links for 2010-02-25

  • "We were reasonably amused perusing Italian Vogue's new Internet collective, but why must curvy women, women of color, and burgeoning design talent be viewed in separate channels? Is it possible to have a fashion magazine that embraces women of all sizes and colors who wear young and established labels? Italian Vogue seems to think not.
  • The assault was the culmination of a chaotic, violent day at South Philadelphia High, details of which are spelled out for the first time in a long-awaited report released yesterday. The report by retired federal Judge James T. Giles detailed his investigation of the racial violence that has drawn national headlines and intervention from local, state, and federal authorities…But the work, which focused solely on Dec. 2 and 3, immediately drew criticism from activists, community members, and students who said that its scope was too limited.
  • Imperial County's pauper's cemetery [is] a dusty field dotted with about 900 concrete markers the size of bread loaves. Each was stamped with numbers or the name "John Doe." Several hundred marked the final resting place of Mexican and other Latin American migrants who've died walking across the desert or drowned trying to cross the nearby All-American Canal.

    [John Carlos] Frey, a 46-year-old filmmaker, blames the U.S. government for their deaths. In all, some 6,000 people have died crossing the Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California borders with Mexico since 1994, according to human-rights groups. About 500 more die every year…In his new documentary film, "The 800 Mile Wall," Frey says this tragedy is the foreseeable result of a policy that sealed off urban crossing routes, driving migrants into the desert.

  • "It was a slap in the face," Indo-Canadian activist Sukhi Sandhu said Thursday, referring to the opening show's cultural segment. "You'd expect in an event of this magnitude, diversity would be entrenched in every aspect."…Sandhu and his allies have called on the Vancouver Organizing Committee to ensure that the closing ceremony convey more of the character of greater Vancouver, where Chinese and South Asians comprise 30 percent of the area's 2 million people.
  • Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's latest proposals to close California's budget shortfall would end public assistance for most new legal immigrants, eliminating emergency cash, food and medical aid for those who don't yet qualify for federal welfare.
  • After travelling the country and hearing horrific tales of abuse suffered by aboriginal residential-school survivors, the head of Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission says he realizes that forgiveness is not an option for many victims…“It's not a question of forgiveness for them. It's a question of moving on. Some have said there will never be any reconciliation for them and we just accept that as part of the truth-telling process.”…About 150,000 First Nation, Inuit and Métis children were forced to attend the government schools over much of the last century. The last school, outside Regina, closed in 1996.
  • Now the Louisiana State Police, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department are swarming over this impoverished lumber town of 3,800, drawn by the allegations of numerous witnesses that police killed an unarmed, elderly black man without justification—and then moved a gun to make it look like the man had been holding it.
  • "The Dai park, with its wooden stilt homes, groomed palm trees and elephant statues, is part of an increasingly popular form of entertainment in China — the ethnic theme playground, where middle-class Han come to experience what they consider the most exotic elements of their vast nation. There is no comprehensive count of these Disneyland-like parks, but people in the industry say the number is growing, as are visitors. The Dai park, whose grounds encompass 333 actual Dai households, attracts a half-million tourists a year paying $15 each.

    The parks are money-making ventures. But scholars say they also serve a political purpose — to reinforce the idea that the Chinese nation encompasses 55 fixed ethnic minorities and their territories, all ruled by the Han."

  • "We wanted to make sure that it was not the Speedy of the 1950s — the racist Speedy," said the comedian's wife Ann Lopez, who will serve alongside him as a producer. "Speedy's going to be a misunderstood boy who comes from a family that works in a very meticulous setting, and he's a little too fast for what they do. He makes a mess of that. So he has to go out in the world to find what he's good at."