Archive for January, 2008

Romney And McCain, ‘Hispanic’ Candidates? (Washington Post)

Monday, January 28th, 2008

When Bill Richardson canceled his presidential bid, wags in the Latino blogosphere did not mourn the lack of other Hispanic contenders. They still had the “Mexican-American” and the “Panamanian” vying for the GOP nomination.

Those hombres would be Mitt Romney and John McCain.

A blog called Adventures of the Coconut Caucus had fun consoling readers thus: “But do not worry, there is still a Mexican-American left in the race, Mitt Romney . . . and of course we still have Panamanian John McCain, who is actually not doing as bad as he was, and could, with a constitutional change, become the first Central American President of the United States.”

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Primary results to help gauge Hispanic voters’ strength (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Monday, January 28th, 2008

In the weeks before the Florida primary, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared as the guest of honor at a Three Kings parade in Miami. Days later, Sen. John McCain stopped by an espresso counter in Little Havana to knock back an industrial-strength Cuban coffee and meet voters. On Friday, Sen. Barack Obama treated online browsers to a Spanish-language campaign ad addressed to “cooks, construction workers and professionals,” telling Hispanic viewers “You’re not alone.”

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Post Launches Site With African American Focus (Washington Post)

Monday, January 28th, 2008

The Washington Post Co. plans to launch a Web magazine today called The Root that aims to be a “Slate for black readers,” according to one of its founders, Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Slate, the online magazine founded by Microsoft and purchased by The Post Co. in 2004, offers a mix of news and opinion, arts and sports coverage. The Root will feature news and opinions on black issues in the United States and worldwide and include a genealogy application designed to help black users build their family trees.

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The Fight for Asian American Studies Continues (AsianWeek)

Monday, January 28th, 2008

In 2003, students at Harvard University surveyed the university’s hallways and meeting areas and found four centuries of portraits of esteemed scholars and benefactors. Three of the 302 portraits were people of color.

To their credit, Harvard administrators recognized a problem. They came up with $100,000 to commission a Harvard Minority Portraiture Project to add some new faces in prominent locations on the university’s walls.

When it comes to allowing the curriculum to embrace the study of Asians in America, however, the Harvard administration has shown more reluctance. Part of the reason is that Harvard sees itself, and is seen by many outside the university, as an institution that has been at the forefront of educational innovation since its founding in 1636.

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A Shift Toward Obama Is Seen Among Blacks (Washington Post)

Monday, January 21st, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 20 — Three months ago, beauty shop owner Shanaya Hammond was a somewhat reluctant supporter of Sen. Barack Obama. A campaign aide persuaded her to put two Obama posters in the window of her Passion Slice salon and she planned to vote for him, but, she allowed, “I won’t be mad if Hillary wins.”

No more. She is all in for Obama now, having been convinced after the senator from Illinois won the Iowa Democratic caucuses that America is ready to vote for a black man for president. “I was like, okay, it’s happening for us,” said Hammond, 32, a single mother of three. “At first, you’re wishing, you’re hoping and praying, and now it’s like, okay, we have a chance. Other people are willing to vote for him.”

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Clinton makes appeal to Latino voters (MSNBC)

Monday, January 21st, 2008

LAS VEGAS — In an interview with Spanish-language television network Univision, Hillary Clinton talked about her plans for the economy and made a direct appeal to Latino voters, noting that her campaign manager — Patti Solis Doyle — is a first-generation Hispanic-American. “I feel very proud to have worked on the issues that are important to Hispanics and Hispanic families for many years,” she said, when the moderator asked her to make her case to Hispanic Nevadans. Clinton went on to talk about her work with Hispanic leaders across the country like activist Dolores Huerta.

“I want to be a president who will work closely with the Hispanic community,” she said.

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St. Louis program aims to attract, retain minorities (AP)

Monday, January 21st, 2008

When Courtney Gibson moved to St. Louis two years ago, she relied on a newcomer’s program with the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative to smooth the transition: she made friends, learned how a highway project might affect her commute, asked around about where to get her hair cut.Last year, the Macy’s divisional vice president became part of the initiative’s first class of 22 fellows, made up of mid-career, minority professionals sponsored by their companies to sharpen their workplace skills as they train for greater responsibilities.”I definitely think the experience through the St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative allowed me to be connected and engaged in the St. Louis region,” said Gibson. And what she learned proved invaluable on the job. “I really saw the return on my company’s investment.”

The initiative launched in 2001 when several organizations in the region were concerned that talent was leaving for places like Atlanta or Chicago. They sought to do more to keep minority professionals in town and rising into leadership positions.

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Choosing Sides in the Democratic Presidential Race (AsianWeek)

Monday, January 21st, 2008

On Feb. 5, California has a rare opportunity to play a significant role in the presidential primary races.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders, the second largest ethnic community in California, will be courted like never before. The same goes for other states with a high concentration of AAPI voters, such as New York, Illinois, Texas, New Jersey, Nevada, and of course, Hawai‘i.

I have been following the top three Democratic presidential campaigns — Clinton, Edwards and Obama — with great interest. Each candidate’s platform shares the same commitment to specific issues of concern to the AAPI, whether it be the Iraq war crisis, the economy, diversity within the administration, immigration reform, family reunification, education, affordable health care, or hate crimes and racial profiling. The candidates’ approaches to these issues vary, but their end goals are the same.

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Racial harassment still infecting the workplace (MSNBC)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Many of us are marveling at how seemingly far our society has come given a man with an African American heritage is being considered a serious candidate for president. But in the workplace, attitudes toward many black workers are anything but inspiring.

Racial harassment is up to record levels in offices and factories across the country, and we’re not talking just the use of the “N” word. Racist graffiti, Klu Klux Klan propaganda and even physical threats including the display of hangman’s nooses are included among the intimidation tools.

“It is shocking that such egregious and unlawful conduct toward African American employees is still occurring, even increasing, in the 21st century workplace, more than 40 years after enactment of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964,” says David Grinberg, spokesman for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, also known as the EEOC.

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Shades for all shapes (Houston Chronicle)

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Fireworks and dancing dragons will welcome the Year of the Rat on Feb. 7, but revelers of Asian descent also have something else to celebrate: new lines of trendy and proper-fitting sunglasses.

Oakley’s Asian Fit line is a prime example.

“This line fits higher on your face with a narrower and deepened bridge,” said Andy McSorley, Oakley’s eyewear brand manager. “This helps to lift the sunglasses off the face of a person with a shallower nose bridge and higher cheek bones.”

Oakley, which introduced its Asian Fit line of sunglasses last year, is one of several retailers catering to Asian-American consumers, whose buying power is expected to reach $579 billion by 2010. Oliver Peoples also introduced a line of frames for Asians, which sell for about $300 a pair, and the Gap’s petite line is geared to Asian customers.

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