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City University of New York

Former general and CIA director David Petraeus is set to become a Harvard Man.

Petraeus has been tapped as a non-resident senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School, and will help lead a new project called “The Coming North America Decades,” with a special focus on energy, information technology, advanced manufacturing, and life sciences revolutions, according to Harvard officials in a statement released Friday. They added the project also will look at potential policy choices that could help or hinder American interests.

Petraeus, who resigned from the CIA in the wake of a humiliating personal scandal, also holds academic positions at the City University of New York as well as at the University of Southern California, but not without controversy.

There has been some backlash at USC over his arrival. Additional controversy erupted after CUNY gave Petraeus a job with an annual salary of $200,000–all for teaching just one course. Later, Petraeus agreed to teach the course for the dramatically reduced salary of just $1. Accordingly, Petraeus’s teaching gig came to be seen as an effort to rehabilitate his public image. Upon his arrival at CUNY, students ambushed him with in-your-face protests.

The Harvard press release does not specify when Petraeus’s fellowship begins, The Harvard Crimson reports.

As an aside, Harvard is the same university that reportedly booted Petraeus’ mistress because her coursework did not meet the university’s standards.

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Via NPR:

Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus has decided to take a huge pay cut. The former commander of the allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan will now make $1 to teach a course at City University of New York’s honors college.

As you might expect, the concession comes after a bit of controversy stirred by Gawker earlier this month. The gossip site filed a Freedom of Information Act request and found out the general was offered $200,000 a year “to work three hours a week.” … professors and politicians expressed outrage and then Petraeus and the university relented …

Petraeus will teach a class called “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade.”

Read more.

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The recent election marked the end of “Anglo Saxon” domination over the United States and the beginning of a possible race war between whites and Latinos, said Linda Martín Alcoff, a well-known philosopher from the City University of New York, during a lecture at Columbia University on Wednesday.

Alcoff said the presidential election results prompted the question of “how Angelo Saxon cultural domination is going to survive in the United States” as whiteness begins to “lose its place.”

Winning the Hispanic vote by 44 points over Mitt Romney was seen as the key to President Barack Obama’s reelection last week, and with one in three Americans predicted to be Latino by 2050, it’s forced both Republicans and Democrats to prioritize the major issues concerning the group in an attempt to win over the growing voting bloc, she said.

One of Alcoff’s central claims for why the Latino vote has caused such a stir in the recent election cycle is because its population growth poses a new and unique threat to whites, as the United States is largely surrounded by countries made of up Latinos whose populations could feasibly overtake that of whites.

“No other group can realistically pose a threat of ballooning numbers like we can,” Alcoff said. “It’s not like the Jews in Germany, where they were like 3 percent of the population and there was no real economic threat.”

Alcoff even went so far as to connect an increase in recent gun purchases to whites arming themselves for some sort of possible race war against Latinos.

Since Obama was elected in 2008, for example, the number of radical groups has increased hugely all across the country, while the number of guns sold in the month Obama was elected reached an all time high of 1.5 million, she noted.

While the Associated Press reported last month that rising firearm sales resulted from a fear of increased gun laws, Alcoff said this is instead evidence of the Latino community being targeted.

“These groups are not harmless,” Alcoff said. “The principle target here…is not an unspecified or abstract immigrant population, but generally Latino immigrants from Mexico or Central America.”

In fact, Alcoff is currently lobbying for more recognition of specific instances of Latino racism as hate crimes. Her talk was hosted by The Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, and previewed her forthcoming paper about racism.

It will argue that discrimination against Latinos should be regarded as its own category, much like the notion of anti-black racism, which she says will allow for a clearer identification of racist legislation, politicians and groups.

Obama’s victory has left the Latino population as the “it group” among political pundits, Alcoff said, adding the discussion about the group is “offensive in so many ways…I won’t even go into it.”

Fix contributor Luke Kerr-Dineen is a student at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

IMAGE: PVCG/Flickr

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