NYPD and Muslim Surveillance
This past summer, investigations by the Associated Press revealed the existence of a Demographics Unit within the NYPD that targets Muslim communities for surveillance. Under the program, undercover officers and “informants” monitor houses of worship and local businesses, including bookstores and restaurants. A recent AP story reported--erroneously, advocates say--that Know Your Rights clinics run by CUNY Law School advise Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement.
Fahd Ahmed is Legal and Policy Director at Desis Rising Up & Moving, where he leads DRUM's work on national security, racial profiling, and police accountability.
Ramzi Kassem is Associate Professor of Law at the City University of New York, where he directs the Immigrant & Refugee Rights Clinic and supervises CLEAR, the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility project.
Harold & Kumar Do Christmas
In “A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas,” released earlier this month, actors John Cho and Kal Penn set a Christmas tree ablaze, accidentally shoot Santa Claus, and nearly meet their demise at the hands of Russian mobsters. But does the latest installment of the Harold and Kumar series offer incisive racial commentary, or is it merely a stoner buddy movie starring Asian Americans? APF’s Leyla Mei sat down over the weekend with Jeff Yang and Naeem Mohaiemen for a wide-ranging conversation on race, cinema, and what Harold and Kumar can tell us about what it means to be Asian American.
Since 2006, Naeem Mohaiemen has been working on a history of 1970s ultra-left organizations, using essays, photography, and film. Recent projects include the film The Young Man Was (Part 1: United Red Army), and "Flying Blind: Waiting for a Real Reckoning on 1971" (Economic & Political Weekly, 2011).
Jeff Yang is a veteran author and journalist. The founder of aMagazine: Inside Asian America, he currently writes the weekly column "Tao Jones" for the Wall Street Journal Online. He is a regular contributor to WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show and to PRI’s The Takeaway.
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