Diversity Headlines

Could Pres. Obama's Action on Immigration Help the Fight for $15?

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 14:12
Could Pres. Obama's Action on Immigration Help the Fight for $15?

It hasn't been lost on observers that Pres. Obama will announce his executive action on immigration reform tonight, at the same time as the Latin Grammy Awards are getting ready to broadcast live on Univision. As a result, the network is delaying the start of the event in order to carry the speech live. And "chances are high," writes TIME's Michael Scherer, "that the leading lights of Latin pop will follow up [Obama's] words with on-stage celebrations of the President's actions." That's not serendipity; that's great marketing.

Less obvious though is the fact that Obama's executive order is also coming at a time when, in the face of a stalled Congress, municipalities and states are moving on their own to increase the minimum wage. Four Republican states were the latest to capitulate, due to citizens' ballot demands. And protesting Walmart workers who previously demanded an unspecified "living wage," now demand a $15-an-hour minimum wage--like fast-food workers. 

So how do these local, people-powered fights for a higher minimum wage dovetail with Obama's executive action on immigration reform? The details of Obama's plan aren't yet known but NYU economist Daniel Altman and others have argued that increasing the minimum wage requires immigration reform, including bringing undocumented workers into the formal labor force. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez touted a similar argument in an October speech, linking immigration reform with raising the wage floor for all Americans (or at least, stalling its downward push). But the impact of immigration (and, reform) on wages remains a contested point, certainly among the GOP. Some are considering another government shut down as one response to Obama's immigration reform.

Look for Obama's remarks tonight to include making as many as 5 million people eligible for work permits, the AP reports. Morgan Winsor of International Business Times explains the economic impact on states like California, New York, Illinois and Texas in particular. 

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Obama Introduces Deferred Action for Parents, or DAP

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 14:09
Obama Introduces Deferred Action for Parents, or DAP

Among the actions President Obama is taking in his executive action on immigration is introducing Deferred Action for Parents, or DAP. The program will be administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Parents of all U.S. citizen children or legal permanent resident children born on or before November 20, 2014 are eligible. Parents of children that are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, are not--and neither are soon-to-be parents whose children are born today or anytime after.

DAP recipients will be eligible for work authorization and be granted relief from deportation for a renewable three years at a time. In order to obtain DAP, parents must demonstrate a constant presence in the United States for the last five years, submit biometric data, as well as pass a criminal background check. Although there was early talk of paying back taxes for the last five years, no such condition exists in DHS memos and wasn't mentioned by Obama in his remarks Thursday evening. Any parent who is already an enforcement priority for the administration is automatically ineligible for for the program.

Like DACA, DAP does not provide legal status--it's temporary relief from deportation. It's estimated that more than three million parents will be eligible for DAP. The fee to apply for DAP will be $465 for each parent, but eligible immigrants won't be able to apply until late May 2015. 

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DOJ Releases Holder Video Statement Ahead of Wilson Indictment Decision

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 12:46

Attorney General Eric Holder appears in a new video released today that touts new guidelines for best practices for policing ahead of a St. Louis grand jury's decision on whether to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in connection with the shooting and killing of Mike Brown. In it, Holder also encourages peaceful demonstration. 

It's still unclear when the indictment will be announced, but the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting that the Jennings School District will be closed Monday and Tuesday in anticipation of an announcement this weekend. School will be back in session for Jennings schools students on December 1.

Two other local school districts, Riverview Gardens and Ferguson-Florissant haven't announced any school closures, and it's not known whether Hazelwood schools, also in the area, will close next week. 

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Toni Morrison to Colbert: 'There's No Such Thing As Race'

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:14
 'There's No Such Thing As Race'

ICYMI: Toni Morrison paid a visit to "The Colbert Report" earlier this week ands schooled the host on racism. Among her many gems is this one: "There's no such thing as race. Racism is a construct. A social construct." Watch.  

The Colbert Report

Get More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video Archive

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Undocumented Immigrants from 3 Ebola-Affected West African Countries Will Not Be Deported

New America Media - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 10:07
President Barack Obama will address the nation Thursday night to shed light on his plans to provide deportation relief to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States, and those immigrants who come from the three West African nations... Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Clinton Says Obama Can Legally Issue Executive Order on Immigration

New America Media - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 09:43
 Former President Bill Clinton suggested that President Barack Obama has the legal authority to issue an executive order that would influence immigration. “As far as I can tell every president in the modern era has issued some executive orders affecting... Asian Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Big K.R.I.T.'s 'Cadillactica' is Rightfully the No.1 Hip-Hop Album in America

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:00
Big K.R.I.T.'s 'Cadillactica' is Rightfully the No.1 Hip-Hop Album in America

Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. earned his second No. 1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with his new album "Cadillactica." As Billboard noted:

[The album moved] 44,000 in first-week sales (his best week ever), according to Nielsen SoundScan. The 28-year old rapper last debuted atop the chart in 2012 with Live From the Underground (41,000 units). The new set includes a host of featured acts, including Raphael Saadiq and Wiz Khalifa. The second single from the set, "Pay Attention" featuring Rico Love, spent a week at No. 24 on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks chart in August.

"Cadillactica" is a concept album, which K.R.I.T. explained in an interview with Complex:

"I wanted to tell where the Cadillac came from on the "Live From the Underground" [a previous album] cover. That was very important for me. But "Cadillactica" in itself is literally my sub-conscious. I wanted to make a planet of it and give it a name...and on this planet, life is a little bit obscure. And it's about the journey in life on Cadillactica, from the beginning of the planet itself to finding life on the planet and how life unfolds on this planet, what people go through on this planet. From being young and rambunctious to find [sic] your purpose in life and being content with what you've done. And then ultimately the end. [I was] figuring out a creative way of telling that entire story of a planet nobody's ever heard of before."

But even that somewhat vague answer doesn't do the album justice. Guest appearances also include Raphael Saadiq and E-40 on standout tracks "Soul Food" and "Mind Control." Each song speaks to a facet of black life in the South. There's the "Mo Grease Than Beat" skit at the end of the especially strong title track that offers up a drive-thru order that comes with "two sides, some poverty or some famine...and if you don't want that famine, you can always get some low self-esteem or a biscuit." There are love songs to speakers ("My Sub, pt. 3") and cars ("Do You Love Me" ft. Mara Hruby) and K.R.I.T.'s demand for the rest of the world to respect Southern rappers ("Mt. Olympus"). But mostly there's K.R.I.T. at some of his finest moments lyrically. 

"I think it was time to go back," he explained to Rolling Stone in October. "You get in the point where people tell you, "Man, you know, people need to be able to rap your songs." And you get caught up in that. So, I wasn't all that caught up in it this time. I was really on some like, 'I want you to listen, I pray you get something from it, but I want to tell you something.'"

Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album:

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Obama's Immigration Order, Bill Cosby, Facebook and Unions

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 07:08
Obama's Immigration Order, Bill Cosby, Facebook and Unions

This is what I'm reading up on today:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Obama Order May Give DACA Parents Some Relief

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:25
Obama Order May Give DACA Parents Some Relief

President Obama will make his much-awaited announcement to take executive action on immigration Thursday, according to two Congressional aides speaking under the condition of anonymity. The aides say that he'll head to Las Vegas on Friday. He'll present more details of the order at Del Sol High School in front of an audience of immigrants and their advocates.

This won't be the first time Obama addresses immigration at Del Sol High School. The president was there nearly two years ago outlining another reform plan. He promised then that he would introduce his own legislation if Congress didn't move quickly. The House did introduce and pass a bill--which eventually died in the Senate in 2013.  

The president's plan may expand Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, by widening age requirements for eligibility. Although DACA isn't a path to citizenship, it protects immigrants from deportation for two years at a time and it provides work permits for that time. Obama may also outline a plan to extend deportation relief to the parents of children who are U.S. citizens or Green Card holders. It's unclear whether the parents of DACA recipients will be eligible. According to one immigration advocate who spoke on condition of anonymity, DACA recipient Astrid Silva and her father have been invited to attend Obama's primetime address on Thursday, a signal that deferred action may be cover parents. The president is also expected to expand visas for high-skill tech workers and increase security along the southern border. Obama's plan is expected to benefit up to five million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. 

The president's plan will likely fall far short of what immigrant advocates have been demanding. In a statement, National Day Laborer Organizing Network head Pablo Alvarado said, "100% of immigrants deserve equality, and regardless of what the President says or when he says it, we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to defend and advance our rights."

But Obama's plan is already being dogged by Republicans. According to Reuters, House speaker John Boehner's spokesman, Michael Steel, has resorted to implying that Obama is governing as a reigning monarch: "If 'Emperor Obama,'" said Steel, "ignores the American people and announces an amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again exceeds his constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin the chances for congressional action on this issue and many others." 

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A Sobering Infographic for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:21
A Sobering Infographic for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, the day when we remember all of the lives lost to transphobic violence. This year has been especially deadly for trans women; Aniya Parker's murder last month in Los Angeles was just one of growing list of women who've been violently killed this year because of their gender identity. Over the summer, 28-year-old Zoraida Reyes's body was found in a parking lot behind an Orange County Dairy Queen. In total, 12 transgender women have been killed in the United States in the past 12 months.

Statistics show that trans women of color were the victims of 67 percent of all hate-motivated homicides of LGBT people in 2013. Over at BuzzFeed, Dominic Holden detailed the frightening scenario in Ohio, where four transgender women have been killed in just 20 months. 


Tiffany Edwards, 28, is one such woman who was killed in June. And as Holden explains:

Though violence against transgender people is widely considered a national epidemic by LGBT advocates, the state of Ohio has seen a particularly disturbing trend. Tiffany Edwards was the fourth transgender woman killed in Ohio in the last 20 months. Three of the victims were transgender women of color. The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) also reports 14 incidents of non-fatal hate-motivated attacks on transgender people throughout the state in 2013. Many attacks go unreported. Most recently in Ohio, on Nov. 3, Candice Rose Milligan, 33, was hospitalized after being beaten in broad daylight by a group of men who allegedly yelled, "That's a dude in a dress," the Toledo Bladereported.

Read more at BuzzFeed

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A Community of Black Dads [VIDEO]

Colorlines - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:09

This month, our "Life Cycles of Inequity" series focuses on fatherhood. We challenge the widespread, easy assumptions about black fatherhood that so often pathologize black families. In the video above, our series' filmmaker André Robert Lee speaks with a pastor in New Haven, Conn., whose life reveals one of the many things about black family that gets overlooked in the constant handwringing about a crisis of black fathers. For centuries, black families have had a tradition of communal parenting. This tradition stretches back to our West African roots and it was among the cultural tools we used to survive slavery in the Americas and the terrorism of 20th century segregation--both of which actively sought to destroy black family units. The tradition continues to buttress black families navigating today's endemic poverty and the abuses of the criminal justice system. Father Mathis and the men for whom he has been a surrogate father share their stories with Colorlines, and we thank them.

Throughout 2014, Colorlines is examining the structural  inequities that shape the lives of black men. Too often, we zero in on black men only at their point of premature death. Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant--and on it goes in a grim roll call. But what if these men had lived? What lives would they face? On a whole host of issues, the data suggests they'd have faced massive, sometimes insurmountable odds against safe, healthy and prosperous lives. Our "Life Cycles of Inequity" series focuses each month on a different life stage or event in which those odds have been shown to be particularly long, thanks to structural inequities that grow out of our nation's collective political and economic choices. 

You can check out the entire series here and join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook and all social media with the hashtag #LivesOfBlackMen.

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“Who Will Care for Us?” Ask Indian American Seniors in Immigration Limbo

New America Media - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 00:50
  Photo: Seniors are shown receive free health care at the Guru Nanak Foundation of America’s health fair, held in Silver Spring, Md. (India West) Part 1 of 2 articles. UNION CITY, Calif.--Manjeet Kaur arrived in the U.S. in 1996,... Sunita Sohrabji http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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In Wake of Obama's Executive Action, Advocates Warn About Scams

New America Media - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 17:05
President Obama announced on Thursday his plan to take executive action on immigration. His plan would revise enforcement priorities to focus on recent arrivals and those who had committed serious crimes. It would expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood... Staff http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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“Tell all the truth but tell it slant”: A Profile of Mia Yamamoto

Hyphen Blog - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 15:58

“The two things I've always hated: Phonies and cowards. Before, I felt I was both, and I could never overcome that until I transitioned.”

read more

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811: El número que llamar antes de excavar

New America Media - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 15:16
San Francisco - Wolfgang Gordillo recuerda el día en que un compañero de trabajo, excavando en un sitio de construcción en Seattle, golpeó accidentalmente y rompió una tubería de gas con una piqueta."Llegó el departamento de bomberos, evacuó la zona... Ngoc Nguyen; Traducido por Elizabeth Gonzalez http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Yank Sing Workers Win $4 Million in Backpay and Benefits

New America Media - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 13:06
Yank Sing, a high-end dim sum restaurant operating in two locations in San Francisco’s Financial District, announced Wednesday that it has reached a $4 million backpay and benefits settlement for 280 affected current and former employees, according to Chinese-language newspaper... Ngoc Nguyen http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=70
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The Obama Years, in Two Budget Charts

Colorlines - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 12:32
The Obama Years, in Two Budget Charts

You wouldn't know it by the tenor of the recent gubernatorial elections, but states' pockets have grown fat under President Obama. That's because his two signature economic initiatives--the 2009 Recovery Act and the 2010 Affordable Care Act--pumped tens of billions of dollars into state coffers, giving state leaders the chance to bolster services without raising revenue. At least at the local level, you'd think fiscal conservatives would love the guy. 

The National Association of State Budget Officers published a report today outlining spending trends. To my eye, here's the takehome: States have largely stopped making new investments in services, so what their residents do and don't get from government has been driven primarily by federal choices. First, take a look at this graph from the report, which shows federal and state spending trends over the past three fiscal years.


So overall state spending fell in fiscal year 2012--marking the first decline in total state spending in the 27-year history of this annual report. That was a big, historic change. It corresponed with the gradual sunsetting of the 2009 Recovery Act. Remember that? The reviled stimulus spending that eked out of Congress at a level much lower than economists of all stripes recommended? Well, the initial surge of stimulus spending ran out, federal funding to states plummeted by nearly 10 percent and overall state spending fell for the first time in a generation. The White House and others have argued that the stimulus averted a full-on depression. But imagine if it had been funded at the levels economists recommended? 

Anyway, that didn't happen. But in fiscal year 2014, total state spending shoots back up. This coincides with the onset of Obamacare--or specifically, the expansion of Medicaid, which has put an additional $41.8 billion into state budgets this fiscal year. Here's what that looks like for Medicaid programs themselves, again in a graph from the state budget directors' report.


This is important not only because it has allowed more than 8 million poor people to get health insurance. That's happened while barely affecting state spending on the program. Understand that Medicaid has been and remains the biggest ticket item in any state's budget. It accounts consistently for roughly a quarter of overall state spending; K-12 education comes in second, at about 20 percent. Every dollar the states don't spend on Medicaid, is money they can invest elsewhere--in higher education, transportation, tax breaks. 

So the Obama years have been very good to state budgets. The feds have financed massive public investment in local services that have staved off collapse for both the overall economy and for residents in the greatest need. But they have done so over the kicking and screaming objections of a great many local elected officials. Funny, that.

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New America Media - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 11:22
???-???Wolfgang Gordillo???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“??????????????????” ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????U.S. Dept. of Transportation?????????????????????????????????????1994??2013?????????????????????3?7?????????139????445??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????15??????????????????????????????????????????????????2007?????????“811”??????????????????????????????????????????????????????811?????????????????????“??????????Yerba Buena Engineering and Construction, Inc?”?????Miguel Galarza??“????????????????811???????????811?????????????????”?????????PG&E? ??“??????”????Richard Taylor?????????????811???????????????????????811???811???????????????811?????????????????????????????????????????????48??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????811????????????????????811?????? “?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????”?????????????1994?2013?????91??????????9?9??2?2???????????????????????811???????????????????????????811???????????????????????811?????????????????????811??????????????????????????San Francisco Day Labor Center?????????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????Galindo???????????????? ????????????811????“??????????????????????????????811????????????811???????????????”????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????811?“???????????????????????????????811???????? ?”???????????????811???????????????????????????????????????????????????????811?????????????????·????????????·?????????????????????????????????Sempra Energy???“????????Contractors State License Board?”??????????????811??????????????????????????Aaron Rezendez?? “??????????????811??????”?????????????????????30?????????2000?????????“??811???????????”... Ngoc Nguyen; ???Summer Chiang http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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FSU Shooting, Buffalo Braces for More Snow, Jobless Claims Continue to Drop

Colorlines - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:56
FSU Shooting, Buffalo Braces for More Snow, Jobless Claims Continue to Drop

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

  • Republicans are pretty livid over Obama's expected announcement on immigration this evening. 
  • NASA publishes a rather gorgeous video that simulates how carbon dioxide spreads in the atmosphere. It almost makes something so deadly look a little too beautiful. 

*Post has been updated since publication to indicate that TV Land, not NBC, will stop running reruns of "The Cosby Show." 

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Dave Chappelle and Michael Sam Do GQ

Colorlines - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 07:14
Dave Chappelle and Michael Sam Do GQ

Dave Chappelle and Michael Sam grace two of the six covers of GQ's December 2014 "Men (and Women) of the Year" issue. In an upbeat Q+A available online, Chappelle talks about binge-watching "The Wire," living off the grid and returning to the stage. Here's the comedian on his "show business bucket list":

There's just certain things that every entertainer always dreamed of doing. When I was 19, I used to walk up Sixth Avenue and look at the marquee of Radio City. I'd see the lines outside. I'd be like, "Man, I just want to... Radio City!" So then, last year, when I started going on the road, it was just because I wanted to be on the road, at first. There's something cathartic about touring--it feels good to just engage people that way. 

Check out Sam's interview in GQ.




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