Remembering the unvarnished truth of Mandela’s words means refusing to let anybody sanitize his legacy. As the United States attempts to piggyback on Mandela’s revolutionary spirit, never forget that it was the CIA who helped jail him for 28 years. His sentiments toward our imperialist government reflect what our government remorselessly tries to keep we citizens from seeing, that indeed ”…the United States now feels that they are the only superpower in the world and they can do what they like" regardless of who we harm in the process.
Here are a few more quotes we are unlikely to see in the mainstream press:
“When a man is denied the right to live the life he believes in, he has no choice but to become an outlaw.”
"A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy. The press must be free from state interference. It must have the economic strength to stand up to the blandishments of government officials. It must have sufficient independence from vested interests to be bold and inquiring without fear or favor. It must enjoy the protection of the constitution, so that it can protect our rights as citizens."
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.”
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”
“We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
“No single person can liberate a country. You can only liberate a country if you act as a collective.”
"If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers."
You go girl. Ignore those haters. I don’t usually blog about things like this, but my girl is taking an unnecessary beating and it just ain’t right. My Facebook and Twitter blew up last night with people criticizing Carrie Underwood’s performance as Maria in NBC’s live presentation of “The Sound Of Music”. Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but I actually enjoyed it. Here’s why:
- I get it. Carrie Underwood is in fact not Julie Andrews, nor is Carrie British (or Austrian for that matter) - my expectations were properly calibrated. I recall the same outrage back in 1995 when Jewel dared to portray Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True. Well, that really was awful. Or most recently when Anne Hathaway was cast in the movie musical version of Les Misérables. I found Carrie pleasant and consistent. Her voice helped carry her performance and made up for her lack of acting experience.
- I haven’t seen live musical theater performed on prime time television in decades. In an era where the Kardashians, Extreme Couponing and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo are considered entertainment, this was a welcome diversion.
- Hooray for risk takers! Clearly Carrie didn’t need the money. And connecting her fan base to musical theater is brilliant. Keeping this genre alive is important, and many people may have watched their first live musical theater performance ever as a result of Carrie being cast in the lead role.
- Broadway veteran Audra McDonald was amazing. I think she actually brought Carrie to tears in the “Climb Every Mountain” scene.
- It was refreshing to see the stage version once again (hadn’t seen it since 1987 at The Muny when Debby Boone played Maria) and I enjoyed the songs that are not included in the movie version.
- This was live. I don’t know if many people can really appreciate what that means. All the camera angles and people remembering their lines, lyrics, staging, choreography, costume changes, hitting their marks, etc. And the performance began and ended exactly on time.
So it may not go down in history as the most epic television event in history, but for what it was, I think it was “Something Good”. And now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Her parents are severely alarmed at her first incident of accidental magic, when she’s a baby and summons the apple slice right out of her distracted mother’s hand. They read Quran over her and throughout the house to ward against djinn, but the accidental magic continues, so the write ayat-ul qursi and put it in a locket for her to wear to protect her from the evil eye and sihr.
Nothing stops, and since she doesn’t act possessed, they decide its just a miracle from God, makes sure she reads Quran and does her prayers, and make dua, and she grows up well-adjusted and slightly worried about this ability of her. Her parents make sure she doesn’t get a big head and think she’s a saint or something.
Then she turns 11, and McGonagall comes to tell them about Hogwarts. The parents are sceptical and demand some kind of proof that this woman isn’t about to spirit their daughter away. McGonagall is taken aback that the issue for these Muggles isn’t the magic so much as the ‘invisible boarding school we can’t tell is safe or not’.
So she gathers other Muggle parents to testify that their daughter is going to a real and proper school, and that’s that, she’s off to Hogwarts. She gets sorted into Ravenclaw (but almost into Slytherin for all that ambition she has).
Through the years, though, things she never considered comes up. Like how she’s basically a vegetarian at Hogwarts in her first year cause the house-elves don’t know about halaal meat, or how everyone looks at her funnily when in Third Year she gets special permission from Dumbledore to break from classes for prayer (and she learns to be quiet for Fajr when her roommates complain).
Or how Madame Pomfrey gets worried about her fasting in Ramadan, and the house-elves are insulted when she won’t eat their food until she explains, and then stuff her full of food half an hour before Fajr and at Maghrib.
Or that she takes to healing the muggle way because not all those potions have ingredients that she can ingest, and she talks to a sheikh for advice on if salamanders and bat eyes are actually halaal.
And then its a struggle to be the only hijabi in the school, and she makes friends with the Baron so he stops Peeves from trying to pull it off all the time.
And how annoying it is when the only holidays that get celebrated are Christian ones, and that’s when she makes friends with Anthony Goldstein, who agrees that there should be more religious diversity so he can really enjoy Hannukah at school.
She gets in trouble for saying her spells in Arabic, to the consternation of all her professors who don’t understand the language and insist that its dangerous if they can’t govern her spell-casting.
So she starts a duelling club, and Padma joins her and casts spells in Punjabi, and Anthony who does his spells in Hebrew (they’re not making up spells, just changing the language, and isn’t it funny that the spells are always a teensy bit different?), and others trickle in, and new magic gets practiced under the supervision of a Ministry hire who encourages them and speaks sixteen different languages.
Then people claim she’s a frigid freak because she keeps turning down boys who want to date her (even though she really likes them), until she puts the gossipers in the Hospital Wing, and then no one says anything after that.
She worries about the practical non-existence of Muslims in Wizarding Britain, and will that affect the jobs she can get, because wizards and witches are a bit funny about religion?