- U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting.
- A new birth certificate law in Puerto Rico creates serious problems for more than 1 million U.S. mainland residents born on the island who now face unjust difficulties if their documents are considered invalid, a civil rights and Latino advocacy group said Thursday.
- The engaging, 40-year-old writer has no trouble recalling the rejections [of her debut novel] or her reaction to them even though they are now behind her: “Everyone kept saying my book was not marketable—there was no way they could sell this thing. They said the main character was not universal enough—no one can relate to her situation. I took these ‘no’s as an inspiration—can I write this story better? But I never listened to those who said the story was not universal.” Durrow’s stubbornness has now paid off in sweet poetic justice. Her powerful little novel, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, is getting the sort of serious book-industry buzz and media attention that is generated by only a few debuts every season.
- "One in three Canadians believe that Aboriginal Peoples and Muslims are the frequent targets of discrimination, a CBC-commissioned poll suggests.
"About 28 per cent of the 2,000 surveyed by pollster Environics Research Group in February and March also said Pakistanis/East Indians often suffer from intolerance, while 20 per cent said blacks regularly faced it."
- For African-Americans, the prevalence of infection was 39.2 percent — more than three times that of whites, at 12.3 percent. Black women are most affected by the disease, with an infection rate of 48 percent.
Fenton said the high rates of herpes among African-Americans is most likely contributing to the high rate of HIV in that community. In fact, statistics show that people with herpes are two to three times more likely to get HIV if exposed.
- "The self-dubbed 'Jihad Jane' who thought her blond, all-American profile would help mask her plan to kill a Swedish cartoonist is a rare case of a U.S. woman inciting foreign terrorism and shows the latest evolution of the global threat, authorities say."
- "It wasn't until bondage magazines became popular in the 1970s that we began to often see women of color engaged in acts of BDSM. Previously detective magazines, which were published as early as the 1930's, had covertly provided a way of publishing bondage imagery but they rarely featured models of color. Although these images largely objectified and over-sexualized Black women, bondage pictorials did create a successful niche in the industry and for many people of color these magazines were their first exposure to BDSM."
- On a Saturday at the Lamar Edward Salon, a small cluster of women watch a demonstration of a new product. Their giggles turn into growing interest. They learn the city is handing out free samples, but it's not shampoo or makeup products. Instead, the women can leave the salon with free female condoms tucked into their purses. Co-owner Gerald Armstrong said his salon is a perfect place for a frank discussion about safe sex.
- Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc,” an exhibition at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, draws attention to one of the most interesting if puzzling developments in contemporary art: a revival of exotic, often historical imagery of people from faraway places in the name of a critique of exoticism. Ms. Essaydi is a Moroccan-born, New York-based photographer who has risen to prominence for her beautiful, striking imagery dealing with the role of women in Islamic societies. But much like Shirin Neshat, Shahzia Sikander and other successful expatriate female artists from Muslim nations, she trades in stereotypes, reflecting back at us our own misconceptions and prejudices.
- Black and Hispanic men are more likely to receive longer prison sentences than their white counterparts since the Supreme Court loosened federal sentencing rules, a government study has concluded. The study by the U.S. Sentencing Commission…analyzed sentences meted out since the January 2005 U.S. v. Booker decision gave federal judges much more sentencing discretion. For years, legal experts have argued over the disparity in sentencing between black and white men. The commission found that the difference peaked in 1999 with blacks receiving 14 percent longer sentences. By 2002, however, the commission found no statistical difference. After the Booker decision, “those differences appear to have been increasing steadily,'' with black men receiving sentences that were up to 10 percent longer than those imposed on whites, the commission said. Using another method of analyzing the data, the study found black men received sentences that were 23 percent longer than white men's.
- A North Texas apartment complex is facing accusations that it segregates Muslims in buildings away from other tenants — or refuses to rent to them at all. The complaint comes from former leasing agents at the StoneBridge at Bear Creek complex in Euless. They say Muslims were routinely denied apartments even when there were vacancies. "If somebody called over the phone inquiring about an apartment, we were told that if they have an accent or a different name that we are supposed to tell them that we didn't have anything available,” said Daneisha Davis, who worked there for a year-and-a-half.
- A coalition of labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations in New York announced their support on Friday for newly introduced legislation that would greatly increase penalties against employers that violate minimum-wage and overtime laws. Supporters of the bill, known as the Wage Theft Prevention and Responsible Employer Protection Act, say that wage violations are all too common because penalties for such violations are small under New York law and because employers that break the law face little likelihood of getting caught. The legislation — introduced in the State Senate and State Assembly — would subject employers that fail to pay, for instance, $10,000 in legally required overtime to having to pay twice that amount in damages. That would be above and beyond the $10,000 in back wages that current law already requires such employers to pay.
- Could wiki technology find Osama bin Laden? Imagine if any Pakistani could send an anonymous text message to the authorities suggesting where to look. Each location could be plotted on a map. The dots would be scattered widely, perhaps, with promising leads indistinguishable from rubbish. But on a given day, a surge of dots might point to the same village, in what could not be coincidence. Troops could be ordered in…This kind of everyone-as-informant mapping is shaking up the world, bringing the Wikipedia revolution to the work of humanitarians and soldiers who parachute into places with little good information. And an important force behind this upheaval is a small Kenyan-born organization called Ushahidi…A lot of things could go wrong with this model. People could lie, get the address wrong, exaggerate their situation. But as data collects, crisis maps can reveal underlying patterns of reality.
- Civil rights activists Sunday called for a federal investigation into allegations of harassment and racial profiling by the Torrance Police Department, following the traffic stop of an African American pastor in early March. "What we want is a full federal Justice Department probe of Torrance and its treatment of African Americans and Latinos," said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, during a small but sometimes tense protest in the neighborhood where Pastor Robert Taylor was pulled over while driving with his 15-year-old daughter, and subsequently searched.
- Their kingdom long ago overthrown, Native Hawaiians seeking redress are closer than they've ever been to reclaiming a piece of Hawaii. Native Hawaiians are the last remaining indigenous group in the United States that hasn't been allowed to establish their own government, a right already extended to Alaska Natives and 564 Native American tribes. With a final vote pending in the U.S. Senate and Hawaii-born President Barack Obama on their side, the nation's 400,000 Native Hawaiians could earn federal recognition as soon as this month _ and the land, money and power that comes with it. They measure passed the U.S. House last month.
- The allegations come in the wake of strong criticism last week of the UK Border Agency, which was condemned for failing to investigate claims of mistreatment by failed asylum seekers in abuse allegations up to July 2008. Ministers now plan to review the use of force against asylum seekers by British security guards after a Border Agency report on abuse conceded that serious injuries were suffered by detainees who had been handcuffed or physically restrained.
- Controversial (Irish) playwright Martin McDonagh is used to creating headlines in Britain and Ireland…But trying out an American setting as opposed to an Irish one is proving a challenging exercise…In an extraordinary and withering review, the [New Yorker's] theatre critic, Hilton Als, laid into ["A Behanding in Spokane"] for being overtly racist. "I don't know a single self-respecting black actor who wouldn't feel shame and fury while sitting through Martin McDonagh's new play," began Als's review…"A Behanding… isn't in the least palatable; it's vile, particularly in its repeated use of the word 'nigger'," Als wrote. He then went on to compare the play's lone black role, Toby – played by Anthony Mackie, the star of The Hurt Locker, to the racist caricatures of black Americans that populated American cinema in the 1920s and 1930s.
- …a recent survey found that the most severe hunger-related problems in the nation are in the South Bronx, long one of the country’s capitals of obesity. Experts say these are not parallel problems persisting in side-by-side neighborhoods, but plagues often seen in the same households, even the same person: the hungriest people in America today, statistically speaking, may well be not sickly skinny, but excessively fat. Call it the Bronx Paradox. “Hunger and obesity are often flip sides to the same malnutrition coin,” said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. “Hunger is certainly almost an exclusive symptom of poverty. And extra obesity is one of the symptoms of poverty.”
Please Support CHILDREN OF INVENTION and WHITE ON RICE, Opening on March 12th in NY & L.A.!
“Children of Invention” – by Tze Chun
Two young children living outside Boston are left to fend for themselves when their mother gets embroiled in a pyramid scheme and disappears. ”Children of Invention” premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, screened at over 40 film festivals, and won 15 festival awards including: Grand Jury Prizes at the 2009 Newport International
Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, and Ojai-Ventura Film Festival. Variety said the film is “Urgent, artful…austerely poetic,” and the Film Society of Lincoln Center said it is “As close to cinematic purity as one is likely to see this year.”
“White on Rice” – by Dave Boyle
40-year-old Jimmy is growing up, or at least he’s getting older. While mooching the upper bunk of his ten-year-old nephew’s bed, he enjoys the never-ending generosity of his sister Aiko, and dodges the wrath of his impatient brother-in-law Tak. He thinks that if only he could get married all his problems would be solved. But when he falls head over heels for Tak’s niece things only go from bad to worse. Featuring a standout cast including Japanese Academy Award winner Nae and Mio Takada, “White on Rice is a satisfying comedic feast” (Honolulu Advertiser) and “A Cinematic Milestone.”(San Francisco Chronicle).
Additionally, in celebration of our looming theatrical release, we are offering Tze Chun’s award-winning Sundance ’07 short WINDOWBREAKER for *FREE* in the YouTube Screening Room for a limited time only! This is the film which earned Tze a spot on Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Indie Film” list, and on which “Children of Invention” is based.
Compiled by Thea Lim and Jessica Yee
- No Thorough Probe into Racist Email Sent by Police Officer – CBC
- America’s Best Dance Crew and Asian American Visibility – Conducive Mag
A thorough internal investigation was never conducted into an allegedly racist email written by an Edmonton police officer…[the email] makes several references to aboriginal people. One suggests that the police van used to transport suspects “should always be referred to as the Mobile Native Friendship Centre” while another states, “An ‘aboriginal’ is actually just an Indian.”
- Travis Wong sounds off with Conducive’s Brielle Nikaido about being Asian American in the entertainment industry, his experience working on the dance crews, and what young dancers can do to succeed.
- Telenovela Stars to March to Washington Over Immigration Reform – New America Media
- The celebrities will march to Washington with activists next year, when Congress is expected to take up the issue in January. The actors participating include Vicente Fernández, Marco Antonio Solís, El Buk
and Graciela Beltrán, in addition to the campaign’s official spokesperson, Mexican telenovela star Lucía Méndez.
- Despite [District 9's] elaborate critique on systematic racism, though, the movie itself prescribes liberal racism and elitism to overcome the systematic racism.
- Elder Abuse Grows in the Chinese Community – New America Media
A counselor at the Garden of Hope in New York explained that Chinese parents rely on their children after retirement and will put up with abuse because of their financial dependence.
- Watch The Killing of a Chinese Cookie on Snagfilms – Angry Asian Man
Derek Shimoda’s informative and entertaining documentary, The Killing of a Chinese Cookie is now available for viewing online (for free!)…The film explores the not-so-Chinese origins of the fortune cookie, and how it has become a part of American popular culture.
As law students and future lawyers, they were in positions of power that most of us are not, nor ever will be. How could they lend their skills to this movement in a different way? How could they contribute to a broad, holistic agenda without reinforcing the inequities around race, gender, class, sexual orientation, ability, etc?
…white people should struggle a little more than they often do with names that they find unfamiliar — it’s really not that difficult. Using a person’s actual, correctly pronounced name acknowledges his or her individual humanity.
Through [Danticat's] works, she has amassed a wide range of fans with her simple prose and themes of isolation, human struggle, cultural survival — all set against the complex backdrop of Haiti’s complex history and immigrant life.
Aboriginal leaders in Manitoba are horrified that some of the reserves hardest hit by swine flu in the spring have received dozens of body bags from Health Canada. The body bags — which were sent to the remote northern reserves of Wasagamack and God’s River First Nation — came in a shipment of hand sanitizers and face masks.
Grand Chief David Harper, who represents northern First Nations, says body bags send the wrong message and no one can understand why Ottawa would do such a thing. “It really makes me wonder if health officials know something we don’t,” he said.
Shahrukh Khan, quite possibly the most famous man in India (and even the world) was in the U.S. to promote a movie about the profiling of Muslims and brown folk, called “My Name is Khan.”
And then he was profiled in the airport. And detained. Because his name came up in the airport’s computer alert system. Because his name was Khan.
I’ve got no problem talking to my kids about sex. Race is a different story. Like so many (white) parents, I thought not talking about it was the best way to make race a nonissue…
Compiled by Thea Lim and Andrea (AJ) Plaid
“The confrontation on Friday between Jay Phillips and three young men in Courtenay should have all of us re-evaluating the belief many Canadians have that racism is not an issue in Canada…we should look at this [country's] long history of racism, starting with the aboriginals who were here long before the first Spanish explorers sailed these waters…
This country has developed an entire federal ministry to deal with First Nations people, now called Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Billions have been spent over the years to treat one race of Canadians different from another. What could be more racist than that?”
“So it’s curious, then, that so many kids subjected to the harshest forms of discipline are dealing with problems they have no control over. And often, children targeted for violent punishment are burdened by another disadvantage: being of a certain color.”
“Barton and Phillips recommended that César Chavez (labor organizer and civil rights leader) and Thurgood Marshall (the nation’s first black US Supreme Court justice who, as a young attorney, successfully argued the public school desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education) be removed from textbooks because they aren’t worthy role models for students.”
“Spearman, best known for his role as Chance on the Logo series Noah’s Arc, observes that when he came out in 1980, he was welcomed as ‘the kids of the 1960s and early ’70s — those that had created the gay movement — were still on the dance floors of America elbow to elbow with the people who’d marched in Vietnam protests and Black Power parades, and had been active participants in the original civil rights movement.’
“Spearman laments that this feeling of acceptance has evaporated with the existence of separate black gay pride and Latin gay pride festivals, which he claims ‘exist because a great many men and women feel unwelcome in mainstream gay communities.’” (Spearman’s original essay here.)
“Muslimah Media Watch, a sharply written critique site, takes apart a new instant-anthropologist fad: People, particularly journalists, who put on a burqua robe or a niqab headcover or hijab scarf and imagine they know, in a day or a week, what life is like for Muslim women.
“Unfortunately, they keep on the preconceptions that “veil” their minds, according to a Watch writer in an essay dismantling the patronizing and stereotyping of ‘dress like a Muslim’ escapades.”