Just remember that sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.
—  Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Violet, tu sei diversa adesso, con me. Sei distante, fredda. Non lo so che cosa ti ho fatto, ma ti lascerò in pace da oggi se è quello che vuoi. È questo che vuoi? E lo sai perchè ti lascerò in pace? Perchè tengo molto più a te che a me stesso.
—  Tate Langdon.

29 states. 7 union territories.
over 1.2 billion people
24 official languages. 1600+ other languages.
1000s of cultures and customs.
1 country.
Happy Indian Republic Day to all my fellow Indians. Jai Hind!


Seven years ago today:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Staff Sergeant Robert J. Miller distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism while serving as the Weapons Sergeant in Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 3312, Special Operations Task Force-33, Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan during combat operations against an armed enemy in Konar Province, Afghanistan on January 25, 2008. While conducting a combat reconnaissance patrol through the Gowardesh Valley, Staff Sergeant Miller and his small element of U.S. and Afghan National Army soldiers engaged a force of 15 to 20 insurgents occupying prepared fighting positions. Staff Sergeant Miller initiated the assault by engaging the enemy positions with his vehicle’s turret-mounted Mark-19 40 millimeter automatic grenade launcher while simultaneously providing detailed descriptions of the enemy positions to his command, enabling effective, accurate close air support.

Following the engagement, Staff Sergeant Miller led a small squad forward to conduct a battle damage assessment. As the group neared the small, steep, narrow valley that the enemy had inhabited, a large, well-coordinated insurgent force initiated a near ambush, assaulting from elevated positions with ample cover. Exposed and with little available cover, the patrol was totally vulnerable to enemy rocket propelled grenades and automatic weapon fire. As point man, Staff Sergeant Miller was at the front of the patrol, cut off from supporting elements, and less than 20 meters from enemy forces. Nonetheless, with total disregard for his own safety, he called for his men to quickly move back to covered positions as he charged the enemy over exposed ground and under overwhelming enemy fire in order to provide protective fire for his team.

While maneuvering to engage the enemy, Staff Sergeant Miller was shot in his upper torso. Ignoring the wound, he continued to push the fight, moving to draw fire from over one hundred enemy fighters upon himself. He then again charged forward through an open area in order to allow his teammates to safely reach cover. After killing at least 10 insurgents, wounding dozens more, and repeatedly exposing himself to withering enemy fire while moving from position to position, Staff Sergeant Miller was mortally wounded by enemy fire. His extraordinary valor ultimately saved the lives of seven members of his own team and 15 Afghanistan National Army soldiers. Staff Sergeant Miller’s heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty, and at the cost of his own life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.

Hateful Conservatives Going Insane Over College Class About White Privilege.

(by John Prager via AddictingInfo)

Unless you’ve been living under a very bigoted rock since the 1950’s, you are probably aware that America has a gigantic problem with racism. The GOP may claim that racism is over in America, and our mostly conservative Supreme Court may agree, but it’s hard to forget the harsh realities African Americans face when right-wing icons like Cliven Bundy are still telling us all they know about “the Negro.”

Conservatives are furious about a new class taught by a white professor at Arizona State University. The course, “U.S. Race Theory and the Problem of Whiteness” tackles white privilege — and the discussion on race — head-on. The class, in which 18 students currently are enrolled.

The course utilizes a wide array of thought-provoking books to encourage critical thinking about race, including Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning Toni Morrison’s “Playing in the Dark.” Other books required for the class are “Critical Race Theory: An Introduction” by Richard Delgado, “Everyday Language of White Racism” by Jane Hill, “Alchemy of Race & Rights” by Patricia Williams, and “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness” by George Lipsitz.

ASU explained that: “This course uses literature and rhetoric to look at how stories shape people’s understandings and experiences of race. It encourages students to examine how people talk about – or avoid talking about – race in the contemporary United States. This is an interdisciplinary course, so students will draw on history, literature, speeches and cultural changes – from scholarly texts to humor. The class is designed to empower students to confront the difficult and often thorny issues that surround us today and reach thoughtful conclusions rather than display gut reactions. A university is an academic environment where we discuss and debate a wide array of viewpoints.”

In one such “gut reaction,” Fox News tackled the issue of race by complaining about a class that focuses on educating people about issues surrounding it. Elizabeth Hasselbeck, joined by ASU student Lauren Clark, complained loudly about the thought of educating Arizona students about racism.

“All of these books have a disturbing trend and that’s pointing to all white people as the root cause of social injustices for this country,” Clark told Hasselbeck. The Fox host then wondered if ASU would offer a course titled “The Problem With Blackness” or “The Problem With Being Female.” [video]

“I don’t think that would fly at the university,” Clark said. “Quite frankly, as an ASU student myself, I’m disappointed that my school would offer a course like this. Clearly we have a lot of work to go as a society in terms of racial tension, but having a class that suggests an entire race is the problem is inappropriate, wrong, and quite frankly, counter productive.”

And here’s what conservatives have to say about the “problem.”

Though the course seems to simply educate on the issues surrounding race in the nation — and the very real problem of white privilege — those on the Right view it was “anti-white propaganda.”

Lee Bebout, the professor who teaches this necessary course, has not spoken much about the backlash he is receiving, but he did tell AZ Central in an e-mail that “the last 24 hours have been stressful with some of the vitriolic hate-mail that I have received.”

Because, of course he did.

Image credit Matt Bors
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