Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Miss Angola Leila Lopes crowned Miss Universe
Of parents from Cienfuegos, Cuba, and born in Angola, the new Miss Universe, Leila Lopes, has been the victim of vicious racist verbal attacks.
The messages, written in Portuguese and English, were reported by the Stormfront webpage, whose authors define themselves as a "white nationalist community", that is under investigation by the Brazilian Federal Police on suspicion of links with neo-Nazi groups.
Even before learning of the abuse, Leila Lopes had said in a press conference at dawn on Tuesday, to not feel affected by racism.
"Racism does not affect me. The racists are the ones that need help, because it is not normal for a person to [harbor such ideas]... in the XXI century. There is no basis for any kind of prejudice," said the beautiful young 25 year old.
The organizers of the competition held Monday evening in Sao Paulo gave no immediate comment on the racist attacks by members of Stormfront, who also questioned the "racial purity" of European candidates for the title.
Beautifully said, Leila. Short, sweet and to the point! Bravo!
Sunday, September 11, 2011
The Legacy of 9-11 on its Tenth Anniversary
Let's just can it...
Ask yourself this: ten years into the post-9/11 era, haven't we had enough of ourselves? If we have any respect for history or humanity or decency left, isn’t it time to rip the Band-Aid off the wound, to remove 9/11 from our collective consciousness? No more invocations of those attacks to explain otherwise inexplicable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and our oh-so-global war on terror. No more invocations of 9/11 to keep the Pentagon and the national security state flooded with money. No more invocations of 9/11 to justify every encroachment on liberty, every new step in the surveillance of Americans, every advance in pat-downs and wand-downs and strip downs that keeps fear high and the homeland security state afloat.
I have expressed myself already on the handling of the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11, so there is no need to revisit that. If we must remember something on this day, it should be the following:
It's hardly controversial to suggest that the mainstream media's performance in the lead-up to the Iraq War was a disaster. In retrospect, many journalists and pundits wish they had been more skeptical of the White House's claims about Iraq, particularly its allegations about weapons of mass destruction. At the same time, though, media apologists suggest that the press could not have done much better, since "everyone" was in agreement on the intelligence regarding Iraq's weapons threat. This was never the case. Critical journalists and analysts raised serious questions at the time about what the White House was saying. Often, however, their warnings were ignored by the bulk of the corporate press.
This timeline is an attempt to recall some of the worst moments in journalism, from the fall of 2002 and into the early weeks of the Iraq War. It is not an exhaustive catalog, but a useful reference point for understanding the media's performance. The timeline also points to missed opportunities, when courageous journalists—working inside the mainstream and the alternative media—uncovered stories that should have made the front pages of daily newspapers, or provided fodder for TV talk shows. By reading mainstream media critically and tuning into the alternative press, citizens can see that the notion that "everyone" was wrong about Iraq was—and is—just another deception.