By Michael Martinez and Mariano Castillo, CNN
Los Angeles (CNN) - Jonathan Larios hears it all the time: Someone walks into his Honduran restaurant and they think it's a Mexican place.
"Oh, I hate that. That bothers me a lot," said Larios, 21, general manager of two Los Angeles-area restaurants called Honduras Kitchen. "They always ask, 'How's the Mexican food?' It gets frustrating over time.
"It's like the most race that people always see is black, Mexican and American. They don't see anything else," said Larios, whose mother is Honduran and father Salvadoran.
His first-hand experience shows that some Americans confuse all Hispanics as being Mexicans. While it's true that Mexicans make up the largest segment of the Hispanic population in the United States, a new Brown University study that shows Latinos are hardly a monolithic group.
The demographic has wide differences in nationalities that are becoming more salient, the study said.
"When studies are done of Hispanics, the results mostly reflect the experience of Mexicans, who are more than 60% of the total," the study says. "But observers would be mistaken if they thought they knew Hispanics in the U.S. by looking only at Mexicans."
By Moni Basu, CNN
(CNN) - Everyone knows it's location, location, location when it comes to real estate. Perhaps no one knows this better than activist Aaron Jackson.
He didn't even care what the house looked like. He looked up properties on Google Earth and saw a for sale sign across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church, the controversial group in Topeka, Kansas, that's most notorious for its angry anti-gay protests at military funerals.
The house Jackson initially wanted was sold by the time he got around to buying, but luckily for him, there was another one, on the corner of 12th and SW Orleans streets that was perfect. He paid about $83,000 - a bargain, he'd say, for what he was trying to accomplish. This week, he and others from his nonprofit Planting Peace painted the house in rainbow colors that represent gay pride. FULL POST
Editor's Note: On March 26th and 27th, the US Supreme Court will hear two key cases regarding same-sex marriage. Every Monday and Tuesday in March, CNN Radio will feature stories about issues related to same-sex marriage.
By Tommy Andres, CNN
(CNN) – So far nine states have legalized same sex marriages, none of them in the South. As part of our same sex marriage series we reached out to our audience to find out what it's like to be gay or lesbian in the South.
What we discovered was surprising.
The gays and lesbians who spoke to us all love living in the South despite its somewhat hostile climate towards them.FULL STORY
(CNN) - Philadelphia Magazine is under fire after publishing a controversial article titled 'Being White in Philly' that discusses bridging the racial gap. Mayor Michael Nutter is considering asking a city panel to formally rebuke the magazine. CNN Anchor Brooke Baldwin talks with a panel about the magazine’s choice to publish the article.
By Halimah Abdullah, CNN
Washington (CNN) - Republican K. Carl Smith is African-American and he knows that the GOP's racial reckoning won't come from 100-page reports from party headquarters with carefully worded prescriptions about "outreach" to "demographic partners."
Instead, the type of sea change needed to shake the GOP's image as a party of old, white and culturally-insulated men will require the type of profound grassroots shakeup that might make some in the GOP uneasy.
"You got your establishment Republicans who want to keep things the same," said Smith, an Army veteran who grew up in Alabama during the Civil Rights era. "The status quo needs to go through some, I won't say diversity classes, but I'll say liberty classes and learn about helping people on the bottom of the ladder."
He said the party also has to deal with small but noisy elements that co-opt any message of inclusiveness if it wants to win the "propaganda battle."FULL STORY
By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) - On Monday, President Barack Obama nominated Thomas E. Perez, an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department of Dominican origin, to be the next secretary of the Labor Department. He will replace Hilda Solis, the nation's first Latina Cabinet member, who resigned in January.
Supporters say it is a step in the right direction for the Latino community, and they hope it sets a precedent.
“This move is significant because there has been at least one [Latino or Latina] in the president’s Cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s years,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “What’s even more significant is that it's not somebody who is Mexican-American, Puerto Rican or Cuban-American as in previous years.”
In 2010, there were an estimated 1.5 million Hispanics of Dominican origin residing in the United States, comprising 3.0% of the U.S. Hispanic population.
Perez is the son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with French-speaking Haiti. He was the first lawyer in his family. Speaking in English and Spanish, Perez spoke about his upbringing at Monday's announcement.
Editor's note: Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, is the author of "Lean In." Watch the first part of Soledad O'Brien's interview with Sheryl Sandberg at 8 a.m. ET Monday on CNN.
By Sheryl Sandberg, Special to CNN
(CNN) - My hope in writing "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead" was to change the conversation from what women can't do to what we can.
We need a national conversation that examines the barriers that hold women back and prevent us from achieving true equality. Additionally and just as importantly, we need personal conversations among us all - managers and employees, friends, colleagues, partners, parents and children - where issues about gender are discussed openly.
The blunt truth is that men still run the world. Of today's 195 independent countries, only 17 are led by women. In the United States, where our founding creed promises liberty and justice for all, women constitute just 18% of our elected congressional officials.FULL STORY
By Nicole Krasavage and Scott Bronstein, CNN Special Investigations Unit
Washington (CNN) - Two hit-and-run deaths in rural Mississippi just a few miles apart highlight a disturbing problem about data collection on possible hate crimes.
Last summer, 61-year-old African-American Sunday school teacher Johnny Lee Butts was hit and killed by an 18-year-old white driver. The teen told Panola County Sheriff deputies he thought he hit a deer but the driver's two passengers said he steered straight for Butts. One passenger said he could see that Butts was black. The killing has sparked outrage in the local African-American community. Civil rights groups have demanded that police prosecute Butts' killing as a hate crime.
Nonetheless, prosecutors chose not to.
There was no evidence, authorities said, to suggest a racial motive. The driver was charged with murder. He has not yet pleaded in the case.
In another hit and run, 41-year-old African-American Garrick Burdette was found dead along a Panola County road in November 2009.
His mother, Ruby Burdette, says for three years she had heard nothing about any police investigation into her son's death until CNN began asking about the case.
CNN received no response after calling the Panola County Sheriff's department, but just hours after CNN's call, a sheriff's investigator drove to Ruby Burdette's house.FULL STORY
(CNNMoney) - How diverse is Silicon Valley? Most tech companies really, really don't want you to know, and the U.S. government isn't helping shed any light on the issue.
In an investigation that began in August 2011, CNNMoney probed 20 of the most influential U.S. technology companies, the Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and we filed two Freedom of Information Act requests for workforce diversity data.
A year-and-a-half, a pile of paperwork, and dozens of interviews later, we have a little more insight - but not much.
Most of the companies stonewalled us, but the data we were able to get showed what one might expect: Ethnic minorities and women are generally underrepresented, sometimes severely so - particularly in management roles. White and Asian males often dominate their fields.
Our investigation demonstrated how difficult - and sometimes impossible - gaining any insight into Silicon Valley's employee diversity can be. It shows a general lack of transparency in an industry known for its openness.FULL STORY
By Cindy Y. Rodriguez and Alicia W. Stewart, CNN
(CNN) – The Catholic Church has elected its first pope from South America, a historic milestone that has some wondering whether he should be considered the first “Latino” pope.
"I'm not quite sure how he is being considered the first Latino pope?" wrote Jeremy Marsh in CNN comments. "I guess the real question is, what is the definition of 'Latino'?"
For Julieta Vitullo, 37, a teacher and filmmaker from Argentina, the thought of calling Pope Francis “Latino” never crossed her mind. To her, he is undoubtedly Argentine.
“In South America, we either use our country of origin or use 'Latin Americans.' We don’t define ourselves as Latino. That’s more of an American term, ” she said.
But, that hasn't stopped many Hispanics from using the word.
“As a Latina and Catholic, I can't explain how excited and happy I am for Pope Francis I – the first Latino Pope! #latism” tweeted Sasha Monik Moreno.
CNN contributor Ruben Navarrette wrote a CNN piece about the long wait for the "first Latino pope":
"...[T]he news of a Latino papa has sent a jolt of euphoria through Argentina and throughout Latin America. Imagine winning the World Cup Championship times 10. There also will be a lot of excitement among Latinos in the United States, perhaps enough to reignite their passion for the church and bring them back to Mass.”
But to understand the range of who is Latino, and if the new pontiff qualifies, one has to first the understand the history of Argentina. FULL POST