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'Star Trek's' Zoe Saldana on racism: 'I’m not going to talk about it'
May 17th, 2013
06:31 PM ET

'Star Trek's' Zoe Saldana on racism: 'I’m not going to talk about it'

(CNN) - Zoe Saldana is one of Hollywood's leading actresses, and she's making headlines as Uhura in "Star Trek Into Darkness." She crossed barriers as the lead in "Avatar," the highest grossing movie of all time. But how does being a woman of color impact her career choices and options? The actress, who is of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent,  spoke about it in an interview with Ebony magazine's Kelley L. Carter:

EBONY: Speaking of color, it doesn’t seem to limit you. And it almost appears seamless. Is that true? Or have there been bumps along the way because you’re a woman of color?

Zoe Saldana: Nothing in life is just one layer. It’s one-layered (but) it’s multifaceted, and there are various factors that take place into making a decision or something happening. So the one thing I will say is, what has not changed is what I feel and think of myself and how I interact with the world, how I handle myself. I feel like I’m very confident. I’m going to have my moments of weakness, but I like who I am and I don’t want to be anybody else. I don’t want anybody to tell me to change when I don’t want to change.

So that’s just who I am. And when I approach something—whether I’m fighting for a role or I’m being offered a role—I’m not thinking whether or not anybody is doing me a favor or if I’m doing somebody else a favor. I’m just thinking, as an artist and as a woman, “is this something that best represents the craft that I want to be known for?” Or is this an accurate representation of what a woman is supposed to be?

And do I like this story? Do I like this director? Do I think the studio is going to manage and sell it properly. That’s where my head is at. I’m not thinking, “Oh, I’m a woman of color, are they gonna want me?” I don’t give too much energy to that, because my time is very valuable, and something that exists to others is not going to exist in my world. That’s how I think I get by, by not giving it any validation by wasting more time investing into thinking about it. FULL POST

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Filed under: Ethnicity • Pop culture • Race • Who we are
Immigration may be America's primary population growth driver by 2027
America is on its way to becoming a minority-majority nation.
May 17th, 2013
04:42 PM ET

Immigration may be America's primary population growth driver by 2027

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Here's something to consider as Congress debates overhauling America's immigration system: For the first time since at least 1850, immigrants will be the primary driver of U.S. population.

Births have been the leading cause of population growth since the U.S. Census Bureau began collecting data in 1850. That may change within the next 14 years.

The population growth shifts could happen as early as 2027 or as late as 2038, depending, of course, on the numbers of international arrivals over the next few years.

Not that immigration levels are at their highest, cautioned Thomas Mesenbourg, the Census Bureau's senior adviser. The rates were much higher during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

But Americans are having fewer babies.

"This projected milestone reflects the mix of our nation's declining fertility rates, the aging of the baby boomer population and continued immigration," Mesenbourg said.

The Census Bureau issued three projections of population growth shifts based on different immigration levels. A high immigration projection showed that the nation's non-white population would jump from 37% in 2012 to 58.8% in 2060. Hispanics would make up 29.9% of the population, compared with 17% in 2012, and Asians would climb from 5.1% to 9%.

Non-Latino whites are projected to no longer be a majority by 2046, even if immigration levels stay the same.

Follow CNN's Moni Basu on Twitter

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Filed under: Diversity • Ethnicity • Immigration • Latino in America • Population • Who we are
Opinion: Obama's troubles not related to race
May 17th, 2013
08:43 AM ET

Opinion: Obama's troubles not related to race

Editor's note: Alex Castellanos, a Republican strategist, is the founder of NewRepublican.org. Follow him on Twitter: @alexcast.

By Alex Castellanos, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - The images still inspire. Children sitting on their parents' shoulders amid a sea of American flags, fluttering on a cool Chicago night. A young black woman running to get as close as possible to the stage.

On November 4, 2008, Grant Park absorbed the world's focus: Barack Obama was elected president of the United States.

His victory speech stopped the Earth from spinning, if only for an evening, and drew the world's attention to an America where anything was again possible. Obama's victory energized a pulsing crowd of a hundred-thousand, their dream deferred no longer. Journalist Lois Wille called it "a great big huge happy evening" that would perhaps "wipe the memory" of a more divided America away.

Still, the podium was wrapped in bulletproof glass. Chicago charged all its 13,500 police officers with protecting America's great hope. It sent firefighters home wearing their uniforms so they would be ready to respond. We were not sure the promise and possibility of that moment was shared by every American. Yet that clear night, we celebrated the peaceful transition of power and the dawn of a different day.

This is a good country, full of good and great people, dedicated to an extraordinary American promise, our commitment to equal opportunity for everyone. That evening, even the most hardened partisan hearts could feel it. Our country had taken a step forward in racial relations, a big step, something that spoke of what our nation might yet become. A good nation had become an even better one, where the scars of some old wounds had healed and the pain of intense divisions, though not forgotten, had receded farther into memory.

Now the world is stopped no longer. How did we get from that America to this?

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Politics • Race • What we think