"We Are All Pakistani Women Now!"

In an article entitled "Equal share in land, property for women urged" by Sikander Shaheen in The Nation(Pakistan) details a campaign by ActionAid within Pakistan, urging equal property rights for women.  (ActionAid is an international anti-poverty organization that has been in operation for over 30 years.)

(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)

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Wal-Mart caught discriminating again

Wal-Mart is at it again. According to Bloomberg.com, Wal-Mart has, once again, been wantonly disrespecting its disabled employees, and they're losing lawsuits to prove it. Patrick Brady, who has cerebral palsy, was hired in 2002 as a Pharmacy Clerk at the Centereach, New York Wal-Mart.  

[He was] transferred on his second day to a job picking up garbage and collecting shopping carts in the parking lot because a manager said he was too slow.

The judge ruled the jury was justified in concluding Wal- Mart recklessly or willfully disregarded the requirements of the law. He said the move to a less prestigious job could be considered a demotion and the initial transfer caused Brady emotional distress.

The judge ruled that Wal-Mart would have to pay $900,000 in damages. This amount is down from a $7.5 million verdict awarded by a jury. A judge cut the $5 million in punitive damages the jury had awarded to the maximum allowable $300,000 under the ADA.

Just last month, we told you about another suit in which Wal-Mart had to pay a pharmacy worker $250,000 for wrongfully firing her because of a gunshot wound. Before that, a man was fired from his Wal-Mart job for nothing less than using his wheelchair at work.

So I guess there are some exceptions when Daphne Moore, Wal-Mart's spokeswoman, says, "We believe in respecting the dignity of every individual and do not tolerate any form of discrimination."

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Dallas Morning News Slams 99%-White DNC Blogger Corps

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Eddie, Shawn, AAPP, Francis & Pam in Dallas Morning News

Karen Brooks, staff writer for the Dallas Morning News, has published an article there about the lack of diversity in the Democratic National Convention's state blogging corps.  She quotes the AfroSpear's Francis L. Holland, Esq., African American Political Pundit, Shawn Williams of Dallas South, and the afrosphere's Pam Spauling of the PamsHouseBlend blog.

By now, most afrosphere and whitosphere readers know the contours of this controversy:  The DNC drafted and implemented selection criteria for its Denver Convention state bloggers corps which criteria  foreseeably and predictably produced a virtually all-white state blogger group to cover the floor of the Denver Convention.

But this roundup comes courtesy of Kenneth Quinnell, Florida Progressive Coalition Blog.

The Francis L. Holland Blog— Jim Crow Blogging at the Democratic National Convention

African American Political Pundit— Black bloggers to the back of the bus!

Pam's House Blend— Democratic National Convention state blog selection dustup.

Cotton Mouth— Cotton Mouth Is Not Going To The Democratic Convention (And Why).

Open Left: Clamping Down on Blog Dissent: More Evidence of State Blogger Problems.

Open Left— State Parties Nixing State Blogs from the Convention?

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At the Risk of Hypocrisy

There's way too much hypocrisy in the United States with respect to ideation and emotion involving skin color (and gender, for that matter).  On the one hand, many white people (but hardly all) insist that discrimination has ended and that Blacks can achieve anything that we want, if we only work hard enough.  On the other hand, some of them insist that a Black man will have difficulty winning the presidency, because some whites are too full of color-aroused ideation, emotion and voting behavior to give a Black man a chance.

They think we should take this discrimination VERY seriously when choosing a presidential candidate when choosing our Democratic presidential nominee.

So, should we also take this discrimination very seriously in the college admissions process and the workplace? Which is it?

Has discrimination ended or is it prevalent enough to determine who our next president will be, or both?  Are we in a new day, when Blacks have the same chances as everyone else, and where whites need no longer feel guilty for using their majority status to keep Blacks down and reserve societal privileges for themselves?  Or are we in an old day, where there are whites who steadfastly discriminate against Blacks, thereby limiting our opportunities, including Barack Obama's opportunity to become president?

I believe that anyone who argues on both sides of this question, depending on the circumstances, is at risk of being a hypocrite.  It seems that some whites argue this question differently depending on which side of the argument is most convenient for them at any given time.  When some whites are evaluating Blacks' chances for electoral office, they suddenly discover that whites are color-aroused and they doubt that a Black man can win.  "Is America ready for a Black president," (or are we white Americans still so color-aroused that we would vote against a man simply because his skin is brown?)

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Getting Rid of Whiteness?

Wanted to share this provocative post from the Movement Vision Lab blog by Dan Horowitz Garcia entitled, "Get Whitey!  A 21st Century Racial Justice Agenda".

Horowitz Garcia argues that whiteness is the main glue that holds the United States together, allowing the perpetuation of economic inequality not only for people of color but poor and working class white folks, too.  

How do we achieve equality and justice in the United States?

The key is to abolish whiteness, to end a political category that gives privilege to one group at the expense of others.

But rather than abolishing the politically-laden category of whiteness and transforming the many, many institutions that perpetuate hierarchy based on race -- from police to public schools -- Horowitz Garcia argues that in many cases, we actually reinforce white supremacy in institutions.  For instance, he uses the example of calling for new hate crimes laws in the wake of Jena, LA -- in the attempt to vindicate a racially profiled young man of color, demanding to expand the criminal justice system that spends most of its energy racially profiling young men of color.

As a white girl, I found this piece provocative.  What is whiteness, beyond skin color?  What does it mean in society?  And how do we move toward a vision where whiteness doesn't have exclusive power and privilege over others?  What do you think?

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