Archive for February, 2007

Civil Rights Coalition Applauds Freddie Mac’s Decision to Stop Underwriting Risky Subprime Loans (Leadership Conference on Civil Rights)

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007
Statement of Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Freddie Macs decision to stop underwriting high-risk subprime loans, while at the same time investing in safer fixed-rate and hybrid ARM products is a win-win situation for low income borrowers. We genuinely hope Fannie Mae and other players in the mortgage market follow Freddie Macs lead and adopt similar practices that are aimed at producing more responsible, repayable home loans.

It takes backbone to make a move like this and Freddie Mac should be commended for its leadership on the issue. By cutting off financial backing for dicey, low interest teaser loans that balloon astronomically, Freddie Mac will prevent families, a disproportionate number of whom are minorities, from losing their homes.

The Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) is the nations oldest, largest, and most diverse civil and human rights coalition. For more information on LCCR and its more than 200 member organizations, visit

Study: Racism Strong Predictor Of Black Teens’ Drug Use (KCCI)

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Iowa State University study shows that racial discrimination is a strong predictor of drug use by black teenagers.The study by Iowa State’s Institute for Social and Behavioral Research of more than 600 black children from Georgia and Iowa found that those who experience racial discrimination before they turn 12 are twice as likely to use drugs by the time they are teenagers, according to a news release.Among those who experienced discrimination also had what the study called “conduct disorders” in which teens committed acts such as vandalism or burglary and more than half reported drug use five years later, according to the research.

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Racial/ethnic disparities in symptom severity among children hospitalized with asthma (

Wednesday, February 21st, 2007

Children in this country suffer from asthma more than any other chronic illness, and new research finds African-American children with the condition have a greater risk than others of experiencing severe symptoms that escalate into an emergency.Previous research has shown that in comparison with white and Hispanic children, African-Americans have a higher rate of asthma, are hospitalized more and face more disability due to the condition. Because of this, “we suspected they might also exhibit relatively more severe asthma symptoms at the time of hospitalization,” said Yu Bai, a doctoral candidate at Pennsylvania State University.

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Subtle racism persists (Rocky Mountain News)

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

“Herman Malone, who was the largest black contractor in US West’s vendor corps, selling as much as $10 million a year in product toUS West, began to experience the same things that other black contractors across the West and Midwest later reported. His contractto supply plastic conduit toU S West construction sites was in trouble.” – from Lynched by Corporate AmericaRecognizing racism is the first step toward correcting it, yet recent studies of racist conduct find that racism in America has changed – whether in the workplace, the marketplace, the classroom or the streets. It’s less recognizable, more subtle, and it rarely is stated openly.

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Obama, Clinton Battle for African-American Endorsements (ABC News)

Saturday, February 17th, 2007


Feb. 16, 2007 — As Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., heads to South Carolina this weekend for the first time as a presidential candidate, he steps right into a Dixie briar patch of racial politics.

Up to 50 percent of South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters are African-American, so the Palmetto State is a state the Obama campaign is targeting. But can Obama count on black voters to vote for a black candidate? Will his race affect the decision-making process of white voters? Such questions are uncomfortable but Obama’s credible candidacy forces them into the open.

While a recent ABC News poll indicates that 84 percent of Americans say a candidate being black would not affect their vote, the dirty little secret is what some pollsters and consultants call “the 15 percent lie” — the supposed percentage of whites who tell pollsters they would be willing to vote for a black candidate but in the privacy of the voting booth never actually would.

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MTV Shutters Asian-American Focused Channels (World Screen)

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

MTV Networks is closing down its MTV World division, which operated three networks for Asian-American youth—MTV Desi, MTV Chi and MTV K—noting that the premium distribution model for the networks “proved more challenging than we anticipated.”

MTV World was announced in December 2004, positioned as a service targeting ethnic communities in the U.S. with content repurposed from MTV’s international networks. MTV Desi, targeting South Asian Americans, rolled out on DIRECTV in July 2005, followed by MTV Chi, for Chinese-Americans, in December 2005, and MTV K, for Korean Americans, in June 2006.


Bank of America: Banking Outside the Box (Seeking Alpha)

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

BAC is going after a new, expanding market: Hispanics. It has several programs now, including the ability to send money to Mexico without the large fees usually associated with it. Now the credit cards are being added to services such as checking accounts and mortgages for undocumented immigrants, the majority of which are Hispanic.Here’s how they qualify: the individual needs to have had a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft (another way for the bank to add deposits at a very low cost since checking accounts usually pay very little to the holder). Once the 3 months have passed, a credit card will be issued to the applicant, usually a person with no previous credit history. And that’s the power of the program. Credit cards are almost impossible to get without a credit history. BAC is changing that.

Full story… 

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