Minnesota Town (Murdock) Approves Permit For White-Only Church, Says It’s Not Racist

When the church doors open, only white people will be allowed inside.

That’s the message the Asatru Folk Assembly in Murdock, Minnesota, is sending after being granted a conditional use permit to open a church there and practice its pre-Christian religion that originated in northern Europe.

Despite a council vote officially approving the permit this month, residents are pushing back against the decision.

Opponents have collected about 50,000 signatures on an online petition to stop the all-white church from making its home in the farming town of 280 people.

“I think they thought they could fly under the radar in a small town like this, but we’d like to keep the pressure on them,” said Peter Kennedy, a longtime Murdock resident. “Racism is not welcome here.”

Many locals said they support the growing population of Latinos, who have moved to the area in the past decade because of job opportunities, over the church.

“Just because the council gave them a conditional permit does not mean that the town and people in the area surrounding will not be vigilant in watching and protecting our area,” Jean Lesteberg, who lives in the neighboring town of De Graff, wrote on the city’s Facebook page.

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Asatru Folk Assembly as a “neo-Volkisch hate group” that couches “their bigotry in baseless claims of bloodlines grounding the superiority of one’s white identity.”

Many residents call them a white supremacist or white separatist group, but church members deny it.

“We’re not. It’s just simply not true,” said Allen Turnage, a folk assembly board member. “Just because we respect our own culture, that doesn’t mean we are denigrating someone else’s.”

The group, based in Brownsville, California, says teachings and membership are for those of strictly European bloodlines.

The church was looking for a new church in the eastern North Dakota region when they came across Murdock. It’s unknown how many members they have worldwide or how many people will attend the new church.

“We do not need salvation. All we need is freedom to face our destiny with courage and honor,” the group wrote on its website about their beliefs. “We honor the Gods under the names given to them by our Germanic/Norse ancestors.”

Their forefathers, according to the website, were “Angels and Saxons, Lombards and Heruli, Goths and Vikings, and, as sons and daughters of these people, they are united by ties of blood and culture undimmed by centuries.”

“We respect the ways our ancestors viewed the world and approached the universe a thousand years ago,” Turnage said.

Murdock council members said they do not support the church but were legally obligated to approve the permit, which they did in a 3-1 decision.

“We were highly advised by our attorney to pass this permit for legal reasons to protect the First Amendment rights,” Mayor Craig Kavanagh said. “We knew that if this was going to be denied, we were going to have a legal battle on our hands that could be pretty expensive.”

City Attorney Don Wilcox said it came down to free speech and freedom of religion.

“I think there’s a great deal of sentiment in the town that they don’t want that group there,” he said. “You can’t just bar people from practicing whatever religion they want or saying anything they want as long as it doesn’t incite violence.”

The farming town about a 115-mile drive west of Minneapolis is known for producing corn and soybeans, which are shipped across the country. Latinos make up about 20 percent of Murdock’s small population. Many are day laborers from Mexico and Central America, city officials said.

“We’re a welcoming community,” Kennedy said, rejecting the Asatru Folk Assembly’s exclusionary beliefs. “That’s not at all what the people of Murdock feel. Nobody had a problem with the Hispanics here.”

The AFA purchased its building this year on property in a residential zone. Constructed as a Lutheran church before the zoning was changed, it was later converted to a private residence. The folk assembly needed the permit to convert the residence back to a church.

“It’s ironic the city council didn’t want to commit discrimination against the church, but the church is discriminating against Blacks,” said Abigail Suiter, 33, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “It’s very telling of where the priority is and whose lives matter.”

Prominent lawyers disagree on the council’s options heading into the vote. Some of the debate centered on the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, which protects religious institutions and churches from unduly burdens and discriminatory land-use regulations.

Laurence H. Tribe, a constitutional law professor at Harvard University, said the council might have been able to prevent the private sale of the property, had it known about it, through laws focused on forbidding racial discrimination in property transactions.

“No institution that proposes to exclude people on account of race is allowed to run an operation in the state of Minnesota,” Tribe said.

Kavanagh said he stands by the council vote “for legal reasons only.”

“The biggest thing people don’t understand is, because we’ve approved this permit, all of a sudden everyone feels this town is racist, and that isn’t the case,” he said. “Just because we voted yes doesn’t mean we’re racist.”

Source: NBC News

Elderly Asian Airbnb Owner Slapped After Telling Group To Leave In Chicago

A video showing an elderly Asian man being slapped across the face as he hands some money back to a young man and his friends staying at his Airbnb in Chicago has been circulating on social media.

The footage, first posted on Dec. 7 at 10 p.m., shows an elderly Asian man handing some cash back to a group of friends before being slapped by one of them.

The elderly man was visibly taken aback by the assault.

Social media users initially believed the location of the incident to be a store in Chicago after the original uploader of the video, “Slick Getem,” wrote in the caption, “Somebody said Made his ass think abt the cat he put innat Chinese food.”

One of the people who claimed to be in the group involved in the incident told NextShark that the man was the owner of the Airbnb they were staying at in Chicago.

They claim the elderly man hit their friend and that the video was blown out of proportion. They added that they can’t make their page public after receiving hate and threats. The Facebook user has since deleted their page. The user who originally uploaded the video also changed his name to “Sli Ck.”

Comments on a Facebook post criticizing the group claimed they were kicked out of the rented Airbnb for being “loud and smoking.”

TikTok user KarmaChibana, who has more than 800,000 followers on the platform, caught wind of the video and reacted to it.

“That is not an excuse to use racial stereotypes against him and slap him in the face,” Karma starts off.

“Just like how the Asian and other communities were there for our movement, why can’t we do the same for them? To my Black brothers and sisters, we have to do better. We need to stand up for our Asian brothers and sisters. I know there’s anti-Black within their community, but we shouldn’t generalize.”

NextShark reached out to the Chicago Police Department which could not verify the location of the incident.

Source: NextShark

Australian Children Musical Group The Wiggles Apologize After ‘Culturally Insensitive’ Song About Indian Food (Papadum) Resurfaces

Australian children musical group The Wiggles have apologized after their song about Indian cuisine resurfaced online and sparked backlash for being “insensitive.”

Back in 2014, the group was a part of the show called Ready, Steady, Wiggle!. They had performed a song called The Pappadum Song in the Lachy’s Pappadum Party episode.

The performers were seen wearing Indian garb and singing along to lyrics that mostly went by, “Pappadum, pappadum, pappa pappa pappa dum.”

At one point, Anthony Field danced with a cricket bat, while the rest of the group held the Indian flatbread behind him.

Many Twitter users weren’t pleased with the video for perpetuating the stereotypes tied to Indian culture. “My jaw hit the floor the first time I saw it. Very, very culturally insensitive, and such a stereotype,” one user wrote.

“I wrote the song, and directed the clip in 2014 (which was meant as a celebration),” Field wrote on Twitter. “It was not my intention to be culturally insensitive to the Indian community or to add value to ethnic stereotyping. Apologies.”

Source: DesignTAXI

Apple Tweaks Mask-Wearing Emoji To Look Friendlier In The COVID-19 Era

Yep, the ‘Face with Medical Mask’ emoji has become an unlikely symbol of everyday life for 2020, meaning it’s no longer relevant just for those working in clinical settings – and now it’s had an upgrade.

Following its newfound fame, Apple has recently updated the face so that it looks a little more cheerful, to show that wearing a mask is no bad thing.

The new version of the emoji comes with Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 14.2, which is currently in beta stage and expected to release in late October or early November 2020.

Before, the emoji had exasperated downturned eyes, and looked a bit sorry for itself. But after its makeover, the face not only has cheerful blushing cheeks, but its happy eyes imply there’s even a smile going on under that covering.

Source: LADbible

For the first time since the Great Depression, a majority of young adults (ages 18-29) in the U.S. now live with their parents — Report

As COVID-19 swept the country this year, millions of young adults retreated to familiar territory: living at home with mom and dad.

A majority of young Americans ages 18 to 29 are now living with at least one of their parents, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data. About 52% of this age group, 26.6 million people in total, were living with their parents in July, compared to 47% at the same time last year. This number surpassed the previous record of 48%, which was set in 1940, during the Great Depression.

Since the proportion of 18 to 29 year olds living at home hit a low of 29% in 1960, the number has risen over the decades, jumping to 36% in 1990, to 38% in 2000 and 44% in 2010. However, the increase this year is notably sharp, and tracks with the trajectory of the pandemic; while about 46% or 47% of young adults lived at home through 2019, in 2020 the number jumped to 49% in March, 51% in April and 52% from May through July.

Source: Time

Burger Meat Brand ‘Meat District’ Found at Costco Sparks Anger After Using Asian Woman’s Geisha Image on Packaging

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With its suggestive name “Meat District,” the line of burger products from food manufacturing company Golden West Food Group is being criticized for perpetuating racial stereotypes in the branding of one of its labels.

The particular product in question is the “Kanpai burger,” a type of patty made with American wagyu beef.

The use of a silhouette of an apparent geisha on meat products captured the attention of a Costco shopper who posted a photo of it on Twitter. Geishas are traditional female Japanese entertainers thought to have come about in 17th century Japan.

Source: NextShark