Archive for June, 2013

Children of “tiger parents” develop more aggression and depression, research shows

Friday, June 28th, 2013

(CBS News) In 2011, Amy Chua sparked a nationwide debate when she championed her tough-love parenting style in the book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." Critics said the iron-fist child-rearing approach of the Chinese-American mom was too intense, stigmatizing or even damaging to the child.

New research and a just-published memoir suggest the critics may be right.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, followed more than 250 Chinese-American immigrant families with first- to second-grade children in the San Francisco Bay Area for over two years.

"We found that children whose parents use more authoritarian-type parenting strategies tend to develop more aggression, depression, anxiety, and social problems and have poorer social skills," said Qing Zhou, an assistant professor of psychology who led the research.

Zhou, who heads the university's Culture and Family Laboratory, said the findings were based on interviews, parent-child interaction activities, and cognitive and academic assessments of the child. Her team measured how frequently parents use authoritarian-type of disciplinary strategies – like verbally criticizing the child and demanding the child do things without explanation.

Full story…

Less Than Accidental Racist: Why Paula Deen’s Comments Insult Her Fans Too

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

(Time) “I can’t, myself, determine what offends another person,” says Paula Deen in the transcript of a deposition for a workplace-discrimination lawsuit that surfaced yesterday. By today, I’m thinking, she might have a better idea.

For instance: admitting that she has used “the N word” (in her and the lawyer’s words)–”of course,” and probably on more than one occasion. Defending telling racial and ethnic jokes: “it’s just what they are, they’re jokes.” And wishing she could plan a “Southern plantation wedding” for her brother, with African American servers in the part of antebellum slaves. (Deen reportedly didn’t go through with that idea because, you know, “the media” would have twisted it into something. Those media! Always turning folks’ innocent plantation-slave parties into something racist!)

The transcript, published by the Huffington Post after initial reports in the National Enquirer, came in a discrimination and sexual-harassment lawsuit by a former employee against Deen and her brother Earl “Bubba” Hiers. The lawsuit’s specific allegations are still being litigated, but Deen’s on-the-record comments–her rationalization of racism maybe even more so than her admissions–could be even more damaging to the southern cook’s empire, built on media and butterfat.

Full story…

Court punts but affirmative action on the ropes

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

(USAToday) The Supreme Court, by a 7-1 vote, correctly slapped down the lower court for deferring to the University of Texas regarding the use of race in college admissions. It punted, however, on the larger question of whether that use of race is constitutional, instead instructing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to reconsider the issue under a less deferential standard of review.

That is, the lower court accepted the Supreme Court's 2003 ruling that using race as one factor, but not if race is tied to a set number of points or quotas, could be justified in the name of diversity. But it erred, the Supreme Court said, in not subjecting UT-Austin's admissions process to what lawyers call "strict scrutiny."

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Marcus Books, Oldest Black Bookstore In The Country, On The Brink Of Closure

Monday, June 24th, 2013

(Huffington Post) The oldest African American-owned bookstore in the country is on the brink of closing its doors.

Founded in San Francisco's Fillmore District in 1960 by Raye and Julian Richardson, Marcus Books has been a hub of the city's black culture for over half a century. The store has hosted readings by luminaries like Toni Morrison, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Oprah Winfrey.

But now, after falling victim to a predatory loan at the height of the housing bubble and losing ownership of the property in a bankruptcy, the family that has operated the bookstore for generations has been ordered to vacate the premises by Tuesday.

Full story…

California Clothing Store Will Pay $7.5 Million In Racial Discrimination Settlement

Friday, June 21st, 2013

(Think Progress) California-based clothing retailer Wet Seal will pay $7.5 million and make a series of changes aimed at reducing racial discrimination after a federal court approved a settlement last week.

A California district court gave preliminary approval to the national class action settlement in the case, Cogdell v. Wet Seal, which alleged that Wet Seal “had a policy of denying equal pay and promotion opportunities and firing African-American store management employees” in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The plaintiffs were represented by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and two other law firms. The court will decide in November, after a review of the claims process, whether to grant final approval.

If the settlement, which the two parties reached May 8, is approved, at least $5.58 million of the $7.5 million in monetary relief will be paid in damages to current and former managers of Wet Seal outlets who are black or African-American. The company will also take several non-monetary steps, including expanding its human resources department and tracking job applications to ensure diversity in hiring and applications.

Full story…

BMW Sued For Racial Discrimination In South Carolina

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

(The Car Connection) Summer is here, and across America, the mercury is climbing. But in Spartanburg, South Carolina, things are a little hotter than usual: yesterday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against BMW, claiming that the automaker discriminated against African American workers there. 

As with most lawsuits, this one is a little messy, but this gist is this:

BMW contracted with a company called UTi for some of its Spartanburg workforce. UTi provided logistics services, which, according to a press release from the EEOC, "included warehouse and distribution assistance, transportation services and manufacturing support".

Like many companies, both BMW and UTi conduct background checks on potential employees. However, UTi looks only at an applicant's record over the last seven years, and it takes into account the nature and severity of any conviction found. So, while murder or kidnapping might be a very big red flag, petty theft or a minor drug conviction might not. 

Full story…

Housing Discrimination Makes Search More Costly For Minorities: Study

Monday, June 17th, 2013

(AP) — A major federal study has found that minority renters and homebuyers who test the housing market for discrimination were told about and shown fewer homes and apartments than their equally qualified white counterparts.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has released results of the study in which pairs of testers — one white, one minority — were deployed last year to do more than 8,000 tests separately across 28 metropolitan areas. Testers' were the same gender and age and presented themselves as qualified to rent or buy a unit.

Minorities usually were able to get appointments and see at least one unit.

But study authors say the more subtle discrimination of telling them about and showing fewer units makes housing searches more costly and limits their options.

Full story…

African American women found to have high rates of BRCA gene flaws

Friday, June 14th, 2013

(Examiner.com) Angelina Jolie’s recent revelation concerning her double mastectomy to prevent breast cancerserved to remind people that BRCA gene mutations are not confined to Jewish women of Ashkenazi (eastern European ) decent. In fact, the mutations are said to be prevalent in approximately 5% of all white women in this country, with a curiously high propensity in those of Scandinavian heritages.

Now a shocking new study led by Dr. Jane Churpek, a cancer specialist at the University of Chicago involving black women has now revealed that 1/5th of those participating in the program also possess BRCA mutations.

“This may explain why African American women have higher rates of breast cancer at young ages, as well as less of a survival rate than other women in this country,” stated Churpek, who also acknowledged that “far to few black women have been included in genetic studies of this time up until now.”

Full story…

Cheerios stands by inter-racial family ad

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

(Detroit News) A mom sits at her kitchen table writing something down when her grade schooler saunters up with a big box of Cheerios.

“Mom,” says the girl. “Yes, honey?” mom responds. “Dad told me Cheerios is good for your heart. Is that true?”

Mom glances at the box, noting that it says the whole-grain oats inside are “heart healthy.”

Cut to dad napping on the living room couch. He stirs and starts to sit up, sending a pile of Cheerios on his upper chest (where his heart is) crunchily cascading to cushions and floor.

The message is in line with the company’s long-running Heart Healthy campaign, except this 30-second ad features a black dad, white mom and biracial child and produced enough vitriol on YouTube last week that Cheerios requested the comments section be turned off.

This week, the company is standing by the fictitious family, which reflects a black-white racial mix uncommon in commercials today, especially in ads on TV, at a time when interracial and interethnic couples are on the rise in real life.

Full story…

Study shows Asian Americans are smarter, richer, and harder-working than everyone else

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

(Pew Research) Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.

A century ago, most Asian Americans were low-skilled, low-wage laborers crowded into ethnic enclaves and targets of official discrimination. Today they are the most likely of any major racial or ethnic group in America to live in mixed neighborhoods and to marry across racial lines. When newly minted medical school graduate Priscilla Chan married Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg last month, she joined the 37% of all recent Asian-American brides who wed a non-Asian groom.

Full story…

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