Archive for May 24th, 2015

‘Is this white enough for you?’ Dutch immigrant children rally against segregation

Immigrant children and their parents in two Amsterdam neighborhoods took to the streets on Friday asking for families to enroll their “white” children in local schools, which are becoming increasingly segregated.

The 100 or so schoolchildren – mostly from Africa and the Middle East – took part in a rally, AFP reported. They were wearing bright wight t-shirts imprinted bearing the phrase “Is this white enough for you?” Their message was that they wanted more Dutch native classmates to help them integrate.

The Netherlands generally calls on greater and smoother integration of migrants into society, encouraging them to learn the language and take special tests. But on a social level, things have not gone as smoothly as planned: Approximately 90 percent of pupils at the two schools in Amsterdam – De Avonturijn and Catharinaschool – have immigrant backgrounds.

As more families leave the districts, making way for the growing migrant influx, there are fewer and fewer children enrolling every year, and the schools are now threatened with closure.

“When, for different reasons, a school ‘becomes blacker’, it’s very difficult to reverse the trend,” the schools’ spokesperson Diane Middelkoop said, AFP reports. “White children’s parents no longer want to be part of the school. I can understand that: We all want to feel at home and that means that we want to see people who share our origins and culture.”

A woman wearing a T-shirt reading "Is this white enough for you? " gives out a leaflet on May 22, 2015, in Amsterdam. (AFP Photo / Remko DE Waal)

A woman wearing a T-shirt reading “Is this white enough for you? ” gives out a leaflet on May 22, 2015, in Amsterdam. (AFP Photo / Remko DE Waal)

“It’s shameful that it’s come to this, that children have to take to the street to go to school with white children,” AFP quotes one elderly local resident, also an immigrant from Suriname.

In order to help their children integrate into society, parents were going door to door distributing flyers saying “We’re looking for white pupils.”

“I want my children to be integrated in Dutch society and to learn about different cultures,” said one of the marching children’s mother.

But as migrant numbers rise, so does the support for far-right and anti-migrant politicians. One example is the Party of Freedom, currently holding 10 percent of the Dutch Parliament’s seats, and its founder Geert Wilders, who blames migrants for not integrating enough.

Boy, 11, graduates from California college with 3 degrees

A California boy, 11, just graduated from college with three degrees. Tanishq Abraham says his dreams are to become a doctor, a Nobel Prize-winning medical researcher, and President of the United States.

Abraham graduated from American River College in Sacramento, possibly the youngest graduate in the college’s 60-year history.

The assumption is that he’s the all-time youngest,” American River College spokesman Scott Crow told NBC Bay Area on Thursday. “But we don’t have all the archives to completely confirm. He was definitely the youngest this year.”

I like to learn,” he told KTXL following the graduation ceremony. “So I just followed my passion of learning, and that’s how I ended up here.”

Tanishq was home-schooled by his mother Taji, a veterinarian who reportedly took a break from her own PhD studies to teach him. Last year, at age 10, he satisfied all the state requirements and graduated high school.

We did it as a family, as teamwork,” said Taji Abraham. “And I was just cheering, I was just crying there when I saw Tanishq walk down the stage.”

Intellect apparently runs in the family. His father, Bijou Abraham, had a perfect math score on his SAT. He is a Cornell University graduate and software engineer. Tanishq’s younger sister Tiara, 9, is also a prodigy; both children joined Mensa International at the age of four.

Even in kindergarten,” Taji Abraham said, Tanishq “was a few years ahead. It just went from there.”

Tanishq started taking classes at American River College when he was 7. According to KNTV, he had enough credits for associate’s degrees in mathematics and physical science, general science and language studies.

The boy’s summer plans include taking an eight-week Calculus II course, and a family vacation. His long-term goals include attending Stanford University, becoming a doctor, winning a Nobel Prize in medicine, and becoming President of the United States.