The Brexit vote did not make this; but it has made this kind of hatred legitimate. The BBC's constant allowance of UKIP into political debates which their support did not warrant is partly to blame for this as well. They have always been a racist party; little different than the BNP; NF: Britain First, or The British Union of Fascists in the thirties.
We fought and defeated it then; we can do it now.
Calling it Islamaphobia makes it seem less nasty as well. It is Racism!
The Sun newspaperhas launched a shocking attack on Channel 4 just because newsreader Fatima Manji reported on terrorism while wearing a headscarf. Fatima has already lodged a formal complaint -- let’s stand with her against racism and create the biggest ever mass complaint to the press watchdog. Join now:
A columnist for The Sun newspaper launched an abhorrent rant just because a Muslim was wearing a headscarf while presenting the news for Channel 4. The hate in our news is shocking, but we can help stamp out the racist headlines.
Former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie wrote he could hardly believe his eyes when he saw Fatima Manji was reporting on the terror attack in Nice. “Was it appropriate for her to be on camera when there had been yet another shocking slaughter by a Muslim?” he asked Sun readers, and in doing so, used the megaphone of the UK’s largest newspaper to smear all Muslims as violent attackers. It's shocking news -- perpetuating a climate of fear and hate to sell papers -- but we can call it out.
Now Fatima is standing against the hate with a complaint to the national press watchdog, and if we can help her turn it into the biggest ever mass-outcry against racist media, it could trigger reforms to stop the hateful headlines.
Let’s stand with Fatima!! Sign the petition, and send a message to the Independent Press Standards Organisation, then forward this email widely:
In Fatima's response, she said: "He has attempted to smear 1.6 billion Muslims in suggesting they are inherently violent. I will not be deterred... by the efforts of those who find the presence of Muslims in British cultural life offensive."
Britain has seen a sharp rise in xenophobic incidents following the poisonous Brexit campaign, whose leaders stoked racial tensions. A shocking 500 reports of hate crime were recorded by police within a week following the EU referendum. We must tackle the toxic propaganda spewed by the likes of Kelvin MacKenzie and name it for what it is.
Britain’s press regulation is controlled by powerful editors who likely want The Sun to get off with a slap on the wrists, but if thousands of us back Fatima’s complaint to IPSO, we can either force it to take action, or reveal that it's toothless and demand reform to deters this kind of media. So let's use our own megaphone of love and unity to show that we welcome British diversity, we don't judge one's clothes, but actions.
Let's unite in celebration of our diversity and call on IPSO to make an example of MacKenzie, and to hold the editors at The Sun to account. Sign the petition, send a message and share with everyone you know:
We’ve already built a giant call for Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre to step down over his campaign of hatred against foreigners. Now let’s demand action against The Sun’s racism and take a step towards the media our country needs and deserves!
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But never have I wished more than now that I had some way with family ties to get a non-UK passport. I don't want to wait until the possibilty of Scottish Indepence, and I'm not sure I'd be happy with that solution anyway. I wish I had an opportunity for a European Union passport, but that's just desperation talking.
I just want to stop the nazis and bigots and littel englanders and empire fantasists before they destroy this country forever.
Over the past few years, as we’ve seen such rapid, astonishing progress towards LGBT equality, I’ve also noticed a rise in respectability politics among gay men. I have to confess I frequently make the mistake of reading the comments section, falling down the rabbit hole of rage, vitriol, racism, transphobia, biphobia, slut-shaming, PrEP-shaming, fat-shaming, and misogyny exhibited towards anyone who doesn’t fit the “ideal” depiction of “our community,” even though the most beautiful thing about our community has always been that it embraces individuality. Lately I’ve been struggling to understand why gay men feel so entitled to tell others how to behave, when so many people are of the opinion that we are societal deviants, no matter how well-behaved we are. Why are so many of us adopting the very same kind of oppressive language that has been wielded against us by antigay extremists?
Recently, The Advocate published an essay I wrote about gay Internet commenters slut-shamingthe characters on my LGBT Web series EastSiders for exploring a not-quite-monogamous relationship in the show’s second season. In just two days, the piece was shared over 15,000 times and evoked some very strong reactions, good and bad, that also included a great deal of slut-shaming — no surprise there. If Fox News has taught us anything, it’s that closed minds hate analyzing their own bias and prejudice; they’re much more comfortable in an echo chamber where no one challenges them. More than anything, I was struck by how conservative the article’s detractors were, hanging their arguments on the perception of a societal consensus of how people should behave in relationships. Basically, if you aren’t married with 2.5 kids and a dog, you’re damaging the cause.
It’s surprising how many gay men consider themselves arbiters of social norms and mores, as same-sex marriage has only held majority support in this country for a few years now. And that majority is still very slim; according to Pew Research Center polling, only 57 percent of the country supports marriage equality, and in the world at large, only 21 countries allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in all of their jurisdictions. Legal recognition for gay marriage is actually a very recent development in history, with the Netherlands making the first steps towards equal marriage in the year 2000. It is a particularly galling feat of hypocrisy for gay men, who have been on the outskirts of acceptable society for such a long time, to turn around and assert their role as gatekeepers so soon after achieving “respectability.” Whether we’re religious or secular, we all have our own codes of ethics and morality, but we’ve seen firsthand the havoc that judgment and condemnation can wreck upon individuals who are deemed “immoral.” If their actions aren’t hurting anyone, then what compels you to attack them? Do you think the people that consider you immoral are going to be convinced otherwise when they see you parroting their outrage?
I recently stumbled across a Change.org campaign petitioning the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, and media outlets such as The Advocate to “Drop the T” and distance themselves from the transgender population. Although the petition hasn’t been able to drum up much support, it’s sadly in keeping with many negative comments I’ve read towards trans activists in other articles. There’s an audible “I got mine” mentality in these exchanges that repulses me. Yes, I’ve seen exclusionary language from trans activists as well, and comments that seem homophobic or misogynistic, but it’s all symptomatic of the same problem.
Why should your opinion of what is the “correct” way to express gender, gender identity, sexuality, or religion become a mandate for others? If what we are saying is that along with equal rights we want the right to judge and persecute others for not conforming with our ideas, then count me out. I left Mississippi at 16 to escape a society that I felt valued “respectability” over my humanity, and I hate to see LGBT people shackling themselves to the same kind of hatred we have overcome. Similarly, gay white men proudly stating their dating “preferences,” such as “no blacks” and “no Asians,” suggests a profoundly closed-minded view of humanity. To lump all people of a race into a single homogenous “unattractive” category is the definition of racism, and it’s something to work through in therapy, not tout on your dating profile.
Yes, the pendulum sometimes swings too far in the other direction; liberals can be bigots too. I was as offended by Stonewall as the next guy, but I am almost grateful for the conversation that it’s started about representation. Whether you want to watch it or not, I hope we can all agree that it should not be censored or banned from college campuses, as the Colorado College LGBTQIA+ campus group recently attempted to do. Of course people have a right to be offended and to boycott the film if they choose, but stating that the film’s existence is a “threat to our identity and safety” is verging on South Park. I believe we can be sensitive and understanding of the experience of others without pushing political correctness so far that it becomes tyrannical and obscene. There is an obvious middle road we can take here.
If we accept a rigid society where the majority’s experience trumps all others, then we must accept that our experience will never be valued equally as a group that will always be outnumbered. But if we espouse a philosophy of open-mindedness and compassion toward one another, then we have a shot at creating a society where all experiences are valued. In short, we are never going to cleanly fit ourselves into society’s standards if we play into society’s bigotry; we need to work together toward creating a more inclusive, loving society, where we accept and celebrate our differences.
We still carry the fighting spirit of an oppressed group, because we are still subjected to rampant hate and discrimination. When nearly half the country doesn’t consider us a part of “respectable” society, the battle is far from over. But we need to be careful not to turn our passion and vehemence against one another; together we will all rise up, but divided we will all fall right back down to where we started.
KIT WILLIAMSON is an actor, filmmaker, and activist. He best known for playing the role of Ed Gifford on Mad Men and creating the LGBT series EastSiders.
Maryam Monsef Came To Canada As A Refugee. Now, She's A Cabinet Minister.
Maryam Monsef is sworn in as the minister of democratic institutions on Wednesday.
Canada’s newest democratic institutions minister is a 30-year-old woman who fled Afghanistan with her widowed mother and two sisters when she was a child.
Maryam Monsef is the new MP for the bellwether Ontario riding of Peterborough–Kawartha. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau elevated her to his 31-member cabinet — making her the youngest minister and the fourth-youngest ever.
Monsef was born in Afghanistan and raised in the western city of Herat, near the Iranian border. She lost her father when she was a toddler and both her sisters were under the age of two. Her mother was in her 20s. No one knows for certain what happened to her father, Monsef told The Huffington Post Canada Tuesday in a phone interview from Peterborough.
“The most we know is he was caught in a crossfire between the border of Iran and Afghanistan,” she said.
Years earlier, before she was born, she said, her uncle had been abducted from his dorm room at Kabul University. A third-year pharmaceutical student, he was politically vocal and had been heard making anti-communist remarks on a bus, she said.
“That night, his dormitory was invaded, and he and his housemates were taken and never to be seen or heard from again,” she said. “I think that was an important wake-up call for the family.”
Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef flanked by her sister Mehrangiz and mother Soriya Basir on the left and sister Mina on the right.
Monsef’s childhood was spent moving between Afghanistan and Iran.
“That is why the opportunity that I have now matters so much more. Because you can come from such a history … [and] have the opportunity to be part of the decision-making process that affects people’s lives so deeply. What a great honour that is, and what an incredible privilege.”
The Soviet invasion had ended up on Afghans’ doorsteps, and, like many others, Monsef’s family crissed-crossed the border hoping the conflict would end, she said. Her mother made a living cooking, cleaning, sewing and knitting, with some support from Monsef’s uncles.
“It’s not a dignified way of living,” the new MP told HuffPost. Her mother also taught English in their home and sometimes in a school, she added. “But that wasn’t enough to sustain her, because the Taliban didn’t support women or their education.”
'... brought up with so much love'
Her mother tried to “make life work” while in Iran, but her family wasn't welcome there. Other kids teased her and her sisters. As illegal refugees, she said, they also lived under the constant threat of deportation.
“I will tell you that we didn’t know that we were poor. We didn’t know that we didn't have a future. We were brought up with so much love and so much support…. We thought we had it all, and we didn’t feel a void of a father figure, because my grandfather filled that role for us.”
In 1996, her mother chose to leave her support system and her culture behind to come to Canada. The journey, Monsef recalled, involved donkeys, camels, and airplanes. It took her through Iran, Pakistan, and Jordan, she said, and all the while, she and her sisters had chickenpox.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau poses for a photo with Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef and her mother Soriya Basir during the federal election campaign.
The family claimed refugee status when they arrived in Canada, ending up in Peterborough, where Monsef’s uncle lived. She was 11.
“The grass is green, there are 40-something of bodies of water surrounding Peterborough, and people were nice and smiling, and there were robins out. I’d never seen a robin before.”
She described it as a “hardship” adapting to the new country. She was homesick and didn’t understand English. Everything was culturally foreign — even the housing. She laughs when describing going through puberty and trying to fit in her new home.
Several community groups and social services helped her family integrate and provided a safety net, including the food bank, the Salvation Army, the New Canadians Centre, Casa Maria Refugee Homes and the YWCA. She still volunteers at Casa Maria and the Y, she said.
“The volunteers and the neighbours … came into our lives and made us feel like we weren’t alone … that we had a community … that it was going to be OK, [and] that we belonged there,” she said. “Twenty years later ... that kindness stays with me, and I hope that as a member of Parliament, I can repay some of that through my service.”
The single politician likes to joke that she’s “married” to Peterborough.
Maryam Monsef poses on Parliament Hill on Oct. 27.
In 2014, at 29, Monsef ran unsuccessfully to be mayor of Peterborough. On Oct. 19, after knocking on 70,000 doors, she rode the Liberal wave and was elected as a first-time MP.
But her big job begins Wednesday, after she is sworn in as a Privy Council member, and attends her first cabinet meeting.
Monsef didn’t ask for the democratic institutions portfolio and seemed surprised to be given it. In an interview, she spoke more passionately about women’s issues, pay equity and violence against women than she did about changing the way senators are appointed or reforming the electoral system.
“Living in a democratic system is a gift,” she told HuffPost. “Democratic reform is a big and ambitious agenda that goes across many policy areas,” she said, promising to speak more about it later.
For now, Monsef is content to represent Peterborough federally. And her mother is very proud of her.
“All that hard work, all that sacrifice; it’s meant something.”
Current Location:Sector 001
Current Music:I Don't Know What It Is by Rufus Wainwright
United States 1863 United States The Emancipation Proclamation Thursday, 1st January, : The Emancipation Proclamation was made by Abraham Lincoln on January 1st, 1863. It freed all Confederate slaves, and had followed from the statements he made after 1862's Battle of Antietam.
How far we have to go in 2015.
Current Location:Blairgowrie, Sector 001
Current Music:Always Crashing in the Same Car by David Bowie