When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins
Civil Rights History from the Ground Up. This powerful anthology challenges established myths about the civil rights movement that it started with an unplanned impulse by Rosa Parks to sit in the front of a bus, that it was the product of Martin Luther Kings vision, that it took place only in the South, and so on. Contributors also examine debates within the movement over sexism, nonviolence, and other issues.Work Site
I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action;" who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of goodwill is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. - Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from the Birmingham Jail", 1963
@Harpers: Number of public statues of individuals in the United States: 5,193.... Number that depict women: 394
Among opposite-sex married couples, one in 10 (5.4 million couples) are interracial, a 28% jump since 2000. In 2010, 18% of heterosexual unmarried couples were of different races (1.2 million couples) and 21% of same-sex couples (133,477 couples) were mixed.- USA Today
Among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent, to 4.2 million, since 2000, making it the fastest growing youth group in the country.
New America Media - Nearly half of young men of color -- ages 15 to 24 - who graduate from high school will end up unemployed, incarcerated or dead, according to several jarring statistics highlighted in two new reports by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center. According to the reports findings, just 26 percent of African Americans, 18 percent of Hispanic Americans, and 24 percent of Native Americans and Pacific Islanders have at least an associate degree.
New Scientist - A study of racial discrimination in the US workplace suggests that mixed-race Americans are discriminated against just as much as black people in terms of salary. . . An analysis of more than 3 million respondents revealed the average pay was $15.74 per hour for people of mixed race, $17.39 for black people and $22.04 for white people. This was despite the fact that 18 per cent of mixed-race people had college degrees, compared with 11 per cent of black people and 28 per cent of white people. The wage gap remained even after Fairlie controlled for factors such as age and socioeconomic conditions.
This is something you were unlikely to have read about in the media at the time the statement was issued. A search of major media found almost no mention. The same is true today: the myth of race as a biological entity is right up there was creationism as a scientific myth, the main difference being is that even many liberals believe the race myth.
American Anthropological Association Statement on "Race" (May 17, 1998)
The following statement was adopted by the Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association, acting on a draft prepared by a committee of representative American anthropologists. It does not reflect a consensus of all members of the AAA, as individuals vary in their approaches to the study of "race." We believe that it represents generally the contemporary thinking and scholarly positions of a majority of anthropologists.
In the United States both scholars and the general public have been conditioned to viewing human races as natural and separate divisions within the human species based on visible physical differences. With the vast expansion of scientific knowledge in this century, however, it has become clear that human populations are not unambiguous, clearly demarcated, biologically distinct groups. Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA) indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies within so-called racial groups. Conventional geographic "racial" groupings differ from one another only in about 6% of their genes. This means that there is greater variation within "racial" groups than between them. In neighboring populations there is much overlapping of genes and their phenotypic (physical) expressions. Throughout history whenever different groups have come into contact, they have interbred. The continued sharing of genetic materials has maintained all of humankind as a single species.
Physical variations in any given trait tend to occur gradually rather than abruptly over geographic areas. And because physical traits are inherited independently of one another, knowing the range of one trait does not predict the presence of others. . .
From its inception, this modern concept of "race" was modeled after an ancient theorem of the Great Chain of Being, which posited natural categories on a hierarchy established by God or nature. Thus "race" was a mode of classification linked specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It subsumed a growing ideology of inequality devised to rationalize European attitudes and treatment of the conquered and enslaved peoples. Proponents of slavery in particular during the 19th century used "race" to justify the retention of slavery. The ideology magnified the differences among Europeans, Africans, and Indians, established a rigid hierarchy of socially exclusive categories underscored and bolstered unequal rank and status differences, and provided the rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given. The different physical traits of African-Americans and Indians became markers or symbols of their status differences.
As they were constructing US society, leaders among European-Americans fabricated the cultural/behavioral characteristics associated with each "race," linking superior traits with Europeans and negative and inferior ones to blacks and Indians. Numerous arbitrary and fictitious beliefs about the different peoples were institutionalized and deeply embedded in American thought.
Early in the 19th century the growing fields of science began to reflect the public consciousness about human differences. Differences among the "racial" categories were projected to their greatest extreme when the argument was posed that Africans, Indians, and Europeans were separate species, with Africans the least human and closer taxonomically to apes.
Ultimately "race" as an ideology about human differences was subsequently spread to other areas of the world. It became a strategy for dividing, ranking, and controlling colonized people used by colonial powers everywhere. But it was not limited to the colonial situation. In the latter part of the 19th century it was employed by Europeans to rank one another and to justify social, economic, and political inequalities among their peoples. During World War II, the Nazis under Adolf Hitler enjoined the expanded ideology of "race" and "racial" differences and took them to a logical end: the extermination of 11 million people of "inferior races" (e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, and so forth) and other unspeakable brutalities of the Holocaust.
"Race" thus evolved as a worldview, a body of prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human differences and group behavior. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into "racial" categories. The myths fused behavior and physical features together in the public mind, impeding our comprehension of both biological variations and cultural behavior, implying that both are genetically determined. Racial myths bear no relationship to the reality of human capabilities or behavior. Scientists today find that reliance on such folk beliefs about human differences in research has led to countless errors.
At the end of the 20th century, we now understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. No human is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments, dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are developed within sets of meanings and values that we call "culture." Studies of infant and early childhood learning and behavior attest to the reality of our cultures in forming who we are.
It is a basic tenet of anthropological knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any cultural behavior. The American experience with immigrants from hundreds of different language and cultural backgrounds who have acquired some version of American culture traits and behavior is the clearest evidence of this fact. Moreover, people of all physical variations have learned different cultural behaviors and continue to do so as modern transportation moves millions of immigrants around the world.
How people have been accepted and treated within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on how they perform in that society. The "racial" worldview was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth. The tragedy in the United States has been that the policies and practices stemming from this worldview succeeded all too well in constructing unequal populations among Europeans, Native Americans, and peoples of African descent. Given what we know about the capacity of normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that present-day inequalities between so-called "racial" groups are not consequences of their biological inheritance but products of historical and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political circumstances.
Although the concept of race was originally a racist idea - a means of defining another culture as inferior - some scientists are still having a hard time giving it up. This story describes an effort to find common ground amongst different viewsw:
New Scientist Even with the human genome in hand, geneticists are split about how to deal with issues of race, genetics and medicine. Some favor using genetic markers to sort humans into groups based on ancestral origin - groups that may show meaningful health differences. Others argue that genetic variations across the human species are too gradual to support such divisions and that any categorization based on genetic differences is arbitrary.
These issues have been discussed in depth by a multidisciplinary group - ranging from geneticists and psychologists to historians and philosophers - led by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee of Stanford University, California.
Now the group has released a set of 10 guiding principles for the scientific community, published as an open letter in this week's Genome Biology.
1. All races are created equal
No genetic data has ever shown that one group of people is inherently superior to another. Equality is a moral value central to the idea of human rights; discrimination against any group should never be tolerated.
2. An Argentinian and an Australian are more likely to have differences in their DNA than two Argentinians
Groups of human beings have moved around throughout history. Those that share the same culture, language or location tend to have different genetic variations than other groups. This is becoming less true, though, as populations mix.
3. A person's history isn't written only in his or her genes
Everyone's genetic material carries a useful, though incomplete, map of his or her ancestors' travels. Studies looking for health disparities between individuals shouldn't rely solely on this identity. They should also consider a person's cultural background.
4: Members of the same race may have different underlying genetics
Social definitions of what it means to be "Hispanic" or "black" have changed over time. People who claim the same race may actually have very different genetic histories.
5. Both nature and nurture play important parts in our behaviors and abilities
Trying to use genetic differences between groups to show differences in intelligence, violent behaviors or the ability to throw a ball is an oversimplification of much more complicated interactions between genetics and environment.
6. Researchers should be careful about using racial groups when designing experiments
When scientists decide to divide their subjects into groups based on ethnicity, they need to be clear about why and how these divisions are made to avoid contributing to stereotypes.
7. Medicine should focus on the individual, not the race
Although some diseases are connected to genetic markers, these markers tend to be found in many different racial groups. Overemphasising genetics may promote racist views or focus attention on a group when it should be on the individual.
8. The study of genetics requires cooperation between experts in many different fields
Human disease is the product of a mishmash of factors: genetic, cultural, economic and behavioral. Interdisciplinary efforts that involve the social sciences are more likely to be successful.
9. Oversimplified science feeds popular misconceptions
Policy makers should be careful about simplifying and politicising scientific data. When presenting science to the public, the media should address the limitations of race-related research.
10. Genetics 101 should include a history of racism
Any high school or college student learning about genetics should also learn about misguided attempts in the past to use science to justify racism. New textbooks should be developed for this purpose.
The Stanford group didn't always agree when coming up with these ideas. Predictably enough, the biomedical scientists tended to think of race in neutral, clinical terms; the social scientists and scholars of the humanities argued that concepts of race cannot be washed clean of their cultural and historical legacies.
But both groups, according to the letter, recognize the power of the gene in the public imagination and the historical dangers of its misrepresentation as deterministic and immutable.
Sam Smith, Great American Political Repair Manual 1997 The most important fact about race: It doesn't really exist. At least not the way many Americans think it does. There is simply no undisputed scientific definition of race. What are considered genetic characteristics are often the result of cultural habit and environmental adaptation. As far back as 1785, a German philosopher noted that "complexions run into each other." Julian Huxley suggested in 1941 that "it would be highly desirable if we could banish the question-begging term 'race' from all discussions of human affairs and substitute the noncommittal phrase 'ethnic group.' That would be a first step toward rational consideration of the problem at hand." Anthropologist Ashley Montagu in 1942 called race our "most dangerous myth."
Yet in our conversations and arguments, in our media, and even in our laws, the illusion of race is given great credibility. As a result, that which is transmitted culturally is considered genetically fixed, that which is an environmental adaptation is regarded as innate and that which is fluid is declared immutable.
Many still hang on to a notion similar to that of Carolus Linnaeus, who declared in 1758 that there were four races: white, red, dark and black. Others make up their own races, applying the term to religions (Jewish), language groups (Aryan) or nationalities (Irish). Modern science has little impact on our views. Our concept of race comes largely from religion, literature, politics, and the oral tradition. It comes creaking with all the prejudices of the ages. It reeks of territoriality, of jingoism, of subjugation, and of the abuse of power.
DNA research has revealed just how great is our misconception of race. In The History and Geography of Human Genes, Luca Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford and his colleagues describe how many of the variations between humans are really adaptations to different environmental conditions (such as the relative density of sweat glands or lean bodies to dissipate heat and fat ones to retain it). But that's not the sort of thing you can easily build a system of apartheid around. As Thomas S. Martin has written:
"The widest genetic divergence in human groups separates the Africans from the Australian aborigines, though ironically these two 'races' have the same skin color. . . . There is no clearly distinguishable 'white race.' What Cavalli-Sforza calls the Caucasoids are a hybrid, about two-thirds Mongoloid and one-third African. Finns and Hungarians are slightly more Mongoloid, while Italians and Spaniards are more African, but the deviation is vanishingly slight."
Regardless of what science says, however, myth can kill and cause pain just as easily as scientific truth. And regardless of what science says, there are no Japanese players in the NBA or, as anthropologist Alice Brues told Newsweek, "If I parachute into Nairobi, I know I'm not in Oslo."
In fact, give or take a few thousand years, it's unlikely that those of a Nordic skin complexion would stay that way living under the African sun. Similarly, the effects of a US diet are strong enough that the first generations of both European and Asian Americans have found themselves looking up at their grandchildren.
In such ways adaptation mimics what many think of as race. But who needs science when we have our own eyes? If it looks like race, that's good enough for us.
Further, we are obsessed with the subject even as we say we wish to ignore it. A few years back, a study of urban elections coverage found five times as many stories about race as about taxes.
We can't even agree on what race is. In the 1990 census, Americans said they belonged to some 300 different races or ethnic groups. American Indians divided themselves into 600 tribes and Latinos into 70 categories.
Even as we talk endlessly of race and ethnicity, we simultaneously go to great lengths to prove that we are all the same. Why this contradiction? The answer can be partly found in the tacit assumption of many that human equity must be based primarily on competitive equality. Listen to talk about race (or sex) and notice how often the talk is also about competition. The cultural differences (real or presumed) that really disturb us are ones of competitive significance: thigh circumference, height, math ability and so forth. We accept more easily other differences -- varieties of hair, degree of subcutaneous fat, prevalence of sickle cell anemia -- because they don't affect (or affect far less) who gets to the top.
Once having decided which traits are important, we assign causes to them on the basis of convenience rather than fact. Our inability to sort out the relative genetic, cultural, and environmental provenance of our differences doesn't impede our judgment at all. It is enough that a difference is observed. Thus we tend to deal neither with understanding what the facts about our differences and similarities really mean -- or, more importantly, with their ultimate irrelevance to developing a world where we can live harmoniously and happily with each other. We don't spend the effort to separate facts from fiction because both cut too close to our inability to appreciate and celebrate our human differences. It is far easier to pretend either that these differences are immutable or that they don't exist at all.
KATRINA VANDEN HEUVEL & GREG KAUFMAN, THE NATION - [Jesse] Jackson points to the targeting and steering of African-Americans and Latinos who were qualified for prime loans into risky subprime mortgages . . . "Redlining was to not loan to certain areas," he said. "This is what amounts to reverse-redlining - steering black and brown borrowers into subprime who were eligible for prime. That's out and out breaking discrimination laws."
In 2005 and 2006, over 50% of all loans made to African- Americans, and over 40% to Latinos, were subprime - compared to only 19% of white borrowers. Martin Gruenberg, vice chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, said at the Rainbow PUSH Coalition's Wall Street Economic Summit in January, "Only one-sixth of this differential could be accounted for by the ability of the borrower." Analysis of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data shows that African- Americans and Latinos in New York City, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia and other cities were two to three times more likely to have subprime, high-cost loans than white borrowers with similar incomes and loan amounts.
The New York Times has reported on two neighborhoods in the Detroit area - one 97 percent white with a median income of $51,000, another 97 percent African-American with a median income of $49,000. In 2006, 17 percent of the loans made in the white neighborhood were subprime, compared to 70 percent of the loans in the predominately African-American neighborhood. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan recently pointed out on National Public Radio, "An African-American earning more than $100,000 was more likely than a white person who earned less than $35,000 to be put in a high-cost, [subprime] loan. . . Clearly there is discrimination going on." The Times also reported that "around 90 percent of subprime loans originated between 2004 and 2006 carried exploding adjustable rates. Some 70 percent of subprime loans have prepayment penalties, versus 2 percent of prime loans. . . " . .
It is now estimated that 2.2 million subprime home loans have already failed or will end in foreclosure - the highest foreclosure rate since the Depression - with a total equity loss of $164 billion. . .
NEW AMERICA MEDIA - With race, gender and the power of the youth vote garnering so much attention in the 2008 presidential primaries, we were curious about the demographics of the younger generation of leaders. We polled some 24 schools in San Francisco Bay Area to find out the gender and race of those they elected as their student body presidents - and found an incredibly diverse group of young people who weren't necessarily elected by a constituency that voted on racial identity alone.
Of 24 schools, eight of the student body presidents are Asian, seven are white, five are African American, four are Latino, one is Arab American and one is biracial. There were 13 male presidents and 12 female presidents. Two of the schools had co-presidents, one male and one female.
Some schools elected a student body president that looked like their majority populations. . . But this formula didn't hold true for all of the schools. Mohammad Abid, the student body president of the mostly white Palo Alto High School, identifies as Algerian American. Terrell Gunn, student body president of the mostly Asian Burton High School, is Filipino and African American.
Statistics like these indicate a larger trend: the younger generation of voters doesn't care about the race or gender of their prospective president, a lesson from which the older generation would be smart to take a cue. The results are in line with a 2007 statewide poll conducted by New America Media entitled California Dreamers, which interviewed 600 young people via cell phone. When asked how they identified themselves, more respondents (27 percent) cited their music or fashion preference as opposed to a much smaller percentage (14 percent) who defined themselves by their race. . .
SUBPRIME LENDERS TARGETED BLACKS & LATINOS
GLEN FORD, BLACK AGENDA RADIO - In a report titled, "Foreclosed: State of the Dream 2008," United for a Fair Economy details the catastrophic losses inflicted on blacks and latinos in the U.S. at the hands of predatory lenders - "the greatest loss of wealth to people of color in modern U.S. history." With more than half of blacks in many cities caught in the subprime trap - and with even these usurious financing schemes disappearing in the wake of the bubble- burst - the prospects for Blacks to amass wealth have grown bleaker than at any time in living memory. . .
The report shows definitively that banks and other lending institutions trapped Blacks and Latinos in predatory lending schemes as a matter of policy. "Even a surface check of the demographics shows," the report says, "that, in city after city, a solid majority of subprime loan recipients were people of color." The very scope of the crime proves that the lending crisis is not the product of black culture, but the result of calculated policies, near-uniformly carried out by virtually all of the nation's mortgage lending institutions. . .
The wealth loss is staggering: People of color have collectively lost between "$164 billion to $213 billion over the past eight years," with Latinos losing slightly more than African Americans. Before the crisis hit, it was estimated that it would take 594 years - more than half a millennium - for blacks to catch up with whites in household wealth. Now, in the aftermath of the home mortgage massacre, it could take ten times as long - more than 5,000 years - before blacks achieve homeowner parity with whites.
POLL EXPLORES TENSIONS, COMMON GROUND
OF U.S. ETHNIC GROUPS
Latinos (44 percent) and Asians (47 percent) said they are generally "afraid of blacks because they are responsible for most of the crime." Blacks (51 percent) and Asians (34 percent) said Latino immigrants are taking away jobs, housing and political power from the black community. Latinos (46 percent) and blacks (53 percent) said Asian business owners do not treat them with respect. . .
Other findings showed that groups with a higher immigrant population expressed a far greater optimism about achieving the American dream. A majority of Latinos (74 percent) and Asians (64 percent) believes that if you work hard, you will succeed in the United States. In contrast, more than 60 percent of blacks said they do not believe the American dream works for them. . .
New America Media's poll was co-sponsored by nine founding ethnic media partners: Asian Journal, Asian Week, Korea Times, Philippine News, La Opinion / Impremedia, Nguoi Viet News, Sing Tao Daily, Sun Reporter, and World Journal.
NY TIMES - Of the estimated 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, linguists say, nearly half are in danger of extinction and are likely to disappear in this century. In fact, they are now falling out of use at a rate of about one every two weeks.)
Some endangered languages vanish in an instant, at the death of the sole surviving speaker. Others are lost gradually in bilingual cultures, as indigenous tongues are overwhelmed by the dominant language at school, in the marketplace and on television.
New research, reported today, has identified the five regions of the world where languages are disappearing most rapidly. The "hot spots" of imminent language extinctions are: Northern Australia, Central South America, North America's upper Pacific coastal zone, Eastern Siberia and Oklahoma and Southwest United States. All of the areas are occupied by aboriginal people speaking diverse languages, but in decreasing numbers. . .
STUDY: BETTER EDUCATED WHITES PREFER SEGREGATED SCHOOLS, NEIGHBORHOODS
RICE UNIVERSITY - A study, co-authored by Rice sociologist Michael Emerson, shows that increased education of whites, in particular, may not only have little effect on eliminating prejudice, but it also may be one reason behind the rise of racial segregation in U.S. schools. Furthermore, higher-educated whites, regardless of their income, are more likely than less-educated whites to judge a school's quality and base their school choice on its racial composition.
Black-white racial segregation has been on the rise in primary and secondary schools over the past decade. While whites, especially those who are highly educated, may express an interest in having their children attend integrated schools, in reality, they seek out schools that are racially segregated. In the study, researchers found, on average, that the greater the education of white parents, the more likely they will remove their children from public schools as the percentage of black students increases.
Emerson and research colleague David Sikkink, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame, know that income and other factors come into play in terms of school choice, but their study shows that, even after controlling for these variables, education has an unintended effect. Whites with more education place a greater emphasis on race when choosing a school for their children, while higher-educated African Americans do not consider race.
"I do believe that white people are being sincere when they claim that racial inequality is not a good thing and that they'd like to see it eliminated," says Emerson. "However, they are caught in a social system in which their liberal attitudes about race aren't reflected in their behavior."
According to the researchers, part of this behavior is explained by the place and meaning of schooling for children of more-educated white parents. Degrees, for example, become status markers, regardless of income. Parents seek quality education for their children to ensure they are not hindered from achieving the "good life." As earlier studies indicate, education is a key to social mobility and one of the most important forms of cultural capital.
Emerson and Sikkink cite earlier work on school choice in Philadelphia, where race was found to be a factor in whites' evaluations of the quality of a school. Unlike blacks, who judged schools on the basis of such outcomes as their graduation rates and students' test scores, whites initially eliminated any schools with a majority of black students before considering factors such as schools' graduation rates. When they analyzed a national data set of whites and non-Hispanic blacks to see if the level of their education would have an impact on their school choice, Emerson and Sikkink found a similar pattern. "Whites with higher levels of education still made school choices based on race," explains Emerson, "while blacks did not."
The researchers found that regardless of income, more-educated whites in their data set also lived in "whiter" neighborhoods than less-educated whites. Higher-income African Americans also lived in whiter, but more racially mixed, neighborhoods than lower-income blacks. "The more income African Americans made," Emerson says, "the more likely their children attended more racially mixed schools than did African American children of less-educated, lower-income parents." This, he explains, is because more highly educated or higher-income African Americans often live in areas with racially mixed local public schools, close to high concentrations of whites that have undergone desegregation plans, while African American children of less-educated, lower-income parents attend largely black schools. When separating income from their analysis, however, the researchers concluded that unlike whites, African American parents' higher-education levels don't affect their school choice.
"Our study arrived at a very sad and profound conclusion," says Emerson. "More formal education is not the answer to racial segregation in this country. Without a structure of laws requiring desegregation, it appears that segregation will continue to breed segregation." Titled "School Choice and Racial Residential Segregation in U.S. Schools: The Role of Parents' Education," the study will be published in an upcoming issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies.
& LESBIAN NEWS
29 states do not prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation
Camping outside the Supreme Court
Guy buys house in front of the Westboro Baptist Church and paints it in the colors of the Pride flag - 'Equality House' will be used for LGBT rights
The rest of Leviticus. . .
not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself.
I am the Lord.
HAVING A DAUGHTER MAKES YOU VOTE BETTER ON WOMEN'S ISSUES; HAVING TWO DAUGHTS IS EVEN BETTER
A hundred years ago, 8,000 women's suffrage marchers walked down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. This was the first large protest for womens suffrage in the city. They were met with large crowds of unruly men blocking their paths and shouting derogatory remarks. Many marchers were injured and congressional hearings would later remove the Chief of DC Police.
Binders full of women now have a web site
EMPLOYMENT BY GENDER - NPR
Over half of all reproductive aged women live in states with anti-abortion laws
States enacted 92 provisions restricting reproductive choice in 2011
BEFORE THE GLASS CEILING: HARD FLOORS
PROGRESS REPORT A report released this week by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Women's Voices. Women Vote details the difficulties single women face in today's economy. Forty percent make under $30,000 a year, less than married people or single men. Of 12.2 million single-parent households in the United States, more than 10 million are headed by single women.
Single women still suffer unequal pay. They make only 56 cents to the married man's dollar. Overall, women's median wages pay only 77 cents for every dollar men earn. Even after last year's minimum wage raise -- the first in a decade -- an employee working 40 hours a week at minimum wage only earns $15,080, barely above the poverty line for a family of two ($14,000) and under the poverty line for a family of three ($17,600).
Improving access to higher education will also help single women close the wage gap; currently, 84 percent of single mothers do not have a college degree. Just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that nearly 50 student lenders -- 12 percent of the market -- "have stopped issuing federally guaranteed loans in recent weeks because of paralysis in the credit markets," making it harder for single women to afford college.
With over 35 percent of children born to single women in 2005, single women have a large stake in their children's future. The average cost of child care can range anywhere between $3,000 and $13,000 a year per child -- an enormous burden for struggling single women. The United States and Australia are the only industrialized countries that don't require employers to offer paid maternity leave for new mothers, though some states. The housing crisis has a disproportionate effect on single women as well, as they are more likely to be subprime borrowers. They also spend proportionally more on housing than single men. "Unmarried women need a president who will make affordable housing a priority." Finally, "More than a third -- 35 percent -- of unmarried women are over the age of 50 and face retirement on their own rather than with combined savings with a spouse," and older, single women are one of the poorest demographic groups in the United States.
Health coverage is a particularly important issue for women. Four in 10 women have a chronic condition that requires ongoing medical care -- a significantly higher rate of chronic illness than men experience. At the same time, approximately 20 percent of single women have no health coverage at all.
Word: Natalie Hopkinson, NY Times - That`s what segregation does. It allows problems like corruption, dysfunction and poverty that are really historic, social and economic (and just plain old individual bad behavior) to be cast as a ``black thing.`` Segregated communities effectively quarantine all the American hurt, all the pain, all the history, and give it a ``chocolate`` label.
Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post - Only one in four African Americans and one in six Hispanics reported owning stocks, bonds or mutual funds, a new poll shows. In addition, only 46 percent of blacks and 32 percent of Hispanics said they had an individual retirement account or any similar retirement arrangement, according to a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll. Half of whites said they had stocks, bonds or mutual funds, and two in three said they had IRAs, 401(k)s or similar holdings. . .
Not only are African Americans and Hispanics less likely than whites to own retirement accounts or investment securities, they also are far less likely to own homes, which remains the largest engine of wealth creation for most Americans. And when they do own homes, they tend to have less equity in them, in large part because they live in communities where prices appreciate more slowly, many analysts say.
James W. Loewen
EXCERPT: A sundown town is any organized jurisdiction that for decades kept African Americans or other groups from living in it and was thus "all-white" on purpose. There is a reason for the quotation marks around "all-white": requiring towns to be literally all-white in the census-no African Americans at all-is inappropriate, because many towns clearly and explicitly defined themselves as sundown towns but allowed one black household as an exception. Thus an all-white town may include non-black minorities and even a tiny number of African Americans. . .
Independent sundown towns range from tiny hamlets such as De Land, Illinois (population 500), to substantial cities such as Appleton, Wisconsin (57,000 in 1970). Sometimes entire counties went sundown, usually when their county seat did. Independent sundown towns were soon joined by "sundown suburbs," which could be even larger: Levittown, on Long Island, had 82,000 residents in 1970, while Livonia, Michigan, and Parma, Ohio, had more than 100,000. Warren, a suburb of Detroit, had a population of 180,000 including just 28 minority families, most of whom lived on a U.S. . .
Most Americans have no idea such towns or counties exist, or they think such things happened mainly in the Deep South. Ironically, the traditional South has almost no sundown towns. Mississippi, for instance, has no more than 6, mostly mere hamlets, while Illinois has no fewer than 456. . .
Sundown towns are no minor matter. To this day, African Americans who know about sundown towns concoct various rules to predict and avoid them.
In Florida, for instance, any town or city with "Palm" in its name was thought to be especially likely to keep out African Americans. In Indiana, it was any jurisdiction with a color in its name, such as Brownsburg, Brownstown, Brown County, Greenfield, Greenwood, or Vermillion County-and indeed, all were sundown locales. . .
The sundown town movement in the United States did not begin to slow until 1968, however, even cresting in about 1970, and we cannot yet consign sundown towns to the past. . .
Younger Cubans getting more liberal, too: The Wall Street Journal notes that Cuban-born voters living in Florida voted for Mitt Romney, 55% to 45%.However, American-born Cubans voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, 60% to 40%.
Latinos now majority of students in California's public schools...
The Latino population has grown by more than 30 percent since the year 2000 in the first 16 states for which the U.S. Census Bureau has released data,The Latino population doubled in in South Dakota, Mississippi, Maryland, and Arkansas in the last decade, growing at 10 times the rate of the non-Latino population in those states. Latinos are also responsible for the majority of population growth in the states of Texas, Florida, Arizona and Nevada, - New America Media.