Archive for June, 2012

The future needs of special education students may be in jeopardy

Saturday, June 30th, 2012


( Many African American students are placed in special education programs because they are believed to have learning disabilities.

Once Water Gill wrote, “The plight of African-American males is a growing concern for many educators, parents, and human service professionals.”

In 2009-2010, the Oakland Unified School District placed 2,354 African-American students in special education programs, and in 2010-2011, 2, 337 African American children were placed in special education programs (

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Charlie Rangel’s challenge: The end of an era?

Friday, June 29th, 2012


(Sunlight Foundation) The seat at stake, in New York's 13th Congressional District, has been a place where black politicians have flourished — the place where Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. became the Empire State's first African American elected to Congress. It's one of two races taking place today where entrenched incumbents are facing challengers fuelled by outside money. In the other, veteran Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, now seems comfortably ahead despite considerable outside spending on behalf of his challenger, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist.  



In New York, however, incumbent Rep. Charles Rangel, is facing what may be his toughest race since he was first elected, 42 years ago. A well-known and influential Democrat who succeeded Powell in the Harlem-based seat, the 82-year-old Korean War hero became the first African American chairman of the Ways and Means Commitee and was a founding member for the Congressional Black Caucus. He has routinely been reelected by overwhelming margins. 

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How Arizona law hurts Hispanic citizens

Thursday, June 28th, 2012


(CNN Op-Ed, Ruben Navarette) First, here's what Arizona got wrong: Once upon a time, some lawmakers there decided that the state had a problem with illegal immigrants — most of whom are Hispanic. So they drafted a sweeping law that wound up inconveniencing, singling out and foisting second-class citizenship upon all Hispanics, including those who were born in the United States.

They are the real injured party in the Arizona drama. In its decision on Arizona's immigration law this week, the Supreme Court almost set things right. In a split decision, it struck down three parts of the law, but unfortunately it let stand the worst part, and it is U.S.-born Hispanics who could bear the brunt of the law for many years to come.

For one thing, there are more of them than there are illegal immigrants. Many of the state's illegal immigrants have already left — gone to New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arkansas and other more welcoming locales. Besides, U.S.-born Hispanics are not in hiding. They're out and about, living their lives as they have every right to do — and coming into contact with police.

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Incarceration: when HIV infection does discriminate

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012


(Guardian) The last thing you want to find out when you're serving out a jail sentence for drug possession is that you are HIV positive. That is what happened to Waheedah Shabbazz-El, a former US postal worker who developed a serious drug addiction that ultimately led to her being sent to prison for six months.

"Jail is a terrible place to find out you have Aids," Waheedah said. She later learned that as an incarcerated African American, she already had two strikes against her when it came to the likelihood of being diagnosed with HIV. Increasingly, it seems the two issues are more than a little intertwined.

The rate of HIV among prisoners in America is five to seven times higher than it is among the general population, with African Americans and African-American women, in particular, having far higher rates of infection than any other group. Black Americans are seven times more likely than white Americans to become infected.

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MINORITY REPORT: America Will Be Defined By These Huge Demographic Shifts

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012


(Business Insider) The days of hand-wringing about urban decay have given way to a recognition of cities as key engines of the national and world economies, and with that recognition has come a greater understanding of the role that people play in their dynamism. 

For our discussion of the best places to live twenty years from now, we choose to focus on America’s metropolitan areas—large cities and the nearby towns, suburbs, and exurbs with strong economic, social, and cultural ties to them.

Today, enterprises of all types are less likely to move their employees with them when they relocate, but rather look for a place that already has a well-educated, competitive workforce.

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Small Business: Tap Into the Affluent Asian American Market

Monday, June 25th, 2012

(Small Business Trends) Is your small business marketing to Asian-Americans? If not, you could be missing out on one of the most potentially profitable consumer categories. Data from the Census and the most recent Ipsos Affluent Survey, reported in MediaPost, show that Asian-Americans are more likely to be affluent than are many other minority consumers.

Ipsos defines affluents as households with annual incomes of at least $100,000, and notes that Hispanics make up 14 percent of the general population but only 9 percent of the affluent population; African-Americans make up 12 percent of the general population and only 7 percent of the affluent population. Asian-Americans, however, while they account for just 5 percent of the U.S. population, make up 7 percent of the affluent population, as well as 7 percent of the “ultra-affluent” (household incomes of $250,000 or more).

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Pew: Asian Americans overtake Hispanics in new immigrants

Sunday, June 24th, 2012


We’ve been featuring Pew Research’s insights into America’s Hispanic population lately. But now they’re swinging their spotlight, just as ably, on the 18,205,898Asian Americans in the US.

(The Agitator) First point to note is that Asians have overtaken Hispanics in terms of new immigrants to the US …

For the most part, these immigrants are well-positioned to advance — for example, 61% of Asian immigrants ages 25-64 have a college degree. Their incomes are well above average — median annual household incomes of $66,000, compared to $49,800 for the general public.

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The eight states where Latinos could sink the GOP

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012


(Washington Post) Republicans’ emerging problem with Latino voters looks even worse when you factor in the electoral college.

A look at Latino population trends in swing and key red states shows just how ominous the GOP’s future could be if it doesn’t do something about its current struggles with Latino voters.

We noted yesterday that nationwide population and minority voting trends paint a haunting picture for the GOP. But the problem is particularly acute because of the states where Latino growth has been strongest — particularly several key swing states and red states that Democrats are hoping to put in play in the coming elections.

Full story…

Fred Luter elected first African-American head of Southern Baptists

Friday, June 22nd, 2012


(Washington Post) Messengers or representatives from churches affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant group, elected the first African-American president for the 167-year-old denomination.

Delegates are meeting in New Orleans, the hometown of the Rev. Fred Luter, Jr., who “has already served as the first African-American in various leadership positions within the convention, including as its current first vice president,” Reuters reported Tuesday morning.

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Rodney King’s legacy was to blast away the myth of a post-racial US

Thursday, June 21st, 2012


(The Guardian) For a man of humble origins who might have lived life as most do – without fame or notoriety – Rodney King will go down in history as a seminal figure in the evolution of America's criminal justice system. He died yesterday, only hours before thousands marched silently to protest against abusive police practices in New York City; even in death, he found himself in the midst of an historic moment.

In 1991, the 25-year-old construction worker with a drink problem and a tendency to drive too fast was severely beaten by several white Los Angeles police officers. The attack was caught on videotape, the beating was seen round the world and overnight King became the poster boy for black victims of police brutality in the post-civil rights era. At a moment in American history when the charred memories of fire hoses, German shepherds and viciously slain black teenagers, like Emmett Till, were supposed to fade away, new painful memories were ignited.

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