RIGHTS-MALAYSIA: Ethnic Indians on the Warpath

“Malaysia’s Hindus — mostly Tamil descendents of 19th century labourers — on Sunday ignored warnings by Prime Minister Abdul Badawi and braved tear gas and police batons to protest alleged official discrimination and demand a fair share of the national wealth. Their street demonstration, the first on this large scale since independence in 1957, shut down the city centre that is overlooked by the gleaming Twin Towers, the capital’s famed landmark. Commuters, shoppers and workers ran helter-skelter as teargas canisters rained on the protestors and filled the air with chemicals. Malaysiakini.com, an independent online news provider, put the number of protestors at 20,000, while other estimates said upto 50,000 people had turned up.
Many were turned away or arrested as they came into the city from the interior, said the organiser of Hindu Rights Action Force or HINDRAF, that was formed in 2005 to fight for Hindu rights. Many protestors waved the Malaysian flag and carried pictures of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi hung around their necks to signify non-violent protest.

They also carried banners urging the authorities to let them voice their grievances peaceably. “We only want to tell you our problems… don’t treat us like animals,” one banner said. But their cry for understanding and moderation went unheeded.”

via IPS News

(see also the Attack on Sufis)

Is racism physically addictive?

I don’t see racism as something that’s just going to fizzle and go away. Racism is a dangerous mind-virus that must be systematically exterminated. Usually, I would think of “total eradication” of anything as narrow-minded, but I see no other solution. Of course, locking up or killing racists won’t get rid of the problem, but would probably only make it worse. How do you fight a social contagion? Perhaps these ideas from John Shirley can give us a better idea of the causes of racism.

What happens in a human brain when a racist impulse is exercised? Anger is expressed; hatred is released; adrenaline and other chemicals are secreted. Ancient ?wiring? in the brain is electrified, in some sense. If you were a primitive man concerned with survival, and, mostly, only survival, you were fiercely tribalistic–instinctively so. Nature made you that way. My tribe good, distant tribe bad. You could cautiously trade with other tribes but the more distant they were, the more dangerous, perhaps, they’d be–the ones from distant places were less likely to be trading partners, they would look and act a bit differently. Different genetic and cultural pools. They might seem more likely to intrude–being from distance places they’re not settled, they’re looking for new territories. They’re not just ?the guys who live over by the buffalo wallow.? So you instinctively fear and hate them. Instincts use rewards to prompt our activities, rewards in the form of endorphins and the like, bringing feelings of pleasure. So it feels good to hate them.

Full Story: John Shirley: Is racism physically addictive?.

Normally, I try to limit the amount of political stuff I post here, but the mental illness known as racism is currently driving some very destructive US policy. In the past few weeks I’ve heard from many people who are buying into the propaganda and lies of the racially motivated anti-immigration movement. Here’s a collection of resources:

Dispelling Myths About Immigrants.

DEA raids legit business, steals everything

Mark Niemoeller’s business, JLF Poisonous Non-consumables, sells legal plants and chemicals. But in September, after someone allegedly died after consuming one of his products, almost all of his stock was seized and he was charged with selling illegal substances. Many of the products that JLF sells are legal psychoactives and some of them are analogues of federally scheduled drugs. But the Federal Analogue Act states that the analogue law does not apply to “any substance to the extent not intended for human consumption before such an exemption takes effect with respect to that substance.” Some of the chemicals, such as DXM (the main ingredient in cough syrup), clearly don’t fall under the federal analogue act. In addition to most of Niemoeller’s stock the DEA seized his computers, his truck, and froze his $750,000 bank account so that he can’t even pay his lawyer.

Alternet: The Strange Case of Mark Niemoeller

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