June 10, 2009

Aren’t Indians the most racist of people on this planet?

A Bollywood actress caught saying

so-and-so is amazing as a director. He can make even a black African look pretty”.

A Bollywood actor saying:

(I knew) it was time to leave Shanghai and Hong Kong after six weeks of stunt training and go home when his eyes started “turning into little slits like the Chinese”.

Source: http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/1404

As the BBC critic of Indian origin remarks, these are not unsurprising remarks. As most Indians know, we make these remarks all the time and either don’t realize these are offensive, or just don’t care. Why, we have names for such obscenities. We call our north-eastern country-men(and women), or just any person with mongoloid features “chinky”. We call any white-skinned person “firangi”. Any person of African origin is still called a “negro”, decades after this term has been replaced by “africans” or “african americans” in politer societies.

The fact is that we Indians have more ways to divide and discriminate humans than any society in the world, but few Indians would admit to this. We discriminate by race,skin color,caste, religion, regionality(”madrasis”) … if there are any other ways to divide people that I can’t remember now, we probably do that too.

However, nobody in India has the guts to address this problem. We let people openly advertise for “fair”, “brahmin” etc. brides and grooms in matrimonial listings in newspapers and online sites. There is still no government push for banning all temples from restricting who can enter by caste. There is no push to accommodate our north-eastern brothers and sisters into mainstream society. In fact, most of India would rather revel in “Gandhigiri” but blissfully ignore that Iron Sharmila , who has redefined Gandhian methods of struggle, even exists.

Source: http://blog.sandipb.net/2006/12/28/arent-indians-the-most-racist-of-people-on-this-planet

May 29, 2009

The forgotten internees: Japanese Latinos

On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This allowed the military and INS to imprison any person of Japanese descent in camps often referred to as, "Department of Justice Internment Camps". Those Japanese who had recently immigrated were stripped of their legal status. Those who were naturalized were stripped of their citizenship, as were those born in the United States.

It was a dark reminder that sometimes the Constitution isn't enough.


The reason we know about this undignified part of American history is the successful lobby for reparations, which put the story in front of the press, the Congress and the President. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 allowed for each imprisoned Japanese American or their heirs to receive $20,000.

Reparations are sometimes looked down on, but it goes beyond asking for cash. Apologies come easy and cheap. They provide a thin blanket for a cold storm and don't require any sincerity or penalty. Reparations acknowledge, in action, that a wrong was done and sometimes that the nation benefited at the expense of the livelihood of others. It also creates a future penalty for violations of human rights.

This country disowned its Japanese American citizens as it created propaganda to demonize their entire ethnicity. In addition, they were bartered with like poker chips, exchanged with Japan for the freedom of American POWs. How much is that dignity and disruption in life and family really worth?

Japanese Latin Americans Left Out

One chapter that is often left out of the history of Japanese Internment Camps is the fact that the United States pressured Latin American nations to deport their Japanese, German and Italian citizens to the United States. German and Italian prisoners had additional access to court hearings, but still suffered greatly. There's some speculation that some German Jews from Latin America may have been traded with Germany.

Japanese Latin Americans leaving a temporary internment camp in the
Panama Canal Zone to join their relatives in U.S. internment camps.
April 7, 1942. Courtesy of San Francisco Public Library.

At least 12 nations responded with Japanese and European prisoners, with two-thirds being Japanese and 80% originating from Peru. There were over 2,000 Japanese Latinos imprisoned in the United States; 800 were traded to Japan in exchange for prisoners.

These Spanish-speaking Japanese suffered double humiliations. They were disowned by their own countries, deported to a foreign country and then further alienated in a nation whose language they did not speak. Many of their native countries were simply reacting to racism and jealousy of a successful demographic. Peru had many successful Japanese businesses and schools, which were easily grabbed once their owners and participants were deported. After the war, many Japanese Latinos were not permitted by their former countries to return. Because of their limbo status, many were imprisoned for much longer than other Japanese. Today, many of them still have tainted immigration records.

Kidnapped Illegals

Japanese Latinos were not included in the reparations. Janet Reno, who was US Attorney General and head of the Department of Justice at the time, interpreted the law to only apply to people who were citizens at the time of imprisonment. Because we forced these Japanese Latin Americans into our borders, Reno interpreted them as illegal aliens. Illegal aliens that our nation kidnapped and imprisoned in our borders.

One of the indignities of seeking redress is the fact that you have to sue to get your government to acknowledge what is plainly wrong. To hear your government only apologize after being sued is disheartening. To have to go through it twice is even more painful.

After a class action lawsuit was settled in 1998, it was decided that Japanese Latinos would only get $5,000. That's one fourth of what Japanese American citizens from the US received. In addition, there was no guarantee that it would be paid. Japanese Latinos were paid from a general fund only after Japanese Americans were paid their share.

The money ran out and only allowed for 145 Japanese Latinos to be paid from the fund.


Read More

We need slaves to build monuments'

"We need slaves," my friend says. "We need slaves to build monuments. Look who built the pyramids - they were slaves."

It is already home to the world's glitziest buildings, man-made islands and mega-malls - now Dubai plans to build the tallest tower. But behind the dizzying construction boom is an army of migrant labourers lured into a life of squalor and exploitation.

Click here for the full article.

May 16, 2009

Man tried to hire prostitute for his teenage son in UK

A man who tried to hire a prostitute to take his 14-year-old son's virginity as a present was spared jail by a court on Friday.

The Polish national took the boy out in his car and allowed him to pick out the prostitute, who was standing at the side of the road in the red-light district of Nottingham.

But the 42-year-old father was arrested because the teenager had chosen an undercover police officer, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons,was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, after he admitted a charge of trying to solicit a woman to have sex with a child, the Press Association reported.

The court heard that the father, who came to Britain eight years ago, was arrested last July during an undercover operation by the city's vice squad.

Prosecutor Adrian Harris said the man and his son had approached the undercover officer whose code name was Sarah and beckoned her over .

He asked "Sarah" how much it would cost for her to have sex with his son and they agreed on a 20 pound fee. However, when the car pulled over, the man was arrested by plainclothes police officers.

"The boy said that they had driven past the girl and his dad pointed to her and said 'will she do?'" Harris said.

"He said 'yes' and they had turned round. He said his dad did this because he was still a virgin and he was taking care of that for him."

Judge Jonathan Teare said he would spare the father jail because of his excellent character and that he believed he did not mean any harm to his son.

"You have a duty of care to your son and that is to look after his moral welfare, not as you might think to break him in to the ways of sex through a prostitute," he said.

The court was told the boy would continue to live with his father.

April 29, 2009

Hungarian Roma protest against racially motivated murders

A blood stain marks place where a member of Hungary's Roma community was shot and killed.

His was the seventh Roma death in Hungary in a year and the third fatal shooting targeting the Roma community in the past five months.

In March a father and his five year old son were killed as they ran from their home which had been set alight.

The incident mirrored a similar attack on a man and woman in November.

Police are so concerned over the spate of attacks they have offered a 222,000 dollar reward for information.

Meanwhile the Roma community staged a protest in the Hungarian capital Budapest. Speakers criticised the the criminal justice system and people's complacency over the attacks.

Roma people say the marches of the far right radical extremist organization, Magyar Gárda (Hungarian Guard) have legitimized the anti-Roma feelings in society by openly talking about what they call Gypsy crime.

Hungary has one of the largest Roma communities in eastern Europe, which makes up between 5 and 7 percent of the population. They have remained on the margins, lacking jobs, wealth and proper education for decades.

April 26, 2009

Slovak Police Brutality against Roma kids (Video Included)

The policemen in the eastern city of Kosice, Slovakia forced the six Roma boys aged 11 to 16 to punch each other in the face, kiss each other and strip naked.

The officers also let loose unmuzzled dogs at the boys, and some of the children were bitten.

The policemen recorded “humiliating scenes” with their mobile phones and cameras, laughing and encouraging the children to punch each other.

Referring to the recording, the daily wrote that the police had shouted and called names at the boys and ordered them to undress. The video was released on 8 April, 2009, a day before International Roma Day, a day to raise awareness of anti-Roma discrimination.

The worst case of Slovakian police brutality against the Roma so far occurred in July 2001, when 50-year-old Karol Sendrei was taken to a police station, handcuffed to a radiator and beaten throughout the night. He was discovered dead in the morning with the post-mortem detailing damage to his vital organs from kicks and punches.

The Roma, who make up approximately 6 percent of Slovakia’s population, are targets for abuse in many Eastern and Central European countries where they are a substantial minority.They have long suffered from discrimination in areas such as jobs, education and housing, which has in some places become worse in the current economic crisis.


April 16, 2009

Sikh families leave Orakzai after Taliban demand jizia

As the rule of Islam spread beyond the borders of Arabias, Muslim rulers found it impossible either to convert the entire population or to exterminate the whole. The solution was found by admitting the non-Muslims to the status of Zimmis. Zimmis are those non-Muslims whose life is held under a contract. Jizia tax(a capitation tax/head tax imposed on free non-Muslims living under Muslim rule) used to be imposed on non-Muslims as a punishment for their unbelief and in order to humiliate themJizia tax is back.Now this Jizia tax is back into action.

HANGU: Sikh families living in Orakzai Agency (Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan) have left the agency after the Taliban demanded Rs 50 million as jizia (tax) from them, official sources and locals said on Tuesday.

Residents of Ferozekhel area in Lower Orakzai Agency told Daily Times on Tuesday that around 10 Sikh families left the agency after the demand by the Taliban, who said they were a minority and liable to pay the tax for living in the area in accordance with sharia.

Locals said the Taliban had notified the Sikh families about the ‘tax’ around a week ago. They said of the 15 Sikh families in Ferozekhel, 10 had shifted while the remaining were preparing to do so.

The locals said the families were impoverished and had left the area to avoid any Taliban action.
Daily Times

April 15, 2009

Taliban executed couples for adultery

The Taliban has publicly executed a young unmarried couple in southern Afghanistan. The woman, 19, and the man, 21, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, said Ghulam Dastagir Azad, the governor of the southwestern province of Nimroz. Terming the brutal incident an ‘insult to Islam’ he said local religious leaders had ordered a death sentence for the couple.

The two had fled their homes and hoped to travel to Iran, but their parents sent villagers to bring them home, said Sadiq Chakhansori, the chief of Nimroz' provincial council. Once back home, the pair was either turned over to the Taliban by their parents or the militants came and took them by force, the officials said, providing slightly varying accounts.

A similar incident happened in Hangu district of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, which is outside the purview of Pakistan government.

A man and a woman, who were accused of committing adultery, were gunned down by the Taliban in northwest Pakistan a few days ago.

The chilling video footage of the execution was sent to the Dawn newspaper yesterday. It shows a Taliban firing squad killing the man and woman, both apparently in their forties, after accusing them of adultery.

They were shot dead in the presence of their relatives. The newspaper quoted its sources as saying that the incident took place in Hangu district of North West Frontier Province.

In this video, the woman is heard appealing to the Taliban militants for mercy. Have mercy on me, please have mercy. The charges against me are false and no man has ever touched me, she is heard saying.

The couple try to flee when they realise what is about to happen.But the militant first shoot the woman by firing two bullets in her chest and later open a burst of Kalashnikov fire at both the woman and the man, leaving them bleeding in the dirt. But the woman is still seen breathing, and the Talibans start yelling that she is alive and issuing orders to "kill her, kill her".

Sources told the channel that the Taliban had asked the relatives of the woman and the man to present the two before them for questioning at a specified place. The relatives brought both of them to the Taliban, who killed them in cold blood.

April 4, 2009

Witchcraft Murders: Five people suspected of witchcraft burnt alive in Kenya

Incidents of witches being killed or burned alive is no more a strange fact. A large number of men, women and children are branded as witches and then killed through out the world.But this time this horrific incident was caught on a video of people beating and burning alive alleged witches in Nyamataro, near Kisii town in Kenya. The victims were older people (80 years and above), and four of the five were women.Last year, on May 2008, eleven elderly people accused of being witches have been burned to death.

This graphic, inhumane murder and burning of victims captured on the video left me stunned and horrified. Some of the victim tried to crawl out of the ditch where they were being burned,but they beaten mercilessly, kicked and dragged back. The human cruelty captured in this video clip is beyond belief.