New Yorker Cover Shows Obama Enjoying Super Bowl of Romney vs. Gingrich

New Yorker Cover Shows Obama Enjoying Super Bowl of Romney vs. Gingrich

On newsstands today is the latest “New Yorker” magazine with a cover depicting Obama enjoying a Super Bowl of epic proportions with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich battling out.

Barry Blitt, the artist responsible for this week’s cover, also illustrated the controversial image of Obama in a turban and robe fist-bumping the First Lady depicted with an afro.

From DREAMs to ARMS: Florida Rep. Pushes Military-Only DREAM Act

From DREAMs to ARMS: Florida Rep. Pushes Military-Only DREAM Act

Republican Congressman David Rivera last week filed the Adjusted Residency for Military Service (ARMS) Act, H.R. 3823, that will provide undocumented immigrants who entered this country as children a path to legalization if they join the military.

“If these young people are willing to die for America, then certainly they deserve a chance at life in America,” Rivera said in a statement.

“Currently, long-term United States residents who entered this country as children, and who do not have a legal status, cannot enlist in the United States military. The Adjusted Residency for Military Service, or ARMS, Act would give them the opportunity to serve in the United States Armed Forces and earn legal status in America,” Rivera went on to say in a statement.

Rivera’s ARMS Act comes after both leading GOP presidential hopefuls Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney said they would support a version of the DREAM Act if it only included the military component.

“In recent days undocumented youth I’ve spoken with have asked why it is that the only way they can serve the country they’ve grown up in is by joining the military. Undocumented youth argue that they are fully capable of serving the country in many other ways,” immigration reporter Julianne Hing said after Gingrich made his nuanced statement about the DREAM Act.

Gingrich avoided the draft and has not served in the military. Romney, did not serve in the military but did serve the Mormon Church on a 30-month mission to France.

Ice-T’s ‘Art of Rap’ Documentary Finds Distributor and Summer Theatrical Release

The Indomina Group has acquired worldwide rights to Ice-T’s documentary “Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap,” the company said Sunday. The movie is expected to have a summer theatrical release.

“The Art of Rap is a perfect fit for Indomina,” the company’s vice chairman and CEO, Jasbinder Singh Mann, said in a statement. “A masterfully crafted, superbly riveting and star studded film about rap that only Ice-T could deliver. This is a film that shares the same DNA as Indomina and speaks directly to our core audience. We’re thrilled to have ‘Art of Rap’ on our theatrical release slate and eager to give audiences around the world the opportunity discover this brilliant film.”

Ice-T interviewed 54 rappers when he was developing the film including Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg.

Oh, and if you’re not sure who Ice-T is, Bill O’Reilly can brief you.

New Federal Rule Makes LGBT Housing Discrimination Illegal

New Federal Rule Makes LGBT Housing Discrimination Illegal

On Saturday the Obama Administration announced historic new federal rules that will strengthen housing discrimination protections for transgender and other LGBT people.

The new regulations were announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan at the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, and will be officially published this coming week.

The new rule prohibits owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The update also clarifies the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs.

“If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That’s what equal access means, and that’s what this rule is going to do,” said HUD Secretary Donovan in a statement.

HUD cited The National Transgender Discrimination Survey showing that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.

Another Awkward Moment for Sofia Vergara at SAG Awards [Video]

Another Awkward Moment for Sofia Vergara at SAG Awards [Video]

When Colombian actress Sofia Vergara approached E! News’ red carpet stage, host Giuliana Rancic greeted her with a mariachi calling.

“Ai, ai, ai, ai, ai,” Rancic said as Vergara took the stage.

Watch the video above. Vergara doesn’t seem to mind it but it’s an awkward moment for viewers if you could consider that a moment like that would never happen to Latina actresses like Salma Hayak, Penélope Cruz, Eva Longoria.

Earlier this month at the Golden Globes, a ‘Modern Family’ producer alleged Sofia Vergara Slept with Studio Executives.

Viola Davis’ SAG Speech Shouts Out Segue Institute’s 91% Latino Student Body [Video]

Viola Davis' SAG Speech Shouts Out Segue Institute's 91% Latino Student Body [Video]

When Viola Davis won a SAG Award for Outstanding Female Actress in a leading role Sunday night her acceptance speech included a special note for the students at Segue Institute of Learning in Central Falls, Rhode Island.

“I have a special note to the kids in Central Falls, Rhode Island and Segue Institute of Learning—dream big and dream fierce,” Davis told students in her hometown.

Segue Institute for Learning serves Central Falls students grades 6-8. According to public records, 91% of the students are Latino and 9% are black. 57% of students are on reduced lunch.

Central Falls was one of the cities with a large Latino population that made headlines in 2009 when leaders in the Latino community urged them to not participate in the 2010 Census as a symbolic protest for immigration reform.

‘The Help’ Sweeps SAG Awards, Octavia Spencer Clear Frontrunner for Oscars

'The Help' Sweeps SAG Awards, Octavia Spencer Clear Frontrunner for Oscars

“The Help” took three of the top honors at the Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday night, turning it into the movie everyone else has to beat as the Oscar awards approach next month.

Viola Davis won the best actress trophy, while Octavia Spencer took the best supporting actress honor. “The Help” also won the best cast ensemble SAG award.

Spencer’s SAG award makes her a clear frontrunner for the supporting actress Oscar, considering she also won the Golden Globe in a similar category.

“The stain of racism and sexism is not just for people of color and women,” Davis said when she accepted the ensemble award on behalf of the cast. “It’s all of our burden, all of us.”

After accepting the award for best ensemble Davis went on to explain she’s learned a lot about herself during the promotion of ‘The Help’ because she’s had to defend herself for playing a role of a main.

“It’s kind of made me feel what Aibileen, Minny, all of them felt finding their own voices and not keeping silent anymore,” Davis said backstage.

Gov. Brewer and Her Wagging Finger: Your Best Captions

Gov. Brewer and Her Wagging Finger: Your Best Captions

bre-w.jpgThat famous picture of President Barack Obama being welcomed “intensely” by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer earlier this week made big headlines. And we knew’s clever readers would have some good caption suggestions.

About 35 of you sent in submissions and below are some of the highlights. Thanks for participating!

“That better be a birth certificate in your hand or I’m calling Sherriff Joe to arrest you for criminal trespass!”

“Petrificus Totalus!” (Spell in Harry Potter that renders a victim completely immobile)

“Put the finger down and step slowly away from the President. Keep your racist hands where I can see them.”

“Don’t be taking cues on how to interact with Black people from Gangsta rap…”

‎”now you lesson here Boy”…..

“Does this smell funny to you?”

Get Ready for Big Freedia To Shake the U.S. with New Orleans Bounce [Video]

Get Ready for Big Freedia To Shake the U.S. with New Orleans Bounce [Video]

On Wednesday night Big Freedia brought bounce to national television with a performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live late-night talk show. Freedia performed two recent songs, “Excuse” (above) and “Na Who Mad” (below). You can watch the full episode on

At a performance in Los Angeles Thursday night, Big Freedia said her phone has not stopped ringing since her television debut.

And to read more about Freedia read the NY Times 2010 profile on her.

Joe Biden Mocks Indian Accents During Outsourcing Speech

Joe Biden Mocks Indian Accents During Outsourcing Speech

During a speech in New Hampshire on Thursday, vice president Joe Biden slipped into an “Indian” accent when talking about “hundreds of thousands” of call center jobs going overseas.

At the 00:11 second mark you see Biden catch himself and stop the accent.

The New York Times ‘India Ink’ blog provides a bit more context:

The accent was so badly done that some commentators immediately speculated that it was supposed to be Russian - but still it brought to mind Mr. Biden’s 2006 Indian-American gaffe, when he was caught on microphone saying: “In Delaware, the largest growth in population is Indian-Americans moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

Biden is no stranger to sticking his foot in his mouth. In 2007, an LA Times columnist said Biden had “uncontrollable verbosity” and called him a gaffe machine.

‘Slavery By Another Name’ Director Gets 2-Min Standing Ovation at Sundance

'Slavery By Another Name' Director Gets 2-Min Standing Ovation at Sundance

The Sundance audience at Sam Pollard’s documentary “Slavery By Another Name” gave the director a 2-minute standing ovation after the film premiere.

Merging testimonials, reenactments, and archival footage, Pollard’s film recounts the hidden existence of slavery decades after the Emancipation Proclamation when blacks were forced in to labor of because of ostensible “debts.” 

The Sundance Film Festival describes the film:

Sam Pollard performs a remarkable act of historical reclamation in this documentary, recounting the many ways in which American slavery persisted as a practice many decades after its supposed abolition. It is a story impressive in its sweep and alarming in the way that its larger theme—an American moral failure—has been obscured in history.

Facing economic catastrophe under Reconstruction, as well as freed black citizens’ political and social ascendancy, southern states found effective tactics to continue forced servitude in new modes. Techniques such as peonage (forced labor to pay off debts), leasing convicts to private business, or forcing convict labor in state-run enterprises subjected newly freed American citizens to inescapable conditions that insidiously operated under more palatable names than slavery.

Pollard recounts this slowly evolving hidden history, including the activism that powerfully confronted it, with a stirring combination of photographs, reenactments, and the testimony of key historians, bringing to light many shocking details, but more importantly redefining “emancipation” in history and American political life.

The film will have it’s television premiere on PBS on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m., as part of the channel’s Black History Month programming.

Spike Lee’s Co-Writer: Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

Spike Lee's Co-Writer: Nothing Happens Unless White Folks Say So

The reviews for Spike Lee’s film “Red Hook Summer” that premiered at Sundance earlier this week have not been good. His comments made after the premiere about Hollywood studios knowing “nothing about black people” made more headlines than the actual film.

An open letter published yesterday by “Red Hook” co-writer, James McBride, is sure to make even more headlines because he takes the film community to task and says “nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens.”

Below is an excerpt from McBride’s open letter on the 40 Acres and a Mule website:

Three days ago, at the premiere of “Red Hook Summer” at The Sundance Film Festival, Spike, usually a cool and widely accepting soul whose professional life is as racially diverse as any American I know- lost his cool for 30 seconds. When prompted by a question from Chris Rock who was seated in the audience, he blurted out a small, clear truth: He said one reason we did “Red Hook Summer” independently was because he could not get Hollywood to green light the follow-up to “Inside Man” - which cost only $45 million to make and grossed a whopping $184,376,240 million domestically and worldwide - plus another $37 million domestically on DVD sales. Within minutes, the internet lit up with burning personal criticism of him stitched into negative reviews of “Red Hook Summer” by so-called film critics and tweeters. I don’t mind negative reviews. That’s life in the big leagues. But it’s the same old double standard. The recent success of “Red Tails” which depicts the story of the all black Tuskegee Airmen, is a clear example. Our last film, “Miracle At St. Anna,” which paid homage to the all-black 92nd Division, which fought on the ground in Italy, was blasted before it even got out the gate. Maybe it’s a terrible film. Maybe it deserved to bomb. The difference is this: When George Lucas complained publicly about the fact that he had to finance his own film because Hollywood executives told him they didn’t know how to market a black film, no one called him a fanatic. But when Spike Lee says it, he’s a racist militant and a malcontent. Spike’s been saying the same thing for 25 years. And he had to go to Italy to raise money for a film that honors American soldiers, because unlike Lucas, he’s not a billionaire. He couldn’t reach in his pocket to create, produce, market, and promote his film like Lucas did with “Red Tails.”

But there’s a deeper, even more critical element here , because it’s the same old story: Nothing in this world happens unless white folks says it happens. And therein lies the problem of being a professional black storyteller- writer, musician, filmmaker. Being black is like serving as Hoke, the driver in “Driving Miss Daisy,” except it’s a kind of TV series lasts the rest of your life: You get to drive the well-meaning boss to and fro, you love that boss, your lives are stitched together, but only when the boss decides your story intersects with his or her life is your story valid. Because you’re a kind of cultural maid. You serve up the music, the life, the pain, the spirituality. You clean house. Take the kids to school. You serve the eggs and pour the coffee. And for your efforts the white folks thank you. They pay you a little. They ask about your kids. Then they jump into the swimming pool and you go home to your life on the outside, whatever it is. And if lucky you get to be the wise old black sage that drops pearls of wisdom, the wise old poet or bluesman who says ‘I been buked and scorned,’ and you heal the white folks, when in fact you can’t heal anybody. In fact, you’re actually as dumb as they are, dumber maybe, because you played into the whole business. Robbing a character of their full dimension, be it in fiction or non fiction, hurts everyone the world over. Need proof? Ask any Native American, Asian, Latino, Gay American, or so called white “hillbilly.” As if hillbillies don’t read books, and Asians don’t rap, and Muslims don’t argue about the cost of a brake job.

Read the full letter at Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule website .

Migrants Making Journey Through Mexico ‘Desperately Need Socks’

Migrants Making Journey Through Mexico 'Desperately Need Socks'

A new campaign by Amnesty International highlights the plight of thousands of Central American migrants traveling across the region every year by calling for donations of a particular, humble item of clothing.

When Amnesty International asked migrants what one thing they would take if leaving the country, the answer was: “socks.”

“Most migrants told us that they had no possessions with them at all because they expected to be attacked and robbed on the journey and that anything of value would increase their chances of kidnap,” Rupert Knox, Mexico researcher at Amnesty International, said in a statement. “Much to our surprise, the migrants did tell us that one thing they desperately needed on their journey were socks. On journeys that can be up to hundreds of miles, untreated blisters risk lives and a fresh pair of socks can make all the difference.”

In a three-minute campaign video filmed in Mexico, members of the public are asked: “If you had to leave your country and could only take one thing, what would it be?” Residents of Mexico City gave answers ranging from “identity cards” to “Tabasco sauce.”

Their responses starkly contrasted with those given by migrants, whose request for socks has led to the launch of a website - - where the public can watch the campaign video and make donations.

There are no official figures for the numbers of migrants travelling illegally through Mexico but 60,000 were detained and repatriated in 2011. More than nine in every 10 are Central Americans, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras or Nicaragua, according to Amnesty International.

Obama Says Brewer Wagging Finger ‘No Big Deal’

Obama Says Brewer Wagging Finger 'No Big Deal'

A tense airport exchange with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, in which she wagged her finger in his face, was blown out of proportion, President Barack Obama said in an ABC News interview on Thursday.

“I think it’s always good publicity for a Republican if they’re in an argument with me. … But this was really not a big deal,” Obama said. “Last time we met, she wasn’t fully satisfied. But, you know, I think this is a classic example of things getting blown out of proportion.”

According to Brewer, Obama “turned that conversation immediately to my book ‘Scorpions for Breakfast’ and was immediately somewhat distraught, disappointed about the way that he was portrayed in that book,” she told CNN Thursday. “Let me say that I respect the office of president, and when I went to meet him at the tarmac, I went with a happy heart,” Brewer went on to say.

Looks like Brewer ends up winning in this one though.

Brewer’s book on Thursday skyrocketed up to become the 8th best seller on Amazon and #1 in three different political categories. The book, released in November, ranked 276,665th in sales on before the airport showdown

Ten Undocumented Youth Arrested in San Bernardino for Civil Disobedience at DHS Office

Ten Undocumented Youth Arrested in San Bernardino for Civil Disobedience at DHS Office

On Tuesday ten undocumented immigrant youth were arrested in San Bernardino, Calif. after practicing non-violent civil disobedience by holding multiple “sit-ins” in front of the Department of Homeland Security building in town.

The youth say their actions were driven by the steady pace of detention and deportation orders that undocumented immigrants and young people in particular are facing in Southern California.

“Here in the Inland Empire area a lot of undocumented youth and people are turned over to ICE and processed because of 287g and secure communities, we are here demanding and end to these programs and policies,” Maria Rodriguez, an undocumented youth from Riverside attending Pitzer College, said in a statement.

The students were all released from jail by the next morning, Nico Gonzalez with the Immigrant Youth Coalition confirmed with’s immigration reporter Julianne Hing.

“The Immigrant Youth Coalition, like many immigrant youth activists, are employing their civil disobedience tactics to call for an end to enforcement programs like Secure Communities and 287(g) that are sweeping the community up into the country’s deportation machine,” Hing said.

We’re ending the day as often as possible by celebrating love. We welcome your ideas for posts. Send suggestions to, 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.

Azealia Banks Performs at Karl Lagerfeld’s House in Paris [Video]

Azealia Banks Performs at Karl Lagerfeld's House in Paris [Video]

I wrote about 21-year-old Harlem rapper Azealia Banks last Wednesday, the day she signed on to Universal Music. And just one week later she’s in Paris during couture week. And performing in Karl Lagerfeld’s house (to a tough crowd.)

Video was uploaded to YouTube earlier today by Derek Blasberg, Editor at Large of Harper’s Bazaar.

Bulldogs Lose Recruit as Georgia Demands He Prove Immigration Status

Bulldogs Lose Recruit as Georgia Demands He Prove Immigration Status

When Chester Brown learned he had been recruited to University Of Georgia’s football team he was so excited that he got the commitment date tattooed on his left forearm. That tattoo will now also serve as constant reminder of the date the Samoan-born offensive lineman had to decommit himself because he couldn’t prove his immigration status in the United States.

An anti-immigrant measure passed by the state Board of Regents in 2010 requires “the verification of a student’s lawful presence in the United States” in order to enroll in any of the state’ public universities. Brown’s family is unable to produce any documentation, according to ESPN’s college football blog.

And it gets more complicated because most people didn’t know Brown was undocumented and he suffered humiliation when he decommitted. More details from ESPN:

Brown, who attends the Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Ga., initially cited “personal reasons” for decommitting, saying that he didn’t want “anything bad to happen to me, anything bad to happen to my family and most of all I don’t want anything bad to happen to Georgia.”

But Brown had no choice, said a family spokesperson, who added that the decision left him heartbroken after developing relationships with Georgia recruits, coaches and members of the team. He had been talking up the Bulldogs to other would-be Georgia commitments for the Class of 2012 for months.

“It has been rough on Chester,” the Brown family spokesperson said Tuesday night. “He went to school today and he just got bashed from all of these teachers calling him dumb and stupid for decommitting. He came home and just cried. And they don’t know the situation.”

Brown’s family emigrated from Samoa in the mid-1990s and lived in Long Beach, Calif., upon arriving in the United States. “They moved to Hinesville in 2004, attempting to escape the crime and gang activity that was prevalent in their community,” ESPN reports.

“As far as inside the state of Georgia, there is no way. It is just going to run into a dead end. There is nothing else we can do,” a family spokesperson told ESPN about Brown’s college options. “What I am hearing, and (what) coach Ball told Chester today, was, ‘Get ready, because big-name colleges are coming after you. You will see what I am talking about.’ “

Georgia is the second state, after South Carolina, to enact a ban on undocumented students at public colleges.

Caption Contest: What Did Brewer and Her Wagging Finger Tell Obama?

Caption Contest: What Did Brewer and Her Wagging Finger Tell Obama?

bre-w.jpgThe picture of President Barack Obama being welcomed “intensely” by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer yesterday has gone viral. And it’s begging for a good caption.

And if the New Yorker can have their caption contests, so can we. Comment below (or via Facebook or Twitter) and we’ll post the best captions tomorrow.

PS: Keep it classy! (That means don’t post any misogynist captions because your comments will likely disappear.)

Univision to Obama: Explain to Latinos Why You Didn’t Keep Immigration Promise [Video]

Univision to Obama: Explain to Latinos Why You Didn't Keep Immigration Promise [Video]

Univision’s María Elena Salinas asked President Obama yesterday to explain to Latinos why he didn’t keep his immigration promise to them.

“It’s very simple. We couldn’t get any republican votes. Zero. None.”

Even though he couldn’t keep his promise, Obama says he’ll win the Latino vote no matter who he runs against because of his stance on issues that matter to Latino like the economy, healthcare and the DREAM Act.

“On a whole range of issues, whether it’s Mr. Romney, Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Santorum or wherever else they might decide to select they represent a fundamentally different vision of America and it’s not the bold, generous forward-looking optimistic America that I think built this country,” Obama said.

Latinos still favor President Obama over all the Republican candidates by a wide margin, according to a new poll conducted by Latino Decisions for Univision News and ABC News.

While some Latinos have complained about Obama’s failed promise to take up immigration reform and bring down the country’s unemployment rate -53 percent say they are less excited about Obama than they were three years ago — for the most part they remain supportive of the president.

Junot Díaz to Keynote at’s Facing Race 2012 in Baltimore

Junot Díaz to Keynote at's Facing Race 2012 in Baltimore

Facing Race is the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, and activists on racial justice. It’s taking place November 15-17 in Baltimore, and yesterday,’s publisher, Applied Research Center, announced the keynote speaker is Junot Díaz!

ARC’s mission to popularize racial justice led to the selection of celebrated Dominican-American author Junot Díaz as Facing Race keynote speaker. From his Pulitzer Prize-winning, NYTimes bestselling novel, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, to his short stories and essays, Díaz is renowned for his bold, nuanced depiction of immigrants and people of color, moving far beyond stereotypes to deal with different degrees of historical and intergenerational trauma, issues of diasporic displacement, and immigration. Through Díaz’s writing, the impact of internalized and structural oppression is revealed in a way that makes a discussion about racial justice accessible and engaging.

Join and the Applied Research Center and be part of the discussion. Define justice. Make Change.

Visit for more information and to register to attend Facing Race in Baltimore November 15-17.

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