The February 7, 2018 issue of The Egalitarian

Page 1


#BHM: A look at the Albany Movement • Page 5


Ex-USA Gymnastics coach faces investigation • Page 8


‘Panther’ is dazzling grandscale filmmaking • Page 10

Wednesday, February 7, 2018 • Vol. 46, No. 1 •

Method vs. Message: How sports can start a movement See Page 4

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Shutdown less likely as Senate closes in on budget agreement Andrew Taylor Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Buoyed by the sudden likelihood of a budget pact, lawmakers are on track to avoid a repeat of last month’s government shutdown — though President Donald Trump unexpectedly raised the possibility of closing things down again if he can’t have his way on immigration. “I’d love to see a shutdown if we can’t get this stuff taken care of,” Trump declared Tuesday, repeating the sentiment for emphasis. Trump’s comments were strikingly disconnected from the progress on Capitol Hill, where the House passed a short-term spending measure Tuesday night and Senate leaders were closing in on a larger, long-term pact ahead of a Thursday night deadline. The broader agreement would award whopping spending increases to both the Pentagon and domestic federal programs, as well as approve overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, crucial legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid possible default. Democratic leaders have dropped their strategy of using the funding fight to extract concessions on immigration, specifically on seeking extended protections for the “Dreamer” immigrants who have lived in the country illegally since they were children. Instead, the Democrats prepared to cut a deal that would reap tens of billions of dollars for other priorities — including combatting opioids — while taking their chances on solving the immigration impasse later. Tuesday night’s 245-182 House vote, mostly along party lines, set the machinery in motion. The sixweek stopgap spending bill contains increases for the military that long have been demanded by Trump and his GOP allies. But the measure appears

increasingly likely to be rewritten by the Senate to include legislation implementing the brewing broader budget pact. House Democrats canceled a scheduled three-day retreat on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to develop a strategy for the midterm elections. A spokeswoman blamed the cancellation on “the pressing issues Congress will likely vote on over the next three days.” The budget negotiations, conducted chiefly by the Senate’s top leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Chuck Schumer of New York, have intensified in recent days — and the looming government shutdown at midnight Thursday added urgency to the talks. In addition to the military and domestic spending, the deal taking shape would approve overdue disaster relief money and, perhaps, crucial legislation to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid possible default. Both McConnell and Schumer reported progress Tuesday morning. “I think we’re on the way to getting an agreement and getting it very soon,” said McConnell. Prospects for dealing with immigration, however, were as fuzzy as ever. The Senate is slated next week to begin a debate to address the dilemma of immigrants left vulnerable by the looming expiration of former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Weeks of bargaining have left the two parties divided over how to extend protections for such Dreamer immigrants and a court ruling has blunted a March 5 deadline. McConnell said Tuesday that while he hopes “we will end up having something,” he was unsure if any proposed measure would get the 60 votes needed for approval. On Tuesday, White House chief of staff John Kelly threw fuel on the dispute as he defended Trump’s proposed solution. The retired general

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., center, walks to a Republican strategy conference at the Capitol as House GOP leaders are proposing to keep the government open for another six weeks by adding a year’s worth of Pentagon funding to a stopgap spending bill, in Washington, Tuesday.

noted the White House proposal would expand protection for some 1.8 million immigrants. That group includes both the 690,000 currently shielded and also “the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up,” he said. No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois, his party’s chief immigration negotiator, bristled at the comment. “I’m sorry for that characterization. It doesn’t surprise me from Gen. Kelly,” he said. The budget talks appeared to be going more smoothly. GOP defense hawks were prevailing over the party’s depleted ranks of deficit hawks, championing major new spending on military programs. Democrats, meanwhile, leveraged their influence to increase spending for domestic priorities such as combating opioid misuse. The result could be the return of trillion-dollar deficits for the first time since Obama’s first term. The stopgap spending bill would keep the government open through March 23 to allow time to write and pass detailed follow-up “omnibus” legislation to fund the government through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. The prospective longer-term budget

agreement would give both the Pentagon and domestic agencies relief from a budget freeze that lawmakers say threatens military readiness and training as well as domestic priorities such as combating opioid abuse and repairing the government’s troubled health care system for veterans. The temporary funding measure would also reauthorize funding for community health centers, which enjoy widespread bipartisan support. Aides in both parties said the budget measure may also contain a provision to raise the government’s $20.5 trillion borrowing limit. Legislation to increase the debt ceiling is always a headache, especially for House GOP leaders whose rank and file have in the past used the votes to register objection to deficit spending. Another likely addition is more than $80 billion in long-overdue hurricane relief for Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a top priority of lawmakers in both parties. Under Congress’ arcane ways, a broad-brush agreement to increase legally binding spending “caps” — which would otherwise keep the budgets for the military and domestic agencies essentially frozen — would be approved, then followed by a far more detailed catchall spending bill that would take weeks to negotiate.

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Method vs. Message: How sports can start a movement Eddie Pels

AP National Writer

EDITOR’S NOTE: African-American athletes have used their sports platforms for more than 100 years to impact social and political change. As part of AP’s coverage plans for Black History Month, we will take a multiplatform look at how many have and continue to engage in activism, from Jack Johnson, to Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick. Colin Kaepernick’s first two “protests” drew scant attention. He sat on the bench, out of uniform, virtually unnoticed. His third got some buzz after a reporter tweeted a picture of the 49ers bench that had nothing to do with the quarterback but caught him in the frame, sitting during the national anthem. Meanwhile, the killing of a 12-year-old boy by police and the light it shined on the Black Lives Matter movement helped draw a reluctant LeBron James into the world of using sports as a vehicle for social change. But once he got there, James stayed disciplined both about the message he sends and the way he sends it. Despite their vastly divergent methods, Kaepernick and James helped set a stake in the ground, declaring to athletes across all sports that their platforms could be — should be — used for more than fun and games in the 21st century. Kaepernick’s message — “organic” to some, “disorganized” to others — started a movement that has essentially linked the NFL with kneeling in a dramatic string of events that will play out for a final time this season, Sunday at the Super Bowl. James has also made an imprint thanks to the power of his own brand. Whose method worked better? The answer to that question figures to guide the direction of sports protests for the foreseeable future. “Kaepernick didn’t go into it knowing what was going to happen. He was doing what he thought was right but this was not something he expected,” said professor Danielle Coombs of Kent State, who specializes in the politics of sports. “On the other hand, you have athletes, like LeBron James, who make sure they do it in a way that lets the message rise to the top.” Coombs and David Casillo co-authored a paper in the Journal of Sport and Social Issues centered on James, whose precise, calculated brand of activism pressed for change, but in a way that would not negatively affect the bottom line.

Two years before Kaepernick, and two decades after the seemingly apolitical Michael Jordan once reportedly said Republicans buy shoes, too, James found himself in the middle of a firestorm in the wake of the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. James said very little about the killing, which occurred only miles from his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He took heat for his reluctance. But over the ensuing years, he branched out slowly and cautiously, and sometimes with others at his side. He joined Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade at the 2016 ESPYs and gave a well-received speech calling for an end to gun violence. The speech was a well-thoughtout, well-organized message timed for maximum impact, as was Steph Curry’s impassioned defense of the stance that Kaepernick and others had taken on issues ranging from sitting during the national anthem, to the importance of showing team unity to foregoing White House visits. “If I’m going to use my platform, I don’t want to just be noise,” Curry wrote in a Veterans Day blog on The Players’ Tribune website. “I want to talk about real issues that are affecting real people.” The methods Curry and James use for getting out the message were almost the exact opposite of Kaepernick’s. Turns out, Kaepernick made more headlines, but also became more vulnerable to his message getting lost or distorted due to the timing and some of his own selfinflicted sideshows . Some may say that by not being calculating and by playing from the heart, Kaepernick sent a truer message. He also backed it up by raising $1 million for charity — much coming in $10,000 increments from celebrities and sports stars. But was it more effective? Can it be repeated? “One of the keys for athletes is that they pick moments in time to make sure their message resonates,” said marketing expert Joe Favorito. “Certainly, it has become easier for people to start a process. But it’s become more difficult to follow through with it. These days, unless you have the biggest stage, you’re competing against thousands of other people. It’s not necessarily athletes. It can be anyone.” The NFL was unprepared for the protests, though a five-page memo in 1966 written by a young black league executive to then Commissioner Pete Rozelle predicted this could happen. The memo, which can be read in its entirety on , warned that a team releasing a black player who’d been

Ted S. Warren/AP File Photo In this Sept. 25, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle.

outspoken on civil rights issues could spark major protests. Now even more than then, few platforms grab as many eyeballs as that of the NFL. And no league drapes itself in the American flag quite like the NFL. That’s two reasons Kaepernick’s gesture had legs. When President Donald Trump took on the league this season, criticizing those who followed Kaepernick’s lead, the debate became multipronged, with players, and even some owners, banding together to show they would not be pushed around by the president. Meanwhile, TV ratings remained flat. Some fans tuned out and stayed away, enraged by what they perceived as disrespect to the flag, the military and American values. Kaepernick’s original message got mixed in with several others. Regardless, midway through the season, the NFL realized it had to do something. After multiple meetings with player representatives, the league announced it was funneling $90 million into social justice issues that are important to players. Just last week, it launched Let’s

Listen Together , an initiative designed to address some of the players’ most urgent concerns. The launch came mere days before the Super Bowl, where “The Star-Spangled Banner,” always a big deal at the title game, will get extra attention for what players choose to do and not do. Kaepernick, who started in the Super Bowl a mere five years ago, will be nowhere near the field this time. Nevertheless, his imprint will be felt. “He realizes that someone has to be a sacrificial lamb in order to sound the alarm,” said John Carlos, whose raisedfist salute along with Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics stands as a seminal moment in sports protest. “To have people start have some sort of dialogue, some sort of conversation.” Kaepernick’s odyssey illustrated the conundrum athletes find themselves in at the start of 2018: Nobody has the perfect answer for what gesture — whether calculated or completely improvised — might make the difference between capturing a one-day news cycle versus sparking a movement.

Judge facing complaint after outing domestic violence victim Claudia Lauer

Associated Press

DALLAS — A Dallas judge previously disciplined for 2014 comments saying a 14-year-old rape victim in her court wasn’t the “victim she claimed to be” is facing another complaint after calling out a domestic violence victim during a re-election event. The interaction happened Monday night at a candidate forum between State District

Judge Jeanine Howard and her opponent in the Democratic Primary, Alison Grinter, at the African American Museum in Dallas. Before her closing remarks, Howard saw Keisha Nixon in the audience, identified her by name, and after a moderator tried to calm the situation proceeded to tell the audience that Nixon’s “boyfriend was sent to prison for assaulting her numerous times.” Nixon appeared at a news

conference Tuesday with a representative from the Next Generation Action Network, a social justice activism group based in Dallas that has sought police and criminal justice reforms. Nixon and the group are calling for Howard to resign over the interaction, and Nixon said she has filed an ethics complaint with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. “I am still shocked, humiliated, embarrassed that a sitting judge would re-victimize

me in public and use my status as a domestic violence victim to humiliate and criticize me, to discredit me because she is angry,” Nixon said. “I am not the 14-year-old victim that unfortunately she shamed. I am a grown woman and I do not deserve to be treated like this.” From a video of the interaction posted to Facebook, it was unclear whether Nixon had asked a question or interacted with Howard prior to the altercation.

Howard’s court assistant reached by phone Tuesday at her judicial office said the judge had no comment. Eric Vinson, executive director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of a complaint against a member of the judiciary. He said the only time he could discuss a complaint was if the commission had ruled to issue a public sanction.

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#BHM: A look at The Albany Movement Mississippi

honors man who tried to integrate USM Chevel Johnson Associated Press

Marquis Wiley The Egalitarian

It is still hard to believe that there was a time when America was legally divided in to “separate but equal” parts. Voting laws, interracial marriages, water fountains, even hospitals were segregated by Whites and “Coloreds.” White delivery rooms were properly maintained, while the Colored delivery rooms were in hospital basements. To Whites, the Black community was simply not supposed to exist on the same level, let alone interact with them equitably. After a short period of superficial integration after the civil war, Whites began to use the government as a weapon towards Blacks. Jim Crow Laws were enacted in 1877, causing society to revert and maintain the view that Black people were subservient to Whites in every way possible. If Blacks got out of line, they were jailed, punished, beaten, and often killed for speaking up. As the Black communities across the south resisted, the Civil Rights Movement reached the South Georgia town of Albany, and two young revolutionaries —with the help of nearby HBCU Albany State College —mobilized the Albany black community into action. In 1961, the Albany movement began as the Board of Registration Project. Its aim was to get more Black citizens registered to vote. Charles Sherrod, and Cordell Reagon, Members of The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (S.N.C.C.), arrived in Albany and quickly began reaching out to the Black community in any way that they could. The S.N.C.C., a group founded in 1960, and led by students from several Black Colleges, staged nonviolent protests at segregated lunch counters, grocery stores, and perhaps most important, on public transportation

and at public transportation terminals. Sherrod and Reagon arrived in Albany and spoke to anyone and everyone about standing up against Jim Crow laws. From churches to nightclubs, the two young revolutionaries relentlessly set out to convey the message that both local and national change had to emerge from the Black community itself. Famously known for not giving up her seat on a crowded bus, the arrest of Rosa Parks was just one of many cases that came out of the south about inhumane treatment in public spaces, and it was arrests like that of Ms. Parks that kept the Albany community hesitant about being proactive with regard to their owns rights. Nonetheless, Sherrod and Reagon remained adamant toward freeing the minds of the community of Albany, and they expanded their meetings to include the students at the local Albany State College. On Nov. 1, 1961, facilitating a meeting on the campus, Sherrod, Reagon, and several students expressed grievances regarding segregation within the town and shed fresh light on the state of Albany’s black community. From there, the Albany Movement was born, and it began tracking the town’s local police department, involving the City Manager of Albany, discussing and demanding change in Albany. The Movement, not surprisingly, was met with heavy opposition from White citizens who made up most of local law enforcement and the town’s mayor. By midDecember some 500 arrests were made in attempt to scare away the unwanted controversy in the otherwise complicit town. Finally, Sherrod and Reagon decided to enlist the help of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King arrived at Shiloh Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia on December 15, 1961, and delivered a

powerful message. Speaking to this congregation, Dr. King rejuvenated the Albany movement by giving hope to the community. Sadly, Dr. King, along with other activists, would be arrested the next day while marching through Albany on charges of “parading without a permit,” and “obstructing the sidewalk.” The arrests within the Albany movement brought attention to the cause nationally because, as Dr. King later noted, the local government once again used “racist tactics to defund the movement in the south through excessive bail.” Yet, in an ironic positive outcome of this unjust incarceration, serving that time in jail gave King and other leaders inside access and insight to jail-ins and the masses incarcerated due to the movement. Dr. King came to an agreement with the Interstate Commerce Commission, that if he left Albany once he was released, they would release the other protestors on bail. This “agreement” was primarily to get King out of town, as he was viewed as bringing unwanted national news coverage to the relatively quiet small town. The promised agreement, however, was not kept, and protests continued into 1962. By mid-1962, a staggering 737 protesters had been arrested, the largest mass arrest in American history. In June of 1962, Dr. King would be found guilty and ordered to pay a fine or serve the forty-five days in jail. In solidarity, he chose jail. This boosted demonstrations, which turned violent, and lead to more arrests around the movement fueling yet more negative press in Albany. Ultimately, an unknown person paid Dr. King’s fine, and he was released from the Albany jail. Upon that release, he noticed a negative shift in the movement had taken place. Upon this observation, Dr. King requested a halt to the

demonstrations and a “Day of Penance” or reflection for the community to collect their self mentally and physically. On July 27, 1962, Dr. King was taken into custody for a third time; however, after his release this time, he agreed to leave Albany and its movement for good. With the departure from Albany, Dr. King felt that his efforts and the movement in Albany were a failure. However, as time would tell, residents would not give up the fight that easily, and the resistance efforts continued. Dr. King would take his failures in Albany and use those lessons to shape the success of the Alabama marches in Selma and Birmingham. Dr. King may have viewed Albany’s movement as a failure, but the community did not, and history does not. The Albany movement continued strong after Dr. King’s departure, and the community began to see victories. The rallies may have seemed like failures due to the continued mass arrests, but it was the major injustice of those arrests that advanced Dr. King’s resolve and gained nation’s attention. In Albany, voter registration efforts finally proved to be effective, as Thomas Chatmon, a Black businessman, received enough votes in the following election for city commission. The Albany Movement inspired movements in other southern towns to challenge their governments’ unjust and despicable legal structures. The civil rights movement would gain ground and last well through the 60’s achieving significant success throughout the nation. Two young revolutionaries, determined to make change, played a significant role in impacting the greater good. As Margaret Mead famously noted, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

The state of Mississippi is recognizing a man who sought to integrate a segregated university until he was falsely imprisoned and denied treatment for the cancer that claimed his life. On Friday, the Mississippi Freedom Trail Task Force dedicated a historic marker acknowledging Forrest County native Clyde Kennard, a black man who repeatedly tried to enroll at the all-white Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, from 1955 to 1959 as part of an effort to desegregate higher education. It’s the trail’s 26th marker. Ultimately, Kennard was falsely charged with stealing chicken feed and whiskey and sentenced to seven years at Mississippi’s State Penitentiary at Parchman. While there, he was diagnosed with cancer but was denied proper treatment until he was critically ill. Under pressure of bad publicity should Kennard die at Parchman, Gov. Ross Barnett ordered his release in spring 1963. He died that summer at age 36. “He is most worthy to receive this recognition,” said Eddie A. Holloway, USM dean of students. “He plays such a significant role in the desegregation of schools in higher education in Mississippi. His life and legacy remains and should be marked or connoted by future generations.” Leslie Burl McLemore, chairman of the task force, said Kennard’s role in Mississippi’s desegregation history should not be overlooked. “He tried to gain admission before James Meredith was admitted to the University of Mississippi” in 1962, said McLemore. “That’s truly significant. What he endured was monumental and a human tragedy. It’s only right that the university would honor him in this way.” On March 30, 2006, Kennard was declared innocent of the crimes that sent him to Parchman. USM ultimately renamed its student services building in honor of Kennard and Walter Washington, the first African-American to earn a doctoral degree from Southern Miss. The university also established a scholarship program to continue Kennard’s legacy. More than 40 students have benefited from the program.


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Ex-Olympic gymnastics facing investigation David Eggert Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. — Former U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team coach John Geddert is facing a criminal investigation following the final sentencing of disgraced exsports doctor Larry Nassar, who molested girls at Geddert’s elite gymnastics club in Michigan. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that people recently came forward with complaints against Geddert, 60. The office declined to elaborate on the number of complaints, when exactly they were filed or their nature, citing the ongoing investigation. Geddert until recently owned and operated Twistars, a gym in Dimondale near Lansing where Nassar offered treatments on Monday nights. During Nassar’s two recent sentencing hearings, some victims complained that Geddert was physically abusive, was indifferent to injuries and forced them to see Nassar. One also alleged that Geddert was aware in the late 1990s that Nassar had performed an “inappropriate procedure” on her when she was 16, and her mother and Geddert agreed that Nassar would not treat her in private appointments again. That accuser’s anonymous statement was read in court by a prosecutor. The Associated Press left a message seeking comment with Geddert’s lawyer Tuesday. Geddert has insisted he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes. In response to lawsuits, his attorney filed court papers saying Geddert was “just one person in an extremely long line of people who were fooled by Nassar.” Geddert previously was accused of physically assaulting

a Twistars employee in 2011. He also was accused of assaulting a gymnast in 2013. He did not face charges in either case. On Monday, the worst sexabuse case in sports history ended with a third long prison sentence for Nassar — this time 40 to 125 years for molesting young gymnasts at Twistars. The focus will shift to civil lawsuits and multiple probes of Nassar’s actions and those of people around him when he worked for Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, the sport’s governing body. Geddert, whose national profile rose while training Lansing-area standout Jordyn Wieber, was suspended last month by USA Gymnastics until it completes its own investigation. Geddert coached the “Fierce Five” that won a team gold in 2012 in London. He recently announced his retirement and transferred ownership of the club to his wife, Kathryn. A spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office prosecuted Nassar, has declined to say if Geddert or Twistars is under investigation An astonishing 250-plus women and girls gave statements in two Michigan courtrooms over 10 days of proceedings. Makayla Thrush, who trained at Geddert’s club from ages 7 to 17, said she developed an eating disorder because of Geddert and accused him of becoming so angry that he threw her on top of a low bar, ruptured the lymph nodes in her neck, gave her a black eye and tore the muscles in her stomach, ending her career. “I have been dealing with many mixed emotions the past few weeks, some of it having to deal with the enablers of the abusers trying to get out of their screw-up,” she said in court last

Kathy Willens/AP File Photo Gymnastics coach John Geddert is seen at the American Cup gymnastics meet at Madison Square Garden in New York. Geddert, a former U.S. women’s gymnastics national team coach, is facing a criminal investigation in Michigan after the sentencing of disgraced ex-sports doctor Larry Nassar, who treated girls at his elite club Twistars near Lansing. The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday people have recently come forward with complaints against Geddert.

month. “There isn’t one bone in my body that doesn’t hate John Geddert for everything he has done to me in my career.” Separately Tuesday, Michigan State released a letter that interim president John Engler sent Monday to an independent special prosecutor appointed by state Attorney General Bill Schuette to investigate allegations that the school ignored and mishandled old complaints against Nassar. Engler pledged “full cooperation” but also criticized William Forsyth for sending authorities without warning to execute search warrants at the university Friday, as news

cameras filmed. Engler noted that Schuette had said the probe would not be “political.” The presence of camera crews was hopefully “not part of an investigation ‘media strategy’ but rather inadvertent and the result of indiscrete behavior that can be stopped,” Engler wrote. Leaks must be prevented, he said. “Your credibility depends on that, as does the MSU community’s need for a report that is viewed as objective and complete. We owe this to the survivors,” he wrote. A spokeswoman for Schuette, who is running for governor and whose campaign has been

endorsed by Engler — himself a former Republican governor — said the letter was being reviewed. Also Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Rick Snyder said Michigan State Board of Trustees Chairman Brian Breslin, who is also Snyder’s appointments manager, began an unpaid leave of absence for between 30 and 90 days from that job to focus on his post with the trustees. “While the two roles never overlapped, my first priority is to fulfill my statewide elected responsibilities as a MSU Trustee,” Breslin said in a statement.

NBC looks to make Olympic coverage omnipresent David Bauder

AP Media Writer

Jae C. Hong/AP File Photo A photographer walks down the steps underneath a large banner at the Gangneung Hockey Center ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Fresh off the Super Bowl, NBC begins more than two weeks of Winter Olympics coverage on Thursday with a new host, some new wrinkles and the hope that its business model keeps pace with the different ways people experience events on television and online.

NEW YORK — Fresh off the Super Bowl, NBC begins more than two weeks of Winter Olympics coverage on Thursday with a new host, some new wrinkles and the hope that its business model keeps pace with the different ways people experience events on television and online. Some skiing and figure skating competition takes place Thursday in South Korea. NBC will stream the Olympic opening ceremony from Pyeongyang live early Friday in the United States, then repeat it that evening for television viewers with Mike Tirico and Katie Couric as hosts. NBC parent Comcast Corp. placed a $963 million bet — the Pyeongchang rights fee — on Americans wanting to take a breather from arguments in Washington to watch athletes prospect for gold on snow or ice.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to be apolitical in a time when that’s been very difficult to do,” said Couric, who’s making a return to NBC for the Olympics. That may be a tough sell. There’s always more attention paid to summer Olympics than the winter sports, and distant locations tend to depress interest, too. “It definitely feels like it’s more quiet, more subdued, than previous Olympic seasons,” said Ashwin Navin, CEO of Samba TV, an analytics firm that measures television viewing. Adam Schwartz, an analyst for Horizon Media, said he’s noticed a lack of enthusiasm among many advertisers, some related to curiosity over how the time zone difference will play out (Pyeongchang is 14 hours ahead of the eastern United States). NBC has already estimated it has booked more than $900 million in national advertising. see NBC Olympics, Page 9

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Changes make February less frantic Steve Megaree

AP Sports Writer

There’s a strange sense of calm that has replaced the tumult typically associated with college football recruiting this time of year. The arrival of a December signing period has removed much of the suspense from the traditional national signing day that takes place on the first Wednesday of February. About three-quarters of the top 250 high school football prospects already have signed, according to a composite ranking of recruiting sites compiled by 247Sports . While college coaching staffs around the country have spent the last few days making final sales pitches as they attempt to complete their recruiting classes, the atmosphere isn’t nearly as hectic as before. “It does feel a little less frantic,” said Barton Simmons, the director of scouting for 247Sports. “I think there’s still plenty of drama surrounding some of the bigger names and more elite prospects in this class, but the general frenetic pace that we’re used to - the chaos of the final weekend - is definitely taken down a notch or two.” There’s something else different about this recruiting season: For the first time in several years, Alabama might not land the nation’s top class. Alabama has posted the nation’s No. 1 class , according to the 247Sports Composite, each of the last seven years but currently ranks sixth in the team standings . Simmons said the reigning national champions still have a remote chance at finishing first in the recruiting standings but added it would “be a pretty big upset” if anyone other than Ohio State or Georgia ended up No. 1. Georgia already has signed seven players rated as five-star prospects by Rivals and remains one of the top contenders for Tyson Campbell, a five-star cornerback from American Heritage in Plantation, Florida. Rivals director of recruiting Mike Farrell said if Georgia signs eight Rivals fivestar prospects, it would match the record set by Southern California’s 2004 class. Some of the five-star recruits in that 2004 USC class included eventual firstround NFL draft pick Keith Rivers and second-round selections Fred Davis and Deuce Lutui. Still, Alabama remains one of the main stories heading into the final days of the recruiting season because it remains in play for many of the top uncommitted recruits. “Alabama’s interesting because they’re involved with all the (uncommitted) fivestars but not the favorite for anybody,”

Jae C. Hong/AP File Photo Georgia head coach Kirby Smart waits with his team to run onto the field before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Oklahoma in Pasadena, Calif. There’s a strange sense of calm that has replaced the tumult typically associated with this time of year on the college football recruiting calendar. The December signing period has removed much of the suspense from the traditional national signing day that takes place the first Wednesday of February. Most of the top high school prospects already signed in December.

Farrell said. “But you know they could pull one or two of them easy.” ——— Some things to watch as the remaining unsigned high school seniors prepare to finalize their college decisions. FOCUS ON FLORIDA: The top three uncommitted prospects are all from the state of Florida. Patrick Surtain Jr., a cornerback from Plantation American Heritage, appears to have LSU and Alabama atop his list. Offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere of Tampa’s Berkeley Prep is considering Florida, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Alabama. Campbell, also from American Heritage, is choosing among Georgia, Alabama and Miami. TALENTED TEAMMATES: In addition to the Surtain-Campbell duo from American Heritage, there’s another set of unsigned high school teammates with fivestar rankings. Quarterback JT Daniels and wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown of Mater Dei in Santa Ana, California, have verbally committed to Southern California and are expected to sign with the Trojans this week. Daniel had been considered a 2019 prospect before announcing in December he would graduate from high school a year early to start his college career. USC’S RISE: The additions of Daniels and St. Brown could be part of a big week for USC. The Trojans are currently 11th, but Simmons believes they could end up

in the top five. USC remains in play for cornerbacks Olaijah Griffin (the No. 28 overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite) and Isaac Taylor-Stuart (No. 32) and wide receiver Devon Williams (No. 40) among others. MONITORING NEW COACHES: This later signing period is most important for new coaches who didn’t have much time to contact recruits before the December signing period. Florida State’s Willie Taggart and Tennessee’s Jeremy Pruitt have been particularly busy lately trying to upgrade classes that had been ranked outside the top 50 about six weeks ago. Florida State had moved up to 15th and Tennessee had risen to 20th as of Monday morning, but both could move even higher. LESS FLIPPING: This normally is the time that numerous verbally committed players suddenly change their minds and sign elsewhere, but the early signing period has made that less of a February event. Most of the recruits who were going to back out of commitments already have done so. “That’s one of the things that make it less hectic than before,” Farrell said. There are still a few potential candidates who could flip. Outside linebacker Quay Walker (No. 31) has committed to Alabama but is being pursued by Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn. Outside linebacker Otis Reese (No. 87) has committed to Michigan but also is considering Georgia.

McDaniels backs out of deal to become Colts coach Michael Marot AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh McDaniels has backed out of a deal to become the Indianapolis’ Colts new coach, a decision that shocked the franchise hours after it announced his hiring. The Colts confirmed McDaniels’ decision in a statement Tuesday night after reports emerged that the Patriots’ offensive coordinator

had opted to stay in New England with coach Bill Belichick. McDaniels had agreed to contract terms with the Colts to replace the fired Chuck Pagano, and a news conference had been scheduled for Wednesday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Just a few hours later, the Colts said McDaniels informed them he would not sign the deal. “Although we are surprised

and disappointed, we will resume our head coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field,” the Colts said in the statement. The Patriots and McDaniels’ agent, Bob LaMonte, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. “I’m speechless,” former Colts receiver Reggie Wayne told NFL Network. “I’ve talked with people in the Colts

organization and they feel like they’ve been hoodwinked.” It’s also not clear how the Colts will proceed from here. By spurning Indy after it waited 22 days for the playoffs to end, McDaniels leaves the reeling franchise as the only one without a coach — in early February. New England’s defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, left Belichick’s staff a day after the Patriots’ Super Bowl loss to become coach of the Detroit Lions.


NBC Olympics, From Page 8 “Outside of (American skier) Lindsey Vonn, there hasn’t been much buzz,” Schwartz said. Tirico, formerly of ESPN, replaces Bob Costas as host of NBC’s prime-time coverage and already he’s being asked to put in more hours. For the first time, NBC will air its evening coverage live across the country, meaning the broadcast that starts at 8 p.m. on the East Coast starts at 5 p.m. out West. With a half-hour break for local news, Tirico will stay on the air each evening until 2 a.m. Eastern time, coinciding with the end of prime-time out West. NBC believes the time zone difference will serve the American audience well. Since prime evening viewing time coincides with daylight hours in South Korea, it means more live events than usual when most viewers are available. NBC’s coverage team is well stocked with veterans; essayist Jimmy Roberts is covering his 17th Olympics and Mary Carillo is on her 14th. Yet there are some notable changes for Olympic followers. The colorful team of Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir take over as lead analysts for the marquee sport of figure skating, replacing Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic. Hockey announcing legend Mike “Doc” Emrick, who doesn’t want to make the long journey, will be missed. Former Olympic skier Bode Miller and speed skater Joey Cheek will be new analysts. In addition to the return of Olympic enthusiast Leslie Jones of “Saturday Night Live,” NBC will add a couple of left-field choices for cultural correspondents in race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Momofuku restaurant founder David Chang. NBC’s prime-time coverage is the window through which most Americans experience the Olympics, but it’s only a fraction of what is offered. All the competition will be streamed online, and coverage is also available on the NBCSN sports cable network, CNBC, USA and the Olympic Channel. NBCSN even airs different Olympics coverage during prime time and, coupled with the online options, gives couch-bound viewers the chance for a multiscreen experience. The options are great for consumers, but present a challenge to NBC. Traditionally, the success of the Olympics from a business and public perception standpoint is measured by the ratings for NBC’s prime-time broadcast. NBC is virtually certain to see a smaller audience than Sochi four years ago, simply because people are watching less live TV than they used to. To illustrate: a sampling of 10 current programs that were also on the air four years ago shows all have lost viewers, ranging from 5 percent (CBS’ “Blue Bloods”) to 59 percent (NBC’s “Blacklist”).


Wednesday February 7, 2018

The Egalitarian



‘Black Panther’ is dazzling grand-scale filmmaking Jake Coyle

AP Film Writer

NEW YORK — The sup-posedly cosmically vast Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it’s called, spans planets peppered throughout the galaxy, but Ryan Coogler’s Earth-bound “Black Panther,” glittering and galvanizing, stands worlds apart. For those of us who have sometimes felt pummeled by the parade of previous Marvel movies, the sheer richness of Coogler’s film is almost disorienting. Can superhero films, so often a dull mash of effects, be this dazzlingly colorful? Are genuine cultural connections allowed in modern-day comic book blockbustermaking? Is a $20 billion refund in order? Unlike many of its more hollow predecessors, “Black Panther” has real, honest-to-goodness stakes. As the most earnest and big-budget attempt yet of a black superhero film, “Black Panther” is assured of being an overdue cinematic landmark. But it’s also simply ravishing, grand-scale filmmaking. There are familiar Marvel beats here. Just as he did in the surprisingly sensational Rocky reboot “Creed,” Coogler hasn’t reinvented the genre so much as electrified it with a new perspective and a rare talent for marrying naturalistic character development with spectacle muscle. “Tell them who you are” is the encouragement shouted at the title character, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) prince of the African nation Wakanda. But it could just as well serve as the overarching rally cry of a film that for many symbolizes a big-screen affirmation of African-

American identity. “Black Panther” stands for everything that’s been missing from Marvel’s — and Hollywood’s — universe. Coogler opens with exposition on Wakanda, a mighty African country that appears from the outside, as one Western sneers, as “Third World.” But hidden from sight is a shimmering, technologically advanced metropolis whose stealthy growth has been fueled by vibranium, a cosmic mineral deposited deep in its mountains by a meteorite thousands of years earlier. Vibranium makes up the suit that T’Challa dons as Black Panther, and its power is much guarded. An early flashback, to 1992 Oakland, California, shows one Wakandan’s failed efforts to smuggle Vibranium in order to empower struggling African-Americans. When the king of Wakanda dies, T’Challa returns home to take the throne, where he finds the country’s five tribes — each with their own distinct color and attire — are beginning to bubble with discord. W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) of the Border Tribe, in particular, would like to see the historically isolationist Wakanda give more in foreign aid and to refugees. The issue is brought to the fore by an unknown Wakandan exile, Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Michael B. Jordan), an American-made soldier who aspires to take Wakanda’s power to rebalance black power around the globe. “The world’s gonna start over and this time we’re on top,” he vows in the film’s climactic moments. But his mission isn’t initially so clear, as he and a band of rogues, led by Andy Serkis’ black-market arms dealer Ulysses Klaue, begin causing havoc for T’Challa. Boseman’s Panther is a politician at heart

Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios-Disney via AP This image released by Disney shows Michael B. Jordan, left, and Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther.” (Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios-Disney via AP)

who’s virtually always flanked by a trio of powerful women: Lupita Nyong’o’s Nakia, part of Wakanda’s all-female special forces, the Dora Milaje; the special forces leader Okoye (Danai Gurira); and his younger sister Shuri (a terrific Letitia Wright, who supplies most of the film’s comic moments). There are the expected special effects setpieces and a very Bond-like trip to a South Korean casino. But the conflict at the heart of “Black Panther” is between separate factions of an African diaspora in a mythological realm filled with colonizers and racists who curse the Wakandan as “savages.” It’s powerful myth-making not just for its obvious timeliness but for the film’s sincere grappling with heritage and destiny. The traditional-meets-futuristic cost-

umes and jewelry, by Ruth E. Carter, are ravishingly detailed. T’Challa’s mystical visit to his ancestors is gloriously rendered on a twilight plain beneath a pink-hued sky and the glowing eyes of panthers in a tree. And most of all, Jordan’s bitter, wounded warrior is uncommonly tender. He is a “villain” only in quotes; his means are extreme but his cause is just. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Black Panther first appeared in 1966. But the character has sparked the imaginations of many since, including the filmmaker Reginald Hudlin, the author Ta-Nehisi Coates and Wesley Snipes, who labored for years to adapt the comic into a movie. (Ironically it was Snipes’ 1998 superhero film “Blade” that kicked off Marvel’s boxoffice success.)



Wednesday February 7, 2018

The Egalitarian


A letter to professors 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

FALL 2017 EGALITARIAN STAFF Editor-in-Chief........................................... Jimmieka Mills News Editor................................................................ TBA Sports Editor............................................. John Cañamar Culture Editor.............................................. Erik Calderon Photo Editor............................................................... TBA Social Media Mgr....................................................... TBA Staff Writer..........................................Skarleth Valasquez 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

EDITOR’S NOTE: Over a span of weeks, I interviewed current and former Houston Community College students about their experiences in higher ed -- specifically, their experiences with professors -- in an attempt to gain an understanding of what students felt they needed from their professors to be successful not only in the classroom, but outside as well. Dear Professors, You are in a unique situation to shape the way that your students view themselves, their choices, and the world. As professors, you have the power to impact a student to strive for the highest of heights or send them running for the hills. In speaking with my classmates as well as former students, I encountered three things that students have expressed they need from you that will not only help them succeed in their classes and throughout life, but will allow professors to increase student engagement as well.

Show students that you’re human, too

As students, we may automatically feel we are in an inferior position especially considering that our professors are experts in their fields. We enter your classrooms craving your instruction, frantically transcribing every word in hopes of mastering said course. Sometimes students fall short for a variety of reasons, but there are times when there has been a disconnect with instruction. Maybe the lesson plan you worked on over the summer does not resonate the way you thought it would with students; maybe the concepts are out of touch with your audience. We sometimes assume that professors are almost superhuman. We forget that you also deal with some of the same issues that students do on a daily basis. Sometimes revealing that experience to your students will instill appreciation and understanding that will have a lasting impact on the way students view education and their instructors. When professors care enough to admit their own imperfections, it encourages students to be open about theirs and address them. In return, we believe that

openly voice our opinions, criticisms and ask difficult questions. Her being so open to communicate gave me the motivation to not be silent but to have my opinion heard,” said HCC communications major Justice Butler.

Jimmieka Mills you want us to be successful just as strongly as we want to be. This can be a catalyst for change in the way we approach our education as a whole. “In one of my classes, nearly 85 percent of the students failed our final test. Our professor cried for 10 minutes and apologized for letting the students down,” said Tanisha Council, former HCC student. “I will never forget the emotions it evoked in me. Her passion for educating students created a passion in me to learn and prove to every one of my professors that their hard work was not in vain.”

Create an open line of communication

The relationship between student and professor is defined by the instruction you provide. When you create an open line of communication with students -- allowing them to voice opinions and pose questions and concerns -students feel that their efforts to be proactive are rewarded, and they are more likely to be successful in their courses. When you are also open with your own concerns in this environment, students may feel more motivated knowing that they are in an environment of mutual respect. As students, we are here for your instruction and guidance. When we do not feel supported, we may feel misunderstood, ignored, and overlooked, creating a sense of helplessness that can be hard to overcome. Open communication gives students a level of confidence that can spill over into their lives outside of the classroom. When we feel heard and supported, it gives us confidence to engage more fully with you and our fellow students without fear of ridicule or judgement, which helps us to succeed in your course. “My history instructor allowed us as students to

Remember that your attitude can shape your students’ outlooks

Some of the biggest inspirations in my life have been my professors. My admiration for their willingness to educate regardless of their own circumstances has encouraged me in my own educational journey. Sometimes professors can minimize their position as educators or make negative comments about the demands of the job. You may not realize the impact your words have on the lecture hall full of students who desperately want to earn a degree and reach the type of career success you have. HCC student Marquis Wiley explained, “A few of my classmates and I were discussing job placement based on our degree plans. We started doing hypothetical math figuring in the amount of debt we would have to take on to gain employment in a particular field.” He was discouraged when his professor interjected to say he was underpaid in his position and still had student debt -the professor had earned his degree, while his students were still striving for theirs. When you emphasize the rewarding aspects of your job and take pride in your positions, on the other hand, it overflows to your students. The struggle to earn a degree is made that much more bearable when students see examples of individuals who are fulfilled in their positions and life choices. Professors who are passionate open the floodgates of inspiration in students while adding value to the education you provide.

It’s your turn

Professors, you have the unique opportunity to shape the lives of the students who come to your class each week. You are in a position to empower your students to achieve their absolute best. We’re listening and here to learn.

Currently-enrolled HCC students are invited to join The Egalitarian staff! Email for more details!


Wednesday February 7, 2018

The Egalitarian


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