Tuesday, July 7, 2015

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: FW: Celebrating 4th of July: Frederick Douglass' Speech Remembered!

I love James Earl Jones's rendition of this important speech by Frederick Douglass. Meda wo ase for posting.

kzs

On Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 2:28:48 PM UTC-5, Assensoh, Akwasi B. wrote:

 

Celebration of 4th of July: Frederick Douglass' Speech Remembered!

http://www.democracynow.org/2015/7/3/what_to_the_slave_is_4th



 

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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Moderator's Intervention on Boko Haram Prisoners in Anambra

Brother Akwasi,

Danquah, Busia, and the two elders you mention were wrong! They have internalized racist European ideas about the inability of Africans to govern themselves. And whilst many of our current crop of leaders are looting Africa, we should be mindful that the looting was/is facilitated greatly by western connivance (I know this forum has debated this issue ad nauseam).

Part of the problem is conceptual. You use the words "post-colonial" when the reality is that most of Africa is neo-colonial--fully dependent on western loans to govern. You seem to be endorsing the myth that our colonial masters allowed us to chop a bit more. But the reality is that most of Africa's wealth and resources are controlled by Europe, France, UK and so-called "international" bodies like Bretton Woods.

Forward ever,

kzs

On Monday, July 6, 2015 at 2:37:38 AM UTC-5, Assensoh, Akwasi B. wrote:

SIR Toyin:

 

I loudly echo 'Dimma's words below. Also, your timely moderating message as well as the spirited and lucidly-expressed concerns of Professor Nnaemeka (Big Sister Obi) must be communicated promptly to Aso Rock in Nigeria, especially if the "Rock" is not too hard to penetrate! Baba Ijebu would have asked: "Do criminals need resettlement anywhere in Africa like the situation of refugees?"

 

Furthermore, I smiled heartily, when I read your sagacious message below, indeed especially this particular statement: "Irrespective of how you frame the questions and how many you add, the postcolonial state has been a colossal failure." Were Baba Ijebu and my late grandfather not in their right minds, when they similarly asked me very often before the first successful coups d'état in Nigeria and Ghana, respectively: "Can't we invite the colonial masters back?" 

 

To these two old but wise men(Baba Ejebu and Nana), the colonial masters cheated us "humanely", as they allowed us to "chop small, small.!" Unlike our post-colonial indigenous leaders, who chopped, chopped, chopped and, in the end, took the crumbs as well as  more of what they chopped to Swiss and other European banks to hide them away from the impoverished citizenry.   

 

Was it not with historical-cum-political precision and hindsight -- or wisdom?--- when Ghana's pre-independence opposition leadership -- led first by Dr. J. B. Danquah and, later, by Dr.  K. A. Busia -- warned the late Dr.  Kwame Nkrumah and his "Self-Government Now" supporters that "the Gold Coast was not 'ripe' for independence from the British colonial leaders?" In the philosophical words of VC (Professor) Aluko (which I wish to borrow here): "And there you have it!"

 

A.B. Assensoh.


From: usaafric...@googlegroups.com [usaafric...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Obododimma Oha [obod...@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, July 05, 2015 1:00 PM
To: usaafric...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Moderator's Intervention on Boko Haram Prisoners in Anambra

Thank you very much for this intervention, Prof. Falola.
-- Obododimma.


On Sunday, July 5, 2015, Toyin Falola <toyin...@austin.utexas.edu> wrote:
Dear all:

Whether in the Lagos case of denying traders of the means of their livelihoods or sending criminals to Anambra States, scholars and their ethnicities prevent us from having a common, collective and united voice to condemn that which moves us back as a nation and as a people.

  1. Should there be a federal system and a form of government that will have absolute disrespect and disregard for the people they govern?
  2. If you want to improve a city, which is good, should there be no discussion with the poor who have no other means of livelihoods, and at least provide alternatives for them?
  3. If you want to relocate hardened criminals, should local voices and their objections be discounted? 
Irrespective of how you frame the questions and how many you add, the postcolonial state has been a colossal failure. The postcolonial state has demonstrated that it lacks the capacity to produce good leadership at all levels. And people are fooled, time and again, in the belief that a Messiah will appear in Burundi or Rwanda or Nigeria. The "hero" syndrome won't work. Leadership is a process that involves intense collaboration with citizenship in the common search for the public good.

Scholars must realize that human beings aspire to two fundamental principles:
You and I want to live well
You and I want to live long.
Both principles have nothing to do with your ethnicity. The problem is
Some want to live well than others
And 
Some want to live longest than others.

Nigerian leaders must show respect to those they govern. You cannot deny someone a livelihood, and you cannot put criminals among people who say that they do not want them. If there is a dialogue and communication, I am sure there will be states who do not object. And if they all object, I am sure there can be hurriedly built maximum capacity prison in the state that has produced the criminals.
TF

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B.A.,First Class Honours (English & Literary Studies);
M.A., Ph.D. (English Language);
M.Sc. (Legal, Criminological & Security Psychology);
Professor of Cultural Semiotics & Stylistics,
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University of Ibadan.

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: FW: Screen Addiction Taking Toll on Children

Many of these claims seem reasonable. Its unsurprising that overuse of gadgets can lead to chronic repetition ailments and other joint problems (these problems actually predate the "screen addiction" age, but I think it's happening much earlier now and more frequently). And it makes sense that human-to-human social skills are gradually being degraded with the overuse of social media. But I wonder about the link between violent video games and actual violence. My thought certain acts of violence--say, police brutality or droning civilians--are normalized thus making the ability to quantify data on violence a dicey affair. Studies indicate that Black and brown youth watch more unsupervised television and spend more hours on video games. This data winds up reinforcing stereotypes about violent non-white people while not telling us very much about violence and more about white normativity. And then there is the irony of drone "pilots" who kill people in faraway places with joy sticks.

Forward ever,

kzs

On Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 3:02:58 PM UTC-5, Assensoh, Akwasi B. wrote:

An interesting quote: A Sociologist once said at a lecture: "Woe unto parents, who allow TV screens to baby sit their children daily when they are chasing Almighty Dollar."

 

-----------------


Screen Addiction Is Taking a Toll on Children

By Jane E. Brody
July 6, 2015

Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens. The documentary "Web Junkie," to be shown next Monday on PBS, highlights the tragic effects on teenagers who become hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom. Many come to view the real world as fake.

Chinese doctors consider this phenomenon a clinical disorder and have established rehabilitation centers where afflicted youngsters are confined for months of sometimes draconian therapy, completely isolated from all media, the effectiveness of which remains to be demonstrated.

While Internet addiction is not yet considered a clinical diagnosis here, there's no question that American youths are plugged in and tuned out of "live" action for many more hours of the day than experts consider healthy for normal development. And it starts early, often with preverbal toddlers handed their parents' cellphones and tablets to entertain themselves when they should be observing the world around them and interacting with their caregivers.

In its 2013 policy statement on "Children, Adolescents, and the Media," the American Academy of Pediatrics cited these shocking statistics from a Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2010: "The average 8- to 10-year-old spends nearly eight hours a day with a variety of different media, and older children and teenagers spend more than 11 hours per day." Television, long a popular "babysitter," remains the dominant medium, but computers, tablets and cellphones are gradually taking over.

"Many parents seem to have few rules about use of media by their children and adolescents," the academy stated, and two-thirds of those questioned in the Kaiser study said their parents had no rules about how much time the youngsters spent with media.

Parents, grateful for ways to calm disruptive children and keep them from interrupting their own screen activities, seem to be unaware of the potential harm from so much time spent in the virtual world.

"We're throwing screens at children all day long, giving them distractions rather than teaching them how to self-soothe, to calm themselves down," said Catherine Steiner-Adair, a Harvard-affiliated clinical psychologist and author of the best-selling book "The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age."

Before age 2, children should not be exposed to any electronic media, the pediatrics academy maintains, because "a child's brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens." Older children and teenagers should spend no more than one or two hours a day with entertainment media, preferably with high-quality content, and spend more free time playing outdoors, reading, doing hobbies and "using their imaginations in free play," the academy recommends.

Heavy use of electronic media can have significant negative effects on children's behavior, health and school performance. Those who watch a lot of simulated violence, common in many popular video games, can become immune to it, more inclined to act violently themselves and less likely to behave empathetically, said Dimitri A. Christakis of the Seattle Children's Research Institute.

In preparing an honors thesis at the University of Rhode Island, Kristina E. Hatch asked children about their favorite video games. A fourth-grader cited "Call of Duty: Black Ops," because "there's zombies in it, and you get to kill them with guns and there's violence … I like blood and violence."

Teenagers who spend a lot of time playing violent video games or watching violent shows on television have been found to be more aggressive and more likely to fight with their peers and argue with their teachers, according to a study in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

Schoolwork can suffer when media time infringes on reading and studying. And the sedentary nature of most electronic involvement — along with televised ads for high-calorie fare — can foster the unhealthy weights already epidemic among the nation's youth.

Two of my grandsons, ages 10 and 13, seem destined to suffer some of the negative effects of video-game overuse. The 10-year-old gets up half an hour earlier on school days to play computer games, and he and his brother stay plugged into their hand-held devices on the ride to and from school. "There's no conversation anymore," said their grandfather, who often picks them up. When the family dines out, the boys use their devices before the meal arrives and as soon as they finish eating.

"If kids are allowed to play 'Candy Crush' on the way to school, the car ride will be quiet, but that's not what kids need," Dr. Steiner-Adair said in an interview. "They need time to daydream, deal with anxieties, process their thoughts and share them with parents, who can provide reassurance."

Technology is a poor substitute for personal interaction.

Out in public, Dr. Steiner-Adair added, "children have to know that life is fine off the screen. It's interesting and good to be curious about other people, to learn how to listen. It teaches them social and emotional intelligence, which is critical for success in life."

Children who are heavy users of electronics may become adept at multitasking, but they can lose the ability to focus on what is most important, a trait critical to the deep thought and problem solving needed for many jobs and other endeavors later in life.

Texting looms as the next national epidemic, with half of teenagers sending 50 or more text messages a day and those aged 13 through 17 averaging 3,364 texts a month, Amanda Lenhart of the Pew Research Center found in a 2012 study. An earlier Pew study found that teenagers send an average of 34 texts a night after they get into bed, adding to the sleep deprivation so common and harmful to them. And as Ms. Hatch pointed out, "as children have more of their communication through electronic media, and less of it face to face, they begin to feel more lonely and depressed."

There can be physical consequences, too. Children can develop pain in their fingers and wrists, narrowed blood vessels in their eyes (the long-term consequences of which are unknown), and neck and back pain from being slumped over their phones, tablets and computers.

This is the first of two columns on electronic media use by children and adolescents. Next week: Parents' role in children's use of electronics.





--
regards,

ama

"We must dare to invent the future" - Thomas Sankara

"If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution" - Emma Goldman

"The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less" - Eldridge Cleaver

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