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Books Involving/About Social Media

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Novels and nonfiction featuring social media and nonfiction about social media.
The Subtweet

The Subtweet

A Novel
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback eBook Audiobook

 

“A timely and compelling look at internet fame and how fickle it really is.… You’ll likely devour it in one sitting.” — Ms. Magazine

Includes an exclusive free soundtrack

Celebrated multidisciplinary artist Vivek Shraya’s second novel is a no-holds-barred examination of the music industry, social media, and making art in the modern era, shining a light on the promise and peril of being seen.

Indie musician Neela Devaki has built a career writing the songs she wants to hear but nobody e …

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Excerpt

 

Neela Devaki was an original.

 

She was reminded of this fact shortly after she stepped out of her cab and into the Fairmont Hotel, the main site for the North by Northeast Festival. Zipping through the masses of musicians, fans and industry reps, she felt sorry for the chandeliers, which loomed above like golden flying saucers, forced to light up the dull networking that buzzed beneath them. But a conversation between two art students, draped in curated thrift wear featuring strategically placed rips and holes, brought Neela to a reluctant halt. 

 

“I was totally working on something like this for my final project. I guess originality really is dead,” one of the women sighed, taking photos of herself, duck-faced with a pop-up art installation.

 

Neela skimmed the artist’s statement. The frosted toothpick statues of penises were “a comment on the current global epidemic of white demasculinization.” Why not just hang a red and white flag that said Make Art Great Again? Brevity was the true endangered species.

 

“You should still do it. All the good ideas are taken anyways. Isn’t that kind of freeing?” replied the other.

 

Neela snorted. She would never offer that sort of “comfort” to a stunted peer. No wonder she was bored with most of the art she encountered.

 

She considered sharing with these young women that she always knew she was on the verge of invention at the precise moment when originality felt impossible. That instead of surrendering to despair, she would needle in and out and through her brain until an idea surfaced — naked, stripped of predictability and familiarity. That this process often required her to sing a phrase over and over for hours until the syllables carved their own unique melody out of hollow air. She was certain that the reiteration planted the words in her vocal chords so that when she sang them, they carried the imprint of her body. By embedding herself into her song, she muted any risk of passing off mimicry as art. Why wasn’t fully committing to creation more desirable than observing what everyone else was doing and doing the same?

 

But defending the sanctity of originality to strangers at an art exhibit would make her seem like an egomaniac. And no one listens to a cocksure woman.

 

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The Arrangement

The Arrangement

edition:Paperback

A Pretty Woman tale turns toxic and deadly in this provocative thriller of sex, obsession, and murder from Robyn Harding, the “master of domestic suspense” (Kathleen Barber) and the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Swap and Her Pretty Face.

Natalie, a young art student in New York City, is struggling to pay her bills when a friend makes a suggestion: Why not go online and find a sugar daddy—a wealthy, older man who will pay her for dates and even give her a monthly allowance? Lots of gi …

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Polar Vortex

Polar Vortex

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook Audiobook

Longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize

Some secrets never die...

Priya and Alexandra have moved from the city to a picturesque countryside town. What Alex doesn't know is that in moving, Priya is running from her past—from a fraught relationship with an old friend, Prakash, who pursued her for many years, both online and off. Time has passed, however, and Priya, confident that her ties to Prakash have been successfully severed, decides it's once more safe to establish an online presence …

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Watching You Without Me

Watching You Without Me

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

The highly anticipated new literary suspense novel from Scotiabank Giller Prize–winning author Lynn Coady.

After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister. Overwhelmed with grief and the daily needs of Kelli, who was born with a developmental disability, Karen begins to feel consumed by the isolation of her new role. On top of that, she’s weighed down with …

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Excerpt

These days, when I tell this story to friends, it’s always the moment Trevor lets himself in with his key the next day — a Sunday — that makes them kind of whoop in their seats. Or flop backward in a gesture of full-bodied incredulity. Or just stare at me like I’m an idiot. But, I explain, Trevor had a key, and that was what he was used to doing. Apparently my mother had given it to him for both of their convenience. The key was sanctioned. She hadn’t given it to any of the other care workers, but that was because, I assumed, they were on a rotation — you never knew who would be coming to bathe Kelli from week to week. Trevor, however, only covered walks, and he turned up like clockwork every Tuesday and Friday morning at ten on the dot.

But this was Sunday, some of my friends argue, and he wasn’t working, he was visiting. Yes, I say, but why would he deviate from habit? This was a house he had a key for, and whenever he came over, he would open the door and come in. That was his routine. So it’s understandable he’d do the same thing on Sunday he would’ve done on a Tuesday or Friday. Isn’t it?

At the time, I thought nothing of it. Trevor said he’d come at ten on Sunday, just as he did on Tuesdays and Fridays, and it was ten on the dot when he inserted his key in the door. Kelli and I had our jackets on, ready to go.

I have to admit, everything about that day was off. It started with Trevor’s insistence we all cram into the cab of his pickup truck when there was a perfectly comfortable two-door sedan parked in the driveway.

“No,” said Trevor. “I’m more comfortable driving the truck.” As if the question of who would drive had already been discussed and dispensed with.

So Kelli got in the middle, which she was not too happy about, especially when I had to root around beneath her thighs and buttocks to find the middle safety belt, which it turned out had been used so rarely it had been all but consumed by the tuck of the seat. Then I stuffed myself in beside her, which I was not happy about because being crammed against my sister was a lot like cuddling up against a lavishly padded space heater. And then, of course, there was Trevor, squeezing in behind the wheel, calling, “Suck in your guts, girls!” before he closed the door.

“Knee,” said Kelli a moment after we pulled out of the driveway. Which meant her right knee was cramping up, as it often did when she sat in close quarters.

“Your knee sore, Kelli?” I asked.

“Knee sore.”

“She’s got arthritis,” I explained to Trevor. “We should maybe get the sedan …”

Trevor glanced down at Kelli’s thighs, like two massive, sweatpants-clad loaves of bread squashed together.

“Ah, you’re good, darlin.’”

“Knee sore.”

“It’s a short trip.”

It was a thirty-minute trip out of town, the last five minutes of which took place along a winding dirt road that grew darker the deeper it took us into the woods.

This is like a fairy tale, I remember thinking. But the cautionary, old-world kind, the kind that never bothered with happy endings. Where parents take their innocent and trusting children to the forest and abandon them for hungry old ladies to entice into their ovens, for talking wolves to swallow whole.

“Kelli’s knee,” said Kelli.

“Almost there, Beaner.”

And it was true. All at once the woods opened up — also like a fairy tale, but this time of the Disney variety. Because what stood before us was a mansion. An honest-to-god Regency-style mansion like something out of Masterpiece Theatre. Where was the horse and carriage? Where were Mr. Darcy and the Bennett sisters? It had a Doric portico and French windows and buttresses and balustrades.

“This is it,” said Trevor. “Barnbarroch Manor.”

I burst out laughing. The angry kind.

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How to Be a Bawse

How to Be a Bawse

A Guide to Conquering Life
edition:Hardcover

From the 2017 People's Choice Award winner for Favorite YouTube Star comes the definitive guide to being a bawse: a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side.

Lilly Singh isn't just a superstar. She's Superwoman—which is also the name of her wildly popular YouTube channel. Funny, smart and insightful, the actress and comedian covers topics ranging from relationships to career choices to ever …

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

Play Nintendo

I’m sweating in my blue overalls as I look at all the obstacles ahead of me. I have three options: (1) pound my head on this brick block and hope for a star, (2) run and jump over the enemy, or (3) step on this turtle’s head and force him to retract into his shell. No matter which option I go with, the fact remains that the Koopa Troopa up ahead is going to stay there. I can’t control it or convince it that it’s actually a Ninja Turtle and thus is in the wrong game. That’s fine. No Ninja Turtles means more pizza for me, and I’m Italian, so this is all working out. I know the Koopa Troopa isn’t going to listen to me, and therefore I need to control the only thing I can—and that’s me, Mario.

Videogames are a great analogy for life. You go through levels, get thrown off by obstacles, and face several enemies. The game will become harder and harder, but it’s okay because you become smarter, faster, and more skilled. When playing a videogame, you control a character by making it jump, run, duck, and attack. I mean, that was back in my day when my Super Nintendo controller had two buttons. Today videogame controllers have as many buttons as a keyboard, so who knows what you can do. You can probably press A + Y + Z while twirling your left joystick and your character will sing the national anthem. Either way, the fact remains that your character is the only thing you can control in the game. The enemies will keep coming, the walls will keep shrinking, and the time will keep ticking away. It’s your job to navigate your character through a situation you cannot control.

That’s exactly how you should view life. A Bawse understands that there are many things in life you have no control over and it is inefficient to become frustrated by that reality. Not being able to control people and situations doesn’t make you powerless; it just means you have to exercise your power in a different way. If you can’t control people, then control your reaction to them. If you can’t control a situation, then prepare for it.

Before I started my career in the entertainment industry, I was the leader of a small dance company (if you could even call it that) in Toronto. We started off small, with only a few dancers, specializing in only Indian dance styles, but over time, in true Lilly fashion, I wanted to keep growing and expanding our horizons. Since I was little, I’ve had larger-than-life ideas. I never wanted to settle for something simple or mediocre, and as a result, when I did things, I wanted them to be the biggest and best things. There were so many other dance teams and companies around and I didn’t want to just be another addition to an already long list. I committed my days to transforming the company in the hopes of creating a dance empire that would take over the world. I really thought that was possible. We would be dancing Power Rangers who saved the world, one extended leg and pointed toe at a time. I decided to convert my basement into a full-blown office. We held auditions for dancers who were skilled in all forms of dance so that we could perform hip-hop, classical, and fusion in addition to what we were already doing. I organized photo shoots and video shoots and other creative marketing techniques. I had so much drive and determination that no injury, financial strain, or competition could steer me off my path. What I couldn’t see, however, was the one obstacle that was in front of me the entire time, and which caused everything to fall apart: the team itself.

I had such big dreams for the company and I was always willing to work for them. Without hesitation, I would pull all-nighters to put together marketing materials, spend money out of my own pocket to invest in what we needed, and drive myself crazy thinking of innovative ways to set ourselves apart. But then I would arrive at practice and deal with three dancers showing up late, one not showing up at all, and two of them leaving early. Getting people to put in work on events to help our brand was like pulling teeth. We often performed at weddings and thus needed to adhere to a professional dress code, yet some dancers would occasionally show up wearing shorts and flip-flops. I would get so frustrated with them because I was putting in so much work for this dream, but the reality of the situation was that the dream was mine, not theirs. I tried for years to control them and make them work for something they didn’t care about as much as I did, and it just didn’t work.

My dance company dreams faded away gradually, but the process was hastened by my discovery of YouTube. I remember feeling a new sensation the first time I uploaded a video. I wrote the script, shot it, edited it, and released it. No one else was involved or required, and the independence was exhilarating. Soon I developed an even greater drive and passion for my career as Superwoman than I’d had previously with my dance team. This time, however, I wasn’t trying to control a group of twenty people every time I needed something to get done. The only person I needed to control was the only person I could control, and that was me.

Today, of course, I have a team that surrounds me and helps me to build my business. But Lilly is still at the root of Superwoman. The success of Superwoman and the failure of my dance team helped me learn a very important lesson: work with what’s in your control. This lesson can be applied to so many situations in our lives. You get frustrated when your parents nag you, so every time they do, you storm out of the room. You can’t control your parents, so stop trying. Instead, use that energy to control your reaction the next time they nag you. You might not be able to smash a brick block and find a star that makes you invincible, but you can practice patience and build up a resistance to nagging. If none of that works, you can find the closest green tube and transport yourself out of the conversation.

Have you ever played a videogame then lost because you realized you were looking at the wrong part of the screen the whole time? You were so confused as to why your controller wasn’t working, but really you were just trying to control the wrong character. That’s what trying to control people is like in real life. We’re so often fixated on getting people to behave in accordance with what we want that we forget to focus on ourselves.

The best way to stop people from pushing your buttons is to start pushing your own.

A + Y + Z. Left joystick.

“O Canada.”

Chapter 2

Conquer your thoughts

Touch your nose. No, I’m serious. I want you to stop reading after this sentence and don’t resume until you take your right hand and use it to touch the tip of your nose.

Do it.

Look at you! What an impressive piece of machinery you are. Do you know what you just did? You were introduced to a thought and decided to act on it; your brain sent signals through your neurotransmitters, through your body, and into your arm, prompting it to move and touch your magnificent nose.

Why did I just make you touch your nose? Because I’m Simon and I run this town! No, but really, it was to show you that YOU control your mind; your mind doesn’t control you. You successfully directed your brain to touch your nose. Understanding your mind’s power is key to being a Bawse. Imagine using that same type of direction to instruct your mind to stop being negative, or jealous, or terrified. We often feel that we are slaves to biology. People say things like “I just can’t help but feel that way” or “I can’t control being jealous.” But I believe that, in most situations, we can teach our minds to function with more positivity and efficiency. In other words, by understanding that mushy sponge in our skulls, we can conquer our thoughts.

What does conquering your thoughts mean? First, it means you get to wear an awesome warrior costume, so congrats on that victory! #OOTD Also, it means understanding why you feel the way you feel, what prompts you to carry out certain actions, what causes specific reactions, and what circumstances lead you to make regrettable decisions. Once you discover all the ins and outs of your mind, you basically have the cheat code to your game of life. All you have to do is input the data and you have access to extra mental weapons, stronger protection, and new passageways. Notice I said YOUR game of life and not THE game of life. That’s because everyone’s mind is different. The cheat codes you discover for your mind cannot be applied to all of humanity. I’m not encouraging you to study the BIOLOGY of the brain (it is fascinating, but also, who has that much time?). I’m encouraging you to study your specific psychological makeup.

I was forced to learn how to conquer my thoughts because of the nature of my job. For six years I’ve been posting videos twice a week on the Internet. I have over 500 videos on my main channel and 500 videos on my second channel—that’s over 1,000 videos for people around the globe to view and judge as harshly as they desire. The Internet is wonderful and revolutionary, but let’s face it, it can also be extremely cruel. People feel they can say anything to you when they are sitting comfortably behind their computer screen being completely anonymous. When I first started posting videos, I got a lot of support (mostly because my friends and family would watch and they felt obligated to be nice. Also, I had a second account that I would use to compliment myself. Oops!), but with time I started to receive negative, hateful comments and I didn’t know how to react. Here are a few examples (word for word, without spellcheck) of the comments I’ve received:

This lily Singh paki ***** needs to die she’s everywhere I hate seeing her Bengali paki face I hope she gets cancer or her mum dies slowly j painfully leave focus tube alone up horrible black *****

This is why women shouldn’t have rights.

This video gave me cancer

she is so ****ing stupid. she only get famous because she hot and thst sells but she is still dumb. I hope someone shoots her

FUN!

Do hateful comments still bother me? Sometimes, but not as often. How did I deal with them? When people ask me this, my response is usually, “I developed a thick skin.” But what I really mean is, I learned how to conquer my thoughts. This is how I broke it down:

People are leaving mean comments.

Why?

Maybe it’s because my videos suck.

Do you say mean things to people when you think they suck?

No. Not unless I’m having a bad day or in a bad mood.

Maybe people leaving the negative comments are having a bad day. Maybe that’s what the comment is really about.

But the comments make me feel insecure.

Do you like your videos?

Yes.

So should your opinion of your videos be dependent on what other people think? Is that the type of person you want to be?

Not at all.

So it doesn’t make sense to let the negative opinions of others impact what you think.

Maybe I should stop making videos, though.

Does making videos make you happy?

Yes, very.

Do you believe you should value negative comments above your own happiness?

That doesn’t sound right. Maybe I should just reply to them?

Or you could spend more time replying to people that make you feel good so they’re more encouraged to keep supporting you.

Now, you may think a convo like this sounds a bit naive. OF COURSE people want to be happy and ignore negative comments, but it’s easier said than done. That’s why it’s important to closely analyze this conversation and discover all the cheat codes hidden within it.

“Maybe they’re having a bad day.” CHEAT CODE ONE: Lilly, when people do or say hurtful things to you, there’s a chance they may actually be upset about something else in their life.

“Should other opinions impact what you think about yourself?” CHEAT CODE TWO: Lilly, sometimes when you hear other opinions you’ll feel pressured to change your own. Before you enter into situations in which you will be confronted with a lot of opinions, make sure you strongly believe your own.

“I don’t want to stop making videos, because they make me happy.” CHEAT CODE THREE: Your happiness is stronger than fear. You can continue battling fear as long as your videos, make you happy. Make sure you prioritize creating content that makes you happy; otherwise fear and negativity will slowly take over.

“Maybe I should reply to them.” CHEAT CODE FOUR: Recognize that replying was suggested to make you feel better. Understand this impulse and catch it before you act on it. Make yourself feel better in a more constructive way.

The cheat codes I discovered while dealing with YouTube comments have been useful in so many areas of my life. When someone cuts me off while driving, I apply cheat code one so that I don’t overreact: the person driving could be upset about something in their life. Cutting me off wasn’t about ME. When a brand offers me a lot of money to make a video I don’t actually like, I implement cheat code three: my content has to make me happy, otherwise negativity will start to seep in. When I’m having an argument and want to make an unnecessary remark to get the last word in, I try to catch myself because I know I’m just trying to make myself feel better—thus cheat code four. If I’ve gotten myself into an upsetting situation, it’s usually because I ignored a cheat code or pattern in my behavior.

Conquering your thoughts is not a task that can be accomplished overnight, or over many nights, to be honest. It’s an ongoing process that requires frequent readjustment because your mind is constantly evolving. It requires you to ask yourself a lot of questions and to analyze the answers honestly. From now on start asking yourself WHY you feel a certain way, WHAT made you perform a certain action, and HOW you could do things differently. The information you discover is powerful because it helps you to discover patterns and in turn use your mind productively and efficiently. After all, your mind is your most powerful tool, but it’s not useful if you don’t know how to use it. It’s like trying to fix a printer with a stapler: it doesn’t work. Trust me, I’ve tried.

The key is to use a hammer because all printers suck.

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Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback Paperback
tagged :

Jules is a young man barely a century old. He's lived long enough to see the cure for death and the end of scarcity, to learn ten languages and compose three symphonies...and to realize his boyhood dream of taking up residence in Disney World.

Disney World! The greatest artistic achievement of the long-ago twentieth century. Now in the care of a network of volunteer "ad-hocs" who keep the classic attractions running as they always have, enhanced with only the smallest high-tech touches.

Now, thoug …

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Little Brother & Homeland

Little Brother & Homeland

edition:Paperback
tagged : cyberpunk

Cory Doctorow’s twoNew York Times-bestselling novels of youthful rebellion against the torture-and-surveillance state – now available in a softcover omnibus
“A wonderful, important book ... I’d recommendLittle Brother over pretty much
any book I’ve read this year.” –Neil Gaiman
Little Brother
Marcus Yallow is seventeen years old when he skips school and finds himself caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on San Francisco. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and hi …

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Trump, Twitter & The Law

Trump, Twitter & The Law

The Trump presidency as seen through his Tweets and related legal issues, laws, and court decisions.
edition:Paperback

Never has there been a President like Donald J. Trump. In the five years since he announced his candidacy, through Impeachment proceedings and the impact of the coronavirus, President Trump has challenged or ignored almost every standard of the Presidency. Trump, Twitter & The Law tells the story, often through the President’s own words and those of the courts, of his profound impact on the presidency and America. The topic-by-topic discussion of the related legal issues, laws and court decisi …

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Excerpt

Except from Chapter "Other Groups" (Footnotes not included)

“I am the least racist person. Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!” — Donald Trump, @realDonaldTrump, August 6, 2019

This excerpt considers some of President Trump’s discriminatory communications and policies in connection with various groups that are not addressed in prior chapters:

(i) White Nationalists; (ii) Native Americans; (iii) Jewish-Americans; (iv) Asian-Americans; (v) other religious-based discrimination; and (vi) sexual identification.

White Nationalists
On numerous occasions, President Trump has supported, and posted Retweets of Tweets by, White Nationalist extremist groups on Twitter without apology. The former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan said that members voted for the President because Mr. Trump said that he would “take [the] country back”. Despite a prepared condemnation in response to the 2017 far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the President subsequently suggested a moral equivalence between the White Supremacist marchers and those who protested against them and posted a Tweet to express sympathy with the rally marchers. A “Social Media Summit” convened by the President included numerous right-wing extremists such as a major promoter of the extremist QAnon group. President Trump and key members of the Trump Administration deny the existence of White Supremacism as an issue in American society despite the testimony from the Director of the FBI that it is a “persistent, pervasive threat”. Some argue that the Trump Administration propagates “open white supremacy”. Twenty-five Jewish members of Congress demanded that the President fire Stephen Miller, the senior White House advisor who has heavily shaped the immigration policy of the Trump Administration after a report of a public interest group that analyzed almost 1,000 of his emails found that they promote White Nationalism.

Native Americans
Prior to entering politics, President Trump had a long history of issues opposite Native Americans, despite his claim that “nobody likes Indians as much as Donald Trump”. The President has denigrated Native Americans by continuously referencing a Senator and 2020 Democratic Presidential primary candidate as “Pochahontas”, including by Tweet. In one Tweet attacking the Senator, President Trump made reference to the 1890 Wounded Knee massacre of hundreds of Native Americans for which Congress formally apologized. Many Native Americans were further offended when the President declared November as “National American History and Founders Month”, even though November had been designated as “Native American Heritage Month” for decades.

Jewish-Americans
It appears that President Trump uses anti-Semitism as a political tool, despite Ivanka, Kushner and their children being Jewish. A number of the President’s Tweets have been anti-Semitic.. President Trump repeatedly indulges in anti-Semitic themes, such as conspiracy mongering and dual-loyalty tropes which question the loyalty to the United States of Jewish Americans. For example, the President trafficked in anti-Semitic memes, including a Tweet that was later deleted of a six-pointed star alongside a pile of cash. President Trump has called Jews “brutal killers, not nice people” and questioned the loyalty to the United States of Jews who vote for Democrats. A host of Jewish groups have condemned the President’s comments on Jews, in particular the multiple references to dual loyalty. In late 2019, the Trump Administration announced an executive order that instructed all government agencies tasked with enforcing anti-discrimination law to “consider” the nonbinding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (the “IHRA”) working definition of anti-Semitism. The Order triggers a portion of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 that requires educational institutions that receive federal funding not to discriminate based on national origin. The IHRA provides contemporary “examples” of anti-Semitism, including dual-loyalty accusations. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in programs receiving federal support on the basis of race, color or national origin but, unlike many other anti-discrimination provisions, does not reference religion. It has been argued that, if Jews are “just” a religious group, they may not be protected under Title VI. Immigration law has been specifically directed to Jews, among other religious groups, fleeing the Soviet Union. However, discrimination that is based on a “group’s actual or perceived ancestry or ethnic characteristics” or “actual or perceived citizenship or residency in a country whose residents share a dominant religion or a distinct religious identity,” is within the purview of Title VI. An individual who faces discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin does not lose protection under Title VI for also being a member of a group that shares common religious practices. Jews are already protected as a “race” under other civil rights legislation. There is a question whether discrimination against Jews in terms of national origin, as opposed to religion, is covered by Title VI. Many American Jews express the view that a reference to Jews as a “nationality” implicitly codifies the dual-loyalty trope. In addition, the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which was originally designed for monitoring and data-collection purposes, was not designed to assign civil liability. The view has also been expressed that the executive order could suppress Constitutionally-protected criticism of Israel. Oddly, it has been said that terror events directed at Jews have been motivated by anti-Semitism and a hatred of President Trump, who is accused by White Nationalists of being a “Jew-lover” and having an administration “infested” by Jews.

Asian-Americans
President Trump has made discriminatory statements regarding Asian-Americans, despite claiming that they are “not racist at all”. For example, the President lauded the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, one of the darkest events in United States history. The President complained that a South Korean film won the 2020 “Best Picture” Academy Award. President Trump’s reference to the Coronavirus as a “foreign virus” has been said to be evidence of a xenophobic approach to epidemics References by the President in Tweets and otherwise to the “Chinese virus” and the Secretary of State’ use of the term “Wuhan virus” have angered the Chinese government. The use by President Trump of the term “Chinese virus” and the reference by a White House official of the term “Kung-Flu” have been said to be racist and resulted in rhetoric and physical attacks of Asian Americans. When asked a question by a Chinese-American reporter, the President told the reporter to “ask China” and claimed her question was “nasty”. For example, Chinese-Americans have been yelled at, spit on and attacked. In one case, two Chinese-American children were stabbed by a man who said he thought that they were infecting others in a store. A group of law students published an open letter condemning a law professor who they said perpetuated xenophobic stereotypes by speculating in a subsequently-deleted Tweet that Chinese students in his class were responsible for his recent sickness. In response to public criticism, the President posted a Tweet saying that [i]t is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community” but days later Don Jr. posted a karate-themed meme of his father beating the Coronavirus on Instagram with the offensive caption: “Hahahahaha ‘The Kung-Flu Kid.’” This has resulted in a surge of online expression of anti-Chinese sentiment. During the Pandemic, the 2020 Trump Campaign ran an advertisement that is rife with deceptive images and audio in an attempt to portray presumptive Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden as being overly friendly to, and supportive of, China. The advertisement included out-of-context remarks and the inclusion of an image of Gary Locke, a United-States born, Asian-American, who is a former two-term governor of the State of Washington and United States Ambassador to China, that does not make clear that Locke is American. Locke responded that “President Trump and his team are fanning hatred…Hate crimes and discrimination against the Asian American community are on the rise. And the Trump team is making it worse.”

Other Religion-based Discrimination
Although much of President Trump’s religious discrimination has been addressed against Muslims, the President has evidenced other religion-based discrimination. For example, President Trump posted Tweets claiming that the President is saving the Christian-based Christmas holiday. President Trump promoted “Merry Christmas” rather than the more inclusive “Happy Holidays” greeting in what has been described as a method to gin up outrage among conservatives. Similarly, the President’s claim that there is a “war” on Thanksgiving has been said to be a sinister approach to generate the impression that White Christians are under siege in the United States. President Trump has also used religion as a basis for policies unrelated to immigration. For example, the Trump Administration promulgated a rule aimed at accommodating religious or moral objections to health care services provided by recipients of federal funds. The rule expanded the conscience provisions in several statutes that address, among other treatments, abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide, and counselling and referrals relating to these services. When challenged, the DHHS attempted to justify the new rules by claiming that the DHHS received a significant increase in complaints by reluctant service providers based on religious grounds but the Court found that factually untrue and therefore found the rule in violation of the APA.

Sexual Identification
President Trump has also evidenced discrimination based on sexual identification. In a series of Tweets that effected a policy statement for the military, President Trump announced a proposal to ban transgender individuals from the military, despite the military having shortly before determined that permitting transgender individuals to serve would not have adverse effects on the military and had announced that such individuals were free to serve openly. In response, the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the prior policy would remain in place until a formal policy memorandum was issued. A slightly revised policy was subsequently made the subject of an executive order. The resulting policy allows a transgender individual who does not have gender dysphoria, which is a disconnect between one’s biological sex and the gender with which one identifies, and has not already undergone a gender transition, to join or serve in the military, with limited exceptions for those currently serving. A group of active-duty transgender service members pre-emptively sued the President Trump. Additional suits followed. Tweets of the President about the policy were referenced in decisions challenging to the policy. In one suit, the Court issued an injunction, saying: The discrimination in this case was certainly of an unusual character…the President abruptly announced, via Twitter – without any of the formality or deliberative processes that generally accompany the development and announcement of major policy changes that will gravely affect the lives of many Americans – that all transgender individuals would be precluded from participating in the military in any capacity. These circumstances provide additional support for Plaintiffs’ claim that the decision to exclude transgender individuals was not driven by genuine concerns regarding military efficacy. (emphasis by the author) An injunction restraining execution of the order was subsequently vacated by the USSC so that the order is in force. However, several suits continue. Positions taken by the DOJ under the Trump Administration in three cases about workplace issues before the USSC provoked a group of DOJ members to express concern about workplace discrimination by the DOJ against members of the LGBTQ community.

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