Editor's note: Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist, a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.
By Maria Cardona, CNN Contributor
(CNN) - Last week’s Republican debate brought some interesting surprises. As a Latina Democrat, the biggest one I saw was Newt Gingrich’s defense of a legalization program for undocumented immigrants who have roots in the community and pose no threat to society.
Herman Cain has “joked” about an electrified fence on the border. Michele Bachmann can’t stop talking about her outrage at “anchor babies.” Mitt Romney, in an effort to make himself look like an immigration hardliner, has disavowed any past stances that would make him look soft on the issue. Most of the GOP candidates have gone to “kiss the ring” of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio - arguably the most anti-immigrant law enforcement officer in the nation. So Gingrich’s new found “compassion” stands in stark contrast to the rest of the GOP field, who have tripped over each other to show who is most right-wing on immigration.
But how will all this play out for Latinos in 2012? Is the community divided? Will they stay home in 2012? Will they still support this president or will Gingrich create a new opening for the GOP with Latinos?
By Sally Holland, CNN
Washington (CNN) - The Census Bureau released data Wednesday that shows there are more people 65 and older than ever before in the United States.
According to the 2010 numbers, there are 40.3 million people age 65 and older, an increase of over 5 million since the 2000 Census. The older population grew at a faster rate than the population as a whole.
But the best news might be for older males.
"Males show more rapid growth in the older population than females over the decade," said Carrie Werner, a statistician at the Census Bureau. "While females continue to outnumber males in the older ages, males continued to close the gap over the decade by increasing at a faster rate than females."
Editor's note: This week, CNN Health's team is taking a close look at the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southeast with a series leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1. Learn more about the problem and our upcoming stories.
"I have a disease, but the disease doesn't have me," says Del'Rosa Winston, who was diagnosed with HIV more than 20 years ago.
Since she found out she was HIV positive, Winston has become an HIV prevention specialist who aims at raising awareness and educating black women about the disease.
The numbers are still high: The rate among black people is eight times higher than the white community.
Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich recently shared what he called a “humane” immigration policy; some conservatives call it a step toward amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Gingrich recently laid out more details including stronger border control, a guest worker program, knowing American history as a requirement for citizenship, improving the legal visa system and making deportations easier.
And another thing: He wants to "establish English as the official language of government." What do you think? FULL POST
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
Parents of Robert Champion, Florida A&M student who died, speak out against hazing– National Public Radio
Lawsuit against Comcast alleges company discriminated against African-Americans - The Chicago Tribune
More than half of new households owned by Latinos - Housing Wire
Bill Smith has been the chef at Crook's Corner, a restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for nearly two decades. In 2011, Crook's Corner was honored with The James Beard Foundation's America's Classic Award – a distinction for locally owned restaurants "beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community," according to the Foundation.
In addition to his cookbook "Seasoned in the South," Smith often writes on the topic of immigrants in the professional kitchen – including recipes inspired by staff and his own travel journals from Mexico.
"In a restaurant kitchen, chances are good that your dishwasher won’t speak English as a first language. There are lots of reasons for this," Smith says.
"For starts, you can wash dishes in any language so a lack of English needn’t be a hindrance to the new arrival. I’ve been a chef for over 20 years. Here are five things to be said in favor of continuing this custom, offered in a time when people are being very snippy about these very nice people."
Read Bill Smith's commentary (and sweet potato tamale recipe)
More counties are showing an increase in the proportion of children living under the poverty line, according to United States Census Bureau estimates released Tuesday.
More than a fifth of all counties in the United States – 653 out of 3,142 – saw a statistically significant increase in the number of school-age children living in poverty between 2007 and 2010. Only eight counties saw a significant decrease in the same time period.
Federal guidelines generally determine a family of four to be in poverty if their before-tax earnings are less than $22,314 per year.
By Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor
(CNN) - Joaquin Luna was only 18. The senior at Juarez Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas, dreamed of going to college. But since he was in the country illegally, that was nearly impossible.
Luna was quickly losing hope of ever going to college, his family says. The Friday after Thanksgiving, Luna put on a suit, kissed his family members, went into the bathroom and shot himself in the head, according to family members.
"He didn't see no other way or no other option," his brother Diyra Mendoza told CNN affiliate KGBT.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.
Tyler Perry to youth in Penn State scandal: 'I am your brother!'
Tyler Perry, who has spoken publicly of being molested as a child, writes an open letter to the young boy whose allegations spurred the 2008 criminal investigation of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky: "I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age." - Newsweek/The Daily Beast
Study: The high price of low social status
Does one's perceived social status impact how much one will pay for a product? Stanford researcher Daisy Grewal writes about a recent set of studies that investigate how one's perceived social status, the more some are willing pay for services, products and healthcare. - Scientific American FULL POST
By Gil DeLaRosa, CNN
(CNN) - Members of the all-girl, Mexican-American rock band Girl in a Coma are unabashed about their tattooed look and hard-edged sound. But they're also childhood friends who grew up in San Antonio, listening to a mix of Tex-Mex, Tejano - and punk.
With their fourth album, "Exits & All the Rest," released this month on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records, they're trying to prove that rock can come from anywhere, and in many forms.
"We're females. We're trying to prove to everybody that, you know, we can rock, too," bassist Jennifer Alva said. "We're Latinas, we're representing our culture. Two-thirds gay. We have a lot on our plate. We're trying to do a good job of representing all three." FULL POST
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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