Op-Eds

  • Will your life matter to the Trump Department of Justice?

    Opinions January 17, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. In the first few days after Donald Trump’s election, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report showing a shocking rise in what it called “bias-related” crimes. The report revealed spikes in anti-immigrant, anti-black, anti-white, anti-Muslim, and anti-LGBT incidents around the country. The outpouring of hate has spared no one. Every day we see new evidence that Trump and the reaction to his election have emboldened racists and hateful bullies on every corner. They’ve come out into the daylight to see if anyone is going to stop them, and Trump only continues to egg them on.

     
  • Many of Trump’s most anti-Muslim measures are based on programs established by the Obama administration

    Opinions January 2, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. As President-elect Trump appoints Islamophobes to his cabinet and prepares to directly target American Muslims, much of the precedents he will rely on have already been firmly established by the Obama administration and supported by the Democratic Party. No doubt Democrats will continue to denounce much of the Islamophobia from his administration but they will do so by obfuscating their own roles in perpetuating anti-Muslim bigotry and policies doubt Democrats will continue to denounce much of the Islamopho for the past eight years. President-elect Trump will inherit a set of policies that scapegoat and stigmatize Muslims, deprive them of their constitutional rights and civil liberties, subject them to surveillance, and throw them in prisons. President Obama’s two terms offer overwhelming evidence that Islamophobia is a thoroughly bipartisan project. Any resistance to it must treat it as such.

     
  • Florida’s felon vote: Destroying lives and wasting taxpayer dollars

    Source: Tampa Bay Times. In the United States as a whole, 1.77 percent of whites and 7.66 percent of blacks are disenfranchised due to a felony conviction. In Florida, 10 percent of the voting age population (VAP) is disenfranchised, but 23 percent — or almost one out of four black voters — is disenfranchised. Nationally, about 6 million individuals have lost the right to vote due to a felony conviction; about 1.7 million or 27 percent of all those disenfranchised reside in Florida.

     
  • We don’t talk about ‘radicalization’ when an attacker isn’t Muslim. We should.

    Opinions December 6, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: The New York Times Magazine. Whenever a mass shooting or some other large-scale, incomprehensible attack occurs, the nation collectively holds its breath, waiting to see which set of cultural prejudices can be mobilized to frame the massacre. When attackers turn out to be Muslims, it’s assumed their path to violence is different from all others, with its own specialized language. Radicalization seems to mean something, the gist of which is this: that there is a knowable and coherent process, like a kind of matriculation — that moves a once-normal human being along some grisly progression until he or she is killing people. It’s a sturdy box of a word filled with apparent meaning, yet when pressed upon to deliver the specifics, mostly collapses like cardboard. In current discourse, “radicalization” tends to limit unthinkable attacks to those carried out by anyone of Middle Eastern descent — but why?

     
  • I was a “terrorist b*tch”: a dispatch from Trump’s America

    Opinions December 1, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Themarysue. The pit in my stomach when I was accosted was because of something else. The scariest part of witnessing this display of hatred was that I actually recognized the man. I spoke to him nearly every week, but his anger didn’t let him realize who I was. It was the well-dressed man with the Tesla. Granted, we weren’t friends, but I thought he knew me at least enough not to curse me in the streets. In that moment, we didn’t laugh about how as soon as you wash your car it becomes a bird poop magnet. We didn’t roll our eyes at people who walked and talked on their cell phones. In that moment, I was just some terrorist bitch.

     
  • The morning after: Minneapolis, Minnesota’s terrorism trial

    Opinions November 21, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: FHR. The three young men who went to trial and lost paid a high price for exercising their constitutional right to a jury trial. Mohamed Farah, 22, was sentenced to 30 years and lifetime supervision; Abdirahman Daud, 22, the same (30 years); while Guled Omar, 22, accused of being the “emir” of the group, received a sentenced of 35 years and lifetime supervision. Beyond these barbaric sentences which mock the principle of justice, this writer was also deeply disturbed by a number of statements this African American jurist made from the bench about many of the young men being (in his and the judicial system’s estimation) unredeemable, and the suggestion that terrorism in America was something new. While terrorism cases may be something selectively new in American courts, the fact of the matter is that this plague is as old as the “republic” itself!

     
  • Congress shows how not to respond to Donald Trump’s terrible nominees

    Opinions November 21, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Zaid Jilani in The Intercept. Donald Trump has nominated some of the worst of the worst to serve in his cabinet — a rogues gallery of apologists for torture, racial and religious discrimination, deportation, and all manner of abuses of civil and human rights. But rather than present a vigorous and united front against these nominees and demand that Trump replace them, Democrats and Republicans who in the past have been sensitive to concerns about civil liberties are instead offering to give them a chance — or actually supporting them. There has been one notable exception: the outcry from Democrats about Trump’s selection of Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon as his chief strategist. Anti-Semitism, then, would appear to be a litmus test for congressional Democrats. But not Islamophobia, or the advocacy of human rights abuses like torture.

     
  • There was a time when presidential candidates fought to earn the American Muslim vote

    Editorials November 5, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Dr. Sami Al-Arian in Alternate (11/5: There Was a Time When Presidential Candidates Fought to Earn the American Muslim Vote
    With various polls at a nail-biting dead heat, and a nation nervously awaiting the end of an election season that feels like it’s gone on for years, it’s difficult not think back to another close election. In 2000, as the national polls were similarly close, it might be hard to believe, but the two candidates were actually interested in reaching out to a little-noticed community to win their votes: American Muslims.

     
  • Counter terror smarter

    Opinions October 26, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: U.S. News. When what you’re doing isn’t working, doing more of it isn’t the solution. We can’t keep responding to attacks the same way and expecting a different result. There is a better way to counter terrorism, and a more effective model that we can adopt, but first government officials must abandon failing strategies. When what you’re doing isn’t working, doing more of it isn’t the solution. We can’t keep responding to attacks the same way and expecting a different result. There is a better way to counter terrorism, and a more effective model that we can adopt, but first government officials must abandon failing strategies.

     
  • A paranoid surveillance state is not what will keep Americans safe

    Editorials October 2, 2016 at 0 comments

    Source: Alternet. When civil libertarians defend their side of the liberty-security debate, they usually claim that liberties are just as important as security. Perhaps what they should be saying is that protecting our liberties means ensuring our safety; that surveilling everyone produces more but not better information and is not a national security measure; and that the informed interrogation of prisoners who have rights, including the right to a fair trial, is not only more consonant with the American way, but more effective than secret prisons and physical abuse. It’s been 15 years since 9/11 and yet few have noticed the obvious. Where the power of the national security state has been curtailed, it’s been for a simple enough reason: undeniable ineffectiveness. Put another way, the biggest lesson of 9/11 has yet to be learned. It’s a curious fact that what’s actually lawful and mindful of liberty has turned out to be what also makes us more secure against our enemies.