Things not to forget

I was going to try to stay on the insect topic all week, but enough stuff keeps happening that I just can’t.

On the 45th anniversary of the 16th Street Bombing, Angry Black Woman connects the deaths of black children in the past to an assault on the nursery in a Mosque in Ohio Last week. How. Is. This. NOT. A. Hate. Crime? From the news coverage:

“Mosque board member Tarek Sabagh said many people within the mosque speculated that the incident was the result of a DVD about Islamic radicalism titled “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West” that was mailed to area homes by its producers and circulated as a paid advertisement with more than 70 newspapers, including the Dayton Daily News.”

We got a copy of that video too–as did everyone I know in Michigan. Some racists have really deep pockets.

And, yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard and James Byrd. Two men tortured in horrible ways because of who they were.

We have come a long way–but we still have so far to go.  These are important topics in Michigan, since we are home to a group called FAIR–Federation for American Immigration Reform.  New documents that have come out this month show that the FAIR leader has pretty clear Neo-Nazi ties.  FAIR has argued that “some immigrant groups” are engaged in “competitive breeding.”  I think you can read between the lines, there.

Hatred is still here, and it is still very real. I hear a lot of white folks discussing the Obama campaign, and saying “I can’t believe that people are still so racist they wouldn’t vote for a black man!” and “I didn’t think there are still Skinheads!”

Hello? Have you been paying any attention?

Yes, things are much better than they were. But we can’t relax.

To repeat an earlier post quoting  Holly at Feministe:

“When any of us have a soapbox, an opportunity to get up and talk, we must continue to stand by those who aren’t called on. If you want to consider yourself an anti-racist or a white ally to people of color — if you want anyone else to consider you those things — then it behooves you to swim against the current. If everyone did, perhaps the tides would turn, even if it was just in our corner of the blogosphere….

When you find yourself in the inevitable currents of our society that always flow towards greater privilege, away from the marginalized, the oppressed, be prepared to swim against that tide. Don’t just stand there and let sand pool around your ankles.(emphasis mine)

5 thoughts on “Things not to forget

  1. My little voice against racism. Anne Frank’s diary changed or I should say formed my feelings about it as a child. I have dedicated a poem to Anne.

  2. How they do it? Fear and ignorance. That’s inexcusable enough, but what really stabs me in the heart is that groups are setting out to cause it. Here in Britain there are lobbying groups specifically setting out to spread disinformation about Muslims in the press (http://layscience.net/node/211), and you seem to have the same problem in your country. I

  3. When the real I.R.A. planted that bomb in the shopping mall at Omagh, it was such a wicked thing to do all captured on film, just ordinary mums and dads and children shopping, A passing by surgeon was soon doing all he could do to help, a Pakistani surgeon he looked into the camera and wept, and said “please stop doing this, these are your own people.” It was the last bomb in N.Ireland and I believe that impassioned plea did mmore than all the politicians to bring an end to the violence-no I don’t understand it.

  4. conservatives here in america are moving against hate crime legislation.
    ive heard them say it makes no sense to put additional laws against something that is inherently wrong- torture, murder, etc

    by their line of reasoning there should be no efforts made to curb hate crimes….

    its sad that the artificial borders of nations, and artificial definitions of race and religion continue to do so much harm….

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