Archive for March, 2011

Census summary: so when will Hispanics start getting the clout they should have?

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

(Ethnicmajority, Clifford Tong) The new 2010 census shows significant population growth in both the Hispanic and Asian communities, but this is only part of the story. The Hispanic population has reached 50 million, one out of every six Americans. What is interesting is where that growth is occurring – in the rural areas. Hispanics in North Carolina rose 111% over the last decade, for instance. African Americans are also moving in droves out of cities to suburban and rural communities.

And yet Hispanics continue to be under-represented in politics, boardrooms, media, etc. while being hammered on the immigration front. But the challenges aren’t just political. Consumers tend to speak with their wallets. I found it very interesting that all of the best selling baseball jerseys are for white players, despite the fact that the sports’ best players are Latino.

Mainstream America may be diverse in numbers, but not in attitude. The UCLA student’s YouTube video rant against Asian Americans is just the latest example debunking President Obama’s ideal that we are “one America”.

But significant challenges face the Hispanic community today. Less than half earn high school degrees and one in eight graduate from college. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Preganancy, 52 percent of Latina teens get pregnant at least once before age 20.

In the meantime, Hispanics continue to be made a scapegoat for the economic recession by Republicans trying to make illegal immigration a political wedge issue. That can work as long as Hispanics face the aforementioned challenges and lack the political and economic clout to fight back. You have to be encouraged by the battle over union collective bargaining in Wisconsin, which showed that Americans are increasing rejecting political battles to encourage class or race warfare. These are issues for all Americans, not just some Americans.

True message behind the UCLA student’s racist rant

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

(Ethnicmajority) Over the weekend, a UCLA student named Alexandra Wallace posted a YouTube video complaining about her fellow Asian students. Her complaints included using cellphones in the library, parents who visit on the weekends, and speaking languages other than English. Her video prompted a rash of negative responses, death threats, and a rebuke by the Chancellor. She later wrote an apology to the school newspaper stating that she could not “explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did”.

The true message here is not what the student said. I actually admire her guts to express her true feelings so publicly when so many others are afraid to do so. This is America and she is expressing her rights of free speech. And I admire the swift responses from many appalled Americans voicing their opposing views as well.

No, the true message is about what is thought, not what is said. The student clearly does not regard her fellow Asian students as American, even though UCLA has over 12,000 Asian American students enrolled. This represents nearly a third of the enrollment at UCLA, and outnumbers all foreign students by more than four to one.

And the harm is not in what she said, it is in what she does or will do. What happens if she is the position to hire or fire someone at work? If she regards some people on the basis of race as “not American”, will that influence her decision? To spout racist views is not nearly as bad as racially discriminating against someone.

In a way, the harsh response to her video may actually hinder our ability to talk about race. I’m sure there are many who feel the same way she does who will now suffer in silence. For them, here’s my piece of advice.

How do you stop an Asian from talking on the cellphone in the library while you’re trying to study? Answer – same way you would anyone else.

Black on black and colorism

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

(Examiner) No matter what race we are, when asked to make a list of what is good and what is bad about ourselves most of us find that the list is longer under the subject of what is bad. The same is disturbingly true in the case of African American children and the infamous “baby test”. This test was first implemented in the 1940’s by Kenneth and Mamie Clark, where African American children were asked to choose what is bad between a white baby doll and a black baby doll. The doll study was recently recreated in 2006 by film maker Kiri Davis and today’s children concluded with the same response as then. Rarely, was the black doll chosen as the good one.

If these are the images black children carry of themselves growing up, how does it factor into relationships and the choices made later in life. On any given day of entering a dating and relationship discussion cyber or not, we can be drawn into commentary and reviews where black women are bashing black men and vice versa. According to the statements made neither is fit to be seen with the other, ‘ere go the surge of intermingling relationships with those of cultures outside of their own.

Full story…

After shaming, Time Warner does the right thing by minority kids

Monday, March 14th, 2011

(Brooklyn Paper) Media giant Time Warner has abandoned a politically questionable internship requirement — and extended the program deadline — in the wake of criticism from students and mentors in Brooklyn.

For months, the company’s “Connect a Million Minds” internship included the unusual demand that applicants “provide a letter of recommendation from a member of the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.”
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Critics slammed the company for unnecessarily politicizing a simple search for talented minority kids by giving them “a hard lesson in cronyism” — and months after the program launched, not a single Brooklynite had applied to meet the March 1 deadline.

It’s no wonder. A Brooklyn Paper investigation revealed that members of the minority caucus either didn’t know about their role in the process or declined to give letters of recommendations to students who were not connected in some way.

Full story…

New Group Promotes Black-Themed Films

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

(NPR) African Americans in the film industry have long complained about a lack of diversity in Hollywood movies aimed at black audiences. A new organization has been created to help spread the distribution of diverse, black-theme films. The African American Film Festival Releasing Movement has received support from black film festivals in a number of major cities. Host Michel Martin speaks with its founder, Ava DuVernay, about the group, and her new film, “I Will Follow.”

MICHEL MARTIN, host:

I’m Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Oscar season is over and many movie artists of color are saying good riddance to this last year in cinema. The lack of diversity among the Academy Award nominees disappointed a number of people in the filmmaking community. But at the same time, members of a new generation of filmmakers say they are not waiting for Hollywood to recognize or include them. They’re looking for their own vehicles to get their films made and in front of an audience.

Full story…

Asian American Population Outpaces Hispanic Population in Several Major States

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

(AsianWeek) The Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF), a leading authority on Asian American marketing and advertising, in conjunction with LA 18 KSCI-TV (LA 18), announced today some astonishing statistics about the growth of Asians in the United States. The information is based on the 2010 U.S. Census Redistricting Data.

With data reported from 27 states (or a little more than half of the state-level data at the time of reporting), the Asian population is already seeing significant growth that far outpaces the total United States population by huge margins. All 27 states showed double or even triple-digit growth in their Asian populations. The top five states with the highest increases in the Asian population compared to ten years ago are: Nevada, up 116 percent; North Carolina, up 85 percent; Delaware up 78 percent; Arkansas, up 77 percent; and Indiana up 74 percent.

Among the 27 states with their local-level data released so far, the top 10 states with the highest number of Asians (in order from highest to lowest) are California; Texas; New Jersey; Hawaii; Illinois; Washington; Virginia; Maryland; North Carolina, and Nevada.

Full story…

Hispanic responses on race give more exact breakdown

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

(USA Today) Hispanics from states with large and established Latino populations increasingly identified themselves by race — most chose white — rather than the murky “Some Other Race” that many picked a decade before, a USA TODAY analysis of 2010 Census data finds.

The shift is important because having Hispanics pick one of the recognized race categories — white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native — provides a more exact racial breakdown of the nation’s population.

It also is a sign that the fastest-growing and largest minority population in the United States is adjusting to the way Americans categorize race, some demographers say. If anything, it’s an indication that they are at least figuring out that the government doesn’t recognize “Hispanic” as a race, but as an ethnicity.

“I don’t know if it’s assimilation or just learning,” says Jeffrey Passel, a demographer at the Pew Hispanic Center.

Census forms ask people who identify themselves as Hispanic to also check what race they are. There are Hispanic whites, Hispanic blacks, Hispanic Asians and so on. Those who don’t identify with existing race categories can pick “Some Other Race.”

Full story…

Why Are Hispanics Missing in Leadership at Media Companies?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

(PBS) Fifty million people. One trillion dollars in buying power. Ad spending up 164% since 2001 to $3.88 billion. Hundreds of Spanish-language TV stations across the U.S.

Those eye-catching numbers represent the immense, and largely untapped, scale and wealth of the Hispanic-American media market. Put into greater perspective, if Hispanic-Americans comprised their own country, it would be the fifth-largest, by population, in the European Union. And this demographic is growing — rapidly.

Despite these figures, one component is still missing in the media industry’s quest for greater diversity: Hispanic leadership in the executive suite at media companies.

As a Hispanic-American executive, who also happens to be female, I have seen first-hand the immense growth and impact diversity is having on the American economy and culture. Media executives, marketers, communicators, lawmakers and all of America are hurtling into an era where the business and marketing of diversity — particularly the Hispanic-American market — will be at the forefront of the American conscience.

Full story…

America’s new heartland: Hispanics moving into the West help turn Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho into the fastest-growing states

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

(Mail Online) America’s population centre is edging away from the Midwest to the south west, pulled by shifting Hispanic growth, according to the latest census figures.

The historic movement is changing the nation’s politics and even the traditional notion of the country’s heartland – long the symbol of mainstream American beliefs and culture.

The West is now home to the four fastest-growing states – Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho – and has passed the Midwest in population.

When California and Texas are added to the south-western population shift, these states make up more than a quarter of the nation’s total gains since 2000.
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The Census Bureau is expected to announce a new mean centre of population next month in or around Texas County, Missouri, south-west of where it is now in Phelps County.

According to the 2010 figures, if the trend continues, the centre would leave the state by 2050 for the first time since 1980.

Robert Lang, a sociology professor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, said:’The geography is clearly shifting, with the West beginning to emerge as America’s new heartland.’

Professor Lang, who regularly crunches data to determine the nation’s centre, added: ‘It’s a pace-setting region that is dominant in population growth but also as a swing point in American politics.’

The last time it fell outside the Midwest was1850, in the eastern territory now known as West Virginia.

Full story…

Report says too many whites, men leading military

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

(AP) The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.

Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.

One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials.

The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.

Efforts over the years to develop a more equal opportunity military have increased the number of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the ranks of leadership. But, the report said, “despite undeniable successes … the armed forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.”

Full story…

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