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Saturday, March 19, 2005

postcards from buster – a 12 year old gets it

back in february there was a bit of a tempest about postcards from buster. i’m going to revive it just a little today.

it seems that buster, in his travels, stumbled into a couple lesbians.

i’m an old man by now, and i think too much and ask stupid questions.

normally, of course, i’d make some general statement about how stupid this is, and probably dig up a link or two to the reason pbs was created back in 1969, and maybe the department of education mandate to promote diversity that came with funding the postcards from buster series, and how lesbians really do exist in the world and our children may actually run into one (or two) some day, but sometimes, it’s better to let someone else do the talking. and in this case, that someone else is a 12-year old muslim girl who got it.

A Child Learns a Harsh Lesson in Politics [new york times, feb 5, 2005]

Farah Siddique also knows what it means to feel marginalized, and she is grateful to “Postcards From Buster” for helping her feel less so. Farah, 12, lives in a Chicago suburb with Pakistani and Filipino parents who are Muslim. In a telephone interview, she explained why she was happy to appear on “Postcards From Buster,” wearing her hijab (a head covering) and studying the Koran.

“It was important to tell people about my religion and everything,” she said. “Some people think we’re bad because of 9/11 or something, and I’m telling them we are not bad, we’re not trying to hurt anyone or do anything wrong.”

Asked what she thought about PBS’s decision not to distribute the “Buster” episode about the children with two mothers, she said: “We don’t believe in that stuff. My opinion is that it is bad or wrong. My sister is 7, and she watches PBS Kids shows. I wouldn’t want her to watch that kind of thing.”

What if people said they wouldn’t want to watch the episode about her because they don’t like Muslims?

Without hesitation Farah replied: “Wow, I hadn’t thought about it like that. Can I change what I said? If people were judging me because of my religion I would get really sad. Now I think maybe they should show it.”

mrs. margaret spellings, are you ready to change your answer?

posted by roj at 2:16 pm