Archive for October, 2010
By now everyone probably has heard that Juan Williams, an NPR and FOX commentator, was fired by NPR because of comments he made on the Bill O’Reilly show. His comments concerned how he is afraid when he sees people in Muslim garb on airplanes. The question of whether his firing was justified is now a source of debate. On the one side are those that say he is not fit to be a commentator if he shows such a bias. On the other side are those that say he was just being honest and that the “confession” about being afraid was a preface to a point about how we should not do racist things because we have prejudices. Fear not for Mr. Williams. He landed on his feet and got a lucrative contract from Fox News. (more…)
Today I would like to discuss a case that his been going on for eight years and is still going. The case is that of Abdulrahim Kewan. I was representing Mr. Kewan in a battered spouse case. Then on October 10, 2002, Mr. Kewan, driving to a painting job, got lost. He stopped at a back gate at Camp Pendleton to ask for directions. The MP’s at the gate drew him directions and sent him on his way. As was the protocol after September 11, 2001, he and his vehicle were first searched. The MP’s report made it to the INS and the INS, as part of a Joint Terrorism Task Force, arrested him. The INS held him for 16 months until he was deported. That 16 months I spent filing motion after motion, lawsuit after lawsuit, and prepared for hearing after hearing to try to get him released and adjusted to permanent residence under the laws that protect battered spouses. (more…)
Webster’s dictionary defines “baiting” as the making of verbal attacks against members of a racial group. KPBS, in a three-part radio report and a brief report on its television program, San Diego Week, baited Somalis in a report that had little fact and a lot of unsubstantiated ravings. The report stirred the pot of anti-immigration hysteria enough to get my Congressman, Brian Bilbray, to call for hearings about the “threat” posed by Somalis.
At the outset, it seems to this KPBS listener that the local reporters are under a lot of pressure to air something every day. When there is no news – and how much real news does San Diego generate in a day? – they take what is there and tweak it into some kind of report. Thus, we get amazing conclusions like this from a reporter – I apologize if I do not remember the wording just right – “The doctor says that losing weight is more complicated than some people think.” It is too bad that when all they have is material like that, they can’t just play a song or read baseball scores. As for San Diego Week, the show looks like something out of SC TV’s “CCCP1 TV,” without the charm. Or the real thing. (more…)