Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Rachel Divide

I meant to note “Ty's Corner” already.  First, off, I agree that Joy Reid just needs to go.  Homphobia is not to be overlooked.  Second, I would sit down to dinner with Rachel Dolezal as well.  That is the woman who self-identifies as Black:
Watching THE RACHEL DIVIDE, I felt tremendous sympathy for her.

This is her story as I see it -- this was not told as such in the documentary.  She grew up in an abusive family.  Her White parents idealized her White brother while treating her and the African-American children they adopted in an abusive manner.

To me, that's key to understanding what she did.  She was rejecting abuse and rejecting any identification with her abusers.  This led her to identify Black.

I do get it.  I do understand it.  I'm not saying it's 'normal' but I am saying it is understandable.

And I don't understand the hate.

No, she should not have tried to speak for African-American women.

But in terms of her identifying as Black?

I felt like she was kicked out of a family she only wanted to be part of.  That makes me very sad.  There are enough people who hate me because of my skin color.  That someone who, for whatever reason, wanted to identify as Black was held up to ridicule for this really bothers me.
So I went to Netflix on Monday and streamed.  I’d suggest you do as well.  It’s really a great documentary.
And if you don’t have Netflix or don’t have the time, you can go to NPR and read or stream an interview with the director of the documentary for the program All Things Considered:
The director is Laura Brownson.
CORNISH: This gets to the point of her family background, which you dig into, her growing up in Montana, where her parents, who are white - they are the ones who went public about her background. And you talk about her growing up with her adopted siblings, who are black and African-American. And then there's, like, a cascade of allegations that I want to dig into a little bit. One of which is that Rachel and her sister Esther, her adopted sister, say that her family was abusive to her. Why do you think that this was important to include in this story?

BROWNSON: You know, there's no doubt in my mind that the trauma that Rachel and also her siblings endured during their childhood, which, you know, it was a very religious home. Corporal punishment was very much part of what they all experienced. And Rachel's attachment to her siblings I really think began her kind of life's journey in terms of disassociation from whiteness and an attachment to blackness.

CORNISH: And I want to be clear here, her parents have denied these claims. And her sister, who is featured in the movie, also says she was sexually abused by Rachel's older biological brother and that Rachel was set to testify against him and this family on the eve of her essentially being revealed. This part of it hasn't been talked about too much.

BROWNSON: No, this part hasn't been talked about too much.

CORNISH: In part because the charges were dismissed, I should say. But it's not something that kind of came out in the conversation with her.

BROWNSON: That's true. That was a detail that for whatever reason really didn't get traction in sort of the media's treatment of Rachel's story. There are some things that are very difficult to get to the bottom of. And, you know, the truth is elusive with Rachel. And so we did allow for the parents to deny it and one of her brothers, Ezra, of course, who also suggests that none of these things happened.
It is worth watching and I’m glad she made the statements above because they back up what Ty felt (and what I feel).  This is hinted at the film and I guess it’s due to legal reasons.  Also, while I’m playing catch up, a number of you have said you like the new look.  That’s C.I.,  I was complaining about how some of my posts end up with blocks over the quotes, blocking them.  C.I. said it was the template I’d chosen.  While we were doing the roundtable – and while she was taking notes (she and Ava take notes that they type up for the roundtables) – she flipped it to a new template for me.  She also put in all the things that I had on the sides before.  So thank you to her for that!!!!
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Thursday, May 3, 2018.  Hobby Lobby's back in the news while elections in Iraq are nine days away.

Hobby Lobby is back in the news again.


US returns thousands of stolen artifacts smuggled out of Iraq by Hobby Lobby

Those ancient artifacts that were illegally smuggled to Hobby Lobby after they were falsely labeled as "tile samples" are now being returned to Iraq
U.S. returns thousands of smuggled ancient artifacts to Iraq

Susannah Cullinane (CNN) explains, "The move comes after ICE and the Justice Department last year brought a civil action against Hobby Lobby, saying it had received thousands of falsely labeled Iraqi artifacts from a United Arab Emirates-based supplier. Hobby Lobby in July agreed to forfeit the artifacts and pay a $3 million fine to resolve the action."

In Iraq . . .

Head of DFR currently attending the conference of High Election Commission, foreign diplomats and observers as ’s parliamentary elections are set to take place in nine days (📸 ).

May 12th, elections are supposed to take place in Iraq.  Ali Jawad (ANADOLU AGENCY) notes, "A total of 24 million Iraqis are eligible to cast their ballots to elect members of parliament, who will in turn elect the Iraqi president and prime minister."  RUDAW adds, "Around 7,000 candidates have registered to stand in the May 12 poll, with 329 parliamentary seats up for grabs."  AFP explains that the nearly 7,000 candidates includes 2014 women. Ali Abdul-Hassan and Sinan Salaheddin (AP) report, "Iraqi women account for 57 percent of Iraq’s population of over 37 million, according to the U.N. Development Program, and despite government efforts to address gender inequality, the situation for Iraqi women has declined steadily since 2003.  According to the UNDP, one in every 10 Iraqi households is headed by a widow. In recent years, Iraqi women suffered further economic, social and political marginalization due to decades of wars, conflict, violence and sanctions."    RUDAW also notes that 60 Christian candidates are competing for the five allotted minority seats.  How do they elect the prime minister?  This comes after the general election and is based on who won seats in the election.   Abdulrahman al-Rashed (AL ARABIYA) explains, "To win the premiership, a candidate needs to win the majority of the votes, i.e. the votes of 165 MPs out of 329. Since it is a multi-party system, it is almost impossible to win these votes without sealing political alliances. The governorate of Baghdad is the most important one because it is the largest with 69 seats."  The chief issues?  Mustapha Karkouti (GULF NEWS) identifies them as follows, "Like in previous elections, the main concerns of ordinary Iraqis continue to be the lack of security and the rampant corruption."

As noted in the April 3rd snapshot, pollster Dr. Munqith Dagher has utilized data on likely voters and predicts that Hayder al-Abadi's Al-Nasr will win 72 seats in the Parliament, al-Fath (the militias) will get 37 seats, Sa'eroon (Moqtada al-Sadr's new grouping) will get 27 seats, Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law will get 19 seats, al-Salam will get 18 seats (KDP and PUK parties for the Kurds), Ayad Allawi's Wataniya will get 15 seats. There are others but Dagher did not predict double digits for any of the other seats. The number are similar for the group of those who are extremely likely to vote (Hayder's seats would jump from 72 to 79 seats).  Other predictions?  The Middle East Insstitute's Fanar Haddad insists to Sammy Ketz (AFP) that the post of prime minister will come down to one of three people: Hayder al-Abadi (current prime minister), Nouri al-Maliki (two time prime minister and forever thug) or Hadi al-Ameria "a leader of Hashed al-Shaabi, a paramilitary network that played a pivotal role in defeating IS. Ameri comes from Diyala province and is a statistics graduate from Baghdad University. He fled to Iran in 1980 after Saddam executed top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr. The 64-year old is widely viewed as Tehran's favoured candidate."

Tough road for Iraq’s female candidates in May 12 elections
“One of the most important women’s issues in Iraq that needs to be urgently addressed is marginalization," a female candidate tells . My latest on female candidates running for parliament in 's May 12 election w/help from cameraman Ali Abdul-Hassan

From the AP report:

Sex videos have been widely circulated on social media purporting to show female candidates in bed with men, as well as photos allegedly showing candidates posing in underwear or revealing outfits.
One such video — which she dismissed as a “fabrication aimed at pushing her out” — forced Intidhar Ahmed Jassim, allied with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Alliance party, to withdraw from the race.
In Iraq’s southern Najaf province, tribal arbitration was held over a video showing a young man kissing the poster of a female candidate from another tribe. The outcome: he apologized, the apology was accepted and the female candidate’s tribe even declined compensation for the insult.
Alarmed by the unseen level of harassment, the U.N. chief’s special representative for Iraq, Jan Kubis met last month with several women candidates over the “alarming situation” and “vulgar acts” targeting women, which he said only undermines the democratic process.

“Those behind defamation, cyber bullying and harassment are trying to scare you off,” Kubis told them, adding that the perpetrators are “afraid of educated, dynamic, qualified, courageous and open-minded women candidates that rightfully claim their space and meaningful role in political life of Iraq.”

Meanwhile, Hayder al-Abadi, the current prime minister of Iraq, wants a second term.  As Elaine noted last night,  Hayder's 2014 promise to address corruption has amounted to nothing.  He's staked his entire reputation on his 'success' in addressing ISIS.  When he became prime minister, ISIS controlled the city of Mosul.  He likes to boast that he's defeated ISIS and reclaimed Mosul.  Mahmoud al-Najjar, Gilgamesh Nabeel and Jacob Wirtschaffer (USA TODAY) explain:

Nearly a year after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared this war-devastated city liberated from the Islamic State, a putrid odor still fills the air from thousands of corpses left in the rubble.
The bodies of both civilians and Islamic State militants can be found throughout Mosul, once Iraq's second-largest city, abandoned in bombed-out buildings, tossed in roadside rubbish heaps or discarded in and around the Tigris River.

Mohammad Salim (THE NATION) adds:

While those on the campaign trail are doing their best to sell themselves and their positive vision of Iraq, the people they are trying to convince seem split about the vote.

Mechanic Abu Fayez, 41, has been waiting for hours to receive his voter registration card.
"After the liberation of Mosul it is a national duty to vote to change our lives and not just take advantage of the day off as during previous elections to have a holiday," he tells AFP, his hands and trousers stained with oil.

"We must... elect people who will genuinely represent us and obtain compensation for the material and moral damage we suffered."

While Mosul remains in ruins,  ISIS remains active in Iraq.  ANADOLU AGENCY reports ISIS killed 1 police officer today in Diyala Province and left four more wounded.  And the day before?  XINHUA reports another attack being credited to ISIS, "Three people were killed Wednesday and four others wounded in two roadside bomb attacks in Iraq's eastern province of Diyala, a provincial police source said."

Let's close with this:

Proud of two young leaders from Kurdistan Iraq awarded today at . Sara Abdul Rahman, a peace-builder from , and Zina Hamu, a photojournalist. Both aged 21 and ready to take the world by storm

From the US State Dept:

     May 1, 2018

Announcing the Recipients of the 2018 Emerging Young Leaders Award

In recognition of the positive role young people play in building sustainable peace, the U.S. Department of State is honoring outstanding young leaders from around the world.  On Wednesday, May 2, the ten recipients of the third annual Emerging Young Leaders Award will be acknowledged in a public ceremony at the State Department for their efforts as partners for peace and drivers of economic growth and opportunity.
The 2018 awardees are:
Sara Abdullah Abdulrahman, Iraq
Diovio Alfath, Indonesia
Ece Çiftçi,  Turkey
Tanzil Ferdous, Bangladesh
Zina Salim Hassan Hamu, Lithuania
Dania Hassan, Pakistan
Nancy Herz, Norway
Isasiphinkosi Mdingi, South Africa
José Rodríguez, Panama
Firuz Yogbekov, Tajikistan
These 10 remarkable young people will visit the United States for an intensive program, April 29 to May 12, specially designed to expand their leadership capacities, strengthen their knowledge of management strategies in the non-profit, government and private sectors, learn and share best practices, and broaden their networks of resources and support. The exchange program provides skills training to set awardees on paths for increased collaboration on global issues affecting youth, particularly those involved involved in building peace, combating extremism, and empowering youth.
Learn more about the award and exchange program at  
The Emerging Young Leaders award ceremony will take place on May 2 at the U.S. Department of State, and will be open to credentialed members of the media.  Interested media should contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at  Follow the conversation online with #EYLeaders and @ECAatState

The following community sites -- plus BLACK AGENDA REPORT, DISSIDENT VOICE and PACIFICA EVENING NEWS -- updated:

  • No comments:

    Post a Comment