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Archive for the ‘Race’ Category

Our Principles Must Trump Our Symbols – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on October 13, 2016

There are a lot of news items about people expressing their protests in different ways, from kneeling at the time of the national anthem to flag burning Americans.

I have no sympathy for racial groups that have a sense of entitlement because some white man enslaved some black man 400 years ago. Many of us immigrants come from former colonies or enslaved countries. Some still live in places like that in Kashmir and Palestine.

The groups that celebrate gangster culture in their music and commit crimes but get off easy for playing the race card. I cannot stand them. But I am deeply & literally physically sickened when I see, again and again, unarmed black men being killed by out of control cops, none of whom go to jail.

So, I can understand the silent, peaceful, protest of some professional players to call attention to the matter.

If anything, I am dismayed that a supreme court justice, whom I respect, first foolishly expressed political opinions against Donald Trump. Though I cannot stand him, I would expect a Supreme Court justice to keep their personal opinions to themselves in case the election leads to a Supreme Court case. I would expect even a despicable person like him to get a fair hearing.

(Sidebar: I despise both candidates. Donald Trump being the worst Presidential candidate in recent history is the only reason the second worst candidate Hillary Clinton is likely to become President. Even worse, as I have been warning my Republican friends for months, he could cost them Senate and even Congress if things keep going as they are. Then they will be wishing they had accepted President Obama‘s moderate nominee).

The lady Justice then called the silent peaceful protesting players stupid for kneeling in protest at the anthem. Maybe she is ready to retire and wants to go out making some statements like that to be in the news, but she is wrong on that. 

The fact of the matter is, saying Black Lives Matter when an unarmed man is murdered by cops just because he was Black, does not mean one is saying it is OK to kill cops or that other lives do not matter. I do not see a stream of videos of cops shooting white people for even more egregious actions.

Therefore, silent peaceful protest it to be respected not demonized. Would we rather have the violent gangs burning up cities as happened in Ferguson?

No group is perfect. Speak up for injustices against blacks or any group. But throw criminals in jail hard regardless of their color. Stand by the police. But call out and prosecute the killers among them.

That brings us to another controversy people are fed to take their attention off real issues, Burning of the American Flag.

I dislike people who disrespect the flag of their own country. BUT, remember, the Flag is symbolic, the Constitution is what makes us the greatest country in the world.

Symbols represent us. Principles make us who we are. We could change the American flag to all pink and purple or any color and still be the same great nation if we live by our constitution.

So do not get caught up in the furor of someone burning the flag. Sure, discourage them, ignore them, but do not threaten or attack them. They are doing what our constitution gives them the right to do as also decided in a Supreme Court decision.

Only a freedom guaranteeing constitution like ours gives people the right to burn the flag or do other stupid things under free speech.

Our principles must always trump even our own symbols. Symbols can change but not change who we are. But if we abandon our principles, it won’t matter what color or how fancy or pretty or fireproof our flags are.

What do you think?

Imran Anwar

IMRAN.TV

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Posted in America, Clinton, Congress, Constitution, Crime, Criminals, Crooked Cops, culture, Danger, Death, Death Penalty, Democracy, Democrats, Elections, Freedom, Hilary Clinton, History, Justice, Obama, Palestine, Police, Politics, President, Prisoners, Race, Racism, Republicans, Shootings, Society, USA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Playing The Race Card To Drown The Truth – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on April 29, 2016

Posted in Crime, Florida, Imran, Imran Anwar, Justice, News, Philosophy, Police, Race, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sex Appeal, Sax Appeal, American Idol, Idle Americans & The President

Posted by imrananwar on September 12, 2008

It is hard to imagine it was nearly 16 years ago that a brash, bold politician named Bill Clinton put his media-savvy personality, charm, good looks and sax-playing ability to good use on American television.
He showed up on TV as a guest of the now-defunct show with Arsenio Hall. (You remember him as the guy whose face flashes in the hit song “Straight Up (Now Tell Me)” by singer-dancer-choreographer, and now a judge on the hit TV show “American Idol”, the cute bundle of energy, Paula Abdul). Clinton did not do this while running for Mayor of some small town, but as a Presidential candidate of the United States of America.
Political analysts, and pundits, diverged in their views on the move. Some thought it cheapened the Presidency, making Presidential candidates act like actors or musicians hawking their latest books on late night shows of Jay Leno or David Letterman, or showing their tender sides on Oprah Winfrey’s show. Others thought it was a brilliant move. It enabled Clinton to connect with a politically disconnected youth population that was more interested in how high Madonna’s skirt was than in how low global opinion of America was.
In the end, Clinton won. This was partly for his savvy moves, and partly because George H. W Bush (father of the current lame-duck American President George Bush) was a clueless President who oversaw the US economy sliding into recession. (Like father, like son?)
And in the long run, American politics became even more inextricably mixed with show business, and the selling of candidates as products not leaders.
The victory of style over substance was visible all through the current Presidential election campaign now taking place in America. Despite not having too much experience, Barack Obama was able to use his star power and personality, his eloquence and some great ideas, to build a campaign. This has enabled him to overcome even the challenges of being inexperienced, Black and having a Muslim sounding name! He was able to beat out Hilary Clinton (who should possibly have learnt to play Guitar or Saxophone like her husband). Obama made a far more experienced and well-known Senator John McCain have to play catch up throughout the campaign.
But what advantage show-biz type political exposure giveth, so does it taketh away. John McCain’s campaign was in dire straits (some say it still is). But, more than any specific problems, it suffered the worst malaise in the world of politics today – it lacked “interestingness.”
There was just nothing exciting about a Presidential candidate who, despite being a war hero and long term senator, was seventy-something years old, and totally boring.
He had sided with George W. Bush in his disastrous policies on Iraq, and had no clues on how to solve Americans’ other major concern, the failing economy. On top of that he was jumping around from issue to issue.
He was weakly trying to appear relevant in a world driven by the star power of Barack Obama. His old guard Republican money machine, often selling out American interests to oil companies and the military industrial complex was being beaten by Obama’s money and public awareness juggernaut on the Internet. Youth was lacking in McCain and his campaign, while it was central in Obama’s campaign.
To make matters worse, McCain actually tried to cut into Obama’s mass popularity by implying that he was a mindless celebrity. In a now infamous TV commercial, McCain ridiculed Obama by comparing him to blonde bimbos like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton (previously my target of ridicule in another article). The only thing was, the technique backfired.
Paris Hilton (“famous for being famous” and infamous for her interesting “home videos”) was the wrong target to poke fun of. Not only was Paris Hilton’s mother a donor to McCain’s election campaign, to her credit, Paris Hilton played along and turned the tables. Enjoying being the center of attention, she turned that into her own political ad. You can see it on YouTube ridiculing John McCain, his campaign and so-called energy policies.
During all these McCain blunders, Hilary Clinton kept fighting Obama for the Democratic nomination. This time around, though, her very popular husband, Bill Clinton lost his groove, and was not able to swing support in her favor. Maybe it is because he said politically incorrect things while tooting his and his wife’s horn, but he also did not show up on TV to play the saxophone. That may have worked better than some of the things he said. Result: Hilary lost to Obama.
It seemed like a done deal for Obama to beat McCain. To top things off, Obama, whom the Republicans accuse of being inexperienced, chose quite a good candidate for Vice President. Senator Joseph Biden, while even more talkative than me after having four drinks of Pepsi and coffee, has vast foreign policy and Washington experience.
That is when the Obama campaign seems to have lost some momentum. Instead of building on this great candidacy they appear a bit rudderless right now.
There is also the question of race. When someone asked the question “Is America ready for a Black President?” one of my favorite TV personalities in America, John Stewart, reportedly said that before Bush’s election “No one asked if we were ready for a moron President!” But, whether Obama can turn his dynamic rise into a historical election remains to be seen.
That is when John McCain did the dumbest thing in the world – which just may put him into the running again to be President.
After ridiculing Obama for his lack of experience, seeing that Hilary’s loss had upset some women voters and people wanted change – he picked a very inexperienced woman governor of Alaska to become his Vice President.
How poorly selected was this woman, Sarah Palin?
After she was nominated it came to light that, despite the Republican’s often holier-than-thou attitudes and anti-choice agendas, Mrs. Palin’s underage daughter is pregnant. Now the Republicans are trying to sound more “open minded”. Instead of Palin’s daughter’s boyfriend being arrested for the crime of statutory rape, he was sitting front row at the Republican National Convention. What a joke.
But, wait, there’s more! Candidate Sarah Palin’s selected was so poorly vetted, it has now also been found that her husband belonged to some sort of militia or anti-USA organization that wanted Alaska to secede from the USA. Good old Sarah Palin also had used office funds for her personal use. On top of that, she used State funds to hire the lawyer to defend her in the case of that corruption. And we complain about Pakistani politicians!
You would think all these reasons would be enough even for a corrupt Pakistani political party to throw out the candidate in question. But, for the Republicans desperate to breathe new life into a comatose candidate like McCain, she is nothing short of a miracle.
She is not Virgin Mary, but she is their Hail Mary pass at scoring a touchdown this election. Sarah Palin is very attractive, as is McCain’s wife Cindy. This may be an election in which these two women’s looks may well decide the election.
Just like selling a new shampoo, the selling of the Presidential candidate to the American public now requires sex appeal, even more than sax appeal!

Posted in America, Anwar, Bill Clinton, Britney Spears, Clinton, Democrats, Election, Hilary Clinton, Imran, McCain, Obama, Paris Hilton, Paula Abdul, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sarah Palin | Leave a Comment »

MADvertising: Old Stereotype Underlies Sports Authority Under Armor New Prototype

Posted by imrananwar on July 11, 2008

Generally, I am not a big fan of people or organizations that see, or cry, racism, or sexism, or something-ism or the other, in almost anything, even if none was implied.

However, I also strongly believe that, regardless of the (low) merits of political correctness, it is imperative for businesses, especially those in communications or consumer industries, to be cognizant of how their work(s) may be perceived. Sometimes, a racist, or bigoted, or sexist, person may deliberately create advertising, or TV characters, or movie situations that play up stereotypes. Other times it is sheer cluelessness that leads to the same results.

The latest example of such, most likely clueless, MADvertising came into my Inbox just now. It is a Sports Authority electronic promotion for Under Armor brand sportswear.

Madvertising_SportsAuthorityUnderArmor.jpg

What amazes me about this image is the deliberate or inadvertent combination of racism, sexism, stereotyping as a big, strong, and apparently determined Black male is seen running after (or behind) an obviously weaker (single?) white female. Even worse, look at the expression on her face. She is not out running in a determined manner of an athlete. There is almost an expression as if she is concerned and stressed, and looking for shadows on the ground to see if someone is coming after her.

Yes, I can be accused to seeing imagery that is not there and imagining these issues where none were implied. But, that is the whole reason I call it MADvertising. Smart communicators and marketers avoid such potential pitfalls to the best of their abilities. This particular ad surely could have been done a lot better.

What do you think?

===

PS. This comment generated a lot of comments, as you can see below. I am quite amazed, and amused, by some of them, but displaying them regardless of the personal attacks. As can be seen, everyone’s comments have been posted…. even the ones from the same ‘anonymous’ using the same computer a few minutes apart. 🙂

It is also interesting to see many people completely miss my referring to this as most likely an example of clueless advertising (the world is full of more examples than just this) or MADvertising.

I think people also miss that I am personally sick of political correctness (or of pandering to particular races that a lot advertising is now doing). I am also sick of having to squint my eyes to read English instructions on product packaging because half of the space has been given up to Spanish. I detest having to choose between English and Spanish when I call banks or other companies’ phone numbers. This is America. We speak English. I feel if an organization has so many customers of a particular language or ethnic group then they should set up a separate 800 number for them instead of making their (most likely) 90%+ of English speaking customers to have to select what language to speak in their own country.

But, that does not mean I can claim there is no racism here. (I will be accused of being racist for the above comment, while being accused below of seeing racism where it does not exist!)

I do raise eyebrows when I see particular ads where, for example, the likelihood of seeing Black models tends to be higher if the ad depicts some sort of stupid behavior. Again, it is not only Blacks shown doing stupid things. There are plenty of ads showing stupidity (in the name of humor) with models who are white males, females or even groups of people. (I will post something about those separately later).

But, everyone’s comments are appreciated and are being posted here…. including the moronic ones. 😉

Imran

Posted in Advertising, Bigotry, Communications, Danger, Madvertising, Marketing, Political_Correctness, Race, Racism, Sexism | Leave a Comment »

 
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