Kaukab Siddique Keeps Saying Terrible, Anti-Semitic Stuff on Facebook

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Shutterstock.com

I wish I had never looked at Kaukab Siddique’s Facebook page.

But I couldn’t help myself—I got curious when I saw that the Lincoln University professor was making headlines across the country for remarks that included phrases like “dirty Jewish Zionist thugs.” “Well, that sounds intriguing,” I thought, not really taking it seriously. See, I often forget that people think horrible things about Jews. It’s 2015, for god’s sake, and I rarely encounter blatant anti-Semitism or discrimination due to my being Jewish. And unlike past generations of my family, my life is not significantly more difficult because I am a Jew. It is sometimes socially uncomfortable, and I do sometimes hide the fact that I’m Jewish, but I am not treated like a pariah.

So it’s easy for me to live in a bubble of denial, especially now that I no longer subscribe to publications from the Anti-Defamation League. Read more »

Philly Native Chosen to Lead Ferguson Police Department

 (Source: Glendale Police Department)

(Source: Glendale Police Department)

A Philly native is taking over the police department in Ferguson, Mo., where clashes between police and protesters last year helped set off the “Black Lives Matter movement nationwide..

Andre Anderson, 50, has spent 24 years with the police in Glendale, Arizona, rising to the rank of commander, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Prior to that, though, he served in the Army and grew up in Philadelphia, becoming an amateur boxer long the way.

“Anderson said he takes a lot of pride in having grown up in Philadelphia, a city with a rich boxing tradition. He began training at age 12 and boxed his way through the Army as a formidable amateur,” the Arizona Republic said in a 1999 profile. “After leaving the Army, he moved to Arizona and fought two professional fights, winning both, before his boxing career was shattered in 1988. That is when he was struck by a car while fixing a flat tire along Interstate 10 near Eloy.” Read more »

Obama, in Philly, Calls for Transformation of Criminal Justice System

 

President Obama speaks Tuesday to the NAACP.

President Obama speaks Tuesday to the NAACP. (From the live video feed.)

President Obama called for an overhaul of the criminal justice system Tuesday in Philadelphia, telling the national convention of the NAACP that the current system is skewed by race and wealth.

He said more Americans had come to understand the need for reform ““partly because of cameras, partly because of tragedy, partly because the statistics cannot be denied anymore.”

Obama took the stage in the main hall nearly two hours after his scheduled 3:05 p.m. appearance, and launched quickly into the meat of his speech, rattling off a list of numbers and statistics to illustrate his point that criminal justice system has grown oppressive and costly: Read more »

Obama in Philly Today for NAACP

Photo | Jeff Fusco

President Obama visited Philadelphia last fall to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.Photo | Jeff Fusco

President Obama will be in town today to address the national convention of the NAACP, where he’s expected to outline criminal justice reform proposals. He’ll also travel to The Rittenhouse Hotel for a late-afternoon meeting with senior party officials.

The president arrives at Philadelphia International Airport shortly after 2 p.m., then address the convention shortly after 3 p.m.  He’ll go to the Rittenhouse for the closed-door party meeting at 4:10 p.m., then lift off from the airport at 5:50 p.m. Read more »

Hate Crime Charges Possible in Delaware Confederate Flag Theft?

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Shutterstock.com

Last week, a University of Massachusetts professor advocated in Salon for making it a hate crime to fly the Confederate Flag. This week, New Castle County Police will take another look at the case of three teenagers who are accused of stealing the Stars and Bars from a home in Delaware to determine if the theft of the Confederate flag qualifies as a hate crime.

Last week, Barry Binkley awoke to discover that the Confederate flag he had been flying for 15 years was missing. Not only that, his truck had been vandalized and his boat had “(expletive) u racist” spray-painted on the side. Binkley told the Delaware News Journal that he is not a racist and displayed the flag because it is a symbol that ties him to friends and family in the South, including cousins in North Carolina.

The teenagers arrested for the crime were charged with trespassing, criminal mischief and theft — but not a hate crime. New Castle County Police Officer First Class Tracey Duffy told the News Journal that it doesn’t qualify because a racial slur was not used. Read more »

We Owe Mr. Trump a Big “Thank You”

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Developer Donald Trump displays a copy of his net worth during his announcement that he will seek the Republican nomination for president, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Now, more than ever, I’m a huge fan of Donald Trump.

The guy’s having a tough week, to be sure, but as NBC cuts their ties with The Apprentice host and the GOP tries to avoid eye contact in the hallway, I’ve come around. While he left a little to be desired as a reality TV star and is just plain creepy as a Miss USA overlord, as a presidential candidate, I can finally understand his value.

Read more »

Whitewashing History

affleck confederate slaves

Recently it was revealed Boston-bred actor Ben Affleck asked the producers of the PBS genealogy show Finding Your Roots to omit the fact that his ancestors owned slaves from their broadcast about … his roots. For two seasons, the show has traced the family histories of public figures, something one might assume that Affleck knew when he signed on.

In April, when the story first came to light with the fallout of the Sony email hack, Affleck said that he was “embarrassed” and “didn’t want any television show about my family to include a guy who owned slaves.”

The irony here, of course, is that Affleck’s white privilege allowed him to decide that because the slavery narrative was an inconvenience or an embarrassment to him, he could re-write his own history and do without it harm to his own image. I can’t figure out why anyone would care that his great-great-somebody owned a slave, or why, given his Boston affiliation, this wouldn’t already be readily assumed.

News flash, white people: Some white people owned slaves. Some of those white people may have been members of your family. This is not a reflection on you, nor is it a specific indictment against all white people. These are just facts. Read more »

No More Confederate Flag at Geno’s

 

Geno's Steaks

Photo | Jeff Fusco

A Confederate flag sticker on a motorcycle displayed at Geno’s Steaks was removed after a customer took his complaint public Monday.

Phil Dahl complained this week to Philly.com about the sticker — on a neon-orange motorcycle built for the shop’s late founder, Joey Vento, displayed across the street from from the steak shop. His complaint came after the Charleston massacre renewed national debate over the flag’s symbolism.

“I’ve walked passed this monstrosity for four years now, and I just can’t believe no one has said anything about it,” Dahl told the website. “Maybe that says something about our own perceptions and blind spots to these sorts of things.”

Geno Vento, Joey’s son and current owner of the shop, on Monday had the sticker scraped from the motorcycle’s battery cover, and the motorcycle rotated 180 degrees.

Geno Vento told Philly.com. “The offending image has been removed from the public view.” Read more »

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