Sapphires protest ‘racist’ cover

racist Hollywood as usual

The original Sapphires have reached across the globe to call on race rights advocates to boycott the US DVD version of the movie made about their lives.

The DVD, due for release in the US on Tuesday, carries a cover relegating the four star Aboriginal characters to the background, while Irish actor Chris O’Dowd – who plays their manager – is featured in the foreground.

The four women – Naomi Mayers, Beverly Briggs, Lois Peeler and Laurel Robinson – who inspired the award-winning film about battling racism and sexism in 1960s and ’70s Australia have launched an angry broadside against the US distributor.

They have written to the powerful lobby group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, asking for support.

”As I’m sure you can appreciate, the treatment of people of colour in Australia mirrored much of the trauma to which people in the United States were subjected, the letter, written by the chairman of the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service  on their behalf, reads.

”That trauma – and much of that treatment – remains alive and well in Australia today, as I know it does in the United States.

”The US cover of the DVD completely misses this point, and in fact reinforces precisely the sort of bigotry that Naomi, Beverly, Lois and Laurel fought so hard against,” Sol Bellear wrote. ”We’re hopeful that the NAACP – with its long and proud history of advocating strongly for the interests of people of colour – will add its significant voice to calls for the DVD cover to be changed.”

Naomi Mayers, who is the chief executive of the Redfern AMS, where Ms Briggs and Ms Robinson also work, said the DVD cover was disrespectful.

”What has upset us is that the DVD cover appears to miss that point [of the film] entirely,” she said. ”It’s disrespectful to the very talented young Aboriginal actors in the film, and it’s disrespectful to us as a group.

”But in particular, it’s disrespectful to women of colour everywhere who have stood up against this sort of thing all their lives,” she said.

”We are very proud of our work with the Sapphires and we are proud of the film. We hope that the US distributors of the DVD stop and think about how their depiction of that work might be received, and that it motivates them to reconsider the cover artwork before the DVD is distributed.”

The US cover image has already prompted outcry on social media and commentators have labelled it racist. O’Dowd called it ”vile”.

The Sapphires, which won 11 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts awards, follows the story of four indigenous women –  played by Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens and Miranda Tapsell – who form a music group and take their show to Vietnam to entertain the troops.

U.S cover version

Australian Cover version



the Irish actor also condemned the U.S version of the dvd cover





Arab Racism in Qatar: They wonder why a chinese couple adopt African Children

An American couple are facing murder charges in Qatar over the death of their young adopted daughter, in a case which lawyers and medical experts in the US say is based on shoddy evidence and poor science.

A campaign has been launched in the US over the arrest of Matthew and Grace Huang in January after the death of their nine-year-old daughter, Gloria, who was adopted from Ghana.

According to the California Innocence Project (CIP), a US-based organisation which works on what it believes to be wrongful prosecutions, the Huangs have been denied bail, and their two other children – also adopted from African countries – have not been allowed to leave the country.

If found guilty, the Huangs could face the death penalty under Qatari law, although there has been an effective moratorium on executions for the last 10 years.

The Qatari public prosecutor’s office was unavailable for comment on the case. The CIP cited Qatari investigative reports which suggested that the couple “bought” their children in order to harvest their organs or conduct medical experiments, and accused them of starving their daughter. The medical examiner told a court that Gloria appeared emaciated.

But a report prepared by an independent pathologist in the US, who specialises in child autopsies, found no solid evidence to support the conclusions of the Qatari medical examiner’s investigation.

“This is a case of faulty science and what appears to be racial and cultural misunderstandings by the Qatari officials about American norms regarding international adoptions,” said a statement from the CIP.







‘Hereditary traits’

People working with the Huangs have also suggested that the case was fuelled by “cultural misunderstandings”.

The Huangs are of Chinese descent, and their three children are from Ghana and Uganda. The CIP said investigative reports wonder why the couple adopted children who were not “good-looking” and did not share their “hereditary traits”.




Where was the MSM on Al Quds Day? MIA.



With the exception of Sun News, & the Jewish Tribune the MSM was MIA. I have not found a single report from any other newspaper or radio or television station. 7 bus loads of fanaticized cultists descend on Queen’s Park, spew hateful rhetoric about Jews & Israel, and the MSM doesn’t think it newsworthy?

The Shia fanatics assembled over 2000 marchers, many of whom were women and children, in defiance of  the permit denial the march organizers received from Queen’s Park. Why isn’t the MSM doing its job and asking why the city granted the Al Quds day organizers a permit to assemble in the municipally administered portion of Queen’s Park? The evidence of childhood hate indoctrination within the Muslim community is reason enough to merit coverage, yet not a word from the MSM.

How can this be? What does the MSM fear? Perhaps a clue can be found in their coverage of the Innocence of Muslims Mohammed Movie protest of a year ago. That demonstration was organized by the same people behind Saturday’s Al Quds hate-fest. While the MSM did show up, they deliberately ignored the blatant anti-Semitism on display at the event. Are they shackled by political correctness? Do they lack the self-awareness necessary to recognize that their day as Media Gatekeepers has ended? Whose agenda do they serve?

Blogwrath and Jonathan Halevi have more on Saturday’s event. Do check out their stories.













When the Patient Is Racist
After too many drinks, the motorcycle enthusiast in his 30s had driven off the side of the road. As one of the doctors-in-training covering trauma that night, I was responsible for his initial physical exam; but it wasn’t going to be easy. He was enormous, his feet hung over the flimsy emergency room gurney and his neck bulged out of the stiff cervical collar. Moreover, he was what the older nurses called a “mean drunk,” so it was with more than a little apprehension that I began palpating and poking.

He glared at me, his eyes filled with loathing, and his thick muscles twitched under my every touch. I moved from his head down to his shoulders and chest, relieved not to have to look in those eyes. But when I pushed against his ribs, feeling for any instability that might signify broken ribs, he shouted and raised one of his massive arms as if to hit me. On his biceps, under the splattered blood, I could make out a brilliant indigo swastika.

I shuddered.

The patient had suffered only broken bones, so after my evaluation I was happy to leave him to the orthopedic surgeons. When I expressed my relief to a colleague, he smiled. “I’m sure it freaked him out to have an Asian woman taking charge of his care,” he said after I had described the patient’s menacing tattoo and threatening reaction to me.

But then my colleague paused. “What you need to do is turn this into a ‘teaching moment,’” he finally said without the slightest hint of irony. “Sit down with the patient and educate him about racism.”

I remembered this colleague’s naïve remark, and the burly patient with the swastika tattoo, when I read an essay by Dr. Sachin H. Jain in a recent issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine on the medical profession’s attitude toward patients who discriminate against doctors.

Since Hippocrates, physicians have embraced the ideal of caring for all patients, regardless of who they might be. While the father of medicine struggled to be open-minded when it came to caring for slaves, doctors more recently have wrestled with caring for patients’ of different races, gender and sexual orientation. In 2000, the American Medical Association codified its opinion on the issue, issuing in its code of ethics a mandate that doctors could not refuse to care for patients based on any “invidious” discriminatory criteria like race or ethnicity.

But what does the doctor do when the patient discriminates?

In his thought-provoking essay, Dr. Jain, an attending physician at the Boston V.A. Medical Center, describes an encounter with a hospitalized patient who is upset over a pharmacy regulation. Frustrated that he cannot obtain his usual type of insulin, the patient turns on Dr. Jain. “You people are so incompetent,” he says. “Why don’t you go back to India?”

The patient’s outburst calls up painful memories for Dr. Jain, who fires back angry retorts as he walks out of the patient’s room, only to regret later what he has done. He hands over the patient’s care to another doctor, but finds when he seeks out the advice and support of colleagues that they are quick to admonish him and even make light of the patient’s behavior. One doctor even urges Dr. Jain to go back to the patient’s room and apologize.

“What are our obligations,” Dr. Jain writes, “when we are the subject of their inhumanity, cruelty or intolerance?”

The essay illustrates the paradox that exists in medicine’s attitude toward race. Doctors are under strict ethical provisions not to refuse patients, and in medical school and during training, they learn to filter their own responses in order to help patients feel safe and secure.

But many extend these lessons in modulating one’s responses to situations where patients make demands and behave in ways that in any other public setting would be considered discriminatory or even racist. One study, for example, revealed that up to almost a third of doctors would, without question, concede to a patient’s demand for physicians of a certain race, ethnicity, gender or religion.

“It’s medicine’s ‘open secret,’” said Kimani Paul-Emile, an associate professor of law at Fordham University who has written extensively on the topic. “The medical profession knows this happens but doesn’t want to talk about it.”

The repercussions of this professional blind eye are most difficult not for doctors, but for nurses, aides and other staff. Unlike physicians who might experience such discrimination on occasion, nonphysician providers and hospital or nursing home workers are in a particularly vulnerable position because they are in constant contact with patients and have less control over policies regarding patient requests. One recent lawsuit involved a hospital that barred a black nurse from caring for or even touching a white patient’s baby, revealing the extent to which patient requests are accommodated. But there is a far larger problem with what sociologists and psychologists refer to as “micro-aggressions,” subtle but crippling insults, indignities and demeaning behavior.

“Nurses and ancillary staff are on the front lines of patient care,” Dr. Jain said. “They feel the effects of our willingness to accept a wide range of behaviors from patients every day.”

The answer, however, isn’t easy. Race and ethnicity appear to exert a tremendous influence on patients’ experience of being ill and their sense of satisfaction with care.  Moreover, several recent studies indicate that a provider’s race, ethnicity, gender and even social class do make a difference. Patients tend to receive better care from providers who are most like them.

Still, the medical profession’s current stance is far from ideal. Ongoing initiatives in medical schools and training programs to increase diversity among the next generation of doctors will likely have an effect; but much more needs to be done to foster open and nuanced discussions of the profession’s attitude toward race and ethnicity and to assess the profession’s at times overly exuberant interpretations of “putting the patient first.”

“There’s something wrong,” Dr. Jain said, “when a person can go to work, be subject to intolerance or abuse and have it be ignored and accepted by colleagues as part of the job.”