The Daily GRRR! - Feb. 9, 2015 - Your “Ugh, Monday Morning” Edition

Welcome back to SoundFM! You are now listening to The Daily GRRR! on the air every weekday morning from 9-10 a.m. here at 100.3fm, CKMS in Waterloo, Ontario, and SoundFM.ca on the web. This is Kathryn and I’ll be your host on this Monday morning show for February 9th, 2015.

As always, we are broadcasting from the heart of the Haldimand Tract, the occupied Grand River Territory of the Six Nations, which we continue to recognize as Haudenosaunee land.

The Daily GRRR! is a project of the Grand River Media Collective and is supported by the Community Radio Fund of Canada and CKMS.

We will begin today with headlines:
The Daily GRRR!
HEADLINES for Feb. 9, 2015
1. Strike continues for community health workers here and across the province
2. Target employees claim ‘walk of shame’ that led to suicide is widely used
3. Anthropologist says cultural contexts may help us understand schizophrenia
4. Community outraged that Native vet’s hair was cut off by nursing home staff
5. Anti-mascot t-shirts spark student fight at 8th grade girls’ basketball game
6. Texas 4th grader gets suspended for “terroristic threat” with LOTR magic
7. UWaterloo students demand referendum on severing campus ties with Israel
8. Scottish labour party promises gender parity in all public bodies if elected

1. Strike continues for community health workers here and across the province

As reported by The Guelph Mercury, more than 250 Community Care Access Centre workers are still walking the picket lines in Waterloo Wellington as part of a province-wide strike that the union says could lead to a backup of patients in local hospitals. They are among the 3,000 workers represented by the Ontario Nurses Association who have been on strike since Friday, Jan. 30. They include care coordinators, who arrange healthcare services such as home care or placement in a nursing home, as well as rapid response nurses and mental health and addiction nurses who work in the community. Kim Carere, the lead negotiator for workers at the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, said they are seeking a 1.4% pay increase, comparable to what others in the healthcare field get: "It's about respect and it's about unpaid overtime," she said, adding that they have been without a contract since March 2014. Carere believes the strike will lead to more patients having to stay in hospitals or "bounce back" to them after being released. "There's going to be a backup, and believe me this is not what we want, we want to get back to our jobs," she said.

Dale Clement, chief executive of Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, said they are working to ensure this does not happen: "That's been our top focus to ensure that we've got a really rock solid plan to support the hospital flow," she said. Clement said they have developed a detailed contingency plan and added that they have 193 staff who are still working, some of whom are non-union or represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees and not the Ontario Nurses Association. "People on service really shouldn't notice any change other than they aren't seeing their care co-ordinator," she said. But while the strike hasn’t been going long, it has the potential to seriously impact both care providers and their patients, which is of course not the desired endgame for the workers. Rather, strike action like this is intended to make the workers’ representation—in this case, the Ontario Nurses Association—realize how necessary and valuable their work really is, warranting the comparable pay increase that others in the healthcare field have received.

2. Target employees claim ‘walk of shame’ that led to suicide is widely used

As reported by Business Insider, current and former Target employees alike are claiming that the retailer has a practice of parading workers through stores in handcuffs to discourage theft and other infractions. The practice is informally referred to as the "walk of shame" among employees and managers, according to more than a half-dozen workers contacted by Business Insider. Most seriously, the company is currently being sued by a California woman whose son, 22-year-old Graham Gentles, committed suicide after allegedly being subjected to the "walk of shame”. Gentles was "shocked, confused and mortified at being handcuffed and walked through the Target store in front of coworkers and store customers" in July and he "had no idea why he was being arrested," the suit states. He was later escorted to a police car and taken to the police department, but he was released and never charged with a crime.
Gentles, who had a form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome, "experienced severe emotional distress" following the incident, according to the lawsuit. Three days later, he killed himself by jumping from the roof of a hotel.

Another former Target employee, Malkeevia Lewis, worked at a Miami store and says she was subjected to the walk of shame for changing prices at the register — which she claims a manager had directed her to do. "I was wrongfully accused of stealing money and giving away items," Lewis said. "I was handcuffed and got walked out to be humiliated." She said she hasn't been able to find work since she was fired. "Target ... took my whole life from me," she said. "I spent two nights in jail and haven't worked since September.” Several other employees contacted Business Insider with similar stories and Patrick McNicholas, the lawyer representing Gentles' mother, claims he has more than 40 contacts who have either witnessed or been subjected to a walk of shame. "It's an unwritten policy and the practice is well known," he said. Nashville defense attorney David Raybin says it's not unheard of for retailers of all kinds to use public shaming to deter employee infractions but calls it “simply a dreadful policy” and points out how ineffective it can actually be for the employer by opening them up to “enormous” legal liability, as Target is now experiencing with the Gentles lawsuit.

3. Anthropologist says cultural contexts may help us understand schizophrenia

People suffering from schizophrenia may hear "voices" – auditory hallucinations – differently depending on their cultural context, according to new Stanford research that compares the experiences of people living with schizophrenia in the U.S., Ghana, and India. In the United States, the voices are harsher, but in Ghana and India they are experienced as more benign, says Tanya Luhrmann, a Stanford professor of anthropology who was also trained in psychology. The experience of hearing voices is complex and varies from person to person, she says. But the new research further suggests that the voice-hearing experiences are influenced by one's particular social and cultural environment, and that this may have consequences for treatment.

Luhrmann said the role of culture in understanding psychiatric illnesses in depth has been overlooked, so for their research, Luhrmann and her colleagues interviewed 60 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia – 20 each from the U.S., Ghana, and India. They were asked how many voices they heard, how often, what they thought caused the auditory hallucinations, and what their voices were like. The findings revealed that hearing voices was broadly similar across all three cultures, with many interviewees reporting both good and bad voices, conversations with those voices, as well as whispering and hissing that they could not quite place physically. The striking difference was that while many of the African and Indian subjects registered predominantly positive experiences with their voices, not one American did. Rather, the U.S. subjects were more likely to report experiences as violent and hateful – and evidence of a sick condition or brain disease caused by their genes or past traumas. Moreover, the Americans mostly did not report that they knew who spoke to them and they seemed to have 
less personal relationships with their voices.

Luhrmann suggests that this can be explained by cultural difference. Europeans and Americans tend to see themselves as individuals motivated by a sense of self identity, whereas outside the West, people imagine the mind and self as more interwoven with others and defined through relationships. The findings may be clinically significant, according to the researchers. Prior research showed that specific therapies may alter what patients hear their voices say. One new approach claims it is possible to improve individuals' relationships with their voices by teaching them to name their voices and to build relationships with them, and that doing so diminishes their caustic qualities. "More benign voices may contribute to more benign course and outcome," they wrote.

4. Community outraged that Native vet’s hair was cut off by nursing home staff

As reported by the Indian Country Today Media Network, a 65-year-old Native Vietnam veteran staying at the Ashland Rehabilitation Center and Nursing Facility in Ashland, Virginia, recently had his traditional long hair cut off without the permission of his family. Barry Leno, a member of the Algonquin and Seneca nations, has had his hair in a traditional ponytail for decades and suffers from dementia. Leno’s wife, Lillian, went to visit her husband in the facility February 4 and discovered his hair was cut to above his shoulders. She said she was devastated to see her husband cry as he explained that his hair had been cut. Lillian says that at first no one would answer her questions as to why her husband’s hair was cut, but the following morning she received a phone call in which a nurse told her Barry had asked to have it cut off. She was furious that his hair had been cut without informing her, as she has Power of Attorney for all matters involving her husband. Barry says he is very upset by the violation and can think of no reason the staff would have had for doing it. “If this was a hygiene thing they were doing, they would have shaved him too,” Lillian added. “But I saw him and he had whiskers, and his face looks like it hasn’t been shaved in a few days.”

“I had so many mixed emotions yesterday,” she continued. “We have always talked about how he wanted to go to his grave with his ponytail. Now it is not there and we are just hoping it grows back. If anyone was to cut it off, it should be me to save it and it’s gone,” Lillian said. Family friend and fellow veteran Odessa Maxwell says she as well as others in the Native and veteran communities are outraged that Barry, who has appeared in Time Life’s book, “The Vietnam Experience – Images of War,” had his haircut without his wife’s knowledge: “He’s been at this home for a while. They cut his hair and they would not answer her questions,” said Maxwell. “So many of us in the veteran and Native American communities are outraged. I was like, ‘Really?’ You need to have sensitivity to other cultures.”

5. Anti-mascot t-shirts spark student fight at 8th grade girls’ basketball game

As reported by Indian Country Today Media Network, t-shirts bearing an altered version of a rival team’s Native-mascot logo seem to have led to a restroom skirmish at an eighth-grade girls’ basketball game in Sisseton, South Dakota, last week. The game was between the Sisseton Redmen and the Tiospa Zina Wambdi, and a number of young fans in attendance wore shirts that had been made to protest the “Redmen” name and mascot. Monge Cha Eastman, a Tiospa Zina Tribal School student who was there handing out the shirts and wearing one himself, was jumped by a Sisseton student in the bathroom. On the shirts, the Indian head has a bandana over his face with a lightning bolt crossing through the logo like a “No” sign, and the Indian logo’s colour scheme was also changed from Sisseton’s red to Tiospa Zina’s dark blue. The front of the shirt says “Not Your Mascot” and the back reads “Damakota – I am Dakota – Respect my opinion – Respect my feelings – Change the name!”

“They say is honoring us,” says Fidelity Eastman, one of the girls distributing the shirts. “ the way I think they could honor us is by learning our Dakota language and having Native American history classes.”

6. Texas 4th grader gets suspended for “terroristic threat” with LOTR magic

As reported by Syracuse.com, a Texas elementary school has reportedly suspended a 9-year-old boy for making a "terroristic threat" in telling another student that he could make him disappear with a magic ring after seeing the film "The Hobbit" with his family. According to the New York Daily News, young student Aiden Steward told a friend he could turn him invisible like Bilbo Baggins if he put the "one ring" on his head. In J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" books, characters become invisible when they don the magic ring. The act of make believe drew the watchful eye of Kermit Elementary School principal Roxanne Greer, who claims that the school viewed it as a threat against another student. "It sounded unbelievable," Aiden's father Jason Steward told the Daily News, adding that his son "didn't mean anything by it” and that "kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly.”

Steward didn't understand why the situation merited a suspension. In an email to the school, he wrote, "I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend's existence”—though, “If he did, I'm sure he'd bring him right back." Since moving into the district six months ago, 9-year-old Aiden has reportedly had other run-ins with the administration, resulting in two other suspensions—once for referring to his African-American classmates as "black" and again for bringing "The Big Book of Knowledge" with him to school, because it includes a section on pregnancy with an illustration of a pregnant woman. For his third suspension now, it’s unclear how the elementary school made the leap from pretending to use Lord of the Rings magic to making a so-called “terroristic threat”—but it is clear that the school’s principal has some seriously out-of-whack priorities.

7. UWaterloo students demand referendum on severing campus ties with Israel

The campus’s Palestine Solidarity Action Group was formed in the winter of 2014 by a diverse group of UW undergraduate and graduate students concerned with the University of Waterloo’s role in the injustices perpetrated by the State of Israel against Palestinians in the occupied territories. According to their new website, “We believe that we have a responsibility to uphold principles of human rights, including the right to education, and to act if we as students are implicated in situations where this right is not being respected. ” But while the group has only been active for about a year, they’ve used that time to get organized for a new campaign that’s likely going to make some waves among students and administrators alike. It’s called Ethical Collab UW, and the goal is to get the University of Waterloo “to create and abide by ethical collaboration policy when seeking to build relationships with other institutions”—something that is definitely not in place right now. As explained in the campaign’s petition, “the University of Waterloo has relationships with the University of Haifa, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion, Tel Aviv University, and Weizmann Institute of Science in such forms as research collaborations and exchange programs” and “these institutions have not condemned nor taken measures to oppose, but have been complicit in various human rights violations” by their home state of Israel against Palestinians. With respect to education in particular, these rights violations include “thousands of Palestinian students and teachers routinely prevented from reaching their schools due to military checkpoints and roadblocks, the separation wall, and frequent closures of cities” as well as “Palestinian students of Israeli universities fac systematic discrimination on admissions and scholarships, and restricted from participation in campus activities”. On these grounds, the Ethical Collab UW petition is calling on the Federation of Students to hold a referendum, asking students if they think UW should sever its ties with the aforementioned Israeli institutions. I look forward to reporting more on this story as it develops and in the meantime would encourage you to check out the campaign’s website, at http://ethicalcollabuw.org.

8. Scottish labour party promises gender parity in all public bodies if elected

As reported by BBC News, Scottish Labour has recently said it will ensure at least half of the board members of public bodies in Scotland are women if it wins the next election. The party said it would use the new powers to guarantee gender equality, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already made strong pledges on the issue, ensuring her first cabinet team had a 50/50 gender balance. Sturgeon's cabinet is the first time the Scottish government's senior ministerial team has had as many women as men, and when she took office in November, the outspoken party leader said that smashing to "smithereens" the glass ceiling faced by women was an important part of tackling inequality. As the first woman to hold the top job in Scottish politics, Sturgeon says that she wants to "ensure there are no limits on women's ambitions” and she plans to make further strides in this direction if her party remains in power following the 2016 elections. These plans range rom pledging to increase free childcare to outlining proposals to challenging all workplaces to have a 50/50 gender split on their boards by the year 2020, a commitment which the party says they will enshrine in law immediately for public bodies if they win. Considering that a Scottish government report released just last year said a mere 35% of public board members in Scotland were women, this would be a significant and much needed shift for the country’s governance. As Scottish Labour's deputy leader Kezia Dugdale told the Scottish Women's Convention in Glasgow, "The institutions that have so much influence over Scottish public life should reflect the country at large. With so few women on the boards of Scotland's public bodies today they don't represent the communities they seek to serve. That needs to change and Scottish Labour will make that happen."

Midway Music: Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill

Feature: “Caring in the City” by Johanna Brenner for Jacobin Mag
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/caring-in-the-city/

Closing Song: Deceptacon by Le Tigre

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