On September 7th, 2012, 20-year-old Bronx Resident and father Reynaldo Cuevas was shot and killed by an NYPD officer outside the bodega where he works. According to witnesses, Cuevas had tripped while attempting to escape an armed robbery inside the bodega. Immediately after, a 42nd precinct officer shot his gun, killing Cuevas, who was later dragged by the officer some 20-feet along the sidewalk.
The shooting occurred just one block away from where unarmed 19-year-old Jateik Reed was recently beaten by a team of 42nd precinct officers.
— Take Back the Bronx
Ossie Davis - Eulogy for Malcolm X, February 27, 1965
Here, at this final hour, in this quiet place, Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes, extinguished now and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought. His home of homes where his heart was and where his people are. And it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again in Harlem to share these last moments with him. For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who loved her, have fought for her and have defended her honor even to the dea th.
It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us, unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to: Afro-American. Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power words have over the minds of men. Malcolm had stopped being a ‘Negro’ years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American and he wanted so desperately that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans, too.
There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee even, from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain. And we will smile. Many will say turn away, away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man. And we will smile. They will say that he is of hate, a fanatic, a racist who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them: Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him:
Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man but a seed which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is. A prince. Our own black shining prince who didn’t hesitate to die because he loved us so.
June 14, 2012: 84th birthday of Comrade Che Guevara, revolutionary Marxist internationalist and global symbol of the Heroic Guerrilla.
Police believe that Lin Jun, a 33-year-old engineering student from China living in Montreal, was brutally murdered by fugitive Luka Rocco Magnotta in a twisted case that has been in the headlines in Canada all week. Lin’s body was dismembered and severed limbs were mailed to the government in Ottawa. A manhunt for Magnotta is underway.
Yeah I heard this on the news but I didn’t know the name of the victim. It’s fucking scary.
/x/ has been posting stuff all about the killer guy. he’s done a lot of other shit too, apparently.
the things you learn when you’re looking for livestreams of horror video games…………….. >_<
Yeah, the killer is definitely receiving a lot of attention, while the victim has received relatively little.
I think a lot of people are more interested in lurid, grisly details than in grasping that a Chinese man was murdered by an avowed white supremacist who was hailed on Stormfront.org for his “free speech” in defiance of “the fascism of multiculturalism”. According to the National Post, he apparently advocated a total freeze on immigration to Canada and the US and wrote that “blacks get their own countries, Chinese get their own countries … however if white people want their own countries then we are denied that right”.
Meanwhile Chinese students in Montreal have been shaken by the incident and their families are suddenly worried.
I was finding extremely weird that absolutely NOTHING was said about the victim! I mean, they are even talking about this in France and in the UK, yet this is the very first time I hear about the victim!!
Just goes to show the worth of a non-white life in the western world.
By Mónica Novoa
Friday, March 30, 2012
Police in Southern California have insisted that the brutal beating death of Shaima Alawadi is an isolated incident, and not a crime motivated by hate. Alawadi was killed after a brutal beating last week in El Cajon, Calif. and the attack has sent shockwaves across the country.
At a memorial service this week for the 32-year-old wife and mother of five, Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said it would be irresponsible to jump to conclusions cautioning, “We don’t know if it was a hate crime. We don’t know if it wasn’t a hate crime.” What we do know is that Alawadi 17-year-old daughter Fatima, found a note next to her slain mother’s body that read, “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist.”
Those words and the animosity and bigotry experienced by Muslim communities of diverse racial backgrounds is rooted in years of ignorant stereotypes. According to the FBI’s latest report released last November, hate crimes in the United States against Muslim people increased nearly 50 percent in 2010. And while hate crimes have risen, Muslim communities have been shamelessly spied on by NYPD as Seth Wessler has written about.
The chilling murder of Shaima Alawadi has sparked nationwide reflection about anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias, profiling and hate. There have been “hoodie and hijab” solidarity rallies with communities that are speaking out about the role of racial profiling in the murders of Trayvon Martin. Whether or not the investigation points to an official hate crime, the language on the note Fatima found is hate language. Sadly, hate language often ends in destruction. It’s the language of death.
And we are bombarded with it. According to a report from 2005 about the perceptions of Arab Muslims for which 2,420 people were interviewed in the U.S. and western Europe, “The terms Islamic or Muslim are linked to extremism, militant, jihads, as if they belonged together inextricably and naturally (Muslim extremist, Islamic terror, Islamic war, Muslim time bomb).” The recommendation at the time was that “Western media organizations must see normal Muslims in everyday life, as professionals, educators, parents, community leaders and participants.”
While communities mourn and seek justice for both Alawadi and Martin, many of us are at the same time, feeling the need to denounce hate at the very root. As we approach the year 2050 when people of color are projected to become the majority, our multi-tasking for the future is largely about challenging dangerous stereotypes, language, images and fears. Even the very near future has to be imaginable so we have to call out the deep-seated biases that impacts how many people of color can move and thrive in the world.
Changing the conversation on hate
After researching and writing the first half of this piece, I went home to think through what else needed to be said. I shared a cab to Brooklyn with my friend Jaime-Jin Lewis, executive director of Border Crossers. She talked to me about a chart she was compiling that included the different stages of development for kids K-5, corresponding with age-appropriate conversations on race and difference. I pulled out of my backpack a study I had discovered minutes earlier about the bullying of Muslim children, and I read her the following shocking quote: “Indeed, growing up Muslim in the U.S. in the 21st century is probably one of the most challenging tasks in human development.”
It was then that the man driving our cab, a father of three, piped up to ask if we were Muslim. He shared that he was Muslim from Pakistan and that almost everyone that gets into his cab wants to know where he’s from, but that when he wants to be left alone, he does not share he is Muslim, but rather tells people he is from Afghanistan. He said that Americans really believe immigrants are “aliens,” like on his green card.
We talked the whole ride home. He studied business administration in England, but has through his own interest become well versed on religions of the world and is always baffled at how other religious people can forget that holy books are always up for interpretation and that every religion has a minority of extremists. We laughed about and lamented society’s unwritten rule that discussing religion, race and politics is not polite conversation. He said that for him, the most beautiful gift from God is a good partner and children, and that he was the luckiest man in the world because he had those things. And he also reminded me of something quite basic: That in addition to whatever racial, ethnic, religious and other identities we have, we are all human and that everyone wants for that humanity to be recognized and remembered.
I asked the driver if he was concerned for his three small kids and the hostility they might encounter in school. He said that he wasn’t because he was going to prepare them to be sure of themselves and that he’d send them to public school so they could learn how to interact with kids of all ethnic and religious backgrounds and that as adults, they would be good listeners and accepting of people who are not just like them, because that’s the way of the world.
The price of terror
The policy brief I was quoting from to Jaime-Jin in the taxi is Global Battleground or School Playground:The Bullying of America’s Muslim Children by Dr. Pia Rebello Britto at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. The report concludes there needs to be extensive effort put into educating the American public about the lives of Muslims — both in popular culture and in schools.
The stakes are high. Evelyn Alsultany, a professor at NYU and author of a forthcoming book on Arabs and Muslims in the media wrote in January about how Lowe’s and other companies pulled their advertising from the reality show American Muslim, based on the possible discomfort people may feel when seeing Muslims and Arabs in non-stereotyped roles outside of the “terrorist” trope.
So the concern here was that showing real-life everyday families (albeit in highly dramatized for reality TV situations) might humanize Muslims too much and make “real Americans” drop their guard.
The stereotype of Islam condoning violence is prevalent. Even now, it’s coming up in the reader comments of articles about Alawadi murder. Knowing absolutely no facts beyond the same things that you and I know, some readers are speculating about how this could be the case of an “honor killing.”
But make no mistake: The note left by Alwadi’s body was about terrorism. Terror and terrorism are among the most controversial terms in our society. Even the United Nations cannot agree on whether or how to define them. It’s been made quite simple for people of color in the US, though. We are not allowed the t-word for the crusades, killing of indigenous people in the Americas, the terror lived by Black people under Jim Crow, the terror communities of color feel at the hands of rogue police. However, Fatima al-Himidi, Alawadi’s daughter, was not afraid to say in a recent interview, “We’re not the terrorist, you are, whoever did it.”
For more resources on fighting anti-Arab and Muslim stereotypes and hate please check out:
Copyright © 2012 Colorlines.com
[Image: Kassim Alhimidi (R) and his sister Fatima speak during a candlelight vigil to remember their mother Shaima Alawadi outside her home in El Cajon, California. (© REUTERS/Mike Blake)]
Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi woman living in Southern California, was taken off life support today, succumbing to injuries sustained in a brutal tire iron beating on Wednesday. Shaima was found in her living room, and according to her daughter Fatima and the police investigating, a note was found near her saying “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”
Shaima was a mother of five who has been in the US with her family since the mid-1990s. She was described by her friend Sura Alzaidy as “respectful modest muhajiba.” Her daughter tearfully addressed her mother’s attackers during a media interview, saying “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”
Poster from socialist North Korea honoring Che Guevara.
Comrade Kishenji, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was gunned down by police on Nov. 24, 2011. Despite heavy state repression, thousands turned out for a memorial Nov 27 in his hometown Peddapalli in Andhra Pradesh.
“Who taught you to hate the color of your skin?
Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair?
Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips?
Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet?
Who taught you to hate your own kind?
Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other?”
- Malcolm X, 1962