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White Racism’ class at Florida University will be guarded by police officers

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A Florida professor teaching a “White Racism” course designed to show “the U.S. has been and remains a white supremacist society” will have his classroom guarded by two police officers as his students meet for the first time Tuesday, the university has revealed.

Ted Thornhill, an assistant professor of sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University, said out of an abundance of caution he sent campus police 46 pages of disturbing emails and voicemail messages he received after the class was announced, The News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla. reported.

“We have prepared for any possible distractions related to Tuesday’s first class of the White Racism course, but we are expecting normal campus civility as our students engage in this and other courses at the spring semester’s start,” Susan Evans, FGCU’s spokeswoman and chief of staff, told the newspaper.

Thornhill said none of the messages threatened violence or a disruption of the class, but some called him racial slurs. A few prospective students told the professor they had safety concerns.

“The number of emails I got pales in comparison to the thousands and thousands of comments and post on all manner of social media and traditional media outlet websites that said things that were unspeakable,” he told The News-Press.

“Cancer (Stage 4) is what you and your family deserve for spreading hate, lies & intolerance,” one email said, according to the newspaper.

A security plan was put in place after the professor met with FGCU’s president and other school officials. Administrators would not say if police will remain for the rest of the semester and campus police would not comment on the plan, The News-Press reported.

“I think most of us don’t anticipate there being any unrest or protest or anything like that,” Thornhill said. “But it’s more of a prudent measure to have law enforcement present just in case.”

He called the reaction to the course “upsetting but perhaps not entirely surprising given the nature of these more rabid white racists.”

Thornhill told Fox News in November that his class is “about the search for truth” and any controversy around the title or description proves its “urgency.”

“Too many Americans, especially whites, are cocooned in a ‘bubble of unreality’ as it concerns racial matters,” Thornhill said.

Students will read “important scholarship” to “gain a deeper and more sophisticated understanding of race, white racism, racial inequality, and white supremacy,” in addition to challenging “widely and adamantly held, but empirically unsubstantiated myths about racial matters in the U.S.,” Thornhill added.

Thornhill was adamant that the course isn’t “anti-white” but rather is “anti-white racism.”

“Clearly, not all white people are racists; some are even anti-racist,” Thornhill said, though he added all white people “derive, in some measure, material and psychological benefits by virtue of being racialized as white.”

The course was expanded from 35 to 50 students and is currently at capacity.

Sociology major Ché Hall, 20, is one of the 50 students enrolled in the class and told The News-Press that she has heard chatter about students showing up on the first day to see if others cause problems.

I think a lot of people who said that they would come to start issues are just saying that and won’t actually come,” she added.

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Police arrest stepfather of 4-year-old girl he claims was kidnapped

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The stepfather of missing 4-year-old Maleah Davis was arrested and charged in connection to her disappearance, one week after he told Texas police that she was kidnapped by three men who assaulted and knocked him unconscious.

Derion Vence, 26, was arrested by the Houston Police Department at a relative’s home and charged with tampering with evidence, human corpse, in the disappearance of his stepdaughter on the night of May 4.

Although a police source told ABC News that the young girl was still missing, they would not say whether she was believed to be dead or alive.

Police said in a statement on Saturday that they had obtained blood evidence linked to Maleah from Vence’s apartment and that he was seen leaving his apartment with a full laundry basket, which was found Thursday along with a gas can in the trunk of the silver Nissan Altima that he reported missing following the kidnapping.

At a late night hearing, the district attorney said cadaver dogs reacted to scents in the trunk and the laundry basket.

Vence reported the abduction on May 5, nearly 24 hours after it occurred, claiming that he had been unconscious for much of that time, according to the statement.

He told police that he was driving with Maleah and his 2-year-old son on the night of May 4 to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in north Houston to pick up the girl’s mother, Brittany Bowens, who was returning from a trip to Massachusetts, police said.

He said that on the way there, he heard a popping noise coming from his car that made him believe he had a flat tire, so he pulled over to check on it. When he got out of the car, he said that a blue pickup truck pulled up behind him and two men got out, police said during a news conference on May 5.

He told police that one of the men commented on Maleah’s appearance as the other hit him in the head, knocking him out, police said.

Vence told police that he kept going in and out of consciousness, but at one point realized that he was in the back of the pickup truck where there were actually three men and that he also saw Maleah and his son in the truck, police said.

He said that he regained consciousness the next day with only his son in Sugar Land, nearly 22 miles southwest of central Houston, and walked to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital where he received treatment and reported Maleah missing, police said.

Although he told police that his car was taken during the kidnapping, surveillance footage showed someone in the Nissan dropping Vence off at Methodist Sugar Land Hospital on May 5, police said.

Vence’s public defender asked for a $5,000 bond, while the district attorney proposed $500,000.

Instead, the judge ruled Vence be held on $1 million bond since the ongoing investigation “is likely to result in a significant upgrade to this second-degree felony.”

Houston police are asking anyone with information about the case, the whereabouts of Maleah Davis or the person who sold the gas can to Vence to contact the department’s Homicide Division at 713-308-3600.

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In Mexico, 35 bodies found in mass graves

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Local authorities have discovered the remains of 35 people in mass graves in violent Jalisco state, on Mexico’s central Pacific coast, officials said Saturday.

Prosecutor Gerardo Octavio Solis said most of the bodies were located at a ranch in the town of Zapopan.

Among the dead, “27 of the bodies had been tied up when killed. And we have two people identified at this time,” Solis told a news conference.

The number of dead could still rise as the forensics team wraps up processing of the site, he warned.

“We are digging more than three meters deep. We are also using heavy machinery, with engineers to do structural calculations as we don’t want to weaken some of the perimeter walls,” he added.

Solis said the skulls of seven other people and other human remains were discovered on the premises of a house located in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second most populous city.

 

Families with missing kin have rushed to authorities in Jalisco asking for details on the exhumations.

More than 40,000 people have gone missing and are presumed dead since Mexico’s war on drugs was militarized with federal troops in late 2006.

More than 250,000 people have been killed in violent crime in Mexico since then, according to government data. The data does not say how many cases were linked to organized crime.

Last year in Jalisco state alone there were 2,418 homicides.

From January to March this year there were 720 murders in the state, official data show.

 

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Special Mother’s Day Edition of ‘LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ

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Just in time for Mother’s Day, Jake and Jazz makeover the home of single mother, Shay, who recently relocated to Los Angeles from the Midwest. Her parental duties and daily grind leave her with little time for redecorating, so she enlisted the help of Jake and Jazz. The duo turn Shay’s quaint home into a “mommy and me” wonderland with refurbished, multipurpose furniture and rose gold accent pieces. For the post-reveal meal, Jake cooks up Vegetable Fried Rice with Garlic Soy Fried Shrimp and Jazz bakes a Vanilla Rose Pound Cake decorated with dried rose petals.

Tune into the next episode for a special Mother’s Day edition where Jake and Jazz give a deserving mom a sprinkle of design magic and a gift of a lifetime.

LIVING BY DESIGN WITH JAKE AND JAZZ is a hot new home design show with a culinary twist featuring Jake and Jazz Smollett. The sibling duo team up to transform the living, work, and play spaces of millennial families and create simple solutions to everyday home design dilemmas. Each episode features inspirational stories of participating guests, an exciting reveal of the new space and a shared meal with recipes curated by Jake and Jazz.

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