Archive for October, 2012

Poll: Obama holds slim lead over Romney among Florida’s Hispanic voters

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


(Bradenton Herald) Call it the Cuban Conundrum — a problem for pollsters who find Florida Hispanics are far more Republican than anywhere else in the nation.

It’s on full display in the latest Florida International University/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely Hispanic Florida voters showing President Barack Obama clings to a narrow 51-47 percent lead over Republican Mitt Romney.

But nationwide, the poll shows, Obama leads by a far bigger margin among likely Hispanic voters.

The difference in Florida: Cuban voters. Without them, the FIU poll shows, Obama would handily win likely Florida Hispanic voters 65-32 percent.

Not only are Cubans reliable Republican voters — they’re about 70 percent of Miami-Dade’s registered Republicans — but they’re also more likely to answer surveys like the FIU poll.

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Anti-black views rise, poll finds

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

( Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years since the United States elected its first black president, an Associated Press poll finds, as a slight majority of Americans now express prejudice toward blacks whether they recognize those feelings or not.

Those views could cost President Obama votes as he tries for re-election, the survey found, though the effects are mitigated by some people’s more favorable views of blacks.

Racial prejudice has increased slightly since 2008 whether those feelings were measured using questions that explicitly asked respondents about racist attitudes, or through an experimental test that measured implicit views toward race without asking questions about that topic directly.

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‘Cloud Atlas’ Slammed for Lack of Asian Actors, ‘Yellow Face’ Makeup By Advocacy Group

Monday, October 29th, 2012

(Hollywood Reporter) "In the modern age of movie make up, it is disturbing to see poorly done Asian eye prosthetics to make Caucasian men look Asian," the Media Action Network for Asian Americans said.

Cloud Atlas may be artistically ambitious, but it's also racially retrograde, according to a blistering new release from the Media Action Network for Asian Americans.

The new film from Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Twyker, based on the 2005 David Mitchell novel, weaves together six storylines, connecting them not only by theme and loose plot strands, but by often using the same actors for multiple roles. As such, in a storyline focused on the year 2144 in South Korea, multiple white male actors are given prosthetic makeup in order to appear Asian.

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Poll shows widening racial gap in presidential contest

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

(Washington Post) The 2012 election is shaping up to be more polarized along racial lines than any presidential contest since 1988, with President Obama experiencing a steep drop
in support among white voters from four years ago.

At this stage in 2008, Obama trailed Republican John McCain by seven percentage points among white voters. Even in victory, Obama ended up losing white voters by 12 percentage points, according to that year’s exit poll.

But now, Obama has a deficit of 23 percentage points, trailing Republican Mitt Romney 60 percent to 37 percent among whites, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll. That presents a significant hurdle for the president — and suggests that he will need to achieve even larger margins of victory among women and minorities, two important parts of the Democratic base, to win reelection.

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Disney Latino Characters: Princess Sofia Is Not Hispanic, So Where Are They?

Saturday, October 27th, 2012


(Huffington Post) Disney raised a ruckus in the Latino community when the company debuted its first Latina princess last week, only to backtrack and say “Sofia the First” was never intended to be Hispanic.

The commotion over Sofia the First — a blue-eyed, pale-skinned girl whose mother was born in a country based on Spain — raises the question: is Disney ignoring Latinos?

The company is proud of its record of inclusion and points to Latina characters like the ones played by Selena Gomez of "The Wizards of Waverly Place" and Vanessa Hudgens in the "High School Musical," which appear on the Disney Channel. Disney sitcoms have won Alma and Imagen awards for positive portrayals of Latinos. "While quality storytelling is the goal, diversity is the guidepost here," the company said in a statement to The Huffington Post. "For decades, Disney Channel has worked to make sure kids see themselves when they tune in to our channel."

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Bank of America accused of neglecting foreclosed homes in minority neighborhoods

Friday, October 26th, 2012


(IndyStar) Fair housing advocates accuse one of the nation’s largest banks of discriminating against black and Latino neighborhoods in how it maintains and markets foreclosed homes.

A coalition of fair housing agencies, including the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, made the allegations Tuesday in a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The coalition said it evaluated homes owned, serviced or held in trust by Bank of America in three Midwestern cities, including Indianapolis. The group said it found significant disparities in how houses in predominately non-white neighborhoods were maintained and marketed compared with houses in mostly white neighborhoods.

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For President, a Complex Calculus of Race and Politics

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

(New York Times) When President Obama greets African-Americans who broke barriers, he almost invariably uses the same line.

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you,” he said to Ruby Bridges Hall, who was the first black child to integrate an elementary school in the South. The president repeated the message to a group of Tuskegee airmen, the first black aviators in the United States military; the Memphis sanitation workers the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. addressed in his final speech; and others who came to pay tribute to Mr. Obama and found him saluting them instead.

The line is gracious, but brief and guarded. Mr. Obama rarely dwells on race with his visitors or nearly anyone else. In interviews with dozens of black advisers, friends, donors and allies, few said they had ever heard Mr. Obama muse on the experience of being the first black president of the United States, a role in which every day he renders what was once extraordinary almost ordinary.

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Chicano: What Does The Word Mean And Where Does It Come From?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

(Huffington Post) Lots of people use the word “Chicano,” but what exactly does it mean?

Scholars can’t pinpoint the word’s origins, but there are at least two theories, according to Tejano historian Arnoldo de León. Some think the word may trace its roots all the way back to the Nahuatl term “Meshico,” the indigenous word better known for evolving into the modern-day word “Mexico.” Others think “Chicano” is just a variation of the Spanish “mexicano.”

Whatever its origins, Mexican Americans have used the word “Chicano” to describe people of Mexican origin living in the United States since the early twentieth century, de León writes. Originally wealthier Mexican-Americans used the term as a pejorative, a way to describe Mexican-Americans of lower social standing (likely with some racial overtones).

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Louisiana woman, 20, set on fire in possible hate crime attack

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012


(New York Daily News) A 20-year-old black woman said she was set on fire by three men who wrote the initials KKK and a racial slur on her car in northeastern Louisiana, police said Monday.

Officers found Sharmeka Moffitt with burns on more than half of her body when they responded to her emergency call Sunday night, said Louisiana State Police spokeswoman Lt. Julie Lewis.

The FBI is investigating the attack as a possible hate crime, but no arrests had been made as of late Monday, Lewis said. She said Moffitt was in critical condition at a hospital and that some of her injuries were third-degree burns.

She is expected to have surgery Tuesday.

Moffitt told police the men doused her in a flammable liquid and set her on fire at a park in Winnsboro, a town in Franklin Parish. Lewis said she extinguished the fire using water from a spigot before a police officer arrived.

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Immigrants and Unions Work To Oust Notorious Arizona Sheriff

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

(Truth Out) Latino workers in the Phoenix area are fighting back against the bullying sheriff of Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. They’ve registered over 34,000 new voters for the November election.

The “Adiós Arpaio” campaign is part of a strategy by the hotel union UNITE HERE to turn around Arizona’s anti-worker policies, in a right-to-work state where Latino workers have only recently begun to flex their political muscles. Maricopa County contains 60 percent of Arizona’s population

Organizers say they feel a seismic shift in the political landscape. “I’ve never been part of something historic before,” said Lucia Vergara Aguirre, president of UNITE HERE Local 631. The union has been growing, representing workers at the Phoenix airport complex and at several downtown hotels, and has other organizing drives underway.

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