Archive for April, 2008

Reverend Wright’s Re-emergence Could Spell Trouble for Obama Campaign (US News)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Barack Obama says he has not suggested to his recently retired pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, that he retreat from the national stage and stay behind the scenes in Chicago until the end of presidential primary season—if not beyond. Not even privately? Though Obama’s top aide said today that Wright’s re-emergence is “not helpful,” his staff declined to comment further.

But with just a week to go before crucial primaries in Indiana and North Carolina and Obama locked in a tight battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, most in his camp would no doubt consider Wright’s silence golden.

However, Wright’s commanding, unapologetic, and at times confrontational appearance before a friendly and boisterous crowd early today at the National Press Club made clear that Obama’s fiery former pastor who built Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago into an 8,000-strong powerhouse has no intention of going quietly into the night. His recent publicity blitz, including a revealing sit-down with PBS’s Bill Moyers that aired Friday and spirited speech yesterday before the Detroit chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, means that Obama’s relationship with his longtime preacher will remain front and center at precisely the time questions about his electability in the fall are being highlighted—mostly by Clinton.

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McCain Goes Where Few Republicans Dare, Deep in Democrats’ Territory (NY Times)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

NEW ORLEANS — “I want to inform you that everybody in the camp here is not a Republican,” an African-American participant at a town-hall-style meeting at Xavier University told Senator John McCain of Arizona here on Thursday.

“I got that impression,” Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, replied dryly, in the middle of a pummeling from the audience about his backing for the Iraq war and his endorsement by a pastor who has blamed the sins of New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. McCain was at the end of a weeklong tour to America’s “forgotten places,” otherwise known as swaths of the country where Republicans dare not go — the Black Belt of Alabama, the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, the coal-mining hollow in Appalachia where President Lyndon B. Johnson declared his war on poverty.

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Will African Americans Return? (Yahoo News)

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

t started with a phone call.In the 1960 campaign, when Martin Luther King was jailed for protesting segregation, Jack Kennedy picked up the phone and reached out to Coretta Scott King.

Martin Luther King, Sr., a lifelong Republican (as many African Americans were at the time) was so touched by the Kennedys involvement that he threw his support to Kennedy. African Americans were also touched, and noticed the disrespect shown by the Republican, Richard Nixon. Historians largely credit that with moving enough African American votes to the Democratic column to propel Kennedy to a razor-thin victory in 1960. And, since then, African Americans have largely not returned to the GOP.

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Black Clinton supporters cite peer pressure to back Obama (Dallas Morning News)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Lloyd Elam says he supports Hillary Rodham Clinton at his own risk.

At least that’s what the African-American accountant felt when he entered his DeSoto Democratic caucus in March and found the room packed with vocal Barack Obama loyalists, most of them black.

“I felt like if I stood up and said I was for Hillary, there was no telling what would have happened,” Mr. Elam said. “I went home early and watched the results on television.”

Mr. Elam, 34, is a minority within a minority. He’s supporting Mrs. Clinton, even though Mr. Obama would be the first black president in history. That possibility has earned Mr. Obama overwhelming support from black voters, but it also has created an intense peer pressure on black Clinton supporters – so much so that voters such as Mr. Elam have been called “playa haters,” gullible Uncle Toms or devious traitors.

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Agencies Chase Rainbow, but Diversity Progress Still Cloudy (Advertising Age)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — The good news for many of the agencies that came under the gaze of the New York City Commission on Human Rights is that they met their goals for minority hiring in 2007. The bad news is critics are likely to be unimpressed.

For one, the goals were set by the agencies themselves. Second, some of them — most notably a handful of Omnicom shops — failed to meet even those goals. But perhaps more important, a closer look at the numbers shows African-Americans and Hispanics lag behind Asian-Americans and that agencies seem to lose minority hires as fast as they hire them. Following a two-year investigation by the CCHR, 15 advertising agencies in 2007 pledged to meet goals for minority hiring, presented as a percentage of total hires for the year. The goals will be monitored for three years, and agencies that don’t meet them will be subject to penalties.

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Economist Fears Historic Loss of Assets for Minorities (AlterNet)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Editor’s Note: The current economic downturn could lead to the greatest loss of assets for communities of color that’s ever happened, says Alan Fisher, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition since 1992, which advocates for the right of low-income communities and communities of color to have fair and equal access to banking and other financial services. Alan Fisher was interviewed by NAM Editor and host of UpFront, Sandip Roy.

Whether we call it a recession or not, what’s the effect of what’s happening in the economy on the low-income communities who are part of your coalition?

I think low-income people and people of color have been struggling for many years now. The “recovery” has not helped them. Recent reports say that income levels for families are the same dollar-wise as they were in 2000, which means they are worth much less now. Food prices are going up, gas prices are going up and we have a huge housing crisis.

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Hollywood slow to embrace Chinese (Honolulu Star Bulletin)

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

The appearance of Chinese actors and filmmakers in Hollywood film and television has been problematic since the first films appeared in the early 1900s. Arthur Dong’s “Hollywood Chinese” documentary, screening as part of the 11th annual Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase, retraces the struggle that has gone on for 100 years, with no sign of abating anytime soon.

For those new to the controversies, Dong’s work neatly captures the “progress” of Asian-Americans on screen through the decades, depicting the ways that each baby step forward is often accompanied by a leap backward.

The dilemma of the Chinese in film closely mirrors that of the Chinese-American and Asian-American experience in daily life as a minority presence, marked by one stereotype after another.

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Hispanic Midlife Women needed for study (University of Texas at Austin)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

The study about midlife women’s attitudes toward physical activity is now conducted through Internet.

Eligible participants for this study is midlife women aged 40 to 60 years old who do not have any mobility problems; who can read and write English; who are online; and whose self-reported ethnic identity is Hispanic, non-Hispanic (N-H) White, N-H African American, or N-H Asian.

The tangible benefit of participation is a $10 Target gift certificate for each
person who completes an Internet survey and a $50 Target gift certificate for
each person who participates in the online forum later.

For more information, please follow this link:  http://mapa.nur.utexas.edu/MAPA/

Community Colleges Fuel Science Workforce (Science Careers)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

When he graduated from high school, Roberto Tinoco didn’t really know what his options were for further education. Tinoco, whose family emigrated from Mexico to California when he was a child, had a 1-year-old daughter to support. “I was a young dad. I had all these responsibilities at home, and a lot of people told me that maybe I should give up school so that I could support my family,” Tinoco remembers. So he found a job as a check-cashing teller. The business’s owner had once been a minority-mentoring coordinator at the University of California (UC), Davis, and she believed Tinoco had potential. “She helped me realize that I still had to take care of my education and that there are opportunities out there for me,” Tinoco says.

With his boss’s encouragement, Tinoco enrolled as a biology major at Mt. San Antonio College, a 2-year school in Walnut, California. After 2 years of studying hard, getting laboratory experience, and working full-time, he applied to six UC campuses and was accepted by all of them. “I was amazed at the level of recruitment these universities have at community colleges,” he says. He chose UC Irvine, persuaded largely by a minority scholarship offered through the university’s NSF-funded California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) program. Now a third-year Ph.D. student in viral immunology at UC San Diego, Tinoco advises students following a similar path to “stay focused on obtaining your goal and surround yourself with people who care about helping you in your education.”

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Dethroned Miss California Sues Pageant, Alleges Racial Bias, Rigging (Fox News)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

LOS ANGELES — A Hispanic woman who won the Miss California USA contest only to have her crown yanked days later sued the pageant Thursday for half a million dollars, alleging rigging and racial bias.The pageant director rejected the claims, saying winners during his tenure have been some of the pageant’s most racially diverse ever.

Christina Silva, 24, was crowned Miss California USA on Nov. 25. Three days later, the pageant’s executive director, Keith Lewis, told her “there has been a mistake and you are not the winner,” according to the lawsuit filed in Superior Court.

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