Stuck Between White Racist Sexist President And White Racist Sexist Candidate

A perfect way to describe the situation for the 2020 election is the notion of choosing “the lesser of two evils.”

Stuck Between White Racist Sexist President And White Racist Sexist Candidate

A perfect way to describe the situation for the 2020 election is the notion of choosing “the lesser of two evils.”

By

Sarah McCrumb

Photo - AP / Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

Disclaimer: every article expressed in our opinions section is that of the writer.

Ever since former Vice President Joe Biden said “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” on the radio, I had this feeling of frustration and despair. To put it bluntly, I never supported Biden, as I do not see him having open dialogues in 2020 events. Biden was silent during the first few months of coronavirus (COVID-19), he is silent on the murders of Black people during the current lockdown, silent on Hong Kong, and many other issues. 

This candidate is nothing more than a symbol of a past, that should remain in the past.  He is not Trump, let me just make that clear but it doesn’t make him any better of a candidate. I was told by an 80-year-old family friend that I should just vote Biden to get President Donald J. Trump out of office. While I know many of us will vote for Biden, I’m frustrated that we’re given candidates who are just the same copy and paste mold. It feels that the Democratic party gave up after Obama, choosing leaders most of us would rather not want.

Biden is the Democratic party’s “safe” vote because he doesn’t stir the pot. So much so that he doesn’t even show up when major events happen in the United States or in the World. More importantly, he is just the same as all other old white men who were in office before the Obama era. I don’t see how “safe” would win against the orange baby we have in office, who is known to be “unsafe”. Especially if “safe” to the Democrats just means nominating a racist and sexual predator who is just more tactful. 

We can’t go from Trump to back to the status quo, nothing will work out in any of our favors. The problem I have with my 80-year-old friend’s view of “anyone but Trump” is that it pretty much means “let’s have someone less bad than Trump in the office, but hey it’s not Trump!”

The problem is made even worse if that somebody is not going to fix the issues like immigration policies, climate crises, and loan forgiveness for students. I don’t want to vote for a man who is going to return us back to “normalcy” when that normalcy has always been sexist, racist, and Islamophobic. 

There’s no doubt that Biden’s former policies did decimate Black communities across the nation. The man spent years opposing integrationist efforts, supporting segregation, and considered segregation a good for Black folk of America. I wonder how it felt for him to work alongside a Black president.

READ MORE:  What A Joe Biden Presidency Means For Muslims

In 1988, he plagiarized his speech and had to drop out as a Democratic nominee. Like Trump he is also known for making things up, like saying he marched in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1994, he was one of the main proponents for the Federal Crime Bill, which went on to seriously harm  Black families and communities. In 2003, Biden supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq, claiming he was “tricked” into support. He apparently forgot that since the 90s he openly called for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. 

A perfect way to describe the situation for the 2020 election is the notion of choosing “the lesser of two evils.” In life we all have to make choices that we would rather not, sometimes both choices are just as bad.

In this election, we are told to vote for the lesser evil, but is Biden an evil or is he more of a disappointing option? We have to think logically about how Biden would act in office compared to Trump. If Trump is kicked out of office, the new president will be handed huge issues. There are many problems with Biden’s morals, but does that mean he can’t run for office? 

As Obama’s VP, he dealt with the economic crisis of 2008. This would mean Biden might have some insight on how to fix the economy, compared to a man who constantly goes bankrupt. 

It’s important to not get caught in making our political leaders our idols. Not only is it shirk to do so, but these leaders are not perfect. I don’t think it is asking for much, when we want a presidential candidate to not have a racist or sexist nature. Nor do I think it’s bad to ask for a leader who can lead some kind of change – someone who can actually listen when Black men are being killed by police officers and instead of sending the troops, they actually try to fix the issue. 

The issue with Biden besides his character, is how he is going to run his office. If the Democratic party wants “normalcy” what kind of normalcy are we going to get? Are detention centers  just going to be forgotten, instead of forming a bill to prevent such actions from ever happening again? Is he going to try to send a bill to congress limiting the rights of the President, so the President can be impeached and not be above the law? After Trump there is no such thing as normalcy – if anything the reign of Trump has shown that the era of just “doing” your job is over. Our nation has serious issues that could potentially boil over to something worse than a riot. 

There is no way I can put trust in a man who really is just the same as the man we have in the office, but with a tad bit more tact. They really are on the same coin. I hoped this election we would be given someone different, someone that was a mash of Bernie Sanders, Ilhan Omar, and Obama who would actually create positive change in our society. 

We proved ourselves by electing powerful women into congress, and the Democratic party turned around to give us Biden. When people say we are stuck between a rock and a hard place, that’s an understatement. 

All I can hope is that Biden is thrown out the window and someone better is ushered in for this 2020 election. Someone who doesn’t try to spy on the Muslim community and ban Muslims from entering the country. Someone who actually listens to Black voices instead of being scared of helping them. Someone who actually forgives all student loan debts or sets something better up. I am dreaming, but it’s better than the choice we have. It’s better than being stuck with the choice of lesser evil and evil. 

At the end of the day they both are shaytan.

About Author

Sarah McCrumb

website: niqab-ch.com  Instagram: physicsniqabtwitter: @physicsniqabi

Police Attack Hijabi Muslim Woman During Chicago Protests

An officer who has yet to be identified is seen attacking a Muslim woman and forcibly removing her scarf.

Police Attack Hijabi Muslim Woman During Chicago Protests

An officer who has yet to be identified is seen attacking a Muslim woman and forcibly removing her scarf.

By

Elizabeth Aziz
Screen grabs from now deleted Twitter video.

June 3, 2020Protests against police brutality erupted in nearly every major American city due to the death of George Floyd. One video which surfaced on Twitter from Saturday’s protests is of a brawl in downtown Chicago involving a woman wearing a purple hijab. An officer who has yet to be identified is seen attacking the woman and forcibly removing her scarf. 

The incident took place at the corner of Washington and Clark St, directly across from Chicago’s City Hall and it’s infamous Picasso statue, a popular attraction for tourists. 

People from around the world took to Twitter to condemn this behavior in solidarity with the victim, many calling for the video to be removed for her privacy.

The video circulating was inaccurately said to have taken place at a Los Angeles protest. Upon further review of the video, it’s evident that the incident happened in Chicago, which isn’t to say that a similar incident didn’t happen in Los Angeles. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time a Chicago police officer has forced the removal of a woman’s veil. In 2016, a Muslim woman sued the Chicago Police Department for ripping off her hijab and niqab and calling her a terrorist. 

The Chicago Police Department is the second largest municipal police department in the United States after the New York Police Department. Founded in 1835, it is one of the world’s oldest modern police forces in operation. The department’s use of force policy specifically states:

 “Force used in response to a person’s lawful exercise of First Amendment rights (e.g., protected speech, lawful demonstrations, observing or filming police activity, or criticizing a Department member or conduct) is prohibited.” 

The officer shown has not yet been identified and we are actively seeking any information leading to his identification so we can seek justice for this young woman. If you know something that could help please reach out.

READ MORE: We Shouldn’t Rely On Trigger Videos To Care About Black Lives

Black Lives Matter Is Not A ‘Feel-Good’ Instagram Challenge

Lazily posting a black screen won’t help save innocent Black lives from being unjustly taken.

Black Lives Matter Is Not A ‘Feel-Good’ Instagram Challenge

Lazily posting a black screen won’t help save innocent Black lives from being unjustly taken.

By

Lamia Rashid
Art - Ameer Al-Khatahtbeh

Disclaimer: every article expressed in our opinions section is that of the writer.

Lazily posting a black screen won’t help save innocent Black lives from being unjustly taken – stop treating the Black Lives Matter movement as your latest “feel-good” Instagram challenge. 

Following the callous homicide of George Floyd and a week of fiery protesting, music industry giants such as Capitol Music Group and Warner Music Group pledged that they, “will not be conducting any business on Tuesday, June 2 in observance of “Blackout Tuesday.”

 

Instead, in a letter posted to their site, music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang state, “it is a day to take a beat for an honest, reflective, and productive conversation about what actions we need to collectively take to support the Black community.” 

Many of us woke up early Tuesday morning confused by this latest “activist” trend: friends and family alike shrouded Instagram with black squares to quite literally participate in “Blackout Tuesday.” 

Please ask yourself, is a stark black background hastily slapped onto our feeds with the caption “#BlackLivesMatter” really fulfilling the serious conversation meant to be held?

A screen-recording, posted to Twitter by activist Kendira Woods, of a scroll through pages and pages of black screens under the #BlackLivesMatter page on Instagram only further proves the harmful ability of solid black screens to clog up critical channels of information and updates on the protests and the movement.

 

Posts of this caliber are now considered the norm in a world where performative activism dominates social media. For those unaware, performative activism is “co-opting social justice movement, rhetoric or stance for personal or economical gain while also being very complicit in the very problem you’re perceiving to absolve.” 

It’s so popular because it’s so easy, right? 

Why take your chances against vicious police retaliation of rubber bullets and tear gas for protesting a system inherently created to place Black people at an advantage when you can post an aesthetically pleasing MLK quote instead?

Why sign petitions calling for the defunding of police or the charge of officers for heinous mistreatment of people of color when you can circulate “heart-warming” videos and pictures of blatantly obvious police propaganda instead? 

Why pick up the phone and call government officials to take consequential action against those who kill Black individuals and leave their bodies to rot in the streets when you can tag ten of your closest friends on some useless Instagram story chain? Oh thank God, good to know that since you’ve been tagged in this chain you’re not a racist! 

The truth of the matter is that it costs us absolutely nothing to click a couple of times and post an eye-catching graphic on our page. It doesn’t cost us our hard-earned money nor precious time all it does is delude you into feeling like you’ve contributed to helping end the century-long oppression of Black people in this country. No matter how much you think you’ve made your feed about “defending” the Black community, you are still selfishly serving yourself. You’re not supposed to “feel good” about uncomfortable and uneasy topics like racism; we don’t talk about it because we’re comfortable. 

It’s not enough anymore to post graphics on Instagram. It’s not enough anymore to just pin a #BlackLivesMatter button on your backpack. It’s not enough anymore to praise people for not rapping the N-word in a song. It was never enough to just do the bare minimum. 

A tweet posted by producer and cinematographer Rodney V. Smith regarding “Blackout Tuesday” reminds us of the grassroots movement’s purpose. “Blackout Tuesday does NOT mean to simply post a black picture and leave social media for the day,” stated Smith, “It means to stop promoting your own stuff for 24 hours, and instead amplify the voices & projects of Black creators, writers, directors, activists and more. pass it on.” 

Taking the lead, streaming services such as Apple Music have suspended features such as the For You page, the Radio, or the Browse section. Instead, subscribers of Apple Music may choose to listen to music already in their library or tune into a live radio station promoting Black artists. 

Photo is of Apple Music

You can properly take part in this blackout too. 

Take some time to shop from this list of Black-owned businesses that are deserving of your money. 

Take some time to watch one of these essential powerful shows or documentaries highlighting racial injustice. 

Take some time to check out this list of resources posted by the Muslim team on how you can better help the cause. 

In the upcoming weeks, another Instagram challenge will rear its ugly head and countless of us will fall for the “feel-good trap.” I only pray we realize that for every black square we post or chain we get tagged in without doing research and hard work behind the screen — that is another Black life we’ve failed to protect.

READ MORE: Dear Non-Black Muslims, Your Silence Is Deadly

Meet Dilshad D. Ali, Journalist And Autism Activist

"Journalism is my career, my autism activism is passion."

Meet Dilshad D. Ali, Journalist And Autism Activist

“Journalism is my career, my autism activism is passion.”

By

Aishah Goumaneh

Art - Shayma Al-shiri

This feature is in partnership with Asian American Journalist Associations’ Muslim American Task Force with the mission to uplift Muslim community members. 

Meet the journalist who serves the Muslim community for a great initiative. Dilshad D. Ali is a first-generation Virginia native writer, and autism awareness activist who studied journalism at the University of Maryland. 

Dilshad is known for her work as an editor for Haute Hijab, a modest fashion wear company, and the activism work she does with MUHSEN and Virginia Autism Project

MUHSEN is a nonprofit serving Muslim children and adults with any intellectual, mental, or physical disability. The organization was co-founded by Imam Omar Suleiman, a prominent Muslim scholar who saw the need within the community. 

Dilshad has worked for autism advocacy for 16 years and has dedicated her work to it.

Muslim had the opportunity to interview Dilshad to know more about the work she does for the Muslim community and how it helps at a greater scale.  

You have many careers under your belt, journalist, editor, and writer. Do you feel as if they are all connected somehow?  

Yeah absolutely. Journalism is a whole body of work. The way it has evolved from where I started to where I am now encompasses everything. Whether you’re a writer, or an editor, or a reporter, or an op-ed writer, it is under the body of work of journalism. Journalism itself is where you learn the fundamentals of reporting, broadcasting, radio work etc, all of this stuff is very technical.  

I understand that you work with autistic people, was this always something you wanted to do or was it a sudden realization?  

No, it wasn’t something I always wanted to do. When I got married and I had children my first son who was born, he was diagnosed with autism when he was 3. That was 16 years ago. So when you have a child with disabilities you are thrust into that world. It was something I had no knowledge of beforehand, and I never thought about it. But he was my son, and this is the world I live in now. I am going to advocate for him and help him advocate for himself. Journalism is my career, my autism activism is passion. 

Can you tell me more about the work you do with the Virginia Autism Project?  

This Virginia based group is something I have been involved in for as long as I lived in Virginia, which is about 16 years. The Virginia Autism Project lobbies state legislators for autism health insurance bills and other projects. We work on having meetings with representatives and state senators and talk about autism insurance bills, and hope to talk about medicaid waivers and funding for autism programs at public or private schools.

I was appointed to the Virginia autism council by the governor at the time. I was nominated by a Muslim who worked for the governor and I served on the council for four years. 

Can you tell me about MUHSEN? 

I joined MUHSEN about five to six years ago, from the time they were created. The co-founder of MUHSEN asked me to join the advisory board. As an advisory board member, our job is to help guide and give advice to muslim groups and help with fundraising, and sharing knowledge. Whether this be media work, marketing, fundraising, etc.  

Can families reach out to these organizations for help, and if so how are they able to receive help? 

Well with MUHSEN families can definitely reach out, that is the whole point of what they do. All the different programs revolve on how to help individuals with disabilities. You can start by going to their website and look at their programs based on where you are. They even have online programming. MUHSEN helps low-income families who are struggling to put food on the table as well. There is an application that can be filled so they can get funding. There are autism society chapters across the country that people can reach out to as well.     

I have two younger siblings with autism, I was wondering what piece of advice can you give families that have autistic family members?  

It depends on where you are on your journey. Are you diagnosed, or is a family member? The whole idea of it is embracing it for what it is. Autism is different from one person to the next. We need to be inclusive of each other in our abilities and also with our feelings. You guys need to have a lot of patience with each other. Be understanding of the challenges they have. Being annoyed, feeling grief is normal.   

What do you think bringing autism awareness to the Muslim community will bring?  

It can only bring good. It allows for more understanding and more inclusivity. We want to be acknowledged and included. We can’t be included all the time because of the challenges we face, but acknowledge those challenges. You never want to be forgotten, the simple act of calling and checking on you is the best that you can do. It all means something. There is only stuff to gain by being inclusive to families with disabilities. Everyone has complications, the more patient we are with each other, it can only be a good thing.  

To learn more about Dilshad and her work, be sure to follow her on Twitter.

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About AAJA’s Muslim American Task Force

The Asian American Journalists Association’s mission is to ensure accurate and fair coverage of AAPI communities and, more broadly, communities of color. More than 60 percent of the world’s Muslim population is in Asia and, as such, AAJA created a task force to develop resources for journalists covering Muslim/Muslim American communities and ongoing changes to U.S. immigration policies. The task force seeks to improve coverage of Muslim American issues and serve as a resource to journalists covering Muslim American communities. Learn more at aaja.org.