Donald Glover Seen Canoodling With Lena Dunham on Set of ‘Girls’

Donald Glover Seen Canoodling With Lena Dunham on Set of 'Girls'

Last week the creator of HBO’s “Girls” Lena Dunham tweeted a picture of Donald Glover on the set of the show that just started filming it’s second season, then the New York post published a photo of both stars sitting on a stoop together with flirtatious body language, now Dunham is staying tightlipped about the whole thing.

“Even though the show [from week to week] is just a slight shift in people’s emotional landscapes, I like to act like we’re protecting state secrets,” Dunham told

Dunham’s “Girls” has received criticism for the lack of diversity on the series but she recently told NPR’s “Fresh Air” the show’s second season would be more diverse.

“Now we have the opportunity to do a second season and, believe me, that will be remedied,” Dunham said. “I’m really excited to introduce new characters into the world of the show. Some of them are great actors of color.”

Now everyone is dying to know if Glover is a new love interest on the show. What say you?


Louisiana School Psychologist: ‘Young Black Thugs Who Won’t Follow the Law Need to Be Put Down’

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed two federal civil rights complaints against the Jefferson Parish school system for allegedly discriminating against black and disabled students and sending them to alternative schools, where they often languish for months or even years before returning to school. Now the civil rights organization is highlighting racially charged comments made by one of the district’s psychologists as evidence of potential racial biases.

“Young Black Thugs who won’t follow the law need to be put down not incarcerated. Put down like the Dogs they are!” read one tweet made by Mark Traina, the Jefferson Parish school psychologist, who has worked with alternative schools and in central administration.

On Monday, the Times-Picayune reported Traina worked in central administration with the process of referring children to alternative campuses.

In another tweet about the Republican presidential primaries in March, Traina wrote, “I grew up in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana - I am a Wallace Man at Heart!”

“It’s particularly alarming to have someone who works for the school system in a position of authority be pro-segregation,” Eden Heilman, a lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center told, referring to Traina’s remark about George Wallace, segregationist governor of Alabama.

“The Southern Poverty Center knows that these allegations are ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE!,” Traina wrote in an education forum on last week. “Everyone knows that our jails throughout the United States are disproportionately filled with black people. Why would the rate be any different in an educational environment,” Traina went on to ask.

The Southern Poverty Law Center complaint filed with the department’s Office of Civil Rights claims the district’s alternative school policies have resulted in students with disabilities accounting for 52 percent of referrals to alternative schools, when they represent only 11 percent of the district’s student population. Black students account for 78 percent of all alternative school referrals even though they are only 46 percent of the district’s student population.

50 Percent of Those Exonerated in National Registry are Black

50 Percent of Those Exonerated in National Registry are Black

The University of the Michigan Law School and the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law have partnered to launch a National Registry of Exonerations that keeps an up to date list of all known exonerations in the United States since 1989. The group’s inaugural report released this week reveals 50 percent of false convictions are of black defendants.

The National Registry of Exoneration documents include 891 exonerations with summaries of the cases and searchable data on each. Their latest report focuses on the 873 exonerations that were entered in the Registry as of March 1, 2012. 

Below are key findings from the Center’s study of the 873 exonerated defendants as printed in the report:

  • 93% are men, 7% women;
  • 50% are black, 38% white, 11% Hispanic and 2% Native American or Asian;
  • 37% were exonerated with the help of DNA evidence; 63% without DNA; as a group, they spent more than 10,000 years in prison - an average of more than 11 years each.
  • Since 2000, exonerations have averaged 52 a year - one a week - 40% of which include DNA evidence.
  • The 873 exonerations are mostly rape and murder cases, but the data also include
    many more exonerations for other crimes than previously known.

For all exonerations, the most common causal factors that contributed to the underlying false convictions are perjury or false accusation (51%), mistaken eyewitness identification (43%) and official misconduct (42%) - followed by false or misleading forensic evidence (24%) and false confession (16%).

Listen to the Last Song Whitney Houston Recorded for ‘Sparkle’ Soundtrack

Listen to the Last Song Whitney Houston Recorded for 'Sparkle' Soundtrack

The last song Whitney Houston ever recorded has leaked online. Produced by R. Kelly, the song is called “Celebrate” and is a duet with Jordin Sparks who appears alongside Houston in the upcoming film “Sparkle.”

According to TMZ, the song performed four days before Houston’s death.

Most immigrants Sent Back to Mexico Detained at Work or Home, Border Apprehensions Decline

About one-in-six migrants sent back to Mexico (17%) were apprehended at work or at home in 2010, according to a recent Pew Hispanic Center analysis. The rise in home or work apprehensions is a pretty significant jump from previous years—in 2005, only 3% were apprehended at home or at work.

By contrast, a declining share of Mexican migrants report being apprehended at the border—25% in 2010, compared with 33% in 2005 and nearly half (49%) in 1995.

While the number of people crossing from Mexico into the United States has fallen to 40 year lows, the rates of deportation have reached historic highs.

“The new data unveils what we already knew: as migration wanes, immigration enforcement is shifting gears, moving increasingly to the interior of the United States and is targeting people who’ve lived here for long periods, have homes and jobs and families here,” said’s investigative reporter Seth Freed Wessler.

“As previous Pew data shows, nearly two thirds of undocumented immigrants have lived in the country for more than a decade and nearly half have children here. Considering these shifting demographics, the fallout of the government’s insistence on deporting 400,000 people annually is likely to accumulate to toxic levels,” Wessler went on to say.

Many of those deported are parents who leave children behind. Between January and June of 2011, the United States carried out more than 46,000 deportations of the parents of U.S.-citizen children, according to federal data obtained by’s publisher, the Applied Research Center.

Jay Smooth On Not Freaking Out About Nonwhite Births Becoming Majority

Jay Smooth On Not Freaking Out About Nonwhite Births Becoming Majority

Jay Smooth, host of New York’s WBAI-FM hip-hop show “Underground Railroad,” just released a new video that speaks to those that have been left uneasy with news that for the first time in history babies of color are the majority.

The video comes via Animal New York who will be premiering two new Jay Smooth videos a week.

TAGS: Jay Smooth

Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days, May Not Be Deported

Dharun Ravi Sentenced to 30 Days, May Not Be Deported

On Monday, Dharun Ravi, the 20-year-old Indian immigrant, convicted on 15 counts of illegal spying on his Rutgers dorm mate was sentenced to 30 days in jail. The story made national headlines after Ravi’s gay roommate Tyler Clementi discovered Ravi was spying on him and committed suicide days later.

“I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi,” Judge Glenn Berman told the court. “He had no reason to, but I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity.”

ABC News has more details:

Three of the convictions carried a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. Because Ravi is a citizen of India, and is in the U.S. on a green card, he could be deported following his sentencing. The U.S. deports most criminals convicted of felonies, with the exception of thefts of amounts under $10,000.

Ravi had previously rejected a plea deal that would have spared him any jail time or the threat of deportation, but put him on probation and would have required him to perform community service.

Ravi faces a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison and any jail time will likely also mean deportation for the Indian native.

NAACP Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

NAACP Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed a resolution Saturday endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right. The 103-year old civil rights group says their marriage equality endorsement is a continuation of its historic commitment to equal protection under the law.

“The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people,” Board Chairwoman Roslyn M. Brock said in a statement. “We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law.”

The NAACP announcement comes just two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage.

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous.’s Editorial Director Kai Wright says it’s difficult to identify a more “traditional,” mainstream black institution than the NAACP’s national board.

“Surely this vote can finally put to rest the weird debate over whether black people will abandon the president over his change of heart—and importantly, not change of policy—on LGBT relationships. To the contrary, his comments are forcing overdue conversations and leading all kinds of people to come out of the closet in their love and support for the LGBT people in their lives and communities,” Wright said.

Second Grader Removed From School for Honoring MLK with Blackface

Second Grader Removed From School for Honoring MLK with Blackface

A white Colorado second-grade student was sent home from school last week after he showed up to school in blackface. Sean King, 7, covered his face in black paint to portray Martin Luther King Jr., as part of an assignment that required students to dress up as a historical figure.

“They thought it was inappropriate and it will be disrespectful to black people and I say it’s not,” Sean told Colorado’s NewsChannel 13. “I like black people. It’s just a costume and I don’t want to insult anybody.”

King was removed from school after he refused to wash the black paint of his face.

“Sean seems to be a decent kid who wanted to honor Dr. King in some way. I think it would be good for the young man to understand and his family to also understand why there are still people who are offended by black face worn by white people,” Steve Klein from The King Center in Atlanta told NewsChannel 13.

“There is a disconnect here that young people need to know their history a little better,” Klein went on to say.

King’s school, Meridian Ranch Elementary School, has an estimated 600 students. According to the most recent public records 79.5% of the student body is white, 4.4% black and 10.9% Latino.

TAGS: Blackface MLK

American Apparel Ad Uses ‘California Farmer’ As Accessory in Ad

American Apparel Ad Uses 'California Farmer' As Accessory in Ad

American Apparel is no stranger to starting controversies with their hyper-sexual ads that feature young women in provocative poses. But the clothing manufacturer seems to have kicked it up a notch to get some attention by including a Latino “California farmer” who’s engaging in “public relations” with a young white women.

The Summer 2011 ad seems to have gone under radar until Comedian Fahim Anwar tweeted a screen capture of the ad on Saturday.

“Robin a USC student, studying Public Relations, with Raul a California farmer in Denim and Chambray,” reads the caption under the image of a Latino man and a young white women holding on to his arm.

“American Apparel has officially lost their minds,” Anwar wrote in his tweet.

There is something that feels off in the ad that stars Raul and Robin. Both subjects look uncomfortable with each other and as a result both subjects look like props.

American Apparel has been widely recognized as an ally in the immigration reform movement even after working conditions in their Los Angeles factory have come under question. The company’s signature white T-shirts with the phase “legalize L.A.” are a staple at immigration protest in Los Angeles and until 2009 the company hired undocumented workers that according to the company were paid a living wage. However, in Septermber 2009, after a long fight with ICE and threats of a raid, the company fired 1,800 undocumented workers.

Still something feels off with the ad. Maybe it would have been better if they had taken both subjects in to the studio and shot them behind a plain backdrop like American Apparel does with most ads and included a caption about agricultural workers and how they’re paid so little that chances are they can’t even afford a plain $18 American Apparel t-shirt.

Here’s Your Weekend Donna Summer Soundtrack

Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco and five-time Grammy winner died Thursday at the age of 63. She left behind a trove of songs and performances. Her distinctive voice and disco beats made her a legendary pop culture and musical force.

Here now, a collection of Summer’s live performances of staff favorites. These are the songs whose 8-tracks, records, CDs and mp3s we staffers remember turning up so we could dance with our families and friends. Thanks, Donna Summer, for giving us the soundtrack to our many nights cutting up the rug in the club or on the living room floor.

Breaking: Alabama Gov. Signs Awful Anti-Immigrant Revision Bill

On Thursday Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said he was sending the state legislature back to work on scaling back the harsh provisions in HB 658, an anti-immigration bill lawmakers passed the previous today. This afternoon, Bentley reversed his decision, and signed HB 658 into law.

“I still have concerns about the school provision in the original law,” Governor Bentley said in a statement. “That provision is currently enjoined by a federal court, so it is not currently in effect, and we can re-address this issue if the need arises.”

Bentley said he also disagreed with a provision that immigrant rights activists have coined the “scarlet letter provision,” which calls for the state to create an online publicly searchable database of every undocumented immigrant who appears in Alabama state court for any reason. HB 658 was intended to be an attempt to address the fallout of HB 56, the anti-immigrant law modeled after Arizona’ SB 1070, which allows police officers to question and detain anyone who they merely suspect may be undocumented. Yet the revision bill keeps unchanged many of the harshest provisions of the original.

Ultimately, Bentley said he signed the bill because after another hectic day of back and forth on the bill, it was clear the legislature “did not have the appetite for addressing further revisions at this time.”

“The bottom line is there are too many positive aspects of House Bill 658 for it to go unsigned. I don’t want to lose the progress we have made,” Governor Bentley said.

New Federal Rules Aim to Curb Sexual Assault in Prison

After years of discussion, the Department of Justice announced new federal rules to address high rates of sexual assault on rape in prison. The regulations apply to inmates in federal, state and local prisons and jails, and primarily concern prevention tactics, better reporting tactics and getting prisons to change their institutional culture.

They’re also binding rules; prisons that violate them stand to lose five percent of their federal funding, the New York Times reports. The regulations are the first of their kind, and come after Congress passed the Prison Rape Elimination Act back in 2003.

“In popular culture prison rape is often the subject of jokes; in public discourse, it has been at times dismissed by some as an inevitable — or even deserved — consequence of criminality,” the Department of Justice’s summary of the rules, released Thursday, read. “But sexual abuse is never a laughing matter, nor is it punishment for a crime. Rather, it is a crime, and it is no more tolerable when its victims have committed crimes of their own.”

Sexual assault in prisons remains an all too common and frequently ignored issue; nearly one in ten inmates reports having been the victim of rape of sexual assault in prison according to a new Bureau of Justice Statistics report (PDF), and the rates are higher for LGBT respondents. Nearly 40 percent of gay males report being targeted with sexual assault by fellow inmates.

Calif. Court to Decide if Undocumented Immigrant Can Practice Law

The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider whether an undocumented Mexican immigrant who attended law school and passed the State Bar can practice law

The Silicon Valley’s Mercury with more details:

In their weekly closed-door conference, the justices unanimously decided to consider the case of Sergio Garcia, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who graduated from Chico State University, a Florida law school and passed the State Bar exam in July 2009 but has been stalled in his bid to secure his California law license.

A State Bar committee concluded that Garcia should be admitted to practice law in California, but the issue is up to the state Supreme Court. The justices indicated they must explore a host of legal issues to resolve the question. They asked for legal arguments from a range of groups, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris and the U.S. government.

Garcia was born in Mexico and brought to the United States by his parents when he was 17 months old, according to the Daily Journal, a legal newspaper.

“This is a guy who has been waiting 18 years for a green card, got through undergrad and law school and paid his own way, the kind of person we want as a citizen and as a lawyer,” Jerome Fishkin, Garcia’s attorney in the admissions case, told the SF Chronicle on Thursday.

The Supreme Court in Florida and New York are also reviewing similar cases.

It’s a Big Day for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook — and Hoodies Across America

It's a Big Day for Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook -- and Hoodies Across America

Well, if you’re white.

Though he’s taken his share of criticism for wearing his iconic hoodie in the lead up to Facebook’s monumental IPO, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t hesitate to once again break out his favorite clothing item to announce his company’s foray onto Wall Street.

No word yet from Geraldo Rivera. But warning to steer clear of hoodies only applies to men of color.

Native American Mascots Banned in Oregon Schools, Board of Education Rules

By a 5-1 vote on Thursday, the Oregon State Board of Education voted to ban schools from using American Indian mascots, The Oregonian reported. Schools may keep their “Warriors” or “Chiefs” team names, but must replace logos that reference American Indians or American Indian culture.

At least 15 of Oregon’s schools will need to update their logos, or risk losing state funding. The vote came after six years of efforts to pass such a policy, and makes it one of the strictest in the country.

“I’m overwhelmed, but I’m holding back on my emotions — I have a meeting to finish,” the board’s Chairwoman Brenda Frank, a member of the Klamath Tribes, told the Oregonian. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Romney Releases First Spanish General Election Ad and Does Exactly What Latino Marketers Say Not to Do

Romney Releases First Spanish General Election Ad and Does Exactly What Latino Marketers Say Not to Do

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney just released his first Spanish general election ad called “Día Uno,” which is the exact replica of his English ad except for the Spanish voice and copy on the screen.

That’s exactly what Latino marketing experts have been saying not to do for decades: don’t just translate, relate!

Michel Gondry’s New Film Follows Black and Latino Teens in the Bronx

Michel Gondry's New Film Follows Black and Latino Teens in the Bronx

French director Michelle Gondry premiered his new film “The We and the I” at Cannes Film Festival on Thursday. The film is said to explore the group dynamics of a dozen or so black and Latino teens from the Bronx as they make their way through town on a bus. But if you’re familiar with Gondry’s work, you know that there is probably a lot more to the story.

Depending on who you ask Gondry is famous for his music videos or his Oscar winning film “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” He’s directed a whopping seven music video for the Icelandic artist Bjork and others like the electronic music duo Daft Punk. In 2006, Gondry also directed the documentary “Dave Chappelle’s Block Party” which followed comedian Dave Chappelle as he attempted to hold a large, free concert in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Gondry, who now lives in Brooklyn, said after a Cannes press screening that he was inspired to make the film after watching a group of high school students take the Number 80 bus in Paris.

Indiewire’s Simon Abrams was present at the film premiere and offers a bit more insight on the film that currently has no release date:

The We and the I’s plot largely concerns the roundabout way various disparate high school cliques interact with each other. For example, Michael and Theresa (Michael Brodie and Theresa L. Rivera, two stand-out amateur performers), a pair of estranged ex-lovers, serve as the film’s emotional anchors. But Michael’s group of bullies also teases the hot girl and her dorky best friend, who in turn razz the arty nerd, whose nose is buried in his sketchpad, who also was picked on earlier by Michael and his friends. The film’s plot is an amorphous series of testosterone and estrogen-fueled encounters spurred on by maniacally catty urges that are, thankfully, not all redeemed at the film’s eleventh hour.

None of the reviews mention race or the race dynamics of the film and the director is a white male showing an intimate portrait of black and Latino teens in New York City, so there may be more to explore on that end. But as a fan of Gondry’s work I’ll venture to say he’ll probably stay away from stereotypes and instead take the teens on that bus on some bizarre sci-fi journey.

Trayvon Martin Autopsy Said He Had Weed in His System — So What?

Trayvon Martin Autopsy Said He Had Weed in His System -- So What?

Travyon Martin had traces of a chemical found in marijuana in his blood and urine, a medical examiner found, CNN reported.

He also had been suspended three times, the first for graffiti, the second for truancy and the last time for being caught with “drug residue” at school. It was after this last suspension that Martin’s father had brought him to Sanford, four hours away from his home.

Martin was shot within 36 inches, a medical examiner found. Yet a newly released medical report also showed the extent of Zimmerman’s injuries that night, which include a broken nose and cuts at the back of his head. Ultimately though, Martin’s death was “avoidable” if Zimmerman had not left his car and approached the teen, an investigator determined. A local prosecutor wanted to arrest Zimmerman and charge him with manslaughter but was overruled.

The information was released with a bevy of documents which give a more complete picture of what happened the night that George Zimmerman killed the Florida teen.

For Rep. Gwen Moore, the Violence Against Women Act is Personal

For Rep. Gwen Moore, the Violence Against Women Act is Personal

At a news conference Wednesday to push for the unrestricted reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis. shared her personal experience with abuse in an effort to get both chambers of Congress to reconcile the House bill with the Senate-Passed version.

In the video clip above, Moore shares an emotional testimony of being raped and sent a direct message to her colleagues:

As a woman of color I am particularly aggrieved that this bill ignores the special circumstances of women who are minorities, women who are in the shadows.

Stop playing games with the lives of women. They don’t want to hear us talking about a war on women, but I mean this is a direct assault on womens lives. Three women a day die because of victimization. And I would implore my colleagues to stop playing games.

A few weeks ago, the Senate approved the reauthorization of the VAWA with a 68 to 31 vote—31 opponents were Republican men. The “games” that Moore refers to are the obstacles the bill faces getting through the Republican-led House. gender matters blogger Akiba Solomon notes that the opposition to VAWA doesn’t just affect women:

Republicans take umbrage when they’re accused of waging a war on women. That pearl clutching seems awfully hollow given that the Republican-backed House version of VAWA seeks to roll back common-sense extensions of the Senate version of VAWA including more U-Visas for immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence, the elimination of red tape that contributes to one in three Native American women being raped in their lifetimes, and protections and shelter for LGBT folks in abusive relationships. If anything, I would expand the “war on women” language to be more inclusive. Let’s just start calling it a “war on people.”

(h/t Buzzfeed)

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