the last time Houston hosted the big game in 2004. Back then the site was two large parking lots. But since it opened in 2008, the park has welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors each year and has been a catalyst for $625 million in downtown development, including a new adjacent 1,000 room hotel. Discovery Green has also been one of the best examples of ongoing efforts around the country to make parks and green spaces engines of economic revitalization as well as focal points for their communities, according to parks and urban planning groups. Fred Kent, president of the New York-based Project for Public Spaces, said the presence of Discovery Green was likely one of the reasons

Michael Stravato/AP Images Fans test their toughness by kicking a field goal between 2017 Ford F-250’s at the Built Ford Tough Toughest Tailgate at Super Bowl Live at Discovery Green Houston was awarded the Super Bowl. He pointed to the redevelopment of Detroit’s Campus Martius Park as one of the things that helped that city get the Super Bowl in 2006. “It’s definitely a trend. We would call it the return of the civic square, of the civic gathering place,” he said. “It isn’t just a park. It’s a place that defines what the city is about.” Patrick Jankowski, regional economist for the Greater Houston Partnership, a local business group, called the creation of Discovery Green “one of the smartest things” city leaders and the local business community did. The

James Aaron, From Page 4 the mosque with the Muslims. Later, I started going to a class at the University of Houston where Gene Locke used to teach black history classes.” Although he never officially joined the black Muslims, that level of organization intrigued and motivated him to find an organization that aimed to solve the issues he felt were most important. After hearing the speech of a young charismatic black man preach about the goals of the Black Panther Party, Aaron was sold. “It was late ‘69 early ‘70 when Carl [Hampton] came back from California and I heard him preaching trying to organize in Pleasantville. That’s how I started with the People’s Party II.” Carl Hampton, also a member of the Pleasantville community, had recently taken a trip to California and returned to Houston ready to organize his own chapter of the Black Panther Party. It became known as the People’s Party II. “The purpose and goal of the People’s Party II was to free and empower black people. To have decent housing, education, end police brutality, respect, dignity, and self-defense. I could feel all of that. The idea of defending ourselves especially because the Civil Rights movement was going on at the time and the idea of not being non-violent appealed to me. I felt that we had the right to defend ourselves. I was a young man, and to watch TV and see black people getting beat up heads knocked

park includes a small lake for kayaking, various playgrounds and performance stages as well as art installations and reading rooms. “They spent (more than) $100 million converting asphalt into green space, converting telephone poles into trees, and the city has benefited ever since,” he said. When Houston last hosted the Super Bowl in 2004, many of the festivities were focused around new downtown nightclubs and bars that had opened along a new light rail line located north of where Discovery Green now sits. But in the years after the game, many of these businesses shut down and downtown Houston

in. I didn’t think we should have to go through that without defending ourselves. So, I could relate to the idea of blacks defending themselves.” For many people who didn’t have direct contact within the Panther party the idea of blacks bearing arms was the clearest picture they had of the party. In reality, the organization ran community programs which were integral to their local community. Free breakfast, clothing and pest control were just a few of the programs the Panthers provided to the local community. Space City! An underground Houston newspaper which was in publication from June 1969 until August 1972, not only provided support but a platform for the Party to spread its word to the masses. Founded by members of Students for a Democratic society and former members of Austin’s underground paper The Rag, Space City! played a vital role in bringing all local disenfranchised groups together. “We initially started selling The Space City! Newspaper, they allowed us to sell their newspaper and keep some of the proceeds. We had political education classes and would invite the whole community to attend. We were putting out our word by putting out their paper.” “Outside of Space City! There was the John Brown Revolutionary League and MAYO and together we were the Rainbow Coalition, we all worked together.” The strength of the coalition was rooted in the fact that they all shared a common goal.

continued to look for that spark that would ignite sustained economic development. After Discovery Green was built, it helped boost downtown Houston as a destination place after work hours and on weekends. Besides the $625 million in development that has sprung up around the park, including a refurbished convention center that sits across the street and new restaurants and residential towers, officials say another $1 billion in office and housing space and hotels is in the works. Another downtown park, Market Square Park — which sits on the site of Houston’s original city hall and was refurbished in 2010—

“The goal of the Rainbow Coalition was we understood that we wanted to make a revolution in this country and we understood that it takes people to make a revolution and we were talking about a people’s revolution. Our slogan was ‘All Power to the People’ and when we said ‘All Power to the People’ we weren’t just talking about black people we were talking about all people. We felt the best thing to do was to have a relationship with all people and work with all people and that’s what we did. We had rallies and demonstrated together.” The movement may have been for all people but in 1970, the party realized that all people were not for the party. “We had a great response from the community. People loved the free clothing, breakfast and pest control programs. But people in the neighbor did hold an objection to us openly carrying guns. That to some extent alienated us from the community because a lot of blacks couldn’t relate to that. We carried guns to exercise our rights to defend ourselves and bear arms.” It would be the act of exercising that right that the People’s Party II would ultimately meet its demise. On July 26, 1970 Carl Hampton, the founder of the People’s Party II was killed by members of the Houston Police department. “After Carl was killed we were in disarray, we were heartbroken and discombobulated but we figured we needed to keep the struggle going. I was one of the earliest recruits, I had the title of Field Marshall at the time so the brothers that were in the party elected

has also helped revitalize its surrounding area. Maribel Rosas, 30, who attended the Super Bowl Live fan festival with her two sons, said she regularly comes to Discovery Green. “I think it’s a great thing,” Rosas said. Houston is “not very well-known for the whole greenspace. It’s more known for traffic. But now it is.” Sallie Sargent, president and CEO of the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, said the hotels and restaurants and other development around Discovery Green had been part of a long-term economic strategy in Houston but the Super Bowl helped push “those developments to get done in time to have your city be on the global stage.” Other parks around the country that have also helped catalyze development in their communities include Klyde Warren Park in Dallas and Canal Park in Washington, D.C., said Kevin O’Hara, vice president of urban and government affairs with the Virginia-based National Recreation and Park Association. “I think you are seeing it in city centers throughout the country,” he said. “The bars and the clubs are great aspects (for economic development). But the parks themselves appeal to a broader demographic.”

me to that position.” Nearly 50 years later the programs that the organization provided to the community may be a distant memory, but Aaron believes that the panthers provided something else that has carried over the past five decades. “We helped to keep the idea of struggle itself on the minds of people. The idea of the right to self-defense, we helped to put that into the minds of the people. That’s nothing you can put your hands on, but I believe we did that.” A change in times has not changed the causes many people fought for. One major factor that was prevalent in the 60s and 70s and continues to be at the forefront of the fight has been the push to end police brutality. Aaron believes that there is still a need for organizations to fight against these injustices. “The Black Lives Matter movement is a very necessary movement that initiated out of the need to stop the police murder and brutality of black people.” The Black Lives Matter movement has noted that they gained their inspiration from the Panther Party and their leaders of the 60s and 70s, Aaron too looks back on that time as a source of inspiration. “I was inspired by Carl Hampton, Martin Luther King, Malcom X—these are some of my first inspirations… Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, Stokley Carmichael a lot of different people who have been involved in the struggle and I get inspiration from them today. I get inspiration from the memory of them till this day.”


Wednesday February 8, 2017

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Above: The entrance to the NFL Experience at George R. Brown. Left: Dylan Webb wishing everyone a peace. Right: Zyon Johnson (on left in grey sweatshirt) preparing to lauch at the Journey to Mars ride at Discovery Green. Bottom Left: Joe and Andrea Christopher with their sons and nephews resting before entering the NFL Experience. Bottom Right: A’mauri Hines surrounded by six of the New Engalnd Patriots Cheerleaders.




Above: An overview of Discovery Green and the Goere R Brown from the Hilton de las America’s Hotel. Left: Brandon Cruz posing in front of many displays inside the NFL Experience. Right: Cameron Lillie making his prediction next to the Patriots helment at Discovery Green. Bottom Left: Father and son, Richard and Bryce Williams, preparing to do the vertical jump. Bottom Right: Cousins (from left to right) Chris Cartwright, Amare Sauls,Eli Cartwright and Aideen Sauls.

Wednesday February 8, 2017

The Egalitarian



Sports The legacy of Super Bowl LI 8

The Egalitarian www.HCCEgalitarian.com

Wednesday February 8, 2017

John Cañamar

Super Bowl Briefs The Associated Press

The Egalitarian

When the sporting world looks back at Super Bowl LI, it will be remembered as one of the most thrilling NFL games in history. Filled with unbelievable plays and a storybook ending that if not seen by millions live worldwide it would be thought of like a made by Hollywood blockbuster. If this is how you see the game, then Houston as a host city did a great job of putting on a great week long party, but that is not the legacy that will forever be held in the hearts of communities in and around Houston. One such community is Independence Heights, a small 2,186-acre neighborhood full of forgotten history to most but filled with pride by all its residents. The people at Rebuilding Together Houston knew the value of this community, and when the NFL announced the Super Bowl was coming to Houston, they formed a plan to help rejuvenate the neighborhood. Jim Soller, Executive Director of Rebuilding Houston Together, along with Executive Director of Independence Height Redevelopment Council, Tanya Debose, and worked out the details of Super Impact 17 and how it would help transform Independence Heights. Super Impact 17 was a massive project in where Rebuilding Together Houston set a goal to help 500 homeowners in the 17 months leading up to Super Bowl LI. To accurately understand the importance of this project you must first know the importance of this small but prideful neighborhood. Independence Heights originated between the years of 1908 and 1910 when the Wright Land Company secured the land


Some Boston Globe editions suggest Patriots lost

Courtesy of Rebuilding Houston Volunteers from Independence Heights and Lowes painting and building a new porch during the Super Impact 17. and developed the community for black families. The neighborhood was set within the boundaries of Thirtieth Avenue on the south, on the north by Fortieth Avenue, on the west by Yale Street, and on the east by Airline Drive. By financing the lots, themselves, Wright Land Company made it possible for families to become homeowners. For the most part, residents became their own contractors and grew the area establishing churches like New Hope Missionary Baptist, Green Chapel African Methodist Episcopal, St. Paul Colored Methodist Episcopal, Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal, Concord Missionary Baptist and North Main Church of God in Christ. One of these families was the family of Independence Heights community leader Mardie Paige whose deed to her home states that it was financed to her grandfather for the price of $10 and other things such

as his skills as a contractor to build structures. The small community grew to the size of nearly 600 residence when it became the first African American municipality in Texas on January 17, 1915. 700 E. 34th Street was the City Hall-Courthouse, and over the years they made improvements to the community such as shell paving of streets, plank sidewalks, and the installation of a municipal water system. By 1928 there were over 40 black-owned businesses including grocery stores, restaurants, a cleaner and pressing shop, law offices, a lumber company and a drug store to name a few. In November 1928 Independence Heights residents voted to dissolve the city’s incorporation because of their desire to become a part of Houston. The area was annexed to Houston on December 26, 1929. With the help of corporate sponsors like Lowes, Wells

Fargo, BBVA Compass, CDRE, Center Point Energy, Exxon Mobil, hundreds of volunteers, members of the community and Rebuilding Together Houston have helped to rebuild and repair homes, build a food pantry, refurbish a baseball park and help to create a welcoming center and museum. 787 homes and families were impacted throughout Houston blowing away the goal of 500 when Super Impact 17 was created. The final score may have been Patriots 34, Falcons 28 with Tom Brady being named the MVP of the Super Bowl, but the genuine winners of Super Bowl LI was Houston and more directly the community of Independence Heights. ———

Rebuilding Together Houston is not going anywhere now that the Super Bowl has come and gone if you or someone is in need of their service they can be reached on the internet at RebuildingHouston. ORG or by phone at 713.650.0871.

Houston Rockets decline in January Zain Ali

The Egalitarian The surprise team of the 2016-2017 season has been the Houston Rockets. At this period, last season Houston held a 2625 record, compared to this year’s 36-17 record. The Rockets were .500 last year because of the awful defense they exhibited from start to finish. In overall defense, they finished 27th, and even though they made the playoffs as the 8th seed, the Warriors were waiting to abuse the soft Rockets perimeter. Golden state won 4-1 and scored an average of 110 points per contest. For the Rockets to win, it felt like Harden had to have a monster performance or else it would be a loss.

Daryl Morey recouped this off-season and got his franchise player some more help by getting rid of the black cloud Dwight Howard and adding sharpshooters Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon. It looked good early as the Rockets started the season on fire holding the number two offense in the league averaging 111 points per game. Even more important was the improvement on defense, which Houston ranked 7th overall. Adding new coach Mike D’Antoni appeared to be a great move and dispelling the myth of him being a bad defensive coach. Unfortunately, the new year began with the Rockets going back to old habits such as isolation ball, an abundance of turnovers, and most importantly horrible defense. With Patrick Beverly, Trevor Ariza and

shot blocker Clint Capela there should be no excuse for the bad defense being displayed nightly. In the month of February, the Houston Rockets boasted a defense that just as last year, ranked 27th in the NBA while their scoring output dropped 5 PPG. That’s a bad recipe for success as the Rockets have lost eight of their last 14 games. The playoffs are far away, and the potential for this team is through the roof if they fix the defensive issues that continue to plague them. Nobody will want to play James Harden and the sharpshooters that surround him in the playoffs. Developing bad habits are detrimental to any team, and hopefully, the all-star break will fix all of the struggles the Rockets have and focus on being a force in the Western Conference.

BOSTON — It wasn’t exactly ‘Dewey Defeats Truman,’ but some Florida readers of The Boston Globe learned a different Super Bowl outcome than most. Early editions of New England’s largest newspaper ran a front page Monday suggesting the Patriots lost to the Atlanta Falcons. The headline read “A Bitter End” over an image of a fallen Tom Brady. The Patriots ended up mounting a furious rally and won 34-28 in overtime. Part time Florida resident M. Charles Bakst says he received the edition at his residence in Fort Myers and it reminded him of the infamous headline the Chicago Daily Tribune ran following President Harry Truman’s 1948 re-election victory over challenger Thomas Dewey. It’s not immediately clear how many editions were affected. Globe officials did not immediately return a message seeking comment. Boston-area editions ran the headline “Win For The Ages” and showed a triumphant Brady holding up the championship trophy as confetti fell.

Fox draws audience of 111.3 million

NEW YORK — Fox drew an audience of 111.3 million viewers for the first Super Bowl to go to overtime, falling just shy of the audience for football’s ultimate game over the last three years. The Nielsen company said that the top Super Bowl audience — and the biggest for any American TV show — was the 114.4 million who saw the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks in 2015. Last year’s Denver-Carolina game reached an audience of 111.9 million.

Texas Rangers asked to help find jersey

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is asking the state’s top law enforcement officers to help locate Tom Brady’s missing game jersey, which disappeared from the New England Patriots’ locker room after the Super Bowl. The Republican said in a statement Monday that Brady’s jersey “was stolen” after the Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 at Houston’s NRG Stadium, and that city police were already investigating. Patrick said Texas places “a very high value on hospitality and football,” adding: “It is important that history does not record” that Brady’s jersey was stolen in the state. Brady said after the game that the jersey was missing and joked that he expects to see it soon in an online auction.

Wednesday February 8, 2017


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Super Bowl ads go political in a big way Mae Anderson Associated Press

Messages about America, inclusiveness — and, yes, even “four years of awful hair” — kept bubbling up in Super Bowl 51 ads from Airbnb, the NFL and a line of personal care products. But there was still plenty of escapism and light humor for those who weren’t into the politics. As the New England Patriots edged out the Atlantic Falcons on the field in Houston, Airbnb touted inclusiveness with an ad showing faces of different ethnicities and the copy: “We all belong. The world is more beautiful the more you accept.” Coca-Cola aired a previously run ad during the pregame show in which people sing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. And Budweiser ran a 60-second spot chronicling co-founder Adolphus Busch’s migration from Germany to St. Louis in 1857, prompting some critics to start a boycott campaign on Twitter. Even a hair care brand dipped into politics: The “It’s a 10” hair brand indirectly referenced President Donald Trump’s famously unruly do in its Super Bowl spot. It’s tough to be a Super Bowl advertiser, period. But this year, a divisive political climate has roiled the nation since Trump took office in January, making it even tougher for advertisers. Advertisers who paid $5 million for 30 seconds had to walk the line with ads that appealed to everyone and didn’t offend. Some were more successful than others. “Anxiety and politics just loom over this game, so anybody who gives us the blessed relief of entertaining with a real Super Bowl commercial wins,” said Mark DiMassimo, CEO of the ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein. Several ads aimed for just

that. Tide, for instance, offered a humorous ad showing announcer Terry Bradshaw trying frantically to remedy a stain while his antics go “viral” online, with the help of New England Patriot Rob Gronkowski and actor Jeffrey Tambor. ——— WALKING THE POLITICAL LINE “Brands used to worry about whether their ad could be interpreted as right or wrong,” said Kelly O’Keefe, a marketing professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. “Now they have to worry about whether it will be interpreted as right or left.” Plenty of ads walked that line. An NFL spot conveyed what all advertisers hope the Super Bowl becomes: a place where Americans can come together. “Inside these lines, we may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us,” Forest Whitaker intoned in a voiceover as workers prepped a football field and gridiron scenes played. “The Super Bowl is shaping up as a counterpoint to the divisiveness in the United States,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University. Airbnb’s ad was one of the more overtly political, showing a variety of different faces with the tagline “We accept.” Some thought the ad was a hit. “Kudos to them for making a strong statement,” said O’Keefe. But others, such as Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor, thought it didn’t have a clear enough link to the brand and risked coming off as a “purely political statement.” Budweiser drew some criticism for the immigration theme of its ad, including calls on Twitter to boycott the brewer. That fostered debate — and banter — online,

Budweiser via Associated Press This photo provided by Budweiser shows a scene from the company’s commercial for Super Bowl 51. The scene depicts when Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch travels to St. Louis by boat from Germany. particularly over one hashtag that misspelled the company’s name, #boycottbudwiser. Other advertisers took the safest route possible by reairing ads they’ve used before — an unusual, though not unprecedented, move. CocaCola, Google and Fiji water all aired rerun ads. During the pre-game show, Coca-Cola ran “It’s Beautiful,” an ad featuring people around the country drinking the fizzy beverage and singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. ——— SURPRISES A debut Super Bowl spot by the “It’s a 10” hair care brand introduced its line of men’s products by joking about Donald Trump’s hair. “America, we’re in for four years of awful hair, so it’s up to you to do your part by making up for it with great hair,” went a voiceover state as black-andwhite photos of people with a

wide array of hairstyles flashed by. “Do your part. ... Let’s make sure these next four years are ‘It’s a 10.’” Snickers got press by airing a live ad In the third quarter. On a Wild West set, actor Adam Driver seemed not to know the ad was live — and then the set fell apart (on purpose). “You ruin live Super Bowl commercials when you’re hungry,” the ad’s tagline read. “It went by so fast, I almost missed it,” DiMassimo said. “Not sure it was worth the trouble of doing it live.” ——— LIGHT HUMOR PLUS CELEBS Ads with light humor and stuffed with celebrities were popular. Honda’s ad made a splash by animating the yearbook photos of nine celebrities ranging from Tina Fey to Viola Davis. They make fun of their photos — Jimmy Kimmel is dressed in a blue tux and holding a clarinet, for example — and talk about

“The Power of Dreams,” Honda’s ad slogan. “It was a really good message and it was entertaining,” said Mirta Desir, a New Orleans native who works in education and was watching the game on Long Island. The Tide ad with Terry Bradshaw was a hit with some viewers because of the way it tricked viewers into thinking it was part of the broadcast. “It made you think twice,” said Pablo Rochat, watching in Atlanta. “There was funny dialogue and good storytelling.” T-Mobile’s spots — which featured Justin Bieber and Rob Gronkowski dancing , Kristen Schaal in a “50 Shades of Grey” parody and Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg mixing talk about T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan with innuendo about Snoop’s marijuana habit, won raves from some — as did an ad from antioxidant drink maker Bai featuring Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken.

Baylor assistant fired after prostitution arrest The Associated Press WACO, Texas — Baylor University fired a newly hired assistant strength and conditioning coach after he was arrested on a prostitution solicitation charge, the latest legal development at a school wracked a by a sexual assault scandal. Brandon Washington was fired Saturday after school officials learned he had been arrested earlier in the day on a misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in a jail and a $2,000 fine. Deputies arrested the 33-year-old coach at a Waco-area hotel, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara said. “When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program,” new football coach Matt Rhule said. “Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct

“When we arrived at Baylor, we made a commitment to character and integrity in our program Brandon’s actions are completely unacceptable. We will not tolerate conduct that is contradictory to these values.”

Matt Rhule Head Football Coach that is contradictory to these values.” Rhule was hired from Temple, where Washington was on his staff. Baylor officials said the school conducted a full background check before hiring Washington. Jason Cook declined to comment on the specifics of the check or how the private school handles them in general, calling it a personnel issue. The nation’s largest Baptist university

faces multiple federal lawsuits as well as a civil rights investigation into claims the school and football program ignored, mishandled or tried to cover up reports of sexual or physical abuse and other criminal misdeeds across campus for years. The scandal led to the firing of football coach Art Briles in 2016 and the demotion and eventual resignation for former president and chancellor Ken Starr. Former athletic

director Ian McCaw also resigned. McCaw is now at Liberty University in Virginia. Multiple women have alleged the school or ignored their complaints of sexual or physical assault by football players. An investigation for the school by the law firm Pepper Hamilton determined the football program operated as if were “above the rules” by interfering with investigations or protecting players from discipline. School regents have acknowledged the investigation found 17 women who were sexually assaulted, including four cases of gang rape. A lawsuit filed last month puts the number much higher, with a former student identified only as “Elizabeth Doe” alleging knowledge of at least 52 acts of rape by 31 players over a four-year period. Baylor officials have publicly apologized to victims and said they are improving how the campus responds to assault reports.


Wednesday February 8, 2017

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A ‘ Dog’s Purpose’ falls short of promise Fabian Brims The Egalitarian

‘A Dog’s Purpose’ sparked a big outrage about animal treatment on movie sets after a video from the set was leaked to a news magazine. Although an important topic, it doesn’t help the cause to try by manipulating the public with obviously edited footage that dramatized the event. Because of this discussion people almost forget to talk about the movie itself, but unfortunately this film is not worth the buzz. After a short life as a stray, a dog (voiced by Josh Gad) is reincarnated and ends up being rescued from a hot car in the streets by a little boy named Ethan (Bryce Gheisar) and his mother. Even though the father is not happy, they decide to keep the dog and name him Bailey. He has a long and happy life with the boy and sees him grow up. Eventually he dies in the arms of his now grown-up best friend Ethan (now KJ Apa). Bailey again is reincarnated and becomes a police dog. This goes on and we can watch the many lives (and purposes) of a dog until one day his nose catches a familiar smell. This is a sentimental, cheesy, and predictable movie, but luckily it’s not a complete disaster. If you are a dog person, the cute puppies and the ironic voice over from Bailey’s perspective will help you get over plot holes and

Joe Ledere / Universal Pictures via AP This image released by Universal Pictures shows Dennis Quaid with a dog, voiced by Josh Gad, in a scene from “A Dog’s Purpose.” typical plot devices. The acting was fairly decent and showed a sincere friendship between human and animal. Watching young Ethan playing with Bailey just melts everybody’s hearts. It’s clear that we’re watching a very special relationship. However, the portrayal of the family life is much less organic. The alcoholic father, the jealous teammate, and the perfect highschool love are right out of every

random coming-of-age, Lifetime movie. The other chapters are packed with every cliché that the writer, W. Bruce Cameron, could think of, and he’s not able to show us anything new. The screenplay is based on his own book of the same title, but seeing that four other writers are also involved it’s hard to find cohesiveness. The director, Lasse Hallström (Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, the much better dog-movie!)

does the best he can, but even an experienced director like him has no chance to elevate the material if the script is a dud. The actors, while well-cast, don’t stand out as they are just caricatures. However, the cinematography is definitely above average. Painted in beautiful light and often shot from the dog’s perspective, cameraman Terry Stacey (The Confirmation) is one of the

few who went the extra mile to make the movie attractive for the viewer. Also, the production designers deserve a mention for creating nostalgic sets, which take the viewer on a time travel through America of the last 50 years. Obviously, the film’s most amazing feature is the various dogs. They are very cute, welltrained, and Josh Gad’s voiceover does the rest to excite

Swift: Pre-Super Bowl show might be only in ‘17 Mesfin Fekadu Associated Press

John Salangsang/Invision/AP Taylor Swift performs at DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert at Club Nomadic on Saturday in Houston.

Taylor Swift’s pre-Super Bowl concert broke some news: She announced it may be her only concert of this year; she performed for the smallest number of fans in some time — 9,000 people is intimate for this pop star — and she sang her newest single live for the first time. She also made some references to football during the 90-minute show, telling the crowd about her early country-turned-pop hit, “You Belong With Me,” with lyrics about high school cheerleaders, bleachers and boys. “I felt like it might be appropriate,” she said. Swift rocked the night at Houston’s Club Nomadic — starting late Saturday and ending early Sunday morning — wearing a sheer, short Versace dress and fresh bangs. The 27-year-old mostly performed songs from her Grammy-winning 2014 album “1989” and 2012’s “Red,” including pop smashes like “Shake It Off,” ‘’Blank Space,” ‘’Bad Blood,” ‘’Style,” ‘’We Are Never Getting Back Together,” ‘’22” and “I Knew You Were Trouble.” “It’s good to be in Houston, Texas tonight,” she yelled. She worked the stage from the left to right, and strutted up the middle platform to sing closely to her feverish fans at the annual

DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night — where past performers include Justin Timberlake and Rihanna. “I swear you don’t. You don’t want it,” Swift said after fans begged for the towel she used to wipe the sweat from her forehead. Swift also debuted the live performance of “I Don’t Want to Live Forever,” her Top 5 duet with former One Direction member Zayn from the “Fifty Shades Darker” soundtrack. The crowd — full of Swift’s fans 18 and over — roared loudly, in hopes Zayn would appear. “He’s definitely not (here),” she assured them. But she asked the audience to sing along, as she stripped the song to acoustic form, strumming her guitar. She also slowed things down when performing songs she wrote for others — saying it was one of her biggest accomplishments of the last year. She sang a soft version of “This Is What You Came For,” the EDM hit she wrote with former boyfriend Calvin Harris (Rihanna’s vocals are on the original). Swift also sang “Better Man,” a recent No.1 country hit she wrote for Grammy-winning group Little Big Town. Swift’s last tour was a stadium trek with 60,000 seats. The singer, who won the album of the year Grammy last year for her first official pop album “1989,” said the preSuper Bowl show would likely be her only one this year.



Egal•i•tar•i•an (adjective) aiming for equal wealth, status, etc., for all people 3517 Austin; 303 Fine Arts Center; Houston TX 77004 Phone: 713.718.6016; Fax: 713.718.6601 Adviser: Fredrick Batiste

SPRING 2017 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief............................................Jimmieka Mills News Editor................................................... Alyssa Foley Sports Editor..............................................John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor............................................................... TBA Social Media Mgr....................................................... TBA Staff Writer............................................................ Zain Ali Staff Writer................................................... Fabian Brims Staff Writer.................................................... Ana Ramirez Staff Writer................................................................. TBA Staff Writer................................................................. TBA Staff Photographer..................................................... TBA ——— The Egalitarian has been the official student newspaper of the Houston Community College System since September 1974. The Egalitarian is published bi-monthly, every other Wednesday except during holiday breaks. Print circulation is 8,000 copies per issue and distributed to selected HCC campuses in the Houston, Spring Branch, Alief, Katy, North Forest and Fort Bend areas. Comments and contributions are always welcome. Deadlines for contributions and advertisements are one week before the issue print date. The Egalitarian is written and edited by students of Houston Community College. This publication does not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, interests, attitudes and tastes of the Board of Trustees, HCC administration, faculty, staff or students. Opinions and editorial content of The Egalitarian that are unsigned do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Egalitarian staff or adviser. The Egalitarian reserves the right to edit any submitted material for grammatical errors, offensive language, libelous materials and space constraints. It may also refuse any advertising that does not adhere to the HCC mission.


The Egalitarian staff consists of HCC students who must complete all tasks required to produce the newspaper, which serves all campuses of the HCC System. We want all students from all majors to contribute. However, we must follow our submissions policy in order to operate under our limitations of time, energy and staff. All staff and contributing writers must be currently enrolled students at Houston Community College. The Egalitarian interacts with contributing writers via e-mail and telephone. Visiting The Egalitarian will not help contributors get published, only quality work will. Publication priority is given to staff members and assigned articles, and verbal commitments for assignments will not be accepted or recognized. Press releases, story ideas, news tips and suggestions are always welcomed. Any student interested in joining The Egalitarian staff may request more detailed information regarding story length, topics, style, etc., by e-mailing The Egalitarian Faculty Adviser Fredrick Batiste at adviser@hccegalitarian.com.

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Blip, or was this the year fans started tuning out the NFL? Eddie Pells

Associated Press It may have been a blip, explained as much by the mustwatch presidential debates as by some wholesale turn away from football. Or, decades from now, 2016 could be remembered as the season fans started falling out of love with the NFL. TV ratings declined 8 percent, with the presidential election partly, but not solely, to blame. Many of the league’s highestprofile contests were boring blowouts, including eight of the 10 playoff games leading to Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Falcons. Two NFL teams abandoned fan bases in St. Louis and San Diego in favor of their original home, Los Angeles, where neither team had played for decades. And the Raiders are considering leaving Oakland for Las Vegas , which, for all its renown as America’s gambling capital, has never supported its own big-league team. A key segment of fantasy football, as big a driver of NFL growth as anything in recent years, saw its massive numbers plateau. According to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, entry fees for daily fantasy games increased by 4 percent in 2016, compared to 222 percent the year before, as several states explored the legality of what some perceive as gambling. All this was piled on top of ongoing narratives about concussions and their effect on players, a domestic-violence problem that hasn’t abated, Colin Kaepernick’s national-anthem protests and the leadership of a commissioner, Roger Goodell, who is often portrayed as heavy-handed and clueless on some of the league’s most pressing problems. Exhibit A: “Deflategate,” which led to the four-game suspension of arguably the league’s best-known player, Tom Brady. Brady will close the season going for his fifth Super Bowl ring in a game that will draw high ratings thanks to the decadeslong hold the NFL has held over American sports fans. That the infatuation will last indefinitely, however, may no longer be a given. Baseball, boxing and horse racing once consumed the American public, but they don’t anymore. “You’ve got bad games, (concussions) and drugs, and a declining interest in the game in general,” said Orin Starn, a Duke professor who studies sports in society. “When you throw in this welfare for billionaires with these stadium shakedowns, you wonder at what point the good will of ‘Joe NFL Fan’ is going to dissipate and people are going to lose interest in the NFL.”

Richard Vogel/ AP Photo Surrounded by empty seats Los Angeles Rams fans watch their team play the Atlanta Falcons in an NFL football game on Sunday, One big question: Does the average fan even matter anymore in the NFL’s math? The Rams and Chargers each moved out of cities where they’d played for decades — unable to strike deals in their existing homes, and with the lure of a $2.6 billion stadium being funded by Rams owner Stan Kroenke too enticing to ignore. Luxury boxes and ancillary revenue from attractions adjacent to the stadium will help pay some of the bills. A bundle of TV contracts worth nearly $40 billion through 2022 will bankroll the rest. Actual fans? The Chargers clearly don’t need them too badly. While Kroenke’s palace is under construction, they’re willing to play in a 30,000-seat soccer venue near downtown LA that is smaller than two-thirds of the stadiums in college football’s Mountain West Conference. “You look at that, and on some level, there is some assumption that they take fans for granted,” said Eric Simons, author of “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans.” ‘’There’s this idea that fans will follow or that fans don’t matter. That they’ll sell out their boxes to big corporations no matter where they go.” During his state-of-the-league news conference Wednesday, Goodell spelled out no fewer than four tweaks the NFL is considering to decrease the amount of dead time during games. Changing the instant replay protocol, shortening breaks between scores and the ensuing kickoffs and repackaging commercial breaks are among the possibilities. What he can’t control is making the games themselves competitive. Average score of this year’s playoff games: 32-17. “What we’re trying to do is make our ... games as exciting and as action-packed as possible,” Goodell said. In building new stadiums and retrofitting old ones, the league has acknowledged, on some level, that the game itself is no longer

enough to keep fans in the stands engaged. TVs on seatbacks and improved internet connections are all part of the reality of 21stcentury fandom. But in the NFL’s case, that also speaks to the reality that fantasy football drives a huge segment of its current growth: In many cases, fans are every bit as interested in the performance of the players they drafted as of the players wearing the jersey of the team they grew up rooting for. It didn’t help the fantasy industry when a DraftKings employee won $350,000 in a FanDuel contest in 2015 — leading to trust issues for the two largest daily fantasy companies, which had gone largely unregulated. Peter Schoenke, president of rotowire.com, which churns out millions of bits of information for fantasy players, said he’s optimistic that fantasy will rebound. “I think this year, a lot of people got thrown off their rhythm. They were watching the debates, (ticked) off about Kaepernick,” Schoenke said. “It threw a big chunk of people off. I think next year, it could settle back down.” At stake is a $9 billion-ayear business that, in trying to increase its global footprint, has brought three games to London and one to Mexico, all of which were international hits. It also brought football back to Los Angeles, times 2, and could be moving the Raider Nation to the desert. “When you lose people in cities, lose people for entertainment reasons, lose people who identify with certain teams and because there’s this weird mercenary element to it all, it can be a problem,” Simons said. “You’ve also got a replacement, in the NBA, that’s at its most-entertaining moment in decades. All that can be a real threat, and you have to be careful, or you can go the way of boxing.”


Wednesday February 8, 2017

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