Archive for January, 2011

Li Na first Chinese tennis player to make a Grand Slam final

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

(Bloomberg.com) Li Na will try to add a Grand Slam singles title to her list of tennis firsts for China in today’s Australian Open women’s final against Kim Clijsters.

Li, the 28-year-old ninth seed, takes an 11-match winning run into the championship match at Melbourne Park. She beat Clijsters in Sydney two weeks ago to become the only Chinese player to win a first-tier event on the women’s tour.

“I beat her last time,” Li, who was introduced to tennis at age 9 after playing badminton for two years, said in a news conference. “Doesn’t mean anything in here. I know it’s a tough match.”

While Chinese women have won Olympic gold medals and Grand Slam titles in doubles, individual bests at the majors have been limited to semifinal appearances, including Li’s run alongside Zheng Jie to the last four in Melbourne a year ago.

Full story…

Asian Americans demand apology from conservative Limbaugh

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

(International Business Times) The Asian-American community is demanding an apology from conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, for mockingly imitating Chinese President Hu Jintao during the Jan. 19 segment of his talk show.

During his talk show, Limbaugh said, “He (Jintao) was speaking and they weren’t translating [during a speech given by Jintao at the White House earlier last week]. They normally translate every couple of words. Hu Jintao was just going ‘ching chong, ching chong cha.’” The demands for an apology are being led by California Senator Leland Yee, a Democrat, who viewed Limbaugh’s mockery of Jintao as racist and derogatory against the Chinese people.

In recent days, Yee has rallied civil rights groups in a boycott of companies like Pro Flowers, Sleep Train and Domino’s Pizza that advertise on Limbaugh’s national talk radio show.

Full story…

Gene protects U.S. blacks from heart disease: study

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

(Reuters) About a quarter of African-Americans carry the protective gene, and if they are lucky enough to have two copies, one from each parent, their risk of heart disease is 10 times lower that of other blacks.

People with just one copy have five times lower the risk of heart attacks, blocked arteries and other symptoms of heart disease, the team reported in the Journal of Human Genetics.

“What we think we have here is the first confirmed hereditary link to cardiovascular disease among African-Americans and it is a protective one,” Diane Becker of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore said in a statement.

The same gene has been studied in people from Japan, South Korea, Europe and elsewhere but not in black people. In fact, few such genetic studies have been done in blacks at all, the researchers said.

Full story…

The importance of Latino leadership in education

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

(Huffington Post) According to a recent report from the American Council on Education, Hispanics continue to lag behind other racial and ethnic groups in the United States on key measures of academic achievement. While Latinos made the largest gains on high school completion from 1988 to 2008, they remain at the bottom with a distressing completion rate of 70 percent. When it comes to college, the picture is similarly bleak. In 2008, only 28 percent of traditional college-age Hispanics were in college, up from 17 percent two decades earlier.

While there are pockets of progress, we are nowhere close to where we need to be. Too many Latino children in low-income communities are trapped in a cycle of poverty and educational inequity. However, what we do know is that when committed teachers, school leaders, parents and other influencers, provide the necessary supports and inspire Latino children to aim higher academically, they can perform dramatically better, reach their personal goals, and ultimately make critical societal contributions.

Full story…

Comcast-NBCU deal offers concessions for African Americans, but is it enough?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

(Huffington Post) When Comcast first proposed its joint venture with NBC Universal in October 2009, skeptics correctly asked, “What’s in it for African Americans and other underserved communities?” We wanted to ensure that the Federal Communications Commission didn’t rubber stamp a corporate giveaway that didn’t deliver real benefits to the public.

I hope these critics will now take a hard look at what was achieved for African Americans as part of the Comcast-NBCU review process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Any fair review will find a number of positive advances, particularly in the areas of broadband adoption and minority media ownership, which are significant enough that I felt compelled to offer my strong support.

Broadband Development and Adoption

As access to broadband has become increasingly essential to educational and employment opportunities, African Americans and members of other underserved communities have lagged behind in broadband deployment and adoption. Leaving these communities out of the broadband revolution is unacceptable.

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Local immigration enforcement costly and potentially unconstitutional

Monday, January 24th, 2011

(American Progress) A handful of local communities across our nation enacted unconstitutional, discriminatory, and costly immigration controls in recent years in an effort to chase away undocumented immigrants and their families and friends, many of whom are American citizens. This growing backlash against Hispanic immigrants in particular was driven by fear, economic uncertainty, and cultural differences in these localities: small towns in New Jersey, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Texas, and one county in Virginia.

Against the backdrop of a slowly recovering economy, high unemployment, falling state and local tax revenues due to the Great Recession, and a host of problems ranging from crime to overcrowded schools, Hispanic immigrants proved to be handy scapegoats for the white majority of citizens in these communities. Never mind that these immigrants—legal and undocumented—are neither the root cause of any of these problems nor a major factor in any of them.

Arizona, of course, drew the most attention for its law, S.B. 1070, which requires police to question the legal status of suspects when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are undocumented immigrants. The law also sets “attrition through enforcement” as Arizona’s official immigration policy, which in plain English means if the laws are harsh enough, immigrants will flee in fear. The state’s immigration control measure has not been enforced, however, because a federal judge put a hold on the new law pending the outcome of a lawsuit in which the U.S. Department of Justice challenged Arizona’s attempts to usurp federal jurisdiction of immigration matters.

Full story…

China leader’s visit viewed with both pride and concern by Chinese Americans

Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

(Buffalo News) For Chinese-Americans like Dr. Lixin Zhang, this week’s state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao was a great moment for his homeland.

“Now you see the growth in China, and it is really incredible,” said Zhang, president of the Chinese Club of Western New York. “Everyone is so proud of that progress. China has much more leverage now.”

But that’s exactly what troubles American businesspeople like David P. Sullivan, president of Industrial Support Inc. of Buffalo, the company President Obama visited on his trip to the city last May.

Summit or no summit, “I don’t think we’re doing a very good job” of leveling the trade playing field with the world’s fastest-growing economy, Sullivan said.

“Just look at the number of jobs going to China”—which, according to the Economic Policy Institute, totaled about 2.4 million between 2001 and 2008. Some 20,000 of those jobs came from the four congressional districts stretching from Elmira westward, including Buffalo and Rochester, the labor-backed think tank said.

Full story…

Diversity in Ohio? Governor apparently not into it.

Friday, January 21st, 2011

(Cleveland Plain Dealer) Ohio Gov. John Kasich probably won’t be receiving an NAACP Image Award or favorable recognition from the National Urban League anytime soon.

Given that his administration recently issued a resolution honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the wrong date, Kasich probably shouldn’t expect a dinner date with King’s survivors, either.

But the lack of such social recognition isn’t likely to cause Kasich insomnia. Charges that he is culturally insensitive and fails to recognize racial diversity as a productive business model seem lost on him.

Ohio’s new governor has quickly positioned himself as a mule on a mission. The sooner the public figures this out, the sooner Ohio will recognize that it has just elected a reincarnated version of Jim Rhodes, except he seems to have a bigger ego.

When Kasich nearly finished filling his executive Cabinet earlier this month, not a single black, Latino or Asian was among those selected to manage the executive agencies of the state. His 22 appointments were exclusively white, and they were overwhelmingly middle-age men.

Full story…

Another classy Rush Limbaugh moment: mocks Chinese President’s accent

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

(Atlanta Journal Constitution) For the most part, I think Rush Limbaugh is better ignored. He’s a shameless liar who has helped turn incivility into the national past-time, a demagogue who has done more than his share to divide the body politic. And made hundreds of millions of dollars doing it.
But his utterly classless mocking today of a visiting dignitary — Chinese President Hu Jintao — ought to embarrass many of Limbaugh’s ardent fans. While Limbaugh frequently engages in race-baiting, his performance today was a low ebb even for him.
Commenting on the fact that Fox didn’t immediately provide translation during Hu Jintao’s press conference, he mocks the president’s language in the childish and stupid faux Mandarin that was typical of bad Hollywood slapstick of the 1920s and ’30s. (h/t Steve Benen):

Full story…

Florida contemplating Arizona-style racial profiling law

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

(Miami Herald) An Arizona-style immigration reform bill filed by state Sen. Mike Bennett will lead to racial profiling of Hispanics and cost Florida billions, civil rights activists told the Manatee County legislative delegation Tuesday.

Bradenton attorney C.J. Czaia and county Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Richard O’Brien urged Bennett and six other state legislators to reject proposals that allow police to demand citizenship documentation while enforcing other laws.

Czaia, an American citizen raised in what is now Sri Lanka, said Bennett’s bill would encourage racial profiling by giving law enforcement the power to seek citizenship papers for “reasonable suspicion.”

That could ensnare people just because they have brown skin or speak Spanish, he said.

It would lead potential tourists from Mexico, Central America and South America to abandon Florida as a destination and cripple businesses that depend on immigrant labor, according to Czaia.

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