Archive for January, 2013

‘Deception’ and Colorblind Casting: Are We Post-Racial Yet?

Friday, January 11th, 2013


(The Wrap) When NBC's "Deception" premieres Monday, it will become one of only two broadcast shows with an African-American woman in the lead — and one of the few broadcast shows with a non-white lead actor.

Not that the show will emphasize that. "Deception," a soapy detective drama, follows the long American tradition of emphasizing class while avoiding the awkward subject of race.

The cynical read of that fact is that broadcast networks hope that by sidestepping a difficult issue, they can make it go away. Or that they just don't want to deal with anything painful or complex, for fear of losing ratings.

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Bill O’Reilly: Asians Aren’t ‘By Nature’ Liberal

Thursday, January 10th, 2013


(The Wrap) Bill O'Reilly has once again demonstrated his mastery of race relations.

O'Reilly, who opined in November that black and Hispanic voters cast their ballots for President Obama because they "want stuff" from the government, took a crack at explaining the nature of Asian people — and somehow found room in his mouth for the other foot — during Wednesday night's edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel.

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African American teacher sues Philly prep school over firing

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

(NBC News) A math teacher at an exclusive Philadelphia prep school claims in a racial-discrimination suit that he was fired without cause after school officials alleged he sent inappropriate text messages to a female student. 

Attorneys for Arthur “Chuck” Matthews said the veteran teacher, who is black, was fired even though the young woman and her parents said the messages contained nothing improper. 

The federal lawsuit alleges that Matthews’ termination from Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was part of a pattern of discrimination at the “predominantly Caucasian” school, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported

“Historically, black employees, regardless of their position, have been denied promotions and are subject to harsher discipline, unfair demotion, and unjust termination in circumstances where nonblack staff are, or have been, treated more favorably,” the lawsuit said. 

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California’s freshman class in the U.S. House is large and diverse

Monday, January 7th, 2013


(Los Angeles Times) A decade ago, Eric Swalwell was working at a Capitol Hill gym handing out towels to members ofCongress. On Thursday, he was on the House floor, swearing to support and defend the Constitution as one of 14 new House members from California.

Swalwell, a Democrat from Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area, is among a diverse group of freshmen from the Golden State who took office Thursday in the biggest turnover of the state's delegation in 20 years. They cast their first vote — on the question of who would be House speaker — mugged for photos and enjoyed a rare festive day that masked the partisan fights that lay ahead.

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Proud Black teens do better in school

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

( New research shows that when parents use racial socialization—talking to their children or engaging in activities that promote feelings of racial knowledge, pride, and connection—it offsets racial discrimination’s potentially negative impact on students’ academic development.

Preparing adolescents for possible bias is also a protective factor, though a combination of this preparation and racial socialization is ideal in moderating the possible damaging effects of racial discrimination by teachers or fellow students, according to a study published in the journal Child Development.

Our findings challenge the notion that ‘race blindness’ is a universally ideal parenting approach, especially since previous research has shown that racially conscious parenting strategies at either extreme—either ‘race blindness’ or promoting mistrust of other races—are associated with negative outcomes for African American youth,” says lead author Ming-Te Wang, assistant professor of psychology in education at the University of Pittsburgh, who coauthored the study with Harvard University’s James P. Huguley.

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Mississippi man pleads guilty to hate crimes charge

Saturday, January 5th, 2013


(CNN) – A Mississippi man pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal hate crime charge in connection with a group of young men and teenagers who carried out racial attacks against African-Americans in 2011.

Joseph Dominick, 21, from Brandon, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Mississippi, to one count of conspiracy to commit federal hate crimes.

Dominick and others began in the spring of 2011 to harass and assault black people in Jackson and the surrounding area, according to the FBI.

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113th Congress: Reflecting America’s diversity

Friday, January 4th, 2013


(Seattle Post Intelligencer) A record 20 women, including two from Washington, will serve in the U.S. Senate as part of the new 113th Congress sworn in today.  The Senate’s senior “Gentle lady,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, is the first woman to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, three seniority slots ahead of Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Combined with 81 “Gentle ladies” in the House, there are now 101 women serving in Congress.  House Democrats are led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., while Washington’s Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers is chair of the House Republican Conference.Congress is creaky and can be tortoise-like in its movement, but the new Senate and House are beginning to reflect America’s growing diversity.

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9 Worst Political Commentaries About Latinos In 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013


(Huffington Post) The year 2012 will be remembered as the year of the rise of the Latino voter. The demographic shift changing the shape of U.S. politics was felt as never before, as both parties reached out to Hispanic voters and cultivated new faces like Marco Rubio and Julian Castro.

Hispanics jumped from 6 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2012 as a share of the electorate, helping tip the election in favor of President Barack Obama after Romney won just 27 percent of the Latino vote.

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The Head Of Pardons Withheld Key Information From The Bush White House

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013


(Business Insider) The head of the Justice Department's pardons office failed to accurately convey key information to the Bush White House regarding a federal inmate's plea for early release, the department's inspector general concluded in a report released Tuesday.

In overseeing the case of Clarence Aaron, the report found that Pardon Attorney Ronald L. Rodgers engaged in "conduct that fell substantially short of the high standards expected of Department of Justice employees and the duty he owed the President of the United States."

In a measure of the seriousness of the evidence against Rodgers, Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz referred his findings to the deputy attorney general for "a determination as to whether administrative action is appropriate."

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Film explores African-Americans’ unhealthy “soul food” habit

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013


(Reuters) – After interviewing food historians, scholars, cooks, doctors, activists and consumers for his new film "Soul Food Junkies," filmmaker Byron Hurt concluded that an addiction to soul food is killing African-Americans at an alarming rate.

The movie, which will premiere on January 14 on U.S. public broadcasting television, examines how black cultural identity is linked to high-calorie, high-fat food such as fried chicken and barbecued ribs and how eating habits may be changing.

In the deeply personal film, Hurt details his father's fight and eventual death from pancreatic cancer. A high-fat diet is a risk factor for the illness, according to researchers at Duke University in North Carolina.

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