Connect with us


Ethnicity, terrorism and me: When will we start scrutinizing white Americans’ friends, families and places of worship?




As an American, I have watched the news of mass shootings with horror and utter sadness. As both a member of the South Asian community and former intelligence officer and operative, these terrorist attacks have re-enforced what I see as a blatant double-standard amongst communities.

Had the shooters been South Asian or Arab or Muslim — which is to say, darker or other — undoubtedly a nexus to terrorism would’ve been immediately assumed, and any place they belonged to, including their houses of worship, would’ve been accused of contributing to their actions. We, as people of color, understand that the onus is on us to prove our loyalty by helping find those within our community who are, for lack of a better word, terrorists.

We must apply the same standard to the communities that these white terrorists belonged to. This standard should be applied not just for fairness, but because the best way to garner actionable intelligence is when a community helps law enforcement. As such, we must remind the communities that these killers belong to that their continued silence keeps American from being safe.

With our country engaged in a Global War on Terrorism since the attacks of 9/11, my community has far too often had to remind our fellow Americans that “not all Muslims are terrorists.” In the wake of an attack, the accusation is always that we somehow contributed to the radicalization of the perpetrator; we would spend large blocks of time talking about our allegiance to our country and to peace.

In the days, months and years following 9/11, New York City taxi drivers, many who were South Asian and Middle Eastern, took to displaying American flags in their taxis. Riding in a cab, you could see and feel the worry the drivers felt of being accused of being a terrorist and how that flag became a way of saying “we’re good guys, not terrorists.”
This was no empty worry; in a post-9/11 America attacks against South Asians, Arabs, Muslims and even Sikhs climbed.

But it wasn’t just thugs that targeted people of color, it was law enforcement and our intelligence community that considered infiltration of our communities and intelligence collection on us as a matter of national security. In fact, the NYPD, with the help of the CIA, aggressively monitored NYC mosques, looking for any sign of terrorists planning the next big attack.

Our comfort and privacy took a back seat to the safety of our nation. Who were we to complain? After all, if we had nothing to hide why would we protest surveillance to stop the next 9/11 attack?
After every jihadi attack, members of the Muslim and South Asian community have been quick to unequivocally condemn the evil actions of a minority group from our community, and to promise to help root out evildoers from within.

But after the latest attacks, we’ve seen white legislators blame video games, social media, the mainstream media, Democrats and Socialists — anything that shows that they were not part of their community. In fact, even listening to President Trump condemn racism and white supremacy, one felt as if he were being forced to read those words.

As an American who has served in the defense of this country for the last 13 years, I understand the threat posed by radicalized Islamists and wholeheartedly endorse proactive efforts to identify members of these cells and detect and thwart their plots. I understand doing so meant looking within and having some very difficult conversations and even actions to include activities in other countries using everything from covert actions to our military might.
During that time, I have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with white colleagues as we tried to find objective ways to look together for a needle in a haystack in my community.

So now as we see three young white men who have committed acts of domestic terrorism, should we not expect the same from their community?

My community understands the fear of being accused of aiding terrorism; it is why many of us actively support law enforcement in rooting out terrorism. I wholeheartedly believe that it is our willing and active participation in the defense of our homeland that has helped keep this country safe. I think we should expect the same from the white communities from which these terrorists hailed.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Trump accuses New York Times of going on a ‘racism witch hunt’





Президент Трамп продолжил свое нападение на «проваливающуюся Нью-Йорк Таймс» в начале воскресенья, заявив, что Серая Леди участвует в «Охоте на ведьм расизма».

«Плохое« Нью-Йорк Таймс », в одном из самых разрушительных изображений плохой журналистики в истории, поймано локером, что они переходят от Фальшивого Русского Сговора (Отчет Мюллера и его показания были полной катастрофой) к Расовая охота на ведьм », – сказал Трамп в Твиттере.

«Журналистика достигла нового минимума в истории нашей страны. Это не более чем злая пропагандистская машина для Демократической партии. Репортаж настолько ложный, предвзятый и злой, что теперь стал очень больной шуткой … Но публика в курсе! », – добавил он.

Президент последовал за этим взрывом с жалобой на число его опросов.

«Со всем, что достигла эта администрация, подумайте, какими были бы мои номера опросов, если бы у нас были честные СМИ, которых у нас нет!», – сказал президент.

Трамп использовал Twitter все выходные, чтобы привлечь внимание к просочившимся комментариям от исполнительного редактора «Таймс» Дина Баке, который обратился к сотрудникам на собрании ратуши в понедельник, и запись его замечаний была передана Слэйту.

Баке говорил о выходе из расследования Мюллера «чуть-чуть плоскостопия», но затем газета перешла и начала писать о Трампе и расе.

«И я думаю, что история изменилась. Многие вещи, о которых мы говорим, начали появляться примерно шесть или семь недель назад », – сказал он.

«Как мы покрываем Америку, которая стала настолько разделенной Дональдом Трампом? Как мы справляемся со всеми вещами, о которых вы все говорите? Как мы вдумчиво пишем о гонке, чего мы долго не делали? », – продолжил редактор.

Консерваторы ухватились за комментарии Баке, предполагая, что «Таймс» сознательно пытается представить Трампа расистом в заранее определенной сюжетной линии, теперь, когда расследование по России было завершено.

«Еда на вынос? Нью-Йорк Таймс заявляет, что заранее разрабатывает повествование о любых естественных событиях, происходящих в природе, и планирует формировать все естественные события, происходящие в природе, так, чтобы о них сообщалось в контексте расизма. Это то, что, по их мнению, хотят их читатели », – написал ведущий« Full Measure »Шэрил Аткиссон, чья программа транслируется на консервативных телеканалах Sinclair.

Трамп ретвитнул Аткиссону в субботу, добавив, «такой позор».

Президент также ретвитнул вашингтонского экзаменатора Байрона Йорка, который задумался над тем, должна ли публика «по-прежнему рассматривать« Таймс »как выход новостей»? Или как что-то еще?

Президент отдыхал на своем курорте в Бедминстере, штат Нью-Джерси, более недели и вернулся в Вашингтон позже в воскресенье.


Continue Reading


Appeals Court Revives Sarah Palin’s Defamation Lawsuit Against ‘The New York Times’




sarah palin

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a lower court was wrong to dismiss former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s defamation lawsuit against The New York Times over an editorial linking her to a 2011 mass shooting.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the case back to a lower court, saying her case against the newspaper “plausibly states a claim for defamation and may proceed to full discovery.”

Times spokesperson Danielle Rhoades Ha tells NPR that “we are disappointed in the decision and intend to continue to defend the action vigorously.”

The Times editorial, published in 2017, suggested that materials distributed by Palin’s political action committee played a role in inciting a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six people and seriously wounded Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The PAC had distributed a map with superimposed crosshairs over some Democratic congressional districts that could be challenged in future elections.

The Times corrected the editorial two days later, saying that “no such link was established” between the political rhetoric and the shooting.

Palin, who was John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential race, swiftly sued the Times for defamation.
Several months later, a federal judge in New York dismissed her lawsuit. As NPR reported, U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff said the items put forward by Palin’s lawyers as proof of the Times’ ill will “consists either of gross supposition or of evidence so weak that, even together, these items cannot support the high degree of particularized proof” needed to move forward.

Palin appealed. And on Tuesday, the three-judge panel said the lower court made a mistake.

“This case is ultimately about the First Amendment, but the subject matter implicated in this appeal is far less dramatic: rules of procedure and pleading standards,” the judges wrote.

They said the lower court used an “unusual” procedure to assess the validity of arguments put forth by Palin’s legal team. It held a special hearing and then used facts from that hearing to dismiss the case. That was a mistake, the appeals court said.

Even beyond the procedural irregularity, the opinion said, Palin’s case against the Times “states a plausible claim for relief.”

The appellate court judges stressed that the burden on Palin’s legal team to actually prove her claim is high — it must prove with “clear and convincing evidence” that the author of the editorial “acted with actual malice.” But the judges said that Palin had a plausible enough case to move forward.

As to the actual merits of Palin’s defamation case, that will be up to a lower court to decide.


Continue Reading


10 Social Security Figures Every Worker Should Know





Social Security is our nation’s most successful social program, at least in the words of presidential hopeful, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — and the data certainly backs up this statement. After all, more than 63 million people each month, 70% of which are retired workers, are receiving a monthly benefit check.

But as you may know, it’s also a program that most workers generally misunderstand. Just take a gander at any Social Security survey for confirmation. If you’re currently in the workforce and expect to receive a Social Security benefit when you retire, here are 10 figures you need to know.

1. $1 trillion in revenue per year
First of all, you should understand just how massive the Social Security program has become. Last year, Social Security generated $1 trillion in annual revenue for the first time in its history, with the bulk of this income ($885 billion) deriving from the 12.4% payroll tax on earned income. The remainder came from the taxation of Social Security benefits (which I’ll touch on a bit later on), and interest income earned on the program’s nearly $2.9 trillion in asset reserves. These asset reserves are invested in special-issue federal bonds that earn interest.

2. 22.1 million people kept out of poverty
Social Security has proven to be an incredibly effective tool at keeping seniors, as well as the long-term disabled, out of poverty. An analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that 22.1 million people were being kept out of poverty each year solely as a result of their Social Security payout, including over 15 million retired workers. Without a monthly Social Security payout, the elderly poverty rate would more than quadruple to over 40%.

3. Your full retirement age (probably 67)
It’s also imperative that workers know their full retirement age (FRA). Your full retirement age is the age at which the Social Security Administration deems you eligible to receive 100% of your monthly benefit, as determined by your birth year. Claiming benefits before your FRA means accepting a permanent reduction to your monthly payout, whereas claiming after your FRA can actually increase your monthly benefit above 100%. Most future retirees will have an FRA of 67 years, although you can find your unique full retirement age with this handy Social Security Administration table.

4. $1,471 average monthly benefit
You should understand that Social Security isn’t going to have you rolling in the dough. The average retired worker was bringing home $1,470.83 a month, as of June 2019. Although this works out to more than the federal poverty level on an annual basis, the grand total for a full year is “only” $17,650, when rounded. As you’ll see in the next point, it’s not designed to be a primary source of income.

5. 40% is the expected wage/salary replacement level
According to the Social Security Administration, your retired worker payout is designed to replace about 40% of your working wages or salary. Although this percentage could be a bit higher for lower lifetime income workers, and lower for more well-to-do workers, the point is that Social Security benefits aren’t expected to be more than a secondary source of income. In other words, Social Security income doesn’t take the place of your need to save and invest for the future.

6. 62% of retired workers lean on their payout for at least half of their income
As you probably guessed, few seniors actually follow the guideline on replacement wages. The Social Security Administration found that 62% of retired workers lean on the program to supply at least half of their monthly income, with 34% reliant on Social Security for virtually all of their income (90%-plus). As you’ll see in an upcoming figure, overreliance on Social Security for your monthly income can be dangerous.

7. 4% of retired workers claim Social Security at age 70
Retired worker benefits can be claimed at age 62, or any point thereafter, with benefits growing by approximately 8% per year for each year that an individual holds off on taking their payout, up until age 70. Despite this dangling carrot of an incentive, a majority of retired workers claim benefits early (at or before age 64), thereby permanently reducing their monthly payout to less than 100%. Meanwhile, only 4% of retired workers wait as long as possible (age 70) to maximize their monthly payout. Interestingly enough, a recent study found age 70 to be the single best age to take Social Security benefits, albeit there’s still no one-size-fits-all claiming age for everyone.

8. About half of all senior households pay federal tax on their benefits
Ready or not, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be paying federal tax on a portion of your Social Security benefits. If your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), plus one-half of your Social Security benefits, exceeds $25,000, or $32,000 if you’re a couple filing jointly, you can be taxed on up to half of your benefits at the federal ordinary income rate. Further, using the same MAGI plus one-half benefits formula above, if you’re above $34,000 as a single filer, or $44,000 as a couple filing jointly, up to 85% of you benefits could be subject to federal taxation. Today, around half of all senior households owe tax on their benefits, according to The Senior Citizens League.

9. 13 states tax Social Security benefits
Here’s the “but wait, there’s more” moment. In addition to federal taxation, 13 states also tax Social Security benefits to some varied degree. Quite a few offer very generous income exemption levels, such as Missouri, where a single filer and couple can earn up to $85,000 and $100,000, respectively, before facing any state-level tax on their Social Security benefits. Even states that have mirrored the federal tax schedule are becoming a bit tax-friendlier. Nevertheless, if you live in one of these 13 states, you could be hit with double taxation on your Social Security payout.

10. 2035 is when the program could exhaust its asset reserves
Lastly, as promised, being overly reliant on Social Security could come back to haunt you. The newest annual Social Security Board of Trustees report estimates that the program’s nearly $2.9 trillion in asset reserves will be completely exhausted by 2035, with a number of demographic changes resulting in larger net-cash outflows with each passing year. Although Social Security won’t go bankrupt — its recurring sources of revenue prevent it from insolvency — the trustees’ report projects that, sans congressional involvement, benefits could be cut by up to 23% for retired workers in 2035 to ensure payouts through 2093. This is even more reason Social Security should be considered an ancillary, not primary, source of income during retirement.


Continue Reading