2 Muslim women kicked off American Airlines flight in Miami

Two Muslim-American women were kicked off an American Airlines flight this week, basically for flying while Muslim.

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British Muslim detained for reading a book about Syria while on a plane

A British woman of Muslim descent was detained and questioned by police under terror laws after a flight crew member noticed she was reading a book about Syrian art while flying to Turkey.

The Thomson Airways attendant reported her for “suspicious behavior,” which amounted to reading a book.

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Miss Teen USA to keep crown despite use of racial slurs

Miss Teen USA is shrugging off its champion's repeated use of a racial slur on Twitter, disclaiming it as having occurred years before Texan teen Karlie Hay's participation in the tournament.

Hay, crowned Saturday in Vegas, will continue to receive support for "her continued growth," the organization told People Magazine.

The Miss USA Pageant was recently acquired by WME/IMG after the company cut a deal with the pageant's co-owner Donald Trump last year, Variety reports.

In an Instagram post, Hay implied that the racist language was a result of her "personal struggles."

"I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for," Hay captioned a group photo of herself with the other Miss Teen USA contestants.

"Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person."

If the old timey spelling of the word (contra "nigga") deprives her of the worthless-anyway excuse that it's merely the reclaimed vernacular of youngsters of all races, it seemed not to matter much to the organization, though it did say the slur "in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization."

Here are the values of the Miss Universe Organization, reflected in the finalists' stage:

Via @XLNB, who anticipates the excuses:

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Culturally insensitive 1979 TV commercial for Faygo's Redpop, starring Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H

Almost 40 years later and we're still treating indigenous peoples like this. (r/ObscureMedia, thanks UPSO!)

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Bill O'Reilly: Slaves who built White House were "well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government"

In response to Michelle Obama's speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, former history teacher Bill O'Reilly told his viewers that the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and had decent lodgings. He didn't mention the other not-so-great parts about being a slave, which include being the property of another person.

O'Reilly said:

Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well. Got it all? There will be a quiz.

From Think Progress:

Liam Hogan, a historian whose work focuses on slavery, noted on Twitter that O’Reilly’s comments are reminiscent of “how chattel slavery was defended by slave owners and pro-slavery interests.” To cite just one example, a U.S. history primer put together by the Independence Hall Association notes that “defenders of slavery argued that by comparison with the poor of Europe and the workers in the Northern states, that slaves were better cared for. They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves.” The reality, Hogan added, is that slavery were “treated like livestock.”

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American Airlines backs stewardess who announced she was "watching" Muslim passenger in Seat 25-A, then kicked him off flight

A Muslim man was booted from a flight after an attendant publicly announced his name and seat number and warned him she was “watching” him. Welcome to American (real ones) Airlines.

Mohamed Ahmed Radwan had boarded a plane in Charlotte, North Carolina and the flight attendant went to the tannoy and said: “Mohamed Ahmed, Seat 25-A: I will be watching you.” The employee made no other announcements about any other passenger. Mr Radwan asked the employee why she had made the announcements. She reportedly responded that he was being “too sensitive” [and] was told he must leave the plane as he had made the first air stewardess “uncomfortable”.

The company's response: "We thoroughly reviewed these allegations and concluded that no discrimination occurred."

The same way bad police use "felt threatened" as an excuse for beatings and killings, bad airlines have settled on "felt uncomfortable" as their lawyer-approved all-bases-covered method of booting Muslims from flights. Read the rest

Paul Ryan selfie with congressional interns

This photo of congressional interns taken by House Speaker Paul Ryan struck me as lacking in diversity, but I eventually found a ginger.

Edit: Dupe! Read the rest

NYPD captain taped complaining about the lack of black men targeted

NYPD officer Michael Birch recorded a meeting with a superior officer who complained to him he wasn't stopping enough black men. Gawker posted the tapes and transcripts, given to them by Birch after a judge dismissed the officer's complaint against the force.

In January, Birch filed a federal lawsuit against the city and several individual NYPD officials, alleging that he was retaliated against for speaking out about what he calls an illegal quota system. A judge dismissed his complaint, and he filed an appeal with a higher court last month.

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Ieshia Evans named as woman in 'legendary' protest photo

Ieshia Evans was arrested for "obstructing traffic" by heavily armored Baton Rouge police officers on July 9. Jonathan Bachman's photograph of the event tells so many stories.

Revealed in the margins is the impossibility of 'traffic' when a formation of riot police fills the street. In the center, Evans stands like a pillar in front of officers we know are advancing upon her, but who appear to be falling away. Police uniforms so overbearingly militarized it's a wonder they can move at all.

They can remove their armor at the end of the day. She can't remove hers.

The BBC describes the image, all of two days old, as legendary.

In an atmosphere of heightened racial tension, and amid growing debate over the seeming militarisation of American police, one photo has stood out. ... The photograph was taken outside the Baton Rouge police headquarters, where most of Saturday's protest was focused. ... AP reported that the woman in the photograph was grabbed by officers after refusing to move off the public highway.

Heavy.com reports that it was her first protest and spent the night in jail.

On Facebook, she thanked people for the well wishes and wrote: “I just need you people to know. I appreciate the well wishes and love, but this is the work of God. I am a vessel! Glory to the most high! I’m glad I’m alive and safe. And that there were no casualties that I have witnessed first hand.”

Evans was arrested in the same protest as DeRay Mckesson, whom The New York Times calls “one of the best known voices for the Black Lives Matter movement.” The Times says Mckesson spent 16 hours in jail in Baton Rouge before he was released on Sunday.

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Which photos of Alton Sterling did the media use?

There's something different about Fox News's coverage of Alton Sterling, killed by Baton Rouge cops who held him down and shot him in the back.

Can't quite put my finger on it. Read the rest

Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr white enough to star in a Hollywood biopic of medieval Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi?

The producers of a Hollywood biopic about 13th-century poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi hope to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the role—and they're eyeing Robert Downey Jr. for the part of "enigmatic mystic" Shams of Tabriz. Read the rest

With 3,500 U.S. legal actions, Trump is most litigious presidential nominee ever

An analysis from USA Today finds that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is currently involved in 3,500 legal actions. Who else is involved? Everyone from the government to vodka makers. This number is unprecedented in scope for any presidential candidate in U.S. history, and likely far too many for the entire American press corps to really get down to the bottom of, in time for voters to determine what that means for their choice in November.

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Algorithmic risk-assessment: hiding racism behind "empirical" black boxes

Courts around America and the world increasingly rely on software based risk-assessment software in determining bail and sentencing; the systems require the accused to answer more than a hundred questions which are fed into a secret model that spits out a single-digit "risk score" that courts use to decide who to lock up, and for how long. Read the rest

Drinking milk at school while black: Student arrested for larceny over 65-cent milk and racism

Virginia authorities handcuffed a middle school student and charged him with larceny for "stealing" a milk carton from the school cafeteria earlier this year. The child has also been suspended from school.

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Billy Corgan upset that "the wrong racial epithet" could destroy his career

Billy Corgan, of the Smashing Pumpkins, laments the fact he can't say a certain word without becoming unpopular, which is the result of social justice groups shutting down free speech.

"It's pretty remarkable that I could say one word right now that would destroy my career," he said, as the screen displayed images of Michael Richards and Paula Deen, both of whom faced derision after using the N-word. "I could use the wrong racial epithet or say the wrong thing to you or look down at the wrong part of your body and be castigated and it's a meme and I'm a horrible person. Every day through the media, through advertising, we see people being degraded, we see people doing all sorts of things that we should be horrified at as a culture. So we've normalized all sorts of things, but we live in a world where one word could destroy your life but it's OK to, if you're a social-justice warrior, spit in somebody's face."

Yet, he says, such groups "don't have power." The epiphany: always hovering just out of view. Good luck sticking to the right racial epithets, Billy. Read the rest

George Zimmerman to auction the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin (Update: auction cancelled)

George Zimmerman, acquitted in 2013 of murdering Trayvon Martin, plans to auction the gun he used to kill the unarmed teen. The proceeds will be used to "fight violence against Law Enforcement officers" by black activists, Zimmerman says.

"I am honored and humbled to announce the sale of an American Firearm Icon," he wrote in the description of the gun used to kill the unarmed, black teenager. "The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin on 2/26/2012."

" He wrote that the proceeds will be used to "fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers" and to "ensure the demise of Angela Correy's persecution career and Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric," though he hasn't expounded upon how.

Zimmerman pursued Martin after finding the 17-year-old's presence in his Florida neighborhood "suspicious," then shot him dead during the resulting confrontation. Martin was visiting a family member who lived nearby; Jurors acquitted Zimmerman after finding that the 200lb Zimmerman was "standing his ground" against the boy, who was black. Zimmerman's last effort to court controversy was his sale of a painting of the Confederate battle flag.

Update: The auction was cancelled, without explanation.

Update II: Gunbroker, the auction site, canned Zimmerman's auction when it realized what was going on.

"Our site rules state that we reserve the right to reject listings at our sole discretion, and have done so with the Zimmerman listing," the GunBroker statement said.
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One woman defies neo-Nazi marchers in striking portrait from racist march in Sweden

What a stunning portrait of one brave person.

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