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The White Default is where White Americans see themselves as the default, as normal, neutral, objective, as blah, as blank, as nothing special.
It is where they think they speak “without an accent” and do not have their own foods, holidays, heroes, music and neighbourhoods like everyone else. The word “ethnic” is the shadow cast by the White Default.
It is where White History Month is the month that never ends.
It is where White American ethnic studies becomes “English” and “history” at high school.
It is where they think they have no culture – and yet think it is a model for the whole world, “universal”, what history has been leading up to.
It is where Arabs “preserved” Greek learning and the Chinese made “contributions” like the compass and gunpowder.
It is where they are the Automatic Good…
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SAULT STE. MARIE – It appears some would like nothing better than to sink female-only swims, recently launched at the Sault Ste. Marie YMCA.
Critics charge the concept, geared to cultures and religions that forbid mixed-gender pool outings, is everything from sexist to an attempt by Muslims to bring in Sharia law via the back door.
Kim Caruso is not amused. The YMCA CEO has shouldered a number of e-mails, phone calls and face-to-face encounters with opponents of the Sunday afternoon, one-hour swims, which debuted earlier this month.
Complaints began coming in as soon as The Sault Star and other local media profiled the event weeks ago. More anger erupted following a more recent television report, which aired Wednesday and Thursday.
Caruso began receiving e-mails early Wednesday evening while the broadcast was still in progress, and her office phone began to ring following the noon report Thursday.
A male caller was civil, while a female screamed through the line.
“I thanked her very much and hung up,” Caruso said. “I put an end to the conversation because it wasn’t going to get anywhere.”
Then there’s e-mails.
“Why did you cave in to these people? What do they contribute to this community besides nothing?” one e-mail received Tuesday night read, in part.
“I don’t want to give up anything to these third-world backward thinking people just because of their religious (or cult) beliefs. You have opened up a can of worms … You make me sick. You are nothing but a weak money grabbing bunch of panderers. The silent majority will speak out on this I’m sure.”
Another read, in part:
“You are pushing women back into the dark ages when we had to fight for equality. When my family came to canada they assimilated and became canadians . What’s next Sharia’s Law or whatever its called. I am a Canadian and I want my grandchildren to be raise as Canadian. Please don’t start that crap over here.”
Caruso said she expected disagreeable feedback, but concedes she’s somewhat shocked at the tenor of some responses, most of which have come from women.
There have been calls for an urgent debate in the Dutch parliament about the integration of Muslim immigrants amid claims that one area of The Hague, known locally as “the Sharia triangle”, is being run by a form of unofficial Sharia police.
The claims relate to the district of Schilderswijk, about two kilometres from the city centre, where an almost entirely Muslim population of some 5,000 people surrounds the El Islam mosque, fuelling criticism that the government has failed to ensure a proper ethnic mix in schools and local housing. One recent investigation, in which local people were extensively interviewed, concluded that Schilderswijk had become “orthodox Muslim territory” which was now largely ignored by the city authorities, by politicians and even by the police, on the grounds that it had become self-regulating.
The investigation found that orthodox Muslims had become so dominant that they were dictating what people in the neighbourhood wore and how they behaved.
“The norms of the majority are beginning to take over,” it said.
In the case of women, dress was a particular issue. One woman told how her daughter had been approached and told her short skirt was inappropriate, while her son had been called a “kaffir” – a racist term formerly used in colonial South Africa to refer to a black person – for smoking.
A youth who had previously been involved in local gangs said that criminality had dropped off, not because of the police, but because he and his friends were “afraid of the wrath of Allah”.
Another man said he felt he was gradually being driven out of his home because he had a dog, and many traditional Muslims tended not to keep or favour dogs.