Tag Archives: human rights

Stand your ground Dzhokar Tsarnaev

23 Jul

by Evan Zenobia

Among the many controversies that erupted over the last few weeks, two really stand out to me because, together, they really say a lot about the state of American justice.

The first is about the acquittal of child-killer George Zimmerman. A Florida jury stacked with gated-community white women found that Zimmerman, who went after the 17 year-old Trayvon Martin with a loaded gun against police instructions was cleared of all charges. And even though a 911 call recording shows that Martin screamed in distress for 30 seconds before Zimmerman pulled the trigger, the media is still busy painting him as a tragic hero, cheering for his acquittal, slandering Martin, and insisting that he was merely a noble and principled neighbourhood watcher who, at worst made a mistake and at best was a victim in his virtuous cause.

The second controversy surrounds the appearance of suspected Boston bomber Dzhokar Tsarnaev’s sexy headshot on the cover of Rolling Stone. All sorts of public personalities lashed out in indignant outrage, calling the cover insensitive and offensive and whining that the magazine inappropriately glorified.

Despite the outcry, the Rolling Stone story, as Scott’s Written Words illustrates concisely, amounts to little more than outright character assassination. Rolling Stone isn’t alone in this attitude. Many icons on the American left such as Bill Maher and Lawrence O’Donnell have joined in assuming Tsarnaev’s guilt.

And here’s what’s wrong with this picture.

We KNOW that Zimmerman killed Martin. We know he decided to stalk Martin, and we know he shot him. Of course, they didn’t shut down an entire city to hunt Zimmerman down and put him in a coma. But the right-wing media won’t stop lionizing him, going so far as to float out a story about some post-trial heroics on his part.

But in Tsarnaev’s case, the evidence is much more threadbare. He is an accused terrorist. He has pleaded not guilty. Now, there’s this whole principle called innocent until proven guilty, and it’s only served as a cornerstone of Western civilization. Yet the media doesn’t care. They’ve decided he’s guilty. Judge, jury and executioner, and they’re not even pretending he has the right, nevermind the chance, to make his case.

Good job America. Good fucking job. Killing Black kids is fine, and immigrants get character assassination in lieu of basic legal rights. Way to go.

But hey, maybe Tsarnaev could just use the stand your ground defense.


In his heart and in his gut Michael Coren is full of shit

17 Sep

By Qalina Tileli

GATINEAU – The blurb for Michael Coren’s inflammatory and bullshit-filled September 10th rant reads “Michael Coren has something to say about Bob Rae and the left’s reaction to the closure of the Canadian embassy in Iran.”

It should have read “Michael Coren has verbal diarrhoea and we let him unleash it in front of a camera.”

The Sun News pundit takes Liberal leader Bob Rae to task for his comments over the withdrawal of the Canadian embassy from Iran, specifically Rae’s statement that “[t]he presence of an embassy does not symbolize moral or political approval of a state’s actions.”

For this, Coren calls Rae a hypocrite, because of past Liberal and New Democratic calls for diplomatic boycotts of regimes that Coren feels are less abusive than the Islamic Republic. Canada was right to remove its embassy, because, as Coren puts it, “[o]ur embassy in Iran was one of the final Western symbols of, yes Bob yes, affirmation and legitimacy.”

Really Coren? Well then, that means that your beloved Prime Minister approves of a great number of violent and oppressive states. After all, Canada maintains an embassy in Russia, where Putin locked up Pussy Riot with Coren’s approval, as well as in sharia law absolute monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain. With Harper’s blessing, a portrait of the queen of England hangs in operating Canadian embassies in Uganda, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Israel, Haiti, Algeria, Mexico, Honduras, the United States and many other countries whose governments egregiously violate human rights.

To be sure, the Islamic Republic is certainly an oppressive state, and does not deserve any approval from Canada. But by Coren’s logic, Stephen Harper, who has never shut down the embassy in Sri Lanka, gives Canada’s stamp of approval to the Sri Lankan government’s brutal human rights violations against the Tamil minority and political dissidents. Apparently, the Harper Government found the 2009 use of chemical weapons, civilian massacres and concentration camps as legitimate as the policies of the government of Australia.

Obviously, Harper’s approach is suspicious. Despite Sun News’s insistence to the contrary, the decision to close the embassy could not have been driven by passion for human rights; otherwise many more embassies would be closed.  Sun News does not address either the Harper government’s apathy towards other human rights violations nor its frequent complicity in and support of abusive states (more on that in posts to come).

But Coren’s rant is a nonsensical instance of complete non-professionalism. Of Rae, he proclaims “In his heart and in his gut he supports Stephen Harper’s decision.”

Oh really Coren? Sun News enables you to grasp people’s true emotions? You have some machine that lets you see what the heart wants? Or are you just pulling trash out of your butt in a pathetic attempt at character assassination?

Because we can do that too. Let’s see. In his gut, and in his heart, Michael Coren wants to bomb all Muslims into oblivion and start a crusade to wipe out Islam. In his gut and in his heart, he wants to ban homosexuality and throw all transsexuals in jail for insulting him. In his heart and in his gut, he wants women in the kitchen so that he doesn’t have to compete with him.

And in his heart and in his gut, he knows that only hateful, wilfully ignorant bigots take him seriously.

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