links for 2010-07-11

  • "Culturally, of course, the drama will continue to play out, as will the punditry. It is telling that it took a second round of unforgivable comments — this time propagating the ugliest stereotypes about blacks, just as his 2006 remarks did about Jews — for the nail to enter the coffin." 
  • "But unless things change before next month, this city is going to close its top-ranked school, Nichols Elementary, to save about $400,000 a year — less than 1 percent of the school district’s $50 million budget. Worse than that, say residents of the poor and largely black east side of Biloxi, the neighborhood is losing one of its chief sources of pride and cohesion.

    "The question of whether closing the school is an act of fiscal prudence or discrimination has become an explosive subject in Biloxi, reopening age-old racial divides. Nearly 90 percent of the school’s students are black or Asian, while the four School Board members who voted in April for the closing are white."

  • "It followed unprecedented talks between President Raul Castro and Cardinal Jaime Ortega.

    "Mr Farinas, who had refused food for more than 130 days, was reported to have been near death. He began his fast after Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death following an 85-day hunger strike.

    "Following Wednesday's announcement of the prisoner releases, Spain's foreign minister called on the EU to soften its Common Position on Cuba."

  • "It is true that Mexico was even seen as a refuge for some American blacks. Poet Langston Hughes did some of his earliest writing while living briefly with his father in Mexico, where the older man had gone to escape discrimination.

    "But the full truth is that racism is alive and well in Mexico. It is primarily directed at indigenous communities who account for as many as 11.3 million people, or roughly 10% of the national population. The indigenous remain disproportionately mired in poverty and denied work, political access, education and other rights.

    "And there is a smaller community of black Mexicans, Afro Mexicanos, many descendants of slaves first brought to the region by Spanish conquerors in the 16th century."

  • "The altered bill, approved by the House in February, would have recognized the Hawaiian governing council as 'an Indian tribe.' Much of what that entailed was 'unsuited for the state of Hawaii' and 'will certainly engender new disputes over the status of much of the land in Hawaii,' objected Hawaii Attorney General Mark Bennett."
  • "Articulating US attempts at fostering a positive dialogue with the world's 1.4 billion Muslims, Pandith made clear that she tries not to speak of a single monolithic 'Muslim world'. 

    "'The narrative has to change by the conversations that we are having, and not to put everything in one big bucket, just because, obviously, somebody maybe of one faith that does something bad does not mean that everybody of that faith is in that same bucket,' she said in response to a question." 

  • "New cases of killings or harassment appear in the Indian news media almost every week. Last month, the police arrested three men for the honor killings of a couple in New Delhi who had married outside their castes, as well as the murder of a woman who eloped with a man from another caste.

    "Two of the suspects are accused of murdering their sisters, and an uncle of the slain couple spoke of their murders as justifiable."