“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):
— Ione Molinares (@imolinarescnn) July 23, 2013
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.
An essay by Carlos Fraenkel, an associate professor of philosophy and Jewish studies at McGill University in Montreal, and the author of the forthcoming book, ‘Teaching Plato in Palestine.’ More on his work can be found at his Web site.
Do read the whole thing here. You won’t be sorry.
About 12 years ago, while studying Arabic in Cairo, I became friends with some Egyptian students. As we got to know each other better we also became concerned about each other’s way of life. They wanted to save my soul from eternally burning in hell by converting me to Islam. I wanted to save them from wasting their real life for an illusory afterlife by converting them to the secular worldview I grew up with.
I did not convert to Islam, nor did my Egyptian friends become atheists. But I learned an important lesson from our discussions: that I hadn’t properly thought through some of the most basic convictions underlying my way of life and worldview — from God’s existence to the human good. The challenge of my Egyptian friends forced me to think hard about these issues and defend views that had never been questioned in the European student milieu where I came from.
Of course diversity and disagreement on their own are not sufficient to bring about a culture of debate (otherwise the Middle East, the Balkans and many other places would be philosophical debating clubs!). Instead they often generate frustration and resentment or, worse, erupt in violence. That’s why we need a culture of debate. In my view, the last years of high school are the best place to lay the groundwork for such a culture.
The high school curriculum already includes subjects such as evolution, which are much more controversial than the skills required for engaging difference and disagreement in a constructive way. To provide the foundation for a culture of debate, the classes I have in mind would focus on two things: conveying techniques of debate — logical and semantic tools that allow students to clarify their views and to make and respond to arguments (a contemporary version of what Aristotelians called the Organon, the ‘toolkit’ of the philosopher). And cultivating virtues of debate — loving the truth more than winning an argument, and trying one’s best to understand the viewpoint of the opponent.
I had a class like that, with a teacher like this author, when I was in high school. I’m not the only one who still appreciates him. The Facebook page that one of his students made for him has over 500 members.
I realize I was one of the lucky ones. The best thing I can think of for the future of this country and this planet is that there be many more lucky ones in school today and in all times to come.
Learn how to think, not what to think. Then you can think for yourself.
The video below is about the “Burkini Surf” series by Kate Sikorski, the surfing trainer & artist mentioned in the source article. Woohoo—you go, girls!
By Cassie Williams, July 6, 2012
As a native of Southern California, I fulfilled my stereotype and learned to surf at a young age. What I didn’t expect to find after converting to Islam in 2001 were many other Muslim girls who shared my hobby. Yes, I may have had an open mind about the religion, but I guess, admittedly, I subconsciously adopted some of the stereotypes about Muslim women that have now been obliterated after I have had the privilege of getting to know so many incredible Muslim women.
It didn’t take me long to realize after interacting on a personal level with hundreds of Muslim girls of all ages, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds, that these women were just as, if not more, diverse in their interests and hobbies than any other group. These girls are now some of my best friends, some I go running with, some I go shopping with, others I plan fashion shows with, and still others… surf. […]