Diversity Headlines

Bows That Bind: Our Collective, Undying Love for Hello Kitty

Hyphen Blog - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 10:40

How I paid homage to a girlhood icon on her 40th birthday, and passed down the love to the next generation.

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Categories: Diversity Headlines

Twitter Reminds Bill Cosby That He Can't Keep Dodging Those Rape Allegations

Colorlines - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:09
Twitter Reminds Bill Cosby That He Can't Keep Dodging Those Rape Allegations

When Bill Cosby took to Twitter on Monday night to drum up publicity for his website by asking fans to create memes, he certainly didn't expect an avalanche of reminders about the many rape allegations leveled against him over the years. But that's exactly what happened. (Cosby has since deleted his initial tweet to his followers.)


.@russbengtson @BillCosby Top of the mornin to ya. pic.twitter.com/O09sZYbUQJ

-- Pete Forester (@pete_forester) November 10, 2014

How's this, @BillCosby? #CosbyMeme pic.twitter.com/dIAhsAiK9G

-- Clay Fusco (@wilderhackman) November 11, 2014

#CosbyMeme Oh Boy! pic.twitter.com/5shOSuH74c

-- E.J. Coughlin (@ejc) November 10, 2014

Categories: Diversity Headlines

South Korea Ferry Captain Sentenced to 36 Years, Mayo Lawsuit, #CosbyMeme

Colorlines - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 08:07
South Korea Ferry Captain Sentenced to 36 Years, Mayo Lawsuit, #CosbyMeme

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

  • What's mayo if it doesn't contain eggs? According to a lawsuit filed by multinational food giant Unilever, it's not mayo
  • This is what happens when you don't understand the Twitter: In a now deleted tweet, Bill Cosby encouraged users to, "Go ahead. Meme me! #CosbyMeme." It didn't turn out that well for him
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Dying Undocumented: Depending on Benadryl No Way to Live

New America Media - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 07:53
OAKLAND, Calif. – It's not easy to watch someone die, but that was the reality for Beatrice Sanchez, who watched her mother's health spiral down for nearly a decade. The decline seemed needless because Betty Balderama wasn't sick with... text: Viji Sundaram; video: Tudor Stanley http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Vietnam Steps Up Harassment of Dissident Rights Lawyer

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 15:00
 (RFA) - Vietnamese authorities have ramped up their harassment of dissident rights lawyer and former political prisoner Nguyen Bac Truyen (Nguy?n B?c Truy?n), stationing a large group of security agents in plain clothes outside his rented house on Wednesday and... Vietnam Right Now http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Right Issue, Wrong Tactic -- Kiss of Love Misses its Mark

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 14:39
Ed. Note: A campaign in India has highlighted tensions between progressives advocating for the right to public displays of affection and more conservative activists who say such behavior violates India’s traditional values. The “Kiss of Love” campaign started in the... Sandip Roy http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=54
Categories: Diversity Headlines

'Goliath' Takes a Beating in Richmond Despite Low Turnout

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:30
Ed. Note: The 2014 mid-term election in Richmond, Calif. will be remembered for Chevron’s $3 million spending spree on its preferred candidates, Mayor-elect Tom Butt’s victory, outgoing councilman Corky Booze’s loss and more. But even with national news attention and... Richmond Pulse http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen Shut Down Over Palestinian Program

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 13:23
Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen Shut Down Over Palestinian Program

Since 2010, Pittsburgh's Conflict Kitchen has gone about the idealistic goal of trying to foster understanding between warring countries. The eatery features food from regions of the world under siege by the U.S. military, serving up what Benjamin Sutton at Hyperallergic dubbed "culinary diplomacy." But that diplomacy has been called into question recently by Israel advocacy organization B'nai B'rith in a battle over the restaurant's Palestinian programming. Last week, the drama got so heated that death threats temporarily shut down the kitchen.

From Hyperallergic:

Attacks on Conflict Kitchen have revolved around two issues. Its Palestine-themed programming launched with a September 30 talk that featured West Bank-raised, Pittsburgh-based doctor Nael Aldweib and Ken Boas, a University of Pittsburgh professor who is also the chair of the board of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions-USA. That event drew criticism from Pittsburgh's Jewish Chronicle for not including an Israeli perspective.

"Promoting understanding is at the core of Conflict Kitchen's mission," Rubin and Weleski wrote. "We have demonstrated this in the past by presenting the food, culture, and viewpoints of Iranians, Afghans, Cubans, North Koreans, and Venezuelans.  We believe that presenting the viewpoints of Palestinians promotes understanding of Palestinians."

Critics have also taken aim at Conflict Kitchen's food wrappers, some of which contain excerpts of interviews that took place in Palestine. But in a blog post last week from co-founders Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski reiterated Conflict Kitchen's mission -- and noted that they're good at what they do. "The real story on our Palestinian version is that it is the most popular iteration to date, with 300-400 people a day coming to the restaurant," they wrote. "Our public is approaching us with trust, support, and open minds."

Categories: Diversity Headlines

‘Kiss of Love’ Campaign Spreads to Kolkata, Delhi

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:57
 New Delhi: As a gawking crowd watched, scores of activists on Saturday locked lips in the middle of a busy Delhi street to protest moral policing and support the Kiss of Love movement in Kerala.At least 70 protesting students were... India West http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

[VIDEO] President Obama Steps Up on Net Neutrality

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:41

President Obama today ratcheted up his support for a free and open Internet by recommending a specific plan of action to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC is currently deciding on new "net neutrality" rules or, whether to allow folks to continue using the Internet as they've always used it. That means open and free, without service providers charging higher prices for access to "premium" content for example (think about cable companies charging extra to watch HBO versus a network channel). In order to keep the status quo, Obama suggests regulating broadband like a utility--the option also pushed by consumer advocacy groups. Listen to Obama's two-minute pitch above. The FCC has already received more than 4 million public comments supporting net neutrality. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

94% of Child Migrants Who've Received Removal Orders Had No Attorney

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:38
94% of Child Migrants Who've Received Removal Orders Had No Attorney

Between July 18 and October 21, immigration courts sped through 800 cases a week to begin processing the tens of thousands of child migrants who crossed the border into the U.S. this past summer, Politico reports. In the same span of time, judges issued 1,542 deportation orders and 94 percent of them went to children who faced their court proceedings without the aid of an attorney.

The public tussle over how children are being fast-tracked through the nation's notoriously complex immigration system has swung from whether or not the child migrants in question show up at their hearings to whether or not these children deserve to have access to attorneys at all. Because immigration is handled in civil, not criminal courts, those who go before an immigration judge have no right to an attorney. 

The already backlogged immigration courts may not have yet seen the full weight of the child migrant crisis, since in those same three months judges have granted more than 10,000 continuances, which put off court hearings so that children can find the time to seek out the services of an attorney, Politico reported.

In addition to $9 million in federal aid to provide these children, many of whom are under the age of 14 and do not speak English, with attorneys, cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and New York have stepped up to provide legal services. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Renowned Pastor Myles Munroe, Wife, Killed in Bahamas Plane Crash

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:08
 Prominent evangelist Myles Munroe and his wife, Ruth, were killed Sunday with seven others when a private jet crashed in the Bahamas.CNN reported the Lear 36 Executive Jet had left Nassau and was attempting to land at the Freeport Ship... Washington Informer http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Will Pres. Obama Act on Immigration Reform Before the end of the Year?

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:04
 Now that the midterm elections are over, immigrant activists around the country are wondering whether President Barack Obama will fulfill his promise to act on immigration reform by the end of the year. In June, Obama announced that he would... Asian Journal http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

New 5Pointz Landlord Insists He Owns Graffiti Mecca's Name

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 12:03
New 5Pointz Landlord Insists He Owns Graffiti Mecca's Name

It was bad enough to see the historic Manhattan graffiti mecca 5Pointz get whitewashed and then demolished earlier this year to clear the way for new condos. Now the lot's landlord, Jerry Wolkoff, is trying to use the name for the condos he's building there. 

From the Huffington Post: The move makes one more bullet point in a list of grievances for the key artists and activists associated with 5Pointz, for whom Wolkoff became an enemy after his dramatic overnight whitewashing. One, Marie Cecile Flageul, acted as the group's press liaison when plans were underway to sway the city to preserve the graffiti-smothered building. Speaking to a reporter this week, Flageul accused Wolkoff of trying to "bank off our name." She called the name-grab "ironic," asserting that "the same corporation which single-handedly destroyed all the artwork known as 5Pointz" is "trying to capitalize" on its cache.  Many of the city's legendary graffiti writers attribute the name to Jason "Meres One" Cohen, a street artist who curated the site back in the '80s. The two new condo buildings will be part of a $400 million redevelopment plan, which Wolkoff promises will recapture some of its predecessor's mystique, with an exterior tagging wall and artist studios inside the building. People "don't believe that I'm going to bring them back," he told the Huffington Post. "But they will be back." 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

Sterlin Harjo Explains Why He Makes Films About Poor Indians

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:31
Sterlin Harjo Explains Why He Makes Films About Poor Indians

Sterlin Harjo's latest film, "This May Be the Last Time," seamlessly weaves together two stories of family and music. On one hand, it explores the 1961 disappearance of his grandfather. On the other, it traces the origins of the Native hymns search teams sang as they looked for him. Harjot traces these hymns, which are the result of the Native, African and European influences, back to the early 1800s and learns that they may be the earliest of American songs. "This May Be the Last Time" hit the festival circuit in January. It will available on-line and on DVD, VOD and iTunes this Tuesday. Colorlines spoke with Harjo about the film, the hymns, his hometown and why he chooses to put the stories of poor Indians on the screen.

How did you set out to make this film?

I always wanted to do a documentary on the songs. I started shooting it without a plan, just started interviewing people. Once I started doing that, I came up with the idea of opening and closing the film with the story of my grandpa. [Through] interviewing people, I found out that [the songs] were actually there when they searched for my grandpa, and that developed into a bigger part of the story. it made sense to do it in that way because the best way to talk about these songs, and the way everyone talks about them, is through stories. My grandpa's story highlights the way these songs are used in a modern context.

I could probably make the case that African music is part of every music of the Americas--including in indigenous musics. Why do you think that's so obscured?

You can hear the blues in our traditional music. The women make music with turtle shells and there's call and response singing. It's there. I think that America is so culturally into itself, and the Europeans [who] took over this country wrote the history. They left out indigenous peoples and brown people and a lot of people today don't realize it. We all grew up in a really racist country--that includes musicians. I live in Tulsa, Okla. One of our popular music styles is known as the Tulsa Sound and it was basically white guys [who] would cross over to the black part of town as young kids who fell in love with R&B music. And they then mixed that with rock'n'roll and country and it became this thing. But remember that this was going on in a segregated town. No one talked about going to those clubs because you weren't supposed to.

What's the reception been like for your film back home?

There was a lot of talk about it back home and it was in the newspapers. Everyone [talks] about my grandpa and people who remembered [him] would stop my dad and talk to [him] about it. One of my best compliments that I got on my film was when my dad said that he felt like he knew his dad better now. [His] was a story that I always heard, but I never knew my grandpa. It was never anything that emotionally touched me that much; it was just a good story I grew up hearing. But once I made the film and saw how it affected my aunt, my grandma and my dad, I realized that this person was real. It brought up all of these old feelings--and I think that was the most surprising thing for me.

Stories can be told in a lot of ways. Why do you choose to work in film?

I think that film is the most exciting medium. It reaches people that I could never otherwise reach. On an emotional level, there's poetry involved, there's writing and there's music and images. For me, it's like any good book--the reader fills in the empty spaces. That's how it is with filmmaking--the viewer fills in the empty spaces in the cuts with their own experience. I think that's what makes you relate to something even if you have no idea culturally or are not connected to it in any way. You can relate to people's pain and people's stories.

What about the broader reception--not just at home, but for wider audiences?

Everybody [who] sees it is really happy with it. They're crying and they're touched by it. As far as the industry goes, it's still a pretty weird place to be in as a Native filmmaker trying to make films and get them out there. There's a lot riding against you: There's not a lot of funding or support once your films are finished. It's an industry that's not interested in Native stories. You have obstacles in your way. Whenever the film gets in front of people, it touches them--no matter what race they are. It's not a film that will be played in major theaters, but for the people [who] do get to find it, it's a special thing that I think they get to take with them.

Hollywood didn't fund this film. How did it you get support for it?

A company that I was making a television show for in Tulsa called This Land Press funded it. Hollywood would never fund this. I haven't even been there in eight years; they couldn't care less. When I went there for meetings, I felt like people were checking off their brown person quota of the day. And for a 24-year-old filmmaker I thought maybe I could get funding for my film. But you realize it's not like that and that there's a lot of backlash. A lot of people tell me, "You're making films about poor Indians, quit doing that and maybe you'll get funding and make money off of your films." When you're faced with that attitude, it's really hard to keep doing it until you spend time with other people who are doing it and then you're reminded, "Oh. I'm doing this for something better than just money. I'm trying to tell stories from a group of people who have been marginalized and misrepresented throughout history, especially in cinema." When you're reminded about that, you feel OK about everything. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Azealia Banks is Fed Up With Mainstream Music, Especially Those 'Corny' White Girls

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 11:23
Azealia Banks is Fed Up With Mainstream Music, Especially Those 'Corny' White Girls

Azealia Banks dropped her long awaited debut LP "Broke With Expensive Taste" as a surprise for fans last Thursday. Pitchfork's Jeremy Gordon was there the next day to talk with the rapper/singer about the tortured road she's taken since 2011, when she seemed primed for mainstream success only to flounder under Interscope for the next three years and get into a series of high profile Twitter fights.

Banks always has a lot to say about being a black woman in the industry. In June, shortly  before she was dropped from Interscope, she begged to be let go, writing on Twitter, "I'm tired of having to consult a group of old white guys about my black girl craft." She was no less forthcoming with Pitchfork noting that even though some of her mess was of her own making, she got very little help cleaning it up.

Pitchfork: Two years ago, you told Spin that signing to a major label would be your one chance. 

Azealia Banks: At that point, I was really young and surrounded by a lot of older men who were working with me, that I was dating--a lot of older people I had to deal with. And having the male co-sign is something that people talk about a lot, especially with female rappers. Having been rejected by so many different people, I was just like, "Oh my God, I'm back in with these guys, this is my last chance." But now I know how much it costs to go in the studio--I could make a thousand dollars and record for 12 hours and do whatever I need to fucking do. I don't need these major label guys. These people are not my last shot. I know how to do this. I can do this. And thanks to Twitter, I can do it my own way, too.

She then goes in on the mainstream industry at large saying that having to deal with the career pressures and living in the digital public eye is "making me insane."

Or it'll be like, "We're gonna pop off the white-girl rapper," so we'll have Gwen Stefani and Fergie, and then it'll get worse and worse and worse. And you're just like, "What the fuck is this?" The whole trend of white girls appropriating black culture was so corny--it was more corny than it was offensive. Trust me, I'm not offended: All the things I'm trying to run away from in my black American experience are all the things that they're celebrating. So if they fuckin' want them, have them; if they want to be considered oversexualized and ignorant every time they open their fucking mouth, then fucking take it. But more than that, the art is not good. These songs are not good. It's like, "Oh my God, you're doing this black woman impression, is that what the fuck you think of me, bitch? I need to meet the black woman that you're imitating because I've never met any black woman who acts that bizarre." It's crazy that this becomes mainstream culture. All of America is celebrating shit like that. It's so weird.

Read more at Pitchfork.

Categories: Diversity Headlines

UC Regents to Consider New Long-Term Stability Plan for Tuition and Financial Aid

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:10
The University of California Board of Regents announced last week that it will consider a new five-year plan for low, predictable tuition that will provide funding to increase access for California students, maintain the university’s robust financial aid program and... UC Newsroom http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Categories: Diversity Headlines

US Army Issues Apology Over the Use of ‘Negro’

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 09:57
 The Army is backtracking on a policy it published last month stating that “Negro” was an acceptable term to refer to black service members.According to CNN, "Army Command Policy," known as regulation AR 600-20, received some negative publicity after the... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, 'Dolphin Smooth'

Colorlines - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 07:25
Boko Haram Suspected in Suicide Bombing, AA Attendants Reject Contract, 'Dolphin Smooth'

Here's what I'm reading up on today: 

  • The last of two U.S. citizens held by North Korea are released
  • IS' leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is spared by U.S. airstrikes. Or wounded by U.S. airstrikes. Or killed by U.S. airstrikes. No one's really sure
  • American Airlines flight attendants reject a union contract by 16 votes--largely over healthcare costs and work rule changes; we'll likely see mediation before arbitration next. 
  • Reid Wiseman is back from space and his photo tweets are pretty amazing. 
Categories: Diversity Headlines

In Border Disaster, Advocates Seek Names of the Dead

New America Media - Mon, 11/10/2014 - 00:05
Pictured above: A cemetery in Holtville, Calif., containing hundreds of graves of unidentified persons believed to be migrants. Photo by Robin Reineke.With her daughter missing, Dalila can’t give up hope.“Sometimes I think … I’m going to find her alive, somewhere,... Amy Roe http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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