Archive for January, 2012

Racial Jeopardy and American Politics

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

(Sojourners, Lisa Sharon Harper) During a roundtable chat with a group of emerging young evangelical leaders recently, someone posed the question: “Has America become a post racial society?”

Well, we haven’t had a race riot in a while — does that mean race isn’t relevant anymore?

A black president just gave the State of the Union Address. How about that? Does that mean America’s OK with the race thing?

Our nation is a more ethnically diverse nation than it’s ever been. Does that count for anything?

Full story…

Minority hopefuls perform in CBS diversity showcase

Monday, January 30th, 2012

(Los Angeles Times) LMFAO’s head-pounding “Party Rock Anthem” pulsated through North Hollywood’s El Portal Theatre as a multiracial group of young performers stormed the stage, promising in song to provide a lively evening of laughs. They then launched into a rapid-fire parade of sketches filled with gleeful raunch and pokes at racial stereotypes.

The performance had the usual trappings of a night out at any comedy club around town. But little about this invitation-only night was typical. The actors, writers and directors were all amateur, and they were mostly people of color — young blacks, Latinos, Asians, Indians — performing original material they had helped to develop before a crowd of managers, agents and creative executives from major networks and studios.

The event marked the culmination of this year’s CBS Diversity Sketch Comedy Showcase, an annual talent forum that also functions as a three-month boot camp designed to boost the chances of minorities hoping to land roles on TV comedies and dramas.

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Racial, ethnic disparities in cancer tests

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

(UPI) The number of U.S. adults getting cancer screening tests is not meeting targets, especially among Asian and Hispanic Americans, federal health officials found.

A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, found in 2010, breast cancer screening rates were 72.4 percent, below the Healthy People 2020target of 81 percent; cervical cancer screening was 83 percent, below the target of 93 percent; and colorectal cancer screening was 58.6 percent, below the target of 70.5 percent.

Screening rates for all three cancers were significantly lower among Asians — 64.1 percent for breast cancer, 75.4 percent for cervical cancer and 46.9 percent for colorectal cancer — compared to other groups, the study found.

Hispanics were less likely to be screened for cervical cancer (78.7 percent) and colorectal cancer (46.5 percent, when compared with non-Hispanics at 83.8 percent and 59.9 percent, respectively, the report said.

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Latino Diversity on Display in Florida’s GOP Primary

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

(Huffington Post) The battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney for the allegiance of Florida's 450,000 Hispanic Republican primary voters has exposed one of the great myths surrounding the "Latino vote": despite their shared ethnicity, Hispanics are far from monolithic, politically. True, most do generally swing Democratic, but the range of that swing can vary sharply, depending on the candidate and the issues.

President Obama took 67 percent of the Latino vote in 2008, compared with 31 percent for John McCain. However, in 2004 George W. Bush won reelection with a record 44 percent of the Latino vote.

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The Careerist: Asian American Lawyers Are Not Happy

Friday, January 27th, 2012

(American Lawyer) It's the start of Chinese New Year—the Year of the Dragon—but Asian Pacific Americans lawyers might not be in a mood to celebrate. According to The American Lawyer's 2011 midlevel minority associates survey, APAs are not happy campers.

But let's start with a positive: APAs are not griping about their work. Amazingly, they like it! APAs reported the highest score of all groups (including whites, black/African Americans, and Hispanics) for "overall satisfaction with work" and "quality of assignments."

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Pilots Who Fought to Soar Above Racism

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

(New York Times) “Patriotic,” “jingoistic,” “old-fashioned,” “corny” and “inspirational for teenage boys.” Those are the words of George Lucas, the executive producer of “Red Tails,” describing his whiz-bang action film about African-American fighter pilots in World War II on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”

Mr. Lucas financed the $58 million movie, which the major studios didn’t want to touch, because of the box office limitations of its mostly African-American cast. “It is exactly like ‘Flying Leathernecks,’ only this one was held up for release since 1942, when it was shot,” Mr. Lucas said. In structure and tone, “Red Tails” proudly harks back to the 1940s and ’50s, when good guys were good, and bad guys bad.

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Survey paints portrait of black women in America

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

(Washington Post) Rich or poor, educated or not, black women sometimes feel as though myths are stalking them like shadows, their lives reduced to a string of labels.

The angry black woman. The strong black woman. The unfeeling black woman. The manless black woman.

“Black women haven’t really defined themselves,” says author Sophia Nelson, who urges her fellow sisters to take control of their image. “We were always defined as workhorses, strong. We carry the burdens, we carry the family. We don’t need. We don’t want.”

Full story…

Wal-Mart Names Black Woman as Sam Club’s CEO

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

(The Root)  Wal-Mart made history on Friday when it named a black woman the first female and African American CEO of Sam's Club.

Rosalind Brewer, 49, was the former president of the retailer's U.S. East business unit. She also held a number of executive positions at Kimberly-Clark Corp. She begins her position on Feb. 1.

Wal-Mart's Sam's Club warehouse business accounts for 12 percent of Wal-Mart's annual sales. Revenue rose 5.7 percent at the store in the third quarter of 2011.

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Clyburn Says Newt Gingrich Is Using Coded Racial Language

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

(Think Progress) On the campaign trail, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has repeatedly referred to President Obama as a food stamps president. Many have claimed the comment, and others, are dog whistles for “ugly racial stereotypes” and are insulting to African Americans.

This morning, Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the highest-ranking African American in the House, told CNN’s Candy Crowley this morning that he would not call Newt Gingrich a racist, but said the presidential candidate has been using language that appeals to those in the GOP who “will see President Obama as different from all other presidents that we’ve had.” Crowley asked if the term “food stamps president” was a racial comment. Clyburn replied that it’s similar to other racially-coded comments that are not explicitly racist.

Full story…

Harsh Immigration Tone Pushing Hispanics From GOP

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

(Huffington Post) The Republican Party is beefing up its minority outreach nationwide and preparing to put its rising Latino stars on the campaign trail amid concerns that tough immigration rhetoric in the presidential primary is taking on an increasingly anti-Hispanic tone.

But immigrant-rights groups and some political watchers say the damage may be irreversible. They argue that the GOP has severely hampered itself as it looks to woo the critical Latino voting bloc that could decide who wins key states like New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado and Florida next fall.

Full story…

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