A Great LA Filmfest on Endangered Species List?

Prakriti Maduro in "Habana Eva."

Ed Rampell: Film lovers and the creative community should stand and deliver to LALIFF so that it can continue to showcase unusual, offbeat Latino movies. Don’t force Olmos to make Zoot Suit II to finance it out of his own pocket. Viva LALIFF!

Meg Whitman: A New Era in California or Just Opportunistic Politics

Meg Whitman

Wais Hassan: Whitman’s Spanish-language makeover in the general election is a major shift from the tone that she struck in the GOP primary, when the challenge from conservative Steve Poizner pushed her to the right on the issue.

The New Know-Nothings

cactus

Berry Craig: Of course, the Republicans – and even the Tea Baggers – would have us belief that their beef is with “illegal” immigrants. But they’re not fooling anybody. Most of these neo-Know Nothings are white people who have a problem with Latinos north of the border, period.

Ozzie Guillen Speaks Truth on Baseball’s Racial Double Standard

ozzie guillen

Randy Shaw: It’s clear that MLB fears that formally recognizing its proliferation of Spanish-speaking players by providing interpreters could cause a backlash from a predominately white male fan base that likely supports Arizona’s anti-Latino law.

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Mark Naison

Mark Naison: When my working-class white friends and fellow coaches attacked affirmative action—which they did vociferously and often—it was about preferential treatment that they saw blacks and Latinos getting on the job, especially in the civil service.

Marco Rubio Flipped Wrong on Arizona

Marco Rubio (R-Florida)

Andrea Christina Nill: Perhaps the most damning evidence that the law hasn’t really changed is the fact that its main sponsor, state Sen. Russell Pearce (R) admitted himself that the new wording won’t alter how the law is enforced. The changes also do not address the fact that the new law is likely unconstitutional on the grounds that it allows the state to regulate immigration — a power which the Constitution explicitly assigns to the federal government.

Why Sotomayor Shouldn’t Have to Apologize for Being Proud of Her Ancestry

sonia

The First Lady and Sotomayor’s families and communities maintained their dignity, ambition and strength during difficult times. That these women retained their ethnic pride, as did most people in the communities, should not come as a surprise.

Blacks and Latinos Hit Harder in Hard Times

unemployment

Unemployment is and always has been much higher in Black and Latino communities. But the gap has widened during this recession. In fact, Black unemployment is nearly double that of Whites, while Latinos are unemployed at a rate one-third higher than their White counterparts.

Kicking Down Doors, Stomping on Rights: New Report Reveals Disturbing Details of ICE Raids

Photo by Richard Vallejo

The researchers also found that the ICE home raids had a negative impact on the local police departments and their ability to do community policing.

Another U.S. Citizen ‘Accidentally’ Deported

Despite her birth in Louisiana, Diane Williams was recently deported to Honduras by the U.S. government.

Earlier this month, U.S. citizen, Irving Palomo, was detained and put in a van headed for Mexico due to an ICE mix-up. A few months ago Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen who suffers from mild retardation, was deported to Mexico. Mexican officials then deported him to Honduras, and Honduras deported him to Guatemala. After spending […]

New Jobless Stats: Still “Less Terrible”? Not for Some

dismal-science

The Lex Column in the Financial Times got it right: “… ‘less down’ is now the new ‘up’ as media watchers search for stabilization in the overall market.” The writer was referring to the world of advertising where some analysts were putting a hopeful spin on revenue that fell 18% over the first three months […]

Affirmative Action the Chicago Way

UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi

Apparently there were no qualified Mexican Americans out of the 600 applicants for the job of Chancellor of the University of California, Davis (UCD). So the Regents, in their wisdom, chose Linda Katehi, a white woman from Illinois. She is eminently qualified to hold the job, we were told when we asked why the Regents […]

Civil Rats Are Human Rats!

gettysburgh

I watched the movie Gettysburg again the other day. It is one of my favorites because the producer was a Mexican American and it is about the real reasons why democracy exists. In the movie, there is a scene where a New Hampshire officer is talking to two rebel soldiers. He asks them why they […]

Prisoners’ Rights: An Oxymoron?

prison

More than 100 people of all races and all ages traveled to Watts from several California counties on Saturday May 30, sharing a single desire: Bring our loved ones homes. They weren’t talking about family members serving in Afghanistan or Iraq. These are the families torn apart when someone is sent to prison with an […]

Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s Nomination: Obama Gives the Nation Another Teaching Moment

sotomayor-gop

President Barack Obama has done a symbolically extraordinary thing by nominating for the first time in U.S. history a person of Latino descent to the Supreme Court. The president has stayed true to the theme of his long campaign when he adopted “Si Se Puede” from the legendary Latina leader, Dolores Huerta. Right-wing talk show […]

A New Study Reinforces Growing Influence of Second Generation Latinos

Photo by the Danbury Public Library

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that Latino children now make up 22% of all children under the age of 18 in the U.S.—a huge increase from 9% in 1980. A majority of these kids (52%) are “second generation,” meaning that they are the U.S.-born children of at least one foreign-born parent. […]

Sonia Sotomayor – A “Safe” or Visionary Pick

sotomayor_warren

President Barack Obama has made his imprint on the history of the federal judiciary with the nomination of the first Latina to the United States Supreme Court. Federal Appeals Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, was at the top of the President’s “short list” from the time Associate Justice David Souter announced his retirement. There had been […]

Inside Joe Arpaio: Arizona Deputy Calls Him a Disgrace to the Department

sheriff_arpaio

“It ain’t right,” the man with the soft, desert cowboy drawl says slowly into the phone. “These folks are human beings and he treats ‘em like swine. Well, actually, Joe treats everyone who ain’t white and rich like swine.” ”Here in Maricopa County, he thinks it’s a crime to be poor or have brown skin […]

Open Veins of Latin America: Obama Should Read It!

Latin-American author Edward Galeano. Image Source: Robert Birnbaum

During the recent Summit of the Americas, in Trinidad, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela gave President Obama a copy of Open Veins in Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, by Eduardo Galeano. Few in the American press corps or in the White House staff would have understood the importance of this […]

Our House Is On Fire: Who Stopped the Presses?

investigative-tweet

Who stopped the presses? Obviously, it is a question that many are asking these days. It is a bit sobering to witness the apparent demise of the newspaper industry. Not unlike dominoes, newspapers around the U.S. are toppling, closing their doors, filing for bankruptcy, or ceasing their print operations and only remaining online. As someone […]

Military Recruiters? Afghanistan?

shirlee-smith

Is the military, with so many career paths open to graduating seniors, an option families really want their sons or daughters to grab on to? Families need to know the real story and not just what the all too friendly recruiters tell our kids. Military recruiters, like college recruiters, have access to students on the […]

How to Combat Mexican Drug Cartels—Legalize Their Activities

american-kite

While the U.S. superpower has meddled in many far-flung nations around the globe in the name of enhancing its security, as prior to 9/11, it has ignored a threat much closer to home. In recent years, the Bush administration blithely blamed Mexico for the flow of illegal drugs into the United States and virtually ignored […]

Mexicans Choosing to Weather Economic Storm in Home Country

leaving-us

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has ordered reviews of many operational aspects of the immigration and border security system and has even delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces. Yet while many of the Bush administration’s “attrition through enforcement” tactics are being re-evaluated and scaled-back, potential […]

On Cesar Chavez’s Birthday, New National Farmworker Campaign Launched

cesar_chavez_usps

When Barack Obama adopted “Yes We Can” as his campaign theme, he harkened back to the “Si Se Puede” rallying cry popularized by Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America (UFW). As we celebrate Cesar Chavez Day, the President should consider a more lasting action to honor the UFW leader’s legacy: revising the 1935 […]

Will Obama Be Influenced by the Latest Big Task Force on Latin America?

cuban-revolution

Barack Obama is no exception. Although overshadowed and largely ignored by the mainstream media due to the ongoing global economic crisis, the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue presented its recommendations for Obama at a press briefing on March 10, in a reported entitled, A Second Chance: US Policy in the Americas.

Spending Money at Home Helps America!

debt

I watched all the Sunday stuff on the telly today. Who was that old guy on the show saying that we should not be spending money on American schools, American students in college, or on the rebuilding of the infrastructure of America? Why? Because, are you ready, he says it will not do any good […]

How Jerry Brown Saved Chrysler and Why the Republicants Are Acting Un-American.

Attorney General Jerry Brown

Have you noticed how since the Big O got elected America has lightened up? I mean all of a sudden its OK to be American. We are starting to see that we can laugh at jokes about ourselves. I mean if the President can laugh it must be okay for all of us to do […]

Yolie Flores Aguilar: Where Los Angeles Schools Go From Here

Yolie Flores Aguilar, Los Angeles School Board member and long-time children’s advocate, thinks that the city’s school system will implode if something dramatic isn’t done—and soon. The ouster of Superintendent David Brewer is a regrettable, but necessary part of that change, in her view. Last weekend, we reported Brewer’s views on his ouster and the […]

Pentagon Targets African-American and Hispanic Kids to Fight Its Wars: Third in a Three-Part Series

blacksoldiers

by Sherwood Ross – If African-Americans are overrepresented in the armed forces it is likely because of the military’s practice of “strategically targeting low-income youth and students of color,” the ACLU has found. Result: While African-Americans make up only 16% of the same-age civilian population, in 2006 they represented about 22% of enlisted Army personnel.

End the War on Immigrants: Bringing It All Back Home

wall at the border

When the Bush administration came up with a special classification, “enemy combatant,” and a special site—Guantánamo—to put prisoners beyond the purview of human and legal rights, I had a shock of recognition. The trial run had taken place right here in the US when we threw due process out the window for that other special […]