links for 2011-02-01

  • "I recently heard from actress Stephanie Y. Wang, who has had a recurring role as 'Madison' on The Bold and the Beautiful for the last five years. I'm not much of a soap opera watcher, so I wasn't aware of her work, but she did pass along a very interesting message…

    Last week, she received this ridiculously racist bit of hate mail from a B&B fan named Rumar who appears to be really unhappy with what Stephanie's character ('people of your type and other foreigners') is up to on the show."

  • "Yesterday at the Center for American Progress, Sam Fulwood III introduced us to an young immigrant’s story that’s all too familiar, but with a ray of hope. Mario Perez is a 22-year-old college student in Nacogdoches, Texas, who came to the United States with his family as a five-year-old, and who didn’t find out about his own undocumented status until he was a high school senior. Engaged to his girlfriend and on his way to engineering grad school, Mario’s world came crashing down with a single routine police stop in December of last year. The difference between Mario and any other undocumented college kid? He turned to his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha — the nation’s oldest black Greek-letter fraternity."
  • "On the other hand, the fact that African-American politicians and other leaders have recently been unable or unwilling to make themselves heard on human rights issues may not matter much now to those yearning for freedom. The revolutionary impulse around the world no longer depends on what American politicians–black or otherwise–say or don't say. The global village created by satellite dishes and social media no longer cares about the official narrative."
  • "Throughout February, the products produced by the following African American-owned businesses will be featured in more than 2,500 Walgreens stores. The products will also be available for up to 50 percent off the regular price at Companies include Anika Labs, Bronner Brothers, Danielle Ashley Communications, Firstline Mfg. Corp., Gallery Guichard, Hightime Products, Johnson Products, Luster Products, Namaste Laboratories, Nicene Brands, LLC, Popcorn and More, Inc., Professional Products Unlimited, Inc, Reggios Pizza, Summit Laboratories, The Crutcher Marketing Group and The Pepsom Group. Now, that's putting your money where your mouth is during Black History Month."
  • "The story of Boiana and of Palivelupa is that of a good idea gone drastically wrong, devastating the lives of millions of desperately poor people, threatening a banking crisis and revealing the dark side of India's economic growth. Pioneered in Bangladesh in the late 1970s, microfinance involves granting small loans that no conventional bank would give to the very poor, allowing them to launch small-scale economic ventures. Around 30 million households in India have received £4bn in such loans over the past 15 years."
  • "Over at AlterNet, activists and writers Adrienne Maree Brown and Dani McClain discuss the 14th amendment and the role of corporations in U.S. democracy. They ask, “Corporations ain’t people, so why do they have the power of citizens?” It’s a discussion that was sparked in part by the January 21 anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, which allowed unlimited corporate spending on political campaigns. But it expanded more broadly from email discussions around ongoing attacks on the 14th amendment that go back long before the Court’s controversial ruling. Yet what makes this conversation different from most? It’s honest and hopeful talk. And invokes the wisdom of famed black science fiction writer Octavia Butler…"
  • "Seven states already have laws requiring photo ID at the polls. Another 19, including some of the states below, require some form of identification, but it doesn't need to have a photo.

    "Critics say it such requirements impose undue hardships on those trying to vote, reminiscent of the literacy tests of yore that kept black voters from voting in the South."