Archive for May, 2013

A step back on Cabinet diversity

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

(Washington Post) Important segments of President Obama’s base have been hammering him for not appointing enough Latinos and African Americans — and no gays — to his second-term Cabinet.

Thirty-two years ago, when Ronald Reagan’s first-term team was coming together, the Cabinet included one woman, U.N. Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and one African American, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Samuel Pierce.

But the number of women and minorities increased later in Reagan’s term, and he named the first Hispanic Cabinet member.

Quick Loop Quiz! Who was that person?

Ah, you guessed it: Education SecretaryLauro Cavazos.

Cabinet diversity increased substantially in the Bill Clinton administration as the 42nd president worked to fulfill his pledge to have a Cabinet that “looks like America.” Clinton was first to name women secretary of state and attorney general. In his initial Cabinet, he had five African Americans, five women and two Hispanics.

Obama appointed more women (seven) and more Asian Americans (three), putting together the most diverse Cabinet ever in his first term.

Full story…

Clarence Thomas: ‘The elites’ had to approve a black president

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013


(CNN) – Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, the high court's only African American jurist, opened up recently about his thoughts on race and the White House.

Asked if he ever expected to see an African American president in his lifetime, the conservative justice said he always knew "it would have to be a black president who was approved by the elites and the media, because anybody that they didn't agree with, they would take apart."

"And that will happen with virtually – you pick your person, any black person who says something that is not the prescribed things that they expect from a black person will be picked apart," he said in an April interview at Duquesne Law School in Pittsburgh, which aired on C-SPAN.

"You can pick anybody, don't pick me, pick anyone who has decided not to go along with it; there's a price to pay," he continued. "So, I always assumed it would be somebody the media had to agree with."

Full story…

Job Market Improving for Hispanic Men

Monday, May 6th, 2013

(Hispanic Business) The unemployment rate for Hispanic men kept pace with the national rate in April, but the rate for the Hispanic workforce overall continues to lag behind U.S. numbers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 

The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) for Hispanic men dipped to 7.6 percent in April from 8.2 percent the month before, compared to 7.5 percent for the general population. The seasonally adjusted rate for the general Hispanic workforce stood at 9 percent, however, only slightly improved from last month's 9.2 percent. 

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Eva Longoria’s Devious Maids Is a Wasted Opportunity

Sunday, May 5th, 2013


(Huffington Post) Holy stereotypes, Batman! Have you seen the teaser trailer for Eva Longoria's new Lifetime series,Devious Maids?

The minute-long trailer manages to efficiently portray Latinas as hypersexual, nosy, scheming and, at times, totally invisible domestic servants, one set of pushed-up breasts, devilishly squinted eyes and sassy hair flip at a time. What the trailer doesn't do, however, is allude to the supposed actual premise of the show. According to, the show is supposed to center on "a close-knit group of maids who are bonded together by their jobs, life struggles and the melodramatic 'upstairs-downstairs' universe that engulfs their employers." This formula, the network promises, will paint class warfare both fun and dirty! Because, you know, class warfare has always been so very boring. Thanks, Lifetime!

That being said, Devious Maids seems to be a wasted opportunity. The series is the first mainstream, English-language television drama featuring five Latina main characters, which is — for better or for worse — a novel concept even in this day and age. Not novel, however, is the fact that all — count 'em, all! — of the main characters play "devious" maids. It just all seems like a missed opportunity to diversify the roles played by Latinas.

Full story…

Obama adds cabinet diversity by picking Anthony Foxx for Transportation

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

(Christian Science Monitor) By nominating Charlotte, N.C.President Obama> adds some additional racial diversity to his administration, comes a step closer to completing his second term Cabinet, and moves a youthful African American politician into the national spotlight.

In a ceremony in the White House East Room Monday afternoon, Mr. Obama called Mayor Fox "one of the most effective mayors Charlotte has ever seen,” and detailed Foxx's transportation experience.

"Since Anthony took office, they have broken ground on a new street car project that is going to bring modern electric tram service to the downtown area, they have expanded the international airport, and they are extending the city’s light rail system," the president said. "All of that has not only helped to create new jobs, it has helped Charlotte become more attractive to business.

"So I know Anthony’s experience will make him an outstanding transportation secretary."

Full story…

Racial wealth gap grows during Great Recession: Study

Friday, May 3rd, 2013


(MSNBC) The Great Recession took its toll on millions of Americans, but even more so for black and Hispanic families, a new studyshows.

According to the Urban Institute, the existing racial wealth gap became even bigger since the start of the economic downturn. In 2010, the average white family was six times wealthier ($632,000) than the average black ($98,000) or Hispanic family ($110,000). That’s up from 1983, when the average white family was five times as wealthy in comparison to the average black or Hispanic family.

“While the Great Recession didn’t cause the wealth disparities between whites and minorities, it did exacerbate them,” the study says.

Wealth was measured by total assets, including home value, bank and retirement accounts, student loans and credit-card balances.

Full story…

North Carolina NAACP Protests GOP Initiatives

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013


(The Root) — Seventeen people were arrested on Monday during a nonviolent "pray-in" at the North Carolina General Assembly, which was held by the NAACP to call attention to the state's Republican-led assault against the civil rights of poor and minority voters. Ben Wrobel, a spokesman for the National NAACP, said that the men and women were arrested without incident during the two-and-a-half-hour event. 

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference, said during an afternoon conference call: "We come to this point today reflecting on the great moral tenets of the Scriptures, including love and justice. We are also guided and driven today by the great moral framework of our state constitution that was written 145 years ago by black and white men who were in search of a better way forward than the old past of racial division and slavery."

Barber referred to the General Assembly and Gov. Pat McCrory's administration as right-wing extremists and "the George Wallaces of the 21st century" because of measures that negatively affect poor people and minorities. During its first 50 days in session, the legislature has made the following decisions:

Full story…

Report: Some gov’t lawyers opposed bias pay for women, Hispanics

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013


(UPI) – Some government lawyers opposed allocating $1.33 billion for female and Hispanic farmers who encountered discrimination, The New York Times reported.

The Times said Friday political appointees in the Obama administration, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, pushed for the move, which committed the money to compensate thousands of Hispanic and female farmers who had never claimed bias in court, the report said.

Career lawyers in the agriculture and justice departments argued against the plan, saying that payouts to people who had never filed discrimination claims were vulnerable to fraud and there was no evidence women and Hispanic farmers had suffered widespread discrimination in government aid.

The farmers argued biased federal loan officers had blocked their attempts to borrow money to farm, the Times said.

"I think a lot of people were disappointed," said J. Michael Kelly, a former associate general counsel in the Agriculture Department. "You can't spend a lot of years trying to defend those cases honestly, then have the tables turned on you and not question the wisdom of settling them in a broad sweep."

Full story…

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