Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Black racism again
Will MLK's "dream" ever be realized?
AN Australian woman has made American magazine history - and sparked a storm of protest - by becoming the first white fashion director of iconic black lifestyle publication Essence.
The hiring of Elliana Placas in the role - after a 40-year history of having an African American as fashion director - has been met with a vicious reaction from both readers and industry identities.
Essence, dubbed the ultimate fashion and lifestyle magazine for black women, has been slammed for the decision, with the magazine's former fashion editor, Michaela Angela Davis, launching an attack against Ms Placas' hiring.
"It is with a heavy, heavy, heart I have learned that Essence magazine has engaged a white fashion director," Ms Davis wrote. "This hurts, literally, spiritually. If there were balance in the industry, if we didn't have a history of being ignored and disrespected, if more mainstream fashion media included people of colour before the ONE magazine dedicated to black women 'diversified', it would feel different."
Ms Davis' comments resulted in fierce debate online and news organisations across the US have picked up the story.
Ms Placas' resume is impressive since moving to the US from Australia, working on a mix of mass-selling American publications including 0: The Oprah Magazine, Us Weekly, New York, More and Life & Style.
Essence editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray defended the hiring of the Australian, telling the New York Post she understood "this issue has struck an emotional chord with our audience" but explained Ms Placas was hired after working on the magazine on a freelance basis for six months. Ms Burt-Murray said Ms Placas showed "creativity", "vision" and "enthusiasm and respect for the audience and our brand" while the reader response to her work had been positive.
But several African-American commentators accused the magazine of robbing a black woman of a rare job in fashion media by hiring Ms Placas. "The fashion industry at large is a very hard place to be if you have a black or a brown face," Style consultant Najwa Moses said. "Essence is the one place we think, 'Oh, if I keep moving up in my career, I might make it there'."
IL: Prayer outside clinic gets disorderly conduct charge
A Chicago man says he's fighting charges of disorderly conduct for simply standing on a public sidewalk and praying.
Joseph Holland, a 25-year-old graduate student at Northwestern University, says he was standing still praying the rosary outside a Planned Parenthood facility in downtown Chicago July 3 when police arrested him for violating the city's new "Bubble Zone" ordinance.
The law, passed in October, states that a person cannot approach within 8 feet of another person without consent "for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education or counseling" within 50 feet from any health care facility.
It also says a person cannot "by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction" intentionally interfere with any person entering or leaving any health care facility.
But Holland says he didn't approach or interfere with anyone.
"I was just standing by the building praying the rosary and one of the Planned Parenthood volunteers came up to me and started yelling at me that I needed to move 8 feet away, but the thing is I didn't actually approach anyone; I was just standing by the building and the building doesn't actually have a bubble," Holland told FoxNews.com.
Holland said he never responded to that volunteer or said a word to any Planned Parenthood staffers or anyone entering the building, but he still got arrested.
"I tried to talk to the officer first and explain that the building doesn't have an 8-foot bubble and that I didn't talk to anyone," Holland said. "I said, 'I'm praying, I'm praying to God, not talking to people' and basically he said me praying was a type of approaching people and violated the bubble zone ordinance."
Chicago police spokesman Roderick Drew told FoxNews.com that, according to the report, Holland "stood within an inch of the victim, prayed out loud at a high volume for over 10 minutes" but ultimately got arrested for blocking the entrance.
"The offender refused two requests to move, and continued to block customer access to the establishment after being asked to clear the entrance by the person in charge of the facility," he said.
Holland's attorney, Peter Breen, says since it was the volunteer who approached Holland and not the other way around, Holland couldn't have violated the ordinance no matter how close to him she stood.
In response to the allegations that Holland was blocking the entrance, Breen says, they're "absolutely false."
"If he was actually blocking the entrance to the clinic, then that would be a federal felony, that would not be something the Chicago police would be placing in an ordinance violation," Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society told FoxNews.com. "…This arrest was about one thing: trying to scare pro-life people away from Planned Parenthood."
Breen, who also is representing a man who was arrested for allegedly violating the ordinance outside the same facility a few days later, says the fact that any arrests were made for alleged bubble zone violations is itself cause for concern.
"This ordinance doesn't have a jail penalty, so normally for an ordinance like that the Chicago police would show up, if they believe a violation had occurred they would write you a ticket, and you would show up a month or two later at an administrative hearing," Breen said. "It would be like getting a ticket for having a beer on the subway."
"In these cases cops are actually taking these men, taking them into custody, booking them – that's an arrest that goes on their record -- keeping them for five hours, then finally releasing them," he added. "So there are a couple of facets to this and our alarm bells really went off when we saw this treatment."
Drew confirmed that Holland was arrested, photographed and kept in jail until he posted bond roughly four hours later.
But Planned Parenthood says it's a good thing that the law is being enforced with a heavy hand.
"Our patients have the right to safely access the reproductive health care services they need to stay healthy," Planned Parenthood spokesperson Lara Philipps told FoxNews.com. "…The bubble zone ordinance is critical to ensuring that those giving and seeking health care can safely enter and leave medical facilities without harassment and intimidation. We hope the law is robustly enforced."
As for whether or not Holland actually was in violation of the ordinance, Phillips said, "We leave it to the court to determine the facts of the case."
Holland says that will hopefully happen Tuesday.
"We had our first court date last Tuesday on the 27th and our next court date is this coming Tuesday and it looks like we're going to have a jury trial -- for a $500 max fine for violating a city ordinance that I clearly didn't violate," he said. "Seems like a big waste of taxpayer money to me, but if that's what we have to do to show that people are being targeted for violating a city ordinance that they're not actually violating, then I guess that's what we have to do."
SOURCE. Video here
Half of British men steer clear of helping children in trouble for fear of being branded paedophiles
Children have actually drowned because of such fears
Nearly half of men would be too scared to help a child in need because they fear being branded a paedophile, a survey has found. Forty-four per cent would be wary of coming to the aid of youngsters in their neighbourhood in case they were suspected of attempting to abduct them. And almost a third of both men and women would be reluctant to help because they fear the child would be abusive.
Such fears are behind a weakening of community spirit that has left children increasingly isolated, and more likely to stay indoors, according to the findings.
The children's charity Play England, which commissioned the survey, warned that youngsters were missing out on opportunities to play outside their homes. Children typically have just six friends within walking distance of where they live - down from 14 a generation ago - the ICM survey of 2,000 adults and children found. As well as having fewer friends close by, nearly half of youngsters are not allowed to play outside unless supervised by an adult. And while 90 per cent of adults played regularly in the street as children, 30 per cent of today's youngsters aged seven to 14 never get the chance.
Play England said youngsters grow up happier and healthier if they are able to play safely outside. But 21st century children tend to be cooped up indoors amid a lack of neighbourly concern, misplaced safety fears and, in some cases, poor traffic management.
'Children are experiencing a very different childhood to previous generations, with freedom curtailed, and safety concerns exacerbated,' the report said.
Some parents were worried their neighbours would 'judge' them if they left their children to play in the street unsupervised. Others felt their children might 'annoy' neighbours, for example by playing ball games or using chalk to draw on the pavement. However, these activities were considered acceptable a generation ago, according to the research.
Meanwhile, 38 per cent of parents with under-fives thought it was 'common' for children to be abducted by strangers while playing outside.
There was also evidence that adult worries were being picked up by children, with 17 per cent concerned about being followed or taken by strangers - a danger ranked above all others.
Adrian Voce, director of Play England, said: 'More than half the parents we spoke to told us they only felt confident for their children to play outside if other children were playing out too. 'The danger is that these anxieties are perpetuating a cycle of children being denied important opportunities to enjoy their childhood and develop healthy, active lifestyles.
'This is storing up huge problems for the future.'
The survey was released ahead of tomorrow's Playday 2010, which aims to get thousands of children across the country out to play through a series of locally-organised events.
None Dare Call It... What?
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich may be the most notable public figure in some time to state the obvious: radical Islam is a clear and present danger to America.
In a speech last week at The American Enterprise Institute in Washington, Gingrich said, "this is not a war on terrorism ... this is a struggle with radical Islamists." The problem, he said, is that too many leaders are "sleepwalking" and won't face the threat.
Ask yourself: if you wanted to infiltrate a country, wouldn't a grand strategy be to rapidly build mosques from Ground Zero in New York, to Temecula, Calif., and establish beachheads so fanatics could plan and advance their strategies under the cover of religious freedom and that great American virtue known as "tolerance," which is being used against us?
The best people to consult on such matters are those with the life experiences and knowledge to credibly comment on the subject. After all, we can't expect those who wish to destroy us to tell the truth, can we? Except that they do tell it by their words and deeds throughout much of the world. The problem isn't that they're not telling. The problem is that too many are imprisoned in denial.
One such expert is Yoram Ettinger a former Israeli diplomat and current commentator. In a posting on the website ynetnews.com in which he comments on Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and the West's feckless response through meaningless sanctions and empty rhetoric, Ettinger writes: "Western policy-makers grow increasingly reconciled to co-existence with a nuclear Iran. They assume that, notwithstanding the radical rhetoric, the Iranian leadership is pragmatic, cognizant of its limitations, unwilling to expose its people to devastating Western retaliation and considering nuclear capabilities as a tool of deterrence -- and not as an offensive weapon -- against the U.S., NATO and Israel.
"However, a nuclear Iran would constitute a clear and present danger to global security and peace, which must not be tolerated. In order to avert such peril, it is incumbent to disengage from illusions and engage with realism."
Realism is a quality clearly lacking in much of the rhetoric from this and previous administrations.
Ettinger continues: "Unlike Western leaders, the Iranian revolutionary leadership is driven by ideological and religious conviction, bolstered by ancient imperialist ethos:
"1. Jihad is the permanent state of relations between Moslems and non-Moslems, while peace and ceasefire accords are tenuous.
2. The Shihada commits every Shiite to kill and be killed, in order to advance Shiite Moslem strategy
3.The strategic goal of Shiite Islam -- which replaced illegitimate Judaism and Christianity -- is to convert humanity to Islam."
That seems pretty straightforward. Is there anyone who can credibly doubt these stated goals? If not, why are we pretending radical Islamists don't mean it when they repeatedly prove they do?
Some of the zeal directed toward illegal aliens crossing our southern border might better be focused on securing America from radical Islamists. Instead, they build their mosques with minimal opposition from the squishy politicians and elites who could stand against them if they had any backbone. And so those radical Islamists who would dominate America move forward with plans to subjugate us all to their religion and way of life. If the Nazis or Soviets had been this good at infiltration and neutralizing criticism, we, not they, would be on "the ash heap of history."
If at that critical moment in our history, Paul Revere had not devised the plan to light signal lanterns in the belfry of Old North Church for fear of being called an "Anglophobe," Queen Elizabeth's picture might be on our money today.
Radical Islamists are here. Who else besides Newt Gingrich and too few others will sound the call? Who else has the power to do something while they still can?
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.