Can Religion, Islam Specifically, Be Anti-Racist?

Apologetics is the “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.” As Muslims engage in public outreach efforts to reduce the impact of Islamophobia, one topic might be “racism” or “race-relations.” My fear is that such efforts might take the form of apologetics rather than a serious discussion to address the real impacts of racism among Muslims and non-Muslims, both in the United States and elsewhere. Continue reading

State of Georgia in 1939: African-American recreation facilities only needed to include “simple local developments”

Throughout the [Georgia] State Planning Board’s Report on Outdoor Recreation in Georgia (1939), the writers advocated for segregated recreational facilities based on racial and socioeconomic categories. … For white “land owners,” prime destinations apparently included coastal and mountain destinations “during the warm summer months” and “especially when crop prospects” were favorable. But for “the white tenant class of the farming population,” the report observed, “recreation among the men and boys” consisted primarily “of hunting and fishing” and sports. Additionally, these white tenant families–perhaps white wives and girls more specifically–enjoyed “old fashioned church sociables [sic] … and special events” such as barbecues. Finally the authors assessed African Americans, who were not subcategorized as property owners or tenants or by their sex. The authors’ racial stereotypes assumed that African Americans’ recreation was “peculiar to their racial characteristics” and only “centered around churches.” As such, African American recreation facilities only needed to include “simple local developments, such as playfields with barbecue grounds and swimming pools.” African Americans, so the thinking went, would not like the beach or mountains, and these prescriptions ultimately limited African American exposure to particular types of outdoor recreation and environments.

From pp. 103-4, Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region by Christopher J. Manganiello.

Segregationists Opposed Federal Government Multi-Use Water Projects in the South

[McCormick, SC attorney] Frank Harrison was among a small group of regular writers to South Carolina’s congressional delegation who linked the Savannah River’s water and energy history to the nation’s civil rights conflict and postwar rights-based liberalism beginning in the 1950s. … “The taking of huge areas of private property by the Federal Government is becoming increasingly dangerous especially in view of  the recent [Brown v Board of Education] Supreme Court decision and other actions of the administration in attempting to continue the centralizing power of the Federal Government.” “The widespread increase of federal public use and recreation areas may result in serious political repercussions in this state and other states because these areas may become areas which cannot be used to any extent by members of the white race.” … The conservative letter writers who shared their ideas about Trotters Shoals and environmental politics identified entitlements–to local self-determination, to peaceful segregated recreation, or access to the water supply–as fundamental rights. [pp 158-60]

From Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region by Christopher J. Manganiello.

Sudanese-American Female Physician Encounters Racist POS in NYC

I’m from Sudan. I’m muslim, arab, and black. I’m a woman. I’m also a scientist, a pediatrician, an oncologist, and still…

Posted by Zeena Salman on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dr. Zeena Salman is scheduled to speak in Raleigh, North Carolina on April 16, 2016.

You can read papers authored by Dr. Zeena Salman at Pubmed.gov. You can follow her on Twitter as well.

Ignorance Towards Syrian Refugees at All-Time High in South Carolina Hearing

A South Carolina Senate committee hearing on proposed legislation to restrict Syrian refugee resettlement included misleading testimony. Reporter Eva Moore authored this article published in the Free Times of January 27, 2016.

And one woman went all in on themes touched on by a number of other speakers.

“Not only is the federal government bringing South American and Central American foreigners to disenfranchise me,” she said, “But in their frenzy to import a more favorable voting bloc the federal government is compelling South Carolinians to accept Muslim refugees as well.”

She invoked the recent mass assault in Cologne, Germany, suggesting a deeper agenda to refugees’ desire to come to America.

“I find it curious that Syrian men of fighting age have abandoned their country in a time of crisis; American men did no such things during our bloody Civil War,” she said. “Could it be that wealthy older male Muslims have taken for themselves a disproportionate number of wives? Perhaps these older polygamists are only too happy to send their young men out to take women through conquest. And if they die trying, their imams have assured them that their deepest sexual and social frustrations will finally be satisfied. How disastrous that European men relinquished their duty to defend their wives and daughters and permitted their government to strip them of the means to do so.”

The racism & religious bigotry reported in this article are outrageous, but pointing that out hardly seems to matter these days. A few basic facts should be mentioned, however. Continue reading