These American war heroes were overlooked for decades due to race discrimination. Here are their remarkable Medal of Honor stories.
American war heroes were overlooked for decades due to race discrimination. Here are their remarkable Medal of Honor stories.
On March 18, 2014, in one of the longest ceremonies of its kind, 24 Army veterans received the Medal of Honor for actions during their service in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
12 years earlier, Congress began a review of Jewish and Hispanic Americans’ war records, finding that dozens had been overlooked or denied the nation’s highest military award for valor due to discrimination.
“No nation is perfect,” President Obama said at the ceremony. “But here in America, we confront our imperfections and face a sometimes painful past, including the truth that some of these soldiers fought and died for a country that did not always see them as equal.”
Is The Bachelor Finally Ready To Acknowledge Its Racist Undertones?
Bachelor Finally Ready To Acknowledge Its Racist Undertones?
Accusations of racism and The Bachelor go together like a confused hunk and a pile of roses in need of distribution. The Bachelor Nation flagship series has never had a lead of color save for the white-passing Juan Pablo Galavis (who ended up being the villain of his own season).
Last year’s Arie Luyendyk Jr.-lead outing dipped into the most eye roll worthy of spicy Latina stereotypes with its depiction of fan-favorite Bibiana Julian.
Even Bachelorette lead Rachel Lindsay has accused producers of denying her the pure fairytale romance of her fairer-complected predecessors in favor of an Angry Black Woman narrative.
Racism is a tiresome specter that haunts the The Bachelor(ette), and it can sometimes turn especially dark (see: the DeMario Jackson-Corinne Olympios Bachelor In Paradise scandal).
But, the premiere of The Bachelor season 23 suggests the sprawling reality TV franchise might finally be ready to step away from its most racist habits. Just look at how the premiere treats breakout contestant Onyeka Ehie and her fellow women of color.
Black Teen Hockey Player Targeted By Racists But His Teammates Weren’t Having It
Black Teen Hockey Player Targeted By Racists But His Teammates Weren’t Having It
We’ve witnessed many examples of racism in the sport. From racial epithets voiced by fans to confrontations on the ice, players of color have been subjected to merciless acts of ignorance in the sport they love.
We’ve had to read about it so many times. From Givani Smith of the Ontario Hockey League to Devante Smith-Pelly of the Washington Capitals, Black players have had to endure the vitriol spewed from the stands.
Sometimes they ignore it, sometimes they address it face to face with the cowardly abusers. Oftentimes they’re told to ignore it and focus on winning as that’s the best revenge. But it’s a painful experience.
Oftentimes, as stated by Yussuf Khan in the article above on Givani Smith, it’s “a silent battle, one which all athletes of color will face at some point in their lives, that none should have to face alone.”
Quebec rights commission upholds black family’s complaint against police
Quebec rights commission upholds black family’s complaint against police
Quebec’s human rights commission is recommending a suburb south of Montreal pay four members of a black family $86,000 and implement anti-discrimination training for its police officers following an alleged incident of racial profiling.
The family members had filed complaints against the city of Longueuil and two of its police officers, alleging they were mistreated during a police intervention in Nov. 2013.
The commission’s written decision alleges hat one of the two officers used “excessive and unjustified force” in stopping the then-17 and 19-year-old complainants as they walked away from a bus station in Brossard, on Montreal’s South Shore.
ICERD: Yes to affirmative action but no to racism
The May 9 general election results ushered in a new wave of democratic and institutional reforms towards greater accountability and human rights compliance in Malaysia. However, in recent days we have experienced a lot of public backlash to the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government’s proposal to strengthen human rights compliance in Malaysia, especially through ratification of major human rights conventions. Some of the reactions moved beyond democratic practices to hate speech, provocation and even threats of violence like running amok.
We should not be surprised that this is happening, given the major shift in government to one which is multi-ethnic and multi-religious, and to the new opposition in Parliament which is predominately of one major ethnic and religious community. Seeing everything through the lens of race and religion is now unavoidable.
The current public discussion/dispute/contestation is with regards to the ICERD, or the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Let me make two observations, two points of facts and one recommendation on this matter.
Observations in the contestation
Firstly, the PH government seems totally unprepared for the backlash on this issue from a section of Malaysian society. What is surprising is that at the level of both Cabinet members and backbenchers, no one seems to have details on the ICERD, the Federal Constitution or the implications of ratifying the treaty. Think tanks at the political party end as well as government agencies must be better prepared and have a media handling strategy on all matters for reform.
Secondly, we note that a majority of the opposition MPs, including former ministers, and many of the NGOs against ratification of the ICERD have been more emotive than factual, including by propagating half-truths instead of a full interpretation of the Federal Constitution with reference to Article 153. They have been successful in igniting the fears of the Malay community on this matter.
Checking the facts on ICERD
Thirdly, facts pertaining to the ICERD. This was the first of the conventions endorsed by the UN in 1965, even before the convention on civil and political rights. It was done in the fight against the apartheid system of South Africa and the rising racial discrimination across the world. So far, 179 countries have made a global stand against racism. This is very significant. There are only 14 countries which have not ratified the ICERD. At the Asean level, there are only three countries which have not ratified ICERD: Myanmar, Brunei and Malaysia. A majority of the 14 are small island nations and not any major world power other than North Korea.
Never Forget That World War I Was Also Racist
It is no secret that French President Emmanuel Macron, who sees the Elysée less as a bully pulpit than a university lectern, saw the centenary of Armistice Day as a teaching moment. With one eye fixed on the several dozen heads of state he has invited to Paris—the other eye, of course, is fixed on his tanking poll numbers—Macron sought to recall one of the causes and consequences of World War I, what he had called “the leprosy of nationalism.”
Years from now, historians will tell us whether U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged notes or smirks during this particular lesson. What historians can tell us now, though, is that nationalism was not the only ism that hatched World War I and hastened World War II. Racism was an equally important, though mostly ignored, ideological malady tied to the war to end all wars. Given the current spasm of ethno-nationalism now convulsing the Western world, the role played by racism in the events of 1914 to 1918 is a question of more than historical interest.
In the case of France, racism took both expected and unexpected shapes. Consider Macron’s visit last week—one of his stops during his tour of French battle sites—to Reims. The northeastern city famed for its cathedral—the traditional site for the crowning of French kings that was devastated by German shelling—Reims just became the site of another tradition of France: imperialism. The city inaugurated a statue, one that replaced an earlier statue destroyed by the Germans in 1940, honoring the memory of those 200,000 African soldiers who fought and 30,000 who died pour la patrie. At the ceremony, Macron’s guest, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali, spoke while he stood silently at his side.
Discrimination faced by non-religious at alarming levels worldwide, new report shows
People who leave a religion, criticise a religion or god, or who are simply non-religious, have this last year experienced serious persecution in many countries, including several where they face the death penalty, according to a new report released today.
The Freedom of Thought report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), highlights the discrimination and persecution faced by the non-religious including humanists, atheists, and agnostics.
Humanists UK has welcomed the report saying it highlights the extreme persecution that non-religious people face worldwide and reinforces the need for urgent global action.
For the first time, the report also singles out the top 10 worst countries to be non-religious. The five worst countries to be non-religious are Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Maldives and Pakistan. United Arab Emirates, Mauritania, Malaysia, Sudan and Brunei Darussalam round off the worst 10.
In 13 countries blasphemy or apostasy is punishable by death.
IHEU president Andrew Copson said: ‘This report paints a dark picture, with significant discrimination faced by our non-religious friends and colleagues around the world. At a time of growing nationalism, we continue to see those who are brave enough to criticise and critique conservative religious leaders demonized as “unpatriotic” and “subversive”.’
Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson added: ‘In too many countries around the world, the situation is going backwards for humanists and other non-religious people. We will be working with the UK Government and other partners here in the UK to help combat this increasing discrimination.’
Countries are measured against a list of criteria under four key categories: constitution and government; education and children’s rights; family, community, society, religious courts and tribunals; and freedom of expression, advocacy of humanists values. Then the countries are ranked by severity from ‘free and equal’, ‘mostly satisfactory’, ‘systemic discrimination’, ‘severe discrimination’ and ‘grave violations’.
World Cup winner Boateng still suffers racism in Germany
Bayern Munich star Jerome Boateng says he still suffers racism, including enduring regular monkey chants, despite having helped Germany to the 2014 World Cup.
The 30-year-old, who has a Ghanaian father, told lifestyle magazine ‘Boa’, which he himself launched, that the explosive issue of immigration in the country has only made the situation worse.
“When I’m warming up on the sidelines I can often hear monkey chants. Me, who played so many matches for Germany,” said the Berlin-born Boateng, who has played 76 times for the German national side.
“Sometimes they’ll say things like ‘go home to your own country’ or they’ll just shout something like ‘you black shit’.”
Boateng, whose brother Kevin-Prince chose to play for Ghana, described several racist incidents from his childhood when parents of opposition players made him cry with their abuse.
He also believes the refugee issue in Germany has made people more wary and liable to label people by their origins.
“One for the Germans, one for the migrants,” said Boateng who was left out of the German squad on Friday for forthcoming matches against Russia and the Netherlands.
“And now there’s another for Germans with foreign parents who are not white, but who feel entirely German because they grew up here. Now we’re being looked at with an air of suspicion.”
Defamation laws for a new age
The man had decided to sue his ex-wife for defamation over an Instagram post in which she referred to his “pea brain” and called him a “chronic psychopathic abuser”.
The Canberra mother hadn’t used her ex’s real name in her post — only “Mr J”, the first initial of his first name — but he nevertheless launched legal action, which has already wound its way between the ACT Magistrates Court and Supreme Court in its preliminary stages.
Welcome to the brave new world of defamation, in which courts are dealing with an explosion of litigation between ex-spouses, neighbours and former business partners settling scores over their social media posts.
Last week, legal bureaucrats from around Australia held a telephone hook-up to discuss potential changes to the defamation landscape. It was the first step of a review, ordered by the Council of Attorneys-General, which could reshape the way both big-money defamation cases against the media, and spats between individuals such as “Mr J” and his former wife, are conducted.
The review is long overdue. When the uniform defamation laws were passed in 2005, Facebook had only just launched and Twitter and Instagram did not exist.
Most experts in the field agree the law has struggled to keep pace with technological changes.
Last week, NSW District Court judge Judith Gibson released an analysis of 91 defamation judgments delivered by Australian courts over a four-month period from May 1 to August 31 — the majority of which involved ordinary people suing each other.
Whereas disputes may have once taken place over a backyard fence, the internet has now given people a public platform to air their grievances — and their enemies a cause of legal action.
Of the cases Gibson uncovered, only 12 were commenced by people of “relative celebrity” and 33 involved media defendants. Unrepresented litigants were involved in 43 per cent of cases.
The cases related to disputes over Facebook posts, a satirical song on YouTube, a hotel website publication, a memorandum to a nursing home and correspondence with government departments.
In her paper, presented to a seminar in Sydney, Gibson said it was concerning that ordinary members of the public were being exposed to the risks of defamation law, “without insurance, journalistic training or skilled legal advice”, in a system where legal costs were rising. “(Ordinary) working families cannot afford to pay what can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend disputes about website posts, social media, ‘pub talk’ and the like,” she said.
Queensland parents Anthony Woolley and Janet Kencian know only too well the “tremendous toll” of trying to defend defamation action. The couple faced a defamation action funded by Cairns’s Trinity Anglican School, after they wrote to the head of the state’s Education Department raising concerns about the way the school had handled allegations that their daughter was being bullied and racially abused by other students.
Argentine women fight against inequality in soccer
In a country where the soccer conversation is overwhelmingly dominated by talk of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, female players in Argentina struggle to be heard.
That’s changing rapidly, however, and it’s partly because of a picture that was widely shared on social media.
The photo, taken in April before a Women’s Copa America match in Chile, showed the Argentine players with their hands cupped behind their right ears, a sign of protest highlighting that no one was listening to them. It took social media to spread the message because the traditional media, including Argentina’s top TV channels and newspapers, didn’t even cover the continental championship.
“We live in a soccer-mad country but with a lot of machismo,” Argentina forward Belen Potassa said at the national team’s training grounds on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. “Soccer is Messi, (Gonzalo) Higuain, (Diego) Maradona and no one else.”
While those players are adored and even idolized, the women’s team has been sidelined – just like in other countries around the world.
The Argentine soccer federation often is late in paying travel expenses while the players have routinely faced the prejudices of a chauvinistic society that sees soccer as a men’s only game. Still, the long-disadvantaged team of women may be on the verge of a game changer by defying long-established gender inequalities and proving themselves on and off the field.
By finishing third at the Copa America, the team in the light blue-and-white striped shirts earned a place in the playoffs for this year’s Women’s World Cup in France. Argentina will play Panama on Thursday for a spot in the 24-team tournament. For the first time in the country’s women’s soccer history, the game will be played at a sold out stadium in Buenos Aires.
Another major achievement came in practice.
The women’s team was recently allowed to train at the same complex where Messi and the rest of the men’s team prepare for games, grounds that until recently were reserved for men only.
“Women fight since they’re born because we don’t have the same rights as men. But in sports the sacrifice is twice as tough. They don’t pay you, the clothes are not the same, the sponsors are not the same,” said Potassa, who recently signed a contract with a well-known sports brand that supplies her with boots and clothing.
The women’s team’s progress has even received the support of Messi and several Argentine professional clubs that have promoted the playoff game against Panama on social media under the motto: “It’s time to root for them.”