Archive for August, 2011

Nivea Pulls ‘Offensive’ Ad

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

(Yahoo Buzz Log) Companies like to push the envelope with their ads. Sometimes the gamble works, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes, like in the case of Nivea, the whole thing turns into a fiasco.

Nivea, a company that specializes in skin-care products, recently released a print ad that it has since pulled. How to best describe the ad? It shows an African American man preparing to toss a decapitated head (his own?) with an afro-style haircut. The ad copy reads: "Re-Civilize Yourself." The underlying message seems to be that afros are not civilized.

Almost immediately, the ad was met with outrage. The Los Angeles Times reported that Facebook users began "posting photos of themselves with Afros on Nivea’s wall, saying things such as: 'I wear my hair natural and I just graduated with my doctorate! So who needs to be re-civilized?? Nivea no longer welcomed in my household.'"

Full story…

How much did illegal immigrants contribute to Texas’ economic boom?

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

(Washington Post) A fast-growing population was key to Texas’ record job growth, fueling a demand for construction and services while the rest of the country languished. How much did illegal immigration contribute to the state's growth?

Relying significantly on lower-wage jobs to fuel growth, Texas has drawn from a large, relatively cheap labor pool that’s included large numbers of legal and illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants have taken jobs in many of the industries central to Texas’ economic boom, such as home construction, agriculture and the service industry. Illegal and legal immigrants make up about 20 percent of the state’s total workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And the Pew Hispanic Center estimates that 8 percent of Texas’ total workforce was made up of illegal immigrants as of 2008.

“It’s a big part of our economy across the board, overwhelmingly in low-skilled, hard work,” says Charles Foster, a Houston-based immigration attorney and board member of the Greater Houston Partnership, a business development group. “It impacts Texas more than almost any other state.” The state’s heavy reliance on immigrant labor may not have dragged wages down to rock bottom either: As Matthias Shapiro notes, the state’s median hourly wage is $15.14, ranking 28th of 51 in the nation, and it’s been increasing at the sixth-highest rate since the recession.

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Latino voters respond more to English ads

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

(UPI) English-language print ads have a greater impact in mobilizing Latino voters than Spanish-language print ads, U.S. researchers found.

The study, published in American Political Research, examined the effects of direct mail pieces on Latino voters. The mailer, written in either English or Spanish, was sent to two separate groups, while a third that received no mailing was used as a control group.

The experiment was conducted during a New York City Council election in 2009.

The study found that while both English and Spanish language materials increased voter turnout among Latinos — whose participation in elections generally lags behind the general population — the English language materials not only had a greater impact, but also drew in a broader voter demographic.

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Obama’s New, More Lenient Deportation Policy Could Cut Both Ways Politically

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

(NPR) Some observers might view as a cynical bid for Hispanic votes the Obama Administration's new policy to review as many as 300,000 illegal immigration cases to focus more on deporting criminals than undocumented individuals posing little to no risk to society.

The decision would use some of the criteria of the DREAM Act, which failed to get through Congress, to show leniency to young people, especially students and military veterans brought illegally to the U.S. as small children by their undocumented immigrant parents.

The administration framed its decision as a way to target its immigration resources on the highest priority cases, those illegal immigrants whose criminality represents a true threat to the U.S.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are being given significantly more latitude to exercise their discretion under the new rules.

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Rep. Maxine Waters says blacks want Obama to get tough

Friday, August 19th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) As far as Rep. Maxine Waters in concerned, it is time for President Obama to get tough with Republicans and put together proposals that help the poor and especially the hard-hit African American community.

Speaking at a job fair in Atlanta on Thursday, the fiery Los Angeles Democrat said there was rising unhappiness among African Americans with the nation's first black president.

"There is a growing frustration in this country and in minority communities because the unemployment rates are so high," Waters said in televised remarks. She went on to cite home foreclosures and the increasing wealth gap between blacks and whites for "creating frustration and, yes, some anger" in the black community, which wants to see Obama take on his opponents.

"The president is going to have to fight and he is going to have to fight hard," she said.

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Obama orders improved workforce-diversity effort

Friday, August 19th, 2011

(Washington Post) President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.

The long-awaited executive order directs a group of high-ranking officials to create a government-wide plan, followed by specific plans in each agency. It marks the highest-profile response to a problem that has been on the administration’s radar: Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.

“The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a conference call. “We will only succeed in our critical mission with a workforce that hails from, represents and is connected to the needs of every American community.”

The order creates a framework, but the details have not been worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as with Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, this initiative will look to a council of deputy agency chiefs. OPM, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will participate.

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Obama is losing black support: African American unemployment 17%

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

(Examiner.com) According to the O'Reilly Factor, a high unemployment numbers plus heavy home foreclosures are leaving the black community struggling in higher proportions than the rest of the populace. These hard hitting economic woes may be responsible for diminishing President Obama's support among African Americans. In the black community. The latest Gallup poll shows the president is down a whopping 14 points from his once high of 95%.

Amid 17% unemployment for African Americans as well as 11% foreclosures for black homeowners, many think the real surprise is that President Obama's previous astounding 95% black community approval is still a solid 87%. Some of the questions the poll plunge raises include

Why is President Obama losing black voters? Can President Obama win the White House in 2012 with weakened support from the black community?

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Study May Explain Black Cancer Disparities

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

(CNN) A new study may better explain why African American women have greater risk for developing more aggressive and difficult-to-treat forms of breast cancer, called estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cancers (ER-/PR-). The findings appear in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Breast cancer is the second-most common type of cancer among women, after skin cancer. While white women are slightly more likely to get breast cancer than African American women, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, because they are more likely to develop more aggressive breast cancers. But why this happens has been less clear.

Researchers at Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center analyzed data from the Black Women's Health Study, which began in 1995 and follows 59,000 African American women who complete health questionnaires every two years.

From 1995 to 2009, 457 women developed estrogen and progesterone receptor positive cancers, ER+/PR+.

Full story…

March aims to draw attention to slaying of black Mississippi man

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) More than 500 people, including clergymen, elected officials and mothers pushing strollers, gathered here Sunday to denounce the killing of an African American auto plant employee in what authorities say was a racially motivated hate crime.

The slaying of James C. Anderson initially attracted little notice outside the immediate area, but since a security camera recording of the June 26 incident was broadcast nationally last week, the case has drawn coast-to-coast attention.

Anderson, 49, was beaten and run over in the parking lot of a motel. Prosecutors say the 5 a.m. attack was committed by a group of white teenagers from nearby Brandon, Miss. Two 18-year-olds have been charged in the case. Deryl Dedmon, the alleged driver of the green pickup that ran over Anderson, is charged with murder and remains jailed; bond was set at $800,000. John A. Rice, originally charged with murder, now faces a charge of simple assault. He was freed on $5,000 bail.

Full story…

Confronting Asian-American Stereotypes Through Art

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

(Huffington Post) The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American American Program and the National Portrait Gallery's new exhibit, Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter, shown in the National Portrait Gallery, is dedicated to exploring modern Asian American identity. The curators of the National Portrait Gallery worked with the Asian Pacific American Program to select the artists and the works.

The show features multiple works from seven Asian-American artists: Cindy Hwang (CYJO), Hye Yeon, Shizu Saldamando, Roger Shimomura, Satomi Shirai, Tam Tran, and Hong Chun Zhang.

Full story…

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