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Pre-Teen Calls Out LeBron James: ‘Why Won’t You Play in the Dunk Contest’ [Video]

Pre-Teen Calls Out LeBron James: 'Why Won't You Play in the Dunk Contest' [Video]

This young man from Portland, Oregon could make a good Washington lobbyist one day.

The winning quotes:

“Don’t let my Saturday night go to waste, man.”

“Or you could go dunk it and have the entire country chanting your time… except Ohio, but the rest of the country, all 49 states, would be chanting your name!”

(h/t Hang Time)

Chris Brown’s First Line in New Rihanna Song: ‘Been a Long Time, I’ve Been Missing Your Body’

Chris Brown's First Line in New Rihanna Song: 'Been a Long Time, I've Been Missing Your Body' Infographic

For the first 30 seconds of Rihanna’s new song that features Chris Brown you hear Rihanna repeating “come and put your name on it” for 20-seconds.

At the 1:15 minute mark of Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake (Remix)” Chris Brown comes in with his first line: “Girl I wanna fuck you right now. Been a long time, I’ve been missing your body.”

Rihanna then goes down memory lane:

Remember how you did it? 

Remember how you fit it?

If you still wanna kiss it 

Come, come, come and get it 

Sweeter than a rice cake, cake worth sipping 

 Kill it, tip it 

 Cake, fill it

Now let’s go down memory lane ourselves and juxtapose these lyrics with statements made by   Rihanna in a 2009 interview with Diane Sawyer.

“When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that,” Rihanna told Sawyer on 20/20 after she was asked about no longer spending time with Brown. (Rihanna flew to Miami to spend time with Brown three weeks after the incident.) She went on to make statements recognizing she was a role model that could influence young girls.

“I couldn’t be held responsible for telling them to go back. Even if Chris never hit me again, who’s to say their boyfriend won’t kill these girls. These are young girls and … I just didn’t realize how much of an impact I had on these girls live until that happened. It was a wake-up call for me - big time,” Rihanna said.

Every year, almost 1.5 million high school students experience dating abuse. Below is an infographic created by Colorlines.com’s Hatty Lee that looks at violence and teen dating.



Facebook Adds ‘Ethnic’ Tab to its Ad-Buying Platform; Latinos First Group Targeted

Facebook Adds 'Ethnic' Tab to its Ad-Buying Platform; Latinos First Group Targeted

Beginning in the last quarter of 2011, Facebook gave marketers using its self-service ad-buying platform the option to target Latinos in the U.S. solely based on their ethnicity. This marks the first time Facebook has allowed marketers a direct means of targeting ethnic groups.

Currently the only subset option in the “ethnic” tab are “Hispanics,” other ethnic groups are expected to follow.

In the past ad buyers targeting Latinos had to play a guessing game using a combination of zip codes, Census data and designated market areas (DMAs) with a high concentration of Latinos to deliver the ads. They have also targeted users who have ‘liked’ Facebook pages of Latino-focused brands such as Univision, Telemundo, and CNN en Español.

More details from ClickZ.com, an online resource of interactive marketing news:

Facebook has added a Hispanic targeting option to its self-service ad-buying platform. Marketers who create an ad and then select the broad category targeting option - as opposed to precise interest levels - will see an “Ethnic” tab. Currently the only subset option is “Hispanic,” which can be added to the targeting mix with a click on its check box.

The feature reveals that Facebook has 7.7 million Hispanic users 18 and above in the U.S., while there are 8.4 million when including all ages. (According to the 2010 Census, there were 50.5 million Hispanics in the United States, making up 16.3 percent of the total population.)

Menlo Park, CA-based Facebook told ClickZ in an email that the feature went live sometime during the last half of 2011, but didn’t disclose a more precise timeline. Gustavo Rezzetti is chief strategy and engagement officer at Grupos Gallegos and a ClickZ columnist who focuses on Latino marketing. Razetti said his team first noticed the Hispanic targeting feature on Facebook last month.

“We are not aware of how Facebook is identifying who is Hispanic,” Razetti said. “If it’s based on the language of the Facebook app only, that could be misleading.”

Like Rezzetti, Captura Group founder Lee Vann said he first heard about the new targeting feature last month, and he figures it was likely implemented sometime during the last three months of 2011. Vann’s Hispanic-focused online marketing services company has worked with media buyer MindShare to purchase direct Facebook ads (rather than self-service ones) zeroing in on American Hispanics. The efforts were for brands such as Unilever and Allstate, he said.

The conservative group Hispanic Leadership Network (HLN) tested the targeting tool after the recent controversial “chimichanga” tweet made by an Obama re-election campaign manager. In the past, the group was targeting Facebook users who liked Latino politicians or pages like “Hispanics for Mitt Romney.”

“Now HLN can ‘with one stroke hit the exact market,’” an HLN rep told ClickZ.com. “We want to galvanize support around this issue and build our user base.”

It’s Much Harder for Black and Latino Workers to Retire, Study Finds

It's Much Harder for Black and Latino Workers to Retire, Study Finds

Black and Latino seniors have a tougher time during their retirement years than American seniors as a whole, according to a new University of California, Berkeley, report.

“Recent household surveys show that retirees of color, especially Blacks and Latinos, rely more heavily on Social Security and have less access to other types of retirement income than their white counterparts,” researcher Nari Rhee of UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education said in a statement.

Rhee’s report, “Black and Latino Retirement (In)Security,” is based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey and U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey.

release_in_security.jpg

The report’s main findings include:
  • Elder poverty rates are twice as high among Blacks and Latinos compared to the U.S. population as a whole: 19.4 percent of Black seniors and 19.0 percent of Latino seniors have incomes below the federal poverty line, compared to 9.4 percent for the senior population overall (see rightl).

  • Less than a third of employed Latinos and less than half of Black workers are covered by an employer sponsored retirement plan, a critical resource in ensuring adequate retirement income. As a result, they are disproportionately reliant on the limited income provided by Social Security.

  • Among retirees age 60 and older, people of color are disproportionately likely to be low income: for 2007-2009, 31.6 percent of Blacks and 46.5 percent of Latinos were in the bottom 25 percent income group. The “other” race group, which includes Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American populations, is also more likely to be low-income (38 percent) (see lower right).

Rhee says these findings can serve as a reminder that the job crisis we face today may have long-term repercussions.

“It is critical to improve both job access and job quality—in terms of wages and benefits, including pension benefits—to improve retirement prospects for current workers.”

L.A. County: Sorry for Tens of Thousands of Deportations in Depression

L.A. County: Sorry for Tens of Thousands of Deportations in Depression

On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors formally apologized for deporting “tens of thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in L.A. County” during the Depression because they were supposedly taking jobs from white U.S. born citizens.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) was recognized in Tuesday’s agenda for “their efforts to pursue a formal apology from the State of California to those individuals and families adversely affected by the Mexican Repatriation Program of the 1930’s.” The motion was arranged by Supervisor Gloria Molina.

“L.A. was very much part of these official roundups,” said Supervisor Gloria Molina. “There’s a point in time where the only thing you can do is offer an apology.”

LA Times with more details:

Those taken to Mexico from Los Angeles were only a portion of the more than 2 million people that officials estimate were deported or forced to leave during the Depression-era campaign.

Scholars estimate that more than 60% were U.S. citizens. Some also said the campaign in Southern California served as a model for the rest of the country.

In a motion to the county board, Molina said there were massive clandestine raids that often separated families.

“Families were forced to abandon, or were defrauded of, personal and real property, which often was sold by local authorities as ‘payment’ for the transportation expenses incurred in their removal,” according to the motion.

Politicians and legal advocates launched a campaign in 2003 to win a formal apology and reparations. And in 2005, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill apologizing to the estimated 400,000 U.S. citizens and legal residents who were illegally deported to Mexico between 1929 and 1944.

On Sunday, public officials and MALDEF will unveil plans for a memorial for those affected by the Mexican Repatriation Program of the 1930’s.

TAGS: Los Angeles

Listen to Lost Malcolm X Speech, 50 Years Later

On Feb. 21, 1965, the former Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X was assasinated. He was 39.

Brown University senior Malcolm Burnley recently found a recording from a speech Malcom X made at the University on May 11, 1961. NPR broadcasted the parts of the speech for the first time earlier this month.

The recording is “an early window into Malcolm X’s evolving views,” NPR’s Guy Raz said about the recording.

Listen to a clip from the speech below.

Court Slows Deported Dad’s Case as 20K Sign Petition to Reunite With Kids

Court Slows Deported Dad's Case as 20K Sign Petition to Reunite With Kids

A petition launched on Valentine’s Day by Presente.org and Colorlines.com’s publisher, Applied Research Center, surpassed the 20,000 signature mark on Tuesday afternoon. The petition calls on the Department of Social Services in Allegheny County, NC. to ensure that Felipe Montes, a single-father who was deported to Mexico, not be permanently separated but instead be reunified with his three sons in the United States or Mexico.

And there’s good news to report today. Below is a statement from Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter, who has been in contact with Montes:

“The vast attention on Felipe Montes’ case has clearly had an impact. According to his attorney, the hearing that had been scheduled for today has been postponed to another date, giving the family and the child welfare department more time. We don’t yet know what the child welfare system will do when the hearing does occur, but the postponement is a sign that the media attention on the case interrupted the child welfare department’s plan to move the children toward adoption. The family is by no means in the clear and the Allegheny County could certainly still try to have Felipe’s parental rights terminated but for now, Montes is doing everything necessary so that his children can be reunified with him.”

For more information on the petition visit act.presente.org/sign/felipeschildren.

Magic Johnson to Launch 24-hour Channel with ‘Uplifting Images of African Americans’

Magic Johnson is preparing to launch Aspire, a 24-hour channel with a focus on what Johnson called positive, uplifting images of African Americans. Initially the channel will be available in 11 million of Comcast Cable customers’ homes, the LA Times reports.

“This is so exciting for me, I’m pinching myself,” Johnson told the LA Times. “This is big for myself, for the African American community and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire — that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”

The LA Times reports on how this is coming about:

Johnson’s entry into the television arena comes courtesy of communications giant Comcast Corp. as part of its agreement with the FCC and Department of Justice to diversify the cable landscape. Comcast agreed last year to launch 10 new independently owned cable channels, with most backed by African Americans and Latinos, by 2018. Johnson’s channel is scheduled to be the first.

Comcast’s obligation to support minority-owned channels came after a bruising yearlong federal review of the Philadelphia cable company’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, which includes the NBC broadcast network, NBC television stations, Universal Studios, Universal Pictures, cable channels USA, Bravo, Syfy, MSNBC and CNBC and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo.

During the extensive review process, which spanned all of 2010, executives were called before Congress to defend the merger. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) was particularly tenacious in her grilling of NBCUniversal and Comcast officers, questioning their commitment to hiring and advancing minorities.

For more on the Comcast acquisition of NBCUniversal read Jamilah King’s reporting.

Nearly 47k Sign Petition to Fire XXL Mag. Editor Vanessa Satten

Nearly 47k Sign Petition to Fire XXL Mag. Editor Vanessa Satten

Close to 47,000 members of ColorOfChange.org, the nation’s largest online black civil rights organization, have signed a petition calling on Harris Publications to fire XXL Magazine editor Vanessa Satten.

ColorOfChange is calling on Harris Publication to dismiss Satten because a staff member under her supervision published the now infamous Too $hort video that encouraged young boys to “turn girls out” by pushing “her up against the wall.”

“I’d like to address the ongoing controversy surrounding the Too $hort video and try to set the record straight,” XXL Magazine’s Satten wrote in a statement published on XXLmag.com last week. “As soon as I learned about the video, I had it taken down,” Satten went on to say.

But ColorOfChange says that’s not enough.

“Satten has tried to excuse herself by saying that she didn’t see the video before it posted. But she presides over a workplace culture that allowed such a grave misstep, and she has failed to respond appropriately as a chorus of voices calls her on it,” read an e-mail sent to ColorOfChange.org members.

“Please join us in calling on Harris Publications President and CEO Stanley R. Harris to fire Vanessa Satten, XXL’s Editor-in-Chief. We also demand that he explain what he’ll do to make sure his company’s publications stop promoting sexual violence directed at girls and women,” the e-mail asked members.

An earlier petition started by “People against media violence” on thepetitionsite.com has over 2,000 signatures. For more information on the ColorOfChange petition visit ColorOfChange.org.

More Violence But Fewer Prosecutions on American Indian Reservations

More Violence But Fewer Prosecutions on American Indian Reservations

The country’s 310 Indian reservations have violent crime rates that are more than two and a half times higher than the national average. But the Justice Department, which is responsible for prosecuting the most serious crimes on reservations, files charges in only about half of Indian Country murder investigations and turns down nearly two-thirds of sexual assault cases, the New York Times reports.

The cases that are turned down by the Department of Justice range from murder to rape and child abuse. United States attorneys say they turn down most reservation cases because of a lack of admissible evidence.

According to the Times, American Indian women are 10 times as likely to be murdered than other Americans and more than one in three have either been raped or experienced an attempted rape but more often than not little is done to prosecute suspects. More details from the NY Times:

The Justice Department said it has made headway in resolving conflicts with tribes, pointing to a directive to United States attorneys to work more closely with tribal leaders and to the Tribal Law and Order Act, approved by Congress in 2010, which sought to strengthen tribal law enforcement systems.

But Tao Etpison, former chief judge of the Tonto Apaches in Arizona, said federal prosecutors typically live, work and try cases hundreds of miles from Indian Country. And at times, according to federal data, the Justice Department declines to prosecute violent reservation crime because local United States attorneys have said they lack sufficient resources. “These crimes are very serious for the reservation, but the prosecutors really don’t see it from a reservation perspective,” Mr. Etpison said.

Federal prosecutors in 2011 declined to file charges in 52 percent of cases involving the most serious crimes committed on Indian reservations, according to figures compiled by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University, which uses the Freedom of Information Act to recover and examine federal data.

The government did not pursue rape charges on reservations 65 percent of the time last year and rejected 61 percent of cases involving charges of sexual abuse of children, the federal data showed. In contrast, the Justice Department declined 20 percent of drug trafficking cases nationwide, according to the federal figures.

To read the complete story visit the NYTimes.com.

Ariz. Sheriff Accused of Threatening to Deport Ex Has Long History of Hate

Ariz. Sheriff Accused of Threatening to Deport Ex Has Long History of Hate

Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has made national headlines in the past week for allegedly threatning to deport his former Mexican boyfriend. But for those who follow immigration issues closely, Babeu was already on their radar for a history of having a tough stance on immigration issues.

Babeu stepped down on Saturday from his position as Arizona co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign to focus on the controversy and his election campaign for Congress.

“Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu — who became the face of Arizona border security nationally after he started stridently opposing illegal immigration — threatened his Mexican ex-lover with deportation when the man refused to promise never to disclose their years-long relationship,” the former boyfriend and his lawyer told the Phoenix New Times.

“The thing is is that Babeu was not just Mitt Romney’s Arizona Co-Chair, he was also an immigration restrictionist hardliner in the mold of disgraced Arizona sheriffs like Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio. He was a big time supporter of SB 1070 and appeared in the now-notorious John McCain election ad calling for “the danged fence” to get built already,” said Julianne Hing, Colorlines.com’s immigration reporter. 

“Babeu matters because he’s been meticulously grooming himself for the national stage by following the blueprint left by other right-wing Arizona politicians who’ve made a name for themselves by vilifying Latinos and calling for more policing of immigrant communities and further militarization of the border,” Hing went on to say. 


Suspended ESPN ‘Chink in the Armor’ Anchor is Married to Asian Woman

Suspended ESPN 'Chink in the Armor' Anchor is Married to Asian Woman

We’re learning more about the suspended ESPN anchor who used an ethnic slur on air during a story about Jeremy Lin. Max Bretos tweeted his apology over the weekend and added that his wife is Asian.

“My wife is Asian, would never intentionally say anything to disrespect her and that community,” Bretos tweeted on Saturday.

The Twittersphere wasn’t having any of it though.

“‘My wife is Asian’ or ‘Ï have black friends’ Did you read the ‘how a racist apologizes’ handbook?” read one reply to Bretos update.

“wow. Shocking…and that makes ur error so much more inexcusable. Still disgusted by u,” read the following tweet.

Love for the First Black Oscar Winner Sidney Poitier on His Birthday

Love for the First  Black Oscar Winner Sidney Poitier on His Birthday

This morning I started out the day by writing about the dismal number of Oscar academy members of color. Only about 2% of an estimated 5,000 academy voters are black—that’s about 100 black academy voters.

And it just so happens that one of the first black academy members turns 85 today!

Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to be nominated for an Oscar in 1958 for his role in “The Defiant Ones.” He went on to win the best actor Oscar award five years later in 1963 for his role in “Lilies of the Field.”

(While I have not confirmed it’s likely he’s the first black academy member.)

In 2002, 38 years after receiving the Best Actor Award, Poitier was chosen by the academy to receive an Honorary Award, designated “To Sidney Poitier in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being.”

And in August 12, 2009 it all came full circle when the first black Oscar winner was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States of America’s highest civilian honor, by the country’s first black president.

Happy Birthday Sidney Poitier!

P081209PS-0807


President Barack Obama hugs Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient actor Sidney Poitier during the award ceremony in the East Room of the White House, on Aug. 12, 2009. 
(Official White House photo by Pete Souza)




We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to submissions@colorlines.com, and be sure to put Celebrate Love in the subject line. You can send links to videos, graphics, photos, quotes, whatever. Or just chime in to the comments below and we’ll find you. Be sure to let us know you’ve got the rights to share any media you send.

To see other Love posts visit our Celebrate Love page.

MSNBC Looks at How Deportation Shatters Families [Video]

MSNBC Looks at How Deportation Shatters Families [Video]

Colorlines.com Editorial Director Kai Wright was a guest on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes” on Saturday and discussed how children end up foster care due to their parents being deportated.

He referenced ARC’s “Shattered Families” investigation, which found an estimated 5,000 U.S citizen children are lingering in foster care due to the detainment or deportation of their parents.

Melissa Harris Perry’s Inaugural Guest on MSNBC: Colorlines Family

Melissa Harris Perry's Inaugural Guest on MSNBC: Colorlines Family

Colorlines.com board member Dorian Warren was a guest on the premiere episode of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry” show that premiered Saturday. Warren, who’s also an Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia, discussed the direction of the GOP and whether campaigning on social issues is a deliberate strategy to win white, Southern votes.


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Ru Paul as Mr. and Mrs. Obama in Honor of Presidents Day [Photo]

Ru Paul as Mr. and Mrs. Obama in Honor of Presidents Day [Photo] Photo

ru-paul-pres-day.jpg

Ru Paul wishes you a very happy Presidents Day.

This is probably a public service announcement so people stop confusing Ru Paul for GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul. The ‘fierce’ image was first released in 2008 as a holiday card promoting “Ru Paul’s Drag Race.”


Unreleased Nicki Minaj Music Video From Her Days Before Stylists and Pink Hair [Video]

Unreleased Nicki Minaj Music Video From Her Days Before Stylists and Pink Hair [Video]

It’s unclear when this music video was shot but it stars a pre-YMCMB/Cash Money Nicki Minaj… before the stylists, crazy facial expressions and the rapid blinking of the eye she’s got in all her music videos these days.

(h/t hypetrak)

Jeremy Lin Calls ESPN’s ‘Chink’ Slur an ‘Honest Mistake’

Jeremy Lin Calls ESPN's 'Chink' Slur an 'Honest Mistake'

On Saturday ESPN apologized for comments made by two employees who referred to Jeremy Lin as a “chink in armor.” The following day Lin said he doesn’t think the offensive comments made about him on the sports network were intentional.

“I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but they have apologized and so from my end I don’t care anymore,” Lin said in a televised interview after leading the Knicks to a 104- 97 win over Dallas yesterday. “Have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.”

On Saturday ESPN published a short apology online that referred to the statements as offensive:

“We again apologize, especially to Mr. Lin. His accomplishments are a source of great pride to the Asian-American community, including the Asian-American employees at ESPN. Through self-examination, improved editorial practices and controls, and response to constructive criticism, we will be better in the future.”

“Although ESPN issued a statement apologizing for its lapse in editorial judgment, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) asks that this apology be aired prominently on ESPN’s television programs, so that it is clear to all viewers that this racist language is unacceptable,” read a statement sent Saturday by AALDEF.

lin_fortune_cookie_110216_620x350.jpgThe ESPN headline followed one day after Madison Square Garden, owner of the Knicks, aired a controversial fan sign of Jeremy Lin popping out of a fortune cookie, and after Fox Sports Columnist Jason Whitlock apologized for his offensive tweet about Jeremy Lin. It appeared three days after an ESPN anchor used the exact same phrase “Chink in the Armor” on air in an interview about Jeremy Lin.

“The time for apologies is over. The media and the general public must understand that racist language and stereotypes used to describe Jeremy Lin are an insult to all Asian Americans, and no one should tolerate their use,” the AALDEF statement went on to say.

Who Picks the Oscars? White Men.

Who Picks the Oscars? White Men.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that votes for the Oscars, is nearly 94 percent white and 77 percent male, according to a Los Angeles Times study published Sunday. Blacks are about 2 percent of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2 percent.

In some sub-branches the racial disparities are even higher. The executives and writers groups, for example, are 98 percent white. And all of this year’s five nominated directors are white men, and none of the 21 producers of the nine best picture nominees is a person of color.

The Times spent several months investigating who was part of the closely guarded and secret roster list of academy voters. Times reporters confirmed the identities of more than 5,100 Oscar voters — more than 89 percent of all active voting members — and found that they are mostly white, male and have a median age of 62.

More from the L.A. Times:

To conduct the study, Times reporters spoke with thousands of academy members and their representatives — and reviewed academy publications, resumes and biographies — to confirm the identities of more than 5,100 voters — more than 89% of the voting members. Those interviews revealed varying opinions about the academy’s race, sex and age breakdown: Some members see it simply as a mirror of hiring patterns in Hollywood, while others say it reflects the group’s mission to recognize achievement rather than promote diversity. Many said the academy should be much more representative.

The Times found that some of the academy’s 15 branches are almost exclusively white and male. Caucasians currently make up 90% or more of every academy branch except actors, whose roster is 88% white. The academy’s executive branch is 98% white, as is its writers branch.

Men compose more than 90% of five branches, including cinematography and visual effects. Of the academy’s 43-member board of governors, six are women; public relations executive Cheryl Boone Isaacs is the sole person of color.

There are three ways to become a candidate for membership in the academy: land an Oscar nomination; apply and receive a recommendation from two members of a branch; or earn an endorsement from the branch’s membership committee or the academy staff.

The membership committees then vote on the candidates and those who get a majority are invited to join.

(If the academy wanted to, they could endorse people like “Pariah” director Dee Rees—even though she’s never been nominated for an Oscar and has only directed one film—her work has been honored at dozens of film festivals, awards ceremonies and has been financially successful.)

“I don’t see any reason why the academy should represent the entire American population. That’s what the People’s Choice Awards are for,” Frank Pierson, a former academy president who won an Oscar for original screenplay for “Dog Day Afternoon” in 1976, and who still serves on the board of governors, told the Times.

“We represent the professional filmmakers, and if that doesn’t reflect the general population, so be it,” Pierson said.

“If the country is 12% black, make the academy 12% black,” Denzel Washington told the Times. “If the nation is 15% Hispanic, make the academy 15% Hispanic. Why not?”

Academy member Bill Duke, a black actor and director, told the Times he sees little being done to change things: “The black community sees the academy as an entity that ignores the needs, wants, desires and representation of black directors, producers, actors and writers. Whether it is true or not, that is how it’s perceived — as an elitist group with no concern or regard for the minority community and industry. And there doesn’t seem to be any desire to change that perception.”

The academy blames the industry for their lack of diversity.

“We absolutely recognize that we need to do a better job,” writer-director Phil Alden Robinson, a longtime academy governor, told the Times. But “we start off with one hand tied behind our back…. If the industry as a whole is not doing a great job in opening up its ranks, it’s very hard for us to diversify our membership.”

The academy organizes a program called Streetlights, a job training and placement group that works to promote ethnic diversity in Hollywood. While the program can financially propel those individuals who complete the program it will would take years if not decades for those individuals to be invited or even qualify to apply to be part of the academy.

TAGS: Film Oscars study

New Mexico’s Latina Gov. Fails to Take Away Undocumented Immigrants’ Drivers Licenses Again

New Mexico's Latina Gov. Fails to Take Away Undocumented Immigrants' Drivers Licenses Again

New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s third attempt to repeal a 2003 law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers licenses failed Thursday when the Democratic controlled legislature voted it down. The tea party-backed governor is trying to make good on her campaign promise to not just eliminate access to driver’s licenses but also revoke licenses that have already been given to non-citizens.

ImmigrationImpact.com’s Joan Friedland with more details:

HB103, the bill backed by Martinez, passed the House earlier this month but failed to make it through the Senate. An alternative Senate bill, SB235, which would have tightened residency requirements but not repealed the 2003 law, passed the Senate. Governor Martinez, however, vowed to veto that Senate bill. New Mexico and Washington are the only states that issue driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status (Utah issues a driving certificate that can’t be used for identification).

Republican Governor Susana Martinez has repeatedly tried (and failed) to repeal the state’s nearly decade old driver’s license law. Last year, a state district judge halted on constitutional grounds Gov. Martinez’s costly campaign to “certify” the driver’s licenses of foreign nationals. A spokesman for Gov. Martinez claims the current law “leads to fraud, human trafficking, organized crime and significant security concerns.” Supporters of the law, however, say the current policy aids cooperation between immigrant communities and local police as well as reduces the number of unlicensed drivers.

In fact, an immigrant rights group, Somos un Pueblo Unido, recently reported that in a recent survey, 64% of New Mexicans support improving, not repealing, the current law—which is what the alternative Senate bill (SB235) sought to do. Senate bill (SB235) would have strengthened identity and residency requirements, required re-verification of documents, annual renewals, imposed fingerprint requirements and increased penalties for fraud. HB103 would have repealed the current law by requiring applicants to provide a Social Security number in order to receive a license.

Utah, Washington and New Mexico are the only states that allow residents to access driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status.

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