links for 2010-12-10

  • "Saying the United States was finally righting old wrongs, President Obama signed legislation Wednesday settling two class-action discrimination suits filed by American Indians and black farmers, awarding them $4.6 billion.

    Obama said the new law "isn't simply a matter of making amends; it's about reaffirming our values on which this nation was founded: the principles of fairness and equality and opportunity."

  • "Oscar-nominated Mexican actress Salma Hayek has admitted that she was once an illegal alien.

    The sexy star — now an advocate for better treatment of undocumented workers — tells the latest issue of V Magazine Spain, "I was an illegal immigrant in the United States.

    "It was for a small period of time, but I still did [live here illegally]." Hayek, 44, was born in Veracruz and came to California in 1991. She's now a naturalized citizen. "

  • "When we asked the class to debrief after a few minutes of writing, I was taken aback by the responses. 'My initial reaction was absolute fear' one young woman stated. "I realized I know absolutely nothing about Native American culture, I didn't even know where to start." 'I found myself confused and hung up on the details–what is that thing in her hand? [it's her dance fan] why are they there? what goes on at a powwow?' a male classmate asked. Others agreed, chiming in with their own similar reactions. The comments were not rude, they were not even unexpected, but what struck me was how acceptable this level of ignorance was. No one was embarrassed or ashamed by their lack of knowledge, no one found it out of the ordinary. They shared without any hesitation, without apology."
  • "Ah yes, one of the oldest, most reliable male fantasies of all: Not only is the woman an object, she's an exotic creature from a "tribe," who probably doesn't speak English. Feel free to slap a bra on her and treat her anyway you like!"