The Discrimination – Fanaticism Cycle – “Garb” Statutes

A passage in Kent Greenawalt’s Does God Belong in Public Schools? discusses the case of a Muslim school teacher who could not teach in Philadelphia public schools because she wore “religious garb,” which violated the Pennsylvania’s “Religious Garb” statute.

That no teacher in any public school shall wear in said school or while engaged in the performance of his duty as such teacher any dress, mark, emblem or insignia indicating the fact that such teacher is a member or adherent of any religious order, sect or denomination.

I wondered if a distinction could be made between clothing which identifies a person as part of a religious order and clothing which identifies a person as a member of a religion. I wanted to assert that members of an order typically wear the same style of clothes, almost a uniform, while Muslim women, while complying with custom or perceived religious instruction, wear a wide variety of clothing. Is it still religious clothing if her hem line is 2 cm above her ankles or 5 cm of her forearms are revealed? Does color matter? Is the shelwar qamees worn in the Indian subcontinent acceptable while an abaya, common in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, is unacceptable? Or vice versa? Continue reading

Vegan Blogger Gets Beaten Up By Bouncer At Dandelion Market … Or, What It Feels Like To Be a Victim of Racism and Bigotry in Charlotte, NC

VegCharlotte

back 1 1211133:30 PM :  You’re let off of work early so everyone has time to prepare for the company Christmas party at Dandelion Market in Charlotte, NC.  You’re feeling excited – you haven’t been uptown or had an opportunity to dress up for awhile.  You take a shower, wash your hair, and redo your makeup.  You even use eyeshadow!  You choose a knee length navy blue dress with a bit of decolletage, the 8-foot strand of pearls your fiance gave you, doubled four times, and the pearl earring studs your mother gave you.  OK, it’s not exactly vegan – but you had this jewelry before you were vegan, and being a practical vegan you love and wear the h*ll out of it.

6:45 PM:  Your fiance parks the car and the two of you get out and walk the few blocks to Dandelion Market.  Your heart is bursting with love…

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US Dept of Homeland #Security @DHSJournal “If You See Something, Say Something” #GWOT #Counterterrorism #CivilRights #Discrimination #Profiling

My first instinct when I came across this video was to dismiss it and come up with alternate titles such as, “If you see someone brown, say something.” “If you hear something non-Anglo, say something.” But as I’m trying to become a more responsible person each day, and, above all else, terrorist attacks are wrong and we should do what makes sense to prevent them, I watched the video and wrote a few comments.

1. The video takes care not to portray Muslims as the only terrorists, which is good.

2. For some reason, the terrorists nearly all wear black and have hoodies.

3. At minute 2:44-2:50, surveillance and elicitation are mentioned as possible suspicious behavior. At 7:54, a man in a hoodie taking notes and pictures at the train is portrayed as suspicious. How can a person pursue a public issue without these activities? For example, Justice Clarence Thomas is supposed to come to my city of Augusta, GA to inaugurate a new federal courthouse. The date was unknown, and I was thinking of planning a demonstration. I called people in the city government to find out when the opening ceremony was to take place. Is that elicitation going to put me on some list? (I know I’m already on lists, so it does not bother me.) But will a white person with an Anglo name end up on a list because of elicitation or surveillance or note taking?

4. OK, so let’s assume all us non-white, non-Anglos take one for the team and not care about extra surveillance on us and our being investigated for normal activities. Will authorities, after investigation, inform us that we were investigated and cleared? Is there a process for removing records related to the incident from all the databases? Will these reports affect security clearances and other professional opportunities?

5. Will there be an effort by the authorities to educate our Anglo brothers and sisters who submit the crazy reports so that their paranoid fears of the non-Anglo may diminish?

Addendum:

In the time it took me to write this, CAIR reported two cases of police and private security freaking out over Muslims. One involved an airline passenger in San Diego, and the other a college student in Virginia.

Sept 8, 2011 Addendum: Under Suspicion at the Mall of America

April 29, 2012 Addendum: Charges against Virginia college student dropped