links for 2010-11-21

  • "In the '60s, allowing hair to go naturally into an Afro was seen as a political act of defiance. But now, as seen in the videos, the zeitgeist seems to be shifting. Outdated stereotypes seem to be losing their hold, thanks to factors as disparate as reality TV, the Internet, multiethnic families and a biracial president. Defiance as expressed in Willow Smith's video is about daring to express one's individuality, refusing to be stereotyped and changing the conversation."
  • "California's Latino and Asian voters are significantly more concerned about core environmental issues, including global warming, air pollution and contamination of soil and water, than white voters, according to the latest Los Angeles Times/USC poll.

    "California has one of the nation's largest concentrations of minorities living near hazardous chemical wastes and air pollution produced by refineries, port operations, freeway traffic and railroads. An analysis of census data by researchers at four universities for the United Church of Christ showed that 1.2 million people in the greater Los Angeles area, 91% of them minorities, live less than two miles from facilities handling hazardous materials such as chrome-plating businesses and battery recycling centers."

  • "When Professor Coleman speaks of immigration in terms of colour, he is marginalising generations of Britons and disregarding decades' worth of contributions made to British society by immigrants and their offspring. And he is playing into the hands of the far right. Immigration should remain on the agenda, but the arguments should be about numbers, not colour.

    "Focusing on the issue in terms of the effects on 'white Britons' is short-sighted and reductive. National identity should be based on values we uphold collectively. Before there's a crisis of national identity, we would do well to remember that."

  • "The ministry of immigration and national identity was a key feature of Sarkozy's last presidential campaign, designed to win over far-right voters from the National Front and restore national pride to a country undergoing what he called an 'identity crisis'."

    "But the creation of the ministry prompted protests from the left, and from historians and academics who said it stigmatised immigrants and suggested France's vast number of citizens with foreign parents were somehow a threat to the nation."