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Australia says YES to same-sex marriage


Marriage equality could be legal by Christmas after 61.6% of participants in the voluntary survey approve a change to the law

Marriage equality advocates in Melbourne celebrate as the result of the postal survey is announced.

Marriage equality advocates in Melbourne celebrate as the result of the postal survey is announced. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

By: Paul Karp/UK Guardian

Australia has taken a decisive step towards legislating marriage equality by Christmas after 61.6% of voters in an unprecedented national postal survey approved a change to the law to allow couples of the same sex to marry.

With a turnout of 79.5% the result in the voluntary survey is considered a highly credible reflection of Australian opinion and gives marriage equality advocates enormous momentum to achieve the historic social reform. Australia’s chief statistician, David Kalisch, announced the results at a press conference in Canberra at 10am on Wednesday, revealing 7,817,247 people voted in favour and 4,873,987 voted against.

At a press conference in Canberra, Turnbull said that Australians had “spoken in their millions and they have voted overwhelmingly yes for marriage equality”.

Turnbull said the result was “unequivocal and overwhelming”, implicitly warning conservatives including in his own government that the public are “our masters” and the parliament must now deliver on the result.

“They voted yes for fairness, yes for commitment, yes for love. And now it is up to us here in the parliament of Australia to get on with it, to get on with the job the Australian people asked us to do and get this done,” he said, stressing the law should change before Christmas.

At a rally in Melbourne, the Labor leader, Bill Shorten, said: “What a fabulous day to be an Australian – because in this survey the Australian people have declared overwhelmingly Australia is ready for marriage equality.

“And I just want to make one promise: today we celebrate, tomorrow we legislate,” he said.

Bill Shorten celebrates the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey in Melbourne.
 Bill Shorten celebrates the results of the same-sex marriage postal survey in Melbourne. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

Turnbull, same-sex marriage supporters in Australia’s ruling Liberal-National party Coalition, the Labor opposition, Greens and other cross-bench parties have reached a consensus around a cross-party bill that makes minimalist changes to protect religious freedom without legalizing discrimination by commercial service providers, such as cake makers, as some conservatives in the Coalition government have demanded.

Appearing alongside Turnbull, the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, said the cross-party bill was a “good starting point” but he believed “there is a need for some additional religious protections”, signalling amendments could still be contentious within the government.

The bill will be introduced in to the Senate on Wednesday for debate on Thursday and Shorten has offered the opposition’s support to help “stare down the conservatives seeking to delay marriage equality”.

A bill is expected to pass, with many opponents of marriage equality in parliament promising to respect the result, although parliament may consider amendments. Coalition parliamentarians, who were previously required to vote against marriage equality will now be given a free vote, Labor MPs are almost universally in favour and a majority of crossbenchers will also support the bill.

On Tuesday, Turnbull said the government “would not countenance”legalizing discrimination against same-sex weddings by commercial service providers and warned a rival conservative bill to do so would have “virtually no prospect” of passing parliament.

In a speech after the result Equality Campaign spokesman, Alex Greenwich, said: “Today love has had a landslide victory.”

“Together we have achieved something truly remarkable, a win for fairness and equality, not only for the LGBTI community and our families, but for all Australians,” he said.

Greenwich said the campaign had made more than 1 million  phone calls and knocked 100,000 doors, an “unprecedented” level of support that had exceeded “any campaign in our history”.

“In doing so it has delivered an unequivocal mandate to federal parliament to vote this through by the end of the year.”

With the positive result, Turnbull, a supporter of same-sex marriage leading a party that straddles both liberal and conservative traditions, looks to have finally achieved a win against reactionaries in his party that oppose the social reform.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/nov/2017-11-15T00:54:29/embed.html

Some conservatives have suggested they will put forward their marriage bill in the Coalition party room in two weeks, but senior ministers including Cormann have protected the prime minister’s position by insisting the parliament will choose which bill and amendments to allow.

Same-sex marriage has been banned in Australia since 2004 when the Howard government changed the Marriage Act to define marriage as between a man and a woman. As many comparable countries such as the US and Britain allowed or legislated for same-sex marriage, Australia looked increasingly out of step. After the successful marriage equality referendum in Ireland in May 2015, pressure grew on the Australian government to legislate but the Coalition party room agreed on a national plebiscite instead, although there was no legal requirement to do so.

A crowd celebrates the results of the postal survey in front of the State Library of Victoria Wednesday.
 A crowd celebrates the results of the postal survey in front of the State Library of Victoria Wednesday. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

When Turnbull took the prime ministership from conservative predecessor Tony Abbott. In September 2015, he retained the Coalition’s commitment to hold a national plebiscite on same-sex marriage before changing the law.

Labor, the Greens and other opposition parties blocked the proposed plebiscite in the Senate in November 2016 and August 2017, leading the Turnbull government to launch a $122 million voluntary national postal survey to fulfill its election commitment to give Australians a say.

In a bruising three-month campaign, opponents of marriage equality including the Australian Christian Lobby, and the Catholic and Anglican churches in Sydney, claimed same-sex marriage would have far reaching negative consequences for gender education. Former prime ministers Tony Abbott and John Howard warned that religious freedom and freedom of speech were at risk.

The yes camp’s Equality Campaign combined with moderate Liberals, Labor, the Greens, unions and progressive campaign organisation Get Up to argue that same-sex marriage was a matter of equality and fairness.

The campaign featured everyday Australians, their friends and families, emphasising that the only question was whether LGBTI Australians should be able to marry the one they love.

Despite assertions from Turnbull that the survey would be overwhelmingly respectful , the campaign has been marred by homophobic incidents and campaign material which continued largely unabated despite a special law passed to apply electoral law safeguards to the survey, such as authorization requirements for campaign materials.

The campaign also featured two unsuccessful high court challenges against the expenditure of $122m for the survey, as marriage equality advocates fought to prevent the poll seen as an affront because it determined LGBTI people’s equality before the law by a majoritarian vote.

Public polling throughout the campaign showed consistent support for marriage equality and weekly estimates showed the survey was on-track for a record turnout.

The no campaign took increasingly bizarre turns, with Abbott using an assault that even his attacker said had nothing to do with marriage to rally Australians to his cause, and conservatives attempting to use rapper Macklemore’s performance of his hit Same Love at the rugby league grand final to claim the national campaign they called for had inappropriately politicized Australian institutions.

The cross-party bill will be debated in the Senate on Thursday and the parliamentary sitting week beginning 27 November, with supporters of marriage equality aiming to pass a bill through both houses of parliament before they rise on 7 December.

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THAT GOOGLE MANIFESTO REALLY PUT EXECUTIVES IN A BIND (Google and Women)


Image result for google and women

By: Nitasha Tiku/Wired

A GOOGLE EMPLOYEE’S screed against workplace diversity thrust company executives into a tight spot: Discipline the author and risk criticism that Google is censoring speech, or stand by and inflame concerns that the company does not welcome women, an issue that is already the source of internal debate and a government investigation.

The 10-page missive was posted on an internal discussion board and went viral inside, and outside, the company Friday and Saturday. The document cited purported principles of evolutionary psychology to argue that women make up only 20 percent of Google’s technical staff because they are more interested in people rather than ideas, which the author considers an obstacle to being a good engineer. The author, James Damore, said Google’s liberal leanings and emphasis on training around “unconscious bias” have created an ideological echo chamber that make it difficult to discuss these issues openly inside the company.

Late Monday, Damore told Breitbart that he had been fired. (He confirmed this to WIRED, saying he was “fired for ‘perpetuating gender stereotypes.'”) Also Monday, Google CEO Sundar Pichai told employees that the missive’s author had violated the company’s Code of Conduct, a Google spokesman confirms. In a memo first reported by Recode, Pichai said the author had crossed “the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

The post sparked an internal and external uproar, with many Google employees shedding their traditional deference to the company’s confidentiality agreement to criticize the memo, and their employer, on social media.

Google’s new vice president of diversity and inclusion posted a response late Saturday that underscored the internal tension. “Like many of you, I found that (the post) advanced incorrect assumptions about gender,” wrote Danielle Brown, in a company-wide memo first reported by Gizmodo. At the same time, she added, “building an open, inclusive environment means fostering a culture in which those with alternative views, including different political views, feel safe sharing their opinions.”

Nicole Sanchez, the recently departed head of diversity at GitHub, understands the tension. “I guarantee this is the struggle they have inside the company: people who want to come out really strong against this manifesto and say there isn’t a place for this at Google,” she tells WIRED, while still maintaining “that an opinion shouldn’t jeopardize your job.”

“How do we ride that line that by law you are entitled to your opinions and write whatever you want but the culture we are trying to build does not support these ideas?” says Sanchez. “What you end up getting when something finally comes out is a such a compromise, a Frankenstein monster of a statement. Everyone got what they wanted and no one got everything they wanted.”

The controversial memo landed amid national debates over the limits of free speech and tensions within Silicon Valley over the role of women in tech companies, where most engineers, and top executives, are men. Speeches by political conservatives have been disrupted or blocked on many campuses. At the same time, several prominent venture capitalists have resigned their posts in recent months, following allegations that they harassed employees or entrepreneurs seeking funding. Google itself is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, which says it has found evidence of a gender gap in pay.

The post also drew some supportive comments on discussion boards for Google employees, underscoring that executives may alienate significant numbers of employees – and users – no matter what their response.

Before the firing, activists said Google’s response to the memo would demonstrate the company’s commitment to diversity. “Google can claim they value inclusion but this is a test of whether or not their values actually have any teeth,” Erica Baker, a former Google employee and cofounder of Project Include, told WIRED. “If they choose not to take measure against someone who has gone out of their way to make a large percentage of their coworkers feel excluded, then their inaction will speak much more loudly than their words have.”

Elizabeth Ames, the senior vice president of marketing, alliances, and programs at the Anita Borg Institute, which aims to advance women in technology, said tech companies historically have been reluctant to fire bad actors. “For years whenever anybody stepped forward with sexual harassment allegations, did anybody get fired? Not so much. Now we’re seeing at least some people held to account,” says Ames. She believed the author should have been fired for creating a “very divisive issue” inside the company.

In the memo, Damore took particular aim at Google’s recent emphasis on unconscious bias training, effectively claiming that hiring women and minorities is lowering the bar and he should be free to say that.

Even some Google employees who support the company’s diversity efforts wonder whether the company’s internal documents may have emboldened the memo’s author. Tim Chevalier, a Google engineer, says one internal document for reviewing prospective hires specifies that Google is not lowering the bar by hiring more women. The comment “came off as defensive and conceding ground,” he says.

UPDATED: 6:36 pm PT, August 7. This story has been updated to include Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s memo to employees. UPDATED: 7:02 pm PT, August 7. This story has been further updated to include Damore’s statement to Breitbart that he has been fired. UPDATED: 8:04 pm PT, August 7. WIRED included Damore’s confirmation that he was fired from Google.

Danish priests marry more gay couples every year


Danish priests marry more gay couples every year
Danish television doctor Charlotte Bøving (L) and partner Pernille Lok after their church wedding in May. Photo: John Randeris/Scanpix
The number of gay couples marrying in Danish churches has increased on a yearly basis since the law was changed in 2012.

 

416 same-sex couples have exchanged vows in churches around the country since the law change, according to figures from Statistics Denmark.

During 2012, the first year in which same-sex weddings were allowed, 51 couples were married, compared with 105 in 2016.

The total number of same-sex church weddings has increased every year since the law change came into effect.

Lesbian couples form the largest proportion of the weddings, according to the report.

Gay and lesbian couples have been able to marry in civil ceremonies in Denmark since 1989.

READ ALSO: Denmark maintains positive record on LGBTI rights

Bishop of Copenhagen Peter Skov-Jakobsen, who was at the forefront of the committee that developed the same-sex marriage ritual for the Danish church, told Ritzau that he was glad to see so many taking advantage of the new law.

Bishop Skov-Jakobsen also criticised the tone of the debate on the issue at the time of the law change.

“The tone was strong sometimes – it also got inappropriately strong – but when we look at the figures we can see that the LGBT community has taken to this opportunity,” he said.

The bishop added that only a minority of Danish priests continued to oppose same-sex church marriages.

 

“Priests that do not wish to conduct this type of marriage can be exempted. But the law is fortunately such that if a priest exempts him or herself, the couple will be referred to another priest that will conduct the ceremony,” he said.

“It is always possible to marry in a parish church. Neither the priest nor the parish council can prevent that,” Skov-Jakobsen added.

The differences between Danish marriage rituals for homosexuals and heterosexuals are subtle – the words for ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ are exchanged for ‘partner’, for example.

Priests are also advised to use a biblical text of their choice as the basis for their wedding sermon, as opposed to the traditional use of the story of creation from the book of Genesis.

Latina Vida


By: Bel Hernandez /Latino Magazine

At the age of 17, Cecilia Mota was already on her way to becoming an influential community leader, entrepreneur, radio host, motivational speaker, mentor, and women’s empowerment expert.That was when she was sent to an ad agency to deliver a baseball signed by her famous father, legendary baseball player Manny Mota (then an L.A. Dodger) for a dying patient.

There she met Carmen Hensch, a pioneer in the realm of Hispanic marketing. Hensch would become a lifelong friend and mentor who took her under her wing and taughther the art of creating, positioning and the importance of a public relations campaign.
That training would come in handy in 1997 when Cecilia was appointed as the Executive Director of her father’s Manny Mota International Foundation. She was already married and raising a two-year old. “When the foundation was handed to me I did not know anything about running a non-profit so I took to the internet to learn.” Additionally, she asked her board members for names of persons that could mentor her. She spent hours with them as they talked about grants, grant writing and funding. “I learned that your learning has to be intentional and that is what I teach leaders,” Cecilia relayed. “It is not going to come to you…you have to go find it.”

Soon Cecilia found herself embarking on the most ambitious enterprise of her life so far. In 1999, she traveled back to the Dominican Republic (with her child in tow) for two consecutive years to produce the Manny Mota Celebrity Classic. A three-day event which culminated in a baseball game. She flew in celebrities and sports dignitaries from all over the world, all there to support the mission of the charity organization to raise funds providing educational, health and recreational opportunities for underprivileged youth.

With the support of the president of the Dominican Republic, Cecilia was able to secure over $250,000 in sponsorships. She sought in-kind gifts for the more underprivileged attending the baseball game, and personally asked the president to donate a house as a giveaway. Amused, he laughed and remarked, “You’re brave and bold.” Cecilia recalls, “Hey, if you don’t ask you don’t get. The sky is not the limit for me…because when you are doing it for the good of someone else, you go all out.”

However, she soon found her true calling. Recalling how other women had helped her, she now found the need to pay it forward. It was about this time she began working with the National Latina Business Women’s Association, an organization which is dedicated to the development of women’s business and professional skills through their educational programs, financial workshops, and business referrals and networking. Cecilia dedicated seven years to the organization, working herself up from volunteer to serving three years as the national president.

Sometimes Latinas find themselves confronted with hard decisions when it comes to balancing family life and business. For Cecilia that choice was difficult, but in the end she decided to put her career on hold to help her then-husband launch his business. Unfortunately, the business did not survive and neither did her marriage. “I ended up broke, no home, nada — ni carro, living in one room. My kids and I were the little gypsies in one room.“ But with her parents’ help, Cecilia was able get back on her feet.
She bounced back and became a member of the board of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. But she realized she preferred to work for the CHCC Foundation.“One of my initiatives at the CHCC Foundation was to develop a Latina Woman’s program for the Chamber,” Cecilia recounts. “That is how I met Maria Hernandez, one of the co-founders of Latina Vida.”

When Cecilia resigned from the CHCC Foundation, Hernandez promptly asked her to be fill the position of the executive director at Latina Vida.    Latina Vida was founded by Maria and two friends who came from a corporate background, and saw the lack of Latina diversity in the corporate world. Cecilia began by figuring out strategy, planning, and training on social media.

Rebranding started with a new website, LatinaVida.org. and she has added new programs to the organization’s “Rise To the Top” signature program. “I added the financial track because you can’t tell people, ‘go make more money’ and not teach them how to manage their money or grow their money,” Cecilia informs. “I guess that is why I’m always put into situations where I work structure and figure out what needs to be done,” she states. Sometimes things just fall into place. While promoting Latina Vida, Cecilia was offered the opportunity to host a radio show called Mujeres Y Yo. It airs on http://www.radiolatinoinc.com/ and for her, it’s just another way to continue empowering Latinas. “It’s all about reciprocity,” Cecilia smiles knowingly.

 

Hillary Needs More Reflection


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I am unashamedly a fan of Hillary Clinton.  I have voted for Mrs Clinton three times. In 2008 and twice in 2016.  I have read nearly all of her books and I admire her as individual.  My principle attraction to Mrs Clinton is her intelligence and her fiery demeanor.   She has never been intimidated by men, she looks them in the eye as to say, try me!

She disappeared after her crushing defeat last November.  In the last few months there have been Hillary sightings. and yesterday she re-emerged at  Women for Women International event in New York. and later at  the 100th anniversary gala honoring Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C

The Hillary I loved returned.  Women are under attack by a “Group of Men in Washington DC, from wages to a woman’s body, women are being slammed by men they put in office.

However,  Hillary the 2015-2016 presidential candidate has returned and that’s not a good thing.

At the New York event, she told the moderator Christine Amanpour, If the election took place on October 27th, she would have been our president.  She attributed her surprise loss in the 2016 election to interference by Russian hackers and the actions of FBI Director James B. Comey in the campaign’s homestretch.

While she say’s she takes responsibility for losing, I’m not sure, I believe her.

Was she treated unfairly in one the most unconventional campaigns in history?  Yes.

While the press was tossing softball questions to 45. they threw fast pitches at her.

The Hillary who reluctantly say’s she wrong was present.  The arrogant Hillary, who really didn’t think her using her email server was an issue, avoided press conferences for weeks. A situation she should have gotten in front of dominated her candidacy.

Meanwhile, her opponent and our current president was talking to Nickelodeon and anyone with a camera and microphone .   There are other failures in her candidacy.  However the theme was the Russians and Comey.

From my sofa, I saw the most powerful person in the United States, a person some men in this country fear and others despise .  A person, who is respected the world over, something 45 will never achieve.

“They say things happen for a reason”

   We need a creditable individual in this country. A person of stature. Its very possible citizen Clinton, might be that person who might, return sanity to this country.

From my sofa, I think more reflection is necessary.  Followed by one powerful interview where blame is not assigned. Where she changes everything related to her candidacy  to I

CityFella

 

Suze Orman: Don’t Let Congress Pass Trump’s Budget


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By: Trudy Ring/The Advocate

Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget has alarmed many, with its drastic cuts to health research, the arts, and programs that aid the poor. And one of the most alarmed is out financial guru Suze Orman, who denounced it in a strongly worded Facebook post.

“The budget that was presented this morning targets the poor and literally takes away vital financial help that many people currently need,” Orman wrote. “From subsidies for heating oil for people who can’t afford to pay to heat their residences in the winter to Meals on Wheels just to name two of the more than 60 government agencies and programs that would be entirely defunded.”

Orman noted that she refrained from commenting on politics during the presidential election and has continued to do so since Trump’s inauguration, since the audience for her financial advice comes from the entire political spectrum. But “when I see the budget that was presented this morning it’s hard for someone like me to stay silent,” she added.

The budget proposal, for the fiscal year beginning October 1, covers discretionary spending only, which is just 27 percent of the total federal budget; mandatory spending, The Washington Post explains, “is set by other laws and is often determined by the size of the benefit and the eligible population.” But still, its cuts are deep.

The budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion, paying for that and the infamous border wall by cutting spending for 19 federal agencies, the Post reports. It includes “reductions of more than 20 percent at the Agriculture, Labor, and State departments and of more than 30 percent at the Environmental Protection Agency,” according to the paper.

It would cut funding for the National Institutes of Health, which do extensive research, by 18 percent, and eliminate all arts and cultural spending. In education, programs for teacher training and work-study assistance for poor students would see reduced budgets, with more money going to school vouchers.

Also, it “would slash or abolish programs that have provided low-income Americans with help on virtually all fronts, including affordable housing, banking, weatherizing homes, job training, paying home heating oil bills, and obtaining legal counsel in civil matters,” the Post reports.

Congress generally makes many changes to budgets proposed by presidents, and opposition to Trump’s plan is strong, among Republicans as well as Democrats. “The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told the Post. “We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.”

“I think one of the reasons they’re proposing [big spending cuts] is that they know they won’t ever get through Congress,” added Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. “They know they’d be a disaster for their own party if they did. It makes for a great talking point. It actually fits on a tweet.”

Orman urged her readers to lobby Congress against the Trump budget. “You all deserve a life that is better than what these cuts will leave you with,” she wrote, concluding, in all caps, “HERE IS WHAT I SAY TO THIS BUDGET. DENIED.”

Muslim ban: Japanese and Muslim Americans join forces


Children at the Weill public school in San Francisco pledge allegiance to the American flag in April 1942, prior to the internment of Japanese Americans [Dorothea Lange/Ceative Commons]

Japanese Americans remember discrimination they endured during WWII and say they will defend Muslim Americans.

By:Massoud Hayoun/Al Jazerra

Los Angeles, United States – For Japanese and Muslim Americans embracing a growing relationship in the movement to resist what many consider to be President Donald Trump’s discriminatory policy making, history isn’t going to repeat itself; its going to help inform the present.

The Japanese American community is commemorating a series of anniversaries this year: January 14 was the day, 75 years ago, when then President Franklin D Roosevelt, for whom Trump has reportedly expressed his admiration, issued a proclamation forcing Japanese – as well as Germans and Italians – to register with the Department of Justice. February 19 marks the 75th anniversary of the US’s detention of its Japanese community during the Second World War.

The history behind these dates is preserved with scientific precision in Little Tokyo. At the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, there is a barracks from the Heart Mountain camp in the western state of Wyoming, where many of the 120,000 people of Japanese origin interned during the war were resettled. Unvarnished wood thrown together to form a shack seems to have offered little shelter from the elements.

It was disassembled and moved across two states and 1,751 kilometres, so that people might remember what happened.

Across from the museum is Koyasan Buddhist Temple. There, many Japanese Americans left their belongings before lining up outside, wearing tickets noting their destinations, waiting to be shipped off, first to a temporary holding space and then to camps across the US, museum staff explained. Signs calling for their evacuation were posted down the block on businesses like Fugetsu-Do, a more than 100-year-old bakery that still stands.

In Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo, much of what happened during the Second World War is maintained with great care, so that people might remember what happened.

There’s a political power in memory, many here say; they hope it will prevent another such incident after a member of Trump’s pre-inaugural team, Kansas state secretary Kris Kobach, told the media that the proto-administration had been mulling a registry for “immigrants from Muslim countries”.

‘They were too afraid to speak up. I am not afraid’

Trump, on Friday, signed an executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority nations – six Arab League states and Iran. The ban provoked outrage that continues to manifest at airport protests across the US, but reports of detentions persist.

For years since post-9/11, hate crimes against Americans of Muslim faith, Japanese and Muslim Americans have commemorated these events and also organised for social justice together.

And then in December 2015, following Trump’s campaign pledge of a so-called Muslim ban, members of both communities created a coalition called #VigilantLove.

The coalition continues to organise a series of demonstrations for social justice. On Thursday, they organised a vigil in anticipation of Trump’s executive order on the seven Muslim-majority nations that brought out hundreds of participants.

Tagged for evacution, Salinas California, 1942. [Rusell Lee/ Photograph Collection, Library of Congress/Creative Commons]

“When this happened to our community, we always talk about people who stood up for us. It’s our duty to do the same,” said Kristin Fukushima, 29, managing director for the Little Tokyo Community Council, whose grandparents were interned.

Fukushima referred to the very singular help of the US Quaker community, which was famously among strikingly few non-Japanese Americans who were vocal in its opposition to detention.

Remembering the past is of particular importance to some in the Japanese American community.

“I think the difference this year is: We’ve lost most of the people who remember the camps,” said Kyoko Nakamaru, 36, an activist who participates in #VigilantLove. Nakamaru’s grandmother, who had been interned at Poston War Relocation Center in the southwestern state of Arizona, recently passed away. “They are no longer here to speak for themselves.”

“During their lives they were too afraid to speak up. I am not afraid,” Nakamaru said.

#VigilantLove

At the Day of Remembrance next month, Muslim Americans will be there to help non-Muslim Japanese Americans like Nakamaru remember an infamous time in US history – the memory of which, they hope, will have teeth. There will be at least one Muslim American speaker on the roster, according to Japanese American community leaders organising the event.

With a cross-faith, interethnic team at the helm, one thing alone ties all the #VigilantLove organisers, Sahar Pirzada, 27, one of #VigilantLove’s co-chairs notes. Pirzada is an American whose parents are from Pakistan. They’re “all women,” she said. It’s almost as a retort to prevalent narratives of Asian and Muslim American women in US society. “It says that we’re here and we will lead the resistance,” she added.

Her co-chair, Traci Ishigo, 25, a non-Muslim Japanese American agreed.

“Women from a lot of communities of colour have different, but also shared experiences,” she said. “There are so many experiences to talk about it makes it hard to break it down. We need to consider all experiences and not just those that fit into cookie-cutter narratives.”

Ishigo noted, for example, that Islamophobia is often misinterpreted as being synonymous with anti-Arab or anti-Middle Eastern-ness in the US. “We need to be mindful of how people are experiencing Islamophobia. Black Muslims make up a third of Muslims in this area,” she said.

#VigilantLove started with the Muslim and Japanese American communities, Pirzada and Ishigo say, but it aims to be much broader than those two communities in scope, particularly as they and other social justice activists combat what they call unprecedented social injustice in the time of Trump.

The nexus of the two communities is resounding with people, if Twitter is any metric for success. And it may well be an appropriate metric, since the organisers are careful to note the hashtag in their organisation’s name.

The following tweet – and its image – went viral during the Women’s March on January 21 that drew protesters of all ethnic and faith backgrounds around the world.

ACLU lawyer Mitra Ebadolahi tweeted:

View image on Twitter
The sight of one in the US’s future generations expressing solidarity between Japanese and Muslim Americans recalled for many a dark time in US history and a community experiencing a lot of similar fears in the present.
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