Campaign Uses Homeless Katrina Survivor as Wi-Fi Hotspot at SXSW

Campaign Uses Homeless Katrina Survivor as Wi-Fi Hotspot at SXSW

Meet Clarence. He’s homeless and selling wi-fi outside of the bigguest internet innovation conference in the world but doesn’t have access to the internet himself. 

Clarence, who’s originally from New Orleans, LA., lost his house after Hurricane Katrina. & Meetup in Austin for SXSW [Photos]

Greetings all the way from Austin!

On Sunday and hosted a meetup—a meet and greet of sorts—with readers, supporters and other journalists in Austin, Texas. We’re in town for the music and media conference South by Southwest (SXSW).

Co-hosting the meetup with me was Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of, the nation’s largest African-American online civil rights organization.

SXSW is all about new, innovative technology, music and film and I’ll bringing you updates throughout the week from Austin.

Mr. Robinson and I thank everyone who stopped by the meetup and we are especially grateful for Sabrina Roach, Brown Paper Tickets Radio and New Media Doer extraordinaire who hosted us.


(L to R: Quentin James, National Director for the Sierra Student Coalition, the youth arm of the Sierra Club; Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of; Jay Smooth, Robinson is a board member at the Applied Research Center, Colorlines’ publisher.


(L to R: Samhita Mukhopadhyay, and author of “Outdated”; Erica Williams, Senior Strategist at Citizen Engagement Laboratory; Jorge Rivas, pop culture blogger at

National Coming Out of the Shadows Week is Almost Here

National Coming Out of the Shadows Week is Almost Here

Tomorrow marks the beginning of National Coming Out of the Shadows Week. That’s when undocumented young folks will publicly talk about their immigration status in an effort to increase awareness of the issues challenges facing people without papers. For more information, check out the New York State Youth Leadership Council.

Marco Rubio Meets Miami DREAMer, Still Opposes DREAM Act

This week the Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio invited Daniela Palaez, a Miami high school valedictorian who’s quickly become a national face for the DREAM Act, to Washington D.C., and later said he still opposes the DREAM Act. Palaez and her sister Dayana were facing removal to Colombia, but won a two-year reprieve on their deportation order after their principal, local superintendent, thousands of fellow students, as well as Florida lawmakers from both parties lobbied to keep them in the country.

White House Emails Detail Its Role in Pushing Out Shirley Sherrod

Speaking of Andrew Breitbart smearing important black people, Associated Press reports today on 2,000 pages of Obama administration emails over the Shirley Sherrod debacle. According to AP, the emails show the White House engaged significantly with Agriculture Department officials’ discussion over whether and how to push Sherrod out. The White House says that the emails merely confirm what it has already acknowledged—that officials were aware of the discussion but did not order Agriculture to fire her.

March for Justice in Selma Takes on Alabama’s Immigration Law

March for Justice in Selma Takes on Alabama's Immigration Law

Protesters in Selma, Alabama who are fed up with the state’s heavy handed approach to voter ID legislation and immigration reform are today finishing a week-long march meant to bring attention to the two issues.

The march was organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to help commemorate the 47th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday”, an iconic moment in the history of the civil rights movement where hundreds of protesters were beaten by state and local police. The incident is arguably remembered as the emotional peak of the civil rights movement.

Bloomberg Basically Admits NYPD Spied on Muslims For No Reason Other Than Religion

The New York Police Department has spied on Muslim New Yorkers for no other reason than that they are Muslim, according to documents released today by the Associated Press. The story is the latest in the AP’s ongoing investigation of the NYPD’s program to target and surveil Muslims in the Northeastern United States and provides the clearest evidence to date that the police are engaged in systematic and official practices of racial and ethnic profiling.

Artist on Anti-Woman Attacks: ‘Politicians Off My Poontang!’

Artist on Anti-Woman Attacks: 'Politicians Off My Poontang!'

If you’re a woman, or a person who just happens to respect women, you’ve got plenty reason to be angry these days.

Artist Favianna Rodriguez, fed up with the misogyny taking over the airwaves and filling statehouses, created a series of posters that say exactly what many of us have been feeling for a very long time. As she wrote on her blog, “Everywhere you turn, the right wing is attempting to further limit and hinder our access to our reproductive rights through anti-contraceptive measures.”

Reality Returns: Huge Black Job Gains Disappear in February Report

Reality Returns: Huge Black Job Gains Disappear in February Report

The sudden, sharp drop in black unemployment that set economists buzzing in January appears to have in fact been so much statistical noise. The February 2012 job numbers are out and black unemployment went right back up, to 14.1 percent (roughly double that of white unemployment, a disparity that has held for decades).

Two More Provisions of Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant HB 56 Blocked

Two More Provisions of Alabama's Anti-Immigrant HB 56 Blocked

Piece by piece, courts are stopping Alabama’s harshest in the nation law. On Thursday the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals blocked two more provisions of Alabama’s HB 56 from being enforced while courts decide the constitutionality of the law.

The federal appeals court ruled that Alabama may not enforce Sections 27 and 30 HB 56, which restricted undocumented immigrants’ business transactions with public entities and made any contract an undocumented immigrant entered into unenforceable. Both of these provisions have severe impacts on Alabama residents’ everyday lives. People in Alabama reported having their water shut off for weeks at a time because they could not provide adequate identification.

Derrick Bell Showed Love and Sacrifice For His Black Female Colleagues

Derrick Bell Showed Love and Sacrifice For His Black Female Colleagues

Legendary legal scholar Derrick Bell has been back in the news again. From the grave, conservative activist Andrew Breitbart targeted the late academic’s association with President Obama because of his pioneering work in the field of critical race studies. It’s an ultimately sad stunt, considering Bell’s decades of work to untangle the messy conversations about race in America.

Ugandan Responds to Kony Campaign: ‘You Shouldn’t Be Telling My Story’

Ugandan Responds to Kony Campaign: 'You Shouldn't Be Telling My Story'

Ugandan journalist Rosebell Kagumire isn’t very impressed with the Kony 2012 video that’s gone viral this week. “It simplifies the story of millions of people in northern Uganda and makes out a narrative that is often hard about Africa, about how hopeless people are in times of conflict.”

This article has been updated since publication.

TAGS: Kony 2012

‘Nutella Face Paint’ That’s What MTV Calls Blackface Incident on ‘Battle of the Exes’ [Video]

 'Nutella Face Paint' That's What MTV Calls Blackface Incident on 'Battle of the Exes' [Video]

On Wednesday night’s episode of the MTV reality challenge show “Battle Of The Exes” the last black contestant almost went home not because he lost a challenge but because his own teammate/ex-girlfriend mocked him with “one of the most offensive pranks” in MTV Challenge history. “The Challenge: Battle of the Exes,” an offshoot from the reality series “The Real World” that puts former MTV reality TV show participants up against each other in grueling physical challenges.

In last night’s episode a Southern “sheltered” white contestant named Emily decided to mock her African American ex-boyfriend Ty by dressing up in his clothes and covering her face in Nutella… aka blackface.

TAGS: Blackface MTV TV

The Kony 2012 Campaign May Inspire, But It’s Got Problems

The Kony 2012 campaign has now gone viral in its attempt to bring international attention to the horrendous crimes of Ugandan guerrilla leader Joseph Kony. But Jezebel warns that the non-profit that’s behind the film, Invisible Children, has a somewhat shady past of its own. Here’s more from Jezebel, which notes that if you really want to donate money to Uganda, there are more direct ways to do it. (For the record, Invisible Children responded to Jezebel here.)

TAGS: Kony 2012

As Election 2012 Nears, Hate Groups at Record High

IR145_cover_e.jpgThe American radical right grew “explosively” in 2011 according to a report issued Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The rise of hate groups is believed to be fueled by antagonism toward President Obama, resentment toward changing racial demographics and the slumped economy.

“The dramatic expansion of the radical right is the result of our country’s changing racial demographics, the increased pace of globalization, and our economic woes,” Mark Potok, senior fellow at the SPLC and editor of the new report, said in a statement.

“For many extremists, President Obama is the new symbol of all that’s wrong with the country - the Kenyan president, the secret Muslim who is causing our country’s decline,” Potok said. “The election season’s overheated political rhetoric is adding fuel to the fire. The more polarized the political scene, the more people at the extremes,” Potok went on to say.

Child Sex Abuse Reported at Shelter for Undocumented Youth

Child Sex Abuse Reported at Shelter for Undocumented Youth

A former case manager at a shelter for undocumented youth caught crossing the border by themselves is being accused of sexually abusing six teenagers while he was supervising calls they made to relatives in Central America.

Love for the 92-Year Old Lakota Grandma Who Stood in Front of Keystone Pipeline Trucks

Love for the 92-Year Old Lakota Grandma Who Stood in Front of Keystone Pipeline Trucks

On Monday I shared a story about Lakota Indians in South Dakota blocking two tarsands pipeline trucks from entering their land. One of the women who stood in front and blocked the giant big rigs was a 92-year-old grandmother. 

On Tuesday morning I got an email from one of her family friends and I thought it could serve as inspiration for us all. Here’s the note that reader Coya A. forwarded to us:

In the middle is my grandmother, Marie Randall, she is 92 years old! and my cousin Andrew Ironshell, they are part of the group of Lakota Oyate who prevented the TransCanada/XL Pipline trucks from crossing the border into the Pine Ridge Reservation, the home of the Oglala Lakota! I am so proud of my people and I will stand by them anytime and anyday!!

Today’s love goes to Maria Randall for standing up in what she believes in and being an inspiration to us all!

MPAA Says No to Teen Who Delivered 200k Signatures to Change ‘Bully’ Rating

bully-teen-doc.jpgKaty Butler, a 16-year old from Ann Arbor, Mich., delivered more than 200,000 signatures to the Motion Picture Association of America on Wednesday urging them to change the rating of the documentary “Bully” to PG-13 so more young people can see it.

“I just heard that the Motion Picture Association of America has given an “R” rating to “Bully” — a new film coming out soon that documents the epidemic of bullying in American schools,” Butler wrote in her petition. “Because of the R rating, most kids won’t get to see this film. No one under 17 will be allowed to see the movie, and the film won’t be allowed to be screened in American middle schools or high schools.”

But shortly after Butler delivered the signatures the chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration of the MPAA said she “shares Katy’s goals of shining a light on the problem of bullying,” but that the rating will not change.

“Katy Butler’s efforts in bringing the issue of bullying to the forefront of a national discussion in the context of this film are commendable and we welcome the feedback about this movie’s rating,” Joan Graves said in a statement. “We hope that her efforts will fuel more discussion among educators, parents and children.”

Rush Limbaugh Loses 42 Advertisers, Says ‘Everything’s Cool’

Rush Limbaugh Loses 42 Advertisers, Says 'Everything's Cool'

Rush Limbaugh apologized last week for calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” but his laters have to make you wonder if he has any regrets.

According to ABC News Limbaugh has lost 42 advertisers but he told his listeners today that “everything’s cool,” that those advertisers have little if any impact on the show’s revenues.

New York’s WNBC is Getting Rid of Anchorwoman Sue Simmons After 32 years

New York's WNBC is Getting Rid of Anchorwoman Sue Simmons After 32 years

After more than three decades, NBC’s New York affiliate WNBC/Channel 4 is getting rid of anchorwoman Sue Simmons, the NY Post reports.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198