Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warmongers strike again!

I'm a little late to the story, but wanted to draw attention to it given earlier commentary on Hamed Hadadi and his trials and tribulations in going to the Grizzlies. Also, today is September 11th and as a country we seem to lose our collective minds around this time every year, and it's important to remind ourselves that our senseless bullshit policies have meaningful effects on people's lives who don't deserve it.

So there's a young man named Bol Kong currently living in Canada (and has been living in Canada since the age of 7) who happens to be a pretty talented shooting guard. He's been playing recently for Douglas College in British Columbia, but scouts have been impressed enough that he's received scholarship offers from several Divisin I NCAA schools, and even accepted one from Gonzaga.

Sounds great, right? The African Adam Morrison, coming soon to the Pacific Northwest? There's just one problem: Kong was unfortunate enough to have been born in Sudan. There are some 200ish countries in the world, but there are five that are singled out as evil by the U.S. State Department, and Sudan happens to be one of them. So, as the story linked above outlines, Kong's been having a lot of trouble getting the Visa that he would need to come to the U.S. as a student, despite the scholarship offer from Gonzaga.

Now there's some rumors that Kong may have given up, and will finish his college education at St. Francis Xavier in Nova Scotia.

This is a basketball blog, and that's why the story made it into these pages, but be aware that Kong's story is just one of thousands of students who either already were studying in the U.S. before 9/11 and subsequently had to leave, or those who were planning to come over and now cannot. This isn't just about being able to play basketball where you want to, it's about access to education also.

Look, I get that anti-intellectualism is sort of what the Bush administration is famous for, and that stupid right-wing fucks think education is bad and elitist and theories of evolution were first expressed by the devil and that literacy is a sign of Babylon but ease up!

I ask the State Department: What possible threat do you think a 20 year-old who has been living in Canada since he was seven and wants to study and play basketball poses to the U.S. of A.? The only bombs he drops are from the three-point line.

I, for one, don't feel at all safer. Not one bit.

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