Posts Tagged ‘racism’

“…the burkini ban is intended to liberate women from Islamist ideas.”

“Beachwear which ostentatiously displays religious affiliation, when France and places of worship are currently the target of terrorist attacks, is liable to create risks of disrupting public order…”

The two quotes above make me really really angry. They represent what can only be described as the hypocrisy and underlying racial/ethnic and religious bigotry that has come up Trumps over the past couple years, particularly since the so called war on terror and which has intensified with the rise of the so called Islamic State. And although we attribute a lot of this hateful aura globally on the New York billionaire, ironically, the land of Liberté, égalité, fraternité (liberty, equality, fraternity) has become (or for some continues to be) almost the headquarters for subtle and not so subtle discrimination

But let us pick them apart one by one.

I honestly think the first quote moves beyond the realm of irony and comes down to just plain stupidity. But not really stupidity at all but an underlying “us versus them” “we are good anything else is less.” Think about what it is really saying. We believe that every woman wearing this article of clothing (full body swimsuit and tunic) has been forced to wear it by an evil and wicked ideology that has committed the cardinal sin – taking away their right to choice. So what do we do to fix that problem…TAKE AWAY THEIR CHOICE!!! So either the anti burkini squad are clearly stupid and can’t reason logically or their minds and decision making are clouded by hidden or not so hidden bigotry and discrimination.

Then comes the second. It has a thin veil of believability. This current climate of Islamist attacks in France really makes it plausible that religious symbols might stir up trouble. The problem though is that the application of this principle is quite direct, obvious and skewed. Put simply, I’m sure a nun wearing a full Habit on the beach on the French Riviera would not attract the attention of the police. Also I’m sure no crosses, rosaries or yarmulkes are going to be confiscated and their wearers pressured. So again I ask is this legitimate security concern or is it plain bold face discrimination.

 

Liberté, égalité, fraternité – Fact or Fiction?

 

See articles below for more on this topic:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/24/french-police-make-woman-remove-burkini-on-nice-beach

The Winner in France’s Burkini Ban? Its Inventor.

 

 

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that the United States of America has been thrust back into the spotlight with two very high profiled police shootings of Black men – Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota. These acts have personally hurt me greatly but I have been trying very hard to not make any grand comment on this new wave of outrage. Today that came to an abrupt end as one letter to the editor in today’s edition of the Jamaica Observer “draw mi out” in the Jamaican vernacular.

The letter went down the increasingly popular road that the now popular Black Lives Matter movement is not only racist but akin to the Ku Klux Klan. that is where my restraint ended. Below is a version of a letter to the editor I immediately drafted in response.

I must confess a lot more could be said and I know I could have structured the response much better but as the words of the original letter (link below) really upset me I cannot say that my mind was operating at full capacity.

http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/letters/Black-Lives-Matter-movement-is-racist-_66851

Here goes…

Dear Editor,

I usually read the letters in your publication and nod in agreement or shake my head in disagreement and move on but today is not that day. One regular letter writer, like many tend to do, has transgressed by way of distorting facts and oversimplification. Put simply the letter of July 12, 2016 entitled “Black Lives Matter is Racist!” was just short of a joke. To say that the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) is racist is clearly a misunderstanding of history as well as the reasons it emerged and how the group operates.

If I recall correctly the group emerged formally out of a twitter hashtag campaign which engendered so much support after a series of high profile and dare I say unjustified killings of young black men none more so glaring than the snuffing out of the lives of Trayvon Martin in Florida and Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. These were the latest in a long history of state excess against Black Americans in the great ‘Merica which continues almost unabated. As a response to these atrocities mainly young black people took the stance that enough is enough.

Now the letter writer has decided that this group is racist on two main accounts:

1)      It is not up in arms about the recent killing of five police officers in Dallas Texas and

2)      It should be using “All Lives Matter.”

Honestly not even sure which of the two claims is more ridiculous. Firstly, let’s take an analogy – would you gatecrash a funeral and tell those grieving that “I too have felt loss.” Or if there is a breast cancer rally going one would you interrupt it under the banner of “but people have AIDS too”? No you wouldn’t. There are multiple issues that exist simultaneously and the fact that persons are seeking to speak out on matters that are of existential importance to them does not make them racist. Never mind that all official BLM operatives I am aware of have cried foul on the murder of the Dallas police officers, that is a fact that is inconvenient to simplistic arguments. The kind of simplistic arguments that do not countenance that we can both denounce the senseless killing of these officers and demand justice and critique law enforcement when they stray into the realm of excess.

This is the thing, in the history of the world only black people are asked to tone down or apologise for not accepting atrocities meted out to them. All lives matter as a mantra spits in the face of the fact that the history of the USA in particular shows that the lives of Black people have mattered very little. And a news flash for the “All Lives Matter” crowd no-one saying Black Lives Matter has ever said ONLY Black lives matter or white lives should matter less, it is a simple cry for Black lives to matter equally recognizing that until they do then it is impossible to say ALL Lives Matter.

The objective facts are there, hundreds of people of colour, particularly black people have died at the hands of the state with impunity. At the same time several very dangerous white offenders have been in standoffs with the police that have been skillfully de-escalated so that they can rightly be arrested and ALIVE. All lives matter? As an ideal that is like saying the sky is blue, but it is unfortunately not the reality at this time.

Any person who cannot see this is willfully ignorant of history and facts.

Even worse the writer goes on to compare the KKK and BLM saying black groups “promoting the interests of black people” are no different from those “promoting the interests of white people.” Anyone who wishes to explicitly or implicitly define the KKK as a group “promoting the interests of white people” and at the same time equating Black Lives Matter, and by subtle implication, the long list of past Black Civil Rights organizations cannot and should not be taken seriously on this matter.  Like honestly, lynching people and burning crosses on their front lawns were all a part of protecting the “interests of white people.” Gimme a break.

I am tired of seeing black people forced to apologise for asking, and when fed up, demanding to be treated as human beings. If that is the new definition for racist sign me up and ship me my Black Lives Matter T-shirt.

Selah.

Another Day Another Article that says better than I can something I want to say. Maybe i should pack it in.

The Maroon Colony

And before I get into this, I want to be first extremely and explicitly clear: I don’t condone the massacre. I don’t think the cartoonists and writers deserved to lose their lives. There’s just no way to logically defend their deaths without ignorance and/or hate.

But I’m not Charlie though. And I’m not Charlie for several reasons: Charlie Hebdo for many people of color in France, particularly in Paris, that don’t benefit from mixed or proximity-to-White French- privilege is extremely racist. It’s a particular brand of French racism and xenophobia sheltered under the grey tent of “satire”. It’s belittingly. It’s demeaning. And it’s a larger, published example of the explicit forms of aggression that many people of color in Paris live with, daily. The irony is that I haven’t been returned to the States for even a week from Paris when this happened, after spending more than a week…

View original post 1,358 more words

Recently I’ve been having a case of “what on earth should I blog about next.” There are so many things happening globally and locally that have had me pondering but usually they represent some common theme with something that I’ve already discussed so I have kind of remained silent in the blogosphere.
In steps Dave from Minnesota (di land of 10,000 lakes, di gofer state) along with his singing companion Mr Jimmy Cliff telling the world that you should drive a VW car and “Get Happy”.

Having heard the now supposedly controversial ad about five times from different people’s computer speakers this monday in the office I decided let me see what this commotion is all about. Bwoy mi a tell yuh Mr Dave had me in stitches not to mention his boss telling poor Winston to “chill”. My second reaction was I’m sure I should be offended but this is funny as hell.

As night follows day I knew there would be some superman in a cape of political correctness that was going to chastise VW for something. And alas that something is being racist. The harshest criticism I heard came from a black American CNN contributor likening the ad to “black face with voices.” With the most humble respect I think that parallel is a bit harsh but I guess it is part and participle of the black experience in America and as such I was not surprised by this reaction.

Another CNN contributor professing to be born in Jamaica also expressed his disapproval, asking if VW tested the ad on actual Jamaicans suggesting WE would be offended. Poor fellow, clearly means well but he is so out of step with the majority of Jamaicans. Based on the public discourse in Jamaica I have been pleasantly surprised that the consensus has been that the furor about the ad being negative is much ado about nothing. We are happy for the attention. Scratch that…we are happy for some unsolicited POSITIVE international exposure. Once again it has been proven that our little rock has made an indelible mark on world culture. I hope the few voices out there in Jamaica that disapprove of the ad, particularly for the use of OUR LANGUAGE realise like most things foreigners see value in what we devalue and often profit from them more than we do. WAKE UP our language something to be treasured not rebuked.

Jamaicans are indeed a happy people despite all the negatives around us and that’s a fact that empirical studies continue to show. We are always near the top of happiness surveys. So when a multibillion dollar international company seeks to highlight something that we through our tourist board also spend millions on I find it hard to be offended. However, a deeper question may be to what extent we have oversold “No problem man” to the detriment of other aspects of Jamaican society.

Either way I think critics of this VW ad need to take Dave’s advice and TAKE THAT FROWN AND TURN IT DI ODDA WAY AROUN.

Blessings