Race Discussions Blow Up at SXSW Premiere of LA Riots Documentary

Race Discussions Blow Up at SXSW Premiere of LA Riots Documentary

“Uprising: Hip Hop and The L.A. Riots” premiered at SXSW on Wednesday night. The VH1 documentary examines the relationship between what was happening on the streets before the 1992 uprising and the rage expressed in hip-hop music.

The film, directed by Mark Ford, includes a well researched and compelling mix of archival footage from both local television news camera and video shot by community members on the ground—a lot of which has has never been broadcasted before. Interweaved throughout the film are interviews with well known figures and hip hop artists including: Rodney King, Arsenio Hall, John Singleton, Too Short, KRS-One, Nas and Sir Jinx. Current LAPD Chief Charlie Beck was also interviewed along with former chiefs Bernard Parks and William Bratton. (There were not very many women included in the film.)

American Idol Expels Black Finalist, Puts Criminal Record on Blast

American Idol Expels Black Finalist, Puts Criminal Record on Blast

American Idol is about making dreams come true but on Wednesday night’s show producers not only cut some dreams short but they also humiliated a contestant when they put his criminal justice history on blast.

“The fact is we are not allowed to have anybody that has an outstanding warrant on the program — and you have four of them against you,” one of the producers told 25-year old Jermaine Jones.

Seems like it was an obvious decision that had to be made but did they have to parade him around and broadcast his business to 17 million viewers?

Romney’s Mexican Relatives Wish He’d Get on Board with DREAM Act

Romney's Mexican Relatives Wish He'd Get on Board with DREAM Act

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has promised to veto the DREAM Act several times. DREAM activist have also pressed him multiple times on the subject, including interrupting a recent victory speech in Massachusetts with DREAM Act chants.

But now the pressure is coming from Romneys own Mexican relatives.

“Ellos (the Dreamers) no han hecho nada malo (they have done nothing wrong),” one of Romney’s relatives said in an interview aired Monday on Univision. “The U.S. certainly could use their talents.”

(h/t: NY Daily News)

Celebrate Pi Day with Mathematician Euphemia Lofton Haynes

Celebrate Pi Day with Mathematician Euphemia Lofton Haynes

It’s March 14, which means it’s Pi Day!

(For our readers whose nerdiness manifests in non-math arenas: pi, or π, is the ratio of any circle’s circumference to its diameter. This works out to be approximately 3.14, but not exactly; the true value has been being calculated for literally thousands of years, and has raised all sorts of questions about what a weird universe we live in. But for our purposes, 3.14 = March 14.)

Since we’re talking about math today, let’s talk about a less inspiring numerical constant: the number of people of color and women in STEM fields. In 1999, black women made up less than one quarter of one percent of mathematicians; in 2009, only two percent of math and statistics doctorate degrees were issued to black women. The numbers aren’t much better for anyone who isn’t a white man, and in some cases are getting worse. And yes, the ‘overachieving Asian’ archetype is more complex than it looks.

White Born-Again and Evangelical Christians Dominated Alabama and Mississippi GOP Primaries

White Born-Again and Evangelical Christians Dominated Alabama and Mississippi GOP Primaries

Mississippi has the highest African-American population of any state in the union but on Tuesday’s GOP primary around 8 in 10 Mississippians voters were white evangelical or born-again Christians, the largest share measured in any state, according to the Associated Press.

Meet Jimmy, the White Guy Who Made a Video About Why the Philippines is So Awful

Meet Jimmy, the White Guy Who Made a Video About Why the Philippines is So Awful

First there was Alexandra Wallace. Then than two-girls from that Gainesville High School that didn’t like black folk. And now there’s Jimmy Sieczka.

Meet Jimmy Sieczka, the white guy who made a 14-minute video about why he dislikes the Philippines so much. (Sieczka is currently a mentor at the International Academy of Film and Television in Cebu—he’s been there for three years.)

He goes on for 14-minutes complaining about lack of refrigeration at open air markets, traffic, being offered prescription drugs on the streets and how every hot girl in the Philippines is a “lady boy.” And even complains about how many skin lightening creams there are in the market. (yes, a white guy complaining about skin lightening products.)

TAGS: Videos WTF

‘Homeless Hotspots’ Miss Point on Dignity, Says Head of Street Newspaper Network

clarence-homeless-hotspot.jpgBartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH), the advertising agency behind the “Homeless Hotspots” campaign that turned homeless people in to mobile wifi providers claims their idea was an attempt to “modernize the Street Newspaper model.” But the Director of the International Network of Street Papers (INSP) says the advertising agency missed the mark on dignity and self-respect.

Lisa Maclean is the executive director of INSP, the group that oversees over 100 street press projects in 40 countries, in 24 languages, with a combined readership of 6 million per edition.

She says since the first street paper launched 20 years ago, the model has been based on working, not begging.

“BBH’s interest in supporting homeless people is really commendable. But it misses a couple of crucial elements specific to the street paper model. Homeless vendors buy their copies for half the cover price, then sell them on and keep the profits. The buy and sell element is crucial in the process, as it is the transaction that makes the vendor a salesman, not the recipient of a donation,” Maclean wrote on INSP’s blog.

“Street papers offer vendors not just an income, but a sense of self-respect and dignity. At the same time, they put a face on homelessness by offering quality, independent journalism.”

(h/t: AdAge)

Even Ugandan Victims of Kony Say Some ‘Kony 2012’ Methods Are Offensive

Even Ugandan Victims of Kony Say Some 'Kony 2012' Methods Are Offensive

The ‘KONY 2012’ video will likely hit 78 million views by the end of today but Ugandans in the area affected by Joseph Kony the worst haven’t seen the video because there is no internet access. And the few Ugandans that attended an outdoor screening of the viral video this week were throwing rocks at the screen before the film was even over.

AlJazeera followed Victor Ochen of the African Youth Initiative Network to Northern Uganda for a screening of “KONY 2012” in Northern Uganda, the area worst affected by Kony’s rebel resistance army.

Santa Monica College First in Nation to Offer Popular Classes at Higher Fees

Santa Monica College (SMC) a two-year college located in Santa Monica, California, is believed to the first public institution to offer in-demand classes at higher tuition rates, according to the LA Times.

The plan approved this week by the governing board, SMC could charge $200 per unit for popular classes like English and math, according to the LA Times. Currently, fees are $36 per unit, set by the Legislature for California community college students.

Arizona Law Could Allow Employers to Fire Workers for Using Birth Control

Arizona Law Could Allow Employers to Fire Workers for Using Birth Control

Arizona’s HB 2625 is a radical proposal that would allow employers to claim they have the right to fire employees for using birth control, according to an ACLU petition recently circulated. The bill, which would also allow employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception, sailed right through the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee.

This bill has already made it through the House side and now is advancing on the Senate side.

Rush Limbaugh Is Out of National Advertisers for Next Two Weeks

Rush Limbaugh Is Out of National Advertisers for Next Two Weeks

It’s been close to two weeks since Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and the controversy isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The company that produces Limbaugh’s show issued a memo asking affiliate radio stations to refrain from running any national adds for the next two weeks.

The suspension applies to local affiliates’ national ads, or what the industry calls “barter ads.” Think Progress explains: “Rush Limbaugh is normally provided to affiliates in exchange for running several minutes of national advertisements provided by Premiere each hour. These spots are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates.”

After 20 Years SXSW Finally Gets First Official Latino Event

After 20 Years SXSW Finally Gets First Official Latino Event

Throughout the history of South by Southwest Latinos have organized unofficial “meet ups” to convene but after twenty years Latinos finally got an official event at SXSW. The event called “The Social Revolución” also honored Latino visionaries using social media to create change.

“With so many inspiring Social Revolucionarios, we felt there was a need to honor our bright stars through the RevolucionarioAwards at SXSW’s first ever Latino Lounge,” Sebastian Puente, founder of Cultural Strategies who organized the event.

“Latinos tend to be much younger and open to adopting new technologies,” continued Puente. “They seamlessly represent two worlds and are constantly redefining what it means to be Latino as trendsetters and innovators.”

There’s An App for That: “I’m Getting Arrested” Alerts for Immigrants

Activists in Arizona are developing an app to help come to the aid of immigrants in the state who are living in a post-SB 1070 era. Far too often, even pre-SB 1070, immigrant rights activists heard complaints that after a traffic stop or arrest, family members would disappear into the black hole of immigration detention, where relatives and loved ones are notoriously difficult to locate. So innovators are trying to fix that.

ACLU Sues School that Outed Native Teen’s Pregnancy

ACLU Sues School that Outed Native Teen's Pregnancy

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico filed a lawsuit last week behalf of Shantelle Hicks, 15, who was initially kicked out of middle school and then publicly humiliated at an assembly by the school director because she was pregnant.

“It was so embarrassing to have all the other kids staring at me as I walked into the gymnasium,” Hicks said in a statement released by the ACLU. “I didn’t want the whole school to know I was pregnant because it’s not their business, and it wasn’t right for my teachers to single me out.”

98 Major Advertisers Say No to Limbaugh and Other Right Wing Radio Shows

The statements that Rush Limbaugh made against Sandra Fluke are having an effect on the entire political radio industry. Afraid of potential controversies corporations are pulling out any show that could potentially be spark controversy.

Today’s Love: George Takei’s Happy Dance for Broadway-Bound Musical

Today's Love: George Takei's Happy Dance for Broadway-Bound Musical

George Takei — who, by the way, we love — is really excited to have raised over $150,000 in support of Allegiance, a Broadway-bound musical that’s focused on the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. He’s so excited, in fact, that he did his happy dance on YouTube.

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

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.

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