Professor Emeritus of Africana Studies Oba T'Shaka, guest speaker at a recent memorial held for victims of the 1978 Jonestown tragedy, was quoted in a Nov. 18 San Jose Mercury News story about the event. "People thought they were joining a genuine movement," T'Shaka said. "Part of the reason Jonestown occurred was deficiency of the black leadership," he said. "Leadership has to come from the people. If we choose someone to speak for us, they must champion our culture, not the other way around."
In a Nov. 14 San Francisco Chronicle story Associate Professor of Sexuality Studies Rita Melendez commented on the implications of resistance to running ads for Zestra, a botanical aphrodisiac for women. "If they really can't run these ads, it's telling women they are not -- or should not be -- in control of their desire, or that there is something shameful about their sexual desire, and that has huge implications for their ability to control pregnancy, partner abuse and sexual health. You're putting something so core to women in the realm of male control, or at least outside of female control."
Shooting for second
Professor of Political Science Francis Neely commented for a Nov. 11 New York Times story on ranked choice voting, its role in mayor-elect Jean Quan's upset victory in the recently decided Oakland mayoral race and the controversy surrounding the method. Referring to Don Perata's loss despite winning a plurality in the first round, Neely said, "It’s feasible that a third-place candidate in the first tally can win the whole thing, and when that happens people will have a good complaint to make."
Adjunct Professor of Meteorology Jan Null explained in a Nov. 10 San Francisco Chronicle article that this year's weird weather was responsible for a quiet summer fire season. "The combination of spring rains extending into the summer, a mild summer and then the early onset of rain in the fall created a sort of cascade effect," Null said. "They are seeing green shoots in Southern California. That portends well for the remainder of the fire season, which I believe is pretty well over now."
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