Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Too $hort Calls XXL Video Debacle a Blessing in Disguise

In a carefully worded interview with Allhiphop.com’s Tim Sanchez, Oakland rap veteran Todd “Too $hort” Shaw, 45, responds to the ongoing controversy he sparked with a disastrous XXLmag.com video in which he instructs middle school boys to skip “trying to get kisses from girls” in favor of “turning them” by pushing them against walls and inserting a saliva-covered finger into their vaginas to “watch what happens.”

In the Q+A headlined “Too $hort on Righting Wrongs and Rapping Relentlessly,” Shaw describes a breakthrough discussion he had with journalist and activist dream hampton:

Dream Hampton [sic] explained to me about how this is a time when women are fighting for their rights, and here’s a video that describes an assault. I’m actually a very knowledgeable brother, but Dream [sic] schooled me in the conversation. It really opened up my eyes to something I had not known about. She told me that if we were kids at a pool and I ran by and yanked her top down, it wouldn’t be a joke or a prank to her—that would be a traumatic incident, and it is along the lines of sexual assault. As little boys, we’re running around tapping girl’s a**es like it’s funny, but they’re really victimized by it. I learned that it’s not a joking matter. I feel like I needed that education because had I not, I could’ve continued thinking that it is a joke. Even with my music filled with misogyny, I still have morals.

Supreme Court Offers Key Victory to Day Laborers

Day laborers won a key victory this week when the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by the California city of Redondo Beach over the city’s anti-day-laborer ordinance.

In so doing, the Supreme Court let stand a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ruled that prohibiting day laborers from seeking work in the way that Redondo Beach’s ordinance did violated those workers’ free speech rights.

“Today’s denial of Supreme Court review is a singular victory for the First Amendment and its protection of free speech by all persons; the Amendment protects day laborers as well as the wealthiest corporation,” Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which fought the ordinance, said on Tuesday.

Saenz said that the ruling should serve as a warning to other states and localities which have passed laws barring day laborers from soliciting work.

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Virginia Students Go On Hunger Strike to Win Living Wage for Employees

At least 18 students at the University of Virginia have staged a hunger strike to bring attention to campus employees’ fight for a living wage. This week, the school’s governing body, the Board of Visitors, is meeting and the students are using the opportunity to bring more attention to the issue.

The campaign is demanding $13 base wage per hour, before benefits, for all university employees. Many of the school’s employees are women and people of color, according to students working on the campaign. According to organizers who referenced research by the Economic Policy Institute, the salary demand reflects the cost of living in the surrounding Charlottesville area.

T-Mobile’s Back in the News — This Time Trying to Stop a Merger

Just months after the Department of Justice help thwart its plans to merge with AT&T and form the nation’s largest mobile phone company, T-Mobile recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to stop Verizon’s deal to acquire new airwave licenses from cable companies.

Though AT&T took tons of flack for its merger bid, all this commotion signals just now desperate wireless companies are to get more spectrum — the once publicly-owned, government-controlled airwaves that have been around for years and help fuel our new handheld gadgets. As more and more people clamor to get new smartphones and gadgets, the companies that provide those services — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, MetroPCS, to name the big ones — are beginning to get overwhelmed. To put it simply, the U.S. just doesn’t have the infrastructure to keep up with growing demand. All this talk of mergers is industry’s solution to that nagging problem.

Obama Tells Latinos: Don’t Say I Didn’t Try for Immigration Reform

Obama Tells Latinos: Don't Say I Didn't Try for Immigration Reform

President Obama took to the airwaves yesterday to let Latinos know he did his best to hold up his end of his promise to reform the country’s immigration system, reports Univision.

When asked whether or not he broke his campaign promise to bring comprehensive immigration reform to the country upon his election, Obama told the popular and influential Los Angeles-based radio host Eddie “Piolin” Sotelo, “Piolin, I would only have broken my promise if I hadn’t tried. But ultimately, I’m one man.”

Nicki Minaj: ’ I Would Do a Really Good Job as a Prosecutor’

img-true-colors-nicki-minaj_204210520524.jpg_article_singleimage.jpgNicki Minaj, 29, appeared on Vogue.com this week. The rapper is featured in a profile about her style came to be and how she loves her Giuseppe, Versace, YSL, Fendi and Vuitton accessories. Vogue contributing writer Lynn Yaeger, who has eccentric style herself, wrote the profile.

The photograph in profile is probably the most interesting though. Smurf? Beetlejuice? Blue-face?

The two interesting tidbits from Minaj’s profile in Vogue: Minaj also reveals a far more sober side than her stage act might indicate. “A huge part of me wanted to be a lawyer! I would do a really good job as a prosecutor,” she alleges. That’s not the singer’s only alternative personality—famous for creating stage alter egos with names like Roman Zolanski, she confesses that she sometimes imagines herself clad in a bikini and high heels, cooking dinner for a breadwinning husband. […] Still, Minaj is adamant that her legacy will not be one of a free-spending, know-nothing celebrity. She’s planning “an enormous foundation to nurture girls. The Nicki Minaj girl is a fun, artsy girl who can become a fierce force to be reckoned with on Wall Street! They hang on my every word, so I tell them, go to school, be ambitious. The worst position is to be financially dependent on the man.” And what of that alternate Nicki, serving her lord and master a martini by the pool? The fuchsia waves shake furiously. “I could never be that girl!”

LAPD Chief Supports Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

LAPD Chief Supports Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said Wednesday that California should issue driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. L.A. City Attorney Carmen Trutanich agrees with Beck and calls the issue “a matter of public safety.”

“My personal belief is that they should be able to” have licenses, Beck said in an interview with the LA Times. “The reality is that all the things that we’ve done — ‘we’ being the state of California — over the last 14, 16 years have not reduced the problem one iota, haven’t reduced undocumented aliens driving without licenses. So we have to look at what we’re doing. When something doesn’t work over and over and over again, my view is that you should reexamine it to see if there is another way that makes more sense.”

Magic Johnson is Bringing ‘Soul Train’ Back [Video]

Magic Johnson is Bringing 'Soul Train' Back [Video]

Now that he’s getting his own cable network, Magic Johnson is announcing he’s bringing ‘Soul Train’ back.

According to The Associated Press, the ex-NBA star

Before the death of Don Cornelius stirred pangs of “Soul Train” nostalgia in the American public, a group of black entrepreneurs already had begun working to revive Cornelius’ creation and carry it beyond the continued popularity of the show’s dances and television reruns.

UC Davis Students Peppered Sprayed by Campus Police File Lawsuit in Federal Court

UC Davis Students Peppered Sprayed by Campus Police File Lawsuit in Federal Court

On Wednesday, nineteen current and former UC Davis students filed a federal lawsuit against UC Davis over the University’s treatment of protesters during a Nov. 18, 2011 demonstration in which campus police were caught on video dousing seated protesters with pepper spray.

The students were protesting tuition increases and police brutality on UC campuses. Video footage of the 2011 incident show peaceful students sitting down and then getting pepper sprayed by the two officers from a very close proximity—eleven of them were treated on site for injuries.


Forgive New Mexico Gov’s Haircuts, Her Gay Stylist Gave up on Her [Video]

Forgive New Mexico Gov's Haircuts, Her Gay Stylist Gave up on Her [Video]

New Mexicos Republican tea party-backed Latina governor Susana Martinez is going to have to find a new hair stylist because of her stance on gay marriage.

Oakland Police Shoot Oscar Grant’s Cousin

Oakland Police Shoot Oscar Grant's Cousin

Over the weekend Oakland Police seriously injured 24-year-old Tony Jones after they shot him in the back. Jones’ mother says he is a cousin of Oscar Grant — the Hayward man killed by a BART police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.

“I talked to my son. My son said ‘Momma, the officers [are] lying. They watched me get out of the car. They watched me walk. They started speeding up and I took off running across the street and when I took off running and I heard the gun go pow, pow, pow,’” Jones’ mother Betrina Works-Grant told KGO. “He said he was running with his hands like this [at his sides]. The police shot at him and shot him in his back. They never said they [were] the police,” More details from KGO:

NY Fox 5 News Anchor Wonders How Jeremy Lin’s Eyes Hold Up on the Court [Video]

NY Fox 5 News Anchor Wonders How Jeremy Lin's Eyes Hold Up on the Court [Video]

Just days after an ESPNews anchor was suspended for using a racial slur in a Jeremy Lin news story comes New York’s WNYW Fox 5 news anchor making a joke about Lin’s eyes.

(h/t AngryAsianMan)

‘Awkward Black Girl’ Issa Rae’s Dream: HBO with Creative Control [Video]

'Awkward Black Girl' Issa Rae's Dream: HBO with Creative Control [Video]

Issa Rae says the dream for ‘Awkward Black Girl’ is to “stay online with millions of views and sponsorships or end up on HBO—that’s the ultimate dream—HBO uncut with creative control.”

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.

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