The Disadvantage of Being White

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Steve Hochstadt: Until the late 1960s the preferential treatment of whites and men was so normal that questioning it made headlines. That form of white male privilege is gone.

Thanks…Giving: 2013’s Hunger Strike Round-Up

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Tina Dupuy: This is the 160th anniversary of Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation. Somehow a day of “humble penitence” has evolved into candying already-too-sweet tubers and mauling your neighbors at the local Walmart for a $30 Furby Boom.

Is the “Yellow Peril” Dead?

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Ellen D. Wu: Until Americans break away from the xenophobic notion that the “foreign” is always suspect and menacing, a proposal to “kill everyone in China” — even when tossed out flippantly by a child on a late night talk show — is no joke.

Does Twitter Have a Diversity Problem?

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David Love: The wide racial disparity between Twitter executives and Twitter users suggests the corporate leadership is unable to relate to a large segment of its own customers, putting the company itself at a strategic disadvantage.

Can a 1-Percenter Save Troubled Mortgages?

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Maureen O’Hagan: Maybe. But the idea of using government power to “seize” mortgages in “underwater” neighborhoods wasn’t getting anywhere until the 99 percent got involved.

City Hall Gunning for LA’s Food Charities Again?

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Dan Bluemel: Food lines being under attack is nothing new in LA. Three years ago, a similar campaign, led by business interests and residents in the Skid Row area downtown, managed to shut one food line down and threaten several others.

Sisterhood Ain’t Powerful: White Women’s Rights

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Black feminists are especially rankled by white women’s shopworn white supremacist resistance to even identifying themselves as white.

Food Stamp Cuts: A Crime Against the Poor

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Brent Budowsky: This Friday, the poorest Americans will learn that their hunger will worsen because their food stamps will be cut unless Congress and the president act.

Wendell Berry’s Reflections on Racism

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Walter Moss: What I like most about Berry’s comments on racism is his linking it with a broader perspective on what type of society and culture he thinks the United States should have. More about that later, but first it should be noted that his general view is consistent with most liberal/progressive thinking.

Mexican American Identity Crisis

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Rudy Acuña: People without a historical memory are easier manipulated, and they lose the ability to defend their communities. The only power poor people have to check the universities and elected officials is the power of numbers.

Olympic Black Power Salute at 45

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David Love: On this day in 1968, at the Olympics Games in Mexico City, two black U.S. medalists—Tommie Smith and John Carlos—took the victory stand with their heads bowed and eyes closed, their hands raised with black gloves, and fists clenched.

New Slant on Hate Speech

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Scot Nakagawa: To address a problem of racial bigotry our government seems to think guides us while choosing words to describe racial groups but magically skips over us when we engage in more substantive practices affecting those groups like administering elections, policing our neighborhoods, and setting their wages and working conditions.

Asian Americans Are the Same as Other Americans, But Not in the Way Frank Wu Seems to Think We Are

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Scot Nakagawa: It’s only as we leave Asia that we assume a pan-Asian identity imposed on us by westerners for whom Asia might as well be Grosse Pointe, Michigan for all the diversity it is assumed exists among Asian peoples.

Campaign for Homeless Bill of Rights Kicks Off in California

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Dan Bluemel: Citing a growing effort by local governments to use laws and business improvement districts to target the homeless and mold poorer neighborhoods in the interests of businesses and the wealthy, advocates say a state law is necessary to protect the basic rights of homeless citizens.

Pasadena ACLU Celebrates Victories, Honors Father Greg Boyle

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Rachel Young: Father Greg Boyle said that the original translation for “blessed” in the beatitudes did was not mean happy are the single hearted or those who work for peace but that you are in the right place.

The Face of Poverty in California

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Brian Goldstein: One out of six Californians, over 6 million people, live in poverty. One out of four children, numbering 2.1 million, also struggle with poverty. The 2012 poverty rate for California was 15.9 percent, up from 12.2 percent in 2006.

Discriminating Taste

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Walter Brasch: Want to be a CEO for a Fortune 500 company? Make sure you’re about 6-foot tall–too tall also doesn’t work, either–weigh about 170-200 pounds, have hair, and look good in Armani suits. And, also make sure you’re a male.

(Miss) America’s Racism Problem

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Jessie Daniels: America still has a problem with racism. That much was glaringly apparent in the intense, vitriolic reaction to Nina Davuluri’s victory in the Miss America pageant, the first time a woman of Indian descent has won an event as quintessentially American as baseball and pumpkin pie.

What Will NAACP President Ben Jealous’ Legacy Be?

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David Love: The question is, what legacy does the 40-year-old leader leave for the NAACP? The answer is a more invigorated, dynamic and relevant civil rights movement.

Bakken Oil: An Elder Speaks To Power

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Georgianne Nienaber: Recent allegations and lawsuits filed in Federal and District Courts involve patterns of greed and swindling that could have been taken from the pages of the script for the movie “Promised Land.”

Racism and the Threat to American Civil Liberties

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Scot Nakagawa: It seems unbelievable that a country that tries to present itself as a beacon of liberty and freedom throughout the world could have facilitated this massive violation of our privacy. But for Japanese Americans, this contradiction in terms is nothing new.

The NYPD’s “New Low” That’s Not So New

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Soya Jung: From the War on Crime to the War on Drugs to the War on Terror, increasingly, this us-versus-them way of sorting humanity is what “makes” race today, by dictating whose lives are safeguarded by the alleged American promise of freedom and democracy, and whose are not.

Dreaming of Moral Leadership

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Steve Hochstadt: As Americans recognized the hatefulness of discrimination and the ethical superiority of the movement for civil rights, King’s dreams have become plausible goals.

Remembering W.E.B. Du Bois

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Peter Dreier: Overshadowed by the recent celebration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was another half-century milestone — the death of W.E.B. Du Bois.

Marching on Washington: From Symbolism to Substance

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Melina Abudllah: While commemoration has its place, amidst the pomp and circumstance of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington we seem to have lost the point of it all.

A. Philip Randolph and the Day That Changed America

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Anthony Samad: The thing about history is, if you don’t tell your story—somebody will tell it for you (and they rarely get it right). Fifty years later, the March On Washington story is still being largely misappropriated.

Racism Egregiously Misunderstood

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Charles Hayes: A common mistake in characterizing the nature of prejudice is to attempt to describe it as a conscious sense of awareness—a front-page choice that requires overt acknowledgment.

What Would Martin Luther King Jr. March for Today?

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Peter Dreier: King began his activism as a crusader against racial segregation, but he soon recognized that his battle was part of a much broader fight for a more humane society. Today, at age 84, King would no doubt still be on the front lines, lending his voice and his energy to major battles for justice.

March on Washington Anniversary Summons Painful History

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Joseph Palermo: Today, the ideological kinfolk of the white segregationists of 1963 are doing everything in their power to disfranchise African Americans and re-segregate or destroy public schools under the guise of school “reform.”

Origins of “Gook”

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Soya Jung: The word “gook” was created as a tool of American war and conquest – a tool used to ensure the dehumanization of subject peoples, so that they could be killed and disappeared and stolen from with impunity.

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