Friday, 29 July 2016

KKK as the Party of Law and Order

screenshot obtained (and thereafter embellished) from
Constitution and Laws of the Ku Klux Klan (Incorporated)
authored and published by the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Atlanta, GA in 1921

That pamphlet is available for public viewing at the Digital Collections of the Michigan State University Library (East Lansing, Michigan), the Ku Klux section, at

I have embellished the screenshot so that Facebook won't deprecate this post as being a black-and-white text-only post (yes, FB literally told me that). The words in this screenshot are as follows.

"To the lovers of Law Order, Peace and Justice, we send greeting; and to the shades of the valiant, venerated Dead, we gratefully and affectionately dedicate the

Below the fancy, for-Facebook version of the screenshot is a proper version of the same. It will appear smaller in the blog, so feel free to click the image to see the full-size version.

As the Sun from Behind a Cloud


No, really. A slug.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Want Me to Like a Republican?

First, every single last white who sets foot on that stage needs to denounce white terrorism, especially that motivated by racism.

Wake me up when that happens. At that point, I might be tempted to say something if bribed by a bag of Better Made red twists.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

No Trigger Words Out of Context Please

Loves, let us not not use sensitive words outside of their proper contexts. It is hurtful and triggering.


[Image contains those words in the matting of a photograph of purple-pink flowers amidst green-and-white vegetation, with purple bordering.]

Monday, 25 July 2016

Jill Stein's Overbearing Whiteness



Saturday, 16 July 2016

Racial Constructs and Police Relations: A Reader

Whilst race is a social construct, it is a very real one. To pretend that it does not exist is to wilfully ignore the lived realities of People of Colour. Be mindfully loving.

With regard to calls for unity from those who visibly ally themselves with the police, the following needs to b known. Please read.

* "We don’t need Lincoln-inspired racial ‘unity.’ We need whites to stop being racist."
Stacey Patton, Washington Post
15 July 2015
"Clinton’s call for everyone to “do the work” to unite against hatred overlooks the fundamental fact that it’s whites — and only whites — who must work to fix the racist structures in our society. To quote another historical figure, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 'The thing wrong with America is white racism. … It’s time for America to have an intensified study on what’s wrong with white folks.' Clinton could have spoken about racial justice. Talk of unity, reconciliation and restoring trust is a diversion from the raw, ugly, excruciatingly painful work of addressing the systemic racism that is tearing our nation apart. In their rush to avoid the real work in favor of a kumbaya fantasy comfort zone, they refuse to confront history and the truth about present moment."

* "MLK Would Never Shut Down a Freeway, and 6 Other Myths About the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter"
Janne Theoharis, Black Lives Matter"
15 July 2916
"Such historical revisionism is both dangerous and comfortable—dangerous because it grossly distorts how the civil rights movement actually proceeded, and comfortable because it allows many Americans to keep today’s movement at arm’s length. Key to the work of many civil rights organizations, from SCLC to the Congress of Racial Equality and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, was mass civil disobedience because they understood that injustice would not be changed without disrupting civic and commercial life. The civil rights movement made most Americans uncomfortable. The March on Washington was policed like a military battle; in Operation Steep Hill, the Pentagon put 19,000 troops on standby. Five thousand local and suburban police, National Guard troops and Army rangers were given riot-control training and were on duty that day.

* "Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks"
Timothy Williams, New York Times
07 July 2016
"The report found that although officers employ force in less than 2 percent of all police-civilian interactions, the use of police force is disproportionately high for African-Americans — more than three times greater than for whites."

* "Is There A 'War On Police'? The Statistics Say No"
Martin Kaste, NPR
15 September 2015
"Seth Stoughton, a former police officer and an assistant law professor at the University of South Carolina, has been collecting and analyzing these data going back decades. He says 2014 looked bad in comparison with 2013 mainly because 2013 was so good. '2013 was the safest year for police officers, ever,' he says. 'The safest year in recorded history.' In fact, in the larger scheme of things, 2014 looks pretty normal. The number of murders of police was about the same as 2012, and actually a lot lower than 2011. The long-term trend is even more encouraging: On average, only about half as many police are murdered every year now, as compared with the 1970s."

* "FBI Releases 2015 Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in the Line of Duty"
FBI National Press Office
16 May 2016
"Preliminary statistics released today by the FBI show that 41 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2015. This is a decrease of almost 20 percent when compared with the 51 officers killed in 2014."

* "Black Lives Matter: Grand Rapids’ Official Statement on the 'Am I Next?' 4Unity Rally"
Black Lives Matter: Grand Rapids
14 July 2016
"Before talks of unity, we must speak openly about how Black and Brown communities are viciously torn apart by systems and institutions of injustice and violence."

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

When Muslims Are Racist (I Will Call You on It)

If Asra Nomani hadn't done this previously, she sure has now - Nomani has come out as an anti-Black racist. This lengthy post is an examination of Nomani's recent Heat Street article, as well as some of her social media posts.

Heat Street is a social commentary website co-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Nomani's piece fits in very well with the overall tenor of Heat Street. Notice the way that Nomani impugns Black People as "violent" and "loud" before one has scrolled far enough to actually read her article. Both of those characterisations are racist tropes. There is more, though.

Heat Street Article Screenshot

Inside her piece, Nomani expands on her racism:
We stopped when I spotted the line of police. “We’ll be safe next to the police,” I told my friend. It is a difficult truth to acknowledge: After watching the streets of America burn from Ferguson, Missouri, to Baltimore, we feared violence from the protestors, not the police. Little could we know, we were — metaphorically, at least — in the sniper’s line of fire, with targets on the backs of police, six of them to be injured, five of them to be slain, hours later.

In Belo Garden Park, studying the crowd of demonstrators, I had told my friend: The tenor of the Black Lives Matter movement — with headline moments of storming stages, seizing microphones, sabotaging a gay pride event, expressing rage and even hate to police — had alienated even liberals, like myself, who care deeply about racial justice.
Later, Nomani continued in the same vein, saying, "We must face the wounds of social injustice with a nonviolent spirit of reconciliation and healing."

The above two paragraphs and separate sentence contain the following:
* sense of safety near the police
* accusations of protesters setting streets on fire in several cities
* association of self with police in victimhood
* conflation of Dallas sniper with Black Lives Matter (BLM)
* hyperbolic exaggerations of BLM activist actions at a Sanders rally
* hyperbolic exaggerations of BLM activist actions at Toronto Pride
* underhanded tone policing
* intentionally dishonest portrayals of BLM's attitudes towards the police
* highlighting the race of her friend
* respectability politics

In addition to these, Nomani chose to highlight the race of a police officer who took a photo of benevolent interactions between police officers and a protester in her Heat Street article. Nomani then went on to comment further in a shared video post on Facebook, where she continued with the inherently violent trope and the angry trope and implied that people would be concerned for her safety. In another Facebook post, Nomani claimed that President Obama shared her concern over "violent" Black protesters (oops, no he didn't). Finally, in a post on Twitter, Asra Nomani re-iterated the "violent" trope, engaged again in tone-policing, and claimed that Black Lives Matter is not concerned about racial justice - but she is. (Reminder: BLM is composed of - get this - Black People. Nomani, on the other hand, is not a Black Person.)

The image files for screenshots of the Facebook and Twitter posts will be included after the end of this post.

To update the list that I started above, I can add the following:
* focusing on the race of a "good cop"
* lack of safety around Black People
* Black People don't know what is good for them, but we do
* non-Black people do racial justice better than do Black People

All of these amount to the following racist tropes or attitudes:

1. Police, Safety, and Race
2. Black Protesters as "Violent"
3. Identifying with Police
4. Dallas Sniper
5. Sanders Rally
6. Toronto Pride
7. Tone Policing
8. BLM and the police
9. Tokenisation
10. Respectability Politics
11. Model Minorities
12. Paternalism
13. White Supremacy

By way of analysing and combatting each of these racist attitudes, I offer the following reader.

1. Police, Safety, and Race
* See also Soya Jung's 2014 article on Asian-American Privilege in Race Files.

Accumulated Police Experiences
Rod K Brunison
University of Alabama
"A substantial body of research had investigated the social ecology of policing and the disproportionate effects on police procedures and wrongdoings on black citizens (Bass, 2001a; Meehan and Ponder, 2002; Phillips and Smith, 2000). These studies detail the diverse injuries to residents of distressed communities, including unparalleled experiences with being watched and detained (Browning et al, 1994; Fagan and Davies, 2000; Hurst et al, 2000; Jones-Brown 2000; Kennedy, 1997; Weitzer, 1999); irreverence (Mastrofski et al, 2002; Weitzer 1999); arrests (Smith and Visher, 1981); the use of unwarranted physical and deadly force (Jacobs and O'Brien, 1998; Smith and Holmes, 2003; Terrill et al, 2003; Terrill and Reisig, 2003; Weitzer, 1999; Worden, 1996); officer misconduct (Kane, 202); as well as slower response times and fewer police services (Anderson 1999; Klinger, 1997; Smith and Klein, 1984). In addition, it is particularly African-American young men who are  disproportionately burdened by these negative experiences (Brunson and Miller, 2006a, 2006b; Hurst et al, 2000)."
* Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks
Timothy Williams, New York Times
07 July 2016
"When force is used, a new study has found, the race of the person being stopped by officers is significant. The study of thousands of use-of-force episodes from police departments across the nation has concluded what many people have long thought, but which could not be proved because of a lack of data: African-Americans are far more likely than whites and other groups to be the victims of use of force by the police, even when racial disparities in crime are taken into account.

"The report, to be released Friday by the Center for Policing Equity, a New York-based think tank, took three years to assemble and largely refutes explanations from some police officials that blacks are more likely to be subjected to police force because they are more frequently involved in criminal activity.

"The report found that although officers employ force in less than 2 percent of all police-civilian interactions, the use of police force is disproportionately high for African-Americans — more than three times greater than for whites."
Based on these readings, one can see very clearly that Black People's experiences with the police are disproportionately negative. Many Black People and Black organisations have informed that there is a broad sense of fear among Black People for the police. Nicole Hannah-Jones's March 2015 article in Politico, "A Letter From Black America: Yes, we fear the police. Here’s why." is one of a myriad examples of such explanations. See also Will Jawando's The Root article from 27 August 2015, "What Makes Black Men Run From the Police?." The link between that fear and police treatment of Black People is obvious.

2. Black Protesters as "Violent"
* This is related to the "riot" trope in which whites assume that Black protesters are throwing a violent riot. See my points #5 "Sanders Rally" and #6 "Toronto Pride" for more about Black Lives Matter's protest history. In addition, have a look at all of these "peaceful" white "rallies."
+ White People Rioting for No Reason
+ 11 Stunning Images Highlight the Double Standard of Reactions to Riots Like Baltimore

America actually has a long, rich history of white riots. See this Wikipedia entry for more information. But enough digression.

If you sound 'black', Americans automatically think you're violent
Lizzie Dearden, Independent
8 October 2015
"When participants rated each character’s height, muscularity and size, the scores were statistically equivalent for the 'black neutral' character and the 'white criminal' character. Daniel Fessler, the study's co-author and director of the UCLA Centre for Behaviour, Evolution and Culture, said: 'In essence, the brain's representational system has a toggle switch, such that size can be used to represent either threat or status. 'However, apparently because stereotypes of black men as dangerous are deeply entrenched, it is very difficult for our participants to flip this switch when thinking about black men. For study participants evaluating black protagonists, dangerous equals big and big equals dangerous, period.'"
Using the information from this article, one can see that Asra Nomani's constant references to Black People's "violence" are part of a racist syntax that she employs in her writings.

3. Identifying with Police
* Whilst Desi Americans are generally among the Muslim American population that is subjected to heightened scrutiny, including surveillance, as well as discrimination and anti-Muslim violence, Desi Americans have also integrated well into American society. Michael Kugelman covers this in his Dawn article, written on 24 May 2012. What we saw from Nomani's experience with and expectation of the police, however, we more the kind of attitude that we whites generally exhibit ourselves. She expressed, "We'll be safe next to the police." See my point #1, "Police, Safety, and Race." Black People simply do not have the luxury of expecting safety from the police - a vastly different experience than we whites have. In addition, read Maisha Z. Johnson's "20 Examples That Prove White Privilege Protects White People From the Police," on Everyday Feminism, written 15 June 2015. Johnson went into some detail explaining her 20-item list, and it is well worth one's time to read her article.

4. Dallas Sniper
* The Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas was peaceful until the sniper opened fire; and there was a spirit of co-operation between protesters and the police. The Dallas sniper, Micah Xavier Johnson, was not part of BLM. He expressed frustration with BLM. Black Lives Matter distanced themselves from him. Furthermore, Johnson's own life experiences as a military vet living with mental illnesses may well have contributed to his disintegration and self-destructive behaviours (which included sexual harassment).

5. Sanders Rally
* It should firstly be noted here that when Black Lives Matter disrupted Bernie Sanders in Seattle, no-one got hurt. This needs to be re-emphasised, because listening to some people whine and carry on, you would think that there had been bloodshed.

No-one got hurt.

* To learn more about the import of BLM's action at the Seattle event last year, it is a good idea to listen to the very person who was most affected by the disruption - Bernie Sanders himself. He said, "We owe a debt of gratitude to the Black Lives Matter movement."

* The Matter of Black Lives
Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker
14 March 2016
(long biography of the movement - no mention of "violence")

* A Year of Black Lives Matter
Clare Foran, The Atlantic
31 December 2015
Over the summer, activists began publicly, and unapologetically, disrupting presidential candidates at events and campaign rallies. The strategy got results. Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley rushed to release detailed criminal-justice platforms after high-profile clashes with Black Lives Matter activists. In August, Hillary Clinton convened a meeting with activists who showed up at a New Hampshire campaign event intending to disrupt it. ... Student protest also reached new heights on college campuses around the country. High-profile protests at the University of Missouri and Yale University over discrimination and racial insensitivity led to resignations at both schools. ... Critics have characterized student protests as a plea for special treatment that infringes on free speech. Many activists view that as an attempt to dismiss, and shut down, what the movement is trying to achieve, and argue that the criticism operates from a premise that fails to acknowledge profound racial inequity.
6. Toronto Pride
* Again: No-one got hurt.

* Black Lives Matter Protest Proves Pride Needs More Empathy, Less Prejudice
Joshua Orstroff, Huffington Post Canada
04 July 2016
Twenty-five minutes is about the length of time we wait through commercials and trailers for a movie to start. Twenty-five minutes is how long it should have taken my six-year-old son and I to get to the Pride Parade from Parkdale rather than the hour-and-a-half that it actually took. Waiting twenty-five minutes is not suffering or being taken hostage. Claiming this during a protest by a community that has suffered greatly over the years, including being disproportionately carded and killed by police, is as insulting as it is ironic.
7. Tone Policing:
* See #18 on this copy of Peggy Mcintosh's "Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack."

* What We Can All Learn From Nicki Minaj Schooling Miley Cyrus on Tone Policing
Maisha Z. Johnson, Everyday Feminism
September 1, 2015
"Racist stereotypes like the Angry Black Woman aren't only applied to Black women who are 'excessively angry.' They’re applied all across the board to make sure Black women never speak up when we're in pain – even when our words and anger are justified."

Using this article as a guide, one can spot the following in Nomani's writings: #3. You're making your cause look bad, and #5. This is counterproductive. Nomani also used another item from this article, but I have categorised it elsewhere.

8. BLM and the Police
* This issue actually gets covered quite well throughput the rest of the post.

* Even so, read this.
A Tough Weekend for the Black Lives Matter Movement
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic
10 August 2015
The Black Lives Matter movement is in no way to blame for the incident [of gunfire that erupted on the streets of Ferguson]... Some members of the public will wrongheadedly conflate Black Lives Matter activists and the criminals who used the cover of Sunday’s anniversary and the accompanying protests to fire guns, beat up and rob a St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reporter, and smash the window of a small business that serves Ferguson. There is no evidence that those criminals were participants in the Black Lives Matter movement. The vast majority of its members have been nonviolent all year, conducting themselves with uncommon bravery and restraint in difficult circumstances.
For a better understanding of the unrest that took place in  Baltimore, the following is a highly recommended read.

The Baltimore Riot Didn't Have to Happen
David A Graham, The Atlantic
30 April 2015
There's a familiar narrative around this outbreak of violence that makes it fit into our experience of past riots—Ferguson to Los Angeles to Detroit to Hough. The arc is scripted: Citizens get angry, tensions build and build until they boil over, violence erupts, and then people go home and the city begins the process of cleaning up. But after two relatively quiet and calm nights in Baltimore, that arc doesn't seem to apply. Instead, there seems to have been a consistent level of peaceful anger for two weeks, punctuated only by two moments of destruction. In that light, Monday's riots aren't the natural climax of increasing anger but instead an entirely avoidable tragedy that might have been forestalled had city officials made different decisions.

It seems there weren't even all that many students interested in a rowdy march—maybe 75 to 100. But when they got to the mall, they were met by a phalanx of police in riot gear, which increased tensions. (It's also a departure from the general tactics of Baltimore Police over the last two weeks—officers have typically tried to give protestors a wide berth to demonstrate.) The mall is also a transportation hub for students, and many students of all ages who were not involved in the "purge" were therefore present in the same place and trying to get home. But police were forcing riders to get off buses and preventing them from getting on other buses and trains. The result was a large group of young people stranded together with no way to leave, facing off against a line of police, likely scared and unsure of what to expect. Unsurprisingly, the situation boiled over. Once police started backing off, some faction of the crowds took advantage of the anarchy and began setting fires and looting.
9. Tokenisation
* Asra Nomani points out two people in her narrative as being Hispanic: her friend, and a cop. There was no reason to highlight their race, unless she was looking to score credit with other non-Black persons for having other People of Colour around her. We are sorry to inform you, Ms Nomani, that all of the brownies have run out, so your points don't count for anything.

10. Respectability Politics
* Don’t criticize Black Lives Matter for provoking violence. The civil rights movement did, too.
Simone Sebastian, Washington Post
01 October 2015
In which Simone Sebastian quotes Martin Luther King, Jr twice:
+ "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."
+ "[Direct action] so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored"

* Where Does The 'Pull Up Your Pants' School Of Black Politics Come From?
Leah Donella, NPR
22 October 2015
"You know what we're wading into here: respectability politics, the notion that problems in the black community spume from within, and that by adopting a certain lifestyle, black people can inoculate themselves from discrimination."

* Respectability politics won't save the lives of black Americans
Zach Stafford, The Guardian
12 October 2015
The reason why being ‘respectable’ doesn’t work is because no matter how respectable you may be acting, your performance isn’t undoing the very real systematic ways in which our world operates.

Wearing a tie doesn’t rectify the fact that black people are incarcerated at six times that rate of white people. You having the ‘right job’ doesn’t give a black person a job as the community faces an unemployment rate of twice that of white people. And saying #AllLivesMatters doesn’t take the bullet out of the literally countless black bodies shot dead by police officers.

Instead, believing that our lives only matter when we ‘act right’ only fuels the very dangerous ways in which our world operates. It protects the structural racism that no one ever wants to talk about or challenge. And it inevitably makes you believe that your life depends on a well enunciated “yes, sir.”
* The Definition, Danger and Disease of Respectability Politics, Explained
Damon Young, The Root
21 March 2016
The best one [recent example of respectability politics] I can cite is Bill Cosby’s infamous pound cake speech. It was given during an NAACP awards ceremony in 2004, and he spent much of his speech admonishing black people for everything from (lack of) parental skills to how giving a child a “black” name assured that he’d (or she’d) be in prison one day.

It shifts responsibility away from perpetrators (which in this context would be America) and places it on the victims (which in this context would be blacks in America). Instead of requiring the people and the institutions committing and propagating racist acts to change, it asks the people harmed by the racism to change in order to stop being harmed by the racism. Which is like getting shot and then getting blamed for standing in front of the bullet.
11. Model Minorities
* "Model minority" is defined here, but what I was thinking was that Asra Nomani was setting herself up as a "better-behaved" minority who has "more right" than do Black People on how to run a Black Rights campaign. In this case, the model minority is not being set up based on race, but rather based on behaviour. This is linked with "Paternalism" and "White Supremacy," which is not surprising given the nature of so-called race relations in the States.

12. Paternalism
* As the "better behaved" model minority, Ms Nomani seems to think herself divinely mandated with the right to tell Black People how to run their movement. Using the trope of inherent Black violence and the tool of respectability politics, Nomani asserts herself over Black People as their benevolent superior.

13. White Supremacy
* This is the sum total of all of the above, in combination with Nomani's wilful ignorance of things like police treatment of Black People by police, the nature and conduct of Black Lives Matter protests, even the series of events constituting the Dallas mass shooting. Nomani uses several forms of tone policing throughout her writings. All of this combined aims at the goal of silencing Black People in order to preserve Nomani's comfort. This says something deeply disturbing about how Asra Nomani qualifies her own comfort compared to actual Black Lives. - something which I addressed in another blog post.

Nomani's Shared Video FB Post


Nomani's Video Share FB Post

Nomani's Tweet


Saturday, 9 July 2016

To Muslims: On Race, Protests, and Stealing the Mic

My Dear Fellow Non-Black Muslims:
We need to talk. Actually, we need to not talk. Black People are trying to say things these days. And we Muslims are talking right over our Black siblings: Black Muslim siblings as well as Black non-Muslim siblings.

Most specifically, I spotted a notional flag for a Muslim-dominated country at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest that was taking place somewhere in the States.


This is not our platform. This is not our place. The Black Lives Matter movement is leading this; and the space belongs to Black People. When we insert our own interests into the conversation, however we do so, we are upstaging Black People. We are diverting the spotlight away from Black People. We are stealing the mic from them.

So stop it. When you attend a Black Lives Matter event, amplify Black Lives Matter - not you. A caveat: I understand that the Black community is diverse and intersectional, and that there are Black People in many countries around the world. **IF** a BLM organiser INVITES people to express diversities in various ways, then yes, that is acceptable. Otherwise, leave your own political issues (outside of BLM) at home. Sit down, listen, and support from behind. Don't upstage BLM when their marginalised voices need to be heard. That is racist.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Dear Fellow Whites: So Disappointed

My Dear Fellow Whites:
I am so disappointed in you. I thought that we had finally collectively got it, that we finally understood that Black Lives Matter, no strings attached, no quid pro quos, no caveats. Yet when cops fall to bullets in Dallas, our first knee-jerk reaction is not to call for patience or to wait for details before rendering decisions. We immediately jumped to the conclusion that Black People carried out that shooting in Dallas and started preaching about how it is ok to care for the lives of cops, and how we can't respond to violence with violence.

That last wasn't even intended for ourselves. We were being preachy. We were falling back on our deeply entrenched habit of assuming that rather nasty trope of Black People being inherently violent and of quoting famous Black People only when it suits our comfort. Our first reaction to a disruption of a peaceful protest in Dallas was to selectively seek comfort and affirmation from Black People and then throw validation for that comfort-seeking back in their faces with an I Told You So.

We don't know who the Dallas shooter was, or why that person shot. Obviously, it doesn't take much to distract us from our support for Black Lives to return to our old habits of propping up our own comfort.

The police have little to fear from Black People. The numbers bear this out. Police have little to fear from protesters. The numbers bear this out, as well. In fact, as reported on Democracy Now this morning, police have not been safer than during the Obama presidency, during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. Yet the first thing that we whites did when cops got shot in Dallas was to limply drop the Black Lives Matter banner that we had FINALLY picked up and to carry on with our self-reassurances that it is ok to love cops and that Black People shouldn't be so violent.

There is something else born out by statistics and data: Black People and other People of Colour are the least safe at the hands of law enforcement officials. They are targetted disproportionately for action by law enforcement in comparison with their white counterparts; and they are murdered disproportionately by law enforcement in comparison with their white counterparts.

How is it that we whites were so easily distracted from Black Lives Matter? How is it that we once again demonstrated that we think our need to be comforted, especially comforted by Black People, more important than the very lives of Black People? I really am disappointed in us, fellow white people. We are supposed to be made of better stuff than this. Please let's stop, and let's demonstrate that we really can throw ourselves unswervingly behind folk who are systematically marginalised and disenfranchised.


Monday, 4 July 2016

I Have HAD It

I have HAD it. You all can STOP with your sexist, racist, homophobic, and all other bullshit NOW.

Ok, so listen to me. I am so done with everyone's bigotry the past month.

In the middle of the night between Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June 2016, a man carrying an assault-style weapon entered a gay nightclub whilst a Latino Night celebration was taking place and let fly a barrage of weapons-grade bullets that, by dawn's early light Sunday morning, left 49 people there dead and another 53 wounded.‡ By 8:30 am Sunday morning, someone had already demanded of me that I issue a condemnation of the violence.

‡ You really need to be aware that certain acts of violence like, oh, say, THE GENOCIDE OF NATIVE AMERICAN NATIONS paved the way for the kind of violence that was the Orlando mass shooting. I am not even asking you to understand this. Just know it and get used to it and get over it.

I am a Muslim. The attacker's name had been released: Omar Mateen. Apparently, that is all that is necessary for people to line up demanding that I and all other Muslims condemn the violence. I am not writing today to "condemn the violence." I am actually writing today to tell you why that and every other attitude with which I have dealt over the past month is a godforsaken heaping bowlful of bloviating shitgibbons.* I am also here to tell you to take your lazy ass to Goggle and look up [muslims condemn terrorism]. It's ok. I will still be here when you get back.

That first demand on me to condemn the violence came from someone with a certain amount of political power. The next person to make such a demand of me did not have political power. However, lack of power was made up for by strength of language. Several days later (after that Sunday), a misogynist slur was levelled against me, an AAVE phrase was appropriated, and I was told to address ISIS. Inexplicably, Muslims -particularly converts - jumped into the melee, asserting I-Cannot-Remember-What-Kind of white supremacist bullshit because I blocked their white asses. We were in a liberal space, for God's sake. Where do you get Muslims acting like that in liberal spaces?? Then someone else with whom I was talking told me that I was making this to be about race.

Let me pause briefly to allow you a moment to remember what event was being celebrated at the night club on that night, and who featured among the victims. If you can't figure that out, then I point you back to the rock out from under which you crawled, because that place is obviously where you have been Karmically intended to remain.

Awwww hell. I'll help you out.

Now consider how, given that I am white, it must be for People of Colour. You don't need much of an imagination to pull this off. The media has been covering the extent of the hurt incurred by the LatinX Queer community.

Ahhhhhhh, yes. The media.

LGBTQIA Muslims were drawn into a media circus that lasted for a full month. It continues, actually. We have all been faced with continuing, endless streams of Islamophobia. Journalists asking the stupidest damned things. Making our leaders wait for two hours after our scheduled arrival time while they exhausted their list of cishet white guests, only to spend mere minutes with us at the very end of the day. We were expected to condemn the violence, in some cases. In the comments sections, we were expected to condemn the violence; AND we were to shut up about the racism that these white supremacists were dishing out to us on account of the fact that if we lived in Muslim countries, we would be tossed off buildings or some sh*t. I am white - imagine how it was for Queer Muslims of Colour. Throw in a 4 am - 9:30 pm fast on top of that.

Then the Muslims discovered us. Sure, there were very kind displays of kindness and solidarity. At first, I wondered where they were coming from and why. By now, though, I am just so exhausted that I will take any measure of kindness that we Queer Muslims get, as long as it is sincere. So the rest of the Muslims discovered us. They all kindly decided to inform us that we were hell-bound sinners engaging in acts such as were not seen before the days of the People of Lot or whatever. Scripture quotes. Religious texts. Rulings. YOUTUBES, because we Queer Muslims JUST LOVE getting screamed at as someone with a beard as long as a football field spits all kinds of Arabic words at us, RIGHT?

Then other violent attacks began to just POUR OUT onto Muslim-dominated countries from Somalia to Iraq to Saudi Arabia. Let us also remember that violent post-Brexit white supremacist attacks on everyone from Poles to Pakistanis have been taking place in England. Then violent white supremacists began attacking Muslims in the States. Again. After limply condemning the attack on Istanbul (because, you know, some Westerners were killed in that one), we Muslims and our global sufferings were quickly ignored. No profile photo changes for us. No Facebook safety check-ins. No thoughtful memes. Not a word, of course, about the Muslims and mosques being attacked in the States or in England. This is what the racialisation of Muslims looks like: your presumably brown bodies matter naught next to our very valuable white skins. We cannot be bothered to mourn you.

And the following needs your immediate attention, so in caps we go: THE WAY FOR THIS KIND OF WHITE SUPREMACIST RACIALISATION OF MUSLIMS WAS PAVED BY CENTURIES UPON CENTURIES OF WHITES DECIDING THAT BLACK LIVES DO NOT MATTER. And for proof of that, I will point directly at that very loud voice in your head shouting back at me: "All Lives Matter!" The fact that you felt the need to counter an implicit declaration that Black Lives Matter with your appropriated refrain is proof that deep down, you don't actually think that All Lives Matter, because your beginning premise was that Black Lives do not Matter and how dare anyone assert that they do.

I hope that that changes, and I call on you to listen to your better angels in order to achieve that change.

Finally, just to sweeten the deal, an Imam in Ireland decided to extend a gracious invitation to Irish LGBT persons for an iftar, because it was wrong to kills us gays en masse like that back in June. Except that it wasn't such a gracious invitation. For more on how Dr Umar Al-Qadri thinks that we gays are depraved sinners and how he thinks it just WONDERFUL that he is also a GRACIOUS HOST towards infidels and idolaters, click this. Of course, when we Queer Muslims the planet over called him on his bullcrap, he cried victim, asked why we were being so ungrateful to his obviously warm welcome, and ran away by deleting his original post and blocking us in swaths. The Irish Times ensured that he didn't get very far with this (click this, back there).

By then, of course, hetero Muslims had re-discovered us and were reminding us that our proper place was in hell, whilst whites were once again reminding us that were it not for their white supremacist gracious hosting of us, we would be hung, burnt alive, dropped off buildings - heck, maybe all of that and more - were it not for white hospitality towards us.

Thanks for the poison in the iftar. So thoughtful of you.
Umar, honey, grab the clover nectar, please! We've just run out!

If you haven't caught on yet to the fact that graciously hosting us whilst calling us depraved sinners is on par with graciously hosting us whilst asserting the primacy of your white skin over our inherent savage ways are RATHER THE SAME THING, well, here I am telling it to you like it is.

Oh, and by the way, this has been Ramadan. You know, Ramadan... Ok, I will paint you a final picture, then.

Aww crap 2 photos of food. No balance.

* Thank you, Scotland.

Ramadan Communal Healing for Musims

We Muslims need healing. We need to do it together without outside interference.

I think that on the community level, we Muslims need to start investing our time and resources on internal self-healing at the community level. I think that this is something that would have to be done in exclusive spaces. God bless our allies, but it is we who need this.

I don't think that this is the first Ramadan that has been marred by violent troublemakers upon the earth. It certainly won't be the last. For me, this is the first Ramadan in my memory that has been so utterly destroyed by terrorist violence.

We need to come together as Muslim communities, led by mental health care professionals among us, for free events in which we learn and practise stress-reliving techniques. We need to have special worship and food-sharing functions. We need to have guided physical activities in which we can relieve stress through physical motion in a space that is safe for us. We need to make these spaces safe for us so that we can heal together during Ramadan when these evildoers want to crush our spirits with their violence.

Which Pledge?

To explain: I used the flag image at and imposed over it the lines of the Pledge of Allegiance by Rev Bellamy from "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and for the Republic for which is stands - one Nation indivisible - with Liberty and Justice for all." Bellamy was a socialist and hated the divisions of the Civil War." (EDIT: That is Bellamy's handwriting.)

"What, to the Slave, is your Fourth of July?"

"The United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."

* "Wall of separation between Church & State."

* "But this opens with a vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who, having nothing in them the ... principles of ’76, now look to a ... government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations... This will be to them a next best blessing to the monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the surest stepping-stone to it."

* "I hope we shall ... crush in it’s (sic) birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations;which dare ... to challenge our government"

Saturday, 2 July 2016

LGBTQ Muslims Exposed Heterosexism Cloaked in Religious Welcome

Working together, #LGBTMuslims exposed the bigotry of a Muslim leader who had invited Irish LGBTQs to an iftar. In the words of Dr Umar al-Qadri (Twitter, Facebook profile Facebook page), "When in Ramadan we open our doors for those who commit Kufr and Shirk, why can we not open our doors for those who commit Fisq?" For those unfamiliar with these three terms, the first two are insults against non-Muslims, while the last refers to depraved sinners. The Irish Times covered this statement of his in this article. In addition, one may see IT's tweet and their Facebook post below.

It should  be noted that Umar al-Qadri is also known to anathematise Ahmadiyya Muslims. He is on record doing so at least twice. In 2012, Al-Qadri referred to Ahmadiyya Muslims as "not Muslims." In 2016, he stated, "Ahmadis are not Muslim and all Muslims have IJMA (consensus) on this." Given the knowledge of his bigotry against LGBTQ persons, this comes as no surprise. Where there is one bigotry, one will find many others besides.

It takes more than food to be welcoming, Umar.

There is an image at the very bottom of this blog post: it is there for the convenience of those wishing to share this blog post on Facebook (which promotes posts carrying images).