Archive for November, 2011

San Francisco could elect first Asian-American mayor

Monday, November 7th, 2011

(AP) Jeff Adachi says he grew up hearing the stories of his Japanese-American family's internment during World War II.

"They lost everything. But they taught me not to be bitter, to get an education and to stand up for what's right," Adachi, San Francisco's public defender, writes on the website devoted to his campaign for the city's mayor.

He's one of six Asian-Americans candidates who are drawing on their life stories of immigration, discrimination and empowerment as they try to become the first Asian-American elected mayor in the city's history.

San Francisco already has an Asian-American mayor in Ed Lee, who was appointed in January. But the Nov. 8 election is being seen as an historic moment in a city that has the largest percentage of Asian-Americans in the continental United States and boasts the nation's oldest Chinatown.

Full story…

Racial politics return with Cain allegations

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

(Boston Globe) Herman Cain's rise as a presidential contender was supposed to prove that race didn't matter in the Republican Party. Cain is fast making it the only thing that does.

The black conservative is trying to navigate around allegations that he sexually harassed at least three women, implying that the accusations surfaced because he is black. Hours after the claims were reported, Cain's supporters branded his trouble a "high-tech lynching." That's the term coined 20 years ago by another black conservative, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, after his confirmation hearings for the court were rocked by allegations of sexual harassment.

Cain's supporters have pinned blame on a white GOP presidential rival, on liberals afraid of a "strong black conservative" and on mainstream media interested in "guilty until proven innocent." But by playing the race card with the Thomas precedent, his backers belied the "post-racial" America that President Barack Obama was said to have brought about in the United States — and that they, too, promote.

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Defense Dept.’s longest-serving general and African American retires

Friday, November 4th, 2011

(Washington Post) When Al Flowers was born, his grandmother brought him home in a shoe box and sat all night by the wood stove to keep him warm.

When he was 10, he went to the tobacco fields with the adults, “cropping” leaves by hand and dumping them in a cart drawn by two gray mules.

He lived in a tin roof house with no running water and bathed in a No. 10 washtub.

Coming of age, he thought: There must be something more.

There was.

This month, Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, 63, retires from the U.S. Air Force as the military’s longest-serving active-duty general.

He is also the longest-tenured active-duty service member in the Air Force, and the longest-serving active-duty African American in the six-decade history of the Defense Department.

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Asian Americans most bullied in US schools: study

Friday, November 4th, 2011

(Google AFP) Asian Americans endure far more bullying at US schools than members of other ethnic groups, with teenagers of the community three times as likely to face taunts on the Internet, new data shows.

Policymakers see a range of reasons for the harassment, including language barriers faced by some Asian American students and a spike in racial abuse following the September 11, 2001 attacks against children perceived as Muslim.

"This data is absolutely unacceptable and it must change. Our children have to be able to go to school free of fear," US Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Friday during a forum at the Center for American Progress think-tank.

The research, to be released on Saturday, found that 54 percent of Asian American teenagers said they were bullied in the classroom, sharply above the 31.3 percent of whites who reported being picked on.

The figure was 38.4 percent for African Americans and 34.3 percent for Hispanics, a government researcher involved in the data analysis told AFP. He requested anonymity because the data has not been made public.

Full story…

Asian Americans now country’s fastest growing racial group

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

(Los Angeles Times) Increased immigration from South Asia helped fuel the rapid growth in the number of Asian Americans over the last decade as well as an influx of Asians to states such as Nevada, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data released Wednesday.

Growing numbers of Indians, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and other South Asians highlight the increasing diversity of Asian Americans in the U.S. and the need for policymakers to understand that diversity, according to “A Community of Contrasts,” published by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice.

Looking at Asian Americans as a single group masks the distinct social and economic needs of the various ethnicities involved, said Dan Ichinose, director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center’s Demographic Research Project. For example, while 23% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Americans lack health insurance, only 8% of Japanese Americans do.

And while 26% of Hmong Americans and 20% of Bangladeshi Americans live below the poverty line, only 6% of Filipinos and 8% of Indians do.

Full story…

Soft drink makers target U.S. youth online: study

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

(Reuters) U.S. children and teenagers are seeing far more soda advertising than before, with blacks and Hispanics the major targets, as marketers have expanded online, according to a study released on Monday.

The report from the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity also said many fruit and energy drinks, which are popular with teenagers, have as much added sugar and as many calories as regular soda.

"Our children are being assaulted by these drinks that are high in sugar and low in nutrition," said Yale's Kelly Brownell, co-author of the report. "The companies are marketing them in highly aggressive ways."

Children's and teens' exposure to full-calorie soda ads on television doubled from 2008 to 2010, fueled by increases from Coca-Cola Co and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc, the report found.

Full story…

Judges: Bench diversity needed “now more than ever”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

(SFGate) Justice Michael Douglas is the first African American on Nevada’s Supreme Court and served a stint as chief justice, a rotating position, earlier this year. Speaking recently in San Francisco, where he went to law school, Douglas recalled the welcome he received the first time he entered a Nevada courtroom as a lawyer.

It was in 1982 when the newly hired Legal Services attorney showed up in a three-piece suit to represent a low-income client who wasn’t in court. Douglas said the judge looked down, saw a black man sitting by himself at the counsel table, and assumed that the client hadn’t been able to find a lawyer so the case would be defaulted. Only when the opposing attorney spoke up did His Honor realize that Douglas, too, was a lawyer, he said.

“I was slapped in the face. …It brought me back to reality,” Douglas, now in his seventh year on his state’s high court, told law students and attorneys at a Golden Gate University panel on “Chief Justices of Color.”

Full story…

Fire Dept. Begins Physical Tests After Settling Suit By Black Applicants

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

(CBS Chicago) They’ve been waiting for a long, long time, but on Tuesday, the first of hundreds of African American applicants finally got a fair shot at Chicago firefighters’ jobs.

They’ve been waiting 16 years since filing a lawsuit accusing the fire department of discrimination in its testing for the Fire Department.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports on their stories about “the lost years.”

The firefighter candidates might have lost some strength and agility since they took the written test in 1995 and maybe gained some weight, but what many haven’t lost is their childhood dream.

“I just thought this was something that touched me deeply going back into my childhood; watching all these beautiful greystones in the city die and watching them die at the hands of fires. So I always wanted to be a firefighter,” said Michael Taqee, who took the city’s firefighter test in 1995.

Full story…

Latino numbers are up; why isn’t their clout?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

(Hispanic Ohio, Ruben Navarrette) Latinos in the United States have been betting on the numbers – their numbers.

In the last three decades, I’ve heard politicos, academics, activists and others boast that a swelling population would eventually bring the Latino community power and respect.

They include President Barack Obama, who just last month told a group of Latino online journalists gathered at the White House that he was confident that he’d see a competitive Hispanic candidate running for president during his lifetime.

“Just look at the demographics,” Obama said. “With numbers comes political power.”

Not necessarily, Mr. President.

The assumption has been that, at some point, the Latino population would become so large and its influence on everything from business to sports to food to pop culture would be so profound that it would be impossible to ignore.

Full story…

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