Archive for February, 2011

Lawyer for ESPN’s Bryant says race to blame for arrest

Monday, February 28th, 2011

(Boston Herald) The attorney for ESPN senior writer Howard Bryant — who was arrested over the weekend for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife outside a pizza shop in front of their 6-year-old son — said the sports scribe was busted because he is black.

State police said Bryant, 42, put up a fight and struck a trooper with his elbow when they tried to arrest him after witnesses said he roughed up his wife outside a pizza shop shortly after noon Saturday in the small western Massachusetts town of Buckland.

“If Howard Bryant was Caucasian and was on the streets having exactly the same conversation with his wife — nobody would have even noticed,” his attorney Buz Eisenberg, told the Herald today.

Eisenberg said Bryant’s wife is Caucasian. Bryant is a former Herald sports columnist.

“Race still plays a part in our society and we intend to contest these allegations completely,” Eisenberg said. “The 6-year-old had to witness his father being thrown on a hood of a car and being abused.”

State police spokesman David Procopio called the attorney’s race claims “wrong” and an insult to domestic violence victims.

Full story…

USDA offers settlement to women, Hispanic farmers

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

(AP) The Obama administration is offering at least $1.3 billion to settle complaints from female and Hispanic farmers who say they faced discrimination from the Agriculture Department.

The Agriculture and Justice departments announced Friday that farmers who could prove discrimination could receive up to $50,000. The proposal comes after the government settled with American Indians over similar discrimination issues last fall and Congress provided money for the second round of a black farmers settlement.

Like the black and American Indian farmers, the thousands of minorities and women say local USDA offices for years denied them loans and other assistance that routinely went to whites.

The government first announced its intent to settle the complaints in May. The more detailed offer announced Friday does not cap the number of farmers who may receive awards and waives some application fees.

Lawyers for both the women and Hispanic farmers said their clients deserve more money. Indian farmers were offered up to $250,000 each to settle claims.

Full story…

By The Numbers: Health Inequalities From Economics And Race

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

(Huffington Post) People have long known that health in the U.S. is not an equal thing. But now, thanks to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are numbers to prove it.

The first-ever “Health Disparites and Inequalities Report” shows startling differences in things like national mortality rates, behavioral risk factors and access to health care across various economic and racial groups in the U.S. According to the CDC, the goal is to now use the compiled data as benchmark for future progress. Additionally, by quantifying and highlighting major health disparities, the CDC hopes to inspire action and “facilitate accountability.”

Some of the starkest findings of the report center around the dramatic disparities between high- and low-income Americans. Low-income residents report up to 11 fewer “healthy” days per month than their high-income counterparts. Also notable: Preventable hospitilzation rates increase greatly as income decreases.

If there were no disparities in this area, the CDC estimates that the U.S. would save $6.7 billion in health care costs every year.

Full story…

Chinese American man beaten by Korean Americans in alleged hate-crime attack, authorities say

Friday, February 25th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Two Korean Americans were in jail Thursday, two others were released on bail and two more were being sought in connection with the robbery and assault of a Chinese American man in Diamond Bar in what authorities described as a hate crime.

The Feb. 6 incident began when the 25-year-old victim placed an order for takeout at a Korean restaurant in the 18300 block of East Colima Road in Rowland Heights, said Sgt. Steven Kim of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s Asian Gang Team.

A group of seven Korean American men were eating inside the restaurant when one of them approached the victim, whose name was not released, and asked if he was Korean. He responded that he was Chinese and shortly after received his order and left the restaurant.

The man who had approached the victim followed him outside, accompanied by five other men. Once outside, the suspects began beating the victim with their hands and feet “for no apparent reason,” Kim said.

Full story…

The Growth of Black-Owned Businesses: Entrepreneurship by Necessity

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

(Black Voice News) There is a silver lining in the dark cloud of the great recession. A new Census Bureau report reveals that from 2002 to 2007 the number of Black-owned businesses in the United States increased by 60.5 percent to 1.9 million – more than triple the national rate. According to Census Bureau Deputy Director, Thomas Mesenbourg, “Black-owned businesses continued to be one of the fastest growing segments of our economy, showing rapid growth in both the number of businesses and total sales during this time period.”

The reasons for this are many, beginning with the long history of African American entrepreneurship in response to poverty, high unemployment, and discrimination. Consider the case of Madam C.J. Walker, the daughter of slaves who, in the early 1900s, turned her dream of financial independence into a hair care and cosmetics business that revolutionized the beauty products industry, created good paying jobs, and made her a wealthy woman and philanthropist.

Like Madam C.J. Walker, many African Americans may have turned to entrepreneurship in the years covered by the Census Bureau study because of high unemployment in our communities. The fact is, Black unemployment never got back down to where it was before the recession in 2001. So in effect, what we are seeing is a bit of entrepreneurship by necessity. There’s also an economic independent streak, particularly among emerging generations in the Black community. Building a business gives great satisfaction and cushions them from the shock of losing jobs because of economic down cycles.

Full story…

US lawmakers seek apology for Chinese exclusion

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

(AFP) More than a century after the United States shut its doors to Chinese immigrants, Asian American lawmakers are seeking an official apology that they hope will serve as a lesson for future generations.

Approved by Congress in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act banned immigration by Chinese workers and their naturalization as US citizens, marking the first time the United States explicitly closed itself to a particular nationality.

Census figures show that more than 100,000 ethnic Chinese were living in the United States at the end of the 19th century. Many had been recruited to build the transcontinental railroad, but faced racism from white workers.

Representative Judy Chu, a Chinese American who took over this month as the new chair of the Asian American caucus in Congress, said that legislation offering an apology for the act would be a key priority.

Congress repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1943 during World War II after Japan highlighted the law in propaganda questioning China’s alliance with the United States.

But apology advocates note that the US government has never voiced regret.

Full story…

Blacks, Hispanics hold few investments, poll shows

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

(Washington Post) As the economy emerges from the recession and the national debate turns to limiting the cost of the social safety net, only one in four African Americans and one in six Hispanics reported owning stocks, bonds or mutual funds, a new poll shows.

In addition, only 46 percent of blacks and 32 percent of Hispanics said they had an individual retirement account or any similar retirement arrangement, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll. Half of whites said they had stocks, bonds or mutual funds, and two in three said they had IRAs, 401(k)s or similar holdings.

The relative paucity of investments held by blacks and Hispanics tracks with previous studies, something that experts call an outgrowth of the gaping wealth disparities separating the races.

Not only are African Americans and Hispanics less likely than whites to own retirement accounts or investment securities, they also are far less likely to own homes, which remains the largest engine of wealth creation for most Americans. And when they do own homes, they tend to have less equity in them, in large part because they live in communities where prices appreciate more slowly, many analysts say.

Full story…

Economy poll: African Americans, Hispanics were hit hardest but are most optimistic

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

(Washington Post) Despite severe losses during the recession, the majority of African Americans see the economy improving and are confident that their financial prospects will improve soon.

That optimism, shared to a lesser degree by Hispanics, stands in stark contrast to the deeper pessimism expressed by a majority of whites. In general, whites are more satisfied with their personal financial situations but also more sour about the nation’s economic prospects.

Those are among the findings of a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll that probed attitudes in the wake of a downturn that more than doubled unemployment and wiped away nearly a fifth of Americans’ net worth.

African Americans and Hispanics were more likely to be left broke, jobless and concerned that they lack the skills needed to shape their economic futures. But they also remained the most hopeful that the economy would soon right itself and allow them to prosper.

Full story…

NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program helps aspiring winners

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

(Orlando Sentinel) Wendell Scott broke NASCAR’s color barrier with a 1963 victory — the only race won ever by an African-American driver.

Nearly 50 years later, no other black or Hispanic driver has repeated the feat, but young drivers enrolled in NASCAR’s diversity program are vying to do so.

“You win races and then hopefully, you can catch that break with the right sponsor to help you get to the next level,” said driver Ryan Gifford, 21, of Winchester, Tenn. “It’s just a matter of time and timing.”

Gifford is among the 10 African-American, Hispanic or female drivers with Revolution Racing, a North Carolina racing team that is part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

NASCAR officials started Drive for Diversity programs eight years ago to develop promising drivers.

Talent from other racing series, such as Danica Patrick, who juggles her time between Indy Car and stock-car races, and Colombian-born Juan Pablo Montoya, who drove in Formula1, have crossed over.

Bringing new drivers up the ranks has been the bigger challenge.

Full story…

Los Angeles County Fire swears in 1st African-American chief

Friday, February 18th, 2011

(Southern California Public Radio) The Los Angeles County Fire Department has a new chief. County officials welcomed 27-year veteran Darryl Osby to the job Thursday in a ceremony at L.A. County’s Hall of Administration.

Firefighters from all over Southern California filled the hall dressed in their black civilian uniforms. After taking the oath of office, 49-year-old Daryl Osby confessed – while a lot of boys in his generation dreamed of growing up to be firemen, he wasn’t one of them

“I had a family friend that talked me into taking the test and indicated ‘Daryl, if you don’t like it, you can quit,’” Osby remembered. “And that was over 27 years ago.”

Osby spent those 27 years climbing the ranks of the L.A. County Fire Department into management. Firefighting and management are in his blood.

His father, Robert Osby, put in nearly 50 years and served as fire chief in the cities of Inglewood and San Diego. He watched proudly as his son became L.A. County’s first African-American fire chief.

Full story…

Subscribe to RSS feed