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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

Virginia United Against Oppression

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  • Virginia United Against Oppression says it aims to stop "all out assault" on undocumented people and workers in the Commonwealth.
    Organizers point to the widespread outrage expressed over similar legislation last year in Arizona, and plan to be beat legislators to the punch in Virginia.
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  • A New Year, A New Fight
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  • Republicans Hope to Trample Constitution With Racist New Proposals
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Socialist WebZine

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A new group called Virginia United Against Oppression has formed a statewide campaign in Virginia to fight racist anti-immigration and anti-worker rights legislation in the General Assembly. The group has organizers statewide building a campaign against the "massive attack on all people living in Virginia".

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The 7 anti-immigrant bills are expected to move through the short session of the General Assembly over the next two weeks, ostensibly to get them to the floor before public opposition is increased.

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A similar process exists for the bills pertaining to workers rights.

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Activists and citizens are mobilizing across the state to bring attention to this these issues pointing out that:

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A New Year, A New Fight, Reform Immigration for America

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  • The GOP has introduced legislation to eliminate birthright citizenship, a right granted by the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
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  • Report: 130 Republicans In Congress Want To Consider Ending Birthright Citizenship
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  • Republicans Hope to Trample Constitution With Racist New Proposals
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Republicans Hope to Trample Constitution With Racist New Proposals, Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress
For the last two years, conservatives have flouted their disdain for the Constitution <http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/15/scalia-seventeenth/>and their desire to effectively replace it with a Tea Party manifesto. Sadly, they appear to be wasting no time after last November’s election in declaring war on the nation’s founding document.

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January's racist Elle cover

Tell Elle to ends its practice of racist skin-whitening and apologize

Judith Meskill, Change.org

At a time when corporations are buying up elections – not to mention the 24-hour-news cycle – help ensure that a source for truly independent journalism lives on. Support Evergreene Digest today by using the donation button in the above right-hand corner.

Indian actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan appears on the January cover of Elle magazine, but she's outraged by the image. Her skin appears far more pale than it is in real life. Her dark brown hair is shown to be practically red.

Elle claims to celebrate women of color by featuring them on magazine covers, but this is the second time in just six months that Elle has blatantly made women of color more white. (The last controversy surrounded Precious actress Gabourey Sidibe.)

For better or worse, publications like Elle play a huge role in determining global standards of beauty -- especially for young girls and teenagers who read it. It sends a cruel and dangerous message to women of color everywhere when Elle manipulates the skin color of one of India's most famous actresses just so she can appear on a magazine cover.

Here's our opportunity: Elle is a business that cares more about its bottom line and public image than anything else. To change their behavior -- and send a message that reverberates through the whole fashion industry -- we need a public outcry.

Join Change.org members in telling Elle Magazine to ends its practice of racist skin-whitening.

India already has a billion-dollar skin-whitening industry. Many women burn their skin through the use of unsafe whitening products. And there's a pervasive prejudice against girls who are "too dark" and therefore can't get hired or married.

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A global publication like Elle has no business reinforcing that racist and damaging stereotype. Elle suffered from some bad press when the magazine cover came out, but there still needs to be a massive public campaign to force them to take real action. This is that campaign.

Tell Elle that women don't have to be white to be beautiful – and to apologize for its offensive doctoring of its cover models.

Thanks for taking action.

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The Media Hit Job on Helen Thomas

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  • Media hit job of 2010: The vitriolic treatment of White House correspondent Helen Thomas
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  • She may be a critic of Israel but never a hater of Jews, a distinction the world recognizes, but that right-wing backers of the Israel lobby refuse to accept.
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Danny Schechter, The Rag Blog

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Former White House correspondent Helen Thomas. Image from Mediate.com.

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In 1960, I co-founded a student magazine at Cornell University called Dialogue. I was a wannabe journalist, fixated on emulating the courageous media personalities of the times from Edward R. Murrow to a distinctive figure I came to admire at Presidential press conferences, a wire service reporter named Helen Thomas.

In recent years, my faith in the power of dialogue in politics has been severely tested -- as, no doubt has hers -- in an age where diatribes and calculated demonization chill debate and exchanges of opposing views.

Once you are labeled and stereotyped, especially if you are denounced as an anti-Semite, you are relegated to the fringes, pronounced a hater beyond redemption, even beyond explanation.

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Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies and, Along With it, Reason and Justice

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  • There's a word for what Arizona is attempting to do here: ethnocide. It is similar to genocide in its scope, but it reflects the notion that it is an ethnic and/or cultural identity under assault more so than physical bodies themselves.
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  • Anti-immigration zealotry goes after the children
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  • Arizona Strikes Again
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Randall Amster, Truthout

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jim Fuller

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Ceremonial sounding of the conch shell to welcome participants to the Tucson conference organized by Professor Roberto Rodriquez at the University of Arizona December 2-4, 2010, devoted to addressing issues related to Combating Hate, Censorship and Forbidden Curriculum. (Photo: Leslie Thatcher)

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"While much condemnation has rightly been expressed toward Arizona's anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, a less-reported and potentially more sinister measure is set to take effect on January 1, 2011. This new law, which was passed by the conservative state legislature at the behest of then-School Superintendent (and now Attorney General-elect) Tom Horne, is designated HB 2281 and is colloquially referred to as a measure to ban ethnic studies programs in the state. As with SB 1070, the implications of this law are problematic, wide-ranging and decidedly hate filled."

Whereas SB 1070 focused primarily on the ostensible control of bodies, HB 2281 is predominantly about controlling minds. In this sense, it is the software counterpart of Arizona's race-based politicking, paired with the hardware embodied in SB 1070's "show us your papers" logic of "attrition through enforcement," which has already resulted in tens of thousands of people leaving the state. With HB 2281, the intention is not so much to expel or harass as it is to inculcate a deep-seated, second-class status by denying people the right to explore their own histories and cultures. It is, in effect, about the eradication of ethnic identity among young people in the state's already-floundering school system, which now ranks near the bottom in the nation.

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Anti-immigration zealotry goes after the children, Lynne K. Varner, Seattle Times | WA
Anti-immigrant zeal morphs into bullying as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer prepares to sign legislation targeting a Mexican-American-studies program in the Tucson Unified School District.

Arizona Strikes Again, Gail Collins, New York Times | NY

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  • Let us revisit the matter of pulling the plug on grandma.
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  • It came to mind when I was talking to Flor Felix, whose husband, Francisco, a 32-year-old truck driver with four kids, was denied a liver transplant because the Arizona Legislature had yanked funds for it out of a state Medicaid program.
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Wounded Knee: These memories won't be buried

Will America ever own up to its sins?

Tim Giago, (Nanwica Kciji), MCT/Minneapolis Star Tribune | MN

On clear nights when winter winds whistle through the canyons around Wounded Knee Creek, the Lakota elders say it is so cold that you can hear the twigs snapping in the frigid air. They called this time of the year "The Moon of the Popping Trees." It was on such a winter morning on Dec. 29, 1890, that the crack of a single rifle brought a day of infamy that still lives in the hearts and minds of the Lakota people.

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After the rifle spoke, there was a pause, and then the rifles and Hotchkiss guns of the Seventh Cavalry opened up on the men, women and children camped at Wounded Knee. What followed was chaos and madness. The thirst for the blood of the Lakota took away all common sense from the soldiers.

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