Archive for November, 2012

New House committee chairs reflect GOP’s concept of diversity

Friday, November 30th, 2012


(People's World) Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, demonstrated the difficulty his party has with the concept of diversity yesterday when he announced the names of the 19 people who will chair all of the major committees in the new Congress.

They are all white men and most of them are millionaires.

Rep, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the defeated vice presidential candidate, will continue to chair the powerful House budget committee, despite having exhausted the six-year term limit. The GOP lifted the rules to allow him to continue in that post.

They did not change the rules however when it came to a woman. The one female chair that House Republicans have, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, has to step down because her term is up.

The failure to include even a single woman or member of a minority group surprised many in the Capitol here who noted they would have expected something different from a Republican Party that had just been so soundly rejected by women and minority voters.

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Asian-Americans outraged at ‘light’ sentence for hazing-death of soldier

Thursday, November 29th, 2012


( Asian-American civil-rights organizations have decried the "light" sentence imposed on a U.S. Army sergeant convicted of hazingthat led to the death of an Asian-Americansoldier.

OCA and the Asian American Justice Center on Wednesday, Nov. 28, issued a statement calling the reprimand and demotion of rank for Staff Sgt. Andrew Van Bockel "shocking" and a "disgrace" to our military's values.

Following a court martial, Van Bockel was found guilty of hazing, three charges of dereliction of duty and two charges of maltreatment, in the death of Pvt. Danny Chen, who killed himself in Oct.2011 in Afghanistan following weeks of bullying and abuse.

In the trial, prosecutors successfully proved that the abuse and maltreatment directly led to Chen, a 19-year-old raised in New York's Chinatown, taking his own life.

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Shopping malls cater to shifting demographics

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012


(CNBC) Macerich Co <MAC.N> isn't usually in the business of hosting religious processions in its mall parking lots.

But when it allowed a Good Friday event featuring a costumed Jesus, prisoners and Roman guards at a Phoenix mall last year, hundreds of shoppers turned out from the heavily Hispanic community, where re-enactments of the Stations of the Cross are a major occasion.

The response proved to Macerich that its program to attract the surrounding population to its malls was working.

A small but growing number of real estate owners and developers are tapping into the same demographic change U.S. politicians have begun to recognize.

Two ethnic groups – Hispanics and Asian-Americans – are expected to see their population and buying power soar in the coming years. And several demographic experts project that non-Hispanic whites will be a minority nationally by 2040 or 2050.

If mall and shopping center owners fail to adapt to the changing demographic make-up of the country, they risk seeing their properties become mausoleums of a less-diverse American past.

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Asian-American says Latinos not only ones hit by Ariz. immigration law

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012


(USAToday) Jim Shee says he never experienced discrimination, let alone racial profiling, until his 70th birthday.

Shee, a Paradise Valley, Ariz., real-estate investor of Chinese and Spanish descent, was driving to meet friends for lunch on April 6, 2010, his birthday, when he stopped on a side street in west Phoenix to check a text message.

A Phoenix police officer approached and tapped on his car window.

"Let me see your papers," Shee says the officer told him.

"That is the very first thing he said," recalled Shee, now 72.

Shee, whose civil-rights battle against Arizona's strict immigration law is credited with highlighting the law's impact beyond the Latino community, was taken aback.

Born in Tucson, Shee has been a U.S. citizen all his life. No police officer had ever asked him for his "papers."

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Asian American consumers: Nearing $1 trillion in buying power

Monday, November 26th, 2012


(Los Angeles Times) Some staggering new figures about Asian American consumers are out this month: Their buying power is up 523% since 1990, reaching $718.4 billion this year. If the demographic were a nation, it’d be the 18th-largest economy in the world.

Within five years, Asian American buying power will surge over $1 trillion, according to a report this month from Nielsen. At the moment, 28% of households in the group have annual incomes greater than $100,000, compared with 18% of all Americans.

They shop more often than their white counterparts but are less likely to use shopping lists or coupons, meaning that they’re more likely to be influenced by the product assortment, signage and deals in stores.

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The GOP’s diversity debacle

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

(Politico) After an election in which Mitt Romney lost the black, Asian and Latino vote by landslide margins, the news just got worse for the Republican Party.

With Florida GOP Rep. Allen West’s concession Tuesday, the face of the GOP got a little whiter, ending an election season in which the already undersized contingent of black, Hispanic and Asian Republicans in Congress grew even smaller.

For a party that’s struggling to present a public face that looks more like America, the 2012 election represents something close to a worst-case scenario.

The number of African-American Republicans in Congress, which stood to double thanks to several highly competitive candidates, was instead cut in half, to a single member. The last Asian-American Republican retired and wasn’t replaced. In a year when a record number of Hispanics were elected to Congress, House Republicans ended up losing two of their already small contingent. Puerto Rico GOP Gov. Luis Fortuño, a rising star who campaigned for Mitt Romney in Florida, was another 2012 casualty.

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Study Finds Latinos Are Least Likely To Have Paid Leave

Saturday, November 24th, 2012


(Think Progress) The United States doesn’t have a stellar record on paid employee leave. Indeed, it is one of the few developed countries that has no paid maternity leave requirement. But a new study by the Center for American Progress finds that Latino employees in particular are the least likely to have paid leave or workplace flexibility of any sort.

Latinos tend to be in lower-wage jobs where fewer benefits are offered, thanks in part to institutionalized racism and in part to the economics of new immigrant labor. Because of the low quality of jobs for many Latinos, fewer than 40 percent report having flexible hours — the ability to shift work schedules based on outside obligations. Only 38.4 percent of Latinos have any paid sick leave, and just about a quarter of Latino employees (25.1 percent) have paid parental leave, lower than any other racial group:

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Dem: Criticism of Rice includes racial ‘code words’

Friday, November 23rd, 2012


(USA Today) President Obama hasn't said whether he will nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of State, but the debate over her is already intense.

Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., told CNN on Tuesday that some Republican claims that Rice is "incompetent" may be racial in nature.

"These are code words," Clyburn said, adding that "these kinds of terms that those of us — especially those of us who were born and raised in the South — we've been hearing these little words and phrases all of our lives and we get insulted by them."

Rice, the current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, has been criticized by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other Republicans over comments she made following the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

From National Journal:

"McCain and (Sen.) Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have attacked Rice in recent weeks for her Sunday show appearances in the days following the terrorist attack in Libya that killed four Americans, criticizing her for not going further to label the assault a terrorist act. On Monday, 97 House Republicans sent a letter to President Obama saying that Rice is unfit to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Full story…

The 10 Most Diverse Zip Codes In America

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

(Business Insider) Can a neighborhood's racial diversity actually mean a healthier housing market?


When Trulia real estate expert Jed Kolko examined the most diverse zip codes in the U.S., he found they not only saw faster population growth in the last year but also saw housing values rise more than others. 

It's becoming more clear that "Americans are moving toward diverse neighborhoods," Kolko writes in "Finding Diversity in America."

Full story…

Blacks Own Just 10 of 1,348 TV Stations

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012


(The Root) " Bill O'Reilly  can breathe a little easier.

"Last week while speaking about the reelection of  President Obama , the Fox News commentator said, "The white establishment is now the minority," " Joe Flint wrote Wednesday for the  Los Angeles Times .

"But when it comes to who owns the nation's TV and radio stations, whites – and white males in particular – are still the majority.

"The  Federal Communications Commission  just released its report on the ownership of commercial broadcast stations which reveals that as of 2011, whites own 69.4% of the nation's 1,348 television stations. That's up from 63.4% in 2009, when there were 1,187 stations.

"While white ownership increased, most minority ownership decreased. Blacks went from owning 1% of all commercial TV stations in 2009 to just 0.7% in 2011. Asian ownership slipped from 0.8% in 2009 to 0.5% last year. Latino ownership increased slightly from 2.5% to 2.9%.

Full story…

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