links for 2010-05-30

  • “When people see a white girl wearing a niqab they assume I’ve stuck my fingers up at my own culture to ‘follow a bunch of Asians’. I’ve even had teenage boys shout at me in the street, ‘Get that s*** off your head, you white bastard.’ After the London bombings, I was scared to walk about in the streets for fear of retaliation."
  • "Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were tried and found guilty of sodomy and indecency earlier this month in a move that sparked international condemnation.

    But after talking with Ban today, Malawi's president, Bingu wa Mutharika, announced the pair would be freed."

  • "According to Nickelodeon, Dora was originally created in reaction to the underrepresentation of Latinos in the media. In response to the defamation of Dora in these images, Nickelodeon has taken a neutral stance, calling her a “citizen of the world” and that her home is not in any one place. Whether she was created to be a representation in America or not, it has happened. At such a fragile time in our nation’s history, when an innocent cartoon character is defaced all in the name of hatred, Nickelodeon, her creator, should stand against this behavior – for Dora and for all. We’re thinking a new episode is in order."
  • "Faiza Ali, of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the ads were based on a false premise that people faced coercion to remain with Islam. She said Muslims believe faith that is forced is not true belief.

    "Geller is free to say what she likes, just as concerned community members are free to criticize her motives," Ali said.

    Geller has a history of speaking out against Muslims, and the ads are "a smoke screen to advance her long-standing history of anti-Muslim bigotry," Ali said.

    Geller said she had no problem with Muslims, but was working to "maintain the separation of mosque and state."

  • "Representative Luis V. Gutierrez was all set to be a friend of the Obama administration, a point man for the White House among Latinos. A nine-term Democrat, he had cut his political teeth in the wards of Chicago, just as Barack Obama did, and the two knew each other from their parallel early careers in Illinois.

    But instead of a favorite ally, Mr. Gutierrez has become a noisy, needling outsider — and not just in the halls of Congress. Saying he was fed up with the president not leading an overhaul of immigration laws, Mr. Gutierrez was arrested along with more than 30 other protesters on May 1 after a sit-in in front of the White House."

  • "The Sheriff called the mobilization "Operation Third Option," and said it was about fighting drugs. However, community members say that Sheriff Franklin's actions are part of an orchestrated revenge for the local civil rights protests that won freedom for six Black high school students – known internationally as the Jena Six – who had been charged with attempted murder for a school fight.

    One thing is clear: The Sheriff spent massive resources. Yet officers seized no contraband. Together with District Attorney Reed Walters, Sheriff Franklin has said he is seeking maximum penalties for people charged with small-time offenses. Further, in a parish that is 85 percent white, his actions have almost exclusively targeted African Americans."

  • "In England, Mr. Franks, 45, had been a financial adviser, and Mrs. Franks, 42, worked as a chef. But they were not happy and decided in 2000 that they wanted to open a restaurant in Maine, where they spent many vacations and married.

    While they came to pursue the American Dream, they said, and wanted to become Americans, they are now fed up with what they see as an arbitrary system that had allowed them to run a business for almost a decade until the day it did not.

    “I can honestly see why people come into the country illegally, because to do it legally is almost impossible,” Mr. Franks said from Nova Scotia.

    “They have tossed us aside like a used tissue,” he said."

  • "A handful of small, private women’s colleges, including Alverno College in Milwaukee, the College of New Rochelle in New York and Trinity Washington University in Washington, are shifting to enrolling and graduating low-income minority students.

    The change was made in the past two decades largely as a survival tactic for small colleges in dire straits. Despite that, the institutions and observers say the shift is, at its core, another take on the mission of a women’s college.

    “Women’s colleges were founded in the mid-1800s because of access. Women couldn’t go to college, by and large,” said Susan E. Lennon, executive director of the Women’s College Coalition. “There’s still an access issue. And while women’s colleges are small in number, they’re doing some extraordinary and in some cases revolutionary work that I think is a great model, not just for educating women, but for educating women who have been traditionally underrepresented.”