Volunteers Zahraa Debaja, center, and Zeinab Makki, right, prepare meals from food provided by the Yasmeen Bakery in Dearborn, Mich., Friday, April 25, 2014. The reach of one of the nation’s few charitable organizations exclusively providing halal food to the poor could be greatly expanded under the new federal provision
DETROIT, MI — The farm bill that the president signed into law during a visit to Michigan earlier this year requires the federal government to start helping food banks provide kosher and halal products to families in need, and a Metro Detroit organization plans to pursue the aid.
A Jewish organization in New York sparked the legislation after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 left many affected by food shortages searching food bank shelves for kosher products, according to the Associated Press.
The measure was passed over multiple times in Congress, but was included in the sweeping, five-year farm bill passed in February.
Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture is charged with gauging demand; finding vendors that can supply food prepared according to Jewish and Muslim dietary codes at comparable prices to standard food; and getting the labeled and tracked goods to distributors, reports Jeff Karoub of the Associated Press.
Getting the program into place will take a while, officials said.
But Zaman International Inc., a Dearborn-based group that runs a mobile food pantry and provided 3,612 meals in one 2013 program, plans to apply for the federal help.
“It would be huge - a lot of our budget goes to halal meat and chicken,” Zaman executive Director Najah Bazzy told Karoub.
“For me, having the halal meat - if it could be given to us through the right vendors - really opens the opportunity for … giving people access to the total food pyramid.”
An Easter egg hunt in Henrico County, Va. was interrupted on Sunday when the parents of a three-year-old son found an egg filled with racist notes.
“My husband noticed the last Easter egg and I knew it wasn’t one that put out,” Jackie Smith told WRIC. “We opened it and it’s got the white supremacist stuff in it.”
The piece paper inside the egg contained language including “diversity = white genocide” and “mass immigration and forced assimilation of non-whites into our lands is genocide.”
Smith and her husband, Brandon Smith, went around their neighborhood alerting other parents, and found several more eggs in other yards.
“We don’t want other kids around here who can read being like, ‘Hey mommy what’s the million man white march or what’s the genocide project?’ Most of us don’t want to explain genocide to our 6-year-olds,” Jackie Smith said.
“Power to the people”. Very creative use of wide aperture. Excellent!
Good news for tolerance and pluralism, bad news for our counter jihad “friends.” I wonder if Pamela or Robert Spencer has had a ragegasm over this yet, as Vicious Babushka would say. They probably have, this story is a little over a week old, but I just found out about this today, so it maybe news to many of you here.
By Patch Editor Kaitlin Glanzer
When South Windsor residents cast their votes for Dr. Saud Anwar, electing him the town’s next mayor, they likely were choosing the soft-spoken doctor and humanitarian who votes his conscience and urged the Town Council not to raise taxes when residents were struggling and families lived in the homeless shelter.
They likely were not considering that they would make history by electing the first Muslim mayor in Connecticut.
“They’re looking for the person who is going to do the best job for them with the priorities that they feel are important to them,” Anwar said Friday by phone.
Still, that South Windsor has embraced Anwar says much about them and about the United States.
“We live in the best country in the world …where everyone and anyone who follows the law is respected and can help make the country better,” Anwar said.
“The people of South Windsor are very caring, embracing individuals who respect people of all backgrounds, so my being elected is more about the people of South Windsor and less about me.”
A Halloween present for the racists out there—may it give them nightmares.
WASHINGTON — As Cory Booker took his place Thursday beside Robert Menendez in the U.S. Senate, history was made in an institution that has long been the province of white men.
New Jersey becomes the first state to be represented by a black and a Latino senator at the same time. It’s a sign of progress, political experts say, as the United States moves toward a point three decades from now when whites are no longer in the majority. […]
Booker is the first African American elected to the Senate since Barack Obama in 2004, and only the ninth black person to serve in the upper chamber of Congress. He will join Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who was appointed in January, as the only black senators. […]
Diverse duos are not new for the Senate. Hawaii was represented by two Asian Americans at the same time for decades, until Brian Schatz was appointed to the Senate last year to serve the remainder of the late Daniel Inouye’s term. There are also three states — California, New Hampshire and Washington — that are now represented by two women senators. It’s the milestone of an African American and a Latino senator serving at the same time that makes New Jersey unique.
New Jersey’s Senate representation by Menendez, who is Cuban American, and Booker is possible in part because the state itself is diverse. Slightly more than 42% of New Jersey’s population are black and Latino. […]
When El Paso voters elected Robert “Beto” O’Rourke to Congress last year, his supporters said they chose a fresh and progressive voice to champion issues critical to the border community.
But what they lost was a seat on an influential caucus whose members have recently met with President Obama on issues like immigration reform, border security and health care.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a 26-member group established in 1976 and currently chaired by U.S. Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Edinburg, includes as its goals “voicing and advancing, through the legislative process, issues affecting Hispanics in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” according to the organization’s mission statement. It also includes task forces on civil rights, education and labor, and diversity and inclusion.
I think that task force on diversity and inclusion should take a look at the Caucus’s bylaws.
Not every congressional caucus is as stringent, however. The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus allows members who are not of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, including U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston.
“Our caucus is not based on a certain racial background,” said an aide to a Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus member who asked not to be named. “We’ve always welcomed allies in Congress. I can’t speak to the politics of other caucuses.”
Read the rest here: El Paso Congressman Ineligible to Join Hispanic Caucus
The link in this tweet takes you to a video of Beto O’Rourke being interviewed about immigration reform (in Spanish):
Now, as some background, out there in the stupider parts of the Internet, there are dudes who think of themselves as ‘alpha males.’ My experience with these fellows is that they tend to be ignorant, status-anxious and undersocialized; they tend to mask their various panic attacks about race, gender and sexuality by maintaining those panic attacks are in fact a sign of their superiority. They disdain those who are comfortable with a world in which diversity is respected and encouraged — especially those who are men — and call them ‘beta’ or ‘gamma’ males and/or describe them as ‘rabbits’ or some other species which they presume to be frightened or prey.
With that in mind, for those of us who are comfortable with diversity, who try not to be racist, or sexist, or homophobic, who don’t see the world as an apocalyptic zero-sum battle to the death between ourselves and whomever we try to hide our confused fear of by considering them as lesser beings, who aren’t in fact appallingly ignorant bigoted shitballs every single waking hour of the day, may I present to you an avatar — an icon, if you will, of who we are and how we choose to live our lives:
EDITED TO ADD: Yes, Gamma Rabbit, who likes people as they are, fears no one no matter how they live their lives, and who is comfortable with himself and his own personal values of kindness, tolerance and diversity. Sure, there are some who look down on him and his ways, but you know what? Gamma Rabbit knows that those people are kooky, silly, wacky racist sexist homophobic dipshits, and aside from looking forward to the day when they might pull their heads out and join the rest of the human race, lets them alone to do their own thing. Because Gamma Rabbit has other, better people and things to think about.