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Madonna: Obama Is ‘A Black Muslim’ and ‘Y’all Better’ F—-ing Vote for Him

Madonna: Obama Is 'A Black Muslim' and 'Y'all Better' F---ing Vote for Him

At a concert in Washington, D.C. Monday night, Madonna endorsed President Barack Obama. And she did it in the most, uh, colorful of ways.

“Y’all better vote for fucking Obama, OK? For better or for worse, all right? We have a black Muslim in the White House. Now that’s some amazing shit,” Madonna said at the sold out show in the Verizon Center. “It means there is hope in this country. And Obama is fighting for gay rights, so support the man, goddamnit.”

Her endorsement will undoubtedly cause some controversy but most polls show the President leading in swing states.

Woman Acting for El Paso County, Co. Clerk’s Office Only Registering Republicans [Video]

Woman Acting for El Paso County, Co. Clerk's Office Only Registering Republicans [Video]

A YouTube video shot in front of a El Paso, Colorado grocery store that depicts a woman only registering Republicans has gone viral. The short video shows a young woman identifying herself as an El Paso County, Co. Clerk’s Office who is there only to hand out registration forms to likely Romney voters.

The County Clerk issued a statement Sunday discrediting the woman seen in the video but the controversy is bringing other voter suppression efforts in the state to light.

“The young lady in this video is not an employee of the Clerk & Recorder’s Office and her statements regarding working for the County  Clerk’s Office are inaccurate,” read a statement issued Sunday by the County Clerk.

“Our office has reached out to the campaign involved and requested that they clarify this information with their volunteers. They have responded and have clarified the matter to their volunteers to avoid this happening again in the future,” the statement continued.

But for many following voter suppression efforts across the country say these type of stories coming out of Colorado shouldn’t come as a shock.

“Colorado is a state where the state secretary Scott Gessler has attempted a reckless purge program in cahoots with Kansas state secretary Kris Kobach, who has shown a clear hostility to Latino immigrants and expansive voting rights,” said Brentin Mock, Colorlines.com’s Voting Rights reporter.

“Colorado is also the place where Sec. Gessler is fighting county elections supervisors in the Democratic enclave of Denver by preventing them from mailing ballots to voters. Gessler also has joined teams with voter harassment team True the Vote, who he shared stage with at the Heritage Foundation this summer to defend these policies which look like nothing but a partisan attempt to steal the election.”


Indian American Comedian Celebrates Success by Pointing to a Few Failures

Indian American Comedian Celebrates Success by Pointing to a Few Failures

Hari Kondabolu, a comedian and writer on “Totally Biased,” says it’s a great time to be Indian American. Unless of course, you piss him off.

New episodes of “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” return Thursday, Oct. 11th at 11:30P on the FX Network. (And full disclosure, Bell is a member of the Board of Colorlines.com’s publisher, the Applied Research Center.)

SNL Also Thinks Romney Sported Brownface for Univision Town Hall

SNL Also Thinks Romney Sported Brownface for Univision Town Hall

Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” host Seth Meyers went on a rant about President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign strategy Saturday and offered up some advice.

Meyers’ advice for Obama came mostly by way of Mitt Romney’s campaign “tailspin,” including his leaked 47-percent comments and what Meyers referred to as the candidate’s “brownface” appearance at a Univision town hall.

Citizenship and Voter I.D. Laws Could Keep 10 Million Latinos From Voting

Citizenship and Voter I.D. Laws Could Keep 10 Million Latinos From Voting

Latinos in the U.S. comprise more than 10% of the nation’s eligible voters and approximately 8% of its registered voters, but according to a new report, demands for proof of citizenship and photo identification requirements in several states could prevent at least 10 million Latino citizens from voting.

“Like African Americans, Latinos have experienced decreased access and correspondingly lower levels of voter registration and participation than non-Hispanic whites,” said the report titled “Segregating American Citizenship: Latino Voter Disenfranchisement in 2012.” The report was released Monday by the civil rights organization Advancement Project.

The report found 23 states have “legal barriers” that can keep eligible Latino voters from the voting booth—and In many states, the number of eligible Latino citizens that could be affected by these barriers exceeds the margin of victory of the 2008 presidential election.

Univision Anchor Cites Colorlines.com Deportation Investigation to Obama

Univision Anchor Cites Colorlines.com Deportation Investigation to Obama

On Thursday, Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas cited a Colorlines.com investigation that found there is an estimated 5,100 children in foster care who face barriers to family reunification because their mother or father is in detention or has been deported.

Salinas mentioned Colorlines’ investigation before asking President Obama whether he would consider deferred action for non-citizen parents of U.S. born children.

Transcript of Salinas’ question is below:

“Mr. President, you have been the President who has made the largest number of deportations in history — more than 1.5 million so far. You’ve separated many families. There are more than 5,000 children who are American citizens in foster care and in the adoption process. Would you just — since you’ve granted deferred action, would you like to do something — consider doing something similar to other groups of non-criminal illegal immigrants such as the parents of U.S.-born children?”

The president responded with his well worn talking points on deportation. He said that the Department of Homeland Security is now targeting deportation programs on “people with criminal records” and people “apprehended close to the border.” He said this later group, border crossers, are “not people who have longstanding roots in our community.”

“His assertion that by focusing on these demographics he’ll avoid separating families is plainly not reflected in reality,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines’ investigative reporter.

“In fact, many children are stuck in foster care because their parents have been detained as a result of a conviction of some sort. Felipe Montes, for example, was deported in late 2010 because he was convicted of driving violations. Other parents I met inside detention centers around the county were facing deportation as a result of charges for things like petty theft or minor drug charges. The president’s focus on “criminals” will not solve the problem of family separation or keep children of deportees out of foster care,” Wessler said.

Wessler says the President’s assertion that people picked up at the border don’t have ties to the U.S. is similarly wrong.
The NY Times reported late last year, that ‘56 percent of apprehensions at the Mexican border in 2010 involved people who had been caught previously, up from 44 percent in 2005.’”

In other words, the majority of migrants picked up at the border are mostly people who’ve been here before, and many are coming back to reunite with their families.

“This should come as no surprise,” Wessler said, citing a recent study from Pew that found that “nearly half of undocumented immigrants in the US have minor children.”

“The President said these are ‘heartbreaking stories’ that emerge ‘occasionally.’ But the truth is that when, as federal data shows, over 22 percent of deportees are the parents of U.S. citizens, these stories will be far from occasional outliers.” Wessler said.

Are Black and Latino Teens Getting Paid to Wait in Line for iPhone 5’s?

Are Black and Latino Teens Getting Paid to Wait in Line for iPhone 5's?

There are thousands of die hard Apple iPhone fans waiting in line to purchase the smartphone that went on sale Friday morning at 8am. But alongside those die hard fans waiting in line are hundreds of people getting paid to wait in line.

More than 200 people are expected to hold places in line for strangers at stores around New York and the San Francisco bay area for the iPhone 5, Bloomberg.com reported on its Tech Blog. Most of these arrangements were made on the website TaskRabbit Inc., where a user can find workers to do odd jobs like, have them wait in line for four hours.

TaskRabbit is charging clients $55 to have someone wait in line for them for four hours. The company then takes an 18% “service fee” and leaves workers with $45.10 for hours worth of work.

But young people are also finding these odd jobs through Craiglist and other arrangements.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviewed a teen outside the San Francisco Apple store who’s been getting $12/hour since he started camping out Tuesday:

By noon Thursday, there were eight people in line outside the Union Square store, but many more were expected before Friday morning. Right behind Hufnagel was Christian Soto, 19, who was being paid $12 an hour by his employer, Compupod, a Mission District iPhone repair service. Soto got in line Tuesday and planned to get two or three phones, including a black 32-GB model for himself.

“I’m getting paid and I’m getting the phone, so it works out,” Soto said from inside his bright green tent.

“Who can blame this guy? It’s an established fact that black and brown customers are leading smartphone adoption in the U.S. but that also exists alongside the reality that more people of color of living in poverty these days and that a vast majority of young adults are under or unemployed,” says Jamilah King, Colorlines.com’s news editor and technology reporter. “We live in a consumer society. And this guy clearly had to get his hustle to make things happen.”

In addition to TaskRabbit, the listings website Craigslist has dozens of posts in major U.S. cities from people seeking or offering line-waiting services.

After posting a Craigslist ad, Juan De Pablo, 25, is getting paid $150 to arrive at the Third Street Promenade Apple store in Santa Monica by 8 p.m. Thursday. “I kind of have a lot of free time on my hands,” Pablo told the L.A. Times.

Junot Díaz Calls DREAM Act ‘A Tiny Little Bone’ for People Who Deserve More

Junot Díaz Calls DREAM Act 'A Tiny Little Bone' for People Who Deserve More

“As a country when ever things get really hard instead of blaming the wealthy and blaming the people in power who put us in this terrible situation, we tend to afflict the very people who all the hard work to keep us afloat,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz tells a high school student interviewing him for The Mash, the teen edition of the Chicago Tribune.

“I think the DREAM Act is a tiny little bone that they throw in to a community that deserves a lot more, and certainly I think it’s nice and important but we should be able to recognize the community—the people who do the heavy lifting—and stop afflicting them.”

“I come from a family who had a lot of people who were undocumented and our contributions have to be honored,” Díaz went on to say.

Díaz, who is known for his bold, nuanced depiction of immigrants and people of color in his writing, will be the keynote speaker the Facing Race conference taking place November 15-17 in Baltimore. Facing Race, the largest national, multi-racial gathering of leaders, educators, journalists, and activists on racial justice is organized by Colorlines.com’s publisher the Applied Research Center.

Everyone Wants to Know if Mitt Romney Sported Brownface for Univision

Everyone Wants to Know if Mitt Romney Sported Brownface for Univision

We should be judging the presidential candidates by their actions and what comes out of their mouths… but everyone is asking if Mitt Romney donned brownface for his television appearance on Univision.

From message boards, to Gawker, Jezebel, MediaTakeOut and even Upworthy, a site that usually keeps things positive, pointed out Romney looked like he got a “bad spray tan.”

Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan asked: “Did Mitt Romney fucking seriously just wear brown makeup so Latin voters might think he’s tan enough to support?”

And then there’s MediaTakeOut, the gossip website that claims to be the most visited urban website in the world, they just called Romney out: “You see, dude tried to TRICK Hispanic voters into voting for him … by painting his face BROWN.”

Huffington Post published a similar post shortly before the post you’re reading now went live also.

mitt-romney-univison-jawline.jpgThere’s a few posts on Tumblr that are also thriving.

“I was really really hoping that this wan’t [sic] true because this is pretty far for anyone, and I hoped it was a really bad tan where he covered his hands and didn’t turn over, but it literally stops at his jawbone. Just stops,” wrote Tumblr user Whyvoneenee. “Go to 2:14 and look at that perfect line. What the blap?” Whyvoneenee wrote alongside a screen capture of the Univison forum.

In just 54 minutes, Whyvoneenee’s post got 1,500 notes on Tumblr, and there are hundreds of more posts and tweets making the same claim.

The venue and lighting at events has a lot to do with how Romney appears on video and still pictures and so there’s probably not a lot here, but we’ll let you be the judge. Below are pictures of Mitt Romney out on the campaign trail in past week or so, and please comment below and let us know what you think.

Wednesday, 9/19/12 romney-univison-wed.jpg Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participates in a Univision “Meet the Candidates” forum with Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas in Coral Gables, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

In the image below I took the AP photo and did a high-resolution side-by-side comparison of Romney’s face and hands. There is no significant change in skin tone.

closeup-mitt-univision-spraytan-brownface-study.jpg

Romney’s Dad Was on Welfare For First Years of His Life, Says Mom

Romney's Dad Was on Welfare For First Years of His Life, Says Mom

A 1962 interview with Mitt Romney’s mom reveals his father was on “welfare relief” when he first arrived in the U.S. as a refugee from Mexico. The archived footage was published on Buzzfeed on September 3, before hidden camera footage with Romney’s controversial “47%” comments made headlines.

In the video, identified only as an infomercial for George Romney’s gubernatorial run in Michigan, Lenore Romney says George’s family was poor, living on potatoes and on welfare.

Below is the transcript from the 1962 interview with Lenore Romney:

INTERVIEWER: “There are those who say that since he’s a man of considerable means he really doesn’t care about people.”

LENORE ROMNEY: “You know we’ve only owned our home for the last four years. He was a refugee from Mexico. He was on relief, welfare relief for the first years of his life. But this great country gave him opportunities.

“The family was poor. He said they lived for a year on nothing but potatoes. He’s known what it is to have to work for every dime he’s had since he was 12.”

“Oh my God! George Romney was on welfare, so according to Mitt Romney’s own logic Mitt Romney could not win the vote of his dad who would be part of the 47% of unconvincibles,” the “Daily Show’s” John Stewart said jokingly on Tuesday night. (It starts at about the 4:48 mark.)

But Colorlines.com’s economic justice blogger Imara Jones says there’s not much to joke about.

“The video reveals that the ahistorical nature of Romney’s “47 percent” rant extends to his own family. He’s spun a story of America that isn’t even in sync with his own experience. It also underscores that people who are in tough situations, like Romney’s father, are there due to circumstances beyond their control and our help to stabilize,” said Jones, who recently wrote a story titled “Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks Have Everything To Do With Race.”

“A single mother or father who earns $22,000 a year, works two jobs and is in school—and therefore pays no federal income tax—is on their way to a better place. As with Romney’s father, they just need all of our help until they can get there,” Jones went on to say.

Romney Asked Four Times If He’ll Get Rid of Deferred Action, No Clear Answer

Romney Asked Four Times If He'll Get Rid of Deferred Action, No Clear Answer

At a forum focused on Latino issues hosted by Univison on Wednesday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney avoided answering what he would do with the Deferred Action program if elected President. Anchor Maria Elena Salinas pressed Romney four different times for more details on what his plans are for the program that would help young people avoid deportation but there was no clear answer.

“One of the questions more frequently asked by Facebook users is whether you would keep Deferred Action for undocumented, yes or no?”, asked Salinas.

Romney first criticized President Obama for failing to pass immigration reform and then went on pledge to pass immigration himself but evaded the question.

“But talking specifically about Deferred Action,” Salinas began to ask before Romney jumped in, but again there was no clear answer.

“For those who are already here and that are undocumented and were brought here by their parents and are therefore illegal aliens in this country, my view is that we should put in place a permanent solution,” Romney said about the more than 1-million young undocumented immigrants who are eligible for “Deferred Action.

Salinas went on to try to get an answer again: “But will all do respect, your reluctance to provide details on a permanent solution has created, maybe, a perception that you are evading the question, what would you tell Hispanic voters right now if they’re actually interested in this important issue, and all the DREAMers that want to know if you’ll deport them or not.”

Romney went on to say he opposes deporting the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants in the country, but avoided providing any details about his plans with Deferred Action.

Salinas tried to get a more detailed once again but there was no clear answer for Romney’s plans with the Deferred Action program.

Romney did say he supports initiatives like the one Florida Senator Marco Rubio considered that would provide a pathway to permanent resident status for undocumented immigrants who pursue military service. Romney did not provide details about on what he’d propose for undocumented immigrants seeking college degrees.

Latina Voter Schools Romney in New Political Ad

Latina Voter Schools Romney in New Political Ad

PresentePAC+ and MoveOn.org Political Action just released a 30-second ad that stars a Latina woman challenging Mitt Romney for his comment released in a leaked video earlier this week. The ad stars a Latina who takes Romney to task for saying he would have a better shot at winning the presidency if he were Latino. The ad, which is available in Spanish and English, was released just hours before the GOP presidential candidate makes a highly-anticipated appearance on Univision to discuss Latino issues.

The ad includes Romney’s remarks and a response from a Latina voter who points out that the reason Romney is losing among Latinos isn’t because of his race. Rather, it’s because of Romney’s position on the issues, such as his opposition to the DREAM Act, his support of Arizona’s draconian immigration law, and the fact that his party is engaged in efforts to suppress Latino votes.

The Spanish version of the ad will air on Spanish-language TV in the key swing states of Florida, Colorado, and Nevada. It begins airing Thursday and will run in Las Vegas, Denver, Miami, Orlando, and Tampa — all major markets where the Latino vote will be pivotal.

Colorlines.com has reached out to PresentePAC+ to identify the woman in the video. Her name is Telesh Pascual Lopez and her brief bio is below: Telesh Pascual Lopez is Kanjobal, Maya from Guatemala and comes from a family that has been practicing indigenous healing work for generations. Her commitment to healing justice is reflected in her work with organizations that focus on the needs of women, survivors of violence, LGBTQGNC community, and with individual activists and organizers.

Presente Action has launched a petition demanding that Romney apologize for his offensive remarks.

  • Story was updated 9/19/12 at 5:32pm EST.

So Who Actually Won the Chicago Teachers Strike?

So Who Actually Won the Chicago Teachers Strike?

Chicago public school teachers voted on Tuesday to end their strike and resume classes Wednesday in the third-largest U.S. school district in the Nation. The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend the strike.

Colorlines.com’s Julianne Hing has been covering the issue close and provides the following statement:

Folks are still trying to parse right now: who won the strike? Neither side can claim a complete victory with the final contract. On teacher evaluation, compensation, school day and school year length and school closures, both sides won key victories for their interests—Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for his market-driven school reform agenda and the Chicago Teachers Union for its staunch defense of poor communities’ right to robust public schools.

Yet many are looking past the specifics of the strike deal itself; the larger lesson may be in the way unions allied themselves with poor communities of color to advance a unified agenda which defends poor people’s rights to hold on to and improve public education. That’s where many are finding hope, and cause for celebration today.

Below is a list of items Chicago Teachers Union members’ forced the Board of Education to agree to during the strike:

  1. Hire over 600 additional teachers in Art, Music, Phys Ed and other subjects
  2. Maintain limits on class size, increase funding for smaller classes
  3. Add a parent voice on class size committees
  4. Make textbooks available on the first day of school
  5. Increase racial diversity in hiring at CPS
  6. Lessen the focus on standardized testing - keep the focus on teaching instead of tests
  7. Provide more attention from school Social Workers and Nurses Increase funding for Special Ed teachers, social workers, psychologists, classroom assistants and counselors in schools with high caseloads.

Visit the ‘teachers strike’ tag page to read Hing’s in depth feature stories that offer more context and analysis.

Civil Rights Groups Worry as SB 1070 Goes into Effect

Civil Rights Groups Worry as SB 1070 Goes into Effect

On Tuesday, a federal judge cleared the way for Section 2B of Senate Bill 1070 that requires Arizona law enforcement officials check the immigration status of anyone they encounter and believe is undocumented. The law is set to go in to affect immediately, but civil-rights and advocacy groups warn Section 2B — popularly recognized as the SB 1070’s “show me your papers” provision- - will likely result in racial profiling.

The decision came in a three-paragraph ruling drafted jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and lawyers for Arizona and Judge Susan Bolton, the same judge who blocked Section 2B in July 2010.

“Arizonans now wait to see what the law will mean for their day-to-day lives. It’s likely that the 2B’s implementation will be uneven throughout the state between law enforcement agencies, with some jurisdictions like Joe Arpaio’s Maricopa county using 2B to justify it’s preexisting practices of racial profiling and other counties taking a more restrained approach,” said Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter. “What’s certain is that advocates will be watching and lawsuits and community organizing will continue challenging SB 1070. This fight is for from over.”

After the ruling was issued, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer celebrated the decision, referring to provision 2B as the “heart” of SB1070.

“Today is the day we have awaited for more than two years: the injunction against the heart of SB 1070 has been lifted, in accordance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June. With SB 1070 in effect, state and local officers will be empowered to inquire about an individual’s immigration status, but only as part of a legal stop or detention and when the officer has reasonable suspicion,” Brewer said in a written statement.

How the law will be enforced is still unclear and immigrant rights that worry about racial profiling are calling on the President.

“President Obama has the moral responsibility and legal authority to to protect the people of Arizona, and we expect he will do everything within his power to pevent the discrimination, punishment, and suffering that will escalate under SB1070’s implementation. He must immediately instruct DHS and ICE to cut off Arizona’s access and to refuse to deport SB1070’s victims,” Pablo Alvarado, the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, said in a statement.

An ACLU representative told Colorlines.com they plan to continue to challenge SB 1070.

“Section 2(B) of SB1070 has opened the door to racial profiling, wrongful detentions and arrests, putting everyone’s civil rights at risk. Law enforcement resources are wasted when people are targeted based on their skin color, and our core American values of fairness and equality are compromised. The ACLU will continue to fight against SB1070,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Right Project.

Tired of Chris Brown? There’s an App For That

Tired of Chris Brown? There's an App For That

Are you tired of Chris Brown and/or stories about Chris Brown’s neck tattoos? Well, if you use Google’s Chrome browser you are in luck.

There’s a Chrome extension called “Chris Brownout” that will “scrub” any mention of Brown’s name from the internet, at least from your access point.

The Canadian music channel Aux is behind the app. They’ve also got a “Nickelblock” plugin if you’re sick of Nickelback.

FX Renews W. Kamau Bell’s ‘Totally Biased’ for Second Season

FX Renews W. Kamau Bell's 'Totally Biased' for Second Season

Good news. Late night TV will continue to have a little color in it, at least on night a week. The FX Network just renewed Bell’s late night comedy show “Totally Biased.”

Deadline.com has more details:

The show, executive produced by Chris Rock, will wrape its six-episode first cycle this Thursday at 11 PM. The second cycle will begin on Thursday, October 11 in a new 11:30 PM time period, following the return of the revamped BrandX with Russell Brand that night at 11 PM. “What we’ve seen through five shows only reinforces our belief that Kamau is one of the sharpest, smartest and funniest young comedians in the business,” said FX EVP Nick Grad. “He brings an interesting perspective to late-night TV and has proven to be very comfortable in this format.”

Totally Biased, from Bell and executive producers Chris Rock, Chuck Sklar and Keri Smith Esguia, stars standup comedian W. Kamau Bell as he dissects politics, pop culture, race, religion, sex and the media. The show, produced by FX Prods., also features live guests and taped segments. Said Rock, “I’m very excited and looking forward to working with the good people at FX. Please don’t tell Rupert Murdoch.”

Bell is member of the board of Colorlines.com’s publisher the Applied Research Center.

Soledad O’Brien Asks Romney Aide if It’s ‘Just a Hot Mess In There?’ [Video]

Soledad O'Brien Asks Romney Aide if It's 'Just a Hot Mess In There?' [Video]

CNN host Soledad O’Brien asked Romney adviser Bay Buchanan on Tuesday if the campaign is just a hot mess!

“There’s a sense that the campaign is in big trouble,” O’Brien pointed out. “Bloomberg [News] writes, ‘Today Mitt Romney lost the election.’ Politico says the wheels are falling off. Is that correct? Is it just a hot mess in there?”

Watch a video clip from CNN’s Starting Point interview with Buchanan broadcast September, 18, 2012.

TAGS: hotmess

Pa. Supreme Court Leaves Voter ID Law in Limbo

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court just issued a ruling on the state’s voter ID law saying that the matter should be kicked back to the lower Commonwealth Court for further review. That court refused civil rights lawyers an injunction on the law back in August.

The ruling states:

“Upon review, we find that the disconnect between what the Law prescribes and how it is being implemented has created a number of conceptual difficulties in addressing the legal issues raised. … Overall, we are confronted with an ambitious effort on the part of the General Assembly to bring the new identification procedure into effect within a relatively short time-frame and an implementation process which has by no means been seamless in light of the serious operational constraints faced by the executive branch. Given this state of affairs, we are not satisfied with a mere predictive judgment based primarily on the assurances of government officials, even though we have no doubt they are proceeding in good faith. Thus, we will return the matter to the Commonwealth Court to make a present assessment of the actual availability of the alternate identification cards on a developed record in light of the experience since the time the cards became available.”

This is neither an up or down, for or against decision from the state supreme court, rather an acknowledgment that there are still unresolved questions with the law that deserve further review from the lower court.

Professor Daniel Tokaji, an election law expert at Ohio State University, tells Colorlines.com that the Supreme Court’s ruling is a “prudent approach to a complicated problem.”

Says Tokaji: “This is a very practical ruling to deal with a thorny problem — the basic problem is that if something isn’t done then a lot of people will be kept from voting by this law because the process for getting ID is a complicated and challenging one. I actually think the court ruled in a restrained and appropriate way, by sending the matter back to the lower court to make a present assessment about how available the ID is for voters.”

Meaning Commonwealth Court judge will have to re-examine whether there is a significant burden for Pennsylvania voters in obtaining ID to vote. Read more about the Pa. Supreme Court voter ID case in our post: “The Racial Burdens Obscured by Voter ID Laws.”

Obama Campaign Releases Ad Targeting Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks

Obama Campaign Releases Ad Targeting Romney's '47 Percent' Remarks

The Obama re-election campaign is wasting no time to capitalize on Mitt Romney’s controversial comments that characterized 47% of voters as government-dependent “victims…who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, you name it.”

The Obama/Biden just released an ad on YouTube that responds to Romney’s comments. The commercial features interviews with people on the street who are seeing video of Romney’s comments for the first time.

Colorlines.com’s economic justice blogger Imara Jones says Romney’s 47% comments have everything to do with race:

Many thought that Romney’s choice of Ryan was a calculated move to satisfy the fringe right. It now seems that it was made as a result of his own beliefs. Ryan’s muse, Ayn Rand, argued that Native Americans should be dispossessed of their property because they’d failed to produce a capitalist society on their own.

Romney’s private remarks were made in May, just before he launched a summer of economic race-baiting in an attempt to cleave white women from President Obama. Picking up Reagan’s successful racial code on welfare, Romney hoped to stoke economic resentment amongst whites to get votes. But the video lays bare the contempt that he has for them as well. Romney doesn’t seem to think that working class whites deserve help either.

Visit Jones’ “Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks Have Everything To Do With Race” story to read more analysis.

More Asian Models at N.Y. Fashion Week, But the Industry Is Not Post Racial

As fashion labels see increasing opportunities for sales growth in Asian countries they’re filling up runways with Asian models. Early reports from New York Fashion Week held earlier this month show a striking rise in the number of Asian models on the runway but insiders warn the industry is still very racist.

The unprecedented number of Asian models at New York Fashion week comes two-years after American Vogue forecasted the “new wave.” Despite the fact the magazine has never featured an Asian women on it’s cover in the 40-plus year plus history, it proclaimed Asian models are “redefining traditional concepts of beauty.”

Jenny Shimizu in a 2005 CK One commercial.

Asian models on runways isn’t anything new, Marie Helvin, born to an American GI father and a Japanese mother, walked the runways in the seventies. Jenny Shimizu was all over the place in in the 1990s. Most recently Liu Wen became the first Asian face of cosmetics giant Estée Lauder and also Victoria’s Secret first Asian Angel.

What’s news here is that now you can’t have fashion show without an Asian model.

“Five seasons ago, you would be hard pressed to find one show or one season, one complete season in New York, that used even one Asian girl. And now you just wouldn’t have a show without one. And we’re actually, you know, fighting over them,” casting director Andrew Weir told Reuters in a video interview.

Ray A. Smith, tallied up the numbers for the Wall Street Journal and echoes what New York runway casting directors are saying: “While it has been rare for designers to feature more than two Asian models in a show, several this year, including Michael Kors and Jason Wu, used three or more. Overall, at 10 major brands’ shows, there were 26 Asian models, eight more than those brands used in the previous New York Fashion Week in February.”

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