Archive for May, 2010

Report Identifies Ways to Increase #Diversity in US Medical Schools

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(WebMD) A recent report of a study by the University of California–San Francisco (UCSF) has identified key areas that have been effective in increasing diversity in US medical schools.

The study specifically focuses on 2 California universities — Stanford University and UCSF — as examples of institutions that have effectively increased the number of underrepresented groups in their medical schools.

Both institutions were early adopters of effective methods to enroll, sustain, and graduate medical students from underrepresented ethnic and racial groups in the United States, including blacks, Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and other Pacific Islanders.

“These institutions offer a roadmap for continued increases in diversity of medical school populations,” said coauthor Patricia E. Franks, senior research associate at the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, in a UCSF news release.

The study, titled “Diversity in US Medical Schools: Revitalizing Efforts to Increase Diversity in a Changing Context, 1960s-2000s,” was released in March.

Full story…

‘Caucasian Only’ Ad in Massachusetts Newspaper. #housing #discrimination

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(FoxNews) The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is investigating a racially charged advertisement that was in a local newspaper.

The ad announcing land for sale appeared in the New Bedford Standard-Times recently and was placed by Harmon Law Office in Newton, MyFoxBoston reports.

The advertisement stated that the land “…shall not be sold, leased or rented to any person other than of the Caucasian race or to any entity of which any person other than of said race shall be a member, stockholder, officer or director.”

“Such restrictive covenants have long been deemed unlawful and unenforceable under Massachusetts statute, and conveyance of any such deed is expressly prohibited under Massachusetts anti-discrimination law,” said MCAD Chairman and Commissioner Malcolm Medley. “Advertising such a sale may also be unlawful under the statute. Our obligation is to investigate this matter to determine whether a violation of law has occurred.”

Full story…

Alabama Dems may nominate 1st #black for governor. #africanamerican #politics

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(AP) A well-funded black congressman has a shot at becoming the first African-American to win the Democratic nomination for governor of Alabama, even without the backing of the state’s traditional civil rights organizations.

But a victory for Rep. Artur Davis in Tuesday’s primary may be a short-lived milestone.

In a state that has gone Republican in five of the last six votes for governor, GOP candidates may draw more voters and are jostling for attention, particularly Tim James. The son of a two-term governor, James has aired blunt ads against illegal immigrants that set off fierce Internet debate and gave new momentum to his campaign.

There is no clear leader in either primary, and voter interest seems sidetracked by economic doldrums and worries over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that threatens Alabama shores.

Blacks make up nearly half of those who can vote in the Democratic primary, but Davis may have hurt his chances by scorning the state’s four major black political groups. The four have thrown their support behind his white opponent, state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks.

Full story…

Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Challenge to Ariz. law may be shaky. #hispanic #latino #racialprofiling

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

(UPI) Civil liberties groups have mounted a passionate constitutional attack against Arizona’s tough new illegal immigrant law, saying its “sweeping requirements” violate the U.S. and state constitutions and will lead to racial profiling.

A complaint filed in federal court in Phoenix last week raises the specter of a Hispanic-American, or any other ethnic American, having to carry a passport to prove U.S. citizenship to avoid detention.

Feelings run just as high on the other side. Proponents of the law say illegal immigration costs Arizona about $2.7 billion a year in education and police operations — read Hispanic gangs — among other things.

Rassmussen Reports says a national telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters, conducted April 22-23, found 60 percent of voters nationwide support the law while 31 percent oppose it. Still, 58 percent said they believe implementing the law will result in civil rights violations for some people. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.

Full story…

70 percent of #black children and 58 percent of #Hispanic children have little or no swimming ability

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

(Baltimore Sun) Memorial Day weekend is the traditional start to the summer swimming season, but it’s a less eventful time for African-American children and other minorities. A study released this week shows there’s still a big gap between whites and minorities in swimming ability.

The study commissioned by USA Swimming found that 70 percent of black children and 58 percent of Hispanic children have little or no swimming ability, compared to 40 percent of whites. The gap is reflected in the most recent drowning statistics: The rate of 5-to-14-year-old African-Americans drowning is about three times that of whites in the same age group, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Full story…

Musicians Differ in Responses to Arizona’s New #Immigration Law. #hispanic #latino

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

(NY Times) For the singer Larry Hernandez, the 2010 Billboard Latin Music Awards should have been a moment of pure celebration. But when it came time for Mr. Hernandez to accept his award as new artist of the year, he got drawn into politics, prefacing his remarks with a condemnation of the tough new immigration law that his home state of Arizona had just adopted.

“It is deplorable that they are discriminating against us just for the simple fact of looking Latino,” he said from the stage. “It’s not fair. We have to say no to that law.”

Mr. Hernandez’s name, however, is not on the list of prominent pop music performers who have declared that they will no longer perform in Arizona, one of the most dynamic markets for Latin music and culture. The boycott effort, called Sound Strike and led by the singer Zack de la Rocha of the rap metal band Rage Against the Machine, did get pledges from some big names, including the rapper Kanye West, indie rockers Sonic Youth and the trip hop duo Massive Attack. But it was light on mainstream “big tent” performers who can fill stadiums, and included no country music performers.

Full story…

Report: #Race a factor in police `friendly fire’. #africanamerican #racialprofiling

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

(AP) A panel convened after two officer-on-officer shootings said police departments must confront both overt and unconscious racial bias among officers to reduce the risk of one officer harming another during “friendly fire.”

Gov. David Paterson formed the panel last year after the January 2008 death of Mount Vernon officer Christopher Ridley and the May 2009 death of New York City officer Omar Edwards. Both were black and killed by other police officers who were unaware they were cops.

The task force examined police-on-police confrontations around the country, finding 26 killings during the past three decades. The panel also found numerous other officer-on-officer confrontations that did not lead to a fatality.

The review of the confrontations found that “inherent or unconscious racial bias plays a role in shoot/don’t-shoot decisions made by officers of all races and ethnicities,” the report said.

Ten of the officers killed were off duty, including Edwards and Ridley. And nine of the those were minorities. The last white off-duty officer to be killed by an on-duty colleague died in 1982, the task force found. The report didn’t find any obvious racial or ethnic pattern among officers who were killed while on-duty.

Full story…

Time to end the cross-ownership debate and ensure media #diversity

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

(Ryan Blethen, Seattle Times) The media cross-ownership debate should be settled by now. Unfortunately, it is acting up again like a slow stubborn disease fed by the greed of big media companies.

The question of how much is too much for one media company to own should have been answered in 2007. At the end of that year the Federal Communications Commission wrapped up an exhaustive review of its cross-ownership rules. It held public hearings across the country. The feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of not relaxing cross-ownership rules. The FCC also commissioned studies, which again shed an unflattering light on media consolidation.

It would make sense then that the FCC would look at the studies, listen to the public and tighten up its long-standing consolidation rules. Didn’t happen.

Instead, former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin decided to monkey with the rules, making it easier to own a newspaper and broadcast outlet in the same market.

The rule changes permitted a company to own a newspaper and broadcast station in any of the nation’s top 20 media markets as long as there are at least eight media outlets in the market. If the combination included a television station, that station couldn’t be in the market’s top four.

Full story…

Why Libertarians (and Rand Paul) are wrong about The #CivilRights Act

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

(AlterNet) Following his tea-party insurgent Senate primary victory over the establishment Republican candidate in Kentucky, Rand Paul created waves when Rachel Maddow forced him, uncomfortably, to admit his opposition to parts of the Civil Rights Act. To many in the civil rights community, and to the political center, this comes as a shock.

It shouldn’t be.

For years, libertarians opposed government interference with private business, whether that means opposition to environmental regulation, labor laws, or anti-discrimination laws. The son of libertarian presidential candidate, Ron Paul, it’s not surprising that Rand Paul also believes those things. Rand Paul has made it clear that he’s not in favor of a repeal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and that he supports the vast majority of it. What’s the problem then? He specifically opposes the provisions that prohibit discrimination in what are known as ‘public accommodations,’ which are really private businesses such as hotels, movie theaters, or lunch counters.

Full story…

#Immigration, Arizona & American Politics Create Huge National Divide, Says NBC Poll. #hispanic

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

(TalkTVWorld) A poll released today by NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo revealed a deep split in the opinions of white Americans and Hispanic Americans on the topics of immigration, the Arizona law and American politics. More than six in 10 Americans (61%) back Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, including 70% of whites but just 31% of Hispanics. Less than half (43%) of whites agree that immigration strengthens America, but the majority (68%) of Hispanics believe it does strengthen the nation.

Obama’s overall approval rating in the poll stands at 48%. But the divide exists here, too: Only about a third (38%) of whites approve of the president’s job, versus two-thirds (68%) of Hispanics who do. Similarly, only about a third (34%) of whites have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, versus more than half (54%) of Hispanics who do.

But the one thing all seem to agree on is their disapproval of President Obama’s handling of immigration reform — just 32% of the public approves of his job on this issue.

Full story…

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