Baltimore Mayor Prevents Police From Asking About Immigration Status

Baltimore Mayor Prevents Police From Asking About Immigration Status

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has signed executive order prohibiting police officers from asking people they come in contact with about their immigration status.

“Police are working to make our city safe. We are not working as immigration agents,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

The announcement comes just days after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said it would begin implementing the Secure Communities program in Baltimore—the controversial federal program that sends booking information from local jails to a joint database shared by the FBI and ICE.

Grace Lee Boggs’ Advice to Young Activists: You Must Be Visionaries

Grace Lee Boggs' Advice to Young Activists: You Must Be Visionaries

When the beloved and visionary Asian-American civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs speaks, people pay attention. And for good reason. At 96, Boggs has been engaged in labor, black power, Asian American, feminist, environmental and food justice struggles for over half a century. And it’s work she’s still involved in today. Together with her husband, the late activist James Boggs, the two organized Detroit Summer, now in its 20th year.

Boggs sat down with Hyphen Magazine, and in her trademark way, quickly dispensed with fuzzy feelings and self-congratulatory encouragement for progressives. Instead, she gets straight to the point, with sharp analysis of the current political moment offers her thoughts on the work ahead for people who want to fight for social, economic and racial justice.

“I would say to a young activist, ‘Do visionary organizing.’” Boggs told Hyphen. “‘Turn your back on protest organizing and recognize how that leads you more and more to defensive operations, whereas visionary organizing gives you the opportunity to encourage the creative capacity in people and it’s very fulfilling.’”

At a time when people are re-evaluating their relationships with money, work, and people in their communities, Boggs says these dire economic times provide the political space to answer serious questions about our common social values. It’s the lesson that she learned early on in her life, growing up in America the daughter of Chinese immigrants.

“I had the idea, for example, from my father that a crisis is not only a danger but also an opportunity and that there is a positive and negative in everything,” Boggs said. “Being born Chinese meant a big deal to my life, I think.”

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Report Finds Black Families Greatly Overrepresented Among U.S. Homeless

In 2010, one out of every 141 black family members stayed in a homeless shelter, a rate seven times higher than members of white families, according to “Intergenerational Disparities Experienced by Homeless Black Families,” a report released today by the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness. “The unfortunate fact is that black families in the United States are much more likely to experience poverty than their white counterparts, and are overwhelmingly represented in homeless shelters throughout the country,” said ICPH President and CEO Ralph da Costa Nunez. “This report raises the question of how family homelessness has moved beyond simply a poverty issue and become a racial one.”

In 2010, nearly one-quarter (23.3%) of black families lived in poverty, three times the rate of white families (7.1%). Black persons in families make up 12.1% of the U.S. family population, but represented 38.8% of sheltered persons in families in 2010. In comparison, 65.8% of persons in families in the general population are white, while white family members only occupied 28.6% of family shelter beds in 2010.

TAGS: homelessness

Black Youth Disproportionately Sentenced to Life Without Parole [Report]

jj_The_Lives_of_Juvenile_Lifers-1.pngA new report published by The Sentencing Project, a national organization working for a more effective criminal justice system, found “extreme” racial disparities in the number of juveniles sentenced to life without parole for crimes committed before their 18th birthday.

The report, “The Lives of Juvenile Lifers,” presents findings from the first-ever national survey of people who committed crimes as juveniles—some as young as 13—and were sentenced to life in prison. More than 2,500 people are currently serving these sentences in the United States.

“Most juveniles serving life without parole sentences experienced trauma and neglect long before they engaged in their crimes,” stated Ashley Nellis, research analyst of The Sentencing Project and author of the report. “The findings from this survey do not excuse the crimes committed but they help explain them. With time, rehabilitation and maturity, some of these youth could one day safely re-enter society and contribute positively to their families and their communities.”

DREAMer Arrested for Interrupting NC Immigration Hearing Still in Custody

DREAMer Arrested for Interrupting NC Immigration Hearing Still in Custody

Members of the North Carolina DREAM Team are demanding Uriel Alberto, 24, of Winston-Salem, be released from police custody. Alberto was arrested after a Wednesday protest at the legislature.

Alberto is a member of El Cambio in Winston-Salem and traveled to Raleigh to protest a Select Committee immigration meeting.

“My name is Uriel Alberto; I am undocumented, unafraid, and unashamed! I refuse to be bullied and intimidated by this committee and choose to empower my community,” Alberto said at the meeting.

NC DREAM Team is urging supporters to place calls on behalf of Alberto so he is not separated from his son.

Russell Simmons Says ‘White Bread Dynasty Was in Full Effect’ at Oscars

Hip-hop pioneer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons published a scathing critique of the film industry Friday and said the problem with those funding movies “is that while they believe in the concept of an all-inclusive, post-racial America, they don’t trust in it enough to bank on it.”

“The music industry gets it because they have no choice,” Simmons wrote in his piece published on Friday. “Music executives couldn’t segregate artists if they tried!”

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Gives Romney a Latinos 101 Lesson on House Floor

Rep. Luis Gutierrez Gives Romney a Latinos 101 Lesson on House Floor

U.S. House of Representative Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois’ Fourth District in the heart of Chicago spoke on the floor of the House earlier this week about recent comments by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Rep. Gutierrez said that the nation’s 50 million Latinos, most of whom are citizens and eligible voters, is a lot of people, “especially if you want to offend each and every one of us. But to Mitt Romney’s credit — he’s trying.”

L.A. Mom Deported After Protesting Foreclosure of Former Home

L.A. Mom Deported After Protesting Foreclosure of Former Home

On February 22nd, Blanca Cardenas, a 37-year-old mother of a 19-month-old girl, was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers for trespassing during a foreclosure protest at the home she used to live in.

Despite posting bail, Cardenas was held in LAPD custody for one week before Immigration and Customs Enforcement picked her up Wednesday and deported her “within hours,” according to the LA Weekly.

Blacks and Latinos Still Adopting Smartphones Faster Than Everyone Else

Blacks and Latinos Still Adopting Smartphones Faster Than Everyone Else

Smartphone users now outnumber users of more basic mobile phones within the national adult population, according to a Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Nearly every major demographic group—men and women, younger and middle-aged adults, urban and rural residents, the wealthy and the less well-off—experienced a notable uptick in smartphone penetration over the last year, and blacks and Latinos are leading the way.

UVA Hunger Strike Ends After 13 Days, Students Claim ‘Enormous Victory’

UVA Hunger Strike Ends After 13 Days, Students Claim 'Enormous Victory'

The Living Wage Campaign at the University of Virginia announced Thursday they have ended their hunger strike that demanded school administrators pay all employees a living wage. School administration committed to audit contractors, examine the university’s labor practices, and to prioritize reviews for the lowest-paid employees.

“We have utter confidence that this action has laid the groundwork for an indexed living wage,” a statement on the Living Wage Campaign’s website read.

Republican Mayor Fights Georgia’s Anti-Immigrant HB87 [Video]

Republican Mayor Fights Georgia's Anti-Immigrant HB87 [Video]

The ACLU is in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals today, challenging the constitutionality of Georgia and Alabama’s discriminatory “show me your papers” laws.

In the video above, produced by the ACLU, Republican Mayor Paul Bridges of Uvalda, Georgia talks about why he’s against HB 87, an immigration enforcement bill modeled on Arizona’s SB 1070 that passed the state legislature last year.

TAGS: aclu HB 87 Videos

Arpaio Says Obama’s Birth Certificate is Fake, Calls for Criminal Investigation

Arpaio Says Obama's Birth Certificate is Fake, Calls for Criminal Investigation

At a press conference on Thursday Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he suspects the birth certificate President Obama released last year is forgery.

“Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic,” Sheriff Arpaio said. “My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in paper format as claimed by the White House.”

Arpaio’s investigators say they have several “vetted affidavits” to support their claims, including an unnamed person who says they were introduced to Obama by Bill Ayers’ mother as a “foreign student.”

Investigators also spent a great deal of time analyzing the certificate and their supposed findings after conducting “optical character recognition.”

Sherri Shepherd on Oscar Red Carpet: Sorry, I’m Not Octavia Spencer [Video]

On Thursday morning’s “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd talked about hosting’s red carpet live stream and said several stars repeatedly confused her for the star of “The Help” Octavia Spencer.

“So many people would say to me on the red carpet, ‘do you think you’re gonna win tonight?’ They thought I was Octavia Spencer!”

But “The View” host says she didn’t have the heart to tell people she wasn’t the Oscar winning actor they had in mind.

In January, Shepherd made a guest appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” and a live caller confused her for Spencer also. Yvette Nicole Brown who stars in “Community” also said she’s often confused for Spencer.

Tea Party Star Andrew Breitbart Is Dead at 43

Tea Party Star Andrew Breitbart Is Dead at 43

The Los Angeles Coroner’s Office confirmed to ABC News Radio that Andrew Breitbart died shortly after midnight at UCLA Medical Center. The conservative writer and a star of the tea party movement was 43.

The following statement was posted on Breitbart’s website today:

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

A conservative blogger and journalist, Breitbart helped launch the Huffington Post and was an editor at the Drudge Report.

Obama: ‘I Knew About Jeremy Lin Before You Did and Everybody Else’

Obama: 'I Knew About Jeremy Lin Before You Did and Everybody Else'

In an interview with Grantland’s Bill Simmons, President Barack Obama said he’s been on the Jeremy Lin bandwagon before anyone else was. Obama also said he was podcasting before everybody else.

Don Francisco and ‘George Jefferson’ Join Television Academy Hall of Fame

Don Francisco and 'George Jefferson' Join Television Academy Hall of Fame

On Thursday, Actor Sherman Hemsley who played George Jefferson in “The Jeffersons” and Spanish-language variety show host Mario Kreutzberger, aka “Don Francisco,” will be inducted in to the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame.

Don Francisco hosts “Sábado Gigante” (or Giant Saturdays), Univision’s longest-running program and the longest-running variety TV show in the world, according to the The Guinness Book of World Records. A new episode has been produced every week throughout the show’s history, with no reruns.

Hemsley is best known for playing George Jefferson on the CBS television series “All in the Family” and “The Jeffersons,” the longest-running sitcom with a predominantly African American cast in the history of American television. Isabel Sanford, best known as Louise “Weezy” Jefferson, died of natural causes in 2004—in 1981, Sanford was the first black woman to receive an Emmy for her work on “The Jeffersons.”

Producers Mary-Ellis Bunim & Jonathan Murray, network executive Michael Eisner, lighting designer Bill Klages, producer Chuck Lorre and the beloved comedy duo of Vivian Vance & William Frawley (aka Ether and Fred Murtz) will also be honored in the 21st Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at The Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday.

LAPD Eases Impound Rules for Unlicensed Drivers

LAPD Eases Impound Rules for Unlicensed Drivers

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Police Commission, in a 4-to-1 vote, approved a plan that will limit the cases in which police officers impound vehicles of drivers without a license.

Under the new terms, unlicensed drivers who are stopped and meet several requirements, including having auto insurance, a valid form of I.D. and no previous citations will have their cars impounded but will be able to pick up their cars sooner if they’re accompanied by a licensed driver. Currently unlicensed drivers see their cars impounded for 30 days with fines that can exceed $1,200.

The commission called the decision an act of “humanity” and “compassion” toward the city’s undocumented immigrants who are not eligible to apply for a license in the state of California, according to the LA Times.

Mexican Mitt Romney for President Releases Music Video

Mexican Mitt Romney for President Releases Music Video

Mexican Mitt Romney, the “most Mexican man in the world,” wants to be the first Latino President and he’s “in it to guin it.” The fictional character has released a music video.

Directed by Paul Encinas, the “Mexican Mitt Romney for President ” music video includes some big name collaborators including the Daily Show’s ‘Señor Latino Correspondent’ comedian Al Madrigal. Lyrics by San Francisco based comedian Chris Garcia and Lalo Alcaraz.

(h/t and reader Ayisha K.)

Anti-Day Laborer Provision in Arizona’s SB 1070 Blocked

Just a week after the Supreme Court handed a major victory to day laborers, other courts are heeding the high court’s guidance, and blocking anti-day laborer provisions from being enforced.

Today, a federal court enjoined provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 which barred drivers from blocking traffic and hiring people for work and forbade potential workers from entering a car if it was blocking traffic.

These provisions, which were ostensibly about ensuring public safety and “protecting the aesthetics of communities,” according to the law, were thinly veiled provisions designed to make a crime out of day laborers’ traditional modes of seeking work—waiting in construction store parking lots or on the sides of streets for contractors and other would-be employers to hire them.

Oklahoma Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre Protests Anti-Abortion Bill with F-Bomb Sign [Photo]


Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre of Tulsa, Oklahoma held up a sign at a protest Tuesday that said “If I wanted the government in my womb I’d fuck a senator. The Senator was at the capitol to protest anti-abortion legislation in the state.

“When I saw that sign out of all of those signs, I was like, I’ve got to have a picture of it,” said McIntyre, D-Tulsa. “I thought if my 87-year-old mother sees this, I’m going to get hell this weekend, but it was too late,” said McIntyre, according to

Photo: Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre talks with a protestor during a rally opposing the Personhood measures at the state Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

TAGS: Personhood
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