Archive for December, 2013

Hispanics following African Americans’ example in finding government jobs

Monday, December 30th, 2013

(Washington Post) Iraq war veteran Chris Gomez, a Mexican American, was sure he was a perfect candidate for a government job. He had a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and was still serving in the Army Reserve as a sergeant first class.

For two years, month after month, he sent off applications to the Labor Department, the Bureau of Prisons and other federal agencies. They seemed to disappear. Where to? He didn’t know. He was never sure whom to call or how to follow up.

“I almost gave up,” Gomez said.

With a wave of government retirements opening the way for a new generation of federal employees, Hispanic Americans, the nation’s fastest-growing minority group, remain chronically
underrepresented in the government. And Hispanics say in large part that they are hamstrung because they lack the kind of contacts and networks that have helped African Americans secure federal jobs.

Full story…

Beverage sugar tax targets minorities’ health

Friday, December 27th, 2013

(Medical News Today) Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is likely to decrease consumption, resulting in lower rates of diabetesand heart disease, and these health benefits are expected to be greatest for the low-income, Hispanic and African-American Californians who are at highest risk of diabetes, according to a new analysis led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Over the course of the next decade, lowered incidence of these diseases would save over half a billion dollars in medical costs, concluded the research team, which includes members from Oregon State University and the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.

The researchers previously modeled the national health effects of a penny-per-ounce tax over the course of 10 years and found that it would reduce consumption among adults by 15 percent, modestly lower the prevalence of diabetes and obesity and prevent tens of thousands of coronary heart events, strokes and premature deaths. The new study considered a range of reductions in sugary beverage consumption among Californians.

In the new study, assuming a decline of 10 to 20 percent in the consumption of soda and other sugary beverages from the tax, researchers concluded that new cases of diabetes and coronary heart disease would drop statewide, and those health benefits would be greatest in poor and minority communities. The analysis, published in the online journal PLOS ONE, predicted that overall, one in 20,000 Californians would avoid diabetes. This estimate would double for Hispanics and poor Californians and triple for African Americans.

Full story…

Ally Pays $98 Million To Settle Racial-Bias Lending Probe: Will This Simplify Your Next Auto Loan?

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

(Car Connection) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently investigated auto lender Ally Financial amid concerns that the company regularly charged higher interest rates to non-white borrowers.

According to AutoNews, Ally has now agreed to cough up $98 million to settle the probe. Could this make things easier — or at least more transparent — for loan recipients down the line?

When shoppers secure car loans through dealerships, dealers attempt to match those shoppers with low-interest loans, based on the shoppers' credit history and other factors. But like all middlemen, dealers need to make something in exchange for their work, and so, they charge what's know as the "dealer reserve" — a markup of about 2.0 or 2.5 percentage points on the loan, which the dealers can pocket as profit.

Full story…

Steve Martin Deletes ‘Highly Inappropriate’ Racial Tweet, Apologizes

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

(Mediaite) PR execs weren’t the only ones tweeting nonsense over the weekend. Comedian Steve Martin was holding a lighthearted grammatical tutorial with his considerable amount of Twitter followers on Friday when he got the following question…

…and flung this winner into the inter-ethos:

Full story…

Six-of-10 uninsured African-Americans helped by government

Friday, December 20th, 2013

(UPI) — Six-of-10 uninsured African-Americans may be eligible for subsidized health insurance, Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, officials say.

A report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services calculated the uninsured rates by state and provided several examples of what premiums might look like for African-Americans living in major metropolitan areas.

One-fifth of uninsured African-Americans and permanent residents live the greater Atlanta, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Detroit metropolitan areas, the report said.

A 27-year-old individual in Atlanta with an income of $25,000 can pay as little as $105 a month for a bronze plan after applying the tax credit, while a family of four with an income of $50,000 could pay $148 a month for a bronze plan after applying the tax credit, the report said.

"The healthcare law is working to address long-standing disparities in healthcare coverage and improve the health of the African-American community," Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of HHS, said in a statement. "Through the health insurance marketplace, 6.8 million uninsured African-Americans have new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs."

Full story…

TMZ Asks Readers To Vote On Whether To Use ‘African American’ Or ‘Ni**a’

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

(Huffington Post) Wait. Is this a joke?

TMZ created a poll to ask readers how it should "refer to black people." We had to do a double take — and then a triple take — before finally being convinced that this was real:

TMZ posed the question in a post about Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight saying that he does not like being called "African American" and that he believes there are certain circumstances when it is acceptable to use the n-word. Reactions to the poll on Twitter were just as we would expect:

Full story…

Racial Gap in Retirement Savings Widens

Monday, December 16th, 2013

(Fox Business News) It’s no secret that American workers are facing a widening savings gap for their golden years, but the racial divide in retirement savings is also growing at an alarming rate.

A new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) shows black, Latino and Asian households face severe challenges when saving for retirement because they are less likely to be covered by an employer-sponsored plan and lack dedicated retirement saving accounts.

“Nearly two-thirds of households of color do not have any savings in a 401(k) or IRA-type account, compared to slightly over one-third of white households,” the report states. 

What’s more, three out of four Asian, Latino or black households have retirement savings of less than $10,000. The report took into account workplace retirement access, retirement account ownership and balances in retirement savings accounts.

Full story…

San Jose State faculty condemn alleged hate crime, criticize administration

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

(San Jose Mercury News) San Jose State faculty leaders formally apologized this week to a black student allegedly bullied for weeks by his white roommates, saying the reported abuse should have been stopped sooner.

" … This despicable behavior may have been significantly reduced had it been addressed promptly," says a resolution passed by SJSU's Academic Senate.

The senate executive committee also begged the administration to renew its focus on diversity and to follow through on earlier suggestions for change.

Last month, four white SJSU freshmen were charged with misdemeanor crimes, accused of tormenting their black roommate for weeks. The four students — who reportedly told police that the abuse was just a prank — have been suspended while their criminal and campus discipline cases proceed.

Full story…

Carlos Santana Honored By Kennedy Center

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

(Huffington Post) It’s hard to top getting recognized by America’s Commander-in-Chief. And this week, Carlos Santana earned the distinction of becoming a Kennedy Center honoree for his contribution to the arts.

Carlos was honored alongside icons like Billy Joel and Herbie Hancock. Legendary crooner Harry Belafonte stepped up to the mic to pay tribute, calling Santana a trailblazer among Latinos.

“The Latino thing has arrived,” Belafonte joked. “It has become the new black!”

Full story…

LA sues Bank of America, alleges discriminatory mortgage lending

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

(Reuters) – The city of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against Bank of America in U.S. federal court in California, accusing it of discriminatory mortgage lending in the city's minority communities.

The lawsuit, filed by City Attorney Michael Feuer, accused the bank of engaging in a "continuous pattern and practice of mortgage discrimination" since at least 2004, according to a court filing.

A spokesman for Bank of America could not immediately be reached for comment.

The complaint alleged that the bank's practices led to a wave of foreclosures in minority neighborhoods that continued to hurt the city's property tax revenues and increased the need for city services.

It seeks damages caused by the bank's alleged discriminatory practices, including lost revenue.

Full story…

Subscribe to RSS feed