Diversity Headlines

1st Person Diagnosed With Ebola in America Has Died, Hospital Reports

New America Media - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 09:42
 Dallas Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, who was exposed to the disease before leaving his home in Liberia, has died, according to the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, which posted a note about his death on its Facebook page."It... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Kobane Protests, Ebola Updates, Nobel in Chemistry

Colorlines - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 07:10
Kobane Protests, Ebola Updates, Nobel in Chemistry

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

  • At least 14 people are dead following Kurdish protests in Turkey urging the nation to fight against Islamic State's hold on the nearby city of Kobane, Syria.
  • The Supreme Court will hear a case today about whether Amazon's warehouse workers should be paid for the approximately two-and-a-half weeks they spend waiting in a security line each week. 
  • Wal-Mart is ending healthcare coverage for the fraction of part-time employees that currently have it; it's also raising its premiums in 2015 across the board. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Low Filipino Turnout at Undocumented License Forums

New America Media - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 01:00
LOS ANGELES – Advocacy groups and community leaders came together on the steps of City Hall on Friday, Oct. 3, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the signing of AB 60, a new law that would essentially provide a driver’s... Mico Letargo http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Are Africans in the U.S. Stigmatized Over Ebola?

New America Media - Wed, 10/08/2014 - 01:00
photo: Sagal Radio host Hussein Mohamed. Courtesy of Hussein Mohamed Ed's note: This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.Hussein Mohamed was born in Ethiopia and moved to the US as a child in the... produced by Shirin Jaafari http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Unemployment Stats Paint a Dangerously Incomplete Picture

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 23:12
Unemployment Stats Paint a Dangerously Incomplete Picture

Last week the Department of Labor released the September jobs report, one of the key indicators of the nation's well-being. The report, which could be the last before the midterm elections, shows that the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.9 percent, down from 10 percent when Obama took office in 2009.However, not all the information contained in the September Employment Situation Summary was good news.

Close to 50 percent more Latinos are without work than whites. Black unemployment is double that for whites, with more than one out 10 African-Americans without work. Nearly half of all young black men in many of the nation's largest urban areas are jobless. The tough news doesn't end there. The unemployment rate for those under 30 is nearly double the official number, according to analysis by Generation Opportunity, a non-profit organization that focuses on millennials. 

But these numbers weren't enough to dampen the mood.

On Friday, when the jobs data was released,the White House Council of Economic Advisers put out a statement declaring that "our economy has bounced back more strongly than most around the world." The Wall Street Journal echoed the economic comeback drum beat by stating that the employment announcement was "lifting hopes" for an economy that's still flat on its back in many ways.

But the trouble with the official unemployment rate is that it may not tell us much about what's happening in the real economy. Beyond the terrible numbers for blacks, Latinos and people under 30, there's an even larger conundrum that casts doubt on using the official unemployment rate to measure economic health.

The truth is that the 5.9 percent unemployment rate doesn't factor in the millions of people who have stopped looking for work or dropped out of the workforce all together. This trend, measured by something called the "labor force participation rate," shows that fewer people are effectively working than at any point in almost 40 years. As the Department of Labor states, many of these potential job-holders are not looking for work "because they believe that there are no jobs available for them."

Analysis from the Economic Policy (EPI) Institute calls these frustrated job-seekers the "missing part of the puzzle" in understanding what's really going on economically. Their research shows that if you include the nearly 6 million missing workers into official unemployment calculations, the jobless rate nearly doubles to 11 percent or nearly 1 out of 9 people.

As if this wasn't enough there's an even larger number that points to our currently reality. If we factor in people who work part-time but want full-time jobs, our economy would be nearly 20 million jobs short of where we need to be for everyone to make ends meet. That's higher than all of the jobs lost during the Great Recession. 

The truth about where we are may be why Democrats continue to struggle in the run-up to November's elections. 

Predictions by leading political scientist such as Larry Sabato and statistical websites such as Five Thirty-Eight have barely changed over the last six months. The latest round of opinions and estimates continue to give Republicans the edge in taking the Senate and making modest gains in the House of Representatives where they already hold the majority.

Especially difficult terrain for Democrats is the South. As The Wall Street Journal reports, official unemployment in Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee has gone up this year.Blacks and Latinos suffer disproportionately from joblessness in these states, and their votes could prove critical in key Southern races. For candidates who rely on these groups to show up at the polls, the potential that they'll skip voting due to worsening economic conditions is a worry. As former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CNN "most people this fall are going to vote on economic issues."

If economic frustration also leads to poor turnout of people under 30, America will take a very different course during the last two years of Obama's presidency.

The everyday economic reality of people in the United States--where 7 out of 10 Americans believe believe that the recession has continued more than five years after it was declared officially over--may also mean a different political reality after the November 2 elections.

Whatever the electoral outcome, the hope is that millions more people will gain a financial reality that actually matches the upbeat media messages.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Va. after Supreme Court Ruling

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:28
 Same-sex marriages in Virginia have officially begun in the wake of the Supreme Court's refusal to enter the fray, as previous rulings by lower courts prohibiting bans were upheld Monday for Virginia and 10 other states.The 4th U.S. Circuit Court... Washington Informer http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Does Bill Maher Think I Might Kill Him?

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:34
Does Bill Maher Think I Might Kill Him?

A few days before some 1.4 billion Muslims around the world gathered with their families to celebrate Eid ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), American television personalities took it upon themselves to make hurtful and obtuse comments about me and the religion that I follow alongside nearly a quarter of the world's population. My mother shoved her iPad in front of me after dinner on Friday. "Look at what they're saying about us now," she said. "I thought this kind of stuff was over."

Once again, as the United States embarks on yet another war in the Middle East, mainstream news anchors have insisted on framing their discussions about Islam and Muslims as those about the religion's inherent and unique relationship to violence. It's a popular framing that renders hundreds of thousands of American Muslims into a suspect class of citizens. I am left asking myself the same question that W.E.B. Du Bois asked himself and other African-Americans in 1903: "How does it feel to be a problem?"

On the September 29 episode of "CNN Tonight," Don Lemon bluntly asked author Reza Aslan if Islam promoted violence, a question that would never be asked about any other religion or ethnic group. Co-host Alisyn Camerota perpetuated the myth that Muslim women uniquely suffer from genital mutilation and are unable to drive due to a "primitive" justice system. In a follow-up "CNN Tonight" on October 2, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo even went on to say that Aslan's tone might have further affirmed American fear of Islam and its "hostility."

And on the October 3 episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher," author Sam Harris confidently claimed that there were only four types of Muslims: violent jihadists, Islamists who work within the political system, conservative Muslims who hold "deeply troubling" views about women and homosexuals, and nominal Muslims "who don't take their religion very seriously." Maher went on to claim that Islam is "the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will f**king kill you if you say the wrong thing." When an exasperated Ben Affleck criticized Harris and Maher for racist stereotyping, Maher retorted: "You're not listening to what we are saying."

But I was listening. I was listening to an incessant ringing in my head. It was Bill Maher telling his viewers nationwide that I might one day snap and kill him for saying the wrong thing. And because he feels that way, Maher is one of those Americans who fits the definition of an Islamophobe. He is quite literally afraid of Muslims. He is afraid of me.

By their broad characterizations and hasty conclusions, I could tell that none of the four television hosts had any interest in telling stories about the vast majority of Muslims who live in the United States and abroad. If they did, they might have encountered real stories about real Muslims living in the post-9/11 world. Instead, they rationalize their own fear-mongering by pushing a narrative about the dangerous person they perceive me to be. With their attempts at writing and disseminating their own version of me, Maher, Harris, the anchors at CNN, and countless others take away the ability of Muslims to share their own stories. These are stories that must be told, but are of little interest to the mainstream media.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was 10 years old and sitting in art class when my mother called the front desk and asked for me to be sent to the office until she arrived. When she finally arrived, she rushed me and my younger brother and sister into her minivan where I found the child she was babysitting laughing and jumping up and down in his car seat. I pressed my mother about why we were leaving school so early, but she refused to let us in on the secret and simply said we needed to go home.

When we reached the six-lane intersection directly in front of our house, we found three police officers blocking traffic heading toward Washington D.C and, in turn, blocking access to the street in front of our house. The police officer, a white man wearing black sunglasses, waved his arms and motioned my mother to turn her car onto the next street, away from our house. She rolled down her window and explained to the officer that he was blocking the only street she could use to get home. "That's my house," she said as she pointed over the officer's head.

"Lady, you've got to move this way," the officer barked, his neck glistening with the sweat of a warm September morning.
"But look officer, my house is right there and I have all these kids in my car."
"You need to move right now."
"Sir, there's no way I can get these kids home without getting through to that street."
"I'm going to count to three and you're going to move. One..." The officer moved closer to the hood of the car and stared at my mother.
"You're not listening to what I am saying," my mother pled.
"Just do what he says, Mom," I let out.
"...Two," the officer said.

My mother lifted her foot off the brake. The officer shouted and raised his gun and pointed it at my mother. A scream left from my chest almost instinctively as I tried to hide myself by sinking myself lower into the seat. My younger brother and sister began to cry out. My mother swung the car toward the direction the officer wanted us to go and began driving away, her stony gaze set straight on the road ahead of her.

After maneuvering through some back streets, we finally arrived home and my mother went into the kitchen and told me to put on a movie to watch with my siblings. I gathered my younger brother and sister and the child my mother was babysitting in the other room, handing them each different toys to keep their hands occupied.

I wondered if my mother had a preference for what movie we picked, knowing that she didn't really like movies that weren't musicals or animated. Maybe we could watch "Pinocchio," I thought. I walked back to the kitchen and heard the water running. My mother stood with her hands clutching onto the sides of the sink, sobbing into the drain. I stood there and watched, not knowing what to say.

The police officers stood and directed traffic for the next six hours. As we learned of what had happened in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania, my mother felt that it wasn't right for the police officers to stand out in the sun all day without eating. She sent me out to offer them leftovers from the previous night's dinner and three bottles of soda. Later that evening, my mother organized a candlelight vigil in front of our house and invited all of our neighbors to take part in a moment of silence for all the people who died that morning.

Recently, my mother attended a community event regarding Ferguson and police accountability. She told me that as she witnessed the tragedy of Mike Brown's murder unfold, she felt somehow connected to the families there. At the meeting, she heard from a range of speakers, largely African-American, testifying to their experiences with the police. "I wanted to tell my story, but I knew the event wasn't really about me," she told me last week. "So I decided not to speak."

My family's story was forever changed by a single police officer who decided to try and write our story for us, who only saw my mother for what he thought she was, regardless of the kind of decency she embodied that day and every day. But now that pointed gun is part of our family story. No mother should have a pointed gun be a part of their story. As the media continues to write our lives without acknowledging the hurt they put out in the world, I am afraid that people will act out on the fear that Maher and others like him claim to feel about me and my mother. I am afraid that people will continue to profile me and my family because that is the logical conclusion of what Maher and CNN put forth to their viewers. It's a conclusion that not only leads 37 percent of Americans to hold an unfavorable view of Islam, but also is a sad reminder that racial profiling has become an integral part of American life in order to make some people feel more safe.

I don't think my family's story will ever be discussed on CNN or on Bill Maher's show, because it's not a real story to them. They would rather recycle, peddle and receive applause from the same tired and racist myths used over the past 13 years to justify wars overseas, surveillance at home and bigotry among ourselves. It's a bigotry that leaves me and my mother living in fear every time we turn on the television and find someone else telling our story. Because we are not real people to them. And that's precisely the problem.

My mother taught me that you defeat bigotry with humanity. If only we could find time to talk about hers.

Waleed Shahid grew up in Northern Virginia and now lives in Philadelphia where he is an organizer and a freelance writer. He tweets at waleed2go.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

$75 Million Suit Being Filed by Eric Garner's Family

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 14:28
$75 Million Suit Being Filed by Eric Garner's Family

The family of the Staten Island man who died this July shortly after viral video captured his being wrestled to the ground by police is seeking $75 million from the city of New York. Cell phone video showed several cops swarming Garner and him being placed in what appears to be a chokehold, a practice banned by the New York Police Department. In August, the medical examiner ruled 43-year-old Garner's death a homicide, caused in part by "compression of the neck and chest." On video Garner can be heard saying several times, "I can't breathe." 

Last week, police commissioner William Bratton delivered a blunt message to a conference of NYPD commanders. 

"We will aggressively seek to get those out of department who should not be here," Mr. Bratton told a packed lecture hall [The New York Times reports]. "The brutal, the corrupt, the racist, the incompetent."

The Times describes the speech as Bratton's "most forceful public remarks on police misconduct since Eric Garner...died in police custody...after he was approached for selling loose cigarettes."

Read more about the Garner family's notice to file suit at Capital New York and the cost of police misconduct suits, nationally at The American Prospect.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

A New Chaos for Philly Schools After Teachers' Contract Torn Up

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:58
A New Chaos for Philly Schools After Teachers' Contract Torn Up

The Philadelphia School Reform Commission took an unprecedented move Monday and canceled its contract with the teachers union, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), sending shockwaves throughout the city and its embattled public school system.

The announcement came after years of fiscal and educational crises in Philadelphia public schools, including the loss of 5,000 positions and closure of 30 schools. In the immediate and practical sense, the shift will mean that PFT's 15,000 members will be required to pay 10 or 13 percent of the contribution toward their healthcare, meaning between $27 and $71 per paycheck, Philadelphia's 6ABC reported. The money will go to close a $81 million deficit in the school district budget. But politically, the move will likely have long-lasting effects in the ongoing, national education reform fight which has often pitted politicians and education reformers against teachers, and those who represent them. 

In the immediate though, expect lawsuits. Philadelphia Inquirer's Kristen Graham and Martha Woodall report:

Whether the state takeover law, known as Act 46, gives the SRC the power to cancel union contracts remains to be seen.

It is clear that district officials are unsure themselves.

In 2012, the SRC lobbied lawmakers to amend the takeover law to give it the absolute right to impose terms on its unions. The amendment died when the Philadelphia delegation caught wind of the SRC's maneuvers.

The SRC has imposed some work rules on the teachers' union in the past year, but had always bargained contracts since its creation in 2001.

For more on how Philadelphia public schools turmoil has affected kids trying to get their education, read Colorlines' 2013 report.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

October Lit: Excerpt from 'Everything I Never Told You' by Celeste Ng

Hyphen Blog - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 13:04

For October, we bring you an excerpt of Celeste Ng's debut novel, Everything I Never Told You.

read more

Categories: Diversity Headlines

When It Comes to Race, Uber and Lyft Give Taxis a Ride for Their Money

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:28
 When It Comes to Race, Uber and Lyft Give Taxis a Ride for Their Money

There's a lot to be unsure about when it comes to ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Uber's been eyed for questionable labor practices and some shady schemes to steal riders from Lyft. This is not to menton the outcry from traditional taxi companies who fear losing customers to the companies. But as BuzzFeed's Johana Bhuylan reports, Lyft and Uber are benefiting from the frustrated black customers who've been discriminated against by yellow cabs for years. Here's more:

Though it's hard for organizations to quantify this type of racial discrimination, historically, taxi drivers in many cities have refused to drive to certain destinations. In a 2011 undercover operation, the Taxi and Limousine Commission found that out of 1,330 cabs more than 336 refused to travel to places like the Bronx and northern Manhattan.

Many people of color like Lauren are turning to app-based car services like Uber, Lyft and Gett for relief from either discrimination or destination biases -- a point that the companies have become quick to tout. For the ride sharing companies, what was initially an unintended byproduct of the app -- or a happy accident of sorts -- is quickly being marketed as a feature.

What's more, according to BuzzFeed, is that companies are now marketing it as a feature:

Uber, for example, performed a neighborhood study in Chicago this year that determined "4 in 10 rides in Chicago start or end in underserved neighborhoods." In New York, Uber has very publicly claimed that its drivers make more outer borough trips than taxis, though it did not provide any data to substantiate it and did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for data. And In Boston, Uber dug into its own data to address destination bias and found that neighborhoods where 35 percent of residents complained of a 20-minute wait for cabs were being served within 20 minutes -- 30 days before the data was published the average wait time was 3.5 minutes, according to the blog post.

Read more at BuzzFeed. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Seattle City Council Passes Indigenous Peoples' Day Resolution

Colorlines - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 12:26

This coming Monday is a federal holiday recognized as Columbus Day, in honor of a colonizer who never even set foot in what is now the United States of America. But, starting this year, Seattle will celebrate it as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Local Natives, including Tulalip and Puyallup peoples, had pressed for the move, but not everyone’s pleased with the outcome. KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reports that some Italian-Americans feel like they’ve “been thrown under the bus” by the council’s resolution. A KIRO 7 Facebook post soliciting reactions to the decision garnered heated responses on all sides.

Berkeley, California, was the first city to institute Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1992, marking 500 years after Columbus’s arrival to the hemisphere. Mildred “Millie” Ketcheschawno (Mvskoke), who worked diligently with a group known as Resistance 500, was crucial in getting the local city council to adopt the change. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Nghiên C?u M?i: D? Lu?t 47 S? Giúp California Gi?i Quy?t V?n ?? Nhà Tù Quá T?i

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:56
SAN FRANCISCO – M?t d? lu?t trong cu?c b?u c? Tháng M??i M?t s? tái phân lo?i sáu t?i tr?ng không b?o l?c thành t?i nh?, m?t vi?c mà các nhà quan sát nói có th? giúp California cu?i cùng... Bài c?a Ng?c Nguy?n và Nicole Hudley; translated by Mai Tran http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Nghiên C?u M?i: D? Lu?t 47 S? Giúp California Gi?i Quy?t V?n ?? Nhà Tù Quá T?i

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:56
Read in EnglishSAN FRANCISCO – M?t d? lu?t trong cu?c b?u c? Tháng M??i M?t s? tái phân lo?i sáu t?i tr?ng không b?o l?c thành t?i nh?, m?t vi?c mà các nhà quan sát nói có th? giúp California... Bài c?a Ng?c Nguy?n và Nicole Hudley; translated by Mai Tran http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:47
Read in English ???–?11?????47??????????“?????”??“??”??????????????????????????????????47??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????950????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????K-12??????????? ??“?????California Budget Project?”???????????????????????????????47?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“?????realignment?”? ?????????????????????????????????????????? ?2011???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????33???????????????????????????????? ???????????17????????????? ??“????”?????????????115,972?????????2016?2?????2,300??????2??????????????????????????????????Barry Krisberg???47????????????????????????? ??????????????????“????????????????????????” ?????????The Legislative Analyst’s Office???47?????4??????????????? ??“????”??????47?????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“?????realignment?”???????????????47????????????????George Gascon????47??????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????47????????????????????????????????????????????????????Californians for Safety and Justice??????Lenore Anderson ???“47??????????????????????” ?PICO California???Ben McBride???47??????? ? “?????????????????????????????????????????????????????” “????”??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????26?????? ????“?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????”???????????????? 47???????????????????????????????????????California Police Chiefs... Ngoc Nguyen and Nicole Hudley; ???Summer Chiang http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Nuevo estudio: Prop. 47 de California tocaría tema de la superpoblación en las prisiones

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:29
Read in EnglishSAN FRANCISCO – Una medida en la boleta electoral de noviembre reclasificaría seis delitos no violentos a delitos menores, una medida que los observadores dicen que podría ayudar a California a fin de cumplir con un mandato federal... Ngoc Nguyen; Traducido por El Reportero http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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??? 47, ?? ??? ??? ?? ??

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:16
Read in English?????? - 11? ??? ??? ??? 47? 6 ?? ??? ?? ??? ? ???? ????? ??? ??? ??? ???? ? ?? ??? ????. ??? 47? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??, ????, ???, ????, ???, ??? ? ??? ??????... Ngoc Nguyen and Nicole Hudley; translated by Aruna Lee http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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NYT Apologizes for Offensive Cartoon on India’s Mars Mission

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:58
Days after it published an offensive cartoon mocking India's successful Mars mission, The New York Times apologized Oct. 6 saying it was not trying to "impugn" India but was highlighting that space programs are no longer the exclusive domain of... India West http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Lack of Asian-Language Materials on Exchanges Leaves Many AAPIs Uninsured, Say Advocates

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:20
The lack of Asian-language materials on health care exchanges has left hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders uninsured, according to a report released last month by Action for Health Justice (AHJ).“Sixty percent of our population... Viji Sundaram http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Where Ebola Meets Concerns Over Race, Class and the Uninsured

New America Media - Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:15
It’s a question that’s left people scratching their heads: How does a fully equipped hospital send an Ebola-infected man home—right after he arrived from West Africa and complained about being sick?Some observers and public health experts are beginning to wonder... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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