Carl Paladino was the chairman of Donald Trump’s campaign in New York. Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. https://www.tytnetwork.com/go
Segolene Royal has been much criticised for warning that the French ‘banlieu’ will riot if Sarkozy, the interior minister who called banlieu inhabitants ‘racaille’ (‘scum’), is elected president. The banlieu is prone to riot anyway. Why?
Well, here are a few personal anecdotes. The stories are 15 years old, so are not directly relevant to Sarkozy, but they explain something of the racist background to France’s social problems.
One: One evening in Paris I was walking with an upper-middle class English friend whose mother is Malaysian. I’m an English Arab, but white-skinned and blue-eyed. Out of nowhere arrived two policemen. With no warning they grabbed my friend, threw him against a wall, then pushed a truncheon against his throat until he was choking and weeping. They took me round the corner and asked why I was walking with him.
Two: I had a French girlfriend of Algerian origin, also white and not noticeably Arab, who was being harassed by an insane neighbour. She was scared, so we went to the police station to inform them of the situation. The police were polite and concerned. They wrote everything down. But when they asked my girlfriend’s name, their tone changed radically. They scrumpled up the report sheet, told us no offence had been committed, and advised us to get out immediately.
That girlfriend remembered her old maths teacher ordering her to the back of the classroom with the rest of the Arabs and Africans because, as the teacher explained, “I’m employed by the French state to teach French children.”
Her father had escaped from the extreme poverty of his (French-occupied) Algerian childhood to France, where he spent a lifetime as a migrant labourer, suffering casual and brutal violence from foremen and police – and then inflicting some himself, in his impotence, on his own family. When they finally settled in an industrial town, he found work in a factory where he would train white teenagers to do his dangerous, lowest-of-the-low job, and then watch them promoted after a couple of months to brighter and better things.
In Paris I had an African friend who for a time lived in a slum building with other African families. One day a skinhead threw a teargas canister into the corridor where children were playing. The police weren’t interested. They clearly had more important things to do with their time. The same friend was stopped almost every day by police on his way to work, insulted, and ordered to show his papers.
These scorned and abused French citizens, the blacks and beurs who work in the worst jobs for the lowest pay, who live in the ‘rabbit cages’ of the urban wasteland, who constitute 70% of the prison population, who have the least representation, whose voices are not heard, are supposedly the omnipotent Islamic fiends who threaten to destroy French secularism, the whole French way of life, and whose clothing choices must therefore, for the sake of freedom, be sanctioned by the state. (To his credit, Sarkozy did not support the ban on hijab in schools. Update: he has since identified the niqab or face veil as a pressing danger to France, although only 367 French women wear it – that precise number was provided by French intelligence.)
The fact that the French were still using torture and prison camps for civilians in Algeria in the 60s, and that an ex-Vichy police chief (Maurice Papon) at the same time dealt with demonstrating pro-independence Algerians in Paris by tying their feet and throwing them into the Seine, suggests that France has got savage racial prejudice to blame, primarily, for its social problems. The bodies-in-the-Seine incident happened in October 1961. At least 200 civilians were murdered, a crime in which the French media collaborated by its silence and concealment.
It’s certainly the case that many young French Arabs and Africans are somewhat raggamuffin, but extreme alienation and marginalisation tends to do that to you. Besides, if white men in France have a couple of years off the rails they are not in danger of being shot by the police. When I was there, beurs and blacks were shot in the back every couple of months. This was considered normal. It certainly didn’t result in soul-searching by the white population.
It is the complex of racism and class oppression which has made the French innercities unbearable. The real ‘racaille’ are those who blame the victims.
Update August 2016: Now – after a serious of ISIS-linked atrocities and the continuing rise of the far right, things are becoming much, much worse. See the ‘burkini’ controversy. ‘Mainstream’ politicians and state officials describe the burkini as ‘a symbol of the groups attacking France’. This is a bit like saying beards should be banned because terrorists have beards, except this is directly targeted at Muslims (though, so I read, it isn’t only Muslim women who wear the burkini. Women with easily burnable skin use it too). Armed men forcibly undressing women, snarly whites cheering the while. I fear this is a sign of things to come. The West’s liberal age is over – the ‘left’ as likely as the right to indulge in racist sterotyping and conspiracy theories. We are heading into incredibly dangerous territory.
By Ishaan Tharoor May 7
Ayelet Shaked of the Jewish Home party is known for her strident views on Palestinians and the Israeli left. (Tsafrir Abayov/AP)
An 11th-hour deal on Wednesday led to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu forming the most right-wing government in his country’s history. Netanyahu’s slim majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, was secured after a pact with the Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, an ultra-nationalist who draws much of his support from Israel’s settler population and rejects a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
One of the terms of the alliance was that Netanyahu would tap Bennett’s de facto lieutenant, Ayelet Shaked, to be the next justice minister. This is a move not without controversy.
Shaked is known for her strident (some would say extremist) views regarding Palestinians and the enfeebled Israeli left. In July, in a controversial post on Facebook, the then-member of the Knesset posted the text of an article by the late Israeli writer Uri Elitzur that referred to Palestinian children as “little snakes” and appeared to justify the mass punishment of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. The post has since been deleted, but an archived version remains.
It was put up shortly after the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teens kidnapped last year while hiking in the West Bank. Their killing eventually escalated into a 50-day war in which Israel pummeled the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave dominated by the militant Islamist group Hamas, which launched barrages of rocket fire at Israel. The Gaza war killed more than1,400 Palestinian civilians and reduced whole swaths of the impoverished territory to rubble.
The leftist site Mondoweiss offers a full translation of Shaked’s controversial posting, which quotes Elitzur, a former Netanyahu adviser,here. Some excerpts:
The Palestinian people has declared war on us, and we must respond with war. Not an operation, not a slow-moving one, not low-intensity, not controlled escalation, no destruction of terror infrastructure, no targeted killings. Enough with the oblique references. This is a war. Words have meanings. This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started…
Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there.
Even if these aren’t Shaked’s own words, the sentiment is noteworthy, and it reflects what critics say is the Israeli nationalist right’s widespread intolerance of the Arabs in their midst, who make up one-fifth of the Israeli population.
Bennett and Shaked’s Jewish Home party are avowed opponents of Palestinian statehood. Bennett’s proposal for settling the “Palestinian question” involves the creation of semiautonomous territories that some have likened to the bantustans of apartheid-era South Africa.
Shaked’s appointment as justice minister also has raised fears that Netanyahu’s new government will attempt to rein in the Israeli judiciary, as my colleague William Booth reports. Some are rather worried about what may follow.
“The demand to give Ayelet Shaked the Justice portfolio is like giving the Fire and Rescue Services to a pyromaniac,” opposition lawmaker Nachman Shaitold the Arutz Sheva news site.
Shaked, a photogenic former tech executive, doesn’t seem too bothered about the opinions of her opponents. She once dismissed Haaretz, arguably Israel’s most internationally respected newspaper, as a publication “read by a mere 30,000 Israelis.”
After all, Shaked is about to gain a cabinet post in a climate in which an Israeli former foreign minister can call for the “beheading” of disloyal Arabswith no political cost and in which warning of Arabs “voting in droves” helped Netanyahu’s Likud party win Israel’s general election earlier this year.
“Shaked is going and taking her place in the pantheon of the extreme right,”says leftist Israeli legislator Michal Rozin, “and represents an ideology where her own racism doesn’t embarrass her.”
Ishaan Tharoor writes about foreign affairs for The Washington Post. He previously was a senior editor at TIME, based first in Hong Kong and later in New York.
Jewish Home MK Eli Ben Dahan to oversee the authorization of travel and entry permits for Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza
Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan February 3, 2014. (photo credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Tamar Pileggi Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.
As part of the coalition agreement reached between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Jewish Home party on Thursday, MK Eli Ben Dahan, a rabbi who’s made controversial statements about Palestinians and non-Jews, will serve as Israel’s next deputy defense minister.
Under the new job description, Ben Dahan, who served as the deputy religious affairs minister in the previous government, will also be responsible for the IDF’s Civil Administration running government affairs in the West Bank.
Ben Dahan has made controversial remarks about Palestinians. While discussing the resumption of peace talks in a radio interview in 2013, Ben Dahan said that “To me, they are like animals, they aren’t human.”
“The Palestinians aren’t educated towards peace, nor to they want it,” he said.
The Civil Administration is an IDF unit subordinate to the Defense Ministry responsible for governing West Bank planning, building and infrastructure in Israeli-controlled Area C. In addition, it is responsible for authorizing Palestinian travel and entry permits into Israel from Gaza and the West Bank.
Later that year, while discussing his opposition to Knesset legislation that would offer same-sex parents the same tax breaks as their heterosexual counterparts, Ben Dahan told Maariv that homosexual Jews were superior than gentiles — gay or straight.
“A Jew always has a much higher soul than a gentile, even if he is a homosexual,” he said.
Ben Dahan said that his opposition to the bill was not based on discrimination, but stemmed from his commitment to uphold the Jewish character of Israel.
“I have to keep the state Jewish. Things that contradict the values, culture or tradition will not receive a stamp of approval,” he said.
The faux red carpet had been laid out for the famous and the wannabe-famous. Politicians and journalists arrived at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, bedazzled in the hopes of basking in a few fleeting moments of fame, even if only by osmosis from proximity to celebrities. New to the Washington scene, I was to experience the spectacle with my husband, a journalist, and enjoy an evening out. Or at least an hour out. You see, as a spouse I was not allowed into the actual dinner. Those of us who are not participating in the hideous schmooze-fest that is this evening are relegated to attending the cocktail hour only, if that. Our guest was the extraordinarily brilliant Oscar-nominated director of Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin. Mr. Zeitlin’s unassuming demeanor was a refreshing taste of humility in a sea of pretentious politicians reeking of narcissism.
As I left the hotel and my husband went to the ballroom for the dinner, I realized he still had my keys. I approached the escalators that led down to the ballroom and asked the externally contracted security representatives if I could go down. They abruptly responded, “You can’t go down without a ticket.” I explained my situation and that I just wanted my keys from my husband in the foyer and that I wouldn’t need to enter in the ballroom. They refused to let me through. For the next half hour, they watched as I frantically called my husband but was unable to reach him.
Then something remarkable happened. I watched as they let countless other women through — all Caucasian — without even asking to see their tickets. I asked why they were allowing them to go freely when they had just told me that I needed a ticket. Their response? “Well, now we are checking tickets.” He rolled his eyes and let another woman through, this time actually checking her ticket. His smug tone, enveloped in condescension, taunted, “See? That’s what a ticket looks like.”
When I asked “Why did you lie to me, sir?” they threatened to have the Secret Service throw me out of the building — me, a 4’11” young woman who weighs 100 pounds soaking wet, who was all prettied up in elegant formal dress, who was simply trying to reach her husband. The only thing on me that could possibly inflict harm were my dainty silver stilettos, and they were too busy inflicting pain on my feet at the moment. My suspicion was confirmed when I saw the men ask a blonde woman for her ticket and she replied, “I lost it.” The snickering tough-guy responded, “I’d be happy to personally escort you down the escalators ma’am.”
Like a malignancy, it had crept in when I least expected it — this repugnant, infectious bigotry we have become so accustomed to. “White privilege” was on display, palpable to passersby who consoled me. I’ve come to expect this repulsive racism in many aspects of my life, but when I find it entrenched in these smaller encounters is when salt is sprinkled deep into the wounds. In these crystallizing moments it is clear that while I might see myself as just another all-American gal who has great affection for this country, others see me as something less than human, more now than ever before.
When I asked why the security representatives offered to personally escort white women without tickets downstairs while they watched me flounder, why they threatened to call the Secret Service on me, I was told, “We have to be extra careful with you all after the Boston bombings.”
I explained that I am a physician, that my husband is a noted journalist for a major American newspaper, and that our guest was an esteemed, Oscar-nominated director. They did not believe me. Never mind that the American flag flew proudly outside of our home for years, with my father taking it inside whenever it rained to protect it from damage. Never mind that I won “Most Patriotic” almost every July 4th growing up. Never mind that I have provided health care to some of America’s most underprivileged, even when they have refused to shake my hand because of my ethnicity.
I looked at him, struggling to bury my tears beneath whatever shred of dignity that remained. They finally saturated my lashes and flood onto my face. Shaking with rage, I said, “We are all human beings and I only ask that you give me the same respect you give others. All I am asking is to be treating with a dignity and humanity. What you did is wrong.” They stared straight ahead, arms crossed, and refused to even look at me. Up came the cruel, xenophobic, soundproof wall that I had seen in the eyes of so many after 9/11. Their eyes, flecked with disdain and hatred, looked through me.
The next affront came quickly thereafter. “You were here last year, weren’t you? You caused trouble here last year too. I know you,” they claimed, accusing me of being a party-crasher. Completely confused, I explained that this was my first time here and that I had no idea what he was referencing. Clearly, he had assumed all brown people look the same and had confused me for someone else.
I wonder what their reaction would have been to a well-dressed white woman trying to reach her husband. Would she have struggled for over an hour while they watched and offered to escort others in? Would they not have extended an offer to help, bended over backwards to offer assistance, just as they did with the woman who “lost her ticket”? Would the Boston bombings even be mentioned to a white woman?
Let’s stop this facade that we are a beacon of tolerance. I don’t need you to “tolerate” me. I don’t want you to merely put up with my presence. All I ask, all I have ever asked, is to be treated as a human being, that bigoted jingoism is not injected into every minute facet my life, that there remains at least the illusion of decency.
Despite being a native English speaker who was born in New Orleans and a physician who trained at a prestigious institution, all people see is the color of my skin. After this incident, I will no longer apologize, either for my faith or my complexion. It is not my job to convince you to distinguish me from the violent sociopaths that claim to be Muslims, whose terrorism I neither support, nor condone. It is your job. Just like when a disturbed young white man shoots up a movie theatre or a school, it is my job, as someone with a conscience, to distinguish them from others. It’s not my job to plead with you to shake my hand without cringing, nor am I going to applaud you when you treat me with common decency; it’s not an accomplishment. It’s simply the right thing to do. Honestly, it’s not that hard.
This year, Quvenzhané Wallis took the world by storm with her staggering performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild. At several award ceremonies, reporters refused to the learn the accurate pronunciation of her name, and one reporter allegedly told Wallis, “I’m gonna call you Annie,” because her name was too difficult to pronounce. If reporters can learn to pronounce Gerard Depardieu and Monique Lhuillier then surely they can take the time to learn how to pronounce Quvenzhané. It’s not hard; it’s just not deemed worthy of your energy because she is someone of color.
A school child recently threatened my 12-year-old niece claiming, “I’m going to kill you Miss Bin Laden.” Again, it is not my job to teach your children manners and social justice, to remove the disgusting threads of racism that you have woven into their hearts with your insecurities. Last week, a 39-year-old Muslim American cab driver who served in the Iraq war was attacked and had his jaw broken in a hate crime. The assailant, an executive from an aviation company, told the veteran “I will slice your fucking throat right now.” I suppose the “support the troops” rhetoric by the right only applies to white veterans.
It wasn’t enough that I have had to prove my “American-ness” at every step of my career, but now the next generation is suffering as well. It wasn’t enough that I was asked whether my father taught me how to make bombs, or that I was told that I was doomed to the seventh circle of hell during my medical school interviews. I was also asked whether I would wear a burqa or if my parents would arrange my marriage during interviews. It is outrageous that I have to actually prove to the world how horrified I am that an 8-year-old boy was brutally murdered by a terrorist bombing. Any normal human being feels this agonizing grief with the rest of the country. I do not have to prove to you that, I, too, find it morally reprehensible. Of course I do. I have a heart. I am human.
So, I no longer want a seat at your restaurant, where you serve me begrudgingly, where I am belittled for asking for food without pork, where I endure your dirty looks at my hijabi friend. I want my pride intact, I want this struggle of mine to be recognized, for you to look me in the eye and acknowledge that yes, this tumor called bigotry is indeed rivering through your veins, polluting your mind, and is so malignant that it compels you to squash my dignity.
It’s the little indignities that slowly devastate your soul. The ones where your guard is down, and you just expect to dress up, look pretty, and enjoy an evening as a newlywed, or at the Oscars, but instead end up humiliated and snubbed. The ubiquitous racist slap in the face is thinly veiled just beneath the carefully crafted façade. This filthy, highly infectious plague is transforming our nation into one of unwarranted suspicion and anguish inflicted on disenfranchised, voiceless people of color. And now, it is no longer my job to enlighten you. To quote what you so often tell ethnic communities, “It’s time for you to step up to the plate, take responsibility, and stop taking what I have earned,” my integrity, my dignity.