links for 2010-08-27

  • "Thinking about running for eighth grade class president at Nettleton Middle School in Nettleton, Mississippi? Well… are you white? Because only white kids are allowed to run for president. Black kids can be vice-president, though! But only black kids."
  •  What was less forgivable was that the president missed — or consciously passed up — a racial teaching moment that he is uniquely suited for. He started off in a promising direction: He told Walters that early in his life, he decided that if he was going to be called an African American, he "wasn't going to run away from that." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of African Americans, but all right. But in a rhetorical triangulation of the sort that has become all too familiar, he went on to say colors were 'labels' that were far less important than how people treated each other, a sentiment that got predictable applause."
  • For many 19th- and 20th-century immigrants or their children, it was a rite of passage: Arriving in America, they adopted a new identity.

    Today, most experts agree, that traditional immigrant gambit has all but disappeared.

    Precise comparative statistics are hard to come by, and experts say there was most likely no one precise moment when the practice fell off. It began to decline within the last few decades, they say, and the evidence of its rarity, if not formally quantified, can be found in almost any American courthouse.

    The rationale was straightforward: adopting names that sounded more American might help immigrants speed assimilation, avoid detection, deter discrimination or just be better for the businesses they hoped to start in their new homeland.

  • While some detractors made the argument that adopting the new color was unacceptable simply as a breach of tradition, Angle — who was in the midst of an eventually successful campaign for school board — and others argued that wearing black jerseys was closer to sacrilege.
    "I cannot quote scripture as they did to justify their point but the gist of their argument was that black as a color was thoroughly evil, invoking the supernatural and especially the devil," Roberts reports. "Whichever argument prevailed, school administrators caved in and prohibited the Muckers from wearing the black apparel."
    The black uniforms were then confiscated and held under "lock and key" by the administration, which refused to compensate the team for the money they had spent acquiring the jerseys.
  • "The hit indie sex comedy The People I've Slept With continues its theatrical run, opening this Friday, August 27 at the Laemmle Sunset 5 in West Hollywood. Make plans, grab your friends, and check out the funny, sexy and feel-good movie that's been making big waves with festival audiences everywhere.

    I do want to throw an extra plug for Saturday night… If you're headed to the 7:30pm screening, you can party with me and Audrey Magazine. I'll be moderating the post-screening Q & A with the cast and crew. I will try my best to ask thoughtful, provocative questions."

  • "In a weekly conference call today with international stores and corporate heads, the AA chief blamed a lack of immigration reform and media misunderstandings for the company's woes. According to a source listening to the call, Charney disputed reports that the company is nearing bankruptcy and out of cash. Rather, he said, one of the core issues is AA's employment troubles. "The real core issue is we lost 2,500 people," Charney said, referring to what American Apparel attorney and spokesman Peter Schey calls a "routine" 18-month investigation and early 2010 immigration and customs enforcement action that resulted in the loss of workers, many of whom didn't have proper immigration documents. (Schey tells Fast Company the number of employees shed after the enforcement action was more like 1,500.)"

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