Global Quickies: Rainbow Laces, Ghosts, and Very Bad Ideas

“Five members of the same family were charged with the murder of a prophet who had been called to their their home in the village of Mazonde, Zimbabwe to help them cleanse their house of evil spirits. (…) Pastor Kanyama had reportedly asked his followers to bury him alive so that he could summon more cleansing powers to heal the family that had been plagued by mysterious deaths.”

From 2012 to 2014 the number of missing girls between the ages of 15 and 17 has increased 255%, going from 172 to 612, according to a report by the Network for the Rights of Children in Mexico. (link with bad Google translate)

Players from a German soccer team photoshopped their team photo to look like they all had blackface on. The controversial move was to show solidarity to two team-mates who are Sudanese refugees and had been racially abused.

British people are more likely to believe in ghosts than a creator God, a YouGov survey has found. The same survey also found that self-identified Christians are more likely to believe in aliens than the devil, and more likely to believe in fate than in heaven or an eternal soul.”

“Top Australian sporting stars will wear rainbow laces this weekend as part of a campaign against homophobia.”

Pakistan honour killings on the rise, report reveals. Nearly 1,100 women were killed in Pakistan last year by relatives who believed they had dishonoured their families, the country’s independent Human Rights Commission says.”

“Women in the western state of Maharashtra have a fundamental right to enter and pray inside temples, an Indian court has ruled. (…)The ruling was made in response to a petition filed by an activist against the centuries-old tradition of barring women from certain temples.”

(TW – screengrabs of video with graphic violence)
A video has surfaced of two gay men in Morocco being attacked at their home by five individuals residing in the same neighborhood.

Featured image: Rugby player David Pocock tweeted his rainbow laces.



Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at esceptica.org.

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  1. April 2, 2016 at 12:29 pm —

    Players from a German soccer team photoshopped their team photo to look like they all had blackface on. The controversial move was to show solidarity to two team-mates who are Sudanese refugees and had been racially abused.

    When considering this story, it’s worth keeping in mind that most of the problematic history of blackface is distinctly American. Germany doesn’t have the same history of using blackface to dehumanize and mock black people (of course, it has its own, different history of racism). We should be careful about judging their actions through an American lens of what’s appropriate.

    That said, I actually don’t know anything about how black people in Germany feel about black face. It’s possible they see it as insulting as well, or perhaps they don’t. I’d be interested in hearing some of their perspectives on this. What I can do is dig down into the reasons blackface is often seen as negative, and see what applies:

    It reminds of an ugly history of its use – That’s the American part, unless there’s a big ugly history of it in Germany I don’t know about.

    It’s used to let white people take roles away from black people in film/theater – Not applicable.

    It makes a racial identity seem like a costume that can be put on and taken off, and trivializes the difficulties of living with it – Hmm, maybe. The use here is to try to show solidarity with those who have been abused because of their race.

    It highlights skin color as a relevant factor in identity – Possibly one of the more arguable points. Generally in Europe, ethnicity is more of a reason for bigotry than skin color. So this might be a case of them focusing on anti-black bigotry when the real problem is anti-immigrant bigotry.

    So… Well-intentioned, but perhaps problematic. I wouldn’t chew them out for it, but it is worth discussing the implications of blackface in this culture and setting.

  2. April 3, 2016 at 1:04 pm —

    “Spirit! What is your unfinished business?”

    “Have you heard the good news about…”

    “Not interested, ghost!”

  3. April 3, 2016 at 3:48 pm —

    The Pakistan link is a duplicate of the Australia link.

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