Rewriting History in Texas

by Michelle Chen on March 13 2010, 8:38PM

Rewriting history sounds like a daunting task, but an elite group of educational “experts” in Texas makes it look easy. In the Lone Star State, all you need to dictate education policy is an abiding faith in dead white men,…

Topics: History, Immigration, Politics, Schools & Youth

Love, Exciting and New: Van Jones Tells Glenn Beck to Come Aboard — We’re Expecting You

by Gina Acebo on March 1 2010, 1:49PM

Van Jones shows that the work to bring racial equity to the green economy is not over, but in our hands… and in our collective hands, the work must be guided by love. Take that Glenn. (Listen to Glenn…

Topics: News Items, Politics

The Stimulus and Disadvantaged Communities: Trickling Down or Slipping Away?

by Michelle Chen on February 24 2010, 10:02PM

One year on, how far does the stimulus money stretch? New data on the impact of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act spending in communities of color show that by and large, the money has trickled into well-worn grooves of privilege…

Topics: Economy, Politics

Immigrants’ Invisible Presence in Health Care Debate

by Michelle Chen on February 20 2010, 12:12AM

You might be sick of hearing about health care by now, The politics of medicine grow messier by the day, dripping with empty jargon and industry lobbyists determined to eviscerate any substantive effort toward reform. Now imagine if you’ve…

Topics: Health, Immigration, Politics

Countering Myth of Colorblindness, from the White House to the Statehouse

by Tammy Johnson on February 17 2010, 6:10PM

This weekend the National Governors Association gathers in Washington to discuss budget cuts, stimulus funds and a litany of state policy proposals. Things have changed dramatically since President Obama’s election. Many observers embraced the moment as the start of a…

Topics: Politics

California Lawmakers Fail the Grade

by Debayani Kar on February 10 2010, 8:57PM

Applied Research Center publishes its fifth edition of the “California Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity” today, as people of color look to legislative solutions to pull their communities out of the recession. Unfortunately, California lawmakers are failing the grade….

Topics: Politics

NY Gov. Paterson: ‘I’m Black, Blind, and Still Alive’

by Jamilah King on February 10 2010, 8:03AM

Those were the words of embattled Governor David Paterson this morning as he fought back against claims that he’s about to be ousted from office amid corruption, drug, and sex charges. In the soap opera that’s become New York…

Topics: Politics

Wages and Immigrants: ‘Cheap Labor’ Might Give You a Raise

by Michelle Chen on February 5 2010, 10:30PM

If you were one of the legions of pissed-off jobless folks out in force at the National Tea Party Convention this week, demonstrating against the “illegals” taking “your job,” you’re entitled to your opinion. But you should know that…

Topics: Immigration, Politics

Today’s Twitter Break: State of The Union Edition

by Julianne Hing on January 28 2010, 11:28AM

Well folks. Obama gave a typically stirring speech last night. There was plenty of substantive meat to dig into but since the end of speech, our friends in the Twittersphere have had plenty to say about the sideshows: MSNBC host…

Topics: Politics

State of the Union Places Entitlement Above Equity

by Michelle Chen on January 27 2010, 7:59PM

Wrapped up in tonight’s stream of glossy oratory was a familiar sense of entitlement. The State of the Union address emphasized rebuilding the middle class, supporting small businesses, boosting financial markets—in other words, soothing the anxieties of people who…

Topics: Economy, News Items, Politics

The State of Immigration Reform: Going Rogue and the Cost of Doing Nothing

by Michelle Chen on January 27 2010, 4:48PM

On the eve of the State of the Union Address, protesters rallied in the nation’s capital to pressure the federal government to act on immigration reform. It was clear that immigrant advocacy groups fall into a long queue of communities…

Topics: Immigration, Politics

ACORN Saga Continues in “Louisiana Watergate”

by Michelle Chen on January 26 2010, 5:23PM

How you like me now? You knew it wouldn’t be long before we heard again from the ACORN scandal-mongers. This time, rather than demonizing an activist group, the goons are reportedly going straight for the jugular by invading a…

Topics: Politics

Perversion of Justice: Citizens United, Corporate Power and Black Disenfranchisement

by Michelle Chen on January 25 2010, 5:56AM

Corporations are people, too. That was the logic behind the Supreme Court’s latest assault on the electoral process. Divined from a wildly creative reading of the law, the concept has been manipulated over the years to grant extraordinary powers…

Topics: Politics

Democracy Begins at Home: Public Housing Tenants Without a Voice

by Michelle Chen on January 23 2010, 9:03AM

Walk through a typical New York City public housing complex, and you’re not likely to see many signs of civic life among drab high-rises and asphalt lots. But once upon a time, public housing was seen as a foundation…

Topics: Politics

Loss for Words: Reid, Obama and Semantic Silliness on Race

by Michelle Chen on January 11 2010, 10:08PM

The 24-hour news cycle is still ravishing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s fumbling words on Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, skin tone, and lack of “Negro dialect.” And as usual, all this analysis just leaves us more confused about what…

Topics: Politics

Schwarzenegger Calls For…What Was that? More Education Spending!

by Julianne Hing on January 6 2010, 6:11PM

Okay, so California’s action hero governor also called for an overhaul of the tax and pension systems and demanded more privately run prisons in his state of the state address today. These moves toward privatization will surely not be good…

Topics: Politics, Schools & Youth

Divorced from Reality, Bushies Debate Racial Profiling

by Michelle Chen on January 4 2010, 6:54PM

Think Progress reports: In the wake of the underpants terror plot that caught everyone off guard, former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff says profiling is “arguably dangerous” on Meet the Press:…when David Gregory asked former Bush CIA director Michael…

Topics: Criminal Justice, National Security, Politics

Holiday Vindication Ends Nutty Year for ACORN

by Michelle Chen on December 24 2009, 10:06AM

It’s been a trough year for ACORN, fraught with YouTube scandals and right-wing radio gotchas. But the organization—a powerful anti-poverty advocacy group and favorite whipping post of GOP conspiranoiacs—got a little holiday cheer recently with two reports that essentially…

Topics: Politics

In Health Debate, GOP Plays the Slavery Card—and Loses

by Michelle Chen on December 8 2009, 8:18AM

Conservatives on the Hill were shocked—shocked!—when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid compared conservatives’ obstructionism on health care reform to resistance, in an earlier era, to the abolition of that “peculiar institution.” “Outrageous!” cried Rush Limbaugh, following up with a…

Topics: Health, Politics

Sarah Palin’s Delusional “Real America”

by Terry Keleher on November 18 2009, 2:33PM

Former Alaska Governor and Vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is embarking on a national tour touting her new book “Going Rogue.” What’s curious, however, is that her book tour will skip a lot of the big cities—and major book sale markets—like…

Topics: Politics