Archive for May, 2014

The tiger mom DOESN’T know best: Researchers find Western parenting methods are just as effective

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

(Daily Mail) Stanford researchers Alyssa Fu and Hazel Markus suggest in a new study, both culture-centric approaches can be effective. 

Motivation, the researchers wrote, is understood to come from within an individual in Western families, while Asian children find strength in parental expectations. 

The bottom line is that children can be motivated either way, they say.

'These findings underscore the importance of understanding cultural variation in how people construe themselves and their relationships to others. 

'While European American parents give their children wings to fly on their own, Asian American parents provide a constant wind beneath their children's wings,' wrote Fu, a doctoral student in psychology and the lead author of the study, and Markus, a professor of psychology.

The debate was sparked in 2011, when Yale law Professor Amy Chua provoked a cultural clash with a Wall Street Journal article, 'Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior,' that advocated a strict approach – 'tiger parenting' – common in East Asia.

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Obama taps Castro for Cabinet, boost to Democrat

Monday, May 26th, 2014

(AP) — In a second-term Cabinet reshuffle, President Barack Obama tapped San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Friday to be the nation's next housing secretary, giving a prominent national platform to one of the Democratic Party's most celebrated up-and-comers.

Joined by Castro and Vice President Joe Biden, Obama also announced he was nominating current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan to run the White House budget office – an opening Obama created when he asked his former budget chief to take over the Health and Human Services Department last month.

"Just because you are of modest means does not mean that your aspirations or your opportunity ought to be limited, and it certainly means you can have the talent to succeed and achieve the American Dream," Castro said as he accepted the nomination in the State Dining Room of the White House.

The 39-year-old Castro was propelled into the national spotlight two years ago when Obama chose him to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention – a political baptism by fire not unlike the president's own rise to prominence when Obama keynoted the 2004 convention. Friday's announcement gives another major boost to Castro's profile, just as Democrats are eyeing him as a potential vice presidential candidate in 2016.

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Fox News’ divisive race strategy: How O’Reilly, Hannity and Coulter intentionally tore America apart

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

(Foxnews) Right-wing political figures have often defended the content of Fox News and other right-leaning media. A common ploy is the insinuation that the “mainstream” news establishment is in fact biased in favor of liberal ideological framings of issues or that it is actually antiwhite. For example, Sarah Palin famously blamed the “leftist lamestream media” for allegedly pressuring Newt Gingrich to soften his critique of Republican congressman Paul Ryan (while in fact the disapproval came from Fox News), and Palin again insinuated charges of political targeting when she decried the media as attacking right-wing figures with their brand of unfair “gotcha journalism.” Rush Limbaugh also compared the mainstream press to a “drive by shooter except the microphones are guns.” Limbaugh further asserted that the anti-right, mainstream media attempts to “destroy people’s careers. Then they get in the convertible, head on down the road and do it all over again, while people like you and me are left to clean up the mess with the truth. So I call them the drive-by media.”

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Eric Holder: Systemic, Subtle Racism Is Much More Damaging Than High-Profile Rants

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

(Huffington Post) Racist rants are much less of a threat to equality than the more subtle, everyday racism of the criminal justice system, Attorney General Eric Holder said Saturday at a commencement speech at Morgan State University, a historically black college in Baltimore.

In a reference to recent remarks by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, Holder said that the country has seen "occasional, jarring reminders of the discrimination — and the isolated, repugnant, racist views" that have "rightly been condemned by leaders, commentators and citizens from all backgrounds and walks of life." 

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Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

(New York Times) Sixty years after the Supreme Court outlawed “separate but equal” schools for blacks and whites, civil rights advocates say American schools are becoming increasingly segregated, while the first lady, Michelle Obama, lamented that “many young people are going to schools with kids who look just like them.”

“Today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech,” Mrs. Obama told 1,200 graduating high school seniors Friday here in the city that gave rise to the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case.

In a speech that was part commencement address, part policy pronouncement and part journey into her own past, Mrs. Obama said that Brown’s advances were being reversed. “Many districts in this country have actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools, and many communities have become less diverse,” she said, leading to schools that are less diverse.

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Which is it, Hispanic or Latino?

Friday, May 16th, 2014

(CNN) – If there's one thing everyone should know about Hispanics in the United States, it's that this rapidly growing minority has an undefined identity crisis.

Why? Because of the confusion surrounding what to call people whose ethnic background is from Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries. Some even feel 100% American or 100% Latino — or Hispanic, depending to whom you're talking.

How do you know which term to use? "Hispanic" and "Latino" are often used interchangeably and aim to describe the same group of people, but technically they do not mean the same thing.

What's more, within Hispanic communities in the United States, most people identify with their country of origin and often use hyphens to represent their loyalties to both cultures: like "Mexican-American."

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Study examines achievement gap between Asian American, white students

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

(Los Angeles Times) A growing achievement gap between Asian American students and their white classmates is due largely to greater work effort and cultural attitudes, not innate cognitive ability, researchers say.

In a study published Monday in the journal PNAS, two sociology professors found that Asian Americans enter school with no clear academic edge over whites, but that an advantage grows over time.

Even if they come from poorer, less educated families, Asian Americans significantly outperform white students by fifth grade, authors wrote.

"What accounts for Asians' greater academic effort than whites?" asked study authors Amy Hsin of Queens College in New York and Yu Xie of the University of Michigan.

"Asian and Asian American youth are harder working because of cultural beliefs that emphasize the strong connection between effort and achievement," the authors wrote. "Studies show that Asian and Asian American students tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that can be developed through effort, whereas white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as qualities that are inborn."

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CNBC Anchor: Apple Wants Beats for Its ‘Hip Hop, African-American Cool’ Factor

Monday, May 12th, 2014

(Mediaite) On Thursday night, news broke that Apple is in talks to acquire the Beats Electronics brand for $3.2 million. Beats is perhaps best known for its Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, but also recently launched a streaming Beats Music subscription service. But why does Apple, which has historically stayed away from major acquisitions like this one, want to buy the company for such a large sum?

This was the question CNBC’s Squawk on the Street panel was attempting to answer Friday morning when host Simon Hobbs threw out a surprisingly frank hypothesis.

But first, corespondent Jon Fortt argued that Apple was making a mistake in buying Beats because a competing hardware company has the potential to “dilute” their own solid brand. “There’s actually potentially negative value here,” Fortt said. “Apple should buy either the biggest or the smartest in the space. Beats is neither.”

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Voting Rights: The Real (and Continuing) Battle Against Racism

Friday, May 9th, 2014

(Huffington Post) While the racist harangues of Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling have been consuming air time and newsprint, institutional racism in the form of discrimination against African-American voters remains on the rise in states dominated by Republican governors and legislators.

In the '60s the entire power structure in the Deep South — from the state house down to each county sheriff — collaborated to prevent African Americans from voting,beating and sometimes killing those who tried to exercise our most basic right of citizenship.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed poll taxes, literacy tests and other tactics that had been used to prevent African Americans from registering to vote. It also gave the federal government the power to enforce the VRA.

But in June of last year, by a vote of five to four, the Supreme Court struck downSection 4 of the VRA, which had required states with a history of racial discrimination to get preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) before changing their voting laws. Without the preclearance provision, the DOJ can no longer prevent a biased law from going into operation; it must react case by case.

Full story…

Donald Sterling controversy swirls around NAACP

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

(AP) — The Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP offered the same thing for Clippers owner Donald Sterling and civil rights advocate Leon Jenkins – an opportunity for image rehabilitation.

Sterling, a big-name donor, made contributions that helped earn him NAACP awards as he tried to recover from a damaging discrimination lawsuit. Jenkins, the LA chapter's president, sought to use his volunteer work to show he was ready to return to practicing law after having been disbarred.

But in the days since racist comments from the NBA team owner became public, both men have fallen further and tarnished the organization that brought them together.

"We do have this society that gives people an out by allowing them to redeem themselves through charity," Daniel Borochoff, president of CharityWatch, said. "And that's something that can be worth it – if it doesn't destroy the integrity of the organization."

Full story…

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