Sunday, September 28, 2008

sarah palin on obama's winning the democratic nomination for president : "sambo beat the bitch!" (what ?!?!?!)

From Chickenbones Journal: Palin Is "Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean" by Charley James

"So Sambo beat the bitch!"

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama's win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat's primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

"It was kind of disgusting," Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the "lower 48" about life near the North Pole.

Then, almost with a sigh, she added, "But that's just Alaska."

Racial and ethnic slurs may be "just Alaska" and, clearly, they are common, everyday chatter for Palin.

Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N'-Fetch-It, "darkie musical" swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska's Aboriginal people as "Arctic Arabs"—how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description—as well as the more colourful "mukluks" along with the totally unimaginative "f**king Eskimo's," according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

Wow. I thought things were already pretty bad back in April when I did my post: mccain, racism and religious bigotry. But the right wing has been able to sink to new depths.

See also:
The Progressive Curmudgeon: Sarah’s Own Words: “I Don’t Do Black Guys.”
Z-Net: This is Your Nation on White Privilege by Tim Wise
Huffington Post: Gergen: McCain Using Code Words To Attack Obama As "Uppity"
La Times: Southern GOP Congressman Lynn Westmoreland literally calls Obama "uppity" but pleads ignorance to its racial connotations.

So why doesn't the multi-faceted, multi-actor McCain-Palin race/racism story get the same kind of sensationalistic coverage that the Rev. Wright story got?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

imam w.d. mohammed and the third resurrection

From The Manrilla Blog, here is, Imâm W. D. Mohammed and The Third Resurrection, an article by Dr. Sherman Abd al-Hakim Jackson on the passing of Imam W.D. Mohammed. The piece discusses some of the distance and separation between Imam Mohammed's community and the rest of the Blackamerican Sunni community (along with the larger immigrant-dominated Sunni Muslim community in America)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

reflection on the passing of the imam

Here is a collection of links on Imam W.D. Mohammed and his passing. The numbered links are borrowed shamelessly from Akram's Razor. But the first half-dozen or so are "extra".

The Best of Dr. Marvin X: Muslim Leader Imam Warithdin Muhammad Makes Transition
My Islamic Perspective: Remembering Imam W. D. Mohammed (UPDATED)
The American Muslim: Remembering Imam W. D. Muhammad by Abdul Malik Mujahid
Chicago Tribune: Thousands gather in Villa Park for funeral of Imam W. Deen Mohammed by Margaret Ramirez and Noreen Ahmed-Ullah
Detroit Free Press: Hamtramck-born Islamic imam who led thousands dies


  1. Zahed Amanullah. "The Imam Cares" (alt.muslim)
  2. Seeker's Digest: "Passing of Imam WD Mohammed - The Death of a Great Leader of Islam in the West"

  3. Islamicate: "Warith Dean Mohammed is Dead"
  4. SaqibSaab at Muslim Matters: "Thoughts After Attending The Janazah of Imam W. D. Mohammed"
  5. Rickshaw Diaries: "RIP: Imam W. Deen Muhammad"
  6. Koonj: "Imam Warith Deen Muhammad: a leader among leaders"
  7. Just Another Angry Black Muslim Woman? "Death of a Pioneer: Warith Deen Muhammad October 30, 1933-Sept.9, 2008"
  8. SunniSister: Imam Warith Deen
  9. ThirdResurrection: w.d. mohammed dies
  10. Tariq Nelson: "W Deen Mohammed 1933-2008"
  11. Akram's Razor: "Imam W.D. Mohammed has left us"
  12. Azhar Usman: "An Apology: Heartfelt reflections on the passing of a legendary Blackamerican Muslim leader"
  13. Dynamite Soul: "A word about Imam Warith Deen Mohammad"
  14. Imam Zaid Shakir: "Imam Warith Deen Muhammad (1933-2008)"
  15. Sisterdoc: "Peace and Blessings Imam W.D. Mohammed-R.I.P."

Rest of the Blogosphere:

  1. Mata H at Blogher: "The death of Imam W. Deen Mohammed and 'A Summit on Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul'"
  2. David Waters: "W.D. Mohammed's Spiritual Maturity"
  3. Marc Lamont Hill: "R.I.P. Warith Deen Muhammad"
  4. John Esposito: "W.D. Mohammed: A Witness for True Islam"


  1. Michelle Gallardo. "Prayer services for Imam W. D. Mohammed" (a Chicago TV station)
  2. Margaret Ramirez and Noreen Ahmed-Ullah. "Thousands gather in Villa Park for funeral of Imam W. Deen Mohammed" (Chicago Tribune)
  3. Margaret Ramirez, Manya A. Brachear and Ron Grossman.
  4. "Muslim America's rebellious son" (The Chicago Tribune)
  5. Sophia Tarteen: "Former Nation of Islam leader W.D. Mohammed dies" (Associated Press)
  6. Niraj Warikoo: "Muslim leader Warith Deen Mohammed dies" (FREEP)
  7. Patricia Sullivan: "W.D. Mohammed; Changed Muslim Movement in U.S." (Washington Post)
  8. Time Online: "Imam W. D. Mohammed: influential US Sunni Muslim leader"
  9. Malise Ruthven: "Imam who succeeded his father as leader of the Nation of Islam" (The Guardian)


  1. A guest book dedicated to the memory of Imam W.D. Mohammed
  2. An audio recording of the Muslim Journal's press conference
  3. "This Far by Faith: Warith Deen Muhammad" , an episode of a PBS series on great religious leaders dedicated to WDM
  4. Taylor Branch: "The Anointed Son: The story behind W.D. Mohammed's momentous break with his father and his alliance with Malcolm X." (Beliefnet)
  5. A bio of WDM at an Atlanta mosque.

juan cole on sarah palin

Blogger and Middle East Affairs expert, Juan Cole has a couple of interesting sets of remarks on controversial Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin.

Palin on World Affairs: Just not Ready for Prime Time reflects on Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson.

Eyewitness: "No Way it was Rhetorical." addresses Sarah Palin's repeated inquiries into removing "objectionable" books from the public library (along with a few other aspects of her administration in Alaska.

And finally, in a piece which was recently published at Cole reviews Palin's positions on abortion, censorship, homosexuality and creationism and considers the question: What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick?

For a while now I've been thinking of trying to put together a post on the range of Islamic views regarding abortion (which is actually more liberal than the standard Catholic/Evangelical position). Until then, I'll just share what Juan Cole wrote:

The GOP vice-presidential pick holds that abortion should be illegal, even in cases of rape, incest or severe birth defects, making an exception only if the life of the mother is in danger. She calls abortion an "atrocity" and pledges to reshape the judiciary to fight it. Ironically, Palin's views on the matter are to the right of those in the Muslim country of Tunisia, which allows abortion in the first trimester for a wide range of reasons. Classical Muslim jurisprudents differed among one another on the issue of abortion, but many permitted it before the "quickening" of the fetus, i.e. until the end of the fourth month.

Friday, September 12, 2008

more sleeper cell

Thanks to Netflix I finally finished seeing the second season of Sleeper Cell (definitely less engaging and realistic than the first). The first season was kept going by the conflicting challenges faced by the protagonist (Darwyn) to do his job as an FBI agent and to hold on to his integrity as a Muslim all while not blowing his cover. In the second season, Darwyn's faith was de-emphasized and the pressure to maintain his cover was less intense (since he had established his credibility as a terrorist in the first season). So now, after simply doing his job, Darwyn seems primarily motivated by his affection for the two (white) women in his life, his handler and his girlfriend. As I said before, Traitor was a lot more interesting to watch.

NPR: Don Cheadle's Spy Turn on Traitor

Thursday, September 11, 2008

a moment of silence before i start this poem

Before I start this poem, I'd like to ask you to join me
In a moment of silence
In honour of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon last September 11th. I would also like to ask you To offer up a moment of silence For all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared,
tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, For the victims in both Afghanistan and the US

And if I could just add one more thing...

A full day of silence
For the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of US-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation. Six months of silence for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvation as a result of an 11-year US embargo against the country.

Before I begin this poem,

Two months of silence for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa, Where homeland security made them aliens in their own country. Nine months of silence for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin And the survivors went on as if alive. A year of silence for the millions of dead in Vietnam - a people, not a war - for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives' bones buried in it, their babies born of it. A year of silence for the dead in Cambodia and Laos, victims of a secret war .... ssssshhhhh.... Say nothing ... we don't want them to learn that they are dead. Two months of silence for the decades of dead in Colombia, Whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.

Before I begin this poem.

An hour of silence for El Salvador ...
An afternoon of silence for Nicaragua ...
Two days of silence for the Guatemaltecos ...
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years. 45 seconds of silence for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas 25 years of silence for the hundred million Africans who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke into the sky. There will be no DNA testing or dental records to identify their remains. And for those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees in the south, the north, the east, and the west...

100 years of silence...

For the hundreds of millions of indigenous peoples from this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears. Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness ...

So you want a moment of silence?
And we are all left speechless
Our tongues snatched from our mouths
Our eyes stapled shut
A moment of silence
And the poets have all been laid to rest
The drums disintegrating into dust.

Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won't be.
Not like it always has been.

Because this is not a 9/11 poem.
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem
This is a 1492 poem.

This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written. And if this is a 9/11 poem, then: This is a September 11th poem for Chile, 1971. This is a September 12th poem for Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977. This is a September 13th poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York, 1971.

This is a September 14th poem for Somalia, 1992.

This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground in ashes This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told The 110 stories that history chose not to write in textbooks The 110 stories that CNN, BBC, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored. This is a poem for interrupting this program.

And still you want a moment of silence for your dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves
The lost languages
The uprooted trees and histories
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children
Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.

If you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines and the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights,
Delete the instant messages,
Derail the trains, the light rail transit.

If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window of Taco Bell, And pay the workers for wages lost. Tear down the liquor stores, The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses and the Playboys.

If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July
During Dayton's 13 hour sale
Or the next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful
people have gathered.

You want a moment of silence
Then take it NOW,
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
But take it all... Don't cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime. But we, Tonight we will keep right on singing... For our dead.

-Emmanuel Ortiz, 11 Sep 2002

"first writing since"

Here's one of my favorite 9/11 poems. I've posted links to the text before but they have since expired. Here is a clip of an actual performance. To be honest, when I read the poem I imagine a more lively delivery in my head, but it is still powerful to see Suheir Hammad recite her own work. Here is "first writing since".

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

w.d. mohammed dies

Associated Press: W.D. Mohammed dies; son of Nation of Islam founder
12 hours ago

CHICAGO (AP) — A nephew says Imam W.D. Mohammed, the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, has died.

Sultan Muhammad says his uncle died Tuesday. He didn't immediately give further details but says the family will issue a statement.

W.D. Mohammed moved thousands of blacks into mainstream Islam after breaking with the group his father founded. He went by both Warith Deen Mohammed and Wallace Muhammad.

The Cook County Medical Examiner confirmed receiving the body of a 74-year-old Wallace Mohammed.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

aaron mcgruder is a "prophet"

I caught part of the Republican Convention on Tuesday night and it reminded me of an old Boondocks strip:
Caesar [holding a newspaper]: Joe Lieberman say's he's the only Democrat who could beat George Bush.
Huey: He's right - wait - did he say "beat" or "be"?
Caesar: Beat.
Huey: Oh, never mind. He's crazy

Grenada's past:
an old but timely boondocks strip from 2003
al sharpton and strom thurmond
old boondocks