New America Media, News Analysis, NAM Editors
Ed. Note: For news headlines, 2013 didn’t disappoint. From ongoing violence in the Middle East to the rollout of landmark health care reform here at home, the ascension of a new pope and the passing of an international human rights icon, the year’s tumult was splashed across news websites and front pages, worldwide. But for U.S.-based ethnic media, there were other stories that – while less reported – hit closer to home. From Michigan’s Arab American community breaking the silence around sexual harassment, to Japanese and Korean American disputes over a Southern California memorial honoring women forced into sexual servitude during WWII, the impact of drought on feral horses on Navajo land, and the hopes of African Americans for education reform in Memphis, these stories and others identified by ethnic media editors and reporters sent ripples across immigrant and ethnic communities that will surely continue to play out in 2014.
While much of the media attention this year focused on Syria’s ongoing civil war and the political chaos in Egypt, for Michigan’s Arab American community the story that really got folks talking involved allegations of sexual harassment leveled at the head of the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the largest national Arab American civil rights group. Reporter Natasha Dado, who covered the story for Arab American News, said the real impact of the scandal was that it started “a conversation in the Arab American community about sexual harassment,” resulting in the formation of a coalition on the issue. “For the first time, you’re hearing the Arab American community talking about sexual harassment, with some Arab American men standing behind them,” Dado said. “Racial discrimination – they’ve tackled that, now they are tackling sexual harassment.”
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