Veteran World War III chasers have pinned their hopes for global annihilation on Israel and Iran, but don't count out North Korea.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal talks about going back to college for his Ph.D. in Human Resource Development.
Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton are just two of the civil rights all stars who are weighing in on the tragic death of Trayvon Martin. Each seemingly intent on outdoing the other in ratcheting up the rhetoric to make sure that America gets the message——racism is alive and well and young black men are at serious risk.
As a proviso, it seems likely that race played a role in the Martin tragedy and that the killing warrants a thorough examination at the local and, if needed, federal levels. The delay in arriving at some action regarding George Zimmerman seems inexplicable.
But acknowledging the problematic set of facts in Sanford, Florida does not justify what we are witnessing.
Rev. Jackson went so far as to tell the ” title=”opined” target=”_blank”>opined about this issue when certain Jewish leaders crassly exploited the 2009 shooting at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in the Times)—-it seems to have reached a new height and depth in recent weeks, and is pervasive.
First, let’s look at something that Rev. Jackson chooses to ignore; data.
Other than relying on anecdotal incidents of horror that are, mercifully few and far between, it’s not clear what metrics exist to support the notion that hate against blacks is on the rise. The ” title=”LA County Relations Commission’s Hate Crime Report” target=”_blank”>LA County Relations Commission’s Hate Crime Report is no different in the movement of the trend line. In 1999 the Commission reported 232 hate crimes directed at African Americans in LA County. By 2010 (the last reported year for which data is available),
the number of hate crimes against blacks had dropped to 123 (in a county with nearly 10 million residents), a decline of 46%
. Apparently, the “backlash” and “open season” against African Americans hasn’t reached LA County with a population of some 850,000 potential targets.
The studies that evidence increased tolerance and recognition by Americans of the changed environment are plentiful. That the attitudes of 95 million ” title=”Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects” target=”_blank”>Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects” found that “a majority of blacks believe that life for blacks in the future will be better than now, that most blacks (as do whites) believe that blacks and whites have grown more alike in their standard of living and core values, that 54% of blacks believe that President Obama’s election has improved race relations and that 32% of blacks (in late 2009, well into the Great Recession) rate their personal finances as ‘excellent or good’.”
The hyperbole surrounding the tragedy of Trayvon Martin is understandable and all too predictable. The exaggeration around race relations will, undoubtedly, only increase locally in the weeks ahead as numerous talking heads will analyze where we have come in the twenty years since the 1992 riots.
There is a special toxic brew that results when kvetching by spokesmen for civil rights/human relations organizations (most of whom have a vested interest in portraying a bigoted America that continues to need their help and guidance) combines with a tragedy that has a racial, ethnic, or religious overlay and that blend is put before the media. These spokespersons are treated as if they were academics neutrally analyzing data and the world around them rather than folks with an agenda that presupposes and thrives on the perception of continued inter-group tension (lest they be superfluous). The media loves the hyperbole—-it’s a great lead-in to the 11:00 news and fuels the 24/7 news cycle—the spokespeople love the exposure and seeming relevance—and the viewers and readers are the poorer for it. A portrait of America gets painted and absorbed that does not comport with reality.
Reverends Jackson and Sharpton would do us a favor by cooling it for a bit and adapting their agendas and their rhetoric to the changed world around them.
This season of “Eretz Nehederet,” Israel’s version of “Saturday Night Live,” features a running parody of a Birthright trip to Israel that mocks American Jews for their enthusiasm and naivite (and obesity and JAPpiness, of course) and Israelis for their gold-digging and trigger fingers. Chuckle along:
30 Years After, an Iranian-American Jewish civic organization, applauds the State of California’s vigorous enforcement of the Iran Contracting Act of 2010, authored by Assemblymembers Mike Feuer and Bob Blumenfield. Pursuant to the new law, California recently published a list of 63 corporations barred from bidding on lucrative state contracts due to their continued business with Iran. According to the Financial Times, “California has changed the game on Iran divestment.” Other states should follow suit immediately.
In recent years, various cities and states across the nation have enacted legislation that tightens existing economic sanctions on Iran. These laws complement federal sanctions imposed with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress and the White House. The enactment and implementation of biting sanctions that force corporations to choose to do business either with Iran or with the United States and American municipalities has been a priority for 30 Years After and the Iranian-American Jewish community. In May 2010, members of 30 Years After testified in Sacramento and in Washington D.C. and met with local, state, and national officials in support of legislation that cuts off the Islamic Republic’s access to capital.
As new threats of terrorism from Iran come to light, we are steadfast in our belief that economic and diplomatic efforts are critical to punish Iran for its support of terrorism, end its brutal repression of its citizens, and prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We applaud our local, state, and national leaders, including Assemblymembers Feuer and Blumenfield, for their bold leadership.
Founded in 2007, 30 Years After is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with chapters in Los Angeles and New York, whose mission is to promote the participation and leadership of Iranian-American Jews in American civic, political, and Jewish life.
Hundreds of vehicles around you, the incessant sound of car horns filling the air, and that overwhelming feeling that maybe you shouldn’t have left the house this morning…
Confused? You’re probably in the thick of…
And if you are still in complete and utter shock, here are 10 signs that may help bring you back to reality: