links for 2010-02-09

  • "But now a Jewish D.J. in Brooklyn finds himself defending his right to market what he calls an 'Israeli remix of the keffiyeh,' featuring the Star of David.

    "An article last week in the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National compared the effort by Jewish hipsters like Erez Safar to claim the keffiyeh for themselves as just the latest in a series of battles over symbols of Middle Eastern culture whose appropriation by Israelis has enraged Arabs."

  • "The billboards — there are 65 now and will eventually be 80, Ms. Davis said — were created in conjunction with a new Web site,, which says that all of Georgia’s abortion clinics are in “urban areas where blacks reside.” The Web site connects abortion to segregation, saying that after the civil rights era, racists went “underground,” and that today “abortion is the tool they use to stealthily target blacks for extermination.”
  • "But now I think maybe Black stars should help African-American women release the hold that blond hair has had on us. It's not a natural hair color. It's not really a good look if you're over 30. It's not particularly healthy for your hair. We don't need the woes that blond hair brings. Black women, let's do something different."
  • "Has anyone else noticed that a staple of many a vegan cookbook is a recipe for African Peanut Stew or African Yam Stew or something similar? I’ve also seen (though less frequently) recipes for, say, Asian-Style Tofu or whatever. I cannot recall ever seeing a cookbook featuring anything like European Bean Soup. Is it because to most vegan cookbook authors/food bloggers, it would be preposterous to assume that there is anything universal or overarching about the many countries that make up Europe, or their cuisines? And yet we don’t often see the same distinction granted to countries in Africa."
  • "To be gay and Muslim, at times, people will say that it is an oxymoron. But in actuality, it’s a formulation that shows the diversity within Islam; that people can be a variety of backgrounds. The Quran says to look to the nature of the world. And from that, you can see the diversity and understand that Allah’s understanding of the world and the universe in which he created is full of diversity; but you find the oneness, the tauheed unification of all, through those various diverse aspects.”
  • "I know that there are folks from all ethnicities who will be troubled by Scott Fujita claiming a Japanese American identity. But take a step back and think about the radical potential of not just what his adoption shows but why he identifies as he does. His adoption of a Japanese American identity isn't just about eating white rice (as he says in the above video) or about having Asian aesthetic objects in his home (as this ESPN piece was surprised that he doesn't, until getting to his home office and seeing a large sculpture). Scott Fujita's adoption of a Japanese American identity seems as much rooted in a history of social justice causes as a celebration of culture, born out of his deep love and connection with his family."
  • "Unfortunately, the civil rights movement has often lagged on the question of women’s equality even as it has led the nation on matters of race. Much of the blame for this must be borne by the religious institutions that have played a predominant role in the struggle for racial justice. Until recently, most black churches refused to grant women leadership roles, depriving them of the platform that so many black men have used to rally followers and challenge injustice."