Editor's note: Christopher Lapinig and Katie Chamblee are law students in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, which represents plaintiffs in the civil rights lawsuit against the East Heaven Police Department.
By Christopher Lapinig and Katie Chamblee, Special to CNN
(CNN) - On Tuesday, following the indictment of four East Haven police officers for violating the civil rights of Latinos, Mayor Joseph Maturo responded to a question about what he planned to do for the Latino community by saying he might have tacos for dinner. He deserved the vehement backlash that followed.
But the mayor’s insensitivity to the seriousness of the problem is only the tip of the iceberg. His comments epitomize a town leadership that has refused to recognize Latinos as full members of the community who are entitled to the full protection of the law.
Police Chief Leonard Gallo’s retirement announcement today is the first step toward dismantling the toxic culture that has sanctioned police misconduct for years. Town police have failed to fulfill their constitutional obligation to protect the rights of all members of the East Haven community. Indeed, they have relegated Latinos to the back of the bus.
A course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison will cover hip-hop music and was created to have kids think critically about the genre. A disclaimer on the syllabus will be similar to those on CD labels - there will be explicit material including racism, homophobia and misogyny. But, professors said, it's important for students to examine how hip-hop and the culture around it evolve.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
Len Gallo, East Haven police chief under federal investigation for civil rights abuses, resigns - The Hartford Courant
Ava DuVernay, first black woman to win best director at Sundance Film Festival - The Huffington Post
Shifting Cuban vote in Miami-Dade County, Florida, but most still vote Republican - The Los Angeles Times
Opinion: 'Working class' should include black blue-collar workers - The Washington Post
Profile: Veena Sud, executive producer, AMC's 'The Killing' - Written By magazine
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, comedians with new Comedy Central show, bring back 'black nerds' - National Public Radio
By David Ariosto, CNN
(CNN) - A political battle is shaping up in the Garden State about whether to give gay and lesbian couples the right to wed - a move that, if approved, would make New Jersey the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
How the issue plays out was the subject of a series of political thrusts and parries this week between a Democratic-controlled state legislature and a Republican governor, who supports New Jersey's civil unions but opposes same-sex marriage.
Gov. Chris Christie, a conservative favorite once thought of as a potential presidential contender, called Tuesday for a state-wide referendum to settle the issue.
"This issue that our state's exploring, whether or not to redefine hundreds of years of societal and religious traditions, should not be decided by 121 people in the statehouse in Trenton," the governor said during a town hall meeting. "The institution of marriage is too serious to be treated like a political football."
Editor's note: Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN's U.S. programming. He is the author of the memoir "Transparent."
This is final installment of a three-part series about the 1ne Drop Project. Read Don Lemon's column, "It only takes one drop," and Yaba Blay's column, "What does Blackness look like?"
By Don Lemon, CNN
You never know from where inspiration will come.
I am often envious of my friends who can recite stories about ancestors that have been handed down through generations. I can’t do that. As a descendant of slavery in America, that hasn't felt possible for me. Truthfully, I didn’t think about it much until a few weeks ago, after I was asked by CNN’s In America team to write about the impact of a mixed racial background on my life, the idea that "one drop" of black blood makes you black.
In that article, I wrote about how my aunt and grandmother in Louisiana often were mistaken for white. I wrote about the extremes they went to in order to protect their husbands, who were black, from beatings by white men, or worse.
As I began to write the article, I sent a text message to my mother asking that she email photos of my aunt and grandmother. She sent me what she had, but asked why I wanted them. I told her I’d call to explain once I got home that evening.
When I finished the draft of the article, I zipped off a copy to her via email. A few minutes later, as I was driving home from work, my phone rang. When my mother began to tell me the stories of my aunt and grandmother, I had to pull over in a parking lot to take it all in. Some of it I knew. Much of it I didn’t.
My mother said, “Don, your aunt and grandmother really are quintessential ‘one drop’ Americans.”
“Why, mom?” I asked.
“I know you overheard some of this as a child, but your aunt’s father was a white man,” she said. “Your grandmother’s father was a white man.”
By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - The trustees of the State University of New York system are the latest to register their support for laws that would allow undocumented immigrant students to apply for financial aid.
The board of trustees’ resolution, passed Wednesday, joins similar gestures of support voiced by the City University of New York, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York State Department of Education and a number of state and federal legislators.
“The current demographic realities of New York State indicate that many of the brightest and hardest working students eligible to enroll at SUNY are of undocumented status, and it is imperative that SUNY remain accessible to these students,” Board Chairman H. Carl McCall said in a press release. “SUNY will work with stakeholders to develop sensible legislation that provides this deserved access and financial support.”
Editor's note: Carole Simpson is the leader-in-residence at Emerson College’s School of Communication in Boston, where she teaches journalism and communications classes. She is the first woman or minority to be the sole moderator of a presidential debate, and chronicled her 40 years as a broadcast journalist in her memoir, "Newslady."
By Carole Simpson, Special to CNN
(CNN) - It was suggested to me that older women are finally coming into their own.
Who would have thought that almost 14 million viewers would tune in to NBC’s broadcast special celebrating actress Betty White’s 90th birthday?
Actress Cloris Leachman was 82 when she danced the light fantastic on “Dancing With the Stars.”
Barbara Walters, also in her 80s, continues to land the big interviews for her ABC specials and act as a co-host on “The View," a show she co-owns.
Diane Sawyer, ABC’s “World News “ anchor, is in her late 60s, and Lesley Stahl, long time “60 Minutes” correspondent, is 70.
This all sounds pretty good considering women in television were once warned - by men of course - that our careers would be over at 40.
Does that mean elder females are gaining acceptance in our society?
By Charles Garcia, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Charles Garcia is the CEO of Garcia Trujillo, a business focused on the Hispanic market, and the author of "Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows." A native of the Republic of Panama, he now lives in Florida. Watch Garcia on Friday in the 9 a.m. hour on CNN Newsroom.
(CNN) - For the last 20 years, what name is always in the top 100 most popular baby names given to boys in the United States? Jesus (pronounced hey-seus). And among 4,500 boys names in England in 2009, what was the No. 1 most popular baby name? Mohammed. In Brussels? Mohammed. Oslo? Mohammed. Amsterdam? Mohammed. And what do babies and their names have to do with the global economy? Everything.
By the CNN Wire Staff
Editor's note: This is part of the CNN political fact-checking series.
(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney of taking out of context comments he made about bilingual education. The speaker's comments are referenced in a Spanish-language political ad. During Thursday night's CNN Republican candidates debate, moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Romney about it, "You've had an ad running saying that Speaker Gingrich called Spanish - quote - 'The language of the ghetto.' What do you mean by that?"