Stories about racism

Miss American 2014: A tale of racism and sexism hand in hand

Though you may not care – and neither do I – on Sunday a “beauty” pageant was held here in the US. These are contests where a panel of judges evaluates a group of women on their looks, talents and answers to random questions. Then one of them is crowned “Miss something”. This one happened to be “Miss America“. As luck would have it, this year for the first time an Indian-American won the pageant. Her name is Nina Davuluri and her parents come from the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Nina, however, was born in the state of New ...

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Zimmerman trial: No justice for the black man

Post civil rights movement America is still coming to grips with the rich ethnic diversity it assimilates. The courtroom pursuits led by six jury members on the State of Florida vs George Zimmerman case are deemed racially motivated by many across the US.  In 1931, nine black homeless people were wrongly charged by the ‘prejudiced’ Alabama court of allegedly raping two white ladies on a railroad tram. This triggered the black community into taking to the streets, backed by the communist party that highlighted its ephemeral presence as a third political force in the US. The court’s verdict that left ...

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Celebrating 95 years: Happy Birthday Nelson Mandela!

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.” – Nelson Mandela. Having lived in Zimbabwe as part of larger Southern African community for more than a year or so, I have found that you cannot remain untouched by the magic of Madiba. Probably one of the most influential icons of African history and a sparkling star of our times, Nelson Mandela is fighting the ultimate battle for his life today, physically. However, his legacy will remain as ...

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Mandela without you, Africa will not be Africa

The world watches with bated breath as Nelson Mandela or Madiba, as he is fondly called, battles against his illness. The great leader redefined courage and freedom, proving that persistent effort is the best weapon to ‘conquer that fear’ of failure that often keeps us from achieving our goals. The fact that Mandela survived 27 years in prison before claiming his greatest political victory is awe-inspiring. Who would have ever imagined that a herd boy from a village on the banks of the Mbashe River would one day change forever the course of his entire nation? Indeed, legends like Mandela are not ...

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Nelson Mandela: What one man’s vision can accomplish

Nelson Mandela (Madiba) is unarguably one of the greatest freedom fighters of our time. With official statements using stronger language everyday to report on his ailing health, it is a time for reflection for the global community as the fulfillment of several causes upheld by Mandela remains ambiguous. What is crystal clear, however, is Mandela’s everlasting influence on how the world will perceive equality, freedom and change for years to come “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  – Nelson Mandela Mandela joined the African National ...

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A Lahori in Perth

Moving is hard – we all know it. Packing, unpacking, settling down in a new place, adjusting to the new neighbourhood and surroundings is all exhausting and takes a significant toll. However all of this is exponentially exacerbated when you have to move to another continent. Those of you who have been reading my blogs will know that I am a ‘Lahori’. Now the true significance of this term can only be understood by a Lahori, but let’s not get side tracked here. To cut the long story short, I moved to Perth a while ago for my Master’s and it has ...

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When even videogames target Muslims, you know you live in an age of hate

I love gaming. We gamers don’t just play games for the sake of venting our frustration on remote control buttons and enjoying the graphics of a particular game; we follow the storylines as well and the characters become idols. Don’t believe me? Consider the example of a cousin of mine who came to meet me after many months. The first thing he did – without any greeting whatsoever – was blurt out, “Arey yaar Zain Bhai, apko pata hai Walking Dead mien Lori mar gayi?” (Oh man, Zain Bhai do you that Lori from Walking Dead died?) It is an obsession, yes and our tech ...

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Our taunts at West Indies: Who is the most racist of them all?

Less than a couple of months ago, a colleague of mine, who is of African American descent, and a Muslim convert, mentioned to me an incident: “You know I was sitting in the mosque for the taraweeh and there was a South Asian woman sitting next to me. While talking on her cellphone, she made some reference which I’m sure was for me ─ ‘kaali’ (black). The funniest of all the things was that she herself was not a shade lighter than me.” Beneath a hearty laugh, I was terribly embarrassed. Almost as a rebound, I explained, “You may have been mistaken, but ...

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My American experience

Before going to the US, I thought that US citizens hate Muslims and Pakistanis and, therefore, considered all of us terrorists. Consequently, I prepared my mind for all the security nightmares that I might have to endure on US soil. However, at the immigration counter of the Washington DC airport, I was amazed when the officer there asked me where I was from and for what purpose I had come to the US. I told him that I was a journalist from Pakistan and was attending a fellowship. “Oh really, you are from Pakistan, Good luck!” he said, while requesting me ...

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Discrimination is not funny

This past year has been a year of travelling. I have been to three countries in Europe, two in the Middle East and two in Asia. The hardest part about travelling? It is not getting accustomed to different kinds of foods or customs that are so alien to my own. In fact, it has nothing to do with getting to know other cultures. The hardest part about travelling is seeing how people view my own race, culture and nationality. I am sure many Pakistanis can relate to this. In fact, on all my trips this year, I travelled with Pakistani friends. ...

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