Quotable Quote of the Month

What does it take for Republicans to take off the flag pin and say, 'I am just too embarrassed to be on this team'?".- Bill Maher

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Multiracial People Are the Fastest Growing Group In the U.S.

According to a recent AP story, multiracial Americans have become the fastest growing group in the country. The story attributed the growth to the following:

* Increase in social acceptance

* Slowing immigration

* High profiles of public figures such as President Barack Obama and Tiger Woods who are having a positive effect on those who might identify themselves as multiracial

If you would like to read the complete article, click here.

The part of the article that I found most educational was learning about the non-profit organization called Project RACE. Founded by Susan Graham and Chris Ashe in 1991, the organization's main goal is for a multiracial classification on all school, employment, state, federal, local, census and medical forms requiring racial data. Although some may consider this goal superficial, I beg to differ. For one thing, if I were multiracial, I wouldn't want to fill out a job application and have the "Other" classification be my only option for identifying my ethnicity. Most importantly, the lack of accurate racial designations increases the chance of health risks for multiracial people. In addition to running the risk of improper medical screening for diseases that affect certain racial groups, their is also the matter of bone marrow transplantation. As many of you know, when it comes to blood-related diseases, a patient's best chance of a bone marrow match is within the same genetic pool of potential donors.

I hope you can find the time to visit Project RACE. In addition to containing a wealth of news and information, there is also a Racial Experiences Study put together by a fourth year doctoral student of clinical-community psychology at the University of La Verne in California.

Monday, May 4, 2009

TCM Presents Latino Images In Film During May

As part of its annual "Race & Hollywood" series, Turner Classic Movies presents Latino Images in Film every Tuesday and Thursday nights in May starting at 8 PM EST. Hosted by TCM's own Robert Osborne and film historian Chon Noriega, the 32 film retrospective traces the evolution of how Latinos have been portrayed (both positively and negatively) on the big screen. Some of the highlights include:

Tortilla Flat (1942)- An adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel about a group of paisanos (fellows/countrmen) who live on the California coast, this movie stars John Garfield, Spencer Tracy, and Hedy Lamarr.

Giant (1956)- Starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and in his final big screen role, James Dean, a major subplot of this epic is the racism against Mexican-Americans in Texas.

Blackboard Jungle (1955)- One of the earliest films about juvenile delinquency, this movie features Raphael Campos as student Pete Morales.

Stand and Deliver (1988)- This fact-based story stars Edward James Olmos as Jaime Escalante, a dedicated high school math instructor who successfully teaches his underachieving students calculus.

My Family (1995)- Tracing three generations of a Mexican-American family, this drama features Jimmy Smits, Esai Morales, and Jennifer Lopez.

For a complete list of movies that TCM will feature in the Latino Images in Film festival, as well as other information on the retrospective, please click here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

TCM Airs One Potato, Two Potato

On Saturday May 2nd/Sunday May 3rd at 1 am EST, Turner Classic Movies airs the 1964 drama One Potato, Two Potato. Starring Barbara Barrie ("Nana" on Suddenly Susan), Bernie Hamilton (Capt. Dobey in the series Starsky and Hutch), and Richard Mulligan (Soap and Empty Nest), the film is one of the earliest to deal with interracial marriage. Barrie stars as a white divorcée with a young daughter who marries a black co-worker (Hamilton). Things are fine until her ex-husband (Mulligan) returns and sues for full custody of their daughter, claiming that a mixed racial household is an improper environment to raise the child.

I saw this film years ago on cable and really enjoyed it. If you've seen One Potato, Two Potato already or check it out tonight, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Radio Host Suspended Over Anti-Mexican Comments

On Thursday April 30th, Boston radio station WTKK-FM announced that it had suspended right-wing talk show host Jay Severin indefinitely over derogatory comments he made on the air against Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and Mexico in general. In a discussion about illegal immigration, Severin referred to Mexicans as “the world's lowest of primitives”, accused them of bringing the Swine flu to the U.S., and stated that "they are ruining the schools, the hospitals, and a lot of life in America" among other things. You can read the story, as reported in the Boston Globe, by clicking the WTKK Suspends Jay Severin link.

Severin's comments feed into that "they are trying to take what belongs to us" mentality that can be very dangerous. It'll be interesting to see if WTKK brings Severin back after the suspension or decides to fire him instead. Unless they want people to say they should take out the "T" in their call letters and replace it with a "K", I have a feeling that Severin won't be returning to the station except to clean out his office.

The You Tube player below contains Jay Severin's racist comments followed by a lively and insightful discussion by Cenk Uygur and Ben Mankiewicz on the liberal talk show The Young Turks.

Update: Jay Severin returned to the airwaves of WTKK on Tuesday June 2, 2009. Here is a clip of him offering an on-air apology for the anti-Mexican remarks he made which earned him the suspension: