links for 2011-07-15

  • "Nathan-Kazis said that rumors had begun emerging in Borough Park's Orthodox community that portrayed Aron as something of an outsider.

    "One such rumor suggested that Aron is a Sephardic Jew – meaning of Spanish of North African descent – unlike most Borough Park Jews, who are Ashkenazi, or of Eastern European descent.

    "'You could see the community struggling with the fact that the suspect is Jewish and lived nearby and at the same time protect a sense of safety in the community,' Nathan-Kazis said."

  • "An assemblyman is accusing a food delivery service of denigrating Asians by using the name Ching Chong Ling Long Gourmet Takeout.
    A group of UCLA students in partnership with a Chinese restaurant in Westwood, California, thought the name was the perfect tongue-in-cheek swipe at a viral Youtube video.
    "But Monterey Park Assemblyman Mike Eng this week took issue, saying that the business name is 'jingoistic.'"

    "Mr Eng said: 'I do agree that the best way to combat intolerance is to provide a positive cultural experience, but it is the inappropriate jingoistic humor that is the problem.'"

  • "Brian Centeno, director of the Migrant, Indian, and International Education Office of the California Department of Education, explained that the number of students enrolled with MEP has declined since 2005 as a result of the economic crisis. Previously, migrant workers with children could find jobs in the growing construction sector. Now, however, every family member must contribute to the household income.

    “'The majority [of underaged farm workers] are Hispanic. Not all of them are undocumented students, many are U.S. citizens who come from farmworker families and, like their parents, they must work,' said Centeno."

  • "Sonia Pierre, a Dominican human rights activist, says the changes in Dominican citizenship laws have made hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, in effect, stateless. She points to a landmark international court decision in 2005 calling on the Dominican government to end its discrimination against this population. But the government did the opposite – it hardened its policies and began retroactively withdrawing citizenship from Dominicans of Haitian descent.

    "Claiming that it is only trying to 'clean up' its civil registry rolls, the government now systematically refuses to issue identity documents to Dominicans of Haitian descent. Officials often deny these documents because someone has a Haitian-sounding last name or 'looks' Haitian."

  • "Their positioning rests on two major acts of sophistry. The first is an elision between Western values and liberal values that ignores the fact that liberal values are not fully entrenched in the West and that other regions of the world also have liberal traditions. Nowhere is this clearer than with gay rights, where whatever gains do exist are recent and highly contested. Thirty American states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, and only a handful of states have passed gay marriage through the popular legislative process. Not only is gay equality not a Western value, it’s not even a Californian value. The second is a desire to understand Western “values” in abstraction from Western practice. This surge in extolling Western virtues has coincided with an illegal war that has been underpinned by both authorized and unauthorized torture and a range of other atrocities and a spike in the electoral and political currency of racism and xenophobia."