Diversity Headlines

House Sues Obama, Amazon's 55 MPH Drones, and A Roll-Up Television Screen

Colorlines - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 07:05
House Sues Obama, Amazon's 55 MPH Drones, and A Roll-Up Television Screen

It's Friday! And here's what I'm reading up on:

Categories: Diversity Headlines

Journey Back to South Korea

Hyphen Blog - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 06:33

Activist Ju Hong shares the story of his return visit to South Korea.

read more

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For One Immigrant, Border Crisis Highlights Benefits of Citizenship

New America Media - Fri, 07/11/2014 - 05:30
Above: Advocates and ethnic media journalists attend a forum on citizenship in New York on June 30.NEW YORK — As Carolina Solano follows the mounting crisis on the southern border, her maternal instincts tell her to protect the unaccompanied migrant... Anthony Advincula http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=63
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Highway Patrol Beating Demands More Than Cops Probing Cops

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:25
The family of a woman seen on video struck repeatedly by a California highway patrolman is filing a civil lawsuit against the department on her behalf. Shock and outrage was the response to the latest videotaped violent law enforcement encounter... The Final Call http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:02
English ???????????????( Janet Napolitano)?????????“??????”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“ ??????????????????????????????????????????????”????????????????????????????????? ????????????????? ????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Henry Brady??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????“?????????????????????????????????????????” “?????????UC Santa Cruz???????????“???”????????????UC Davis?????????????????????????????? ? ”?????????????????????Helene Dillard??????????????????????????????????????????????????“??????????????????????????????????”??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Jane????? Terry Semel??????????????????Wendy Slusser?????????????????? ? “???????????????????????????????????????????????????????”??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????26????????????????????????UC Santa Cruz??????????????????????“????????”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=64
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UC lanza una iniciativa global de alimentos

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 14:43
Arriba: La presidenta de la UC Janet Napolitano planta orégano en el jardín comunitario dirigido por estudiantes de UCLA (Crédito: Reed Hutchinson/UCLA) EnglishLa semana pasada la presidenta de la Universidad de California Janet Napolitano dio a conocer la Iniciativa Global... Alec Rosenberg http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Texas City to 'Refuse' Refugee Child Migrants

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 12:45
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League City, Texas, council members voted on a measure set to reject any federal request to open an immigrant detention facility within the city.

The resolution was drafted by council member Heidi Thiess and approved 6-2--with support from the mayor. In addition to instructing all local institutions "to refuse requests or directives by federal agencies to permit or establish any facility for the purposes of processing, housing, or detaining any illegal aliens, designated as 'refugee' or otherwise", the resolution also demands the state of Texas do the following:

  • Through State executive and legislative actions demand that the Federal government provide additional resources for new and/or existing Border Patrol checkpoints and employ a contiguous physical barrier where strategically prudent.
  • Demand the Texas State Legislature to enhance state smuggling and human trafficking laws and provide civil liability protections for Texan landowners against criminal trespassers.
  • Demand the Texas State Legislature abolish any and all state-controlled or sponsored magnets that exacerbate the problem of rampant illegal immigration, such as (but not limited to): in-state tuition subsidies, welfare benefits and free non-emergency health care for illegal aliens.
  • Require the State to perform a cost/benefit analysis of the illegal alien presence and report that cost to Texas taxpayers and state agencies.
  • Pass legislation to prohibit "sanctuary cities" which restrict law enforcement from determining the immigration status of detainees after the commission of a crime within our communities.

According to The Houston Chronicle, there are no plans to open a detention facility in League City. If challenged, the resolution holds little legal merit. 

(h/t Raw Story)

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The Limits of Brazilian Soft Power

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:33
The painful rout of Brazil’s soccer team by Germany may be a metaphor for the deeper political losses that Brazil has experienced in the past year.Last summer students were marching down the streets of major cities like Rio de Janeiro,... Johanna Mendelson Forman http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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Why We are Suing the Government on Behalf of All Children Facing Deportation

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:17
The thousands of children fleeing violence and persecution and seeking refuge in the United States have brought to the forefront the issue of how our immigration system deals with children. The current system subjects kids to the same deportation laws... Beth Werlin http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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For Asian-American Men, A New Definition of Sexy

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:16

Comedian Kristina Wong recently gave a commencement address at UCLA's Asian Pacific Islander graduation. In it, she talked about what life was like when she was an undergad at the school, navigating her way through tough classes, professional aspirations and the demands of being an Asian-American woman in higer ed.

In a bit about the emasculation of Asian-American men, Wong re-defined what she considers sexy. From her speech:

Let's address first of all, the emasculation of Asian men and how the media "doesn't consider Asian men sexy." Where the hell is the world getting these ideas that Asian men aren't sexy?! I want to see the young Asian-American men of your generation model healthy masculinity that's not being reflected in mainstream America.  I want the future of Asian men to show that what's sexy is respecting a woman's boundaries, dismantling patriarchy, fighting for social justice, all while coding the heck out of a computer program!  That's what's sexy! Asian-American men, are you going to be the new face of sexy?

Watch the 20-minute speech above, or read the full text after the jump. 

Categories: Diversity Headlines

For Everyone Who's Tired of Hearing 'Not to be Racist, But...'

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:05

From the good folks with the upcoming film "Dear White People" comes this short PSA to anyone who's ever tried to explain away their racism. 

(h/t The Huffington Post)

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O.C. Sheriff's Department Admits to Violating TRUST Act

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:04
O.C. Sheriff's Department Admits to Violating TRUST Act

Under the federal government's Secure Communities program, the Department of Homeland Security accesses fingerprints whenever they're entered in a local database. Those fingerprints are then screened, and jurisdictions are asked to hold undocumented immigrants at the request of the feds. Critics charge that the Secure Communities program is a massive dragnet that often targets people who haven't even been accused of any serious crime for deportation. The program has also netted U.S.-born citizens. Local authorities aren't forced to honor the federal government's hold--it's simply a request, made without a warrant. 

Under what's known as the TRUST Act, California chose to stop cooperating with the program in January of this year, except in cases where the person in question is charged or has been convicted of a serious crime.

In California's Orange Country, however, 25-year-old Samuel Sixtos-Gomez is now facing deportation because of an old warrant for driving without a license. As the OC Weekly's Gabriel San Román reports, Sixtos-Gomez was walking down the street when local sheriff deputies began questioning him. When it was revealed that he had an outstanding warrant for driving without a license, he was arrested:

The misdemeanor offense for which police arrested Sixtos-Gomez that afternoon falls under the TRUST Act, which became law on Jan. 1 and protects undocumented, low-level offenders from being turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by law-enforcement agencies. But, on April 18, after several days in the Orange County Jail, Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) officials allowed ICE agents to fetch Sixtos-Gomez at the jail and transport the 25-year-old to San Bernardino County's Adelanto Detention Center, a facility run by the Geo Group, a controversial, lawsuit-ridden private for-profit firm. He remains there until an immigration court decides if he should be deported.

Perhaps more alarming, however, is that the OC Weekly writes that the Orange County Sheriff Department's spokesperson admits his agency violated the TRUST Act: "We've acknowledged our error of detaining and releasing Mr. Sixtos-Gomez into the custody of ICE in violation of the TRUST Act on April 18."

Sixtos-Gomez--who has been deported six times, but returned to the place he's called home since he was 8--remains in detention. Despite the TRUST Act, federal immigration law will likely back his removal.  

Read the whole story over at the OC Weekly

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Laverne Cox Makes Emmy History

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:59
Laverne Cox Makes Emmy History

Add this to the list of reasons why Laverne Cox will go down in the history books: She's the first transgender actress ever to be nominated for an Emmy Award. Cox's nomination was one of 17 earned by the cast of "Orange is the New Black," (OITNB) the Netflix original series that takes place inside of a women's prison. 

It's been a whirlwind couple of years for Cox, who has risen to international stardom thanks to her role as Sophia on OITNB. In addition to her role on the show, Cox was also featured on the cover of Time magazine and anointed grand marshall of this year's New York City Pride Parade. Matthew Breen wrote over at The Advocate about Cox's rising cultural importance: 

She's not an activist or a policy wonk, and yet her experiences and upbringing have aligned with this moment in American culture so precisely that to think of the unique struggles of the trans community, and its successes despite longstanding institutional and cultural barriers, it's no surprise she's the first name on many lips. She's never called herself a leader and even demurs from the term role model, preferring possibility modelinstead. But she's here, and she's talking, and we're listening like we never have before.

In Cox we're witnessing the anointing of an icon.

Cox was one of a handful of actors of color to earn Emmy nominations, along with her castmate Uzo Aduba, Kerry Washington, Don Cheadle, Cicely Tyson and Angela Bassett.

See the full list of Emmy nominations here

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LA Declares July 'Muslim Month'

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:27
Recognizing Muslim American community’s contributions and rich heritage, Los Angeles city council has declared July 2014 as Muslim American Heritage Month, a decision widely welcomed by the Muslim community.“It’s a very important resolution. It’s historic,” Najee Ali, the project’s founder,... Muslim Observer http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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No Place Like Home?

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:25
No Place Like Home?

As black and brown communities continue to endure the lowest levels of wealth on record--a result of the housing market's collapse six years ago--there's one area of the real estate market that's surging forward: properties that sell for 1 million dollars and up. As the rich dominate the housing market, everyone else is left behind. Given that white people make up nine out of 10 of wealthy households, the disproportionate gains at the top of the market have racial implications as well. 

Top-end home sales were the first to recover from the housing meltdown and have been rocketing upward ever since. This trend is but the latest sign of divergence between the rich and everyone else. And there aren't just domestic factors at work here; the luxury housing boom is the result of global forces of inequality turbocharged since the financial crisis. This points to a fundamental change in the way our economy operates.

In the wake of the Great Recession, growth in purchases of a homes valued at $1 million dollars or more has at times outpaced that of homes on the market for $250,000 and less by as much as 3-to-1.The surprise is that it's worse than it even looks. The downward spiral in home sales below $250,000 would be even steeper if the rich weren't snapping up vacation homes at a bargain. So far this year, sales of part-time vacation homes--with a median price of nearly $200,000--have increased by the largest amount in over a decade. Fueled by wealthy buyers, this activity in the middle part of the housing market is actually helping to prop up the cost of lower-priced homes. Economist David Berson told The Wall Street Journal that even though "the benefits of second homes accrue disproportionately to the upper half of the income distribution" ultimately "it's a positive thing."

But even the most expensive of homes for the wealthy are soaring to new levels. In the first three months of 2014 home sales of $2 million and above were 1/3 higher than in the previous record-breaking year of 2013. In May, sales of million dollar homes were almost five times greater than those selling for $100,000 and less, according to the National Association of Realtors. As Bloomberg News,"million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average while middle-class property demand stumbles."

What's great news at the top of the housing market is bad news for everyone else.

Although overall housing market values have recovered from the 2008 meltdown, the reality is that these gains are concentrated amongst wealthy homeowners. And as their home prices surge, average homeowners and potential homebuyers are sidelined with real-life consequences. 

As I have written before, homeownership is the number one way that people of color accumulate wealth in America. Home equity--essentially the ability to borrow using one's house as collateral--is the way that countless numbers of blacks and Latinos have gone to college, started businesses and been kept out of poverty when emergencies arise. In fact, homeownership accounts for 1/2 of all black wealth in the United States--double that of whites.

Given the stakes, how have the wealthy seized the commanding heights of the real estate market while everyone else is stuck below? The answer lies in how we responded to the 2008 financial calamity. In the late Bush and early Obama administrations, the government's post-crisis energy and money went to prop up Wall Street--the center of global finance--while large parts of the economy were left to fend for themselves.

By writing a blank check to Wall Street through the $800 billion TARP program, the United States ensured that the economic mechanisms that the wealthy use to get rich-- bank-administered financial instruments--would continue to operate. Coupled with the fact that central banks in the United States and around the world essentially loaned trillions of dollars to global financial institutions for free, this means that the über-rich were supported even as the economic survival for everyone else was left to atrophy. In fact, nearly four million homes are either in foreclosure or a month past due even though billions in unspent TARP and other federal funds were designed to help average homeowners.

Given the indirect bailout that the U.S. taxpayer provided for the wealthy in the United States and around the world, it's of little surprise that a driving force behind high-end home sales are the global rich. Purchases by international buyers have increased by almost 50 percent--to $92 billion in the period ending of March of this year.

Entire areas of the country have been transformed and integrated into the international real estate market in response to the demand. More than half of all global buyers in the U.S. are snapping up properties in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas.

As Steve Brown, president of the National Association of Realtors said recently, "We live in an international marketplace. So while all real estate is local that does not mean all property buyers are." The center of gravity for the wealthiest of the world's buyers is New York City.

In a recent New York Magazine article titled, "New York Real Estate is the New Swiss Bank Account," Andrew Rice lays out how nearly one out of three luxury property sales there have been made to international buyers. Property seekers from Asia,  Europe  and Latin America have snapped up condos for as much as $90 million. Real estate agent Ryan Serhant of Bravo's "Million Dollar Listing" recently called an apartment listing for $110 million a bargain.

With all-cash offers funneled through shadowy offshore companies, the global rich so dominate the city's real estate market that up to one out of three apartments in New York's wealthiest zip codes remain empty 10 months a year. As one developer put it, New York is now the safe deposit box of the international 1 percent.

The bottom line is that America's real estate market is distorting itself in new and potentially harmful ways.

Yet the hardest thing about the entire situation is that the housing market can't be retooled without a dramatic change in Washington where the rules of the road for housing and the way we finance it are set. And that will only happen when citizens demand it.

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Washington Informer Earns Four NNPA Awards

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 10:02
When Dr. Calvin W. Rolark Sr. insisted on the slogan, “Award-winning newspaper,” his daughter, Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, had just one desire.“We have got to live up to it,” she said.So, when the newspaper earned four National Newspaper... The Washington Informer http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
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New Doc Looks at Vietnamese Workers in the Nail Industry

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 07:47

Here's a little known fact: A chance encounter between 20 Vietnamese refugee women and actress Tippi Hedren in 1975 triggered the onset of the ubiquitous Vietnamese nail shop across America. A new documentary called "Nailed It" is out to tell the story of incredible growth and impact a small community of people have on today's $8 billion nail trade, according to its Indiegogo campaign.

Nail industry work has, until recently, been mostly ignored by the media. In 2007, journalist Momo Chang reported at Hyphen Magazine on the range of health problems facing nail industry workers:

In 2007, Time magazine named nail salon work as one of the worst jobs in the United States because of the toxic products used in most shops. Nevertheless, the industry has tripled in size during the last two decades and rakes in $6 billion annually. About 42 percent of the 349,370 manicurists in the United States are Asian or Pacific Islander, and 96 percent are women, according to Nails Magazine, a nail industry publication. In California, 60 to 80 percent of nail salon workers are Vietnamese American. These workers are exposed to a constant dose of toxins, every hour, for eight or more hours a day. 

For this new documentary, the filmmakers are looking to raise money for production and post-production costs totaling $15,000. They're calling it "the definitive story of Vietnamese-Americans and their impact on American culture and the nail industry." Read more.

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ABC Confuses Palestinians for Israelis, FIFA Bans Nigeria, and Disappearing Salamanders

Colorlines - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 07:02
ABC Confuses Palestinians for Israelis, FIFA Bans Nigeria, and Disappearing Salamanders

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

  • Israel continues to bombard Gaza. But be careful what you read; ABC's Diane Sawyer tells her audience that Palestinian victims are actually Israelis. 
  • Jobless claims fall again--and more than expected. 
  • 80 percent of adults with serious mental illnesses are unemployed
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July Lit: Excerpt from 'Ghost Month' by Ed Lin

Hyphen Blog - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 06:49

For July, we're excited to be able to bring you a sneak peek of Ed Lin's forthcoming novel, Ghost Month.

read more

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Iraq Fiasco Erases Memory of Vietnam

New America Media - Thu, 07/10/2014 - 01:00
Some years ago in a New York subway train I witnessed a scene that will always serve, for me, as an important marker of sorts about the fate of this nation.A man in ruffled clothes walked up and down the... Andrew Lam http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=8
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