links for 2010-10-14

  • "Two days after Mission College student Yasir Afifi found a surveillance-tracking device on his car, the twenty year old Arab-American student was confronted by six FBI agents and police officers — who asked for the pricey gadget back."

    "Although Afifi has never been affiliated with any type of questionable organization and is a U.S.-born citizen, he says he is on a federal watch list and is often taken aside at airports. His late father, Aladdin, was a prominent Muslim leader in Egypt, and Afifi annually visits his family there and embarks on frequent business trips to the Middle East."

  • "'No More Down Low,' a new online show launched this week, aims to portray the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in a more holistic light and dispel myths about gay life.

    "'No More Dow Low' is co-hosted by actress Janora McDuffie and Jonathan Plummer, ex-husband of author Terry McMillan.

    "Monday’s inaugural episode of the monthly show–at www.NoMoreDownLow.tv–featured interviews with a variety of personalities from the gay and lesbian community, including comedian Wanda Sykes, Wilson Cruz and photographer Duane Cramer."

  • "As I got older, it became increasingly more important to me to fit the norm of what it meant to 'look Black.' I remember when I was ten years old I begged and begged my mother to comb my hair with five braids instead of my usual one long ponytail. I wanted one braid in front, two on the sides and two in the back, just the way all the other little Black girls wore their hair. First off, my mother had five girls with long hair to comb for school in the morning. I had to wait last as she hurriedly combed my sisters’ hair and then gave me the five braids I requested. As soon as she finished combing my hair, I rushed to the mirror to take a look. Wow, I thought. I look just like a Black girl. Surely, the other little Black girls will like me better now. Instead, when I arrived at school, I was met with anger and resentment. Crossed arms and cruel eyes peered at me like I had stole something and should confess and give it back."
  • "The state of Georgia has banned undocumented immigrants from attending public colleges and universities. The board of regents voted 14-2* to prohibit public universities from enrolling students without papers in any school that has rejected other qualified applicants for the past two years due to lack of space.

    "The vote makes Georgia one of three states to bar undocumented immigrants from higher education. South Carolina passed a more restrictive law in 2008 that bans undocumented applicants from matriculating into any public university whatsoever. Alabama does not allow undocumented people to enter two year community colleges."

  • "Britain remains blighted by class division, and class is central to how people see their place in our society. Economic background is still a strong predictor of life chances, as explored in the Runnymede Trust research report Who Cares about the White Working Class?. But it is evident that class alone cannot explain why different groups do badly, any more than race can. The government must design measures that respond to both race and class specifically if they are serious about reducing ethnic inequalities and improving race relations."
  • "A mentally disabled U.S. citizen who spoke no Spanish was deported to Mexico with little but a prison jumpsuit after immigration agents manipulated him into signing documents allowing his removal, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges. His lawyers say the agents ignored records showing his Social Security number, while prison officials wouldn't tell concerned relatives what happened."