Dutch elections. How to lose friends and make enemies.
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This week's news from:
 Shanghai Lady

Yesterday, I voted in the Dutch elections. It was my first national election since becoming a citizen. I felt quite virtuous, having done my homework and made up my mind to cast my vote for the Labor Party (PvdA). I walked to our polling station. I presented my passport, received my ballot and hastened to the booth where a red pencil awaited me.

I filled in the oval. And then another. In fact, 50 of them, thinking I had to choose not only which party to support but which of the 75 people on the PvdA list deserved to be sent to parliament.  

Go ahead and laugh.

The Dutch election results are not as bad as they could have been. In fact, there's been a collective sigh of relief that the peroxide-haired wonder did not win. The bad news is that this country has moved inexorably to the right. Was the anti-immigrant rhetoric of the past few days a mere ploy to win votes? We can hope. 

But I'm on a losing streak, as you'll see from this week's blog: Politically Correct. Soon, I may have no friends left and no country that wants me as its citizen either. Am I worried? A little. Am I cowed? Not at all.

The federal court in Hawaii reminds us that the fight against xenophobia goes on. Paul Beatty tells us in his book The Sellout that racism is not yet dead.

So instead of flogging my usual list of old blog articles, I'm giving you a set of materials prepared by the ACLU. These documents are designed to inform Muslims, refugees, immigrants - all of us - of our constitutional rights when entering or attempting to stay in the US. Please read. And then please share as widely as possible. I screwed up this week but you don't have to.

  • Know Your Rights posters in 14 languages
  • Know Your Rights videos in Arabic, Farsi, Spanish and Urdu
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