When “Iranian” becomes racist short-hand for “terrorist”

According to a CNN iReporter, missing passengers Pouri Nourmohammadi, 18, and elavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29 -- the two passengers flying on forged passports -- took this picture with their roommates in Kuala Lumpur moments before boarding MH370. Photo Credit: CNN/iReport
According to a CNN iReporter, missing passengers Pouri Nourmohammadi, 18, and Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza, 29 — the two passengers flying on forged passports — took this picture with their roommates in Kuala Lumpur moments before boarding MH370. Photo Credit: CNN/iReport

Over the weekend, a Malaysian Air jetliner, MH370,  disappeared somewhere over Southeast Asia, potentially claiming all 239 souls on-board. As search crews continue to scour the area following recent suggestions that the jet mysteriously shifted course near Pulau Perak and started flying on a vector in the opposite direction from Beijing, mainstream news outlets have focused on two non-Asian male passengers who reportedly purchased their tickets using the stolen passports of an Austrian and an Italian citizen.

Over the last few days, mainstream news have tacitly suggested that these two passengers were — by virtue of their forged passports — responsible for the jet’s disappearance. Twitter and other social networking sites have been more explicit, openly theorizing over terrorism.

These theories were whipped into a frenzy yesterday when it was revealed that the two non-Asian passengers flying on forged passports were of Iranian descent.

Because, y’know, “Iranian” is synonymous with “terrorist”.

That’s so racist, yo.

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The problem with that Axe #KissForPeace Superbowl ad

make-love-not-war-axe

If you were watching that thrashing of the Denver Broncos by the Seattle Seahawks last night, chances are you caught Axe’s Superbowl ad, which suggested that world peace could be achieved through heterosexual love.

In the ad, four scenes representing international militarism and aggression are interspersed: 1) Iranian nuclear armament, 2) the Vietnam War, via the iconic helicopter scene of Miss Saigon, 3)¬†North Korean mass conformity, and 4) the tank of Tiananmen Square, reimagined with Russian players. In all four scenes, the love of a woman prevents each of the men from military aggression, and the ad concludes with the insipid message: ¬†“Make Love. Not War.”

And while that Coca-Cola ad — and the racist backlash against it — is probably going to grab all the headlines this post-Superbowl Monday morning, I gotta say: yes, this Axe ad was all sorts of wrong (video after the jump).

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