White and Yellow: Overcoming Racism

By Grace Ji-Sun Kim

 

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I was heading home from speaking at the Presbyterian Church in Canada, Synod of British Columbia meeting when a short incident on the plane ended a rather wonderful and fruitful trip on a sore note.  It was a long flight home from Vancouver to Philadelphia.  My eleven year old daughter, Elisabeth, and I had to get up at 5 am to catch the early morning flight back home.  We left Vancouver around 7 am, transferring in Dallas to get to Philadelphia around 9 pm. It would be another hour’s drive before we got home.

On the flight from Dallas to Philadelphia, I was seated in the second to the last row with Elisabeth.  There was an elderly white couple seated behind us in the last row of the plane. I have traveled enough times by plane to know the etiquette of deplaning. The first rows begin to move down the aisle, and everyone else waits their turn to follow them. It is important that this is a unique situation. There are no choices. There is only one way out for everyone, unlike lines at a supermarket or doors in a sanctuary.

One person violated this rule when the plane opened its doors in Philadelphia due to more than thoughtlessness or rudeness. Thoughtlessness is based on oversight. Rudeness is asserting oneself in a situation just to feel a momentary state of power over another. This case was more hurtful in that it invoked the notion that this person was fundamentally better than us.

As we got up from our seats and stood in place to enter the aisle, the white woman behind me stood next to me in the aisle and was determined to gain the place in the line ahead of me. Elisabeth was standing by her seat in the row beside me, and the woman’s husband was standing behind us in the aisle.

We stood a long time, as it seemed to take longer than usual for the passengers ahead of us to file out of the passengers’ cabin.  When it became closer for our row to exit, the elderly woman beside me started walking ahead and somehow got three rows in front of us.  I am not sure how she managed that, but she did, leaving her husband behind us. So far, we have simple rudeness.

As she left the plane, she was about eighteen passengers ahead of me on the ramp.  So, when it was my turn to walk out, I asked her husband if he wanted to go ahead of us, and he politely said, “Please go ahead.” So, my daughter and I stepped from the passenger cabin.

As we passed the elderly woman on the terminal ramp, she had an angry look on her face as my daughter and I emerged from the door ahead of her husband.  She was waiting for her husband in disgust.  Her displeasure was written on her face, and as we walked past her, she said aloud to her husband, “I can’t believe you allowed the Chinese to get ahead of you!”

 

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UK: Muslim political candidate rejects non-Muslims to join

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The Muslim Issue

Labour Party embroiled in race row after candidate told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected

By Emily Andrews

Elaina Cohen 

Row: Elaina Cohen, pictured in 2001, claims she was told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected as a Labour candidate in Birmingham

The Labour Party has become embroiled in a race row after a prospective female councillor was allegedly told she was ‘too white and Jewish’ to be selected.

Elaina Cohen claims that Labour councillor Mahmood Hussain said he would not support her application for an inner-city ward because ‘my Muslim members don’t want you because you are Jewish’.

Mrs Cohen, 50, has made an official complaint about the alleged remarks made by Mr Hussain, a Muslim and former lord mayor of Birmingham.

She said: ‘I am shocked and upset that a member of the Labour Party in this day and age could even think…

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Can new mobile apps for hailing cabs stop taxi discrimination in New York City?

Hailing a New York City cab while black may get a little easier in the coming days, if new technologies now being released have the expected impact.

Racial discrimination by taxi drivers is a phenomenon that has long plagued New York City cab seekers of color, many longtime residents and visitors say.

Even famous actor Danny Glover has had what many people of color describe as a common experience. The movie star caused a stir more than a decade ago when he filed a complaint with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), claiming in part that he had been denied rides by several of the city’s yellow cab drivers because of his race.

“I was so angry,” he said in a press conference to discuss the incident. “The fact that my daughter’s here to go to school, it really upsets me that if she’s standing on the corner waiting to get a cab, she can’t get a cab. It happens to her, it happens to countless people every single day.”

All of that could change, however, with the advent of new mobile apps that seek to streamline the process of hailing a cab, while rendering drivers essentially colorblind regarding the race of potential passengers.

 

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French Jews critical of pro-Palestinian events

Pro-Palestinian campaigns have become a regular occurrence in France, which recently granted honorary citizenship to the assassin of Israeli Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, and celebrated members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. These events have drawn heavy criticism from the Jewish community, who see them as justifying terrorism.