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Posts Tagged ‘Bigotry’

I haven’t achieved old age yet, nor am I a man. However, Dylan Thomas’s villanelle seems the appropriate beginning to the week. It’s a reminder to us humans, with a ways to go, that time is short and we better get busy, or prepare for the angst we are sure to have at the end.

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rave at close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Although I am wary of pronouncements that suggest Palin just needs the right support team, Black Agenda has the correct view about her status:

Freedom Rider: President Sarah Palin

Posted Tue, 11/24/2009 – 20:30 by Margaret Kimberley

[By BAR editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley

Smug Democrats love to imagine they are a species apart from Sarah Palin, the “pit bull with lipstick.” However, U.S. political history teaches us never to overestimate the intelligence of the American electorate, or trust a Democrat – many of whom were Republicans not very long ago….]

http://www.blackagendareport.com/?q=content/freedom-rider-president-sarah-palin

One of the good things that has resulted from putting Democrats back in charge, is to give some breathing room in the fight over national resources. The three-year moratorium instituted in July was a start.  However, as the article below demonstrates, the real work is only beginning:

Keeping Uranium out of the Grand Canyon

Marty Durlin | Nov 23, 2009 12:53 PM

[Are 21- year-old documents adequate to approve reopening a uranium mine about 15 miles north of the Grand Canyon? The Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Grand Canyon Trust say no, and they’re suing the Bureau of Land Management for giving the go-ahead, claiming the agency is violating multiple federal laws by using the decades-old environmental assessment to approve the uranium mine….

http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/keeping-uranium-out-of-the-grand-canyon

I find this news fascinating. Just think, Citibank is now 36% USA government owned, and more than 26% foreign owned, a large chunk by Abu Dhabi and Singapore.  And who was it that wanted to buy our port management businesses just a little while ago? Oh yeah. Then six months later who bought it from them and got bailed out? Oh yeah. Then who teams up together? Oh yeah.

After Dubai World debt panic, UAE guarantees all bank deposits

The United Arab Emirates central bank guaranteed all deposits in the banking system Sunday, seeking to calm markets made nervous by Dubai World’s debt payment crisis. Asian markets rose Monday on the news.

[DUBAI, UAE – The United Arab Emirates’ central bank sought to reassure investors rattled by the debt woes of the politically-connected conglomerate Dubai World on Sunday with an announcement that it was backing all deposits in locally owned and foreign banks.

Asian markets were cheered by the news, rising more than 3 percent on Monday after falling by between 3 and 5 percent last Friday, though UAE stock markets fell by up to 8 percent on Monday on concerns over a deepening local recession….]

http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1130/p06s07-wome.html

Fanning the flames of bigotry even when we are afraid or angry is wrong. The results demean all of us. Does anything more need to be said about this?

Muslim Soldiers See ‘Teachable Moment’ in Ft. Hood

Attacks From Right Raise Pressure on Soldiers After Ft. Hood Shooting

By SPENCER ACKERMAN 11/26/09 6:00 AM

[Jamal Baadani was driving home from work outside Washington on November 5 when a friend called to tell him a gunman had shot up the Army base at Fort Hood, Texas. It didn’t take long for Baadani to learn that the suspect, Nidal Malik Hasan, was an Arab-American, a Muslim, and a member of the U.S. military. In other words, nothing like him and everything like him, all at once…]

http://washingtonindependent.com/68976/muslim-soldiers-see-teachable-moment-in-ft-hood

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Burqa Barbie

As a child I had a collection of dolls that were designed with a selection of international costumes. I believe the color choices of the costumes generally reflected the national colors of each country. The ones I remember mostly were the Spanish and Afghani dolls. Perhaps it was because of my creamcicle SoCal life then, that the strong red yellow and greens attracted me. Today, when I see President Karzai in his perpetual green cloak, it still makes me think of that Afghani doll and the strong associations we make of national colors.

Enter the eternally popular and political lightening rod, Barbie. Christian Science Monitor has reported that Sotheby’s will auction a 500 piece Barbie doll collection, to raise funds for “Save the Children”, with international outfits that include a burka(burqa). From my position, It’s hard to imagine how anyone thinks arguing over the one outfit out of the collection, that a whole lot of women in other countries wear isn’t somehow misguided and inherently bigoted.

In the United States we have a lot of freedom over what to wear in public, although I think some places like Brazil may have more under the right conditions. Other places have more proscribed views about what people, and especially what women, should wear.

A US made doll, Barbie, on the other hand, has been getting bashed almost since her beginning over her shape, accessories and clothing. Each generation picks a new field of battle. This argument, however, is wrong. No matter what we think in the United States think about the Burqa, it’s not up to us to throw it off. We aren’t their mom’s, people. Those burka wearing women, wearing an outfit older than Islam, that Burqa Barbie represents, decide that.

And if a Barbie in a Burqa isn’t an educational tool, I don’t know what is.

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Last week I found this older item in the BBC news. I had thought to do a little post around it. I would ask, what is religion, and how is it defined? Is it defined as Abrahamic, Indian, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, Iranian, Kurdish, Western, Folk or Far Eastern? Or do we take the religious edifice we have constructed, break it into shards, pick up one to admire and kick at the rest?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8327636.stm

After asking those questions, (more…)

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