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African-American men at risk, activism through social media, linguistic discourse in Pakistan, pressuring Nigerian politicians, Mexico's immigration problem

This week's round-up of commentary covers the risk African-American men face, activism through social media in Indonesia, battling militancy through language diversity in Pakistan, pressuring politicians in Nigeria, and Mexico's immigration problem. 

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A casket containing the body of Michael Brown is wheeled out Monday, Aug. 25, 2014, at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis. Hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye to Brown, who was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer on Aug. 9. (AP Photo/, , Pool

Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post Dispatch/AP/Pool

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The Irish Times / Dublin, Ireland
African-American men are still at risk

“Like the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, a black Florida teenager, by a neighbourhood watch volunteer in 2012, [Michael] Brown’s killing [on Aug. 9] has highlighted the risks faced by young African-American men on account of prejudice and fear...,” states an editorial. “[A]s African-Americans reflect on their condition, six years after the election of America’s first black president, they see that they continue to fall behind in terms of employment, wealth and opportunity. Young black men like Brown are much more likely to be stopped by police, arrested, charged, convicted and imprisoned than their white counterparts. And more likely to be killed by the police who are supposed to protect them.”

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The Jakarta Post / Jakarta, Indonesia
Taking action through social media

“Indonesia with its population of more than 240 million people, most of whom are young and active on social media, has often been cited as the ‘social media capital of the world’ and Jakarta’s citizens as the most avid tweeters compared to any other city.... Indonesia, with its 62 million active social media users ... [should use social media to] engage communities in taking action in the name of humanity and to celebrate the spirit that leads people to help those whose lives have been torn apart by natural disasters or conflicts...,” writes Rajan Gengage. “Everyone can be a humanitarian. We can all do something to alleviate human suffering and we all have the ability to exhibit the spirit of humanity and of helping others.”

Dawn / Karachi, Pakistan
Preserving indigenous languages promotes understanding

“Homogeneity lies at the core of the militant discourse that has permeated the thinking patterns of both state and society.... Homo­geneity decries everything that is different, unknown or unfamiliar...,” writes Khadim Hussain. “With the state increasingly supporting the discourse of homogeneity, we have seen political marginalisation that, in turn, has created deep fault lines in society.... While nobody denies the importance of English and Urdu [in Pakistan], the exclusion of indigenous languages has paved the way for a narrow discourse [which fuels militant mentality].... [D]iversity boosts a pluralist, democratic narrative and can help debunk a militant discourse that is increasingly becoming more dangerous as various groups compete to impose their particular worldview on society.”

The Punch / Lagos, Nigeria
Nigerians must demand more from politicians

“If Nigerians do not define the issues and lay down the agenda of debate for the 2015 elections, most of our politicians are likely to reduce it to a battle of who gives the biggest bags of rice and the largest volume of kerosene...,” writes Japheth Omojuwa. “Insecurity [in the face of terrorism] is a more immediate challenge than corruption. If we don’t deal with this and nip it in the bud within a year, we will get used to it and soon enough, we’d come to accept bomb blasts the way we have now accepted corruption as part of our national reality and norm.... We need something much better. Politicians who can play at the level of workable ideas should step out.... [T]hose of us who know Nigeria can do better ... are not smiling.”

El Universal / Mexico City
Mexico’s own immigration problem

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“According to [a report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights] migrants in Mexico are in a situation of extreme vulnerability.... [T]he response of the Mexican government to solve this problem has been insufficient and even contrary to international human rights standards, because instead of protecting them, it criminalizes them. As a consequence, the situation has worsened instead of getting solved...,” states an editorial. “It is very important that ... authorities adopt what could work to improve the situation of migrants ... [because] Mexico has to be welcoming and receptive towards those who travel....”


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