The Jezebel post title says it all: “Waterboarding Apologist says Sarah Silverman is ‘Not a Jew.’ ”
Alternet posts a provocative tale from a solider who argues that racism is a major issue in the Iraq occupation:
When I ﬁrst joined the army, I was told that racism no longer existed in the military. A legacy of inequality and discrimination was suddenly washed away by something called the Equal Opportunity Program. We would sit through mandatory classes, and every unit had an EO representative to ensure that no elements of racism could resurface. The army seemed ﬁrmly dedicated to smashing any hint of racism.
Then September 11 happened, and I began to hear new words like “towel-head,” and “camel jockey,” and the most disturbing, “sand nigger.” These words did not initially come from my fellow lower-enlisted soldiers, but from my superiors: my platoon sergeant, my ﬁrst sergeant, my battalion commander. All the way up the chain of command, these viciously racist terms were suddenly acceptable.
When I got to Iraq in 2003, I learned a new word, “haji.” Haji was the enemy. Haji was every Iraqi. He was not a person, a father, a teacher, or a worker. It’s important to understand where this word came from. To Muslims, the most important thing is to take a pilgrimage to Mecca, the Hajj. Someone who has taken this pilgrimage is a haji. It’s something that, in traditional Islam, is the highest calling in the religion. We took the best thing from Islam and made it into the worst thing.
The IMF is trying to help stave off the financial crisis by encouraging nations around the globe to work together.
Adam Sewer (also known as dnA, formerly of the Too Sense blog) published an interesting piece on trying to politically mobilize the hip-hop generation. He also explores the link between the historical struggles for black equality and the current accusations of socialism from the right.
Jezebel found more on Sarah Palin, this time dissing Alaska’s Native American population:
Alaska’s population is 15.6% Native American, but apparently Sarah Palin doesn’t have their best interests at heart. While the Governor enjoys fishing, shooting caribou and hunting wolves from helicopters, she has sought to overturn subsistence fishing and hunting for Native peoples in Alaska — the right to hunt and fish according to ancient customary and traditional practices.
Fatemeh sends in a report of a Muslim man subject to an astonishing level of workplace bullying:
■ Pulling his trousers down and exposing him to passing motorists while working on the M6.
■ Force-feeding Mr Mehmood bacon, which it is against his religious beliefs to eat.
■ Dropping him off in Lozells at the time of the Asian/Afro-Carribean race riots in 2005 and then driving off, telling him the residents would come and get him.
■ Tied Mr Mehmood to railings with duct tape, stripping him and dousing his clothing in dirty water.
NPR reviews If I Could Write This in Fire, by Michelle Cliff:
While on a tour of the University of Virginia, Jamaican-American novelist and short-story writer Michelle Cliff is informed by a doctoral student that Thomas Jefferson never owned slaves. “‘Villagers,’ as they’re affectionately known,” says the student, “built [this] university, Monticello, every rotunda, column and finial the great man dreamed of. They liked him so much they just pitched in, after their own chores are done.”
It’s one of many unsettling moments in If I Could Write This in Fire, a collection of essays that is Cliff’s first nonfiction book. Everywhere Cliff goes, she sees people treating history as if it were a story they could rewrite at will: women at cocktail parties uttering, “Pinochet was not so bad”; guests at a dinner party disbelieving that the blacks in Birth of a Nation were white actors in blackface.
Cynthia C sends in news that Wal-Mart Canada is launching the its first apparel line, targeted toward “the petite asian figure.”