Around the Web: Farai Chideya’s “Hu-manifesto”; Denim Day; Face It; HB 56

The Asian Task Force on Domestic Violence has been instrumental in bringing Denim Day–part of an international protest against victim–blaming to the Boston Area. But as April 25th approaches, the youth focused group has a major problem:

This year, the youth program has no funding. In order to do Denim Day, we need donations of fabric paint as well as safety pins. So to help us stop violence in our communities, we ask you for some much needed help. Usually Tulip brand fabric paint is easiest because it’s a squeeze bottle. You can generally get them at Michael’s (Medford or Braintree), at A.C. Moore (Somerville), and at most art stores. If you are in the Boston area, just contact Danny (info below) and we can definitely try to meet up and pick them up. If you’d like to mail them, please also contact Danny & he can give you our mailing address. You can also get them from Amazon.com At checkout, you can set it to send it to ATASK, and the items will be sent directly to our office and to the youth.

For more information, visit their site.

Farai Chideya is on the Root, penning “A ‘Hu-Manifesto’ for a Post-Trayvon World” on approaching volatile situations in the media and cutting through the noise to get to the substance. A sample:

3. Follow the Money

One of the basic tenets of journalism is to follow the cash and expose the manipulation of laws and justice. Although 21 states have “Stand your ground”-style laws, that didn’t happen by chance or come from a grassroots movement. The National Rifle Association has lobbied ceaselessly (to the tune of $35 million annually) for concealed handgun and “Stand your ground” laws. In a perverse sense, they benefited from the election of President Barack Obama. Fear of a Black President sent gun sales through the roof.

On March 20, just weeks after Trayvon’s death, a U.S. senator from South Dakota introduced Senate Bill 2213. Called the “Respecting States’ Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act,” it would permit people who have concealed weapons in their states to carry their concealed weapons anywhere in America. So much for states’ rights, huh? The NRA also happens to have a concealed-weapons hoodie in its merchandising line. Keep it classy.

One of the best things we can do to honor Trayvon Martin’s memory is to call out the laws, lobbyists and lawmakers that have increased the number of deaths of unarmed men, women and children. A lot of people have changed their social media avatar to Trayvon, a bag of Skittles or an image of themselves in a hoodie. Our country needs these people who can react instantly on social media to also plan ahead and vote in elections. And don’t stop there. Engage with your lawmakers between and during elections, and track campaign contributions. That will help create a fairer and safer America.

The “Face It Campaign” and HB 56 after the jump.

The Facebook board looks like a lot of other corporate boards–all male, and all white. While the US is a long way from Norway’s quota system, the Face It campaign aims rally public outcry to create change. Their rationale is easy to understand:

In his Letter to Investors, Mark Zuckerberg referred to Facebook’s role in the Arab Spring, saying that Facebook should “empower people” to challenge the “monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date.” Shouldn’t Facebook’s top management structure be less monolithic, too?
Expanding Facebook’s board would set a precedent, confirming the company’s place as a leading innovator—not only in social media but in corporate governance. [...]

Mark Zuckerberg holds 57 percent of the voting share on Facebook’s board. His control over the company will not change if he adds women to the board.

Get more information here.

HB56 is an Alabama law that is considered the strictest in the nation on immigration. When it first passed in 2011, Voto Latino posted about the issues that resulted from the swift and brutal changes:

It’s been 36 days since most of Alabama’s extreme anti-immigration bill, HB 56, was upheld in court. While some of the worst aspects of it have been temporarily blocked (i.e. requiring that schools check the immigration status of students), thousands of immigrants have fled their jobs, their schools and their houses in a exodus not seen in recent times. The almost 200,000 Latinos who remain in Alabama have been left in a state of fear and insecurity.

As the law stands, police are allowed to racially profile anyone they suspect of being illegal, all contracts with undocumented immigrants are invalid (i.e. child support, leases, or jobs), and it’s now a crime for undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license or even a job. Immigration and human rights experts say this law is the most stringent and extreme in the developed world.

The result is that crops are rotting in the fields, buildings are not being rebuilt after the devastating tornadoes earlier this year and many small businesses are suffering huge losses in customers and workers. People are afraid to leave their house let alone make contact with police or social services. Domestic violence help centers say many immigrants have stopped reporting their abusers to police for fear of being detained

Through it all, Alabama’s governor has responded to complaints by employers and displaced workers by saying “Those stories are anecdotal stories… It’ll work itself out.”

The law has had the broadest impact on Latin@s in the region, but has filtered over into other displays of bigotry and xenophobia. The Repeal HB 56 site notes:

Alabama’s economy has benefited greatly from foreign investment. But the heavy-handed nature of H.B. 56 has created an unwelcoming environment for foreign-owned businesses, as was evidenced by two separate incidents in which a German Mercedes-Benz manager was detained and a Japanese Honda manager was charged for not carrying the required documents under the law.

Racial profiling should not be tolerated–nor enshrined in law. See here to sign the petition against HB56.