"I am not a racist." The fact that we even have to make a qualifying statement such as "I am not a racist!" in America may say less about our past and more about the present misuse of labels. Qualifying statements may also indicate how quickly others are to take offense in our culture. However, racial qualifications may have more to do with conscience than anything else.
Last month, my daughter's travel soccer team decided to go out to dinner after a game. Over pizza, the girls and the team parents were able to get to know each other on a more personal level. During some light conversation with another father, I asked, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like Kurt Russell?" He said, "No, is that a good thing?" I said, "Well, he's a good looking guy, successful, and famous!" I then jokingly said, "I guess it's better than being compared to Barak Obama." He laughed and shortly thereafter, we finished our pizza and went our separate ways.
Later that night, my conscience began bothering me regarding that last statement but I could not understand why. It finally occurred to me that my struggle had to do with the potential perception with which my comment could have been received because Barak Obama is a black President. I began thinking to myself, "I am not a racist and there are no latent issues of which I am aware." I further protested, "My comment was politically motivated and had nothing to do race." Yet, I was really bothered by the fact that it could have been misconstrued. more >>
I was in the mood for a ham sandwich the other day so I walked around the corner to my neighborhood market to pick up some provisions.
I snagged a shopping cart with three workable wheels and maneuvered my way through the store humming along to a Muzak menagerie of Mr. Mister and Lionel Richie songs. I stopped for a brief moment in the produce aisle to admire a pair of hipsters as they harmonized to "Say You, Say Me."
Anyway, after selecting a deli ham, I dropped by condiments aisle to get a jar of spicy mustard along with some bread & butter pickles. more >>
When Rep. Barbara Lee, (D-Calif), went off on Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Wis), for his remarks that "We have got a tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work," the wrong part what she had to say got all the attention.
The big buzz that Congressional Black Caucus member Lee generated was her accusation that Ryan's remarks were a "thinly veiled racial attack."
But the part of her remarks I found most interesting was "…Mr. Ryan should step up and produce some legitimate proposals on how to tackle poverty and racial discrimination in America." more >>
NBA star Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers has sparked outrage online after he criticized Lebron James and his teammates from the Miami Heat for wearing hoodies in support of Trayvon Martin.
Bryant reportedly tells Ben McGrath in a profile published in the March 31 edition of the New Yorker that Lebron James' decision to post a photo of the Heat players dressed in hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin spoke to a lack of progress. He said he didn't feel obliged to support Martin simply because he is black, according to the excerpt below.
I won't react to something just because I'm supposed to, because I'm an African American," he said. "That argument doesn't make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we've progressed as a society? Well, we've progressed as a society, then don't jump to somebody's defense just because they're African American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won't assert myself." more >>
Far from being repentant of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians; is again causing their death and dislocation.
In the early morning hours of March 21, al-Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab. Among other thing, "Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages." Reportedly eighty people were killed.
The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town. No translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam's triumphant war cry, "Allahu Akbar" (or, according to Sen. John McCain's translation, "thank God"). more >>
The writer of "Alice in Arabia" is speaking out about her project, which she says is "pro-tolerance" and not stereotypical. The show was cancelled by ABC Family before it even hit the airwaves due to concern by Muslim advocacy groups and the general public.
Brooke Eikmeier wrote of her disappointment and what she had truly hoped that the show would accomplish in a column written for The Hollywood Reporter. She previously worked on "Family Guy" and "Boston Legal" before enlisting in the U.S. Army, which is where she got the idea for the show "Alice in Arabia."
"The genesis of 'Alice in Arabia' lay in the deep frustration I felt while studying the Arabic language in the Army," Eikmeier wrote. "I was particularly struck by the struggle of women, especially in Saudi Arabia. I knew many were fulfilled and proud of their way of life, but there were others who wanted things that I had taken for granted as an American – for example, a legal system that gives you the right to have a woman defend you in court when you bring a rape case, or for the culture to allow you to bring the case without prejudice in the first place." more >>