Diversity Headlines

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New America Media - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:42
 English????????Facebook???????????????????app? ?????????????????????Facebook?????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????Giovanni Vigna??“?????????????????” ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????National Science Foundation?140????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“????Facebook??????????? ??????????????Facebook ?”??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Android??? “????????????????????????????Android????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????? ? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“Angry Birds???”??“Angry Bords” ?????????????? ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????... Sonia Fernandez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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N.Y. Couple Arrested for Torturing Daughter for Years

New America Media - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 15:00
An Indian American couple in Queens, N.Y. could face a total of 31 years in prison for brutally torturing their 12-year-old daughter by violently beating her, locking her in her room without food and water for extended periods of time,... India-West http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Guilty Verdict Returned in Renisha McBride Trial

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 14:20
Guilty Verdict Returned in Renisha McBride Trial

Theodore Wafer, 54, has been found guilty in the murder of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. "I have no problem locking up entire families," the judge is reported to have said to the courtroom while asking for calm as the verdict was read. Wafer, who was convicted of second-degree murder, had claimed self defense in the shooting death of McBride who, disoriented and unarmed, went to his door late one November night after getting into a car accident.

(h/t CBSDetroit)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Did the Private Prison Lobby Kill Immigration Reform?

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 13:44
Did the Private Prison Lobby Kill Immigration Reform?

President Obama is poised to make a sweeping decision on immigration soon. Although details of another executive action on immigration are still unclear, it's likely to benefit millions of people. But not all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. will be protected from deportation. The president has made clear that because Congress hasn't moved forward on comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), he must.

The Senate passed a CIR bill last year. Despite excitement, however, it never made it through the House--which just recently passed two anti-immigration bills, which will also not move forward. Theories abound as to why CIR never made it through the Senate. Among those is the idea that private prison lobbyists killed the reform.

I talked to Peter Cervantes-Gautschi, the executive director of Enlace, which is the convening organization of the Prison Divestment Campaign. He recently published an article in AlterNet outlining how the private prison lobby, handled by the GEO Group and the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), played a big hand in CIR. 

There's an immigrant detention bed quota. How does it work?

It was passed by Congress and requires more than 90 percent occupancy in the beds of the private prisons contacted by the federal government for immigrants. Last year, there was an attempt to remove that from the contracts but Republicans in the House killed it. So even if they don't fill one of one of these private prisons with immigrants, the federal government still has to pay.

GEO and CCA are heavily into lobbying. How did they handle their interests with the comprehensive immigration reform bill last year?  

CCA and GEO control close to 80 percent of the market of private prison beds in the country, and immigrants who are now being put into the federal system for immigration offenses are going to the private prisons. These two companies got involved in lobbying anytime there was significant legislation involving immigration. They've been very much involved in the appropriations of money for incarceration and transportation of immigrants in the system. Last year, CCA lobbied very intensely and gave money to the leadership of both houses of Congress; the GEO Group put their emphasis on the tea party-friendly Republicans in both the Senate and the House. And the combination of those two points of pressure killed immigration reform. Even if it hadn't, it assured that at least 4.5 million immigrants would have been subject to being incarcerated in prisons if the Senate version had passed.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) are closely tied to these private prisons, correct?

The GEO Group has given Rubio money directly and major investors in GEO are major contributors to him. He also owns stock in some of those. Schumer has a relationship with Lazard Asset Management, which is a major investor in private prisons that gave Schumer a great deal of money. Right after the version [of CIR] that he largely authored passed the Senate, Lazard bought a bunch of GEO stock.

GEO told its investors that CIR wouldn't threaten its projected growth. If that were the case, why would it kill CIR?

For one thing, the GEO Group was beginning to get bad publicity. Students and faculty at Florida Atlantic University protested the GEO Group, which was essentially trying to buy good publicity by giving the school an athletic stadium. There was a huge outcry and GEO wound up withdrawing its contribution and the university didn't put GEO's name on the stadium. That bad publicity generated negative attention to GEO and they were in a worsening position in terms of their competition with CCA for government contracts. You had a potential market of about 4.5 million immigrants, which was largely going to be cornered by CCA. Killing immigration reform added another 7.5 million immigrants to the prisoner market.

You 've laid out two tactical approaches toward ending this practice of private prison lobbying. Can you explain them?

Private prisons have one customer: the government. If our government stops giving them contacts, they wouldn't have money to operate and wouldn't put our people away. The other things is that both GEO and CCA owned by more than 80 percent by major investors, but they get their money from public institutions like cities, counties, pension funds, churches and so forth. Just like in the anti-apartheid movement and the effort to divest public institution money, putting pressure on those institutions to pull their money out [of private prisons] would lower the economic strength and the lobbying power of those two corporations. Our money is being used in two ways, to both finance the private prison companies and their operations, and to pay them to incarcerate our people. We have the potential to cut off both of those sources of revenue.

CIR certainly won't happen this year, as Obama prepares to make en executive decision independent of Congress. What can be done to stop filing those detention beds now?

What can be done is to cut off the money that pays for them. The GEO Group is getting additional money to incarcerate unaccompanied minors and single moms who are refugees from Central America. There is no excuse for allocating money to incarcerate these people. They are refugees and they need to be cared for. There is no shortage of people and institutions that would love to care for them and not treat them as prisoners. The Senate appropriations committee or the House appropriations committee, either one could cut off the money to those contracts that are paid to CCA or GEO to incarcerate immigrants. That wouldn't create new rights for people, but it would stop the government from taking our people away and locking them up. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

August Lit: "Chain Migration" by Janine Joseph

Hyphen Blog - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 13:25

For August, we bring you a poem by Janine Joseph.

read more

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Video of Jeremy Lin Dunking on His Mom Goes Viral

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:56
Video of Jeremy Lin Dunking on His Mom Goes Viral

Jeremy Lin took to Instagram recently to get his fans to participate in an online dunk contest. He included video of him dunking on his family -- including his poor mom, who's clearly been through this before. 

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Maya Angelou Spoke of W.E.B DuBois in One of Her Last Interviews

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:43
Maya Angelou Spoke of W.E.B DuBois in One of Her Last Interviews

In one of the last interviews she gave before her death earlier this year, Maya Angelou joined scholar Arnold Rampersad and poet Elizabeth Alexander on American Public Media to talk about W.E.B. DuBois' legacy.

Angelou said of DuBois, "For a black man at that time to teach and to learn and to study under those circumstances when people were being lynched...what Dr. DuBois showed is that he had enormous courage."

The interview is about 51 minutes long; but Angelou's segment starts at around 48:55.

(h/t New Black Man)

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Listen to FKA Twigs Perform 3 Songs on BBC Radio

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:20

FKA Twigs (aka Tahlilah Barnett) is a 26-year-old British songstress who's already been praised for her "futuristic vision of R&B." Her sultry voice is just one part of her allure. Another part is the way she packages her music in carefully choreographed videos. 

She's already got two releases under her beat: "EP1" and "EP2," and on August 11 she's set to drop "LP1." She recently did a half hour radio appearance with BBC Radio 1 and performed three songs from her upcoming album. 

(h/t Stereogum)

Categories: Diversity Headlines

New Research: White Voter Support for Fewer Prisoners Depends On Who's Locked Up

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 09:15
 White Voter Support for Fewer Prisoners Depends On Who's Locked Up

A white female researcher went to a train station near San Francisco and asked 62 white voters to watch a video of mug shots of male inmates--before asking them to sign a petition easing California's three-strikes law. Some watched a video where only 25 percent of inmates were black. Others, where 45 percent of inmates were black. When it came time for signing, most white voters viewing the video with fewer black inmates signed the petition. Those viewing the video with a higher percentage of black inmates, however, refused to sign, "regardless of how harsh participants thought the law was." A new Stanford University study out this week reports that this and other experiments show that for white voters, highlighting racial disparities in mass incarceration may actually bolster support for tough on crime policies.

Researchers conducted a separate "real-life" experiment with white New Yorkers around stop-and-frisk. The results were similar to San Francisco's. The takeaway?

"Many legal advocates and social activists seem to assume that bombarding the public with images, statistics and other evidence of racial disparities will motivate people to join the cause and fight inequality," Hetey said. "[But] our research shows that numbers don't always speak for themselves," Eberhardt said. "Reducing inequality takes more than simply presenting people with evidence of extreme inequality."

Read more at Stanford News.

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Khmer Rouge Leaders Sentenced to Life, DHS Hacking and BofA's Massive Mortgage Settlement

Colorlines - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:18
Khmer Rouge Leaders Sentenced to Life, DHS Hacking and BofA's Massive Mortgage Settlement

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

  • A major Homeland Security contractor is hacked, putting government workers' information at risk. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Hazing Deaths in Korea Disturbingly Unsurprising

New America Media - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 01:00
photo: This photo released by KBS television on Aug. 4, 2014, shows an Army solider re-enacting his assault on a fellow soldier at their barracks near the inter-Korean border in April 2014. The victim was beaten to death. (Yonhap)An Army... Kim Tong-hyung http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Quick to Punish

New America Media - Thu, 08/07/2014 - 01:00
Cory Warren and a group of his classmates at Phillips Academy High School had a challenge: Work with a community organization to try to convince their peers that drinking and taking drugs are bad ideas. Alcohol and drug abuse are... Sarah Karp http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Fat Activists Take Body Acceptance to the Beach

Colorlines - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 15:05
Fat Activists Take Body Acceptance to the Beach

A confession: this article idea came to me while indulging in a guilty pleasure: falling into an Instagram hole, spending who knows how long surfing hashtags and following one user to another through my friends following feeds. A recent late-night episode brought me across this gem: #fatkini. As a chubby person who has struggled with body hatred and fat acceptance my whole life, I was really drawn to these (mostly) celebratory and beautiful images of women embracing their bikini bodies. So I talked to three women of color all involved in the fat or plus-size world, either through fashion (Marie Denee), fat activism and academia (Virgie Tovar), and social media (Laura Luna P.) about this trend.

First, the basics: what is a fatkini? It's a bikini made for, and worn by, a fat, plus-size or curvy woman (more on the different labels later). All three of the women I talked to mentioned first hearing the term from Gabi Fresh, a fashion blogger with a huge following who posted her own fatkini pictures back in 2012. She now has her own plus-size bathing suit line as part of Swimsuits for All. All three of the women I talked to also agreed that they've seen way more larger women wearing bikinis this summer than ever before.

LauraLuna2.png

Laura Luna P. rocks a fatkini on the beach with freind Marisol Salanova. (Photo courtesy of Laura Luna P.)

It seems a number of things are contributing to this trend. A major one, evidenced by the way I came across this topic, is social media. Laura Luna P, a self-described "queer fat Xicana femme, vintage purveyor, stylist and community builder," talked about how social media has shaped her relationship with her body: "Fat people of all genders are just like, 'We see it happening, we're gonna do it, we're gonna take selfies.' Our other fat friends are gonna be so affirming and you have this little cocoon of love around you." Combined with hashtags like #fat and the one created by Tovar, #losehatenotweight, selfies are elevating the visibility of women celebrating their bodies. "Social media allows for these women to congregate, interact with other," says Marie Denee, founder of the popular plus-size fashion blog Curvy Fashionista. They're like, "Oh you like bikinis too? Let's demand our bikinis!" In this way, social media can also have a direct impact on creating a new market for an item, like plus-size bikinis.

Another major factor in the rise of fatkinis is likely tied to Forever 21 and other low-cost retailers adding them to their plus-size lines. All three of the women referenced Forever 21 in our interviews, and it's clear that these retailers are finally catching on to more interesting and adventurous clothing options for bigger bodies. Tovar, university lecturer and author of "Hot and Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion," described visiting a Forever 21 in San Francisco last summer: "I remember walking in and seeing a two-piece bathing suit in the plus-size section and I started crying. It just became this symbol of a shift, it was so symbolic and meaningful." Tovar is careful to explain that she knows Forever 21 is not a great retailer in terms of labor practices, but these compromises often exist when affordable clothing options are so limited.

There is also a significant movement behind the changes in marketing and the social media community. For years now more and more people have been pushing back against beauty norms regarding weight and pushing for a culture that celebrates and accepts bodies of all sizes. Often known as the fat activist movement, these folks organize to combat size-based discrimination, push back against the correlation between weight and health and more. There are a number of national organizations and conferences that bring people together under these auspices. Both Tovar and Luna consider themselves part of the fat activist movement, but Denee says she's not sure if her work fits in: "I think I'm on the outside of it because some people don't equate fashion as part of that." But Denee admits that her blog has become a place to organize and galvanize her readers in ways that look a lot like advocacy. When finding clothes that fit your body and your style is an everyday struggle, it seems to me that the line between fashion and activism is hazy at best.

VirgieTovar1.jpgVirgie Tovar has a message. (Photo courtesy of Virgie Tovar)

While the fat activism movement overall represents a mix of folks across races, it's clear that women of color are playing a big role, particularly in online spaces that mix fashion and body acceptance. A number of the more popular bloggers (including Gabi Fresh and Marie Denee) are black women, and the hashtags show a strong presence of women of color participating. Beauty and body norms are shaped by racial and cultural norms, and all three women talked about how their families and racial identities influenced their relationships with their bodies. "We grew up with having the appreciation of our curves a little bit differently," Denee explains. "Our bodies and our shapes are looked at differently; there is a different kind of relationship with our bodies. My grandmother was a thick woman but she was always dressed to impress, always fit for Sunday." But Tovar is quick to caution that the idea that women of color are more accepting of fat bodies does not necessarily mean that women of color don't also suffer from the mainstream norms that clearly preference thinness. "I think it's true [that] people of color have autonomously created beauty standards forever," she says. "But what's complicated is when people say white women feel the brunt of body discrimination, which is not true." Questions of race have come up in fat activist spaces, like NOLOSE, an annual conference for queer fat activists that has struggled with race-based tensions in recent years.


mariedenee.jpgMarie Denee enjoys the water. (Photo courtesy of Marie Denee)

What's clear is that for women of color, issues of race, gender and body norms all come together in the journey toward self-acceptance. For some, embracing the identity "fat" can be another step in this direction. Luna shares: "As a woman of color I always try to take up space, it's kind of self-preservation. You want to make yourself seen. By accepting my fatness, that's part of it.  As a Xicana, once I became politicized it was about making a statement--I'm Xicana, I'm queer, I'm fat--having learned this way of naming myself for myself like Audre Lorde said." 

For Denee, the label "fat" is less central and she doesn't use it when describing herself or her work. "I think it's just a descriptor," she says. "Yeah I'm fat, but there's more to me than that and it's not the end all be all of who I am. I also wear glasses and have big hair." Her word choices are also about her role as a prominent blogger and her attempts to reach a wide audience. "As I've become more self-aware in the community, I realize there are some women who still see fat as a bad word," she explains. "Let me get you where [you are] and then we can break this construct down. It's amazing how much vitriol and inspiration can come from that word. It's so polarizing."

These types of nuances and differences exist in many marginalized or nascent communities, but it's clear that the newfound visibility of larger bodies, especially when celebrated online or at the beach, is having positive impacts. All three women described their first time wearing a bikini as scary but also liberating. "There's not only this sense that I'm transgressing this rule that fat girls don't wear bikinis," says Tovar. "There's [also] this corporeal experience of the wind and sun on my stomach. That feeling is not only novel and exhilarating but also political."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Yunnan, China Quake Death Toll Rises to 589

New America Media - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:25
BEIJING - An earthquake in China over the weekend triggered landslides that have blocked rivers and created rapidly growing bodies of water that could unleash more destruction on survivors of the disaster that killed 589 people, state media reported on... Xinhua Staff http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Jury Deliberation Begins in Renisha McBride Trial

Colorlines - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:22
Jury Deliberation Begins in Renisha McBride Trial

Jury deliberation began Wednesday in the trial of Theodore Wafer, 54, charged with the murder of 19-year-old Renisha McBride last November. The jury, according to Legal Insurrection, is composed of seven men and five women, including eight whites and four blacks. There are two white female alternates.

The McBride trial began on Monday, July 21. She was unarmed and disoriented when Wafer shot her on his front porch late one night, after McBride had gotten into a car accident.

For live updates, follow MLive.com.

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China to Ban Coal Use in Beijing by 2020

New America Media - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:58
Beijing will ban the consumption of high-polluting fuels in downtown areas by 2020, the municipal environmental protection authority said.The Economic and Technological Development Zone in Yizhuang, Daxing district will be the first area with zero consumption of high-polluting fuels by... Zheng Jinran http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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When the U.S. Nearly Had Universal Child Care

Colorlines - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:58
When the U.S. Nearly Had Universal Child Care

Yesterday marks the 20th anniversary of a federal law that says, "having a baby shouldn't cost you your job or your health insurance." Meditate on Ellen Bravo's words for a minute. Then consider that the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which offers 12 weeks unpaid leave, still doesn't go far enough for most families. But advocates appear hopeful that could soon change. After a near 50-year lull, according to an informative history by Think Progress' Bryce Covert, a new top-level conversation around the "family friendly" workplace and universal childcare is once again gaining steam--which is good news for all families but in particular single parents and working class families of color. 

Read up on paid leave bills passing in states across the country, where the FMLA falls short, and this 2013 TNR piece on how Pat Buchanan helped kill a 1970s plan to implement national daycare

What one piece of national legislation would do the most to help single parents or families of color?

(h/t Huffington Post)

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Professor Loses New Job for Pro-Palestinian Tweets

Colorlines - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 11:55
Professor Loses New Job for Pro-Palestinian Tweets

According to Inside Higher Ed, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has blocked the appointment of Steven G. Salaita to its faculty. Illinois made its appointment public a few weeks ago--and Salaita was to start teaching in the American Indian studies program later this month. 

But Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik writes that according to two sources, Salaita lost his opportunity due to the "tone" of his recent pro-Palestinian tweets:

The sources familiar with the university's decision say that concern grew over the tone of his comments on Twitter about Israel's policies in Gaza. While many academics at Illinois and elsewhere are deeply critical of Israel, Salaita's tweets have struck some as crossing a line into uncivil behavior.

Salaita's Twitter account has gone silent in recent days.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is not new to controversy. The school retired its mascot, Chief Illiniwek, in 2007, but it remains a presence on campus, causing some students serious distress. And after the school's chancellor, Phyllis Wise, declined to declare a snow day on a particularly cold day this January, students soon took to Twitter to make racist and sexist attacks against her.

J K?haulani Kauanui, an associate professor at Wesleyan, has created an action page on Facebook to back Salaita, asking supporters to call and write their complaints about blocking his hire to Chancellor Wise. 

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Africa Activists Urge Obama to Act on Extractive Industries Law

New America Media - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 09:40
photo: Artisanal diamond miners at work in the alluvial diamond mines around the eastern town of Koidu, Sierra Leone. (Tommy Trenchard/IPS)WASHINGTON - As the three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit got underway here Monday, anti-corruption activists urged President Barack Obama to prod... Jim Lobe http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Obama Creates Africa Business Advisory Council

New America Media - Wed, 08/06/2014 - 09:29
President Obama issued an executive order Tuesday to create a panel dealing with increasing business ties between the United States and African countries, particularly those located south of the Sahara Desert.The initiative — the President's Advisory Council on Doing Business... James Wright http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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