Colorlines - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:30
Back in 2011, CNN reported on the culture clash between Oklahoma's white residents and its fast-growing Latino population. Like many parts of the country, Oklahoma's population is growing a lot browner. The number of Latinos in the state has doubled over the past decade, from 179,000 to more than 332,000.
That cultural shift hasn't been easy. State lawmakers have passed some of the country's harshest immigration legislation. Senator Ralph Shortey (R-Ok.) summed up some up the backlash, telling CNN that Latinos "are not assimilating and enriching the culture of Oklahoma. They are invading the culture...Oklahoma is not the melting pot...(Latinos are) not doing their culture any favors when it's shoved into Oklahomans' faces."
It's within that context that NPR's Code Switch blog looked at how some undocumented Latino residents are fairing in the aftermath of last week's devestating tornado, which struck just outside of Oklahoma City. Citizenship has become a key factor in people's decisions about whether or not to seek help in recovery, and even the storm itself has unveiled some of the barriers faced by the country's millions of undocumented immigrants.
From Code Switch:
"It's stressful," Amelia says in Spanish.
Amelia cleans offices to support her and her 8-year-old daughter. They lived in a trailer home in Moore that was in the path of last week's tornado. When the storm came through town, Amelia rushed to pick her daughter up from Plaza Towers Elementary School. They then took cover under a bridge. Amelia says it's a miracle they survived, but they still lost nearly everything.
"I was desperate," Amelia says, "But also afraid to ask for help."
But she knew she had no choice but to take the risk. It took her three days to build up her courage. Then she got in her car, talked to church volunteers and went to a public health clinic for counseling. She even approached an official and asked how the government could help rebuild her life. She says she can't imagine having done any of this before the tornado.
New American Media - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:01
Hydraulic fracturing on Indian land may become more difficult under new rules proposed by the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management. The Interior Department on May 16 issued new draft rules for hydraulic fracturing on public... Navajo Times http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:51
When James Byrd, a black man, was dragged to his death in Texas in 1998 by a group of men later identified as having white-supremacist tendencies, African Americans were outraged. Most Americans were.That same year, another horrifying hate crime captured... The Root http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
65 Years Post-Holocaust, Germany Is the World’s Most Popular Country (While Israel Barely Beats North Korea)
New American Media - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:46
This year’s Country Ratings Poll, conducted for the BBC World Service by GlobeScan/PIPA, surveyed over 26,000 people worldwide. The poll measured how positively or negatively respondents viewed 25 different countries.Just six decades removed from the atrocities of the Holocaust, Germany... Tikkun http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 17:30
On Thursday, Defense attorneys on the George Zimmerman case released evidence they discovered on Trayvon Martin's cell phone, including text messages in which he wrote about taking part in an organized fight, smoking marijuana and being suspended from school. They intend to use the reputation-damaging evidence about Trayvon to paint a different picture of him than the one that's been shared by his family and supporters.
The evidence packet contains more than two dozen photos, including one that shows Trayvon with gold teeth and two of him making an obscene gesture. Those have been widely circulated online since shortly after the shooting, and it's not clear where defense attorneys found them, but as of Thursday, they officially became part of Zimmerman's criminal case.
The text messages that Trayvon wrote about fighting may be the most damaging to the state.
Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson will decide if the evidence is admitted in to the case next week, the AP reports. However, it's unclear when the trial will start because yesterday Zimmerman's attorneys also filed paperwork asking the judge to delay the start of his trial for six weeks.
Colorlines - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:39
Yesterday, Sen. Vitter of Louisiana offered up an amendment to permanently drop anyone ever convicted of a violent crime from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). According to Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Democrats in the Senate obliged him. The amendment is for a farm bill, which is currently being debated in the Senate.
The amendment would bar from SNAP (food stamps), for life, anyone who was ever convicted of one of a specified list of violent crimes at any time -- even if they committed the crime decades ago in their youth and have served their sentence, paid their debt to society, and been a good citizen ever since. In addition, the amendment would mean lower SNAP benefits for their children and other family members.
So, a young man who was convicted of a single crime at age 19 who then reforms and is now elderly, poor, and raising grandchildren would be thrown off SNAP, and his grandchildren's benefits would be cut. ... Democrats accepted it without trying to modify it to address its most ill-considered aspects.
Two-thirds of SNAP recipients are children, elderly or the disabled, and two-fifths of SNAP households live below half the poverty line.
According to Greenstein, if this amendment ends up in the farm bill and passes, it would hit African Americans particularly hard:
Given incarceration patterns in the United States, the amendment would have a skewed racial impact. Poor elderly African Americans convicted of a single crime decades ago by segregated Southern juries would be among those hit.
Sen. Vitter is claiming that his amendment is only aimed at preventing those convicted of violent crimes from obtaining benefits, apparently under the logic that stripping them of what may be their only form of income assistance will lead to less violence. Curiously, he didn't propose that johns who've hired sex workers would also be banned from SNAP.
Sen. Vitter also proposed an end to the so-called "Obama Phone" program, which started under President Ronald Reagan to help elderly and low-income with cellphone service, particularly in rural areas.
New American Media - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:30
Editor's Note: The cell phone video of a Texas high school student speaking out about what's wrong with packet education has become a viral sensation -- garnering millions of hits and launching online debates around the status of public... De-Bug High http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Hyphen Blog - Tue, 05/28/2013 - 06:38
Honoring MJ on The Voice and double-crossing on Awkward.
New American Media - Mon, 05/27/2013 - 13:30
The newly-formed American Sikh Congressional Caucus is pushing the FBI to investigate as a hate crime the May 5 brutal beating of an elderly Sikh American, who suffered a coma after repeatedly being struck by an iron rod by a... Sunita Sohrabji http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Mon, 05/27/2013 - 11:00
SAN FRANCISCO -- Under Obamacare, most former foster youth will now remain eligible for Medicaid until age 26 – if they remain in the states they lived in when they aged out of care. Advocates emphasize that because many former... Anna Challet http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:00
During a graduation speech this month at Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Magnet High School in Nashville, Tenn., Michelle Obama told students, "When something doesn't go your way, you've just got to adjust. You've got to dig deep and work... Ivory Toldson http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Sun, 05/26/2013 - 11:00
Lam Chun-fai, a master of Southern Chinese kung fu style, Hung Kuen, is the first of the kung fu masters to publish a fighting manual in English. Hung Kuen is a secret technique that has been closely guarded and, up... Andrew Lam http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Sat, 05/25/2013 - 10:05
As it emerged that the homes of 20 American Indian families had been destroyed in Moore, Oklahoma, earlier this week, tribes across Oklahoma and the nation began gathering resources in support of disaster relief efforts in Moore and the surrounding... Indian Country Today http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Sat, 05/25/2013 - 10:05
SAN FRANCISCO – It’s lunch hour at Visitacion Valley Middle School, located in southern San Francisco. The halls are filled with screaming kids, when a young Samoan student saunters into Maua Teofilo’s office hoping to kill some time.Teofilo tells him... Peter Schurmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Sat, 05/25/2013 - 03:30
PHOENIX -- A federal judge ruled on Friday that Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio engaged in racial profiling of Latinos, violating their constitutional rights in his crackdown on illegal immigration. Civil rights advocates expect the ruling to send a chilling... Valeria Fernández http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 23:18
Louisiana Republican Senator David Vitter took to the floor this week to introduce an amendment that would gut the federal government's Lifeline Wireless program as part of an amendment to the farm bill. The program, which others on the Right have said gives out free "Obamaphones", offers subsidized cell phones to people who otherwise couldn't afford them.
Vitter has become one of the loudest opponents of the program, which I've written before is a case study in how the right uses race to pervert the spending debate. Vitter used a bunch of racially coded language to express his outrage with the program. "I think the whole program is an entitlement mentality gone wild," he says. "We have started the notion that folks are entitled to the government providing them with almost everything under the sun."
It's worth taking another look at the fact vs. fiction when it comes to these so-called "Obamaphones." Check them out after the jump.
New American Media - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 22:05
Editor’s Note: New America Media hosted an awards ceremony Thursday in Memphis, celebrating the winners of The Teacher Who Changed My Life essay contest, in collaboration with local ethnic media. During the ceremony, winners were honored alongside the teachers profiled... Staff http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 21:04
US universities are seeking out partnerships in China, hoping to broaden their international reach and provide academic and research opportunities for students and faculty, as two campus presidents' trips to China show.The University of Pennsylvania "is deeply committed to its... China Daily http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 20:47
BATON ROUGE, La. -- As the legislature scrabbled to restore money for some 8,000 students in danger of losing their MFP-funded scholarships to private schools, in the wake of a Supreme Court decision, the state’s most prominent pro-voucher group, the... Christopher Tidmore and Michael Patrick Welch http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Fri, 05/24/2013 - 20:43
Three Harvard grad students experimented with whether there was ethnic prejudice in local election administration by emailing every local or county election official, commission and supervisor in 48 states with Latino-sounding and non-Latino-sounding names and examined the responses. What they found were that local election officials were three-and-a-half to four-times more likely to respond to the emails that came from the non-Latino name, Greg Walsh, than the Latino name, Luis Rodriguez.
The gap in those responses grew three points wider when their emails contained questions about voter ID.
The students were able to find qualitative bias as well, meaning even when election officials responded to the Latino name, the information included was less accurate or informative than the information given to "Greg Walsh."
"Our results indicate that changes to existing voting regulations are likely to differentially increase information costs for Latino voters because public officials are less responsive to their inquiries than to non-Latinos," wrote the study's authors.
The Washington Post asked True the Vote president Catherine Engelbrecht about the study. She didn't pass it to her Latino counterpart Voto Honesto -- which appears to no longer exist -- but rather the Texan of German background took it upon herself to dismiss the findings, calling it "a conclusion in desperate search of a viable methodology."
This is a clumsy flip of the common rejoinder against her own advocacy for voter ID laws, which voting rights advocates call "a solution in search of a problem."
Says Aura Bogado, our Voting Rights Watch reporter from last year, and current blogger for The Nation: "The study is especially worrisome when one considers that elections officials still do not view Latinos--who makes up the nation's fastest growing population--as a legitimate voting base."
Recent voting data from Census on last November's elections show a drop in the Hispanic voting rate from 2008
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