Archive for July, 2011

Black officers’ group assails assault charge against African-American cop

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

(Seattle Times) A black law-enforcement advocacy group is criticizing prosecutors for filing an assault charge against an African-American Seattle police officer involved in an off-duty brawl while not charging two white Seattle officers who stomped on a prone Latino suspect in another incident.

The decision by the City Attorney's Office to charge Officer Garth Haynes "is demonstrative of the disparate treatment" that African Americans routinely encounter in the criminal-justice system, the Black Law Enforcement Association of Washington said in a statement issued Monday.

Haynes was charged last week with fourth-degree misdemeanor assault for stomping on the head of a man who had been handcuffed by officers responding to the brawl outside a Ballard bar in December. While not condoning Haynes' actions, the association accused the City Attorney's Office of not "approaching these type of cases in a fair and consistent manner."

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Bank of America on Behalf of Latino Homeowners Who Lost Millions to LA Fraud Operator Juan Rangel

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

(Marketwire) Bank of America has been named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, on behalf of hundreds of LA homeowners and investors who lost millions of dollars in a highly complex Ponzi scheme run by one of Los Angeles' most notorious fraud operators, Juan Rangel.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the mostly Latino plaintiffs by the law firms of Pearson, Simon, Warshaw & Penny, LLP; Capretz & Associates; and Girardi & Keese, alleges that Bank of America employees as well as bank management were aware or should have been aware of the Ponzi scheme and despite such knowledge provided banking services to Juan Rangel and his associates. Notably, Dony Gonzalez, a former Bank of America branch manager was indicted and pled guilty to receipt of bribes by Juan Rangel.

The lawsuit alleges that from about November 2007 to July 2008, Rangel used his firm, Financial Plus Investments, as well as other financial companies he owned, to defraud middle-class working families through investment, mortgage and foreclosure rescue schemes that netted Rangel about $30 million. Rangel's firms shut down in July 2008 and Rangel was arrested by federal agents in August 2008.

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The ‘Tequila Party’ Hopes To Stir Latino Voters

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

(NPR) Just as the Tea Party drew heavily on a public backlash against government spending, another new political movement — the Tequila Party — aims to use the latest crackdown on illegal immigration to motivate Latinos to vote in 2012.

Arizona Republican DeeDee Garcia Blase formed the National Tequila Party Movement as an answer to a Tea Party influence she blames for increased political opposition to immigration.

The group has no aspirations to become a third political party. Its focus will be registering as many of the nation's 21 million voting-age Latinos as it can, targeting young voters in presidential battleground states.

Unlike the Tea Party groups, which have generally aligned with Republicans, the Tequila Party pledges no allegiance to either major party. Blase has dropped her affiliation as a lifelong Republican — and plans to resign as president of Somos Republicans — to protest the Republican-led immigration enforcement law passed in her home state of Arizona. The Tequila Party held its launch party in Tucson last month.

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Smartphones Are Helping Minorities Leapfrog Over the Digital Divide in the U.S.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

(BlackWeb) There’s more evidence of smartphone usage in the United States enabling a kind of “leapfrog effect” over the digital divide. According to a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American LIfe Project, 44 percent of African Americans and Hispanics say they own a smartphone, compared to just 30 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

That said, class and education levels are also strongly related to smartphone ownership, with just 22% of people making less than $30K/yr saying they own one, compared to about 40% of people between $30K-$75K, and nearly 60 percent of people making more than $75K. The younger you are, though, the more likely you use a smartphone–even among people making less than $30K a year, 39% of those who are 18-29 years old say the have one. Older seniors, by contrast, are less likely, and poorer older seniors especially unlikely, to own a smartphone.

Read the rest of this article at TechPresident.com

Are Latino players exploited by MLB?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

(MSNBC) Major League Baseball has received a lot of credit in recent years for its diversity on the field.

The number of African-American players in the game may have decreased in the past 20 years, but so has the number of white players. In their place has risen an increasing number of players from Latin America, young athletes leaping at the chance to rise from the poverty of the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Cuba in search of a better life and riches through baseball.

But although baseball has been credited with giving many young Latinos a way to escape from poverty, the system – and MLB in turn – has been accused of exploiting these same players.

Most major league teams run baseball academies in Latin American countries where they scout, train, woo and sign talented young players with which to stockpile their minor league systems.

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CalSTRS Continues to Advance Diversity on Corporate Boards

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

(Centre Daily Times) The California State Teachers’ Retirement System withdrew all eight of its board diversity shareholder proposals filed during the 2011 proxy season after successfully engaging companies to consider diversity in director searches.

In recent years, the issues of board of director leadership and oversight roles have taken on increased significance to long-term investors, such as CalSTRS. Today’s economic challenges highlight the importance that board diversity plays in enhancing value and providing companies with a full range of fresh talent and experience.

“We’ve advanced the ball in the name of board diversity and are committed in our conviction that corporate boards and their nominating committees consider diversity in the larger context of improving shareholder value,” said CalSTRS Director of Corporate Governance Anne Sheehan. “One lesson from the financial crisis was the role corporate board group-think played in fostering management short-term priorities that proved detrimental to sustainable value creation. We think improved board diversity will address that problem.”

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Herman Cain urged to quit presidential race by angry Latino Republicans

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Herman Cain found himself in hot water Monday with Latino Republicans after telling an audience that his solution to illegal immigration along the Mexican border would include a Great Wall of China-like electrified fence that would rise 20 feet high above a moat filled with alligators.

"We call on Herman Cain to drop his candidacy for president. His recent comments and lack of practical solutions to solving illegal immigration show he’s not a serious candidate," the Somos Republicans group wrote in a statement released Monday.

"Many Hispanics find his recent comments comparing immigrants to 'invading Huns' offensive, and also insensitive when thousands of immigrants died crossing the desert. We’re looking for practical and humane solutions, and find Cain’s pandering to xenophobes disgusting. Apparently nativist tea has been served up at many tea parties! Hispanics are a key swing vote, and whichever GOP candidate succeeds in winning the nomination cannot win the general election without the Hispanic vote. Cain needs to leave the field open to more serious candidates," Somos demanded.

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What Every Company Can Learn From Kraft

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

(Motley Fool) Trying to cash in on companies that can exploit rapid growth in the developing world is hot among investors right now. Kraft's  (NYSE: KFT) attempt to take over South America with Tang is just one of the more recent stories. But as the food giant fine-tunes its presence in Latin America, it is also refocusing its efforts at appealing to Latinos living in North America. As markets boom in the developing world, they're changing in the developed world, too.

Kraft was not king
Last year, a report by the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies found that Kraft spent just 3.8% of its U.S. advertising budget on Hispanic media. That trailed efforts by General Mills  (NYSE: GIS) at 9% and Nestle (OTC BB: NSRGY.PK) at 7.4%, although Kraft is in better shape than laggards Hormel Foods  (NYSE: HRL) and McCormick  (NYSE: MKC), which dedicated less than 1% in 2010. For a company that has just built Tang into a billion-dollar brand on the strength of its growth in Latin America and the Philippines, this type of result was a bit embarrassing.

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Brewers Tap Hispanic Consumers

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

(AdWeek) American brewers are directing their attention to a demographic that they hope will be the answer to a third consecutive year of declining sales volume. MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken, and others are creating marketing campaigns that captivate the United States’ growing Hispanic population with an authentic voice and a sponsorship or two.

The recession has not been good to brewers. The importance of Hispanic consumers of legal drinking age comes to the fore as unrelenting unemployment shrinks the purchasing power of the industry’s key demographic, men ages 21 to 34. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics will represent 23 percent of the U.S. population of legal drinking age by 2030.

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Rising diversity can enhance social connections: Study

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

(Canada.com) New Canadian research suggests that, contrary to previous thinking, rising diversity doesn't erode trust and social ties — and in some cases it might enhance them.

The study looks at how diversity and city size affect social capital, a sociological concept that refers to the connections between people and networks — ties that help people fit in and find jobs and places to live.

The findings fly in the face of previous research that suggested social capital declines as multiculturalism and visible minority populations increase, and they spell good news for a nation facing a future of unprecedented diversity, says Ravi Pendakur, an associate professor of pubic and international affairs at the University of Ottawa and co-author of the study.

"If what they're arguing is that as diversity goes up, all those things associated with social capital go down, Canada is in trouble because we have no choice but to see greater and greater diversity," he says. "A lot of the work in the past has really suggested a negative impact on social capital based on minority status. We're not finding that."

Last month, Statistics Canada released projections suggesting that by 2031, at least one in four people in this country will have been born elsewhere and nearly one in three people will be visible minorities.

Full story…

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