Archive for July 11, 2007

Guess the Fundamentalism

July 11, 2007

From a letter to the editor in the Corvallis Gazette-Times:

Extremists prey on the poor and uneducated and make people believe that taking an innocent life is the right thing to do.

Which religion is the author talking about?

Go here to find out.


Stupid American Racism, Continued

July 11, 2007

Eric recently posted about a new show from CW – go read his post, then mine, because mine is essentially an extended comment/reaction/liveblogging of the trailer (which can be viewed here):

So I’m trying to play the devil’s advocate…maybe the folks at CW think they are ‘humanizing’ the Pakistani Muslim kid?

Watching the trailer….*puke* It’s going to be bad. It has that feel, like it would have been bad in the 80’s (but at least it would have fit in).

Did they really just imply that the most shunned kid in school (who is nevertheless good-looking and smart) is ten times more acceptable and “normal” than a Pakistani Muslim kid by default? They did. Shamelessly.

I am speechless. This kind of shit really fucks with high school students who really struggle in the hell that is the high school social world.

Did they just have a student accuse the protagonist of being gay because he didn’t view his sister’s breasts as sex objects?


At least now I know where the high school students I worked with last spring got all the crap they were spewing at each other.

…because it’s totally natural to be freaked out by Muslims and/or Pakistanis.

“If I ordered a coffeemaker and I got a toaster I’d return that.” – the mother, as a reference to unexpectedly hosting a Pakistani Muslim exchange student (rather than a tall, Nordic, blond dude).

It’s almost too obvious to have to say, but: When you make a joke like that, the reason it’s funny is that you just objectified a human being and made them into an object – and then rejected them. When combined with the fact that the person making the joke (except she wasn’t joking) is white and the person on the receiving end is a person of color, wow! RACISM!

…One More Time:

The teacher on the first day of class: “For one year, we will be in the presence of a real live Pakistani.” The catch is that we’re supposed to view the teacher as backwards and ignorant, but the only reason that’s in the show is that it validates the ignorance of the viewer. It doesn’t really work otherwise – ‘Oh, since no one else knows anything about Pakistan or Muslims, it’s OK if I remain ignorant.’

Um, no.

The teacher also called Islam ‘Muslimism.’

/liveblogging. I couldn’t take any more.

This kind of shit leads to Iraq, Guantanamo Bay, and a thousand others.

This kind of ignorance leads to fear, which encourages dominance and hierarchy of the “unknown Other,” which leads to pain, violence, and death.

It also prevents the development of empathy and compassion, since they are predicated on deep knowledge of other people, and this is predicated on stereotypes and caricatures.

In other words, I’m with Eric: This show needs to be canned (and the creators fired). Now.