Friday, August 04, 2006


In perverted Canada, a guy with his penis cut off is regarded as all woman and is allowed to compete as a woman in sports, despite the advantage his male physique gives him. And no-one is allowed to criticize that in any way

A cryptic, ill-timed podium protest in Whistler that mocked transgendered mountain biker Michelle Dumaresq will likely cost Maple Ridge downhiller Danika Schroeter a spot at the world championships in New Zealand in late August. Schroeter's racing licence was suspended for three months on Monday by the Canadian Cycling Association after a review of the podium ceremony at the national mountain bike downhill championships in Whistler on July 22.

Dumaresq, who lives in Vancouver, was born a man but underwent a sex change operation in the mid-1990s. The 36-year-old won her third Canadian title in a time of three minutes, 37.85 seconds, just a second ahead of Schroeter. During the awards ceremony, Schroeter, apparently at the insistence of her boyfriend, took off her racing jersey and donned a white sponsor's T-shirt on which he had written the words "100% Pure Woman Champ 2006" in block letters. It provoked some catcalls from a few people in the crowd.

The CCA said Schroeter's actions violated code of conduct provisions against insulting other riders or harming the reputation or questioning the honour of those riders. Schroeter has until Aug. 11 to appeal the suspension. The CCA has promised to rule by Aug. 14 if she appeals, but her supporters doubt she will be permitted to compete in New Zealand Aug. 26-27.

Reached by cellphone while driving to Vancouver from Whistler on Monday night, Schroeter said "I really want to talk about it, but I just can't right now. I want to speak to a few people before I make any public comments."

The incident spawned a flurry of passionate e-mails on cycling website forums, rehashing the debate over the appropriateness of the broad-shouldered, six-foot-one, 180-pound Dumaresq competing with other females. Even though Dumaresq competes with full sanctioning from the CCA and the International Cycling Union, many female downhillers, including Schroeter, have chafed at her status. They have argued that despite her 30-pound weight loss after estrogen and progesterone treatments she still has a physical edge in a sport that involves speeding down steep dirt hills, often at speeds of more than 60 km/h.

More here


The complaints seem to add up to no more than accusations of too-visible policing!

While Jackson Mayor Frank Melton patrolled the capital city as part of the National Night Out, about 50 people gathered Tuesday for what meeting organizers declared was a "call to action" to protect civil liberties in Jackson. "Rights are being violated daily by the mayor and the police, and that is something we have to take notice of," said Mississippi American Civil Liberties Union board president Sheila Bedi. "These crime-fighting tactics don't work. They don't make us safer." The meeting, hosted by the ACLU, centered on the crimefighting strategies of the first-term mayor and what rights people have under the Constitution to protect them against illegal searches.

For his part, Melton said criticism from the ACLU and the Jackson chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was "off-base" and counterproductive for a city beset with violent crime. "We have 26 people that have been killed here in Jackson this year," Melton said. "We have 300,000 killed across America every year, 81 people a day. The majority of them are African American. It's time to do something different, and I want to know what the ACLU wants to do besides criticize. Besides that, to hell with them." The federal government estimates the number of murders in the United States at slightly more than 16,000 a year, with African Americans making up about 47 percent of victims.

Since taking office a little more than a year ago, Melton has engaged in a campaign directed at reducing crime in the city. Melton regularly takes part in police patrols, cruising the streets in the Jackson Police Department's Mobile Command Unit, which he keeps parked in the driveway of his north Jackson home. Along with alleged violations of civil rights, event organizers accused the mayor and Jackson police of racially profiling citizens. Derrick Johnson, who campaigned against Melton last year, said the fact Melton is black may be clouding the issue for some people. "I can't imagine what this room would look like if the mayor's name was Kane Ditto," he said, referring to the former mayor, who is white. "What is taking place in this city is a travesty. ... And the silence is deafening." The Mississippi ACLU said it has received five formal complaints of civil rights violations regarding Melton from city residents.

Ward 3 Councilman Kenneth Stokes, a vocal supporter of Melton, attended the meeting at the request of organizers. Stokes said he believes there needs to be dialog between the city and the civil rights community. "Both sides have valid points," he said. "What we need is a meeting of the minds. Let's get both sides together." Nathan Coe, a 22-year-old Jackson State University student, attended the meeting but said he saw points on both sides. "It's a thin line when you are playing with civil liberties," he said. But Jackson's crime problem must be addressed, he said.

Jackson resident Michael Burns, who also attended the meeting, said his family has been the victim of overly aggressive tactics by Jackson police. In June, six police officers showed up at his mother's Midtown home in response to an argument between his 15-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old family friend over breakfast cereal, he said. Burns said the disagreement was not violent or criminal, but police so upset his mother that she had to be taken to the hospital. Burns said his family was targeted because of where they live.

King Downing, the ACLU's national racial profiling coordinator, said the mayor's habit of stopping cars and searching people violates their civil rights, even though those people give their consent. The mayor is not a police officer. "Each person who was stopped without consent had a right to say no, but if you speak to those people it becomes clear that they did not know they had a right to say no," Downing said. Downing encouraged residents to "strongly assert their rights." Along with the civil rights groups, Melton's high-profile tactics have raised the hackles of officials such as Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson and 2nd District Rep. Bennie Thompson.

But Melton said he is staying within the law and refuted claims that he is guilty of racial profiling. "We don't create the crimes. We go where the crimes happen," he said. "It's black-on-black (crime). It's time to tell the truth, and it's time to deal with it. I'm not going to play games with them. These are people who look like me who are being killed every day. It's time to put our foot down and do what we have to do." As for the meeting, Melton warned the organization not to interfere with police business. "I hope they don't obstruct justice and give people the false information, because if they do, then we will be focusing on them, and we'll come after them," he said. "I'm sick of these organizations that are not dealing with the issues."



By Jeff Jacoby

At an event in North Carolina to mark Black History Month last February, Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, unleashed a blistering attack on the Bush administration and the Republican Party. Among other discourtesies, he compared President George W. Bush's judicial appointees to the Taliban and described former Attorney General John Ashcroft, not for the first time, as "J. Edgar Ashcroft."

"The Republican Party," Bond was reported as saying, "would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side." (According to other reports, Bond said that the GOP's "idea of equal rights is the American flag and the Confederate swastika flying side-by-side.")

Such partisan bigotry from the chairman of a supposedly nonpartisan organization makes it easy to understand why for five years Bush refused to attend the NAACP's annual conventions. More of a mystery is why he changed his mind this year -- and why, rather than attempt to refute Bond's venomous caricature of his party, he seemed to accept it.

"I understand that many African-Americans distrust my political party," Bush said (to shouts of "Yes!" and applause from the audience, according to the White House transcript). "I consider it a tragedy that the party of Abraham Lincoln let go of its historic ties with the African-American community. For too long my party wrote off the African-American vote, and many African-Americans wrote off the Republican Party."

Republicans often take this rueful tone when talking about their party in the context of race. Democrats, who routinely get 85 percent or more of the black vote, never do. But the Republican rue isn't justified by the facts. Neither is the willingness of black voters to be taken for granted by Democrats.

Look around. Black candidates are serious contenders for governor in three states this year, and two of them -- Lynn Swann in Pennsylvania and Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio -- are Republicans. The third, Democrat Deval Patrick, is running in Massachusetts, a quintessentially blue state that has managed to elect only one African-American to statewide office in its entire history: former US Senator Edward Brooke -- a Republican.

Bush may have given short shrift to the NAACP for several years, but from his first day in office he has surrounded himself with a record number of senior black policy makers. Among them have been the nation's first black secretary of state, Colin Powell -- and its second, Condoleezza Rice.

Of course the Republican Party's record on race is not without its blemishes. For example, at a 100th birthday party for Strom Thurmond in 2002, Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi praised the former Dixiecrat's segregationist 1948 campaign for president. Republicans were scandalized and forced Lott to resign as Senate majority leader.

Democrats, by contrast, have never moved to purge Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former Kleagle of the Ku Klux Klan who wrote in 1947 that he would never agree to fight "with a Negro by my side" and would "rather . . . die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels." Byrd filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and is the only senator to have voted against both of the black justices named to the Supreme Court -- the liberal Thurgood Marshall and the conservative Clarence Thomas. While Byrd has said his racism is a thing of the past, that didn't stop him from using the N-word twice in an interview on national TV in 2001. Remarkably, none of this has harmed Byrd's standing within the Democratic Party, nor the party's standing among black voters.

Bond may not share Republican principles or legislative priorities, but for him to cast the GOP as the party of fascism and racism is beyond surreal. After all, it was the Democratic Party that vehemently defended slavery, the Democratic Party that supported the Dred Scott decision, and the Democratic Party that opposed the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution. It was Democrats who founded the Ku Klux Klan, Democrats who repeatedly blocked anti-lynching bills, and Democrats who enacted Jim Crow segregation across the South.

Everyone knows that it was a 19th-century Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. But how many know that it was a 20th-century Democratic president, Woodrow Wilson, who segregated the federal government, appointed unabashed racists to his Cabinet, and endorsed "The Birth of a Nation," D.W. Griffith's celluloid celebration of the Klan?

Eventually -- happily -- the Democratic Party outgrew Wilson's racism. By 1964 a majority of congressional Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act -- as did an even larger majority of congressional Republicans. Today's Democratic Party is nothing like the racist stronghold it used to be; anyone who claimed otherwise would be trafficking in foul demagoguery. That is just what Bond traffics in when he speaks with equal foulness about today's Republican Party. The NAACP is better than that, and perhaps Bush should have said so.

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