A Step Backwards in Time

When I was an undergraduate at Harvard, I heard horror stories at the dinner table from a number of my African American friends and classmates, particularly males, about negative and completely unwarranted experiences with police officers. Of course, Latinos weren’t completely immune to that type of discrimination either, but our situation did not seem nearly as difficult and pervasive. Now all of that may be changing. Just as we take one step forward, we may be taking two steps back. Not long after our first African American president hosted the legendary beer summit to assuage the ruffled feathers over the race-driven flap between a Cambridge police officer and Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Arizona legislature is de facto legalizing racial profiling of Latinos as it broadens the powers of police to identify and apprehend undocumented immigrants.

According to the New York Times, “Passage of the law, which would, among other things, allow the authorities to demand proof of legal entry into the United States from anyone suspected of being in the country illegally, testified to the relative lack of political power of Arizona Latinos, and to the hardened views toward illegal immigration among Republican politicians both here and nationally.”

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National Survey of Undocumented Immigrants Points to Big Turn Out in 2010 Census

Census-bar-chart-vertical

SAN ANTONIO, TX – RedBrownandBlue.com (RBB), a news and commentary website aiming to increase multicultural perspectives in mainstream media – in conjunction with Interlex Communications, a Top 25 Hispanic-owned advertising agency – has released important data pointing to a potentially unprecedented turnout in 2010 Census participation by undocumented Latino immigrants.

With 1100 undocumented immigrants interviewed in six cities – New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Phoenix, Miami and Washington, DC – 76 percent of all respondents said they would participate in the 2010 Census. Furthermore, of respondents who have lived in the U.S. 10 years or more, 43 percent said they participated in the 2000 Census and 85 percent said they would participate in the 2010 Census.

“The increased participation could be the result of a perfect storm,” says Rudy Ruiz, founding editor of RedBrownandBlue.com. “Never in the history of the Census has so much been invested in ensuring that Latinos, especially the undocumented, participate in this milestone. The Census Bureau has gone to great lengths to reach out and dispel myths and misconceptions about the Census among the undocumented, helping dissipate fears of deportation by participation.”

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Reasons for Congress to Tackle Immigration Reform

After going it alone to pass an unpopular health care reform law, Democrats in Congress can’t decide whether to keep passing transformative legislation – or keep a low profile. And frankly, it’s hard to find many in Congress in either party who are eager to take on immigration reform.

Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, seems to be backing away from a partnership with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, to write a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Graham says the White House hasn’t done enough to push the issue.

Still, this is the perfect time for Congress to restart the immigration debate because of…

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I, Too, Have a Dream

When a colleague recently asked me, as an African American male, what I thought about Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s dream, I told him I couldn’t answer that question without an essay of a response. The significance of that dream is so tremendous, and the effects so wide-ranging, I honestly don’t think it would be fair to respond, “Oh, it’s important.” An answer like that would fail to capture the magnitude of that dream, and how I feel it has affected my life and the lives of so many others. So, with that said, consider this my answer…

What do I think of King’s dream? One thing is for certain: I think it is very worthy of celebration. His dedication to civil rights, his charismatic leadership, and unwavering energy helped ignite one of the largest social movements in human history. However that dream was not his alone, but rather the culmination of many like-minded individuals who wanted to move towards a world free of racial oppression. Dr. King was not the first person to have a dream of Black kids and White kids playing in the same playgrounds together­ – learning in the same class rooms together­ – experiencing life together. No, there were many people who shared in that dream a sense of hope and the idea that we had transcended the ideology that race was the determinant factor of social mobility, academic attainment, and intellectual ability. In that dream, there was a message that we were ready to step forward – together. That dream was then, and remains today, an inspiration for us to reach our potential as a collective group of people.

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