All Articles Tagged "latinos"
It’s not really that much of a surprise: wealthier Americans, mostly whites, donated much more to the presidential campaigns than minorities. According to a new study by AP, Americans living in predominantly wealthy, white neighborhoods account for nearly all the sizable campaign contributions in this year’s presidential election, as reported by the Huffington Post.
Latinos donated the least. The study found that while 16 percent of the U.S. population is Hispanic, “not even 4 percent of the more than $1.3 billion in 3 million-plus itemized contributions came from mostly Hispanic neighborhoods this year… More than 90 percent came from majority white neighborhoods,” writes HuffPo.
Large donations come into play because there is actually more of them. About 65 percent of donors supporting Obama gave more than $200, compared with 85 percent for Romney. “These donors, including ‘bundlers’ who raise hundreds of thousands of dollars, are most likely to receive invitations to lavish donor parties, state dinners at the White House or policy briefings with senior advisers,” says the article.
For sure income disparity played some part in these findings. According to the 2010 Census, the median household income for Hispanics was $37,759; for non-Hispanic whites it was $54,620. Add to this the high unemployment rate for minorities, about 8 percent.
While it makes sense that minorities, who on a whole have lower incomes than their white counterparts, would donate less because they basically have less money, it’s not so, found the AP report. “Even among the poorest neighborhoods, non-Hispanics contributed far more regularly to the campaigns and the political groups that supported them. The trend similarly holds true for campaign contributions from mostly black, Asian or Native American neighborhoods,” states the article.
Still, the AP is talking about big-dollar donations. The news organization did not take into account the sources of contributions of $200 or less per person because, under federal law, political groups are not required to disclose any identifying information about such donors.
Perhaps more jarring is the amount of money spent, on a whole, on this election — $6 billion — and the amount that came from outside groups like super PACs — $526 million. Mother Jones has some of these money stats.
A quick thanks to @SFDireWolf for bringing this to our attention: NewMe Accelerator, a startup incubator program that aims to increase diversity in the tech industry, has launched a 12-week boot camp that will offer mentorship, chances to network and educational opportunities. The goal is to fine-tune a startup idea and present it to prospective investors.
The NewMe boot camp (NewMe stands for “New Media Entrepreneurship”) started in 2010 and takes place twice per year in Silicon Valley. The program seeks to improve diversity among groups that are largely left out of the tech landscape, specifically, founders who are women, African American and Latino.
NPR has an in-depth profile of the boot camp project, stating, “One reason Silicon Valley is so homogenous is what’s called the pipeline issue. There just aren’t a lot of women, blacks and Latinos enrolling in science and engineering programs.” One of NewMe’s former students also says there’s an unspoken bias against these groups. In addition, quotes in the story indicate that there’s a belief among these young entrepreneurs that there isn’t a place for minorities in the tech business.
Many times black people have been told if they want their concerns to be heard they need to take a stand against all civil rights injustices. That was the root of a lot of African American organizations’ involvement in the illegal immigrant laws coming out of Arizona a while back and it’s at the forefront of the gay marriage agenda today. Black people have been encouraged to see any infringement on one group of peoples’ civil liberties as an attack against us all, but for the most part heterosexual African Americans haven’t bought into that shared plight.
The anti-same-sex marriage group, National Organization for Marriage, is the latest group to attempt to race bait African Americans and Latinos to fulfill their mission—except rather than attempting to provoke solidarity to earn the right for homosexuals to marry, they explicitly state they want to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” in order to stop more states from legalizing this practice. MSN reported on this uncovered internal memo about the organization’s latest strategy, which reads:
“Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots. No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of his party. Fanning the hostility raised in the wake of Prop 8 is key to raising the costs of pushing gay marriage to its advocates … find attractive young black Democrats to challenge white gay marriage advocates electorally.”
What’s interesting is NOM essentially wants to blow what’s already been going on for years out of proportion. Aside from Christian communities who have denounced gay marriage—of which African Americans are largely still thought to make up a significant portion of—from my view most heterosexual black people have been apathetic in regard to gay marriage. The sentiment I typically observe is, I don’t have a problem with it or I don’t care if they do get married, but there’s no sense of urgency to get involved because it’s an issue they’re not affected by. That attitude is what prompted the whole “gay is the new black” idea to try to get African Americans down for the cause, and now NOM wants to capitalize on that apathy with this new campaign.
What’s unfortunate is that in doing so, if successful, the consequences of that wedge will likely be irreversible. Already, it’s said the black community as a whole has an issue with homosexuality and this effort will only cast an even brighter light on that idea, which I personally don’t think is true. For some black people, just like whites, their opposition is faith-based rather than rooted in some unforeseen need to oppress another segment of society. Not agreeing with a group of people’s lifestyle is not the same as wanting to oppress them, and it’s not fair to try to exploit some people’s spiritual beliefs and twist them into something they’re not. It’s also not fair to paint all African Americans with the same brush and assume we’re all anti-gay-marriage, homosexual hating Christians who want them to have as little civil liberties as possible. NOM claims to want to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it, but how can you do that by trying to create a religious divide in the African American community?
Regardless of where you stand on gay marriage, we cannot let members of the black community be used as puppets to further this group’s agenda. Let them do their own dirty work, we don’t need to play into their hands and become the face of gay marriage opposition. At the end of the day, this strategy wants to make us into even bigger enemies of the country which is becoming increasingly tolerant of the homosexual lifestyle and careless with the lives and concerns of black people. How much more of societal outcasts will we be if NOM paints us out to be homosexual rebels against legislation that is clearly gaining ground in the country. I’m not saying we need to agree with gay marriage if it goes against personal beliefs but we certainly need to make sure we are fairly represented on this issue and not played by an organization with a suspect strategy. If anything, I see this effort lighting fire against some African Americans’ apathetic feet, although in some ways we’d still be race-baited into the issue, just from the other side.
What do you think about this effort? Does it prove the point that black people should be involved with the pro-gay marriage agenda? Do you think race baiting will help or hinder either side’s goals?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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(AP) — More than half of all people sent to federal prison for committing felony crimes so far this year were Hispanic, a major demographic shift swollen by immigration offenses, according to a new government report released Tuesday. Hispanics already outnumber all other ethnic groups sentenced to serve time in prison for federal felonies. Hispanics reached a new milestone for the first time this year, making up the majority all federal felony offenders sentenced in the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
Williams’ rant has drawn major criticism from Latino advocacy groups, not to mention several members of the Hispanic community, who have taken to YouTube to express their disgust in Williams’ actions.
With this being the newest addition to Williams’ long list of offenses, which happen to include physical fights, arrests and incoherent comedy shows – the fact that the comedian is in trouble again isn’t the biggest issue.
Admittedly, most comedians have a controversial tone about them, with a lot of comedy being based on harsh truth. In other words, comedians have the task of discussing things that many people may often think but due to political correctness, never have the courage to say. Therein lies the bigger issue with Williams’ comedic faux pas. Yes, what Williams said was ugly but how many people would actually agree with his statements?
Over at the Huffington Post blogger, Luis J. Rodriguez’s recent post, “Why we need a greater dialogue on black-and-brown relations”, briefly uses historical facts in a way to discount Williams’ statements. In the post, he discusses slavery, joblessness and why because of that, Mexicans had no choice but come into the United States. Although, Rodriguez’s post made some valid points, what made the post interesting are the opinions being slung around in the comments section.
One commenter stated:
“Taking away or being believed to have a hand in folks not being employed also bills up resentment . Lastly it is the sense of Mexicans and others living in America, benefiting and reaping the rewards of living in America but whose allegiance lies with their country of origin. Like Katt Williams (who I do not care for at all) I and millions of Americans believe if your loyalties lies with the country you escaped from, then why don’t you return there. That is not racist, but being patriotic and show a love of America.”
Even more interesting, was to find that a Latino-American blogger actually sides with Williams and believes what he said was right. While he doesn’t condone how Williams made his point, he does agree with the sentiments behind the statements. In fact, the author reveals that he recently had a similar type of discussion with his two of his friends who happen to be Mexican immigrants (the author admits to being a first-generation Latino-American).
“I asked them how they could talk so poorly of a country that their parents had sacrificed so much in bringing them to. I asked them how they could badmouth America while planning to receive their educations and earn their livings here. That seems like dissing your own girlfriend…
As a citizen or not, a person in the United States has the right to wave whichever flag they please, but it takes real chutzpah to claim a love for any foreign land and its flag over this boundless nation and its Star-Spangled Banner.”
With racial relationships already tense, along with the anti-immigration bills being pushed for in various states – when it comes to both communities coexisting peacefully; how can we move past this and see the bigger picture? Instead, it seems it’s easier for us to separate ourselves and justify why that’s the case – instead of uniting to focus on bettering the lives for minorities in the United States.
Cynthia Wright is an avid lover of all things geeky. When she isn’t freelancing, she can be found on her blog BGA Life and on Twitter at @cynisright.
(New York Times) — This city in the high desert, at the far northern edge of the Los Angeles sprawl, is filled with cozy cul-de-sacs, stucco homes, green lawns and gleaming sedans. A three-bedroom house rents for the same price as a small apartment in Los Angeles, 70 miles to the south. So it is hardly shocking that the number of renters here who use the federal Section 8 housing subsidy has more than doubled in the last decade, to roughly 3,500, at a time when housing values have crumbled at the exurban fringe, driving prices even lower. The once-booming town, like hundreds of others at the edge of major metropolitan areas across the country, is also facing stark changes in its demographic mix, going in a few decades from a small, overwhelmingly white city to a much larger, ethnically diverse one where whites make up a third of the population. Fault lines have opened, with some residents worrying that neighborhoods are inundated with crime, and others seeing racism.
(USA Today) — Revealed in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Fallout Issue 4, out Wednesday, the new Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe is a half-black, half-Hispanic teen named Miles Morales. He takes over the gig held by Peter Parker, who was killed in Ultimate Spider-Man Issue 160 in June. In his first appearance, he simply breaks up a fight. But readers will learn the true origin of Morales and how he became the new Spider-Man when Ultimate Spider-Manrelaunches in September with a new No. 1 issue.
By Charlotte Young
In an important genetic scientific study on African Americans, two unrelated research groups have uncovered a very similar method to creating detailed genome maps of African American DNA. This new method, which helps scientists view the reshuffling of genomes, will also enable them to locate the genes that cause disease.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the new maps have been able to “pinpoint thousands of hotspots” where recombination occurs. Recombination is the gene swapping process essential to genetic diversity. It is also linked to disease.
While previous research has focused solely on the DNA of people of European descent, this new research exposes “genetic underpinning” to sickness in all people, especially African Americans.
Harvard Medical School geneticist David Reich and Simon Myers, a statistician from the University of Oxford, took a look at DNA data from 29,589 African Americans with no familial relations. The second team, led by UCLA geneticists, looked at DNA data from 2,864 participants from both African American and African Caribbean populations.
Both teams found a significant difference in the DNA compared to that of Europeans. The first team discovered 2500 “hot spots” in the DNA of people of West African descent that were very rare to European DNA.
Reich acknowledges the uniqueness of African American genetic structures as the genes are a blend of both European and West African DNA over the course of six generations, which is a relatively new blend.
Because the DNA is a relatively new genetic blending, the splices where recombination occurs are larger chunks of genetic information that are easier to compare to reference genomes.
“More and more we’re appreciating the importance of diversity in doing medical studies,” said UCLA geneticist John Novembre, one of the authors of the second study.
Both Reich and Novembre hope to next map the DNA recombination of hot spots in Latinos. This group has a mix of European, Native American and African ancestry which spans about nine generations.
The hope for these minority groups now recently of interest to scientist is that these scientists will not stop their interest at studying the genes that cause disease in DNA of African Americans, Caribbeans and Latinos. In addition to finding them, they will also be able to find methods to alleviate these health concerns in African Americans and other minority groups.
On the heels of reports that America has more minority than white babies for the first time, the Gerber baby food company has decided to revise its iconic logo. The infant that has represented its brand for decades will be expanded from being a single Caucasian tot into a rainbow of kids of multiple hues. Gerber has recognized that changing racial demographics require new marketing tactics, demonstrating a growing trend in diversifying that will extend to politics and eduction. More on the impetus behind this evolution from ABC News:
“The idea where we had a white, middle-class population that we talked about in the 1950s and 1960s, that’s disappearing,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institute.
The new generation is still in the cradle, but as the infants grow up America will start to look very different.
Already, the trend lines are becoming clearer: Older Americans are whiter. Younger Americans are more non-white.
Most of the change is being driven by a surging Latino population with a much higher birth rate than any other ethnic group. It is further bolstered by legal immigration.
In fact, 50% of the growth in America’s population between 2000 and 2010 was due to the rapid population expansion of Latinos. At close to 50 million, Latinos are now the largest minority group in the U.S., outpacing African-Americans at 38 million. Whites are still in the vast majority, representing 72% of the population and 223 million — but times are changing.
When today’s crop of babies reach maturity near the year 2042, researchers theorize that America’s majority population will be absolutely non-white — but with Latinos leading the change. This means our tradition of seeing race in terms of “black and white” must be questioned. Just as Gerber is changing it’s longstanding image to include more races, blacks and whites must learn to see cultural relations in this country in a multi-faceted light.
Many whites have resisted accepting Latinos as “real” Americans, as numerous anti-immigration campaigns nationwide illustrate, but African-Americans might be stubborn as well. Can blacks adjust to the idea of no longer being the most prominent minority group? That is the inevitable question. How we answer it will have serious implications for blacks politically and socially leading up to 2042.
Losing our power as the main minority will feel difficult, but as there is no choice we should plan to work with Latinos as their political clout swells. This is a piece of cultural capital worth investing in.
At the Republican Leadership Conference held recently in New Orleans, presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann called out President Obama, claiming that he has failed the black community. Citing the recently released jobless rate for blacks, which rests at 16.2%, observers note that these depression era levels of unemployment have not been seen since 1929.
The portrait for black unemployment is worse if specific segments of the community are considered. Joblessness for black males has risen to 17.5% since Obama was elected, while black teen unemployment has also increased from 36.3 to 41%. Bachmann used these statistics to attack the president in the area that many consider his greatest weakness — jobs — while appealing to African-Americans. She also played the race card in an attempt to dissuade Latino voters from supporting Obama in 2012. The Daily Mail reports:
‘The status quo certainly isn’t working for the African-American community, with 16 percent unemployment, or the Hispanic community, with nearly 12 percent unemployment,’ Ms Bachmann added, according to CNS.
‘It’s even worse for the youth: For Hispanic youth right now, 26 percent unemployment; for African-American youth, 40 percent unemployment.
‘This president has failed the Hispanic community. He has failed the African-American community. He has failed us all when it comes to jobs.’
The worrying figures emerged as leaders of a national Hispanic organization slammed Obama for skipping their annual conference for the third consecutive year.
Michele Bachmann might not have her statistics quite right, inflating numbers dramatically to promote herself, but overall she is correct. African-Americans have fared the worst during the recession, but President Obama has done very little to address our needs directly. Obama’s failure to create lasting prosperity for blacks does not prove that Bachmann is capable of doing any better. But her speech reminds us that his refusal to address our needs is worthy of deep consideration.
President Obama has shown more interest in luring Latino voters for the 2012 election, and seems eager to make up for the anger he caused by being a no-show. He recently made a historic visit to Puerto Rico, many theorize because 850,000 Puerto Ricans reside in Florida, a key state needed to win. The president also made a key move by naming a Latina, Katherine Archuleta, as the political director of the Obama re-election campaign. As the census has shown that Latino voters are becoming a larger urban voting block in areas that have been traditionally black, plans to woo this group make perfect sense.
Latino votes can make a difference, and they are up for grabs: equally available to Democrats or Republicans. So Obama is putting in the work to secure them.
By contrast, blacks are being taken for granted — again. Aside from President Obama’s recent attendance at Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, he has not made significant investments to show African-Americans that our votes matter. It is safe to guess that Obama assumes most blacks will vote for him because he’s one of us — regardless of the worsening unemployment rate for our community.
Many black leaders, ranging from Cornell West to Tavis Smiley, have called out President Obama, too, regarding this type of failure. It’s ironic that a white, female, ultra-conservative presidential candidate could have something in common with the loudest pro-black voices in the country. But they are unified in the observation that, to put it in an old fashioned way, President Obama has not done right by us.
If a member of the GOP can make that observation confidently, black people should be able to consider it, and act on it. We might support President Obama in 2012 because there is no other viable option, but we can and should remain vocally aware of his shortcomings. Latino voters count more than blacks now, because they are seen as having voting options. Would the needs of blacks be taken more seriously if we did, too?