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Junior Seau’s Family to Donate Brain to NFL Concussion Research

Junior Seau's Family to Donate Brain to NFL Concussion Research

The family of deceased NFL star Junior Seau will allow researchers to study his brain for evidence of damage as the result of concussions, the LA Times reported Thursday.

San Diego Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell told The Times the family decided to allow access to researchers investigating the long-term effects of head hits “to help other individuals down the road.”

“The family was considering this almost from the beginning, but they didn’t want to make any emotional decisions,” Mitchell told The Times on Thursday night. “And when they came to a joint decision that absolutely this was the best thing, it was a natural occurrence for the Seau family to go forward.”

Rosario Dawson to Play Dolores Huerta in New Cesar Chavez Biopic

Rosario Dawson to Play Dolores Huerta in New Cesar Chavez Biopic

Rosario Dawson, America Ferrera have signed on to Diego Luna’s indie drama “Chavez,” which stars Michael Peña as labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez. Dawson will play Dolores Huerta while Ferrera will play Chavez’ wife Helen, according to IMDB.

The film which started shooting this week in Sonora, Mexico was written by Keir Pearson who’s best known for writing “Hotel Rwanda.”

Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz will produce through Canana Films along with John Malkovich, Lianne Halfon and Russell Smith, according to Variety.

April’s Unemployment Numbers: Youth Pushed Into Low-Wage Service Jobs

April's Unemployment Numbers: Youth Pushed Into Low-Wage Service Jobs

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 115,000 in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

That’s less than the 155,000 jobs that were added in March and what analysts predicted for the month of April.

ABC News points out teens have the highest unemployment rate and many of them are being pushed in to low-wage jobs:

Among the major worker groups, teenagers have the highest unemployment rate, but the imminent summer hiring season may make a dent in that figure.

In April, teenagers had a 24.9 percent unemployment rate, compared with a 7.5 percent rate for adult men and 7.4 percent among adult women.

The unemployment rates for adult men (7.5 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (24.9 percent), whites (7.4 percent), and Latinos (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in April, while the rate for blacks (13.0 percent) declined over the month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent in April saw little changed from a year earlier.

Watch Archived Footage of Peace March in Koreatown Two Days After L.A. Riots

Watch Archived Footage of Peace March in Koreatown Two Days After L.A. Riots

On May 1st 1992—just two day after the civil unrest in Los Angeles started—thousands of Angelenos marched for peace around Koreatown. It’s an event that is not often highlighted in “L.A. Riots” coverage.

In Colorlines.com’s recent story “Two Decades Later, Children of the L.A. Riots Share Memories,” a young man named Paul, who went to the Peace March when he was just 8-years old recalled the event.

“I do distictly remember the chant that we said, ‘We want peace and we want justice,’ and we just kept on chanting that over and again,” Paul says in the video. 

Watch NBC Los Angeles affiliate KNBC’s archived news coverage above and then watch Paul’s clip below who share his memory of the event twenty-years later.

Watch Paul’s video below and catch up on more “Children of the L.A. Riots” videos by visiting Colorlines.com/1992.


‘Every Game I Used Drugs’: The Story of Baseball Great Willie Mays Aikens

SB Nation has an incredible story from former Kansas City Royals slugger Willie Mays Aikens, who battled years of drug addiction and spent over a decade in prison.

In 1980, Aikens became the first MLB player to hit multiple homeruns in one game during the World Series, a feat that helped establish him as one of the best hitters in the game. Years later, he admitted to battling severe addiction to cocaine during the early nineties. He also made and sold the drug, and because of strict federal drug sentencing laws, Aikens received a 20-year prison sentence. After doing his time in Georgia, Aikens was released and later hired by his old organization to coach a minor league team in Arizona.

Watch the video that’s above for more, and read the whole story over at SB Nation.

Sundance Favorite, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild,’ Debuts New Trailer

Sundance Favorite, 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' Debuts New Trailer

“Beasts of the Southern Wild,” the highly celebrated Sundance film that took the top awards at the film festival, has a new trailer and a release date.

The film centers around a six-year-old black girl who’s father’s health is fading and her search for her mother. All of this after a hurricane causes environmental changes that result in the release of an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs.

“Nothing else at this year’s festival came close to stirring up the excitement and sense of discovery generated by ‘Beasts,’” New York Times critic Manhola Dargis wrote shortly after Sundance.

She also warned us of the impending race comments that may come if the movie does as well as everyone predicts.

“I heard one industry type wonder aloud if Hushpuppy was ‘retarded or just black and poor,’” Dargis wrote.

So prepare yourselves.

ICE Director John Morton Gets Very Own Satirical Twitter Account

ICE Director John Morton Gets Very Own Satirical Twitter Account

First there was the infamous @BPGlobalPR satirical Twitter feed, then came the “Mexican Mitt Romney,” now someone has created a fake account for Director of ICE John Morton. The Twitter account was launched Wednesday and currently has 51 followers.

” I don’t enjoy deporting your mom, I fucking love the Hell out of it,” reads @JohnMortonICE’s Twitter profile.

“Satire is a great way to get a message across,” the man behind @JohnMortonICE told Colorlines.com. He identified himself as someone who works closely with immigration reform groups.

“I want to draw attention to this administration’s hypocritical stance on immigration reform and remind people that our immigration system is hardwired for deportation,” said the man behind @JohnMortonICE.

“As the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, John Morton has overseen the Obama administration’s record-breaking deportation spree,” Colorlines’ immigration reporter Julianne Hing points out. “He has touted the so-called smart enforcement of Secure Communities while ignoring the calls from immigrant communities and law enforcement agencies alike who say S-Comm, and other deportation programs like it, are in fact tearing families apart and destabilizing U.S. communities instead of strengthening them.”

“We’re talking over 400,000 deportations a year, the very least we can do is mock ICE for it,” the man behind @JohnMortonICE told Colorlines.

Texas Rapper: Number One Thing A Rapper Shouldn’t Say, ‘Gay is Okay’

Texas Rapper: Number One Thing A Rapper Shouldn't Say, 'Gay is Okay'

Adair Lion is a Texas based rapper who says he “strives to be unlike what’s perceived of Latinos by the main stream media.” So far he’s definitely doing a pretty good job at separating himself from mainstream rappers with lyrics that promote equality for gays.

“It doesn’t just get better, it gets awesome, homie — what I mean is I just wanna see you blossom, homie,” Adair raps in his new single called “Ben” that’ll be part of his album “Michael & Me.”

The rapper who was born and raised in central El Paso, Texas near the border to Juarez, Mexico says the album pays homage to the late Michael Jackson.

The release of “Michael & Me” will be on June 25, 2012 which marks the third anniversary of Jackson’s death.

Colorlines.com’s Seth Freed Wessler Accepts 2012 Hillman Prize for Web Journalism

Hillman 2012 Winner Seth Freed Wessler On Tuesday, Colorlines.com’s investigative reporter Seth Freed Wessler accepted the 2012 Hillman Prize for Web Journalism at the annual Hillman Prizes ceremony at The TimesCenter in New York City. Since 1950, The Hillman Award is a journalism prize awarded annually to “journalists, writers and public figures who pursue social justice and public policy for the common good.”

Wessler was honored for his investigation “Thousands of Kids Lost From Parents in U.S Deportation System” that found at least 5,000 U.S. citizen children are in the foster care system today due to the detainment or deportation of their undocumented immigrant parents by the U.S. government.

“After reading the article by Seth Freed Wessler, I knew there was no other place that I had to be than here at this moment to introduce him,” said Danny Glover, who presented Wessler with the Hillman award.

Jennifer Pozener liveblogged the event and included Wessler’s acceptance speech on the Women in Media’s “Voices” blog.

“It’s an extraordinary honor to be here, to have that introduction… I spent a lot of time last year in small dark rooms in states ike TX, AZ, FL in the basements of immigration detention centers, and child welfare offices… in a concrete room in AZ, a soft-spoken Mexican woman told me she had not seen or spoken with her children in four months. It started with being pulled over” for speeding. Had she been a citizen, he said, she would have gotten back to her kids very quickly. Instead, the Fed severed her from her children, and severed her from the court processes that dealt with her children… cultural chauvanism says that children would be better off in foster care with strangers than with immigrants who are not citizens. Seth concludes by noting that this investigative accomplishment “would not have been possible without the remarkable vision of Applied Research Center director Rinku Sen…and without Kai Wright, Colorlines’ editor.”

(Photo: Lindsay Beyerstein)

Hey Ashton Kutcher and PopChips: Brownface is Still Racist [Video]

Hey Ashton Kutcher and PopChips: Brownface is Still Racist [Video]

More on PopChips’ new Youtube campaign here. We’re also not crazy about gay-joke Darl.

Afro Dish Sponges: Funny or Racist?

Afro Dish Sponges: Funny or Racist?

The British company Paladone released a line of dishwashing sponges based on African-Americans with Afro hairstyles. One figure is shaped like Diana Ross with a brillo pad hairstyle and another is a disco-styled sponge. Paladone said that these were designed to be fun and sales have been high. But are these funny or racist?

Report: CeCe McDonald Pleads Guilty to Second Degree Manslaughter

Report: CeCe McDonald Pleads Guilty to Second Degree Manslaughter

Reports out of Minneapolis have it that CeCe McDonald has accepted a plea deal to second degree manslaughter due to negligence in the death of Dean Schmitz. McDonald is a black transgender woman who says she was attached by Schmitz with racist and homophobic slurs. Her supporters have rallied at the court house all week, saying that her case is a stunning example of institutional biases against black and transgender communities.

Luce Guillen-Givins, a member of McDonald’s Support Committee, said that the plea deal stipulates that McDonald will spend 41 months in prison. Stay tuned for more details.

Someone Dug Up George Zimmerman’s Dormant Myspace Page

Someone Dug Up George Zimmerman's Dormant Myspace Page

The Miami Herald unearthed George Zimmerman’s old Myspace page today. On it, the man who’s now charged with second degree murder for the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin reveals what life was like shortly after he moved to the Florida suburb that’s now become infamous after Zimmerman’s encounter.

On it, Zimmerman uses the alias “Joe G” and a personalized URL that reads “onlytobekingagain.” While describing his new life in Florida after having moved from Virgina, Zimmerman writes:

“I dont miss driving around scared to hit mexicans walkin on the side of the street, soft ass wanna be thugs messin with peoples cars when they aint around (what are you provin, that you can dent a car when no ones watchin) dont make you a man in my book,” the 2005 Myspace page said. “Workin 96 hours to get a decent pay check, gettin knifes pulled on you by every mexican you run into!”

Zimmerman also celebrates some of his earlier legal victories, including one against an ex-fiancee who’s described as his “ex hoe”:

Here’s a blurb from Talking Points Memo:

“Im still free!” he wrote on Aug. 24, 2005. “The ex hoe tried her hardest, but the judge saw through it! Big Mike, reppin the Dverse security makin me look a million bucks, broke her down! Thanks to everyone for checkin up on me!”

Six days later he posted about another victory.

“2 felonies dropped to 1 misdemeanor!!!!!!!!!!! The man knows he was wrong but still got this hump, Thanks to everyone friends and fam, G baby you know your my rock!”

UC San Diego Student Forgotten After 4/20 Raid, Forced to Drink Urine

UC San Diego Student Forgotten After 4/20 Raid, Forced to Drink Urine

Daniel Chong is a 24-year-old engineering student at the University of San Diego. He was arrested during a 4/20 campus raid, in which DEA agents confiscated marijuana, mushrooms, and thousands of ecstasy pills along with weapons and ammo.

Chong admitted to authorities that he did, in fact, smoke weed, but was told that he was free to leave by authorities. Instead of actually leaving, Chong was placed in a 5 ft. by 10 ft. holding cell, where he says he was left for the next five days.

Johnny Depp’s Make-Up for New Tonto Movie is Awful

Johnny Depp's Make-Up for New Tonto Movie is Awful

And, as some bloggers have pointed out, it’s deeply problematic. The actor’s make-up is supposed to emulate Kirby Satler’s famous “I Am Crow photo.” Zunguzungu calls this latest iteration “Johnny Depp’s minstrelsy.”

Police Investigate Murder of Transgender Woman in Oakland

Police Investigate Murder of Transgender Woman in Oakland

A candlelight vigil was held last night in downtown Oakland for a transgender woman who was shot and killed in Oakland late last week. The woman has been identified as 37-year-old Brandy Martell. Jpmassar at the Daily Kos relayed this information:

A witness told ABC7 the conversation was cordial, but then.. one of the men became angry and fired into the car right where Martell was sitting.

“When you don’t provide a space in society for people who you think are the other or different, especially transgender women, especially transgender women of color, when you don’t provide spaces for them to be in a safe environment or a safe space, whether it’s socializing or services, this is what happens,” Martell’s friend Tiffany Woods told ABC7.

Police are still investigating the incident, but witnesses reported to local news sources that there was an altercation just before the shooting and that Brandy was shot by a man who had “become enraged and shot her when he realized she was trans.”

NAACP Sues Philly For Rejecting Prison Reform Ad

The NAACP thought it had a good idea: they wanted to put up an ad in Philadelphia’s International Airport that highlighted America’s prison epidemic. But the city shot down the proposal, claiming that it doesn’t promote “issue” or “advocacy” advertisements as its airport. Now the NAACP is taking the city of Brotherly Love to court.

Author Toni Morrison Wins Highest U.S. Civilian Honor

Author Toni Morrison Wins Highest U.S. Civilian Honor

Toni Morrison is set to set to receive the presidential medal of freedom later this year. The Nobel-winning author is gearing up for the release of her new book, “Home”, and is one of thirteen recipients of the prize, alongside Bob Dylan and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

“These extraordinary honorees come from different backgrounds and different walks of life, but each of them has made a lasting contribution to the life of our nation,” President Obama said. “They’ve challenged us, they’ve inspired us, and they’ve made the world a better place. I look forward to recognizing them with this award.”

Supporters Stand in Solidarity for CeCe McDonald Murder Trial

The murder trial of CeCe McDonald is officially underway. McDonald is a black transgender woman who’s on trial for killing a man who she says physically harassed her outside of a Minneapolis-area bar. The trial officially began yesterday, but will be in full swing this morning as the woman’s supporters gather at the court house for support.

McDonald is on trial for second degree murder following the death of Dean Schmitz. But McDonald and her supporters are adamant that Schmitz’s death is a case of self-defense after the man allegedly yelled racist and homophobic slurs at McDonald. After the altercation, McDonald had to get 11 stitches to her face and there were reports that Schmitz had a swastika tattoo on his chest. Still, McDonald was interrogated by police without an attorney present and placed in solitary confinement.

Supporters say that McDonald’s case is a striking example of bias against transgender and black people in the criminal justice system. “People were very enraged about what had happened to her and the refusal of Hennepin County to recognize her right to self-defense,” Katie Burgess, executive director of Trans Youth Support Network, told Democracy Now.

South L.A.’s Community Coalition on the Civil Unrest [Video]

South L.A.'s Community Coalition on the Civil Unrest [Video]

South L.A.’s Community Coalition launched LAcivilunrest.org earlier this month with 20 commentary videos by different community leaders and activists, elected officials and residents who share their stories of the Civil Unrest erupted on South L.A. streets in 1992.

The site includes videos from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a local news anchor, community activists, residents and academics.

Community leaders, including U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, founded Community Coalition as a non-profit organization in 1990 in response to the 1980’s crack cocaine epidemic that devastated South LA.

To watch more videos from South L.A. community members on the Civil Unrest of 1992 visit LAcivilunrest.org.

TAGS: LA Riots
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