Diversity Headlines

New Book Celebrates 11 Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Rust Belt Cities

New America Media - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:26
Julio Zegarra-Ballon, a small business owner from St. Louis, Missouri, has been named the $1,000 prize winner of the “A Day in the Life of an Immigrant Entrepreneur” contest sponsored by the WE Global Network, formerly known as the Global... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Remember Chinese-American Rapper MC Jin? He's Back (Sorta)

Colorlines - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 07:49
Remember Chinese-American Rapper MC Jin? He's Back (Sorta)

It's been nearly 15 years since MC Jin burst onto the rap scene. In 2000, the fresh-faced recent high school grad from Queens broke out on BET's "106 & Park." But Jin's was an uneasy type of fame. He proudly called himself "the original chink-eyed MC," playing up stereotypes of Asian-Americans that were pervasive in American pop culture. He wound up getting signed to Ruff Ryders, where he released the deeply problematic song "Learn Chinese." 

"I'm at a point now where I don't cringe if I hear 'Learn Chinese,'" he told Jeanho at BuzzFeed. "But I don't think there was ever one point when I was genuinely, genuinely proud of that song." He adds, "I definitely still cringe at that video."

As Jeanho writes:

The video for "Learn Chinese" is a study in the hackneyed stereotypes of Orientalist fantasy. Jin plays two characters in it: the villain in an eye patch and thin mustache who leads a gang of karate-chopping henchmen, and the hero who rescues the sexy Asian girls from some den of iniquity deep in the bowels of a glamorized Chinatown ghetto. The concept is intercut with shots of Jin in a maroon jogging suit rapping underneath an arched, neon-lit Chinese gate, a diamond-encrusted "R" chain swinging from his neck, the famous logo of the Ruff Ryders.

His music has predictably evolved since then, and so has his political consciousness around what his work means:

The first single is "Chinese New Year," a revelatory celebration of Jin's Chinese-American identity, the story of his family's immigrant, working-class roots, and a candid acknowledgment of the failures in his rap career thus far -- including regret over "Learn Chinese," the first single off The Rest Is History, and probably still the most recognizable song in Jin's oeuvre.


Jin blames his youth and industry naiveté for the misguided execution. "I look back, and I had this opportunity to make a statement. That was my first single to the world that the label was going to get behind. My criticism of it now is: You had this opportunity, Jin, and that was the statement you made?"

Read more at BuzzFeed


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Benjamin Crump Takes New Case, Chicago Mayoral Election, Emoji of Color

Colorlines - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 07:32
Benjamin Crump Takes New Case, Chicago Mayoral Election, Emoji of Color

Here's some of what I'm reading up on this morning:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Marshawn Lynch Wants to Trademark 'I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined'

Colorlines - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 07:20
Marshawn Lynch Wants to Trademark 'I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined'

Marshawn Lynch's future with the Seattle Seahawks may be up in the air, but he's still proving to be a very savvy businessman with a bright future away from the field. The controversial running back, whose standoffs with sports reporters at press conferences included such memorable phrases like, "Thanks for asking" is seeking to trademark his most memorable line: "I'm just here so I won't get fined."

Here's what that looked like during the run-up to the Super Bowl:

The Seattle Times reports that Lynch isn't so much trying to make money off of the phrase so much as trying to prevent other people from doing so. He's previously obtained trademark protection for "Beast Mode" and "About that action, boss."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

On Patricia Arquette, Coded Language and the Hotness of 'Intersectionality'

Colorlines - Tue, 02/24/2015 - 04:54
On Patricia Arquette, Coded Language and the Hotness of 'Intersectionality'

Besides all of the Common and John Legend goodness--the performance! those speeches! David Oyewolo's* tears!--the most popular Oscar topic on my Facebook timeline is Patricia Arquette.

If you don't already know it by heart, Arquette, who won Best Supporting Actress for "Boyhood," mixed a basic call for women's equality with some rotting entrails and then she served up leftovers for the folks who didn't get some the first time around. 

First there was her acceptance speech. The money quote:

"...To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else's equal rights. It's our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America!"

Meryl Streep pumped her fist. Jennifer Lopez marveled. There were lots of breathless pieces about her "badassery" and feminist mic-dropping

But apparently things got too good for Arquette. Backstage, she added:

"The truth is, even though we sort of feel like we have equal rights in America, right under the surface there are huge issues that really do affect women. And it's time for all the men who love women and gay people and others, to fight for us now. ... Equal means equal. The older women get, the less money they make. It's inexcusable--we go around the world talking about equal rights for women in other countries."

Let's, for the record, state what's wrong with both of her comments.

I doubt she intended this, but in her speech she used the dog whistle of "every taxpayer and citizen of this nation." In 2015 speak we know that these taxpaying citizens who fought for y'alls rights is code for white people. Or "white women who marched with Dr. Kang." Or simply, "men, women and children who are not Latino ill#@gals living off of good, hardworking Americans who make this country great."

"Every taxpayer and citizen of this nation and others" is the new "Law and order." "The new "welfare queen." If "The Boondocks'" hilariously self-hating Uncle Ruckus moved onto Latinos, he would be singing about how how those brown parasites are breathing up all the air.

The backstage statement intensifies the wackness of the speech. In an era when People Style Watch is quoting Roxanne Gay, Arquette's comments provide a powerful example of a feminism fail.

Arquette's demand for "gay people," "men who love women" and "others" to start fighting for equal pay for women of course assumes that "gay people" aren't women, that "men who love women" aren't gay, and that "others" are non-male, heterosexual constituencies who have benefited from the justice work of fine taxpaying citizens. The comment also implies that The Gays, the straight men who love women and those others who "we" have sacrificed for haven't taken up the issue of pay equity.

Then Arquette gets mighty white when she mentions how "we go around the world talking about equal rights for women in other countries." I can't say who the "Medium" actress visualized when she spoke of these "women in other countries" us hypocrites are so eager to help. But to me it sounds like she's imagining those "Muslim-women-forced-to-wear-veils" and maybe a couple of "Africans."

For the tenors in the choir I'm probably preaching to, it's quite apparent that Arquette doesn't understand Kimberlé Crenshaw's essential theory of "intersectionality." The actress doesn't understand that systems of racism, religious bias, economic deprivation and LGBTQ-phobia can intensify the effects of sexism for some people. 

There's just one thing. As I said on Facebook, I think it's a mistake for people to assume that everybody knows what "intersectionality" is. I've seen tweets that treat a term and concept that Crenshaw herself says is difficult as if it's as common as the alphabet. My favorites so far (I'm not linking to them because I don't want to blow up private citizens): "Oh, Patricia Arquette... Ever heard of intersections? Maybe you should look that up," and "Okay so I was with Patricia Arquette until she decided to be like 'INTERSECTIONALITY WUT IS THAT.'"

I get how intersectionality becomes common sense if you've heard of it. But if you haven't had the privilege of taking women's studies courses, haven't been exposed to the black feminist canon, or you haven't had the time or tech to consume the online cultural products of young feminist thinkers, that term might not be that hot in your streets. 

Thanks to the Internet, black feminists, allies and evangelists have been able to spread this core concept to larger audiences. But I--a person who just spent about 500 words making fun of Patricia Arquette's coded racial language--am saying that--strategically speaking--"intersectionality" isn't quite ready for the "no-duh" treatment yet. 

As Krenshaw herself is quoted as saying to Bim Adewunmi of The New Statesmen, "[Intersectionality] is not easy. It's not as though the existing frameworks that we have--from our culture, our politics or our law--automatically lead people to being conversant and literate in intersectionality."

*Piece has been updated to correct the spelling of "Oyelowo"

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Anti-Corruption Chief Editor Removed in Vietnam for "Abusing Rights"

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:53
 The most vocal newspaper in corruption fighting, Nguoi Cao Tuoi, has been given a record fine of 32,000 USD while its chief editor has been removed from his post after a controversial inspection of the newspaper by inspectors from the... Vietnam Right Now http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Border Patrol Officers Test Out Body-Mounted Cameras

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:39
Border Patrol Officers Test Out Body-Mounted Cameras

Body-worn cameras aren't just for police officers. Agents with Customs and Border Protection began testing out body-mounted cameras this week as the second phase of a "feasibility study" examining accountability mechanisms in the wake of a scathing independent review of the department's use-of-force practices, the Albuquerque Journal reported. New Mexico is one of the program's pilot locations.

"Body-worn cameras are viewed as a potential tool that may help CBP continue its progress toward greater transparency and accountability," the agency said in a statement, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

In recent years, the Border Patrol has developed an increasingly visible accountability and deadly force problem. Agents with the department have killed an average of seven people a year since January 2010, and declined to discipline a single agent involved in a deadly force investigation.

"[Body-worn cameras] will help protect abuse victims," Vicki Gaubeca, director of the ACLU of New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights said in a statement," and if used appropriately these cameras will help ensure that CBP's interaction with community members is fair and lawful." Far from a complete solution though, the ACLU warns, body-worn cameras must be coupled with more transparency and an end to racial profiling in order to address the agency's troublingly use of deadly force.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

John Legend, Alejandro González Iñárritu Won The Night With Their Oscar Speeches

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:26
John Legend, Alejandro González Iñárritu Won The Night With Their Oscar Speeches

You knew John Legend's acceptance speech for Best Song at the Oscars was going to be good when he quoted Nina Simone and said, "It's an artist's duty to relflect the tmes in which we live." From there, he called out the attacks on voting rights and racial disparities in incarceration. His performance with Common of the "Selma" theme song "Glory" was the night's most moving moment, but his speech really brought down the house.

First, here's Common and John Legend's powerful performance:

 And here are the speeches that followed:


Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of "Birdman," which closed out the night by winning the award for Best Picture, managed to overcome Sean Penn's racist "Who gave this son of a bitch a green card?" joke and called for "dignity and respect for immigrants" in his speech:


Categories: Diversity Headlines

Actors of Color Slayed the Fashion Game at This Year's Oscars

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 12:24
Actors of Color Slayed the Fashion Game at This Year's Oscars

While it's true that this year's Oscars were dominated by white actors, actors of color showed up in full force and looked stunning on Hollywood's biggest stage. 

Lupita left rubble behind her RT @NYMag: The best red-carpet looks from the 2015 #Oscars: http://t.co/w0gTB8vhot pic.twitter.com/UzMORve3za"

-- Ashley Ford (@iSmashFizzle) February 23, 2015

Stunning! @JLo Giving all kinds of life! #Oscar2015 #Inspired #Jlo pic.twitter.com/por81pViED

-- Jeanette Jenkins (@JeanetteJenkins) February 23, 2015

Oh hey Viola Davis! Did you know she's coming to Indy soon? #Oscars2015 http://t.co/hqtmxsVsXV pic.twitter.com/mFZ49vaOWw

-- IndyStar (@indystar) February 23, 2015

Kerry #Oscars 2015 -krew Dress + Clutch @MIUMIUofficial Jewelry @LeightonJewels Shoes @LouboutinWorld pic.twitter.com/pa8JiuAtaN

-- kerry washington (@kerrywashington) February 23, 2015

Gorgeous @zoesaldana just stepped out at the Academy Awards looking flawless in Atelier Versace! #Oscars2015 pic.twitter.com/RAMlhWw0ON

-- Versace (@Versace) February 23, 2015

Our winner. #Oscars2015 David Oyelowo pic.twitter.com/1PmqJaAH92

-- Media Diversified (@WritersofColour) February 23, 2015

Octavia Spencer in @TadashiShoji at the #Oscars2015. pic.twitter.com/evcnMnsKDJ

-- SinnamonS ? (@SinnamonS) February 23, 2015

Idris Elba in Ermenegildo Zegna Made-to-Measure with Isan Elba at the #Oscars2015 #oscars pic.twitter.com/DujgCLk8fj

-- Zegna (@Zegna) February 23, 2015

Here is Selma director Ava Duvernay standing next to the Oscar SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN NOMINATED FOR #Oscars2015 ?????? pic.twitter.com/ull47r7hrj

-- GlobalGrindTV (@TVWithGG) February 23, 2015
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Marvel’s Cindy Moon Swings Solo in New Comic Series, ‘Silk’

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:20
 Months after debuting in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man, Cindy Moon, aka “Silk,” makes a silky transition to her own comic book series as Marvel’s newest Asian American superheroine.The first installment of Silk hit shelves on Feb. 18. Drawn by... Koream Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

In Their Moment of ‘Glory,’ Common and John Legend Showed the World Why the Selma Struggle Truly Is ‘Now’

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:00
 Despite being nominated in only two categories, Selma stole the Oscars Sunday night by virtue of a Best Original Song victory that was preceded by an electrifying performance of the song, “Glory,” by John Legend and Common.The musical performance added... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Alejandro Iñárritu Dedicates Oscar to Fellow Mexicans

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:21
Alejandro Iñárritu, winner of the 2015 Best Director Oscar for the film Birdman, dedicated his win to his fellow Mexicans in Mexico and the United States. “I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and the... New America Media http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Jokes Were Mostly Bad And Sometimes Racist: #OscarsSoWhite Recap

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 07:27
 #OscarsSoWhite Recap

Here's how Twitter took down #OscarsSoWhite during the actual ceremony: 

So over the #OctaviaSpencer bit. It is not fun to check in with a black woman only in the context of her performing a duty for you. #Oscars

-- Janet Mock (@janetmock) February 23, 2015

It's very fitting that the Oscars have rappers on stage this year and they're white people.

-- Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) February 23, 2015

You're telling me that all Black people are good for on this night is presenting awards and being the butt of jokes? #OscarsSoWhite #Oscars

-- Freedom Fighter (@PoloT_TreyG) February 23, 2015

#OscarsSoWhite that Gwyneth Paltrow's Mexican nanny will be presenting a statuette any minute now

-- Lalo Alcaraz (@laloalcaraz) February 23, 2015

All of the jokes that included black actors had mad racist undertones #Bruh #OscarsSoWhite

-- LegendaryLaidbackLiz (@RhythmicHeart) February 23, 2015

#OscarsSoWhite even the Jazz movie is a bunch of stern white dudes

-- naxuu (@naxuu) February 23, 2015

Richard Pryor Called the #OscarsSoWhite Before Twitter - NBC News http://t.co/Th36vydnMi #SmartNews

-- Tracey Winbush (@traceywinbush) February 23, 2015

I know this is "just an awards show" but these "We shoulda nominated black people" jokes simply do not work.

-- roxane gay (@rgay) February 23, 2015

Ending the Oscars with a racist joke seems fitting for this Oscar season, Sean Penn.

-- E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) February 23, 2015
Categories: Diversity Headlines

The Oscars, Wesleyan Students OD on Molly, Climate Denier's Corporate Ties

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 07:18
The Oscars, Wesleyan Students OD on Molly, Climate Denier's Corporate Ties

Here's some of what I'm reading up on this morning: 

  • 11 students from Wesleyan overdose on MDMA; one remains in critical condition. 
  • The Apple-Android divide isn't just for smartphones: it's for cars, too. 
  • It turns out one of the biggest climate-change deniers has been paid more than $1 million from the fossil fuel industry and never disclosed it in the scientific papers he published. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Oscars Remix: 9 Coming-of-Age Films About People Who Aren't White Males

Colorlines - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 04:19
 9 Coming-of-Age Films About People Who Aren't White Males

When #OscarsSoWhite started trending on Twitter last month, it wasn't just about the overwhelmingly white pool of nominees. People used the hashtag to call attention to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' structural problem with its voters.

As Vox recently reported, the vast majority of Oscar voters are white men in their sixties. Those voters are, on average, 94 percent white, 77 percent male and roughly two years away from most senior-citizens discounts. And the films that they celebrate are--predictably--stories about white men. 

Meanwhile, the average age of viewers is about 30, and a 2014 report published by the Motion Picture Association of America found that Latinos are going to the movies more than any other racial or ethnic group in the country, relative to their population.

That reality hasn't swayed those in power at one of Hollywood's most venerable institutions. Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the first black woman to lead the Academy, has said that the Oscars don't have a diversity problem "at all."

While the Academy has been reluctant to admit its structural shortcomings, the proof is in this year's nominees. The only notable film starring people of color is Ava Duvernay's "Selma," which earned a nomination for Best Picture. But even then, critics point out, the only films by and starring people of color to earn the Academy's recognition are historical dramas, while white actors and directors often have the freedom to play out the range of their human experience.

Sparked by the coming-of-age theme in Oscar favorite "Boyhood," we've listed nine films about growing up that focus on people who are not white and male.

Raising Victor Vargas (2002)

Viewers get a glimpse into the life of a Dominican-American teenager living on New York City's Lower East Side. Girl-crazy and immature, Victor tries his best tries his best to save face after a string of rejections.


The Joy Luck Club (1993)

Based on Amy Tan's award-winning 1989 book with the same name, "The Joy Luck Club" is a first-of-its kind look at relationships between Asian-American mothers and daughters. 


Quinceañera (2006)

Magdalena, a Mexican-American 14-year-old, is standing in the shadow of her much wealthier cousin on the eve of her quinceañera, and she's facing more than her share of heartache. Her older brother's been kicked out of the house for being gay, she gets pregnant and her neighborhood is being rapidly gentrified by monied, white newcomers. Watch how she navigates it all and keeps her head above water.


Crooklyn (1994)

Spike Lee came home to make what's arguably one of his best films about 9-year-old Troy, the only girl in a family of four wild brothers. The film shines a light on what it was like growing up in 1970's, black and brown Brooklyn.


Smoke Signals (1998)

Based on a screenplay written by award-winning Native American author Sherman Alexie, this film examines the uneasy friendship between quiet, reserved Thomas and outgoing Arnold on the Coeur d'Alene reservation in Idaho.


Mosquita y Mari (2012)

In this teenage love story, two Mexican-American girls growing up in Los Angeles learn about friendship and heartbreak.


Boyz N Tha Hood (1991)

A John Singleton classic, this Oscar-nominated film looks at life for four black men growing up in South Central Los Angeles during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. 


Brother to Brother (2004)

One of Anthony Mackie's early films, "Brother to Brother" focuses on a gay black man's struggle to come to terms with his sexuality and his budding friendship with a legendary writer from the Harlem Renaissance. 


Girlhood (2015)

This highly anticipated film is about working class African-French girls growing up in a Paris project is being described as a counterpoint to "Boyhood."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Loving the Puget Sound to Death

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 02:05
(Illustration by Tim Robinson) This article was reported with support from the National Health Journalism Fellowship, a program of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Hidden amid the pleasure boats and cargo ships that roar through the canal... Madeline Ostrander http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

California “Ambassadors” Help Other Immigrant Elders Get Needed Help

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 00:30
Photo: CAPS senior “Ambassadors” in group photo. Part 3. Also read Part 1 on "villages," enabling seniors to age at home, and Part 2 on the digital divide.FREMONT, Calif.--The main prayer hall at Gurdwara Sahib Fremont, the Fremont, California Sikh... Jen Chien http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Limited English Proficiency Plays Role in CA’s Low Voter Turnout Rates of Asians and Latinos

New America Media - Mon, 02/23/2015 - 00:00
SAN FRANCISCO – One in nine eligible California voters speaks only limited English, and many of them don’t know what help and services are available to them in the electoral process, according to a new report released by The Greenlining... Viji Sundaram http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=68
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Watch Janet Mock Interview 'Awkward Black Girl' Issa Rae

Colorlines - Sun, 02/22/2015 - 08:23
Watch Janet Mock Interview 'Awkward Black Girl' Issa Rae

On her MSNBC show, So Popular, Janet Mock sat down with actress and writer Issa Rae to talk about her new book "The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl." The book, of course, is based on the popular Web series that shot Rae into stardom and onto Pharrell's radar. The book is out now and just made the New York Times bestseller list. In the sit-down, Rae says that writing the book was therapeutic and remembers the days of AOL chat rooms. Take a look.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

NYC Council Speaker Initiative Stresses Equal Access for Ethnic Media

New America Media - Sat, 02/21/2015 - 00:05
Official NYC Council Photo by William Alatriste.NEW YORK — Even though he has press credentials and over a decade of experience working in journalism, Abu Taher says he hasn’t experienced equal treatment when covering the city’s press events.The editor of... Anthony Advincula http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=63
Categories: Diversity Headlines
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