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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Diss-course

    Stringing along ‘Kite Runners’

    The story: Distributors of the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel “”The Kite Runner”” delayed the debut by six weeks because of rising concerns for the safety of the film’s young male stars who may face persecution for their participation in a homosexual rape scene. Although the production company claims casting the Afghan boys seemed harmless at the time, the escalating violence within Afghanistan has prompted the company to relocate the young Afghani stars to the United Arab Emirates.

    The response: The film’s director, Marc Forster, claims casting the Afghan boys for the film did not seem inordinately risky: “”You really felt it was safe there, a democratic process was happening, and stability, and a new beginning.”” Yet the rape scene, although discreetly depicted, touches on Afghan cultural taboos and threatens to spark an ideological maelstrom among adherents of traditional Afghani values. Thus, it is incredibly na’ve to believe the potential jeopardy faced by the young stars is merely a function of the current political climate.
    Ishaq Shahryar, the former Afghan ambassador to the United Nations, fears for the lives of the young stars of the film and their families. He said, “”The consequences will be terrible. … (T)o be raped or to be gay over there … it’s unfortunately absolutely unacceptable.”” How could the filmmakers who meticulously investigated Afghan culture and history to reproduce authenticity on screen be so ignorant of the potential backlash faced by the young stars? At the same time, are there limits to the filmmaker’s responsibility? The studio has offered to pay for the boys’ living expenses until they reach adulthood, which could exceed $500,000. Since the parents of the young stars had previously asked for better remuneration from the studio, it makes you wonder who – if anyone – is doing the manipulating.

    – Christina Jelly is a senior majoring in biophysics and philosophy.

    Asylum seeker sent packing

    The story: The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals has ordered the deportation of a Malian woman after rejecting her appeal for asylum. The woman had asked for protection on the grounds that she had been subjected to female genital mutilation as a child, and was likely to be forced into a marriage with her cousin if she returned to Mali.

    The response: The board’s ruling seems harsh at first glance. After all, few Americans like the idea of sending a young woman back to the family that mutilated her body, and that now refuses to let her make her own life decisions. Unfortunately, current immigration law compelled the board to uphold the decision to reject her application.
    The woman filed her application several years after the deadline for asylum-seeking asylum had passed, rendering her ineligible for asylum. The judge could only consider her application under the Convention Against Torture, and ruled that she had not shown she was likely to be tortured if she returned to Mali.
    The board also ruled that even if she had still been eligible for asylum, her application would have been rejected. By law, asylum seekers must fear future persecution if they return home. The court reasoned that, since genital mutilation can’t be performed twice on the same woman, the Malian woman was not likely to be persecuted again.

    Unfortunately, this woman’s predicament is hardly unique. In 2006 alone, U.S. immigration courts received more than 54,000 applications for asylum. Of these applicants, about 13,500 were actually granted asylum. Many of the rejected applicants, like the Malian woman, will still face suffering or hardship if they are deported back to their home countries. However, if their circumstances fail to meet the specific legal requirements set by Congress, nothing can be done.
    In general, immigration rules are unlikely to be bent for any single individual. If any person facing any kind of hardship or discrimination could claim asylum, the nation would soon have more asylum-seekers than citizens. However, this story is still a sad reminder of the fact that many desperate and suffering people are turned away from American shores each year.

    – Lauren Myers is a sophomore majoring in microbiology and mathematics.

    Delaware’s definition problem

    The story: The University of Delaware recently enforced a program of racial re-education in its residence halls, asking students to pledge not to hold any objectionable views on race relations. The policy, outlined in a resident assistant training handout, stated that the term “”racist”” applies to “”all white people,”” and that “”people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices.”” After the policy was brought to national attention, University President Patrick Harker ordered the immediate cancellation of the program.

    The response: If I were a University of Delaware dorm resident, I’m sure I’d be thrilled to learn that a racist is merely a person who, to quote the handout, is “”privileged and socialized on the basis of race”” by a “”white supremacist”” system (i.e., a white person). I’d relish hearing that race is merely an idea concocted by white slave owners – apparently, the Romans, the Egyptians, Mesoamerican empires and the Bible writers never referred to or judged people on the basis of “”race.”” Oh, wait …
    The program is an absolute travesty, and Harker deserves commendation for canceling it – as well as a scolding for not doing it sooner. Such programs reflect an attempt to thought-police students into forced agreement with an arch-liberal interpretation of history, and not even a very accurate one. Education is the best tool we have against racism, but indoctrination merely vindicates racist beliefs, and attempting to replace them with outright lies is hardly productive.

    – Taylor Kessinger is a junior majoring in math, philosophy and physics.

    Stringing along “”Kite Runners””

    Distributors of the film adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s novel “”The Kite Runner”” delayed the debut by six weeks because of rising concerns for the safety of the film’s young male stars who may face persecution for their participation in a homosexual rape scene. Although the production company claims casting the Afghan boys seemed harmless at the time, the escalating violence within Afghanistan has prompted the company to relocate the young Afghani stars to the United Arab Emirates.

    The response: The film’s director, Marc Forster, claims casting the Afghan boys for the film did not seem inordinately risky: “”You really felt it was safe there, a democratic process was happening, and stability, and a new beginning.”” Yet the rape scene, although discreetly depicted, touches on Afghan cultural taboos and threatens to spark an ideological maelstrom among adherents of traditional Afghani values. Thus, it is incredibly na’ve of to believe the potential jeopardy faced by the young stars is merely a function of the current political climate.

    Ishaq Shahryar, the former Afghan ambassador to the United Nations, fears for the lives of the young stars of the film and their families. He said, “”The consequences will be terrible. … (T)o be raped or to be gay over there … it’s unfortunately absolutely unacceptable.”” How could the filmmakers who meticulously investigated Afghan culture and history to reproduce authenticity on screen be so ignorant of the potential backlash faced by the young stars? At the same time, are there limits to the filmmaker’s responsibility? The studio has offered to pay for the boys’ living expenses until they reach adulthood, which could exceed $500,000. Since the parents of the young stars had previously asked for better remuneration from the studio, it makes you wonder who – if anyone – is doing the manipulating.

    – Christina Jelly is a senior majoring in biophysics and philosophy.

    Asylum seeker sent packing

    The story: The U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals has ordered the deportation of a Malian woman after rejecting her appeal for asylum. The woman had asked for protection on the grounds that she had been subjected to female genital mutilation as a child, and was likely to be forced into a marriage with her cousin if she returned to Mali.

    The response: The board’s ruling seems harsh at first glance. After all, few Americans like the idea of sending a young woman back to the family that mutilated her body, and that now refuses to let her make her own life decisions. Unfortunately, current immigration law compelled the board to uphold the decision to reject her application.

    The woman filed her application several years after the deadline for asylum-seeking asylum had passed, rendering her ineligible for asylum. The judge could only consider her application under the Convention Against Torture, and ruled that she had not shown she was likely to be tortured if she returned to Mali.

    The board also ruled that even if she had still been eligible for asylum, her application would have been rejected. By law, asylum seekers must fear future persecution if they return home. The court reasoned that, since genital mutilation can’t be performed twice on the same woman, the Malian woman was not likely to be persecuted again.

    Unfortunately, this woman’s predicament is hardly unique. In 2006 alone, U.S. immigration courts received more than 54,000 applications for asylum. Of these applicants, about 13,500 were actually granted asylum. Many of the rejected applicants, like the Malian woman, will still face suffering or hardship if they are deported back to their home countries. However, if their circumstances fail to meet the specific legal requirements set by Congress, nothing can be done.

    In general, immigration rules are unlikely to be bent for any single individual. If any person facing any kind of hardship or discrimination could claim asylum, the nation would soon have more asylum-seekers than citizens. However, this story is still a sad reminder of the fact that many desperate and suffering people are turned away from American shores each year.

    – Lauren Myers is a sophomore majoring in math and microbiology.

    Delaware’s definition problem

    The University of Delaware recently enforced a program of racial re-education in its residence halls, asking students to pledge not to hold any objectionable views on race relations. The policy, outlined in a resident assistant training handout, stated that the term “”racist”” applies to “”all white people,”” and that “”people of color cannot be racists, because as peoples within the U.S. system, they do not have the power to back up their prejudices.”” After the policy was brought to national attention, University President Patrick Harker ordered the immediate cancellation of the program.

    The response: If I were a University of Delaware dorm resident, I’m sure I’d be thrilled to learn that a racist is merely a person who, to quote the handout, is “”privileged and socialized on the basis of race”” by a “”white supremacist”” system (i.e., a white person). I’d relish hearing that race is merely an idea concocted by white slave owners – apparently, the Romans, the Egyptians, Mesoamerican empires and the Bible writers never referred to or judged people on the basis of “”race,”” Oh, wait…

    The program is an absolute travesty, and Harker deserves commendation for canceling it – as well as a scolding for not doing it sooner. Such programs reflect an attempt to thought-police students into forced agreement with an arch-liberal interpretation of history, and not even a very accurate one. Education is the best tool we have against racism, but indoctrination merely vindicates racist beliefs, and attempting to replace them with outright lies is hardly productive.

    – Taylor Kessinger is a junior majoring in math, philosophy and physics.

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