Category Archives: Editorials

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of publishing it, until I was called into the principal’s office and told that in no uncertain terms that it would not be published because of the “unfair scrutiny” it would put on the school.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?

Moving Forward: To Each Her Own Lighthouse

By Remal Hindi

What I seek, what I do, and who I am, is a commitment to God and myself. Praying five times a day, fasting the month of Ramadan, and wearing a hijab are practices that help guide me to what is truly important in life. I learned that through my struggles, through the pain of losing my father, and all my unanswered questions, I can move forward because there is always a reason to. It is easy to get caught up in life’s challenges and become insensitive to our surroundings but through the challenges I found the meaning of control and patience.

Call for Federal Investigation into Chicago Police Brutality Ignored

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By Bill Chambers

The week before the Labor Day weekend during the height of the national outcry over events in Ferguson, the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (CAARPR) held a press conference about their letter to Attorney General Eric Holder calling for an investigation of 65 documented cases of police brutality in Chicago. How many local media sources covered this story? Zero.

Riot Fest & The Gentrification of Humboldt Park

Gentrification

By Jessica KassanitsJessica Kassanits

Riot Fest is a punk music festival celebrating its 10th anniversary this year spanning from Friday, September 12th to Sunday, September 14th. At its beginning the festival was located at several indoor venues around Chicago. Since this time it has expanded to multiple cities, although Chicago remains the biggest location.

An Open Letter to Male Comedians

From Rose Villa Tavern Comedy Club

By Annie TaylorAnnie Taylor

Dear Male Comics,

I’m not saying that you can’t touch on the subject of women in your stand-up routine. In fact, I love when people do!

OP ED: Ferguson Didn’t Fail the Democratic Process

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By Josh TikkaJosh Tikka

Major broadcast networks are blaming Michael Brown’s death and the Ferguson protests on poor voter turnout within the black community.