Thursday, February 28, 2013

Survey: Portuguese Americans reject Hispanic Label

Survey: Portuguese Americans reject Hispanic Label

Preliminary data from a survey being conducted online, by the Washington based Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS), has shown that Americans of Portuguese descent reject being classified as Hispanic.

The objective of the survey was “to gauge the overall sentiment of the Portuguese-American community” on the issue relating to news that the “US Census Bureau is planning to add Portuguese to the Hispanic designation of ethnicity for the 2020 National Census.”

Of the about 4,800 participants who had responded to the survey by Thursday, February 28, 90 percent had indicated they do not consider themselves Hispanic or Latino.

About 70% of respondents considered being white and 80% believed the Portuguese community should unite to prevent the US Census Bureau from classifying Portuguese Americans as Hispanics.

An estimated 1.4 million people in the US claim Portuguese ancestry, according to the 2011 US Census.
Source: Portuguese American Journal

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bone Marrow need in UK

Chance of finding donor is only one in 100,000

Sonia Akow needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life. Credit: ACLT
Losing your mother to leukaemia is devastating enough, but imagine the impact of being diagnosed with the same condition, just one year after her death.

That's the situation facing 42-year-old music publicist Sonia Akow from Earl's Court.

She was diagnosed with the disease in November and now urgently needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life.

But because of her mixed heritage, her situation is even more desperate: her chance of finding a suitable donor is only 1 in 100,000. If she were white British, it would be 1 in 4.
Source: itv

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

More on the Voting Rights Act

We have been told by a voting rights expert that the multiracial numbers are "thrown out" for redistricting purposes. They do not count. -Susan 

Our Past Still Speaks: Re-examining the Voting Rights Act

President Lyndon Johnson discusses the Voting Rights Act with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965, the year it was signed into law. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Let me begin this discussion of the landmark Voting Rights Act and its less-than-secure future with a couple of propositions, the way a geometry problem starts with givens:
  • In the century after the Civil War, black political aspirations were thwarted and stunted through a variety of techniques ranging from murderous criminality to white-collar dirty tricks.
  • In the 1960s, minority political representation was a faint echo of minority population numbers, meaning a hundred years of suppression had worked.
  • 1960s-era civil rights legislation assumed that white Americans were less likely to vote for a black or Latino candidate for local and federal office -- even a nominee of their own party -- than they were for a white nominee, so minority- heavy districts needed to be mapped to insure elected representation.
  • While the United States had plenty to live down in its history of race relations, the most severe, systematic and consistent trampling of minority rights were found in many of the states of the Confederacy.
In those four unremarkable propositions lived much of the power of the Voting Rights Act. When President Johnson spoke to a joint session of congress after the passage of the Act, he reminded his audience, "This Act flows from a clear and simple wrong. The only purpose of this Act is to right that wrong." Among those supporting the law it was assumed that more black representation was a goal, that more was better than less, and that the states covered in the law were places that could not be trusted to do the right things themselves, that is, without federal oversight.
The decades that followed meant that the ebb and flow of local lawmaking, boundary drawing and elections would be different in the states covered by the Voting Rights Act. With the life and death struggles of the civil rights movement still fresh in American memory, people well understood what Washington was overseeing, even if they could not always bring themselves to drop the pose of disingenuousness that came with all the talk of "tradition" and "way of life."
The Voting Rights Act tore down the rotten framework of literacy and civics tests, tricky voter qualification, lines that split minority neighborhoods into five different districts, at-large elections to dilute minority voting power, refusal to supply bilingual voting materials, and all the other techniques that kept minority voters out of polling booths and out of power.
In his historic address President Johnson told congress that the histories of Americans and black Americans had flowed "through the centuries along divided channels." The milestones of the early United States meant little to black Americans, Johnson said, until the Confederate surrender at Appomattox, when "an American victory was also a Negro victory."
Think about this: in the years after the Second World War, there were two black members of congress. Two. William Dawson from Chicago's South Side, and Harlem's Adam Clayton Powell were the black congressional caucus! Today there are more than 40 black members of congress, including two U.S. senators. Behind them are mayors, county commissioners, state senators and state representatives, sheriffs, aldermen, committeewomen, and on and on. Black Americans are full participants in American political life and their votes sought by politicians of all colors.
The changes in American politics in the decades since the Voting Rights Act have emboldened the states living under its strictures to wonder out loud whether the law is now a 20th-century relic, unnecessary in a continent-sized country of more than 300 million people led by a black president. Across the South, and in Arizona, Alaska and scattered areas across the country (including my own home town of Brooklyn, N.Y.), federal oversight is required for elections and electoral maps. Increasingly, states like Texas are bridling under the requirements imposed by the Act as it approaches its 50th anniversary.
Black mayors have run many of the biggest cities in the states still regulated by the Voting Rights Act: Charlotte, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston. South Carolina has a black U.S. Senator. Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina is one of the most powerful men in the House. Mission accomplished, right?
Yes ... and no. File under "unintended consequences" -- the way forming minority "supermajority" districts helped the Republican Party march toward dominating the South by concentrating minority voters in districts that knit together towns dozens of miles apart. Rep. Mel Watt's old North Carolina district marched across a hundred miles of the state, grouping black voters together into a district a black politician could win, and at the same time diluting the Democratic vote in surrounding districts. It can be argued, and many have, that the house members who ran in districts emptied of black voters no longer had to spend much time worrying about college access, economic opportunity, and progress for black Americans.
While they've quietly taken advantage of Voting Rights Acts era mapping, Republican politicians have also complained about the continued imposition of the Act as Washington interference in local affairs. Even in 2013, it's never too late to bang the States Rights drum. Black and Latino politicians across the South and the Southwest insist that the Act is still necessary. The gross, violent oppression of Mexican-American and black voters is no longer a central part of our politics. On that much, all sides agree. But the lines that snake through polling places and stretch out the door and into the parking lot, the new laws that minority advocates say make it harder to vote, speak to continued tension over race and political power. After Texas' huge increase in Latino population garnered four new congressional seats since the 2010 census, voting rights advocates wondered how many new districts the state would create where Latinos could win ... four? Two? One? Texas tried none. Finally, the Texas congressional candidates ran under a map drawn by a federal court.
And another thing: the belief that minority supermajority districts are necessary to elect minority legislators rests on the belief that white voters won't vote for minority candidates. Unless these special districts are created, the logic runs, minority candidates won't win even in areas where most voters are from their own party. If that's true, is it still as true as it was in 1965 when the Voting Rights Act was passed? Would veteran black and brown legislators running inside less race-conscious district lines all lose? How much representation should minority voters be willing to lose?
Whether or not you support the continued renewal of the Voting Rights Act, these are all questions worth pondering because the answers are not binary -- yes/no, black/white, stop/go. This is a better country than it was in 1965. This is a country where plenty has changed in race relations since 1965. If the requirements of the Act were suddenly lifted, would majority populations in state after state be prepared to use the naked power of numbers to wipe out minority representation in state houses, on county boards, in the U.S. Congress?
The states willing to be rid of the Voting Rights Act are right, the Civil War is over. Minority voters are right when they insist the vestiges of Jim Crow still play some role in shaping daily life in America. Our past still speaks. Now it's up to the Supreme Court to decide how loudly.
Source: PBS Newshour blog at:

The Riddle of the Human Species

A very interesting read!-Susan

The Riddle of the Human Species

The task of understanding humanity is too important and too daunting to leave to the humanities. Their many branches, from philosophy to law to history and the creative arts, have described the particularities of human nature with genius and exquisite detail, back and forth in endless permutations. But they have not explained why we possess our special nature and not some other out of a vast number of conceivable possibilities. In that sense, the humanities have not accounted for a full understanding of our species’ existence.
So, just what are we? The key to the great riddle lies in the circumstance and process that created our species. The human condition is a product of history, not just the six millenniums of civilization but very much further back, across hundreds of millenniums. The whole of it, biological and cultural evolution, in seamless unity, must be explored for an answer to the mystery. When thus viewed across its entire traverse, the history of humanity also becomes the key to learning how and why our species survived.
A majority of people prefer to interpret history as the unfolding of a supernatural design, to whose author we owe obedience. But that comforting interpretation has grown less supportable as knowledge of the real world has expanded. Scientific knowledge (measured by numbers of scientists and scientific journals) in particular has been doubling every 10 to 20 years for over a century. In traditional explanations of the past, religious creation stories have been blended with the humanities to attribute meaning to our species’s existence. It is time to consider what science might give to the humanities and the humanities to science in a common search for a more solidly grounded answer to the great riddle.
Read more here: 
Source: The New York Times

Monday, February 25, 2013

No "Negro" on Census Forms

US stopping use of term 'Negro' for census surveys

This handout image obtained by The Associated Press shows question 9: "What is Person 1's race", on the first page of the 2010 Census form, with options for White: Black, African Am., or Negro. After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in its surveys. Instead of the term popularized during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern-day labels, “black” or “African-American”. (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in surveys.

Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels "black" or "African-American".

The change will take effect next year when the Census Bureau distributes its annual American Community Survey to more than 3.5 million U.S. households, Nicholas Jones, chief of the bureau's racial statistics branch, said in an interview.

He pointed to months of public feedback and census research that concluded few black Americans still identify with being Negro and many view the term as "offensive and outdated."

"This is a reflection of changing times, changing vocabularies and changing understandings of what race means in this country," said Matthew Snipp, a sociology professor at Stanford University, who writes frequently on race and ethnicity. "For younger African-Americans, the term 'Negro' harkens back to the era when African-Americans were second-class citizens in this country."

First used in the census in 1900, "Negro" became the most common way of referring to black Americans through most of the early 20th century, during a time of racial inequality and segregation. "Negro" itself had taken the place of "colored." Starting with the 1960s civil rights movement, black activists began to reject the "Negro" label and came to identify themselves as black or African-American.

Still, the term has lingered, having been used by Martin Luther King Jr. in his speeches. It also remains in the names of some black empowerment groups that were established before the 1960s, such as the United Negro College Fund, now often referred to as UNCF.

For the 2010 census, the government briefly considered dropping the word "Negro" but ultimately decided against it, determining that a small segment, mostly older blacks living in the South, still identified with the term. But once census forms were mailed and some black groups protested, Robert Groves, the Census Bureau's director at the time, apologized and predicted the term would be dropped in future censuses.

When asked to mark their race, Americans are currently given a choice of five government-defined categories in census surveys, including one checkbox selection which is described as "black, African Am., or Negro." Beginning with the surveys next year, that selection will simply say "black" or "African American."

In the 2000 census, about 50,000 people specifically wrote in the word Negro when asked how they wished to be identified.
Source: HOPE YEN | Associated Press 

Voting Rights Act and Supreme Court

Voting Rights Act 'Bailout Provision' Could Play Outsized Role In Shelby Supreme Court Case

By MARK SHERMAN 02/25/13 03:46 AM ET EST AP
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration and civil rights groups are defending a key section of the landmark voting rights law at the Supreme Court by pointing reformed state, county and local governments to an escape hatch from the law's strictest provision.
The Voting Rights Act effectively attacked persistent discrimination at the polls by keeping close watch, when it comes to holding elections, on those places with a history of preventing minorities from voting. Any changes, from moving a polling place to redrawing electoral districts, can't take effect without approval from the Justice Department or federal judges in Washington.
But the Voting Rights Act allows governments that have changed their ways to get out from under this humbling need to get permission through a "bailout provision." Nearly 250 counties and local jurisdictions have done so; thousands more could be eligible based on the absence of recent discriminatory efforts in voting.
The viability of the bailout option could play an outsized role in the Supreme Court's consideration of the voting rights law's prior approval provision, although four years ago, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas said the prospect of bailing out had been "no more than a mirage."
The court will hear arguments Wednesday in the case, which is among the term's most important, in a challenge from Shelby County, Ala.
Read more at:
Source: AP and Huff Post

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bye Bye, Soledad

How will we know who is black in America without Soledad to tell us on CNN? Stay tuned. 

Soledad O'Brien Out As CNN Host, Will Return To Documentaries

Soledad O'Brien is leaving CNN mornings, but she's staying with the network -- sort of.

O'Brien told the New York Times that she is returning to the role she had before she became the host of "Starting Point" in 2011: a roving documentary reporter. The twist this time is that she is forming her own production company and will not be tied exclusively to CNN; she will be able to shop programs to other networks and air them on the Web as well.

O'Brien's future as a regular face on the network was immediately put into doubt when CNN announced that Chris Cuomo would be its new morning host. O'Brien's "Starting Point" had generated plenty of headlines, but was perpetually low-rated.

On Wednesday, Page Six reported that she was headed out the door.

"We had conversations in general about my role at CNN," O'Brien told the Times. "What we ended up with was, they wanted to partner with me, and I wanted to partner with them."

On Thursday, O'Brien appeared on "The Wendy Williams Show," where she said she was looking forward to "doing stuff I like to do, which is hard-hitting journalism."
Source: The Huffington Post | By  

Fast-Food Intake and Race

Another health study that does not include Multiracial people. 

Fast-Food Intake Highest Among Young, Black, and Obese Adults

From 2007 to 2010, the average American adult obtained just over a tenth of his or her daily calories from restaurant fast food or pizza, according to a cross-sectional population survey. Young blacks obtained a fifth of their daily calories from fast food.
These findings, from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, were published online in a National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) brief on February 21.
The report authors, Cheryl D. Fryar, MSPH, and R. Bethene Ervin, PhD, from the National Center for Health Statistics, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Hyattsville, Maryland, write that previous reports showed how fast-food consumption gained momentum during the 1990s. Other studies found that those who frequently devoured fast food also tended to eat fewer healthy nutrients and gain weight.
To determine how many daily calories were obtained from fast foods, the researchers examined NHANES data from white, black, and Hispanic adults aged 20 to more than 60 years from 2007 to 2010. The respondents were stratified by income and weight.
During 2007 – 2010, fast food accounted for 11.3% of the typical American diet, down slightly from 12.8% in 2003 – 2006. The percentage of calories from fast food did not differ significantly between men (11.8%) and women (10.9%).
Consumption of fast foods dropped with age. On average, by age 60 years and older, fast food accounted for only 6.0% of the average diet, as opposed to 10.5% at age 40 to 59 years and 15.3% at age 20 to 39 years. This change in eating habits was found for both men and women.
Although among younger blacks, 21.1% of daily calories came from fast foods, among younger whites and Hispanics, only about 14.6% of daily calories were obtained from fast foods.
Similarly, among middle-aged blacks, 13.2% of calories were derived from fast foods, whereas among middle-aged whites and Hispanics, only about 10.3% of calories came from fast foods.
Seniors of all races and ethnicities had the same lower rates of fast-food consumption.
The youngest adults relied less on inexpensive takeout food as their incomes rose. Income did not affect fast-food consumption in the other 2 age groups.
Weight predicted fast-food intake. Among individuals with normal or low weight, 9.6% of calories came from noshing on fast food. However, this type of food accounted for 11.2% of calories for overweight individuals and 13.1% of calories for obese individuals. In all age groups, obese individuals derived the highest percentage of calories from fast food.
Source: NCHS data brief. Published online February 21, 2013.Article

Bilingual Babies

Bilingual Babies Know Their Grammar by 7 Months

Babies as young as seven months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures. (Credit: © Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia)
Babies as young as seven months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes.
Published February 14 in the journal Nature Communications and presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston, the study shows that infants in bilingual environments use pitch and duration cues to discriminate between languages -- such as English and Japanese -- with opposite word orders.

In English, a function word comes before a content word (the dog, his hat, with friends, for example) and the duration of the content word is longer, while in Japanese or Hindi, the order is reversed, and the pitch of the content word higher.

"By as early as seven months, babies are sensitive to these differences and use these as cues to tell the languages apart," says UBC psychologist Janet Werker, co-author of the study.

Previous research by Werker and Judit Gervain, a linguist at the Université Paris Descartes and co-author of the new study, showed that babies use frequency of words in speech to discern their significance.

"For example, in English the words 'the' and 'with' come up a lot more frequently than other words -- they're essentially learning by counting," says Gervain. "But babies growing up bilingual need more than that, so they develop new strategies that monolingual babies don't necessarily need to use."

"If you speak two languages at home, don't be afraid, it's not a zero-sum game," says Werker. "Your baby is very equipped to keep these languages separate and they do so in remarkable ways."
Source: University of British Columbia/

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Portuguese today, Hispanic tomorrow?

Portuguese today, Hispanic tomorrow?

The United States Census Bureau is at it again. Now, they are planning to add Portuguese to the Hispanic classification of ethnicity for the 2020 National Census. This is an important issue to the Portuguese community and to the multiracial community especially for those who have some Portuguese heritage.

Project RACE is working with Portuguese community leaders and The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS) to ensure that the community knows about the Census Bureau plans. It is important that people get involved in this issue now. Planning for the 2020 census has already begun. 

PALCUS is conducting a national survey to answer this question: Should Portuguese be considered Hispanic? Please take the time to fill out the survey at the following link:

The survey thus far has approximately a 75% NO response to the specific question: Do you agree that Portuguese should be added to the Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin category for the Census 2020?

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and let family and friends of Portuguese heritage know about it. We will have much more on this issue very soon. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Seven Multiracial Presidents?

Note: This story is making the rounds on the Internet. We do not have verification of its content, but the slideshow--linked at the end of article--is interesting, if not entertaining to readers of The Multiracial Advocacy Blog! -Susan

'Black Presidents': 6 United States Commanders In Chief Before Obama

Barack Obama is widely known as the United States' first black president. But is he really the country's first African-American commander-in-chief?

Of course author Toni Morrison famously declared that former president Bill Clinton was really the nation's first black head of state, however, rumor has it there are six other former presidents who had African-American ancestry: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Calvin Coolidge, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thomas Jefferson, and Warren Harding.

Several scholars have discussed the genealogy of these presidents in the past, and the debate was reignited after Obama was elected in 2008.

Check out the slideshow at the link below for a list of former heads of state who allegedly were descendants of African-Americans.

Source: Huff Post: Black Voices

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Man on Airplane Slaps Toddler

Man charged with slapping toddler now out of a job

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A man charged with slapping a toddler on a Minneapolis-to-Atlanta flight is out of a job, his former employer said Sunday.
Joe Rickey Hundley, 60, of Hayden, Idaho, is no longer an employee of AGC Aerospace and Defense,Composites GroupDaniel Keeney of DPK Public Relations confirmed Sunday night.
Al Haase, president and CEO of AGC, issued a statement early Sunday that, while not referring to Hundley by name, called reports of behavior by one of its executives on recent personal travel "offensive and disturbing" and said he "is no longer employed with the company." Keeney would not say whether Hundley was fired or resigned. Hundley was president of AGC's Unitech Composites and Structures unit.
Hundley was charged last week in federal court in Atlanta with simple assault for allegedly slapping the 2-year-old boy during the Feb. 8 flight. His attorney, Marcia Shein, of Decatur, Ga., said Saturday that Hundley will plead not guilty. The charge carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail.
Shein did not immediately returned messages seeking comment left Sunday evening by The Associated Press. Hundley does not have a listed phone number.
The boy's mother, Jessica Bennett, 33, told the FBI their flight was on final descent into Atlanta when her 19-month-old son started to cry due to the altitude change. Hundley "told her to shut that (N-word) baby up," FBI special agent Daron Cheney said in a sworn statement. She said Hundley then slapped him in the face, scratching the boy below his right eye and causing him to scream even louder.
Bennett told Twin Cities television stations on Saturday that the incident has caused her family a great deal of trauma and that her son, Jonah, had been outgoing but had turned apprehensive of strangers.
Hundley became increasingly obnoxious and appeared intoxicated during the flight and complained that her son was too big to sit on her lap, she said.
"He reeked of alcohol," Bennett told KARE-TV. "He was belligerent, and I was uncomfortable."
Bennett said she was shocked by the racial slur she says Hundley used when Jonah started crying.
"And I said, 'What did you say?' because I couldn't believe that he would say that," she told WCCO-TV. "He fell onto my face and his mouth was in my ear and he said it again but even more hateful. And he's on my face, so I pushed him away."
Bennett and her husband are white, while Jonah, whom they adopted, is black.
"We wish to emphasize that the behavior that has been described is contradictory to our values, embarrassing and does not in any way reflect the patriotic character of the men and women of diverse backgrounds who work tirelessly in our business," Haase said in his statement.
Source: Associated Press

Race-based Lawsuit

Lawsuit: Race-based request sidelined Michigan nurse
(CNN) -- A nurse is suing a hospital, claiming it agreed to man's request that no African-Americans care for his baby.

The lawsuit accuses managers at Hurley Medical Center in Flint of reassigning Tonya Battle, who has worked at the facility for 25 years, based on the color of her skin.

The man approached Battle, while she was caring for his child in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, asking to speak to her supervisor, according to the complaint filed in January by Battle's attorney.

She pointed the charge nurse in his direction.

The man, who is not named in the filing, allegedly showed her a tattoo that may have been "a swastika of some kind" and told her that he didn't want African-Americans involved in his baby's care.

The request, according to the lawsuit, made its way through management ranks, and was granted. Battle's manager called her at home to tell her she would be reassigned -- and why, the suit says.
She was shocked and in disbelief, her attorney Julie Gafkay told CNN affiliate WNEM. "She was very upset. She was very offended."

The hospital did not immediately respond late Friday to a CNN request for comment.
A note made its way onto prominent spot on the baby's medical chart, according to the suit: "Please, no African-American nurses to care for ... baby per dad's request."

The hospital's lawyer then objected to the decision, and the note was removed. The staff then told the father that they could no long honor his request, according to the complaint.
Even so, the lawsuits alleges, for more than a month no African American nurses were assigned to care of the child.
CNN's Marlena Baldacci contributed to this report.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Carson Scholars and Ben Carson Reading Rooms

My mom told me about a book she read about Ben Carson. It was called Gifted Hands. It told his story about wanting to be a doctor. But Ben grew up very poor with just his mom and brother. My Mom was really impressed by this man, but she was also really impressed by his mother. His mom stopped school after 3rd-grade, but that did not stop her from challenging her sons to work hard and dream big. And that's what Ben did! He is now a top doctor at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and has done amazing work doing operations that have never been done before. 

I thought it was cool that somebody who had done such great things was named Carson, even if he did spell it with a C instead of a K. But just a couple days ago, we found out that Susan Graham, our Executive Director here at Project RACE is also a huge fan of Dr. Carson. We knew that Dr. Carson had saved a lot of kids' lives in his hospital, but Susan told us about some great things that he is doing for kids outside of the hospital and I wanted to share it with all of you Project RACE Kids!

If you go to this website   you will learn about scholarships that the Carson Scholars Fund offers to kids from 4th to 11th grade who excel academically and serve their communities. You have to be nominated by your school and each school can only nominate one student, but that student could be YOU! 

You will also see another project where Ben raises money to create Reading Rooms in schools.

Check it out !


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ban American Indian Mascots

Ban American Indian School Mascots, Mich. Dept. of Civil Rights Says

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights filed a complaint Friday with the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights (OCR) asking for a ban on the use of American Indian mascots and imagery in K-12 schools that receive federal funds.

The department's complaint claims that the use of American Indian imagery denies equal rights to American Indian students. It highlights 35 schools in Michigan with American Indian mascots or imagery as the basis of the complaint.

In a supporting argument by Daniel M. Levy, the department's director of law and policy, the department cites a host of recent research that finds the use of American Indian mascots and imagery result in "actual harm" to current and future American Indian students.

"A growing and unrebutted body of evidence now establishes that the use of American Indian imagery reinforces stereotypes in a way that negatively impacts the potential for achievement by students with American-Indian ancestry," the supporting argument claims.

The department argues that the sanctioned use of American Indian imagery suggests that stereotyping is acceptable, which "has an indirect negative impact on all students." It also claims that the use of such imagery "denies equal learning opportunities for some students," which would violate the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.

"Continued use of American Indian mascots, names, nicknames, logos, slogans, chants and/or other imagery creates a hostile environment and denies equal rights to all current and future American Indian students and must therefore cease," the department writes in the supporting argument.

The department singled out the use of "Redskins" as a particularly egregious offender, a move that could upset certain football fans in the District of Columbia. It compares the term to the " 'N-word' for African-Americans," saying that the " 'R-word' should never be accepted in common usage, or be seen as anything other than an affront." (The filing does later clarify, however, that it isn't targeting the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Braves, or any other professional sports teams with American Indian mascots.)

The department argues that the harm done to American Indian students through the use of American Indian mascots should be sufficient for the OCR to ban their usage in K-12 schools that receive federal funds, except in extremely limited circumstances. If a school can use an American Indian image "in a way that is respectful" and "not reinforce any singular limiting image of Indian Peoples," the department suggests it could be allowed, "but only within guidelines provided by OCR."

However, the department once again singles out the term "Redskins" as one that is "always impermissible" in K-12 schools that receive federal funds.

I've reached out to OCR for an official statement on the Michigan department's filing, and will update this post if/when I hear anything. Back in 1995, OCR decided that an American Indian mascot at a high school in Quincy, Mass., did not constitute a violation of a federal civil-rights law, as it found no evidence of students being denied any services on the basis of race or ethnicity.

That ruling didn't, however, bar the possibility of finding other schools' mascots to be in violation of civil-rights law, according to Michael Burns, the then-deputy regional director of the OCR's Boston office.

Back in 2001, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights urged non-Indian schools that used American Indian imagery to end the practice.

A few states have taken matters into their own hands in this regard. In 2010, Wisconsin enacted a law that allows residents of a school district to challenge mascot names that allegedly promote a negative racial stereotype. This past May, the Oregon state board of education voted 5-1 to ban K-12 public schools from using American Indian mascots or imagery, giving any school affected by the policy five years to make the change.

Source: Education Week/bBryan Toporek 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Race and Kidney Transplants

Race and Kidney Transplants

Time to kidney transplant varies by race, insurance

kidney(NEW YORK) Reuters Health - Kidney disease patients who are black or lack private health insurance are less likely to get matched up with a donor organ before needing to go on dialysis, a new study suggests.

Still, researchers said, as long as patients get a kidney transplant within a year or so of starting dialysis, any extra benefit of a pre-dialysis transplant may be low.

"It's a possible benefit, but it's not entirely clear," said Dr. Morgan Grams, who led the new study at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

She told Reuters Health the findings represent "just another disparity" for African American patients, in particular, who take longer to get on the waitlist for a donor kidney and are less likely to get one at all.

"Studies over the last 10 to 15 years have consistently shown that minorities have poorer access to transplantation," said Dr. Douglas Scott Keith, head of the kidney transplant program at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville.

"This article basically shows that it's persisting, it hasn't gotten much better," Keith, who wasn't involved in the new study, told Reuters Health. Grams and her colleagues looked at about 122,000 first-time kidney recipients who received their organ from a deceased donor off a transplant list between 1995 and 2011.

Nine percent of those patients had their kidney transplant before going on dialysis, and another 12 percent received a kidney within their first year on dialysis, the researchers reported Thursday in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

African Americans were 56 percent less likely to receive a kidney before dialysis than whites - possibly because there was a delay in getting them on the transplant list or fewer matching donors, researchers said.

Typically, an available organ goes to the local patient who has been on the kidney transplant list the longest - but that person can be skipped if the organ is a direct match to the immune system of another patient high on the list.

People in the study who had private insurance were also three times more likely to get an early kidney than others.

Insurance is required for a transplant, so anyone with private insurance can get on the list early. Others aren't eligible for government-funded insurance until they're on dialysis.
It's still unclear whether receiving a kidney very early on improves the long-term outlook for patients with renal disease.

Pre-dialysis recipients and people who got their kidney within a year of starting dialysis were equally likely to survive for years after their transplant, the researchers found. Both did better than late-dialysis recipients.

"I would certainly not advocate postponing dialysis in the hope of getting a transplant without getting dialyzed," said Dr. Titte Srinivas, the head of transplant nephrology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who also wasn't part of the research team. For a patient who needs it, "A short duration of dialysis is not really detrimental to health."

Srinivas told Reuters Health what's most important is for anyone diagnosed with renal failure to get on the kidney transplant list as quickly as possible. Health care reform could make that easier for some people, Grams noted, as more low-income patients will have access to insurance - and the transplant list. "People don't realize that insurance makes such a huge difference," she said.

Keith said aside from the insurance issue, researchers are still grappling with how to distribute kidneys of all different qualities, from all different types of donors, to the people who need them most.

"We should be trying to make the system as fair as possible, and to limit disparities as much as possible," he said. "The question is how to do it."

SOURCE: Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, online January 31, 2013 and MEDCITY News

Thursday, February 7, 2013

On Being "Biracial Black"

On Being “Biracial Black”

“I don’t seem able to get it straight in my mind….”
― Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

There is a term I have been hearing lately and it just does not make a great deal of sense to me. The term is “biracial black.” It’s usually used in stories and articles when the result is—big surprise—the biracial or multiracial person finally decides to self-identify as only black.

I don’t see “biracial Asian” or “multiethnic Hispanic,” and I certainly don’t see “multiracial white.” Ohhhhhh now I think I get it. It’s back to the one-drop rule, but with a more modern touch. If someone is biracial or multiracial and they add “black” to it, it’s invoking the old one-drop of black blood trumps everything else. It’s being brought to us—no surprise—by the same quasi-academics who blame the “privileged whites” for everything racially bad that has ever happened, is happening, or might happen.

I heard one of those academics on a radio show yesterday say “white privilege” eight times in an interview. By the way, this particular multiracial academic has done pretty well for himself despite the terrible white folks. Poor thing.

The name of the radio show was “Multiracial Identity=A Denial of Blackness.” I guess that says it all—at least that’s how the show host, misguided guest, handlers and promoters wanted to slant the discussion. It’s a dangerous trend that is being perpetrated by some academics and their librarians in dealing with the multiracial community. I’m not sure that two of them are not the ("a.k.a.") same person, since they spout off the same rhetoric against the evil white people of privilege.

As for that particular academic, he has changed his tune every time the racial winds blow in a different direction. The only thing he hasn't changed in 20 years is his picture.

That some of these people know better and others don’t is a given, but let me make it perfectly clear:

ü  Not all white people are privileged.
ü  Not all people who make equality strides for the multiracial population are multiracial themselves.
ü  Not all people who make racial progress for the black population are black.
ü  Not all people who help the Asian population are Asian. You get the drift here.
ü  Privilege is not something all white people have.
ü Domination and power are apparently other ways of saying “white privilege.”
ü  Some of the people who don’t want to be lumped into one classification have no problem labeling all white people the same.
ü  Accusing us of being white mothers of multiracial kids is not an accusation at all; we are advocates, public policy changers, politicians, business women, doctors, lawyers, and writers. We have fought for racial equality for our children for over 25 years and we’re not stopping just because you might not like the color of our skin.

There is a very odd notation on regarding the book the assistant professor wrote: From the Publisher: Dismantling the edifice of white supremacy. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Perhaps that was the working title. It figures. Be careful about what you read and the truth. -Susan Graham

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soledad O'Brien Out at CNN?

Soledad O'Brien Out at CNN?

UPDATE: The morning show pairing of Cuomo and Burnett is confirmed, per DHD. No word yet on what that means for O'Brien.

But-but -but if CNN dumps Soledad O'Brien, who will tell me who's black in America?
The story spreading like wildfire today is that ABC's Chris Cuomo is moving over to CNN to co-host a morning show with Erin Burnett, who currently anchors a CNN primetime hour. This wouldn't leave a whole lot of room for CNN's current morning host, Soledad O'Brien, whose only claim to fame has been delivering record ratings -- record LOW ratings -- and slow-motion train wrecks like this.
O'Brien did not make an appearance on her own show this morning, and via Twitter, told those who inquired why, that she was off to a Martin Luther King celebration:
Chris Cuomo has only ever hit my radar in a positive way. His willingness to go against The Narrative last month in the heat of the media's fevered push for gun control, impressed me to no end. The only hope CNN has to distinguish itself is to be a news outlet that thinks independently of The Narrative -- to get off the Narrative Plantation and chart its own course in covering the news.
Erin Burnett has hit my radar in ways both good and bad, but not frequently. There's no question, though, that she's incredibly smart. That alone will improve "Starting Point."
If I were given the reins of CNN, my first moves would've been to hire Jake Tapper, dump Soledad O'Brien, and give Wolf Blitzer a starring role as Lenny in a CNN Showcase Production of: "Of Mice and Men."
Tell me again about the talking points, Barack.
So far CNN Chief Jeff Zucker's two-for-three.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC
Source: Breitbart TV

Strom Thurmond's Multiracial Daughter Dies

Such a heartbreaking story for this woman and her family. Strom Thurmond lived his whole life without publicly acknowledging his own flesh and blood. By all accounts, he denied his daughter for the sake of his career, caring more about being a senator than being a father. Many men could have done his job in the Senate, but he was the only one who could have been a father to Essie Mae. - Kelly

 Essie Mae Washington-Williams Dies At 87

By MEG KINNARD 02/04/13 05:25 PM ET EST


COLUMBIA, S.C. — The mixed-race daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years to avoid damaging his political career has died. Essie Mae Washington-Williams was 87.

Vann Dozier of Leevy's Funeral Home in Columbia said Washington-Williams died Monday. A cause of death wasn't given.

Washington-Williams was the daughter of the one-time segregationist and his family's black maid.
There had been rumors for decades in political circles and the black community that Thurmond had fathered a daughter by a black woman. But Washington-Williams did not come forward and identify Thurmond as her father until after his death at age 100 in 2003.

Washington-Williams spent decades as a school teacher in Los Angeles. Thurmond was South Carolina's governor and for a time was the nation's longest-serving U.S. senator.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Multiracial QB leads 49ers to Super Bowl

I am a HUGE Ravens fan. My Dad started his NFL career with the Browns in the 1980s. The Browns later ended up moving to Baltimore and changing their name to the Ravens. A new Browns team started a few years later, but they haven't been too good, so I have stuck with the original Browns... the Ravens. Does that make sense?

Anyhow, my team has made it to the Super Bowl and I am really excited. My Dad cooks Saturday morning breakfasts and only two other times each year - one of them is Super Bowl Sunday. So yesterday we went to an annual Super Bowl breakfast and then he got to cooking his famous chili.  He cooked all day. It smelled so good. I can hardly wait until game time.

But it's not just the Ravens and the chili. There is one more reason why this Super Bowl is so awesome. The 49ers quarterback is a really great guy named Colin Kaepernick. Not only is he an amazing QB but he is also multiracial like me!

He was a 4.0 student in high school. He is an all-around athlete. He was probably as good at baseball as he was at football and was actually drafted to play pro baseball. He was also great at my favorite sport, basketball.

When he was 10 years old (that's how old I am now) Colin got a pet tortoise named Sammy. The tortoise grew to 115 pounds. When he was in 4th grade he wrote himself a letter. That letter predicted that he'd be 6' 4" and would "go to the pros and play on the Niners or Packers."

I love that he set goals and had dreams and worked hard to make them come true. So even though I still want the Ravens to win today, if the 49ers beat them, I will be happy for Colin. He's awesome!

 -- Karson