Sunday, January 22, 2006
The Sunday Funnies in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Ford Motor Company is geared to announce that 25,000 workers will be laid off over the next four years. It’s all part of a restructuring plan dubbed, “Way Forward.” Guess the way forward demands leaving some folks behind.
• Conservative Christian groups continue to complain about The Book of Daniel on NBC. “‘The Book of Daniel’ is anti-Christian and sacrilegious,” argued American Family Association president Tim Wildmon. “By anti-Christian, I mean all the characters are screwed up. There’s not a sane one in the bunch.” The AFA, by contrast, is chock-full of sane folks. Right.
• Black clergy congregated in Atlanta for a summit on homophobia. It’s always been a provocative topic for Black churches; and some activists believe conservative Republicans have used things like gay marriage to sway Black church leaders and collect minority votes. “We have sat back and allowed the right wing to shape the political agenda,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “Now it is important that the Black church break the backs of those who are trying to use homosexuality as a political weapon.” It’s unlikely Sharpton then invited everyone to a screening of Brokeback Mountain.
• A judge in Baltimore declared that Maryland’s law banning gay marriage discriminates and “cannot withstand constitutional challenge.” But the judge immediately stayed her decision, and the attorney general’s office is considering an appeal. So let’s hold off on changing the state’s name to GayMarryland.
• Wham-O, the company that launched the Frisbee, Hula-Hoop, Silly String and more, has been acquired by a Chinese toy distributor. The new owners plan to market the iconic toys worldwide. Wonder how some of the product names will translate in foreign lands.
• A student at Northwestern University in Illinois was busted for tagging swastikas and anti-Semitic graffiti on a dorm wall. This guy deserves an MBA — Major Bigot Award.
• Harry Belafonte is at it again. “We’ve come to this dark time in which the Gestapo of Homeland Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended,” Belafonte proclaimed. “You can be arrested and not charged, you can be arrested and have no right to counsel.” Bet the Bush administration would love to arrest Belafonte right now.
• A recent study in Los Angeles showed Blacks and Hispanics were more likely than Whites and Asians to make extra preparations for terrorism after the 9/11 attacks. Blacks and Hispanics probably believe their communities would not receive initial and immediate help in bad situations — as evidenced during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Guess the survival instinct is heightened when you’re a minority in America.
• The first nationwide study of day laborers in the U.S. revealed interesting data. 75% of day laborers are illegal immigrants. Roughly 50% reported having been cheated on wages by employers in the past two months. 44% said some bosses did not give them breaks during a typical workday. 28% claimed employers had insulted them. About 20% sustained injuries requiring medical attention. And a whopping 73% said they were required to work in hazardous conditions. One study author said, “This is a labor market that thrives on cheap wages and the fact that most of these workers are undocumented. They’re in a situation where they’re extremely vulnerable, and employers know that and take advantage of them.” So much for the American Dream.