Archive for August, 2010

Health is a top concern for #AfricanAmericans. #healthcare

Monday, August 9th, 2010

(Kansas City Star) It may take an Oprah-like TV personality to get people to turn away from bad eating and other habits to set the U.S. population on a healthier course.

The data for obesity, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and heart disease don’t look good — particularly for African-Americans. The death rate for them is among the highest, with no sign of changes to prevent a premature demise.

But Mehmet Oz, a physician and host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” told the National Association of Black Journalists convention last month in San Diego that a change of strategy has to occur to get people to adopt healthier habits. Doctors, health care workers and government officials have to appeal to folks’ “feelings” instead of hitting them with mind-numbing data.

The numbers are a turnoff. People have to “turn on” to change because it “feels” like the right thing to do.

This was the second national black convention in a month to put health concerns at the top of the agenda. The first was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s meeting in Kansas City.

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Report: Alcohol, drug use lower among #Hispanic Americans. #healthcare

Monday, August 9th, 2010

(USA Today) Hispanic-American adults have lower rates of alcohol and illicit drug use than the national averages, a federal government study has found.

The research revealed that 46.1% of Hispanic-American adults drink alcohol and 6.6% use illicit drugs, compared with national average rates of 55.2% and 7.9%, respectively.

However, Hispanic-American adults have a slightly higher level of binge drinking (26.3 percent versus 24.5%) and a slightly higher past-year need for alcohol treatment (8.7 percent versus 8.1%), according to a news release from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The study also found significant differences in rates of adult substance use among various Hispanic-American groups. For example, the level of past month alcohol use among Spanish Americans is above the national average and 50% higher than among Dominican Americans (60.8 percent versus 40.3%, respectively). And the rate of current illicit drug use among Spanish Americans is nearly three times higher than the level among Dominican Americans (13.1 percent versus 3.9%, respectively).

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Fact-checking the claims about ‘anchor babies’ and whether illegal #immigrants ‘drop and leave’

Friday, August 6th, 2010

(Politifact.com) It sounds like a way for illegal immigrants to get a foothold in the United States: Pregnant women from Mexico and other countries can come to the U.S. to deliver their babies. Voila! Under the 14th Amendment, the babies are instant citizens!

That’s become a popular talking point for critics of illegal immigration, who have dubbed the children “anchor babies.” The implication often is that the baby U.S. citizens act as an anchor that that helps parents and other relatives obtain citizenship and other benefits.

Several Republican senators, including Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John McCain, R-Ariz., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have called for hearings on whether the 14th Amendment, which was adopted in 1868, needs to be rewritten to curb automatic “birthright citizenship.”

The most prominent voice pushing that concept is Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who proposed amending the Constitution to make clear that babies born in the U.S. do not automatically receive American citizenship.

Full story…

Veterans, many of whom were #minorities, burned by judge tossing ‘biased’ FDNY exam

Friday, August 6th, 2010

(NY Daily News) Veterans who dreamed of joining the FDNY vented frustration yesterday with a judge’s decision to cancel a class of firefighters because he said the test they took was biased.

“The people who are supposed to be getting helped [by this ruling] could be the one getting hurt,” said Nafis Sabir, a 33-year-old African-American man who spent eight years in the Marine Reserves.

“I feel pretty frustrated,” said Sabir, one of 50 military veterans among the 312 candidates set to enter the department. “I didn’t see where the racial bias [was] coming from.

“If I never got to become a firefighter, I would have a pretty bitter taste in my mouth,” added Sabir, who was deployed to Kuwait in 2003.

Military veterans got extra points on the 2007 FDNY test that Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis threw out on Wednesday, saying it was discriminatory.

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#Hispanic Americans drink less than average

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

(Orlando Sentinel) Hispanic-American adults drink less than the average American (46.1 percent versus 55.2 percent), according to a new survey.

The group also use drugs less (6.6 versus 7.9 percent) but are slightly more likely to binge drink (26.3 versus 24.5 percent).

Substance use is lower in Hispanics even when income is taken into account.

Hispanic-Americans in poverty drink less (31.1 versus 39.8 percent), do drugs less (5.9 percent versus 11.7), and binge drink less (21.3 versus 25.2) than other Americans in poverty, according to a new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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Family: #Racial bias caused Conn. gunman to snap

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

(Houston Chronicle) Omar Thornton sat calmly in a meeting with union representative and his supervisors as they showed a video of him stealing beer from the distributor where he worked.

Busted, he didn’t put up a fight, company officials said. He quietly signed a letter of resignation and was headed for the door when he pulled out a gun and started firing — “cold as ice,” as one survivor described it.

In the end, Thornton killed eight people, wounded two, then turned the gun on himself in a rampage Tuesday at Hartford Distributors that union and company officials said they would not have anticipated from someone with no history of complaints or disciplinary problems.

Yet relatives say Thornton, 34, finally cracked after suffering racial harassment in a company where he said he was singled out for being black in a predominantly white work force.

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Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen says #Asian players treated better than #Latinos by MLB

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

(NY Daily News) Ozzie Guillen is at it again.

The Chicago White Sox manager is stirring up controversy with his mouth again, this time for his comments on the way Major League Baseball teams treat Asian players in comparison to Latino players.

“Don’t take this wrong, but they take advantage of us. We bring a Japanese player and they are very good and they bring all these privileges to them,” said Guillen, who is of Venezuelan descent. “We bring a Dominican kid…go to the minor leagues, good luck. Good luck. And it’s always going to be like that.”

Guillen specifically targeted the hiring of translators for Asian players.

“I say, ‘why do we have Japanese interpreters and we don’t have a Spanish one?’ I always say that. Why do they have that privilege and we don’t?” said Guillen.

Full story…

Effort aims to bridge swimming gap for #minorities

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

(AP) Six-year-old Queen Epps is decked out in her pink Spongebob Squarepants bathing suit and green goggles, ready to learn how to hold her breath.

She is one of 17 students from Liberty City — one of Miami’s most impoverished and crime-ridden neighborhoods — sitting along the edge of the pool, splashing their legs in the water and holding the sides as they learn to blow bubbles and get in and out of the pool.

All are part of the majority of African-American and Hispanic children across the country who don’t know how to swim — and here at the Swim Gym along the banks of Biscayne Bay, they’re part of the outreach effort to help get kids into the water.

“It’s a safety issue. We say, you don’t send your son out to play football without wearing a helmet, yet people go to the beach and they don’t know how to swim,” said Sue Anderson, USA Swimming’s Director of Programs and Services.

USA Swimming commissioned a study conducted by the University of Memphis and released in May that showed 69 percent of black children and 58 percent of Hispanic kids either had low or no swimming ability.

Full story…

Rangel, Waters, and the perils of Democrats ‘draining the swamp’. #congressional #black #caucus

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

(Christian Science Monitor) As if the Democrats didn’t have enough headwind going into the November elections, now two of the most prominent and longest-serving black Democrats in the country – Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York and Rep. Maxine Waters of California – are now reportedly both set to fight ethics charges at open House trials before Election Day.

Congressman Rangel faces 13 ethics charges, including allegations of improper fundraising and tax evasion, which were released this week.

Congresswoman Waters, a House ethics subcommittee is reportedly about to allege, broke ethics rules by lobbying Treasury officials for a $25 million bailout of OneUnited Bank in Boston, in which her husband, former NFL player Sidney Williams, has a financial stake.

Both House members have reportedly turned down plea offers for relatively light reprimands in order to fight the charges. Both ordeals promise to be showcase trials in the critical days before an election that Republicans are painting as a referendum on the agenda of the Democrat-controlled Congress and White House.

Full story…

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