On anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe

On anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Europe

Could the Holocaust, or an event similar to it, occur again in modern times?


It’s a question many have mocked, called “impossible,” or refused to even acknowledge, yet surely the sociological and psychological factors that fueled the rise of antisemitism prior to World War II existed long before the Holocaust, and has of course survived long after.

Just as many white people don’t feel comfortable discussing slavery and racism in America, those who fanned the flames of antisemitism or have doubts as to whether or not the Holocaust actually occurred (despite the mountains of actual empirical evidence and eye-witness testimony under oath) may not want to acknowledge, that as sad and as unfortunate as it may be, antisemitism and European culture seem to be an inseparable couple with a long history of quarreling and then reuniting during tough economic conditions.

In an interesting piece by Sara Farris of Al Jazeera, the author discusses possible commonalities between the rise of antisemitism prior to the Holocaust and the recent rise of Isalmaphobia.

Is there a causal relationship? Personally, I don’t see it materializing yet. But “yet” is a big word when discussing the spread of racism and discrimination.

You tell me.


English: Rows of bodies fill the yard of Lager...

English: Rows of bodies fill the yard of Lager Nordhausen, a Gestapo concentration camp. עברית: שורות של גופות מאות אסירים בחצר מחצה הריכוז נורדהאוזן. בתמונה נראות פחות ממחצית הגופות של האסירים שמתו ברעב או ביריות אנשי הגסטפו. Italiano: File di cadaveri di prigionieri riempiono il cortile del lager di Nordhausen, un campo di concentramento dalla Gestapo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)






Remembering Amiri Baraka

Remembering Amiri Baraka

Say what you wish about Amiri Baraka. He was (and always will be) a controversial lightning rod. At times brilliant, then later controversial or unclear as to motive; always defiant, and always being true to himself and his voice…always standing up for what he believed in regardless of whomever followed along.

Who else but Amiri Baraka would have had the testicular fortitude to write poetry about 9/11 (within hours of the events), calling it immediately, pointing fingers boldly at who stood to profit the most?

Amiri Baraka - RIP

Amiri Baraka – RIP (Photo credit: Professor Bop)

I was fortunate enough to have met Amiri Baraka (along with Nikki Giovanni) a long time ago while in college, and was struck by Baraka’s delivery and passion. We shook hands and his gaze met my own equally, proudly. He didn’t condescend and he didn’t play a role. He was, good or bad, the real deal at all times and always worth listening to.

So, it’s with a heavy heart that I learned of his passing.  I don’t know if he was glad to go or not, but he certainly did what he could while here.


Paula Deen: The Gift that Keeps on A’Givin’

Paula Deen: The Gift that Keeps on A’Givin’

I’ve never met walking-talking cartoon character Paula Deen, but after her public (in court testimony lawyers, so don’t come sniffing around my pen) admission to using the N-word in the past (in a legal matter revolving around claims of racist treatment, no less),  I’m not sure I’d enjoy the experience.


It just seems that the more she tries to clean up her mess, the deeper she gets. Aint’ that rich?


paula deen cake

paula deen cake (Photo credit: bunchofpants)


First she admits to using the racial epithet made famous through hundreds of years of racism in American society, then bails on an interview to supposedly explain, then reappears later when it becomes clear she stands to lose millions upon millions if she blows it off a second time.


Then in her “Today Show” appearance where she shows up, she seems okay and then starts blaming it on “young people,” and then begs people who judge her to go ahead and throw a proverbial stone right at her.


Gotta wonder how the lawsuit could go after this….












In entire court term, justices see 1 black lawyer – Yahoo! News

In entire court term, justices see 1 black lawyer – Yahoo! News

English: United States Supreme Court building ...

English: United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C., USA. Front facade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In entire court term, justices see 1 black lawyer – Yahoo! News.

What can be said about this except for the obvious sadness in the headline. Despite whatever advance we may as a country have made education in this country is still more about warehousing than education and is still parceled out according to wealth and status.

I wish schools were different but they are not and never will be. Young minority children need more than rappers and bas

ketballers to look up to, and when the schools themselves segreate quality and class sizes according to ethnicity and wealth and status, it’s ultimately the same as it was fifty years ago if not worse. (Then you could take electives such as shop class, auto mechanics, music, art. Now most schools no longer have these classes.)

It’s just a damn depressing headline that doesn’t surprise me, but is just a sad reminder of where we really are in this country.

CNN’s Genius John King Calls Bombing Suspect “dark skinned male”

Al Sharpton

Al Sharpton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t think John King meant ill will or malice but said this out of ignorance…He seemed to be aware that what he was stating was racist and vague but nonetheless felt inspired to let it out. But that’s how you know where people stand I suppose. Even if a suspect had been identified and that suspect had a dark complexion, stating that a potential suspect has “dark skin” is like stating the suspect is a mail living in the country. It’s neither informative or helpful in any way – just a broad generalization with a stinging slap of discrimination added to it to add salt to the open wound.

And here’s a link to Gwen Ifills’s observation that it was racist, via her Twitter page:


And good for Al Sharpton for standing up in the video clip below. That being said, what does it say about America and Boston that the first suggestions of a suspect are that they are male, “dark skinned” and now that apparently Arab-Americans are being targeted as well.


Racism, sadly, is alive and kicking in all its fearful and hateful glory.