Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Black Professor and Da White Cop
I, like many other so-called minorities, am very distrubed by the arrest of Professor Henry Louis "Skippy" Gates, Jr. Maybe I should not be. Maybe I should put on my rosy-colored glasses and act as if we are now living in a color blind society. Maybe I should forget that there is still injustice in American society. Maybe I, as a Muslim, should not concern myself with such issues that DO affect my life as being a Puerto Rican and a Muslim. Maybe we do live in a post-racial society. Hey, it can't be that bad if we have a Black president, right? Maybe it is right and justified for a policeman to arrest a man who who was just a little perturbed by the officer's inquiries into his presence at his own residence. Maybe I should not take sides and be a bit more reserved and just "wait till all the facts come out." Maybe I should shut up and be a good citizen because cops are just trying to make us safe and secure (except of course if you are a black man who can't get into his residence). Maybe I should just assimilate into the Muslim mainstream that is trying to fit in with the value of the middle class.
Khalil Al-Puerto Rikani
Clarkville, TN


  1. Ibrahim Abdullah Al BoriqeeTue Jul 28, 03:54:00 PM

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
    Ya akhi, I do not think that it matters whether he was black, hispanic or any other ethnic group in america. I think what matters is the injustice of it. I too am of a socalled minority in America. Al Hamdulillah, I made Hijrah to a country where ethnic bigotry is not as in your face as it is in America. Of course you and others may wish to disagree. On that point but I live here and am exposed to the every day life here. That aside I really would like to know what you mean by "assimilating into the Muslim mainstream"? Maybe I misunderstood that so I will with hold any comment on that.
    Ma Salaam,
    Ibrahim Abdullah Al Boriqee

  2. Wa alikum assalamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    Definitely is is injustice no matter what background the individual may have come from. Perhaps you missed my point. I was not trying to saying that it is just or unjust. What I feel is that there is a history of racism and discrimination particulary against people of color in the United States. Do you not agree? And I was making the point that certain attitudes against people of color from police have not been totally resolved in American society as of yet.

    As far as my point on the Muslim mainstream, I was refering to the majority of Muslim in the US who are watering down their Islam and just accepting the values of the middle to upper classes of the US. Such values make us numb to injustices and many based upon anti-Islamic values such as materialism.

    About Kuwait and other Gulf countries I might argree that racism is even worse there because (as in Latin America) there are people denying that they are black. They may just be a generation or two removed from slavery and only several generations removed from Africa. The slave trade from East Africa to the Gulf States brought in many Black Africans in the 19th Century.

  3. Ibrahim Abdullah Al BoriqeeSun Aug 02, 07:28:00 AM

    As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
    Jazaakallahu Khair for the clarification akhi. But I think you may have misread my statement regarding the GCC. As for discrimination due to skin color (racism cannot exist as there is only one human race) being worse in Latin America I cannot in any way agree with you. No one ever denies that they are black. They just do not look at color the way those "American" fro the USA look at it. Akhi, I mean no offense to you or other "hispanics" who were not raised as such. Your upbringing and mine are very different. Latin Americans who are from Latin America look at skin color very differently than those from the USA. The issue with Latin Americans most often is not skin color but nationalism and social position. You may deny this but it is a matter of fact. The same can be said for here in the GCC. So here is my question to you. When does a person stop being "hispanic american" and become American? Is it your name that make your ethnicity or is the amount of generations you family has been in a region? If your name is enough to make you a certain ethnicity then that would make a good 1/4 of the world "hispanic" since many countries that were settled by the Portuguese and Spaniards still have large populations that utilize Spanish names. Remember akhi, civilizations rise and fall throughout history. When did the Visigoth stop become Eastern European or Spaniards and French for that matter? Europeans as well as all ethnic groups have a combination of many different ethnicities. I believe that the is with so called racism is not that we should constantly be reminded or even try to forget that it exist, instead we should move on and accept that we are all Human. Idealistic as it sounds we know that we are all descendants of Adam and Eve. I am not naive enough to believe that everyone will just hold hands and stop with their ignorance. What I find sad is that people tend to use it as an excuse to succeed in life. As for myself and most Latin American from Latin America having been raise not as an "American" but in the same fashion as I would have had I spent ALL of my childhood in Puerto Rico and not just half; I learned that no Puerto Rican is "white, black, red, orange, yellow, etc." because we carry the genes of the whole world.
    Ma salaam
    Ibrahim Abdullah AL Boriqee