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October 29th, 2012
01:34 PM ET

Opinion: Sununu's comment insults black Americans

Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for the TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, "Washington Watch with Roland Martin."

By Roland Martin, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - When was the last time you heard someone say it's important to hire a qualified white person for a job? No, seriously, I really want you to think about that question.

Whenever there is a discussion about diversity, inclusion or affirmative action, we always hear folks say, "We do a great job of trying to find qualified minorities."

That always tickles me, because when it comes to hiring whites, the assumption is that all are qualified, so there's no need for the qualifier "qualified."

That was the first thing that came to mind when former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu gave his opinion on "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday regarding Gen. Colin Powell's endorsement of President Barack Obama.

Booker: Sununu's comment was 'unfortunate'

"Frankly, when you take a look at Colin Powell, you have to wonder whether that's an endorsement based on issues or whether he's got a slightly different reason for preferring President Obama," Sununu said.

When Morgan asked him what that reason is, Sununu said, "Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that you're proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for standing with him."

Oh, John, you're such a charmer to say you applaud Colin Powell for being a righteous brother and supporting his brother from another mother.

Read Roland Martin's full column

 Culture not a costume posters
October 29th, 2012
09:31 AM ET

In debate over offensive Halloween costumes, where's the line?

By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN

(CNN) - They're familiar characters in the debate over controversial Halloween costumes: suicide bombers, geishas, gangsta rappers, rednecks and sexy nurses.

Such costumes regularly draw allegations of racism, sexism or insensitivity. But where do fully-clothed folk legends fit in?

American Apparel featured characters on both ends of the spectrum this month in its annual do-it-yourself Halloween costume guide. Below a collection of pin-up girl costumes - including a model donning a breast-baring serape - was "La Llorona," the ghostly weeping woman who kidnaps wandering children, according to folklore in parts of Latin America.

True, she was wearing a lace bustier under a shawl, but the layers upon layers make her appear more like the haunted bag lady than a sexy spirit.

Read: Sexy Little Geisha?' Not so much, say many Asian-Americans

It's the folk legend's cultural significance - and the lack of skin, save an inch of midriff - that, for some, make this costume more acceptable than sexy señoritas or Mexican tequila guy.

"One is mythology, and the other is a stereotype that comes with a lot of baggage," said feminist blogger Veronica Arreola, assistant director of the Center for Research on Women and Gender at University of Illinois at Chicago.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Discrimination • Ethnicity • How we live • Pop culture • Race • Social justice