links for 2010-02-22

  • “Roslyn M. Brock, 44, the board’s current vice chairwoman, will become chairwoman of the board, taking the reins from Julian Bond, who last year, on the eve of the organization’s centennial celebration, announced his decision to step down. The 64-member board is the policymaking arm of the organization.”
  • More than $1 billion will be set aside for those who alleged loan discrimination by the Department of Agriculture. The agreement would allow the workers to seek damage awards or debt relief…The Obama administration agreed Thursday to provide $1.25 billion to compensate African American farmers who alleged racial discrimination by the Department of Agriculture farm loan programs…This is in addition to more than $1 billion the federal government paid to settle about 16,000 claims that were part of a discrimination suit black farmers brought against the department. The farmers won that suit in 1999.
  • French police are investigating claims that a burger chain serving only halal meat in restaurants with a strong Muslim clientele is discriminating against other customers…”Why should the people of Roubaix be forced to go to Lille or elsewhere to find bacon?” Franck Berton, the mayor’s lawyer, told Reuters.
  • But trouble has come to these two Bronx neighborhoods, tucked on spits of land near the foot of the Throgs Neck Bridge. This month the communities, along with a real estate agent, were accused in a federal lawsuit of using racial discrimination to keep black families out.
  • A group of female New York firefighters is threatening to sue the FDNY, claiming the department doesn’t just discriminate against minorities — it continues to discriminate against women…The group also is considering joining an ongoing federal discrimination lawsuit against the department filed by the Vulcan Society, a fraternal organization that represents black firefighters.
  • [In 1996 Qing Hong Wu pled] guilty to a string of muggings committed at 15…Mr. Wu was a model inmate, earning release after three years. He became the main support of his immigrant mother, studying and working his way up from data entry clerk to vice president for Internet technology at a national company…But almost 15 years after his crimes, by applying for citizenship, Mr. Wu, 29, came to the attention of immigration authorities…He was abruptly locked up in November as a “criminal alien,” subject to mandatory deportation to China— the nation he left at 5, when his family immigrated legally to the United States.
  • While some fans will be happy to see a female character unveiled at least, supporters of have expressed disappointment because an action figure from the show would have been a rare toy featuring a character of color, while the movie figurine of Katara is white…Most of the action figures seemed to have suffered further discoloration, with Zuko’s action figure sporting lightened skin and Aang’s skin appearing jaundiced.