What’s the statute of limitations of racism?

The nominations for the 89th Academy Awards were announced last Tuesday, with La La Land pulling an astounding 14 nominations, 6 for black actors (#OscarsNotSoWhite anymore?), and Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge getting another 6 noms. Cue: outrage.

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Back in July 2006, Mad Mel was arrested for DUI (whether that stands for the influence of racism, or alcohol, is unknown), and told the arresting officer the now famous lines ‘Fucking Jews… the Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Are you a Jew?’. Then in July 2010 (it seems like July is a really bad month for him), in a telephone call with Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his daughter Lucia, he said ‘you look like a fucking pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of niggers, it will be your fault.’ Those are some pretty clear-cut cases of racism, no doubt about it, the more interesting quandary is how to pinpoint the exact moment the public mind forgets someone for his past racist transgressions (or if such forgiveness is even possible)?

Another recent, somewhat related incident genuinely shocked me. Noted republican strategist Ana Navarro stated with a confident smile on CNN that she is ‘not sure there’s a statute of limitations of racism’ while speaking about Jeff Sessions. What she essentially said is that if you ever made the mistake of cracking an offensive joke, saying such things while drunk (that you would regret in the morning), or making a genuinely racist gesture (or getting thrust into an act of accidental racism), you are condemned for life, with zero chance of washing away that particular scarlet letter. You have to wear the mark of Cain wherever you go. One bad moment, and suddenly you are on the level of Jared Fogle, Charles Manson or Dylann Roof, and the jeering internet hate crowd will always find a reason to publicly denounce you, even if you are breastfeeding starving Ethiopian orphans 24/7.

Mel Gibson wearing the mark of Cain

So, what method should we use to find that magical moment of forgiveness? How about the ship of Theseus thought experiment, which asks if a ship that has had all of its parts replaced stayed the same ship, or did it become a new one? There is a similar, very popular theory floating around the internet about the human body, stating that every cell in your body regenerates in seven years, so you become a new person every seven years. Of course, this has been widely questioned, and more importantly, seven years hasn’t passed since Mel’s last incident, so it’s very likely he still has about 10-20% of his racist cells left. Maybe he should have tried the ‘I’m a comedian’ defense, like Trevor Noah did for his anti-semitic tweets? It would be like a hunter saying ‘Hey, I’m a hunter, that means I can shoot whatever I want!’.

Picture of a famous hunter

Americans love a good comeback story. Seabiscuit. The Mighty Ducks. Kim Kardashian. Winona Ryder came back from the shoplifting incident and charmed all of us at the SAG awards. Everyone knows what Robert Downey Jr. went through. What is it about Mel Gibson that makes it impossible to forgive him? His unwillingness to apologise? Winona had to go through a personal hell for her crime, too, but no one checks her every action to make sure she hasn’t stolen yet another purse. Crime is crime, and racism is racism, but maybe we should give Mel the same benefit of doubt until he commits yet another mistake?

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Make January 30 Wear a Hijab to Work Day!

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post today, but a certain, recent event made it impossible for me not to write, and I was adamant on posting an article post-haste to lend a voice to our beleaguered muslim sisters and brothers.


Peaceful protesters are already lashing back against this newest insanity, but sadly, I’m not sure if their strategy of turning back the ban will really make a difference. Trump must be getting used to the sight of protesters by now, and creating a trending Twitter hashtag (#StopPresidentBannon), while a commendable effort, is largely useless, since Trump doesn’t really follow anyone (other than his family), so he probably won’t see it, and Stephen K. Bannon, his Chief Strategist, hasn’t posted on Twitter since 2014. We need a radically different approach, one that will make even him take notice.

That’s why we need to Make January 30 Wear a Hijab to Work Day!

Imagine people all over the nation, in every state, county, and city, wearing a hijab (arguably the most recognized visual symbol of Islam), and showing their support! I can’t think of a more beautiful sight than a Starbucks full of Americans of every color, gender, sexual identity and religion in hijab. Newscasters wearing hijab on morning shows (Trump just loves morning shows!). Secret Service agents standing guard outside The White House cladded in hijab. Employees of the Trump Organization going to work in hijab (wonder what Don Jr. would think of that?). Celebrities strolling around sunny Los Angeles in hijab. Just imagine an entire country of brave and thoughtful people showing President Trump the symbol of his irrational fears, and confronting him!

While I recognize that World Hijab Day is just around the corner (February 1), we can’t wait two more days before taking action, not while there is a real chance of even more families getting separated over this new order, or people taking their lives. You don’t even need to wear a genuine piece of hijab, a scarf, or any other piece of clothing will make do; what really matters is the gesture. Since the hijab is a symbol of female empowerment, it will send even a feminist message (like the Women’s March did) to President Trump (like the saying goes, we would be feeding two dogs with one bone).


Time is of the essence! You have to act right now, and retweet, share, or relay this message of solidarity to your friends as soon possible! Make President Trump see the love and empathy of Americans, and Make January 30 Wear a Hijab to Work Day!