Archive for July, 2010

#Civilrights activists condemn remarks allegedly made by Mel Gibson. #africanamerican

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

(Los Angeles Times) Civil rights activists are strongly condemning actor and director Mel Gibson’s alleged use of the N-word during a recorded argument with the mother of his child publicized by two tabloid media websites.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Institute, is calling for a boycott of Gibson’s movies while the Southern Christian Leadership Conference California said that Gibson has shown a pattern of racism and sexism in prior remarks.

Rev. Eric P. Lee, president of the California branch of SCLC, said Gibson’s statements are sexist and racist.

Gibson has shown “patterns of racism, sexism and anti-Semitism, because this is not the first time he has been publicly heard making extremely offensive comments about other races, and now about women,” Lee said.

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Arizona warns cops of #racialprofiling. #hispanic #immigration

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

(Politico) Ahead of Arizona’s new immigration law taking effect, the state is trying to train police to avoid getting accused of racial profiling.

The new hourlong training video features some of the state’s top law enforcement officials warning police that their enforcement of the new immigration law will be under intense scrutiny.

“We’re gonna be accused of racial profiling no matter what we do,” Tucson police Chief Roberto Villasenor said in the video, which was first posted by the liberal blog Talking Points Memo. “The best thing we can do is document thoroughly where we develop our reasonable suspicion and probable cause.”

The law is set to kick in on July 29. Critics say its granting police the right to ask for proof of citizenship from those they suspect are illegal immigrants will lead to racial profiling and the harassment of Hispanics.

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State NAACP backs CA marijuana legalization initiative. #africanamerican

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

(Los Angeles Times) Saying that prohibition takes a heavy toll on minorities, leaders of the NAACP’s California chapter announced Monday that they are backing passage of a marijuana legalization initiative on the November ballot.

The war on drugs is a failure and disproportionately targets young men and women of color, particularly African-American males, said Alice Huffman, president of the NAACP’s state conference.

The group cited statistics from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice showing that in 2009, 62% of the state’s marijuana arrests were of nonwhite suspects and that 42% were under 20.

The pattern was consistent in the state’s 25 largest counties, with arrests of African Americans at double, triple and quadruple the rate of whites even though studies show that blacks use marijuana at lower rates than whites, NAACP officials said.

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#AffirmativeAction Advocates Consider Recession’s Impact on #Diversity

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

(Diverse Education) Diversity isn’t recession proof, and higher education and corporate officials agreed that institutions of all types must be proactive to prevent the faltering economy from overly impacting one or more underrepresented groups.

That was a theme of discussion during the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA) annual meeting in Raleigh, N.C., on Wednesday. The main question: how can organizations maintain diversity when the bottom line forces downsizing?

“You have to pay attention to what’s happening and what decisions are made because downsizing is an opportunity for inequity,” said Dr. Benjamin D. Reese, Jr., vice president of the Office for Institutional Equity at both Duke University and Duke University Health System. “It’s difficult to develop a strategy around diversity. We all want to create an inclusive environment, but in practice, it’s very, very challenging.”

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Harvard Law Professor Writes New Book on #RacialProfiling. #africanamerican

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

(Law.com) What is it like to be arrested in your own home and taken to jail — and to feel that it is because you are black?

At a benefit for The Southern Center for Human Rights on Monday evening, Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree talked about his experience representing his colleague Henry Louis Gates last July in just such an incident.

Gates, a University Professor at Harvard and nationally known scholar on race, was on his porch when he was arrested for disorderly conduct by a Cambridge police officer who had responded to a call from a neighbor saying that someone had forced his way into the front door of Gates’ house.

The ensuing national brouhaha about racial profiling prompted Ogletree to write a book about the incident, “The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class, and Crime in America,” which was just published on June 18.

Ogletree, who has been the chairman of the Southern Center’s board since 1982, said that America has a long way to go to become a post-racial society, citing the disproportionate number of black men in prison.

Full story…

Comcast promises to add #Latino to board of directors as part of outreach effort. #hispanic

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

(Los Angeles Times) Comcast Corp. said it would add a Latino to its board of directors after it closes on its deal to take control of NBC Universal.

The move is part of an effort by Comcast and NBC Universal to ease concerns among the Latino community about the possible effects of their proposed merger on media diversity. The two companies also unveiled several other initiatives it hoped would lower the volume on the protests over the deal.

Besides adding a board member within 24 months after the deal is sealed, Comcast and NBC said they would boost the number of Latinos working at both companies as well as carry more independent channels and do more business with Latino-owned vendors. Signing a letter supporting their pledges were several Latino advocacy groups, including the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. The National Hispanic Media Coalition and its chief, Alex Nogales, had been very critical of Comcast since the deal with NBC Universal was announced.

In a blog post on Comcast’s website, Comcast also says the two companies will boost carriage of Telemundo, which NBC owns, as well as create new Telemundo spin-off channels.

Both companies also committed to expanding outreach to Latino students and increasing scholarship and internship opportunities.

Comcast also has an African-American — former Fannie Mae executive Kenneth Bacon — on its board of directors.

#Black and #Latino males twice as likely to have poor health. #africanamerican #hispanic

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

(Los Angeles Times) Given the inequality in healthcare in the United States, it’s no surprise that some groups of people suffer far worse health outcomes than people with better resources. But if there is one group that has been especially overlooked in this equation, it’s black and Latino boys. The major factor in their poor health, according to a new report by the California Endowment, is where they live. Growing up in poor and stressful neighborhoods with limited healthcare resources leads to poor health.

According to the findings in the report:

* The odds of poor health outcomes for boys and men of color are more than two times higher than for white boys and men in California.
* Latino boys are 4.1 times more likely than white boys to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
* African-American boys are 2.5 times more likely.
* Latinos are 3.1 times more likely to have limited access to health care and 4.8 times more likely to lack health insurance.
* Asthma disproportionately affects children who live in poorer neighborhoods.
Black young men have a homicide rate 16 times greater than that of young white men.
* African-American and Latino children are 3.5 times more likely to grow up in poverty compared to whites.

Full story…

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