The University of Southern California is apologizing to former Japanese American students whose educations were interfered with by the school during World War II.
USC President Carol Folt will issue a formal apology to the former students and award them honorary degrees posthumously, according to the Los Angeles Times. The school is also asking the public for assistance in locating the families of around 120 students who went to USC from 1941-42.
“This is a stained part of our history,” USC Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick Auerbach told the Times. “While we can’t change what happened in the past … the university can certainly still do right by their families and let them know that we are posthumously awarding them honorary degrees so that they can occupy that place in the Trojan family, which they deserve.”
An executive order issued by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943 forced the removal of people of Japanese descent from the West Coast, placing tens of thousands of people in detention camps.
USC refused to release the transcripts of Japanese American students so they could attend another university, the Los Angeles Times reported. When some students attempted to return to USC after the war, the school would not recognize their previously completed courses and told them they would have to start over, their surviving family members noted.
USC alumni have been pushing for the school to apologize for their actions toward Japanese American students during World War II for years, but the issue gained new momentum after George Floyd’s murder last year, which prompted many institutions to examine their roles in acts of racism.
USC law students last year publicized their research project centering on the issue, titled “Forgotten Trojans,” and an Academic Senate committee also pushed for the school to formally recognize the issue, the Times reported.
Folt will officially make the apology and award the degrees next spring at an Asian Pacific Alumni Association gala and will also recognize the former students at the school’s commencement in May, according to the Times.
Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson helped restore a Filipino food truck that was vandalized last week with racist slurs and derogatory images.
According to Austin Facer of ABC 4, Clarkson was one of a number of people who joined IdentityGraphx and helped restore the World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck, which serves Asian fusion and Filipino food in northern Utah, after the vandalism.
Layton, Utah, Mayor Joy Petro and city council members were also involved in the restoration, and the food truck revealed its new paint job before its reopening at the Philippine Independence Day celebration on Saturday in Salt Lake City.
The owners of the truck thanked those involved in a Facebook post:
“It has been an emotional few days. The love and support that we got from all of you has been deeply heartfelt. My family can’t thank you guys enough. Special thanks to Utah Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson and Dan from Identity graphics for the new look. We want to thank everyone individually in a couple weeks when we have our LOVE celebration in the park and feed the community. Thanks to Mayor Joy Petro, Councilman Clint Morris, Councilman Zach Bloxham, Dustin, everyone in the neighborhood and all of you angels. Love prevails. We are going to have our grand reopening this Saturday at the Philippine independence day celebration in slc.”
On Wednesday, Layton Police announced they are still looking for those responsible for the vandalism and offered a $500 reward for information that leads to their arrest.
The platinum-selling recording artist once known as Mulatto has officially changed her name. On Monday, rapper Latto debuted her new moniker on music streaming platforms like Tidal, Spotify, and Apple Music as she gears up to release an album on Friday.
For several months, the Clayton County-raised performer has discussed the possibility of changing her stage name as the term “mulatto” is described as offensive.
According to the Pew Research Center, the term “mulatto” – mulato in Spanish – commonly referenced a person of mixed-race ancestry with white European and Black African roots. However, it was often used in a derogatory fashion during the times of slavery and segregation in America. The root of the word mula, or mule, refers to the offspring of a horse and a donkey.
In the latest edition of Merriam-Webster, the word is still marked/labeled as “usually offensive.”
The literary trope “tragic mulatto” was born from the word in the early 1840s largely in credit to Lydia Maria Child. “The myth almost exclusively focuses on biracial individuals, especially women, light enough to pass for white,” according to an article by ThoughtCo which explores the history of the trope.
Latto, whose real name is Alyssa Michelle Stephens, identifies as biracial. Back in 2016, she emerged in the music industry as Miss Mulatto in the first season of Jermaine’s Dupri’s reality competition series on Lifetime, “The Rap Game.”
“I’m passionate about my race. I’m Miss Mulatto. The term mulatto technically is a racist slur. It means someone that’s half Black and half white. So it’s, like, controversial,” she said during her time on the show. “I took that negativity from the word mulatto and now … everybody calls me Miss Mulatto.”
She was only 15 years old at the time.
The now 22-year-old “Queen of the South” artist hinted during an interview with HipHopDX at the 2020 BET HipHop Awards that she was thinking about changing her name.
“It is a controversy that I hear and see every day as far as my name goes, so I would be lying to say no I never thought of that. But I can’t say too much … right now, because it’s going to be a part of something bigger,” she told HipHopDX in 2020.
After much social media scrutiny and reflection, the southern lyricist stayed true to her word and revealed that she would change her name in a trending interview with Hot Freestyle back in January.
“You know you might know your intentions, but these are strangers who don’t know you, never even met you in person,” Mulatto expressed in the interview. “So you gotta hear each other out, and if you know those aren’t your intentions and that’s how it’s being perceived, it’s like why not make a change or alter it? For me, it was the name. So now I’m like, ‘OK, my intentions was to never glorify being mulatto.’ So if that’s how it’s being perceived and people think I’m saying, ‘Oh, I’m better because I’m mulatto’ or ‘My personality trait is mulatto’ … then I need to change the matter at hand.”
Latto said she would not just change her social media handles because “that’s not sensitive enough to the subject matter” and she wants “to be able to speak on it” so people can hear her out. She said changing your name in the music industry is no easy feat and it comes with a load of logistics.
“I want them to also understand that the name change at this level in your career is a big decision,” the 22-year-old rapper said during her Hot Freestyle interview. “Freaking investors, labels, everything … been riding on this name, so it is a big decision … it’s way deeper than a tweet.”
She made it clear that multiple aspects were involved in the decision and a variety of business partners had a “say so in that decision.”
“It’s not like me being ‘I want to do this’ and then it’s just done,” she said.
The platinum-selling artist made a video post on Instagram Tuesday evening teasing a potential song speaking on the name change.
“You gotta be strategic with the word choice because it could come off a way that you don’t mean. That’s how I got in this predicament in the first place with the damn name,” she said. “That’s why you gotta be proactive with the word choice … gotta think ahead … my intentions weren’t for the backlash … exactly what I’m saying in the song … intentions weren’t for that.”
Some in the graduating class laughed. Others at the ceremony jeered. One person on a video can be heard saying “What?” in a confused tone. The university president apologized seconds later and corrected himself after someone on the stage let him know about the error.
Caslen, an Army general, told the gathering “I owe you pushups” after using the incorrect name.
“The president speaks at 15 separate ceremonies all across the state during spring commencement season, congratulating thousands of University of South Carolina system graduates,” said USC spokesperon Jeff Stensland. “It’s a joyous time for our graduates, their families and the entire university community. President Caslen apologizes for accidentally saying ‘California’ instead of ‘Carolina’ at the end of last night’s ceremony and regrets any attention it may have drawn from the accomplishments of our graduates.”
The 2021 Class of USC has had graduation activities all week, culminating in Friday evening’s commencement. Another commencement occurred on Saturday morning and another is planned for Saturday evening.
USC has over 35,000 students.
A California school and the University of South Carolina have clashed in the past. In 2009, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office determined the term “USC” belonged to the University of Southern California. Carolina sued, but the courts sided with Southern California, according to an article from the Los Angeles Times.
The estate of Kobe Bryant and his wife Vanessa are no longer affiliated with sneaker giant Nike, as the late Lakers great’s contract with the company has now expired.
“With Kobe Bryant’s five-year, post-retirement endorsement extension with Nike having expired this month, Vanessa Bryant and the Kobe Bryant estate elected not to renew the partnership, she confirmed to ESPN in a statement Monday night,” wrote Nick DePaula of ESPN.com.
Kobe Bryant spent his first several years being sponsored by Adidas, even though Adidas was never a big-time player on the basketball shoe market.
Eventually, he joined Nike, starting a fruitful partnership for both parties.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21,” Vanessa Bryant, widow of the Lakers legend, told ESPN. “Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”
Kobe Bryant and eight others died in a tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. last January.
His influence on basketball and its culture is still seen to this day, as several current NBA players still wear his signature sneakers.
Interestingly, there are reports that before his passing, Kobe Bryant was planning on leaving Nike to form his own sneaker company and disrupt the entire industry.
That desire may have been fueled by some differences with Nike.
“According to a source, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe product during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash,” wrote DePaula. “There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids sizes, according to sources.
“Nike, sources said, had presented an extension offer that was not in line with expectations of an ongoing ‘lifetime’ structure similar to the Nike Inc. contracts held by both Michael Jordan and LeBron James.”
Former NBA world champion Paul Pierce and ESPN reportedly parted ways this week after the basketball analyst shared a video of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live. The video was widely shared across all social media platforms, which prompted the former NBA Finals MVP and ESPN to sever ties.
According to Jorge Alonso, the adult site CamSoda has offered Pierce the chance to live stream an NBA show with exotic dancers.
The offer letter read: “Dear Paul Pierce, I saw the news that you have parted ways with ESPN after you posted a video to social media of yourself with exotic dancers. Being that you are now unemployed, I would like to extend you a position at CamSoda as our first-ever ‘NBA Analyst.’ As our NBA Analyst, you would be required to stream yourself live on our platform every week night and discuss happenings around the NBA. Inside the NBA be damned. Here at CamSoda, we champion exotic dancers, cam girls and sex workers. We would be more than happy to accommodate your penchant for women and you’d be free to stream with them while they twerk in the background and more. We’d be willing to extend you an offer of up to $250,000.”
Since his playing career ended in 2017, Pierce has been working as an on-air analyst for ESPN. Pierce, a 10-time NBA All Star, has become known for providing some odd, fairly hot takes and certainly provides entertainment value.
Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reported on Monday that Pierce and ESPN have “parted ways” after he posted the video of himself with exotic dancers on his Instagram account.
“ESPN and NBA Legend Paul Pierce have parted ways, according to sources,” McCarthy wrote on Twitter. “Pierce posted videos of himself with exotic dancers on Instagram Live Friday night. Pierce has played a key role on ‘NBA Countdown’ + other ESPN basketball programming. ESPN declined to comment.”
Pierce had not released an official statement or commented on the matter to reporters as of early evening on Monday. He did, however, appear to offer a reaction to the move via Twitter and hinted at an imminent landing spot.
Pierce played 15 of his 19 NBA seasons with the Boston Celtics and averaged 19.7 points on 45% shooting for his career. He was the No. 10 pick in the 1998 NBA Draft out of Kansas and also played for the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers late in his career. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame recently named Pierce as one of 14 finalists for its 2021 class, and he seems like a strong bet to be inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer.
“Just to be recognized — if I do make it — just to be recognized in basketball lore forever,” Pierce said on ESPN’s “The Jump” via Boston.com. “When I’m long gone and away, I’ve always said — look, the Hall of Fame is forever, and having my number hung up in the Boston Garden is forever. So it’s a true honor if it were to happen. I’m blessed that I was able to put time in on my craft.”
In 2014, in a classroom in rural Indonesia, three schoolgirls fell in love with metal. During an extra-curricular arts programme at their school in Garut, West Java, Firdda Marsya Kurnia (vocals and guitar), Widi Rahmawati (bass), and Euis Siti Aisyah (drums), then aged 14, were introduced to metal by their school guidance counsellor, Ahba Erza.
Immediately, the teenagers were drawn to the “unique and beautiful” lyricism of System Of A Down, and “rebellious” spirit of bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Lamb Of God and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Before long, they had formed Voice Of Baceprot, (the word ‘Baceprot’ means ‘loud’ in Sundanese) and were making their own incendiary racket. Their 2018 single, School Revolution, is a fiery blend of elastic bass and furious RATM-indebted thrash.
Emerging as an all-female, Muslim metal band in a conservative community in West Java has posed its own challenges however. The girls have received death threats, while Ahba, who is now their manager, has received calls pressuring him to break up the band. The trio spoke to Metal Hammer about overcoming these challenges and demolishing cultural and gender norms.
Marsya[lead guitar / vocals]: “Every year the metal scene in Indonesia keeps on developing and growing. There’s a bunch of bands all genders and ages, a lot of Indonesians are familiar with metal music and there are a lot of local metal bands in Indonesia.
Euis [drummer]: “There are women that play rock and metal. It’s there, the amount is relative, but there are more and more women playing in Indonesia.”
Can you remember your first gig?
“The first performance was a school event, a farewell concert and it was the first time our parents saw us perform. They school we went to was a pretty religious Islamic school, when we performed, everyone was pretty shocked.”
Shocked in what sense?
Marsya: “[Our parents] didn’t explicitly show their support or forbid us from playing music. Deep down, we knew that they were actually proud of us. Perhaps a little bit worried. They did prohibit us from playing music after [our first show], but we carried on regardless and didn’t think too much of it. [The band practised in secret for a year after their first gig following reservations from their parents.] We never thought about packing it in or taking a step back. As time went by, we realised that the lack of support from our parents and community played a huge role in fortifying our mental strength, and the resolve that we have in proving that our music does not negatively affect our morals.”
You have faced challenges in your own country, and even death threats for playing metal. How did you deal with that?
“They were just comments made on social media. We were a bit scared at first, but we just put our heads down and focused back on our music. As the cliché goes, what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. We get a lot of curse words and people saying you should stop playing. They want us to stop playing music. For the most part, people are saying that stuff because we’re women, but we’re not scared to say what’s on our mind. A lot of people don’t like that. If we were men maybe we wouldn’t get such a hard time. Music gives us such a great joy that’s why we want to continue to play. So we are focusing on our music and screw the others!”
What is your single School Revolution about?
“When students start to feel lost and so far detached from their hopes and dreams for the sake of following rigid school rules, we believe that it is simply another form of subjection. This is based on our own experience; from what we felt, the discussions that we had with Abah, and what we’ve read from many books. School was a big part of our lives at that time. It was the place where most teenagers spend their adolescence. Schools should be a just and fair space that is able to accommodate the hopes and dreams of its students.”
What are other themes and messages in your music?
Widi [bassist]: “The main message is about freedom. Independence as a woman, as a human being, and we write a lot about human values and humanity as well. What we’re trying to do is continue traditions, speak our mind and share our music with other people.”