Colorlines

NOW IN RACIAL JUSTICE

Hundreds of Moms Protest Wal-Mart This Week

Hundreds of Moms Protest Wal-Mart This Week

Following last month’s gathering of fast food workers outside McDonald’s headquarters, moms are organizing for a living wage, too. Ahead of Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting in Arkansas tomorrow, hundreds of  so-called Wal-Mart moms are staging strikes this week in 20 cities across the country. At one candlelight vigil held outside board chair Rob Walton’s Phoenix home this Monday, 25-year-old Bene’t Holmes told CNN Money, “I am trying to tell Wal-Mart that they should not retaliate against workers, and that they need to raise wages and respect us.” Holmes earns $8.75 an hour at a Chicago-area store. The picket line moms say they want more full-time openings, wages of more than $25,000 a year and an end to retaliation against outspoken workers. Should Wal-Mart implement these demands, it would signify widescale change throughout the retail industry.

Wal-Mart employs about 1.3 million people or 1 percent of the working population in the U.S., making it America’s largest private employer. The Guardian reports that the company posted a $16 billion profit last year and the Walton family, which owns more than half of Wal-Mart, is worth almost $145 billion. 

(h/t CNN Money)

Commuter Attacked for Speaking Bengali

Commuter Attacked for Speaking Bengali

On a DC-area commuter train this May, 58-year-old Patrick Sullivan harassed and attacked a Muslim man who remains unidentified in yesterday’s news report from Fairfax, Va. Both government workers, Sullivan appears to have been enraged by the man speaking Bengali on his cell phone. “Speak English!”, he’s reported to have yelled before escalating to hitting the man and alerting the conductor that perhaps the victim had a bomb as he was Muslim.

Local police charged Sullivan with misdemeanor assault and battery as a hate crime. But a spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the assault should be punished more severely. 

Do you agree? Watch WJLA’s report to hear CAIR’s reasoning.

(h/t WJLA)

Canadian Shooting, RIP Chester Nez, and Free Donuts

Canadian Shooting, RIP Chester Nez, and Free Donuts

Here’s what I’m reading up on today (and yes, free donuts!):

  • Chester Nez, the last surviving original Navajo Code Talker, has passed away
TAGS: Morning Rush

History: Why the Young Lords Took Over Lincoln Hospital

History: Why the Young Lords Took Over Lincoln Hospital

Back in 1970, according to the then head of pediatrics, children got lead poisoning while hospitalized at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. That and rats in the emergency room are only a couple of the indicators dramatizing just how neglected the public hospital was. Times have changed however, partly because of the Young Lords takeover of Lincoln in July 1970. With the help of nurses and doctors, the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican group similar to the Black Panthers, barricaded the doors and took over the hospital for 24 hours. Listen now to WNYC radio’s Amanda Aronczyk to hear how the stand-off ended and what the confrontation won for the South Bronx.

(h/t WNYC Radio)

Angel Haze Drops Unlikely Song With Ludacris for ‘22 Jump Street’

Angel Haze Drops Unlikely Song With Ludacris for '22 Jump Street' Play

Looks like Angel Haze is relishing her crossover success. The openly queer rapper just dropped a track with Ludacris for the soundtrack of the upcoming “22 Jump Street” featuring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. The uptempo track features Haze singing and rapping the film’s theme song. The film hits theaters on June 13. 

(Hypetrak)

Bergdahl Release Video, Instagram 6.0 and the Secrets of Koala Tree Hugging

Bergdahl Release Video, Instagram 6.0 and the Secrets of Koala Tree Hugging

Here’s some of what I’m reading up on this morning (feel free to skip to the koala cuteness, of course): 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Seattle Fought For $15 And Got It

Seattle Fought For $15 And Got It

Seattle beat out San Francisco yesterday to become the city in the nation with the highest minimum wage: $15-an-hour. Workers won’t see the bump in their paychecks until 2017 though. The increase will be phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of the business. In exchange for providing health insurance, businesses with 500 or more employees have a year’s extension giving them four years to implement the wage increase. Yesterday’s vote is being described as historic and a model for the rest of the country where continued fast food worker protests have drawn increasing attention to employees’ struggle to improve wages.

Some local businesses support the compromise plan reached after months of negotiation but many are torn, as the PBS News Hour video shows. One business group, the International Franchise Association plans to file suit, calling the increase “unfair” and “discriminatory.”

(h/t Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Syria’s ‘Election,’ Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage and RiRi’s Dress

Syria's 'Election,' Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage and RiRi's Dress

Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

  • Two 12-year-old girls are being charged as adults for stabbing their friend for “Slender Man,” a fictional Internet character.
  • Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride (yes, there’s a company called that) are in a bidding war to take Hillshire Brands, which is itself trying to acquire Pinnacle Foods.  
  • Donald Sterling faces a lawsuit for sexual harassment and racist slurs. 
TAGS: Morning Rush

LAUSD Suspensions Down, But They Might Not Tell The Whole Story

LAUSD Suspensions Down, But They Might Not Tell The Whole Story

While Los Angeles public schools have dramatically cut their suspension rates, some youth advocates warn that the seeming improvements don’t tell the whole story.

The Los Angeles Times’ Teresa Watanabe reports on allegations of principals turning to off-the-books suspensions to continue punishing students while still reporting dips in suspensions:

The principal at Manchester Elementary in South Los Angeles was removed earlier this year following allegations that he sent at least 20 students home while directing staff not to mark them absent or suspended, according to two knowledgeable sources who asked for anonymity to avoid retaliation. A district official confirmed Gregory Hooker’s removal “pending the outcome of an investigation” but declined to provide further details.

A confidential report by two community organizations in 2012 found that some principals were using “work-arounds” to district mandates to reduce suspensions. Maisie Chin, executive director of CADRE, a South Los Angeles nonprofit that has long worked on the discipline issue, declined to release the report but said it showed that some students were being sent home, sometimes with no given reason, depriving them of the due process rights in the formal suspension process.

Los Angeles schools have faced pressure to cut their suspension rates as the school-to-prison pipeline has become a national conversation. But this kind of cut is probably not what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan had in mind when he decried the overuse of suspensions in the nation’s schools. Read the rest at the Los Angeles Times.

White GOP Candidate Changes Name to Cesar Chavez in Arizona Race

White GOP Candidate Changes Name to Cesar Chavez in Arizona Race

Scott Fistler didn’t do too well in the 2012 election. The Republican ran (and lost) as a write-in candidate against Rep. Ed Pastor, a Democrat. But Fistler seems to have had a novel idea to take the 7th district—which is largely Latino—later this year.

About six months ago, Fislter petitioned a judge for a name change—to Cesar Chavez, ostensibly after the labor leader. He’s also switched parties and is now a Democrat running on the ticket to, once again, try to win. It’s unclear if any of his political views have changed.

But it gets better. Chavez’s election website (“CESAR CHAVEZ for CONGRESS 2014!”—that also includes a Spanish language translation) features images of masses of people wearing red t-shirts with the name Chavez plastered on them. But those folks aren’t out on the streets of Arizona for candidate Chavez; they’re on the streets of Venezuela for now-deceased President Hugo Chávez.  

To be fair, however, this wouldn’t be the first time someone would confuse Cesar Chavez and Hugo Chávez for the same person.

(h/t Arizona Capital Times)

John Oliver On Who’s Messing With Your Internet

John Oliver On Who's Messing With Your Internet

“If you want to do something evil put it inside something boring. Apple could put the entire text of “Mein Kampf” inside the iTunes user agreement and you’d just go: Agree. Agree. Agree.” “Mein Kampf,” according to former Daily Show correspondent John Oliver’s metaphor, is the end of net neutrality. The iTunes user agreement is FCC hearings convening this year to establish a two-tier Internet system: a fast lane for those who can pay and another lane for those who can’t. The proposed Internet overhaul, advocates say, will strip Davids of their slingshots and cede ground to Goliath companies like Comcast. And that’s why in just 13 minutes, John Oliver in his new HBO show explains why the term “net neutrality” should hereafter be known as, “preventing cable company fuckery.” 

Check out the clip from last night’s episode. Stay tuned to the end, where Oliver lets you know how you can do something about it. And learn more about the revolving door between companies like Comcast and the FCC.

RIP Yuri Kochiyama, EPA on Polluting Power Plants and Benefits of Bilingualism

RIP Yuri Kochiyama, EPA on Polluting Power Plants and Benefits of Bilingualism

Here’s what I’m catching up on this morning: 

  • Ready for iOS8?  
TAGS: Morning Rush

Who Gets To Be An All-American Kid?

Who Gets To Be An All-American Kid?

Can you spell words like “thymelici” and “holluschick?” The 14- and 13-year-old Indian-American winners of last night’s Scripps National Spelling Bee can. For the first time in 50 years two students tied for first place in the Bee and not for the first time, their “American-ness” was questioned soon after. Journalist Jeff Chu last night Storified some of America’s on-going paroxysms over who gets to belong and when. Last night, according to the AP, marks the seventh year in a row that a student of Indian descent has won the Bee.

New Clippers Owner, Fallout over Spelling Bee, and Measles Spreading

New Clippers Owner, Fallout over Spelling Bee, and Measles Spreading

It’s Friday. Yay! Here’s what I’m reading up on this morning: 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Snowden Interview, Lavar Burton Raises $1.6 Million, and Heavy Hacking

Snowden Interview, Lavar Burton Raises $1.6 Million, and Heavy Hacking

All I know is that the World Cup starts in two weeks. Two weeks! Here are other things I’m reading up on this morning: 

TAGS: Morning Rush

Streaming: Google Exec Releases Company’s Race and Gender Numbers

Streaming: Google Exec Releases Company's Race and Gender Numbers

Google’s Senior VP of People Operations will appear on a PBSNewsHour segment this evening to release the company’s race and gender diversity numbers. Watch the 6pm EST livestream here.

Google’s disclosure of EEOC diversity data is a reversal of course for the company. It’s expected that this will increase pressure on other tech companies to do the same. 

Housing Discrimination Not A Thing Of the Past

Housing Discrimination Not A Thing Of the Past

A Miami apartment complex has been hit with a discrimination suit alleging discrimination against African-Americans in favor of Hispanics. When Zipporah Hayes went to view an apartment in a Miami housing complex, the rental manager told her there were no units available. Two hours later when Alexandra Del Rosario stopped by, the rental manager showed her an apartment. Hayes is African-American. Del Rosario is Hispanic. After this scenario repeated two other times this year with other “testers”—fake apartment hunters—the Miami Herald yesterday reported that a local fair housing group filed suit

Housing discrimination is very difficult to prove. One of the only ways to do so is by “testing.” That’s when a local fair housing group sends fake apartment hunters and homeowners to visit buildings or housing areas suspected of discrimination. Otherwise, done right, potential homebuyers and renters don’t know for sure when they’re facing discrimination.

It’s unclear from the reporting whether the Miami complex is reacting to the potential renter’s skin color or last names. If the allegations are true, how, for example, would the rental manager react to black Latinos?

(h/t Miami Herald

RIP Maya Angelou, Obama on Foreign Policy and French Police Raid Immigrant Camp

RIP Maya Angelou, Obama on Foreign Policy and French Police Raid Immigrant Camp

Here’s what I’m reading up on this Wednesday morning:

TAGS: Morning Rush

Woman Sues After Baby Dies Following Delivery in Solitary

Woman Sues After Baby Dies Following Delivery in Solitary

A Texas woman says she was given no choice but to give birth in a solitary cell—after which her baby died.

Nicole Guerrero says that she was under arrest for drug possession at a Wichita County jail when she was placed in solitary confinement on the night of June 11, 2012. In a lawsuit charging malpractice and that she was denied due process, Guerrero says she was told by the jailhouse doctor she was eight-and-a-half months pregnant. Yet on the night of June 11, when she began pressing the emergency button because of labor-like symptoms, she was initially ignored for more than four hours. Guerrero was then placed in a solitary cell instead of being transported to a hospital. The following morning, at about 5:00 a.m. on June 12, a guard helped Guerrero deliver her baby. But the baby, who was placed in a jail rag towel, was pronounced dead. The lawsuit indicates there was no attempt to resuscitate the newborn.

Guerrero’s lawsuit claims that because she was ignored despite her cramping and obvious suffering, she was forced to deliver her child in a solitary confinement—which resulted in serious “permanent, physical and psychological injuries.”

(h/t WPTV

Immigrant Detainees Work for a Dollar a Day

Immigrant Detainees Work for a Dollar a Day

At least 60,000 immigrants worked for the detention centers they were being held in in 2013—many for just a dollar a day. That’s according to Ian Urbina, in new report in the New York Times, where Urbina also found that some immigrants work in county jails for free. Out of the roughly 30,000 detainees held daily, some 5,500 work for pennies an hour, doing the essential cooking and cleaning. 

Detainee workers also include those seeking asylum, permanent residents and even U.S. citizens. Pedro Guzmán, a 34-year-old whose visa was erroneously revoked, says he was threatened for not working through a fever:

“I went from making $15 an hour as a chef to $1 a day in the kitchen in lockup,” said Pedro Guzmán, 34, who had worked for restaurants in California, Minnesota and North Carolina before he was picked up and held for about 19 months, mostly at Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Ga. “And I was in the country legally.”

Mr. Guzmán said that he had been required to work even when he was running a fever, that guards had threatened him with solitary confinement if he was late for his 2 a.m. shift, and that his family had incurred more than $75,000 in debt from legal fees and lost income during his detention. A Guatemalan native, he was released in 2011 after the courts renewed his visa, which had mistakenly been revoked, in part because of a clerical error. He has since been granted permanent residency.

You can read the story in full over at The New York Times

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201