Category Archives: Editorials

OP-ED Chapel Hill Shooting: “American” Shouldn’t Come with Qualifiers

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By Renner Larson

Tuesday night our nation lost three innocent lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The murders of Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, are still under investigation and though police have yet to make an official determination it is speculated by many that the faith of the three Muslim victims contributed, at least in part, to the motive of the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks. Whether or not law enforcement deems these murders a hate crime is irrelevant to the unacceptable double standard displayed in the aftermath of this tragedy.

Charlie Hebdo: Manipulating “Extremism,” “Victimhood,” and “Freedom of Expression”

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By Emily Anagnostos

For the past week, the television has blared fierce conversations full of provocative labels that have been circling like sharks for the past year – “Extremists,” “Islamists,” “Jihadis,” “terrorists”, “anti-Semites,” ”ISIS supporters,” “murderers,” and “victims.” It was really not until last Wednesday, January 7th, when all of these words suddenly landed together, crashing into a multi-media debate on the spread of militant Islam and the virtues of freedom of speech and the extremists who seek to demolish it.

Will American Drone be the Next Best Picture?

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By Bill Chambers

The Chris Kyle played by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper was not a drone operator, but he had the same mentality of killing terrorists from a distance. As the very first sound you hear in the movie, “Allah Akbar” proclaims, these terrorists are Muslim. WARNING: PROPAGANDA SPOILERS!

Reclaim Martin Luther King Day: #BlackLivesStillMatter

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By Bill Chambers

Last Tuesday, a homemade explosive was set off next door to the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).  The bomb was placed in front of a barber shop next door to the NAACP office. There were no injuries and only minor damage according to the police. “An improvised explosive device was detonated against the building, but it was too soon to know whether the nation’s oldest civil rights organization was the target,” FBI spokeswoman Amy Sanders said. The only reason there were no injuries is that a gasoline can placed next to the bomb failed to ignite. Even so the blast was heard throughout the neighborhood. The FBI sent members of its Joint Terrorism Task Force to help investigate. Sanders said investigators were looking for a balding white man in his 40s who may be driving a dirty pickup truck. This was not the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four African-American girls and injured 14 others during church services in 1963. But this was the sound of a civil rights movement that is far from over.

State-Sponsored Terrorism: Cases of Aafia Siddiqui & Alicia Partnoy

Photo by Al-Jeezera TV

By Ameen Omar

Why do citizens of a democratic society ignore state-sponsored terrorism? As U.S. citizens, we have seen numerous cases where our own state was the chief perpetrator of torture and human rights violations but have hesitated to speak out against it. Do we think our government always acts in our best interest or do we overlook these cases because we believe that the victims deserve it? Let us look at two stories that indicate U.S. involvement in human rights violations that offer no evidence as justification.

Framing Islam

Julian Burnside, Australian Lawyer and Human Rights Activist

By Renner Larson

Reporters hungered to cover Monday’s gripping standoff and continued to feast after the situation ended and #illridewith you became the talk of the town, but whether about the horror of a terrorist or the compassion of those who stood by innocent Muslims, these stories illustrate a dangerous flaw in how we define objectivity. The meaning of a picture is changed drastically by how you frame it.

Ferguson: The End of the Myth of a Post-Racial Society

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By Erik Allgood

The most interesting article is sometimes the one you don’t write for one reason or another. This has been a problem for me since the first time I wrote an article critical of established authority. The school pool had burned down (don’t ask), and I was then Editor-in-Chief of our school newspaper. The girls’ swim team had been forced to wake up an extra hour early to take a bus halfway across town and back to get their morning swim. By most accounts, the administration was sitting on their hands instead of getting the repairs done in a timely manner. Something that wouldn’t have happened if, say, someone had used grass killer to write F*** (school name) across the football field, which happened and was fixed within the week. One of the upperclasswomen on the girls’ swim team had written a vitriolic, but substantial, list of questions aimed at the administration. We had every intention of publishing it, until I was called into the principal’s office and told that in no uncertain terms that it would not be published because of the “unfair scrutiny” it would put on the school. Even before the high school diplomas are handed out, we learn that power has a way of protecting itself through intimidation, coercion, and control of the narratives of powerless people, which is important when considering Darren Wilson, the power he represents, and the protection he received from St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch. Seven years have passed since the pool burnt down. Now I get to watch the myth of a post-racial society burn down from my southern perch in the Mississippi Delta (while educating children in a fourth grade classroom and attending graduate school).

USA vs. Rasmea Odeh: Verdict Devalues Lives of Arab and Muslim Women

Photo by Bill Chambers

By Bill Chambers

“Odeh doesn’t have ties to the Chicago community. She has apparently done good work at the Arab American Action Network, but that work is not a substantial tie to the community. She could do this in another country.” With those words, U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain wiped away Rasmea Odeh’s 20 years of work in Chicago being an advocate for Arab and Muslim women’s rights. The twenty Arab and Muslim women sitting in the front rows who had come to court as representatives of Odeh’s 600 member women’s group were erased as if they did not exist. This statement was only one of many that demonstrated Judge Drain’s disdain for Odeh’s position as a well-loved Palestinian community leader and organizer in Chicago.

$4 Billion was spent on Election 2014! How much is that anyway?

By Renner Larson

In campaigning for today’s election nearly $4 billion dollars has been spent on the 2014 mid-term elections. That’s more than any other midterm in history, but how much is 4 billion anyway? Such big numbers are hard to visualize out of context. Well here is a bit of perspective…

“All Men Are Created Equal” But Are NOT Treated As Equal

By Remal Hindi

Living in normalcy exists, but not for everyone. Unfortunately many African Americans struggle living their everyday life due to racism that still exists in this country. The unjustified shootings of Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and other young black men who are not always written about in the media, depict a twisted side of policing and the justice system that was always noticed but is increasingly being questioned. How can we question a system that swears to serve and protect? How does a nation learn to move forward when the foundation of racial profiling is not being addressed?