links for 2010-11-09

  • "Last week, an immigration judge granted Reyes a form of asylum that allows her to stay in the U.S. based on the persecution she suffered as a transgender woman in Mexico.

    "The Board of Immigration Appeals withheld her removal from the U.S. after determining the Mexican government would not protect her from abuse if she was deported.

    "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services does not keep statistics on the numbers of transgender immigrants granted asylum. But Large said the relief Reyes got is rare for a Mexican national because some immigration judges think there is tolerance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Mexico.

    "Same-sex marriage is allowed in Mexico City, and many gay tourists flock to beach resorts throughout the country, leading to the misconception that the country is welcoming, said Large, who argues that pockets of intolerance abound in rural Mexico."

  • "Oprah isn't exactly the outdoorsy type, which is kind of the point. Her visit occurred earlier this month, and she and her friend Gayle first stocked up at REI on 'sleeping bags, lawn chairs, water bottles and fanny packs too,' according to one eyewitness account. Her show will feature activities such as fly-fishing and mule riding. During her trip, she commented that she felt closer to God.

    "Johnson says the exposure of Oprah's show to an audience of 30 million will be like 'an earthquake' that sends out seismic waves of culture change across the black community. His ultimate visitor to champion the parks cause to the black community, however, would be rap superstar Snoop Dogg.

    "'All Snoop Dogg has to do is go camping in Yosemite and it would change the world,' Johnson told the San Francisco Chronicle a year ago. 'If Oprah Winfrey went on a road trip to the national parks, it would do more than I have done in my whole career.'"

  • "Segregation haunts questions of public safety, education, housing and fairness in the workplace. It is how New York sorts out its children, sending them on a path toward success or disaster.

    "And the poison spreads from there. Racially segregated zones make it 'natural' for cops and prosecutors to make decisions about law enforcement (including stop-and-frisk procedures and low-level drug busts of sellers rather than buyers) that inevitably track with race."

  • "For decades since Du Bois' death in Ghana in 1963, the civil rights activist and scholar has drawn praise for his writings but scorn from residents upset that he joined the Communist Party, became a citizen of Ghana and often criticized the U.S. over race relations.

    "FBI agents and riot police guarded a park dedication to him more than 40 years ago. Efforts to name a school after him were blocked. Some residents saw him the father figure of black radicalism, and they remained conflicted over his legacy and his relationship with the largely white town he often romanticized in writings."
    But now, as Great Barrington readies to celebrate its 250th birthday, supporters say Du Bois is finally getting his due.