New America Media - 10 hours 21 min ago
After her son Rhys was born, Annie Cok adopted a special diet and didn’t leave her apartment in Queens for a whole month — but she couldn’t give up bathing.“I had to wash my hair right the next day after... Anne Noyes Saini http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 15:44
This writing has no happiness behind it. All the cheer from watching the sporadic wins of Pakistan’s Cricket Team in their recent series against New Zealand has just evaporated. As of this moment 132 school children are dead in Peshawar,... Ras H. Siddiqui http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=994
New America Media - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 13:00
Lea en españolDALLAS – Claudia Jovel didn’t have to undergo a perilous journey to reach American soil when she came here 20 years ago from El Salvador. She was able to make the trip with a card that identified her... Carolina Guzmán Rincón http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 12:00
English TranslationDALLAS -- No fue, hasta cierto punto, un inicio azaroso el que vivió Claudia Jovel al llegar a suelo estadounidense hace aproximadamente 20 años proveniente de El Salvador, ya que lo hizo contando con una tarjeta que la certificaba... Carolina Guzmán Rincón http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 10:40
There were two big takeaways from President Obama’s Cuban opening. The first is obvious. After 55 years of U.S.-backed invasions, covert efforts to sabotage and overthrow Fidel Castro, an embargo, and a Cold War freeze in diplomatic relations, the U.S.... Earl Ofari Hutchinson http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 08:13
Ed. Note: In November, the University of California Board of Regents approved a plan to raise tuition for all students by 5 percent each year over the next five years. The move touched off heated reactions among students and... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
New America Media - Fri, 12/19/2014 - 00:15
Photo: Shown are successful graduates of the federal jobs program for low-income seniors—a program cut in half since 2011. (Photos: Senior Service America) WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Four thousand scientists from more than 30 countries will share the latest studies in medical, care taking,... Rong Xiaoqing http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:52
Today is International Migrants Day. It takes place each year on December 18th and is promoted by the United Nations as a day to recognize the millions of people who migrate across the globe – many of whom are forced... Opal Tometi http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:22
Tired of searching and searching for more queer women of color representation on Neflix? Well, stop looking there. There's a new indie effort called Sistah Sinema underway that will offer a wide selection of films by and about queer women of color.
Sistah Sinema decided to team up with IndieFlix after exploring other platforms. IndieFlix - like Sistah Sinema - focused on indie filmmakers and creating a conversation about cinema. According to Scilla Andreen - IndieFlix's CEO and one of the few women CEOs in tech - niche marketing and community-brand marketing is key to IndieFlix's future growth. Partnering with Sistah Sinema is part of a larger effort to showcase cinema that highlights global diversity.
The films include selections like Cheryl Dunye's important 1997 film "The Watermelon Woman" and Kourtney Ryan Ziegler's look at black transmen, "Still Black." Take a look at the films and learn more here. Memberships are only $5 a month.
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 16:17
Black LGBT people in the U.S. are more likely to live in states that don't prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation, according to a new report (PDF) from the Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA School of Law. That difference puts some 890,000 black LGBT people at risk of being discriminated against with no legal protection, researchers found.
Those findings come from a new report that examines the disparities in life experiences for LGBT people who live in states that don't prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation. The Williams Institute compared Washington, D.C, and the 21 states that have laws on their books prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation with the 29 states--primarily Midwestern, Southern, and Mountain States--that don't. They found that states that offer employment protections are more likely to have an LGBT-friendly social climate than states that don't. That line translates to differences in income, health outcomes and access, and food insecurity.
Unsurprisingly, LGBT people in the U.S. have widely different experiences depending on their race and geographic location. By one estimate, more than one in six LGBT people who live in those 29 states without state anti-discrimination laws is black, even though black people are estimated to be roughly 15 percent of the LGBT population in the U.S.
Check out the rest of the report at the Williams Institute.
Hyphen Blog - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:17
Photos from Bay Area Solidarity
On December 15, Asian, white and Chicano allies answered the call from the organizers of Black Lives Matter for non-black allies to step up to challenge police violence and institutionalized racism against black people by shutting down the Oakland Police Department #ShutdownOPD.
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 11:15
Los Angeles-area lawyers, law students, legal aids and allies gathered on the steps of the Los Angeles County Superior Court for a die-in Tuesday to protest police brutality that disproportionately targets black people. The participants, clad in business suits with briefcases, weathered rain for about 15 minutes that morning.
Law professor Priscilla Ocen, who is also the spokesperson for the event, told Colorlines that about 275 people attended the die-in.
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:50
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is making good on warnings he issued earlier this year over New York City's handling of the city jail Rikers Island. Today, federal prosecutors announced that they will sue the city for violating the civil rights of its juvenile inmates, the New York Times reported.
Rikers Island's adolescent inmates were "subjected to unconstitutional conditions and confinement," Bharara and Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in their filing, the Los Angeles Times reported. Until September of this year when city officials moved to phase out the practice, solitary confinement has been the primary form of punishment used against 16 and 17-year-old inmates at Rikers.
That wasn't enough change for federal prosecutors, who wrote in their filing that among other violations, "Staff have frequently insulted, humiliated, and antagonized [inmates], often using obscenities and abusive language without fear of any reprimand from supervisors. Such unprofessional conduct provokes physical altercations, and leads to unnecessary violence." In a searing federal report published this summer, Bharara also noted that in the last two years, adolescent inmates sustained more than a thousand injuries--nearly half of which required emergency care, the Los Angeles Times reported.
If you're looking for devastating, deep reads into Rikers Island, The New York Times' Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz have been filing reports on the jail this year on the culture of abuse and violence which ruled Rikers, focusing on guards' brutal treatment of inmates, especially those with mental illness.
In their latest installment, Winerip and Schwirtz examine labor's role in blocking reform of the jail system. It's an especially pertinent issue as the rest of the nation grapples with police accountability and criminal justice reform. It's not just corrections officer unions who are stymieing accountability efforts.
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 10:37
Political protests by elite athletes have returned to playing fields and basketball courts.
In the two weeks since a grand jury failed to indict Daniel Pantaleo, a white New York City cop who was videotaped using a fatal chokehold on an unarmed, black father, Eric Garner, elite athletes have worn pre-game T-shirts adorned with protest slogans. The specifics of the messages are different -- #blacklivesmatter, "I Can't Breathe" -- but the intent is the same: to call attention to the police and vigilante violence against black men such as Garner and Michael Brown, and children including Tamir Rice.
Last weekend, several high-profile college teams got in on the action, including the women's basketball teams from Notre Dame and Cal.December 14, 2014 December 14, 2014
With that action, the players followed Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose:
Derrick Rose, "I can't Breathe" pic.twitter.com/OV1rhR2eLD-- Sports Pics (@AmazingSprtsPic) December 8, 2014 December 10, 2014
And Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James:December 9, 2014
And Brooklyn Nets players:December 9, 2014
These elite athletes certainly have the political cover: The country is swept up in massive protests, the likes of which it hasn't seen in years. Last weekend, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in New York City's Washington Square Park. In Oakland, protesters shut down freeways and barricaded themselves in front of that city's police headquarters. Celebrities including Jesse Williams and Ava DuVernay have founded an activist network of their own and called for economic boycotts.
Even the president weighed in: "I think LeBron did the right thing. We forget the role that Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe, and Bill Russell played in raising consciousness," Obama reportedly told People magazine. "I'd like to see more athletes do that -- not just around this issue, but around a range of issues."
According to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, the issue of police and vigilante killings of black men has hit "the mainstream"
"You're kind of seeing a tipping point right now, in terms of social issues. It's become at the forefront right now as opposed to being a local issue," he told reporters post-game. "It's really something that has carried over and spilled into the mainstream, so when you turn on the TV and you watch the news or you follow things on social media, you don't just see African-Americans out there protesting."
Bryant continued: "I think it's us supporting that movement and supporting each other. The beauty of our country lies in its democracy. I think if we ever lose the courage to be able to speak up for the things that we believe in, I think we really lose the value that our country stands for."
In his weekly Edge of Sports column, Dave Zirin expanded on the movement's significance in the world of sports. "Seeing the movement impinge upon the highly sanitized, deeply authoritarian world of sports is not only a reflection of just how widespread the outpouring of anger has been," Zirin wrote. "These athletic protests also shape the movement, giving more people the confidence to get in the streets and puncturing the self-imposed bubbles of those who want to pretend that all is well in the world. It is politicizing sports fans and educating those who think that sports in general--and athletes in particular--have nothing to offer the struggle for a better world."
That struggle isn't lost on people who've lived through other major political moments.
Detroit Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he supported his star running back, Reggie Bush, who wrote "I can't breathe" on his warm-ups before a recent game. "I grew up in the '60s, where everybody was socially conscious," he later told reporters. "I believe in it. I'd be a hypocrite if I stood up here and told you any differently, because more than likely, some of those protests that Dr. [Martin Luther] King and some of the others that took a part in non-violent protests, is the reason why I'm standing here in front of you today."
Of course there's a long and storied history of political demonstrations by athletes. Most notably, in 1967, Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the army and was convicted of draft evasion. Though he avoided prison, he was banned from boxing for three years. In 1968 U.S. track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith famously raised their leather-clad fists for black power at the Olympics in Mexico City.
But this isn't the '60s. Sports leagues are much more powerful now than they were back then. Back in 1969, a whether professional football was sustainable. Today, the NFL is worth an estimated $1.43 billion and most of that money comes from broadcast and sponsorship deals. When NFL games appear on the three big networks, they average more than 20 million viewers per contest, easily making them the most watched live programs in the country.
While political actions have become less, they haven't disappeared completely. When he played for the Denver Nuggets, point guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf refused to stand for "The Star Spangled Banner" before games. The practicing Muslim argued that, in addition to the song conflicting with his religious beliefs, the American flag was a symbol of tyranny. In 1996, Abdul-Rauf was suspended for one game before brokering a compromise with the league in which he stood for the song, but looked downward and silently mouthed an Islamic prayer. Years later, when Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall broke league protocol and wore green socks to bring attention to mental health awareness month, he was fined $15,000.
But even when athletes don't face fines, they do face plenty of public ridicule. Derrick Rose learned that the hard way recently Chicago sports editor Cody Westerlund lambasted his t-shirt tribute to Garner and questioned whether Rose was smart enough to articulate his position.
I just wish @drose could talk, or really understands what he's doing. I don't think he does, but he deserves to be treated as if so.-- Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) December 7, 2014
It's this: If @drose felt strongly and deeply enough to make that statement, He should be able to say why. We can only hope, but I doubt.— Dan Bernstein (@dan_bernstein) December 7, 2014
So far in the protests for Eric Garner, Mike Brown and Tamir Rice, there haven't been any fines. That's probably emboldened many athletes. But are we seeing a revolution on the field?
Not quite, especially if you take into account a damning report in the Washington Post noting that some of the shirts are made in sweatshops by workers who make as little as $6 each day.
Michael Skolnick, political director for hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, played a pivotal role in helping to secure T-shirts for players to coincide with nationwide protests. The shirts came from a store in Long Island City whose manufacturer is a Canadian company with a poor workers' rights record called Gildan.
Skolnick later apologized for not doing his due diligence. "I think we want to assume sometimes when we're ordering shirts that they're not being made in a sweatshop," he said in an interview with The Post. "We've got to do better."
But doing better means that you're at least doing something. Times have changed since 1990 when Michael Jordan reportedly told a friend that he wouldn't endorse a black, Democratic candidate Harvey Gantt in his North Carolina Senate race against Jesse Helms because, "Republicans wear sneakers, too."
Today, if you want to see the impact of these athletes' actions, look no further than the police unions and conservative commentators who hate to see an anti-establishment message displayed on such a prominent stage. In late November when a Ferguson grand jury declined to charge former officer Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's death, St. Louis Rams players took to the field with their hands up. The St. Louis Police Officers' Association demanded an apology-- but didn't get one.
Hawkins responded this way: "If I was to run away from what I felt in my soul was the right thing to do, that would make me a coward and I couldn't live with that," Hawkins said, before his fear, as a father, that something similar might happen to his own son, who's 2. "My number one reason for wearing the T-shirt was the thought of what happened to Tamir Rice happening to my little Austin. And that scares the living hell out of me."
Athletes are plugging into movements that are being fueled by ordinary people without national platforms. Though their actions are symbolic, they're important. Now that more and more athletes feel emboldened to speak to their massive audiences, it's up to us to listen.
New America Media - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:56
Ed. Note: Sony Pictures’ comedy “The Interview” is about two celebrity American journalists involved in a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Screenings for the film, which was set to be released over the holiday season, have been... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:07
As part of the Afropunk-led rollout of D'Angelo's surprise album "Black Messiah,"* folks are testifying on Instagram about what the project means to them. Using the hashtag #BLACKMESSIAH, notables like longtime D'Angelo collaborator Questlove and writer Michaela Angela Davis have added their voices to the chorus praising the album's execution and message.
Here's Spike Lee, who said the 14 year wait was well-worth it for fans:
A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 3:15pm PST
Music critic Nelson George, who did a live onstage interview with the singer earlier this year in Brooklyn, said:
A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 2:10pm PST
And Questlove, who worked with the singer through some of his toughest private moments and produced parts of the new album:
A video posted by AFROPUNK (@afropunk) on Dec 12, 2014 at 2:01pm PST
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:03
Lauryn Hill performed for the first time in Accra, Ghana, recently. Okayafrica stumbled across this six-minute clip from that show, which was shot by the Sierra Leone-based magazine Swit Salone. The show looks pretty incredible. Watch below.
Colorlines - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 07:12
Some of the morning's headlines:
- After 54 years of an embarrassing and utterly ineffective embargo against Cuba, a tiny island nation roughly the size of the state of Tennessee, the U.S. decides to normalize relations.
- Cuba's leading newspaper (which is in Spanish) is pretty much thrilled about normalizing relations with the U.S. The Miami Herald? Not so much.
- Sony cancels the release of "The Interview," a movie created with the help of the U.S. State Department in which North Korea's Kim Jong Un is assassinated, after movie theater bombing threats.
- Putin blames other countries for his country's economic crisis.
- New York Governor Cuomo bans fracking.
- BlackBerry, which apparently still makes phones, launches a quasi retro model.
- "The Colbert Show" will air its last episode Thursday evening.
- A new study indicates that a mother's exposure to air pollution while pregnant doubles the child's risk of autism.
- Your top moments from space for 2014.
New America Media - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 00:30
Missing among the many reasons given for the enormous and unchanging racial divide regarding the fairness of the American judicial system is the legacy of the long history of media segregation. During America’s Jim Crow years not only did African... James McGrath Morris http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:00
For millions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans, December 12 marks one of the most important religious and cultural holidays of the year: El Dia de La Virgen de Guadalupe, or in English, The Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Last... Daniel Jimenez and Amber Amaya http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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