Archive for October, 2012

Why the high court should back race-based college admissions

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

(Washington Post) THE SUPREME COURT will consider Wednesday its biggest affirmative action case in a decade when the justices examine the suit of Abigail Fisher, a woman denied admission to the University of Texas (UT) at Austin in 2008. Lawyers for Ms. Fisher, who is white, claim that she suffered unjustly by having to compete against African American and Hispanic applicants in a system that considers race. Ms. Fisher wants the court to deem the university’s inclusion of race in its admissions process unlawful, a request the justices should deny. The worry is that the court will use Ms. Fisher’s case to rewrite decades of precedent, with implications for nearly every campus in the country, public and private.

Nobody should be comfortable with any system that uses race as a criterion to distribute scarce opportunities, such as admission to Texas’s flagship public university. Yet, as Justice Lewis Powell wrote in 1978, the country’s future depends on exposing prospective leaders “to ideas and mores of students as diverse as this nation of many peoples.” So does the legitimacy of institutions such as UT.

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Anti-Immigrant Group Launches Racist Ad Campaign To Pit African-Americans Against Immigrants

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


(Think Progress) The anti-immigrant group NumbersUSA, which seeks to limit legal immigration, has put out a new, racist ad that tries to pit African Americans against immigrants. It features an African American man with his family explaining that he needs a job:

What I don’t understand is why our leaders are going to admit another million immigrant workers next year to take jobs when 3 million black Americans can’t find work. I mean, do our leaders really think black Americans don’t want to work? Let’s slow down mass immigration and save jobs for Americans — all Americans.

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Here Are All the Racial Stereotypes In Facebook’s Weird New ‘Chairs’ Ad

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

(Business Insider) The first clue that all might not be well with Facebook's new "Chairs are like Facebook" ad from ad agency Wieden + Kennedy is that on YouTube, the comments are turned off.


Advertisers do that when they think they might get a negative reaction from viewers.

The commercial — Facebook's first ever big TV campaign ad — is a lushly filmed existential inquest into the question of whether we are alone or together.

But it uses a lot of racial shorthand in order to represent exactly who "we" are. Unfortunately, that shorthand indicates that black people like to sit on junky furniture on the sidewalk, while white people lounge in richly furnished rooms and teach prestigious classes. Black people dance wildly, while white people do the Electric Slide. And so on.

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Studies: Health Disparities Vary Among Hispanic Subgroups, Hispanics Are Less Likely To Visit Doctor

Monday, October 8th, 2012


(Huffington Post) Heritage may be universal within the Hispanic community, but it seems health isn’t.

According to two recently published twin studies — one focusing on men and the other on women’s health – there are “significant differences” in the physical and behavioral health of individuals within three major Latino subgroups in the United States: Cuban-Americans, Mexican-Americans and Puerto Rican-Americans.

Florida State University (FSU) researchers analyzed data from the National Latino and Asian-American Study and found that both Puerto Rican-American men and women reported the highest rates of smoking and overall substance abuse — including marijuana, cocaine, and prescription drugs — out of the three subgroups. Puerto Ricans also showed the highest rates of major depression at 13.1 percent for women and 9.7 percent for men.

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New data on affirmative action in college

Sunday, October 7th, 2012


(SFgate) As the Supreme Court revisits the use of race in college admissions next week, critics of affirmative action are hopeful the justices will roll back the practice – and a new report Wednesday offers a big reason for their optimism.

Evidence from at least some of the nine states that don't use affirmative action shows that leading public universities can bring meaningful diversity to their campuses through race-neutral means.

That conclusion is vigorously disputed by supporters of race-based affirmative action, including universities in states like California that cannot under state law factor race into admissions decisions.

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Poll finds growing support for Obama among Latinos

Saturday, October 6th, 2012


(Los Angeles Times) President Obama may be widening his lead with Latino voters as a new poll shows that 70% say they plan to vote for him over Republican Mitt Romney.

Obama leads Romney, 70% to 20%, according to a new Telemundo/NBC News/Wall Street Journal national poll.

That represents an increase of 7 percentage points for Obama and a decrease of 8 points for Romney in the poll, the widest lead Obama has held in the poll since it was first conducted in June, according to the release accompanying the poll results Wednesday.

The poll is a national one and doesn’t present a snapshot of how the candidates are doing with this crucial slice of the electorate in battleground states such as Colorado, Nevada and Florida. And, of course, Obama picks up the benefit only if he manages to actually turn out supportive Latino voters to the polls.

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The State of Asian-American Cooking According to Three Asian-American Chefs

Friday, October 5th, 2012

(Bon Appetit) With restaurants like Pok Pok and Mission Chinese Food grabbing headlines (and attracting multi-hour waits), the country is seeing the biggest boom in Asian cooking since the Asian fusion craze of the 1980s. With that in mind, Bon Appétit Restaurant & Drinks Editor Andrew Knowlton hosted a panel with four chefs doing some of the best Asian-American cooking in the country to find out why people are so interested in it. 

The panel included Embeya's Thai DangEdward Kim of RuxbinSaigon Sisters' Mary Ngyuen Aregoni and Matthias Merges of Yusho (also the panel's lone white dude). Some highlights from their discussion below.

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Harvard University Students Feel Latino Community Is ‘Neglected’ On Campus

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

(Harvard Crimson) Harvard was missing something. Surrounded by peers at the annual Latino Ivy League Conference in Ithaca last November, Daniel J. Artiga ’15 came to this realization: As students active in the Latino community described the resources provided on their respective campuses, he had little to add. “Yale spoke, Brown spoke, they all had something great to say,” he remembers. But then it was Harvard’s turn. “The other delegates and I mentioned how it would be awkward beforehand, because we didn’t have a lot to say,” recalled Artiga, vice president of the Latino Men’s Collective. “But it didn’t hit me until I was actually sitting in a room listening to other students bragging about how well their Latino community is treated—and how ours is, I feel, neglected.”

Harvard prides itself on being at the vanguard of new inquiry. Yet when it comes to the study and support of the nation’s—and higher education’s—fastest-growing demographic, some students and professors believe that Harvard is falling behind.

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Black youths exposed to more alcohol advertising, study finds

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012


(NBC News) African American youth culture is steeped in alcohol. References to booze have long been rife in rap music, and Jay Z, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Ludacris are among the hip-hop luminaries who have promoted alcohol.

new study puts some fresh data behind long-standing concerns about alcohol marketing to black kids. Young African Americans ages 12 to 20 see far more alcohol ads on television and in magazines than youths in general, according to the report published Thursday by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers said two key factors are at play: Many alcohol ads specifically target African Americans and African American youth consume more media than youth overall. For example, African American youths watched 53 percent more television than youths in general in 2010, according to Nielsen data cited in the study.

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Spanish-language political advertising lagging

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

(Los Angeles Times) Wooing Hispanic voters was supposed to be a big component in this year's election, but according to a new study politicians are putting their money elsewhere.

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) said Spanish-language advertising is a small fraction of overall spending even in states with large Hispanic populations such as California and Florida.

"Political commentators from both sides of the aisle have said repeatedly that 2012 is 'The year of the Hispanic voter,'" said Javier Palomarez, USHCC president. “But while political advertising spending records are being shattered, neither political party is investing a comparable percentage of their advertising dollars to reach these voters."

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