Archive for December, 2012

US court upholds $1 million for Latino student harassed in high school

Friday, December 7th, 2012

(Christian Science Monitor) A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a $1 million jury award to a Latino man who endured 3 1/2 years of racial threats and harassment at a rural high school in New York.

The three-judge panel of the Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City upheld the award against the Pine Plains Central School District after rejecting the district’s appeal.

The judges said the $1 million in compensatory damages to the former student, Anthony Zeno, was an appropriate amount given that school officials were aware of the ongoing harassment but did not take effective action to stop it.

Full story…

Black boys see bleak future at school

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


(SFgate) By kindergarten, 1 out of 4 African American boys in California is convinced he will fail in school, a self-fulfilling prophecy driven in part by poverty and trauma, according to the results of a legislative inquiry.

The Assembly select committee investigation on the status of boys and men of color also found that the boys are increasingly putting a strain on the state's economic health. The findings were drawn from several community hearings, expert testimony and the input of hundreds of other stakeholders over 18 months.

The final report, scheduled for public release this week, identified education, health and employment as among the most significant areas of concern, and offered recommendations, including where to focus resources and policymakers' attention.

Full story…

Hispanic mega-donors eye immigration

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012


(Politico) President Barack Obama won reelection with overwhelming support from Hispanics — and now Latino megadonors aligned with the White House are trying to mobilize that community behind his second-term agenda.

They’re working feverishly behind the scenes to launch an organization that will focus on passing comprehensive immigration reform — the latest attempt to create a new group to assist an administration that often prefers to deal with its allies instead of entrenched, inside-the-Beltway organizations.

Led by a trio of top fundraisers that includes actress Eva Longoria, the effort comes out of The Futuro Fund, a national initiative of Latino leaders who helped reelect Obama. Organizers are aiming to marshal the support of the thousands of Hispanics it galvanized during the campaign to create a robust online and social media presence that can pressure Congress into acting on immigration reform.

Full story…

Racial bias linked to substance abuse

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012


( “It’s no surprise that people who believe they receive frequent unfair treatment from strangers feel enough emotional pain that leads them to self-coping behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, but this study shows that there is significant relationship between this poor treatment and chronic substance abuse,” says Haslyn E.R. Hunte, an assistant professor of health and kinesiology at Purdue University.

“There is a connection here, and while more work is needed to understand the cause and effect, especially if a substance abuse problem could be one of the reasons people are treated unfairly, people need to realize how they treat others can affect them deeply.

“Based on this study, clinicians treating people for substance abuse should be more attuned to how discrimination plays a role in their clients’ health, just as the loss of a loved one or losing a job.”

Full story…

STEM Act Passage Shows Parties Still Far Apart On Immigration

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


(Huffington Post) The House passed a Republican-led bill on Friday to increase visas for foreign nationals who earn advanced degrees in the U.S. for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in a 245 to 139 vote that fell mostly along party lines.

The STEM Jobs Act is unlikely to get a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate, and the White House officially came out in opposition to the bill on Wednesday. But its passage in the House was also a harbinger for things to come as the two parties map out a broad plan for dealing with immigration. While Democrats opposed the bill because they want a more comprehensive approach, Republicans argued a piecemeal process would be a better path forward — a wide gap in views that will be difficult to bridge.

Full story…

Racial harassment happening more on the job than before

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012


(Examiner) A 49-year-old black woman said a recent U.S.Supreme Court case involving racial harassment is long overdue and often goes unreported by victims.

(To protect her identity only her first name will be used.)

Yolanda worked 12 years as a full-time warehouse clerk at a storage facility in Munster, Ind. where she lives today with her husband and two daughters. She was fired July 2011 for what the company said was “poor performance” but for what she described as “standing up for myself.”

After two years of alleged harassment, Yolanda said she had enough.

“It’s funny how once I complained to the human resource department about how I was being treated by a supervisor, I was suddenly fired,” she told “My supervisor was a Hispanic male and he was this macho guy who thought he was so good looking and could do whatever he wanted to people. I was hired through the unemployment office so he thought I was vulnerable and afraid, but he was wrong.”

Full story…

Boehner Makes Up for Appointing All Old White Men with Single Old White Female

Saturday, December 1st, 2012


(Atlantic) After Republicans filled every House leadership position with old white dudes, Speaker of the House John Boehner changed course on Friday afternoon by adding some diversity — emphasis on the "some." Boehner has tapped Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI), Talking Points Memo reports, to head up the House Administration Committee, where she'll oversee stuff like operatings costs, taxpayer dollars, and technology training.

Earlier in the week, House Republicans filled all 19 positions in their new committee chairs with 19 old, white men, which they were admonished for quite roundly. Adding Miller to the mix doesn't exactly level the playing field, but the GOP still does need a chair of the House Ethics Committee, so there's that.

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