Colorlines - Wed, 06/05/2013 - 19:23
It's been less than a month since the brutal slaying of Mark Carson, an openly gay black man who was shot and killed in New York City's West Village. Police continue to investigate Carson's death as a hate crime and have had a suspect in custody since early on in the case, but the murder has become one of the more prominent examples of a frighetening increase in hate crimes targeting people in LGBT communities.
That increase is the focus of a new report on anti-LGBT hate violence released today by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. The report looks specifically at incidents of reported violence that took place in 2012 and found that transgender people of color were among the most impacted communities.
"Though the recent spate of hate violence incidents in New York City has captured the media's attention, this report demonstrates that severe acts of violence against gay men, transgender people and LGBTQ people of color are, unfortunately, not unique to Manhattan nor to the past month, but rather part of a troubling trend in the United States," said Chai Jindasurat, NCAVP Coordinator at the New York City Anti- Violence Project.
The report is the most comprehensive look at hate crimes against LGBT communities in the U.S. It draws on data from 15 anti-violence programs in 15 states.
Some of the key findings:
- LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people
- Gay men were 1.56 times as likely to require medical attention compared to other survivors reporting.
- There were 2,016 incidents of anti-LGBTQ violence in 2012.
- In 2012, NCAVP documented 25 anti-LGBTQ homicides in the United States, which is the 4th highest yearly total ever recorded by NCAVP.
- The 2012 report found that 73.1 percent of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color. Of the 25 known homicide victims in 2012 whose race/ethnicity was disclosed, 54 percent were Black/African American, 15 percent Latino, 12 percent white and 4 percent Native American.
Want to know more? See the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program's new report.
This morning, President Obama announced that he would be assigning the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to the role of national security advisor, a position left open when Tom Donilon resigned from the post. In her new role, Rice will work directly with President Obama from the White House as his senior advisor on national security matters, and operates from the White House's "Situation Room" during times of crisis.
Rice's name was floated last year as a possible lead contender to become secretary of state when Hillary Clinton retired from the role. But Republicans in the Senate vowed not to confirm her for that position, citing perceived missteps in the Benghazi flap while other conservatives claimed that Susan Rice was a "black radical." Environmentalists also disapproved of Rice for State and accused her of being invested in creating the Keystone XL oil tar sands pipeline that they strongly oppose. She's also been accused of enabling massive violence throughout Africa.
As national security advisor to Obama, she does not need to be confirmed by the Senate nor win the approval of special interests. She's expected to take up the West Wing of the White House in July. She is the third African American to assume this role. The first was Gen. Colin Powell, who served under Ronald Reagon in the late 1980s. Like Powell, Rice is of Jamaican lineage. She is also the second African-American woman for national security advisor, after Condoleezza Rice who served under George W. Bush.
Rice will still have to contend with Republicans and conservatives who oppose her on sensitive national security issues like Benghazi.
"She's going to have her plate full, if she's chosen," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told The Washington Post. "I will not be petty. I will put my differences on Benghazi aside and work with her."
Filling Rice's U.N. ambassador role is Samantha Power, who formally worked on Obama's National Security Council and has been outspoken on genocide across the globe. Power's nomination will have to be confirmed before the Senate.
Black Americans were nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested on charges of marijuana posession in 2010, even though the two groups smoke weed at similar rates, according to new federal data. The American Civil Liberties Union cites the Edward Bryne Justice Assistantship Grant Program as one possible reason for the disparity. The program incentivizes increasing drug arrest numbers by tying the statistics to funding. Law enforcement then concentrates on low-income neighborhoods to keep those numbers up.
The argument resonantes with criticism of the NYPD's "stop and frisk" program, which overwhelmingly targets young, black or latino men in the city (and, indeed, demonstrates a racial disparity in arrests for marijuana possession). But as the ACLU and the Times show, the problem of racial bias in arrests for possessing a drug that is, after all, gaining acceptance across the U.S., is a national one. the ACLU found a bias in "virtually every county in the country," they told the Times,regardless of the proportional population of minorities in that county.
Back in 2010 the NAACP called the racial discrepency in weed arrests a "civil rights issue." One year later, to mark the 20th anniversary of the U.S. War on Drugs, author Michelle Alexander told a crowd of 1,000 at Harlem's Riverside Church back in 2011, "The enemy in this war has been racially defined. The drug war, not by accident, has been waged almost exclusively in poor communities of color."
To see just how that war has played out in communities of color, check out our infographic after the jump.
Brittney Griner is wasting no time in her barrier-breaking professional career. The #1 WNBA draft pick for the Phoenix Mercury made her professional basketball career debut last month with two dunks in a single game, setting a WNBA record at the same time. And this week she's on the cover of ESPN magazine's Taboo issue. In it, writer Kate Fagan reveals that Griner's Nike contract breaks the mold for female basketball players' endorsement deals.
Not only is Griner the first openly gay athlete to sign with Nike, her contract will allow her to wear clothes branded as menswear. It's in keeping with Griner's personal expression of her gender and sexuality, something she's been forging since high school.
In the fall of 2005, the six-foot Griner showed up at Nimitz High wearing men's sneakers, oversize jeans and a baggy shirt, trying the stud label on for size. Her friends looked her up and down and said, "All right, B, we see you," putting her at ease. She also took up basketball that year, making the jump from volleyball, then grew six more inches before her sophomore season. The taunts didn't stop -- when she entered a gym, guys would yell, "Yo, you can untuck now!" -- but Griner felt reborn. "I decided to just put myself out there," she says. "When I'm in a dress, it's like, 'What am I doing in this?' I feel trapped, like I'm in shackles and handcuffs and a straitjacket. So I was just like, F--- it, I'm going to wear what I want. I caught hell for it, but it felt so good being myself."
Androgynous models are coveted in high-end fashion, but the trend toward gender-neutral clothing has only just begun to reach the sports world, with NBA stars Russell Westbrook and Dwyane Wade blurring the lines in their tight jeans and fitted sweaters. No sports apparel company has taken it a step further and expressly targeted the gender-fluid crowd -- and whether Nike is willing to ride the edge with Griner remains to be seen. "We can't get into specifics," says Nike spokesman Brian Strong, "but it's safe to say we jumped at the opportunity to work with her because she breaks the mold."
Griner relishes the chance to show her evolved style, saying she doesn't see herself as a certain "type" anymore. Others might call her a stud, but she's just BG now. "It clicked for me," she says. "I used to do the whole baggy, hard-core, I'm-a-boy look. Then I went through a preppy phase. Now I have the athletic, bow-tie look. I found my style."
The article is a great conversation of gender, sexuality, style and sports icons. And it's a beautiful portrait of Griner and her hard-won self-assurance. Read the rest at ESPN.com.
Photo: Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell (l) speaks with Darrell Gooden (r), a former felon whose voting rights have been restored under a new state law.NEW YORK — Darrell Gooden had wanted to vote in the historic 2008 presidential election, but... Anthony Advincula http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Nota de la editora: Una de las enmiendas al proyecto de ley de reforma migratoria en el Senado permite que los DREAMers que se inscriben en el ejército se conviertan en ciudadanos estadounidenses (Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.) Pero para los veteranos... Laura Waxmann, Traducido por Alfonso Agirre http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Traducción al españolEditor's Note: One of the amendments to the Senate's immigration reform bill (Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.) would allow DREAMers who enroll in the military to become U.S. citizens. But for veterans who already have been charged with a crime... Laura Waxmann http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Wed, 06/05/2013 - 04:00
A group of Black and immigrant Greeks have banded together to form a self-defense group to counter the attacks of a gang that targets citizens of color in the country. Nicknamed the “Black Panthers,” the group uses cell phones, social... D.L. Chandler http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Correction: The Common App Hasn't Changed Its College Application Materials for Undocumented Students
Colorlines - Wed, 06/05/2013 - 03:13
UPDATE: 06/04/13 4:08pm EST Common Application Director of Outreach Scott Anderson has confirmed to Colorlines that no changes have been made to their widely-used college application. "The Common Application has not made any announcement regarding undocumented students," said Anderson. Anderson also confirmed that despite a splashy announcement to that effect made at a higher education conference by a person claiming to be named Daniel Vargas claiming to be employed by the organization, "There is no one named Daniel Vargas on our staff or Board of Directors."
The announcement of the changes is a hoax. Late Tuesday activists revealed that Daniel Vargas is in fact David Ramirez, an undocumented immigrant and activist. Ramirez addressed participants at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education last week posing as a representative of the 35-year-old organization. Ramirez also claimed to be the communications director for the organization in a press release, which included a fabricated quote from Killion. An activist who claimed credit for the hoax said Ramirez and others staged the performance to call attention to barriers undocumented students face in education. Activists said they will release more information on Wednesday.
[OUR ORIGINAL POST IS BELOW. THE INFORMATION IN IT IS UNTRUE]
Undocumented students won a major victory in their fight for higher education access last week. On Thursday, The Common Application, Inc. the organization which organizes the unified college application students can use to apply to over 400 colleges, issued a formal apology to undocumented students who they've excluded from their work and materials for 35 years.
The apology came with two significant changes to the 2013-2014 version of the Common App. Unlike in past versions, those who are undocumented will have their own box to check in the application's demographics section and the larger organization will add "undocumented status" to the group's non-discrimination clause. Most importantly, it is a legally binding agreement for the 527 institutions which accept the Common App. The changes were announced at this year's National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.
"Private colleges inaccurately have been labeling undocumented students as international students which guarantees a separate and unequal admissions process. Until now, this discrimination has been permitted and facilitated by The Common Application, Inc," Rob Killion, the group's executive director said in a statement.
State legislatures and voters around the country are making steady progress in the fight for tuition equity for undocumented students--an important move on its own because undocumented students are neither eligible for federal aid or grants, nor are they recognized as residents of the states where they live. Therefore they must pay out-of-state tuition, two and three times the tuition they'd pay as residents unless states proactively offer tuition equity. But this new step is progress from another direction, because most of the colleges which accept the Common App are private colleges.
The change comes after immigration rights student-activists engaged in some creative activism to highlight the problem.
New American Media - Wed, 06/05/2013 - 01:30
English TranslationLos defensores de la salud y grupos de empresas, cuyos esfuerzos no pudieron convencer al gobernador Rick Perry y la legislatura de Texas para ampliar la población cubierta por Medicaid en el estado, conforme a la Ley de Asistencia... Khalil Abdullah http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Wed, 06/05/2013 - 00:30
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Tuesday said the immigration bill does not have the 60 votes it needs to pass in the Senate.Asked in an interview with Fox News if the bill approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee... EFE / La Opinión http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 22:51
U.S. District Judge Robert Leon Wilkins, who was nominated today to fill one of three vacancies on the federal appeals court in Washington, was once stopped by Maryland State Police officers. That incident led to a landmark case concerning racial... NorthStar News http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 20:20
New federal data released today by an advocacy group reveals that in the last four years, at least 1,366 kids were locked up in adult immigration detention centers for more than three days. The majority were held in the jails... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 19:57
Latina actress Jessica Alba ("Machete", "Sin City") posted a photo on Instagram with the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg with a message mourning his death. She mentioned in her message her work with him on passing the Chemical Safety Improvement Act, a bill that Sen. Lautenberg introduced with Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana on May 22 that would "ensure that all chemicals are screened for safety to protect public health and the environment."
"My partner @christopher_gav & I r saddened by the passing of @FrankRLautenberg a true hero 4 children's health & safety writing #ChemSafetyAct - lets get this bill on chemical reform passed...," reads the message.
Alba links to Safer Chemcials Healthy Families, a nonprofit coalition that raises awareness about toxic chemicals in products. The bi-racial actress Jennifer Beals is featured on the site as a supporter of the campaign to have the Chemicals Act passed.
"When I read that chemicals categorized as potential carcinogens by the World Health Association (WHO) are used in our daily products, and that those chemicals are being found in our children and in women's breast milk, I had to get involved," says Beals in an interview on the site.
The Chemical Safety Improvement Act (CSIA) would reform the Toxic Substances Control Act, which is supposed to allow the EPA to screen and test chemicals found in products used in homes, work places, schools and even the toys kids play with. The TSCA is bound, though, by legal restrictions that have prevented EPA from doing this effectively. Of the 84,000 chemicals identified in goods by EPA, the agency has been able to test only 200 and ban only five since 1976.
The new CSIA would require safety evaluations for all active chemicals and frees the EPA from many of the legal restrictions that prevented the agency from doing proper chemical screenings.
Sen. Lautenberg had earlier introduced a similar bill with New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that had a tremendous amount of support from a broad group that included environmental justice groups. That bill had protections in it for vulnerable populations, including low-income communities, communities of color and those who live close to factories where chemical waste is prevalent.
Since reintroducing the bill with Sen. Vitter, though, it seems that those environmental justice protections may have been weakened. Michele Roberts and Richard Moore of the Environmental Justice & Health Alliance said of the Lautenberg/Vitter chemistry bill "We are deeply disappointed that those most harmed by failed chemical regulations and those who have worked tirelesslyto support industrial chemical protections for all people will themselves be left inadequately protected under the Chemical Safety Improvement Act."
Colorlines - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 18:17
Over 1,600 protesters swarmed the legislative chambers in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina to voice opposition to a barrage of laws conservative lawmakers have proposed that would scale back benefits to low-income households and people of color. Over 150 people were arrested yesterday in the NAACP-led protests, which have been dubbed "Moral Monday."
"They [NC General Assembly] are making it harder for the poor and working poor, and those who are sick, to get health care; for children to get an education; for the incarcerated to be redeemed; for people to vote," said North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II. "But they are making it easier for the wealthy to get wealthier; for the sick to get sicker; for private schools to flourish; to implement the flawed death penalty and to get guns."
The protests began in April when college students and clergy gathered in state legislative offices to pray and demonstrate. Back then, Barber said he hoped to prevent North Carolina governor Gov. Pat McCrory from becoming a "21st century George Wallace" by allowing the burdensome legislation -- including a strict photo voter ID law and a felony disenfranchisment law -- to pass. Over 300 peole have been arrested since then, including local mayors and elected officials.
Republican lawmakers mocked the protesters in the press -- Rep. John Blust, who represents Greensboro where civil rights demonstrations against segregations were launched in the 1950s, said he saw the dissenters like "Carolina playing at Duke," he told the Raleigh News & Observer. "I'm not going to let the Cameron Crazies throw me off my game."
Colorlines - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 17:09
Despite high unemployment and a housing crisis that's decimated black wealth, African-Americans are generally satisfied with their lives. That's according to a new study released today by NPR in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard's School of Public Health. Interestingly, the study found that when it comes to dating, black men are looking for long-term, committed relationships more than black women.
[Harvard Public Health Professor Robert Blendon] speculated that this, too, might be tied in part to economic concerns. He pointed to studies in which black women are more concerned with the financial stability of their partners than Latinas or white women. And since black women are outpacing black men on a host of metrics that might determine their financial prospects -- black women are more likely to attend and graduate college and receive advanced degrees -- Blendon says they may be less likely to see much financial upside in pairing up compared to black men. "African-American women appear to have more security than men, and so women [might] see less men who see bring financial security to the table," he said.
Demby also points out that it's important to note that the pollsters asked specifically about long-term committed relationships, not marriage. But the numbers still complicate the belief widely held misconception that black women are desperately -- and uniquely-- looking for long-term love.
New American Media - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 13:20
Traducción al españolHealth care advocates and business groups, whose efforts failed to move Gov. Rick Perry and the Texas legislature to expand the state’s Medicaid population under the Affordable Care Act, are digging in for a protracted struggle that might... Khalil Abdullah http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New American Media - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 11:55
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Ian Kim imagines the world his 7-year-old daughter will be living in 20 years from now, he says, it keeps him up at night. Images of ever more frequent super storms like Sandy, along with rising... Ngoc Nguyen http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=70
Hyphen Blog - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 08:15
Judith Hill leaves The Voice, beatboxing and golden harem pants on So You Think You Can Dance, and an Arrested Development roundup.
Colorlines - Tue, 06/04/2013 - 00:51
We've seen interracial couples on television for decades but corporate companies have largely stayed away from including them in advertising.
The sitcom "I Love Lucy," which premiered in 1951, was the first television program to feature an interracial couple starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. In 1975, "The Jeffersons" also featured one of the first black and white couples on TV with Tom and Helen Willis (Franklin Cover and Roxie Roker), neighbors of George and Louise Jefferson. More recently shows like "Boy Meets World," "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" have featured interracial couples in leading roles.
Earlier this week Cheerios released a commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter and you'd think it would be no big deal since we've seen interracial couples on TV for decades. Not so.
The ad, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, received such a negative response that Cheerios had to close the comments section on the video sharing site. The ad also made it to Reddit where the discussion thread is still thriving with bigoted comments.
Cord Jefferson at Gawker highlited the following racist comment on Reddit: "Shoving multi-culturism down our throats when we know it fails.. awesome."
It's been 46-years since the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that prohibiting marriage between people classified as "white" and people classified as "colored" was unconstitutional. The case, Loving vs. Virginia, led to a decision that ruled all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States were unconstitutional.
Despite the court ruling and more than half a century of interracial couples on TV, the bigotry (at least online) is still alive and thriving.
Tim Nudd at Ad Age points out that the controversy may stem from people just not being used to seeing interracial couples in ads that are lobbying for their dollars.
"The problem is that TV ads have always lagged TV programming in this regard, as so many brands are clearly scared of being perceived as making a political statement with the casting of their commercials," Nudd write at AdAge. "Thus, the Cheerios ad, despite its characters being representative of tens of thousands of actual couples in America, sticks out like a sore thumb."
The good news is that there are some people complaining the ad doesn't go far enough.
"Every commercial with an interracial family show a black man and white woman. You never see Asians or Native Americans or Mexicans or even a white man with a black woman," wrote one user on Reddit. "I'm not satisfied with the family, they need to be more interracial."
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@JamilSmith The distorted #media depiction of African American men & boys has real life consequences, again. #mediadiversity #Tremaine