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Sunday Readings: 30 November 2008

30 November 2008

There will be time, there will be time

For visions and revisions, which a minute will reverse…

(T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”*)

Changing images:
Isn’t Colombia supposedly the big U.S. ally in the “war on terror and drugs and EVIL?” …
Sibylla Brodzinsky reports for the Christian Science Monitor on the latest in crime-fighting image makeovers in Bogata:

In most parts of the Western world, the figure of Osama bin Laden inspires fear and loathing. But in one Bogotá neighborhood, “Osama” is now a symbol of protection and safety.

Wearing a turban fashioned out of a strip of white, eyeleted cloth and sporting a long gray beard streaked with white, Colombia’s “Osama” patrols one of central Bogotá’s most dangerous neighborhoods carrying a stick and a homemade machete. He’s not an Islamic militant, or a Muslim. But his presence draws gratitude from residents and the prostitutes who work here.

Changing the channel

Heidi Beirich (reprinted by the Southern Poverty Law Center on their “Hatewatch” site) looks at Lou Dobbs, the CNN commentator with “ansomewhat flexible relationship with reality.”

Dobbs, who has a long track record of defaming immigrants by linking them to crime, disease and other horrors, would probably like to pretend that immigrant bashing doesn’t lead to hate crimes. But the facts of the Lucero case show otherwise. …

Dobbs … took issue with the idea that hate crimes targeting Latinos are a problem. Dobbs’ report cited the FBI’s annual hate crimes statistics to make the point that hate crimes nationwide had dropped from about 7,700 in 2006 to 7,600 in 2007. …

And as limited as the FBI figures are, they show that hate crimes against Latinos are on the rise, having gone up by 40% since 2003. Dobbs left out that fact .

Changing the tune:
Tariq Nelson is willing to “…discuss a lot of taboo subjects and typically look at things from an angle that others will not.” He’s a thoughtful, incisive writer, and the only possible blogger who could ask the question   “Will Obama Influence Positive Change in Hip Hop?

The narrative has changed from it’s either rap, the trap or basketball to it’s rap, the trap, basketball or you could be the president too. He’s inspired black men to send out mass emails to other black men, saying, “We gotta stop saying ‘n—-’ so much. We gotta take care of our families. We gotta raise our babies.“

Changing the story

Glenn Greenwald ( on the New York Times’ attempts to re-write the history of its own support for the attempted 2002 coup in Venezuela:

It’s nice that the Times — with a disgraced George Bush on his way out the door — has come to view the Venezuelan military coup as the destructive, anti-democratic event which, by definition, it was. And it’s also nice that the Times is now willing to assign blame for anti-U.S. sentiments in Latin America at least partially to the actions of the U.S. Government itself. But it’s important that the Times not be allowed to delete its own involvement in those events.

Changing the rules:

While there is a lot riding on this fight in terms of dollars and ethnic pride riding on the 6 December match-up between Manny Pacquiao and Oscar de la Hoya, there is serious controversy within the boxing world over fudging weight classes (Pacquiao is a champion in the Junior Lightweight class, and de la Hoya in Welterweight and Middleweight classes).

And… perhaps more seriously… and somthing only Zuky (“Open mind and open hand strike”) has noted, this will bethe first time two pop singers will slug it out on pay per view.

… the first truly significant fact I want to draw your attention to regarding the big fight is that, to my knowledge, this will be the first high-profile matchup in which both fighters have also dipped into careers as pop singers. Who wins the battle of cheesy music videos?

And, the times… they are a’changin’:

El Latino de Arkansas? I would have never guessed that there were enough Spanish-speakers in Arkansas to support a weekly newspaper, but I learn something new every day.

* Every once in a while, I try to remember that I have a degree in English Literature.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 November 2008 10:43 am

    Hey, if Idaho can have a Spanish language newspaper, Arkansas sure can.

    In fact, I suggest we set up an exhibition fight between Lou Dobbs and Osama of Colombia in Arkansas. How’s that for summing up the day? : D

  2. 30 November 2008 12:48 pm

    Only if they can both do music videos!

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