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Pork, Parents and The Daily Show

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August 17, 2010

In April, we blogged about the case of Tashima Crudup, a practicing Muslim woman who was denied a foster care license because she does not allow pork products in her home.

Last night, Wyatt Cenac profiled Tashima’s case on The Daily Show. In a particularly hilarious bit, Tashima tells Cenac that any foster child she takes in is free to worship any god they choose. “What if they worship Jimmy Dean?” Cenac asks. “Then they worship Jimmy Dean. Does that mean they don’t need love?” Tashima responds.

The ACLU of Maryland is helping Tashima, a former foster child herself, in her complaint against Contemporary Family Services (CFS), the private company authorized by the state of Maryland to place foster children with families. The complaint, filed with the Baltimore Family Community Relations Commission, charges that CFS is violating Baltimore City Code law by discriminating against Tashima based on her religion.

In April, the state issued a citation against CFS for discriminating against Tashima. In May, the ACLU of Maryland also asked the Office of Licensing and Monitoring (PDF) — the agency that licenses foster care agencies in the state — to require CFS to acknowledge its error in denying Tashima a foster care license based solely on a religiously-based prohibition on pork, and to pledge not to discriminate in future decisions.

Unfortunately, CFS doesn’t quite see it this way. In fact, it stated in response to the citation by the state (PDF):

Our seeming fault in this is not that we denied Ms. Crudup but that we were specific in explaining the nature of the conversation from which her unyielding position was based.

So, CFS feels its only mistake was not that it discriminated against Tashima, but that it admitted doing so.

The Baltimore Community Relations Commission continues to investigate Tashima’s case.

The Daily Show asks: Mesquite-glazed baby back ribs, honey-baked ham…or parents? We think the answer is clear.