Sunday, October 30, 2005
  Rosa Parks and the end of an era
Memorial services for Rosa Parks have been going on all over the country, and rightfully so. As an individual Rosa was a remarkable person. As a symbol of the civil rights era, she along with all the brave souls who fought to enshrine equal rights for people of all races in this country, deserve recognition. While it is good to reflect on where we we came from, what we overcame, and how far we've progressed it is also important to remember that the fight is not over.

Every once in a while, I overhear a teenager saying something like "What's the big deal with all this racism stuff? If anyone is racist, it's black kids." There seems to be a broad lack of knowledge among our younger people about the conditions that led to the civil rights movement, the upheavals around bussing and desegregation, the ongoing systemic forces that work to keep certain groups disadvantaged, and the extent to which individual racism is still a major problem in our country.

It's probably too much to ask of the public school systems, which are increasingly teaching as to produce an obedient, unquestioning, 100% attendant work-force. I'm sure my own consciousness was raised not by my teachers, but by the nightly news where I saw my nieghbors in the supposedly liberal Boston rioting simply because their kids were going to sit next to black kids in schools. Not to mention the horrific images coming out of South Africa.

As a Muslim, I am at the receiving end of racism from time to time. But more often, I am reminded of the priviledge white people are accorded, whether it's an exemption from automatic "random" searches at the airport (I only get randomly searched about half the time I fly), or the interest people take in white converts to Islam (as opposed to African American converts, who make up a much greater number. Even Latino converts get more press than our black brothers and sisters.), whether it is the welcome that immigrant communities give white converts, especially women converts, making them spokespeople for the community, or the benefit of the doubt I get from your average American.

I try to teach my kids about racism and the effects is has had and continues to have on our world. I hope others do to.
Good post. Over at my blog there is a group of us that have been having this talk.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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