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Engage: Senator Rubio endorses Mitt Romney
Marco Rubio endorsed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
March 29th, 2012
12:26 PM ET

Engage: Senator Rubio endorses Mitt Romney

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

Marco Rubio endorses Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney - The Miami Herald

FBI allowed agents to "bend or Suspend the Law'; now, that language has been removed from training materials - The New York Times

Augusta National Golf Club has not invited a woman to the course in eighty year history. Could a sponsor's female CEO break into the "boy's club"? - Bloomberg

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, the first Latina governor, at odds with some Latinos - National Public Radio

Census analysis: "more than half of older women in America are unable to pay for their basic needs" - The Daily Beast

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Group sought wedge between blacks, gays to fight same-sex marriage
"The strategic goal ... is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks," says an internal National Organization for Marriage memo.
March 29th, 2012
11:17 AM ET

Group sought wedge between blacks, gays to fight same-sex marriage

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – A national group opposed to same-sex marriage aimed to fight it by driving "a wedge between gays and blacks" and identifying "glamorous" Latino artists and athletes to advocate traditional marriage, according to newly released confidential memos.

The strategies were among several pursued by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has actively campaigned against same-sex marriage efforts.

The Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights organization, said it obtained the documents, part of a civil action in Maine, on Monday and published them on its website.

"This court-ordered disclosure shows NOM fighting a losing battle with strategy and tactics that are racially and ethnically divisive, filled with false political calculations, and out of touch with the majority of fair-minded Americans," Human Rights Campaign said in a statement.

Most of the memos were written in 2009. The president of NOM did not dispute the authenticity of the memos, saying in an online statement, "Gay marriage is not a civil right."

Read the full story

Obesity rate climbs for Mexican-Americans, study says
"Mexican-Americans get sucked into our fast food culture," said CEO of a Latino health organization, Venus Gines.
March 29th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Obesity rate climbs for Mexican-Americans, study says

By Jennifer Bixler, CNN

(CNN) – Hispanics are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the United States.  By the year 2050, the U.S. Census Bureau projects Hispanics will compose 30 percent of the population.  Most are Mexican-American.  A new government study drills down on the changing way Mexican-Americans adults are eating and its effect on their health.

Researchers at the National Center for Health Statistics compared statistics from 1982-1984 and 1999-2006.

Among the findings:

  • Obesity is up.  In the early 1980s 21% of Mexican Americans were obese.  By the middle of the last decade, the number had climbed to close to 35%.
  • More Mexican-Americans also have diabetes.  Close to 14% have it now – versus just under 10% 25 years ago.
  • The group's consumption of carbs is also up from just under 46% in the 1980s to just over 51%.

Read the full post on CNN's The chart blog

Vagina enters stage left - or is it right?
Protesters have taken to the streets in reaction to what they see as an assault on their reproductive rights.
March 28th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Vagina enters stage left - or is it right?

By Wayne Drash and Jessica Ravitz, CNN

(CNN) – If anyone is comfortable speaking openly and boldly about women's bodies, it's Eve Ensler. The playwright and activist behind "The Vagina Monologues" has been at it for years.

So when she watches American politics of late - especially the conversations swirling around women's reproductive rights - she feels both amused and vindicated.

"The vagina has become so real, so present, so powerful that people are going after it directly," she said. "It's evidence that we're winning."
America is abuzz about women's issues.

Read the full story

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Engage: FBI to help investigate beating death of Iraqi American
An image of Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi woman who was beaten to death in her California home.
March 28th, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Engage: FBI to help investigate beating death of Iraqi American

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

FBI investigates murder of Iraqi woman as family mourns her death  –USA Today/Detroit Free Press

Republican women call for White House to reject comedian Bill Maher's million donation after his statements on women –National Public Radio

Report: Latina workforce –NBC Latino

The forgotten female mathematician that Albert Einstein called "significant" - The New York Times

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Opinion: What happened in France could happen anywhere
Gilles Bernheim, Great Rabbi of France (2nd from right), and others march on March 25 in Toulouse, France where three Jewish children and their teacher were killed.
March 28th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Opinion: What happened in France could happen anywhere

Editor’s Note:  Philip Meissner is a New York based attorney. He also founded JewishSafeHavenFund.org, a group dedicated to protecting Jews from terrorist attack in America and abroad.

By Philip Meissner, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mumbai, India. Bangkok, Thailand. And now Toulouse, France.  While we have seen a recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks here in the United States - including the firebombing of a synagogue in Rutherford, New Jersey and cars set on fire in an Orthodox neighborhood of Midwood, Brooklyn - a series of organized terrorist attacks is also being carried out at an ever-accelerating pace against Jews overseas.  One cannot help but wonder if American Jews are safe from the growing threat, either at home, or abroad.

As a young boy of nine-years old, my father miraculously escaped Nazi Germany on Kristallnacht, November 9, 1938. His parents had the foresight to know that they could no longer stay in Berlin.  They first went to Poland to say good-bye to their parents, my great-grandparents, who were tragically convinced that the Nazis in Germany would pass by as just another political party, and that they would be safe in Poland. That was the last time they saw one another. My grandparents left everything behind, and undertook the dangerous journey of traveling by train to Marseille, France.  They thereafter boarded the SS Normandie for its last voyage to New York before the war, which ultimately saved their lives.

Decades later, after establishing their life in the United States, our link to the Holocaust came full circle as my eldest sister married into the Bielski family, whose heroism was recounted recently in the film "Defiance."  The Bielskis did not have either the good fortune, or the inclination to leave Europe during the war.  Following the murder of their parents, the Bielski brothers- Tuvia, Zus and Asael- realized that they would have to save themselves.  They formed the Bielski brigade and provided safe haven to the Jews who joined them.  For almost three years, they fought against the Germans and provided food and shelter to 1,250 Jewish men, women and children in the forests of Western Belorussia.  This was the largest armed rescue of Jews by Jews during the war.

FULL POST

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Filed under: History • Religion • What we think • Where we live
March 28th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Hoodie's evolution from fashion mainstay to symbol of injustice

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - Whether you're a high schooler or Ted Kaczynski, a soccer mom or a Rocky Balboa fan, you've likely embraced the hooded sweatshirt at some point in life.

For all its comfort and simplicity, the hoodie leads a dual life. Utilitarian and homogenous in form, hooded garments have been wardrobe staples of monks and hip-hop stars, Silicon Valley programmers and tycoons alike.

Yet it still carries a social stigma that has made it the object of legislative bans and political speeches. Now, amid widespread outcry over the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, the hoodie has become a symbol of social injustice.

Read the full story

Investigators finished with FAMU hazing case
Florida A&M University student and band drum major Robert Champion, 26, died November 19.
March 27th, 2012
08:05 PM ET

Investigators finished with FAMU hazing case

By the CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) – Orange County, Florida, authorities say they have finished the investigation into the suspected hazing-related death of Robert Champion, the 26-year-old Florida A&M University student and drum major who died in November.

The case has now been handed over to prosecutors who will make a decision on possible charges.

"During the course of this investigation, Orange County Sheriff's Office investigators have worked over 1000 man hours and over 40 individuals have been interviewed," Orange County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Monday. "We have worked closely with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and on numerous occasions investigators have traveled to and from Tallahassee to meet with witnesses and gather statements."

The Florida State Attorney's Office said it has received the investigation but could not give a timeline of when a decision will be made in the case that has FAMU and other universities contemplating how to end violent hazing rituals.

Read the full story

March 27th, 2012
02:32 PM ET

Opinion: What the death of Trayvon Martin says about being a black man in 2012

Editor’s note: Rob Smith is a writer, lecturer and openly gay U.S. Army veteran. His work has appeared in USA Today, The Huffington Post, Metro Weekly and Slate.com. He is contributing to "For Colored Boys ...," an anthology to be released this spring. He is also launching the  IamTrayvonMartin project on You Tube.  He can be reached at www.robsmithonline.com and twitter.com/robsmithonline.

By Rob Smith, Special to CNN

(CNN) - In some ways, I suppose it could be considered a good thing that I wasn’t racially profiled until my sophomore year of college.  For some young black men, it happens even sooner. My personal style has always leaned more towards Carlton Banks than 50 Cent, and I’ve never really been a fan of baggy jeans or fitted caps. That night however, I’d taken it upon myself to throw on a hooded sweatshirt as it started to rain. It was early evening and I found myself leaving class and walking in a parking lot behind an older white woman who was heading to her car after what was presumably a long day at work.

Lost in college-kid thoughts of midterms and summer internships, she barely registered to me until she immediately stopped in her tracks, as if I’d shouted her name. She then began to shriek in a near-hysterical tone, admonishing me for having the audacity to walk 10 feet behind her after dark. “Don’t ever do that! Ask your mother! Ask your sister! Don’t do that because it’s scary!” Initially, the episode registered as little more than bizarre to me, but as I finished my walk home, it became more apparent to me that the triple threat of my dark skin, stocky build and dark grey (fraternity!) hoodie was just too much for this woman to bear. Until that point, I’d never really thought of myself as an imposing or physically threatening guy, but to this poor lady I may as well have been the Unabomber.

Being profiled is a black male rite of passage that I was somehow inoculated from until that evening. Although I was vaguely aware of it before, I somehow made the mistake of thinking that my style of dress, “upward mobility,” or college education made me somehow exempt from the social cost of being a black male. It is not a mistake I’ve made since, nor is it one that the New York Police Department or cab drivers in this city will ever allow me to make again. Every black male from the mailroom to the boardroom and everywhere in between seems to have a story about being profiled in this way, and my experiences have been fairly innocuous compared to the horror stories I’ve heard.

FULL POST

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Engage: The accomplishments of 20 black female CEOs
Oprah Winfrey, Ursula Burns and Desiree Rogers are a few black women CEOs featured on the list.
March 27th, 2012
01:06 PM ET

Engage: The accomplishments of 20 black female CEOs

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.

20 black women who became CEOs - The Root

In first, Los Angeles police officer found guilty of racial profiling - The Los Angeles Times

Decline in Latino voters spurs registration drive - The Huffington Post

Largest radio ratings service settles lawsuit; vows to improve tracking of minority listeners - The New York Times

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