By Rob Goldberg, Bleacher Report
(Bleacher Report) - There has been plenty of debate recently about whether the Washington Redskins will change their controversial name. However, team owner Daniel Snyder expects things to remain the same.
According to Erik Brady of USA Today, the owner stated:
We will never change the name of the team. As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.
We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.
The emphatic nature of the statement is certain to offer encouragement to fans looking to maintain the organization's long tradition. The Redskins have used this moniker since 1933.
While this debate has been going on for decades, it has resurfaced this offseason after a group of Native Americans recently took to the courts to bring about a resolution (via Sporting News).FULL STORY
By Alan Silverleib, CNN Congressional Producer
Washington (CNN) - The first congressional votes were cast on Thursday on the politically explosive issue of immigration reform.
Members of the Democratic-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee started formal consideration of a massive bipartisan bill, debating and voting on the first of more than 300 proposed amendments.
The contentious issue of border security was quickly raised in the form of a proposed "trigger" amendment from Iowa's Chuck Grassley - the top Republican on the panel. It would block the legalization of any undocumented residents until law enforcement established "effective" control of the entire U.S.-Mexico border for six months.
Grassley's proposal failed, with 12 of the panel's 18 members voting no. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake - two Republicans from the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" group that crafted the overall bill - joined committee Democrats in opposing the measure.
The four Democrats and four Republicans comprising the "Gang of Eight" have pledged to oppose any substantial changes to the legislation.FULL STORY
By Dan Merica, CNN
Washington (CNN) – A new Census Bureau report shows a higher percentage of African-Americans than whites voted in a presidential election for the first time in history last year during the matchup between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
The report, released Wednesday, found that more than 66% of eligible blacks voted in the presidential contest. Only 64.1% of whites turned out to vote.
This marks the first time since 1968 that blacks turned out at a higher rate the whites.
In addition to blacks turning out at a higher rate, the number of Asian and Hispanic voters grew from 2008 to 2012. Hispanics added 1.4 million people and Asians added over 500,000. Between 1996 and 2012, blacks, Asians and Hispanics all saw their percentage of the voting population increase.FULL STORY
By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN
(CNN) - Gustavo Arellano is not politically correct in his "Ask a Mexican" column. He calls Cinco de Mayo "Gringo de Mayo" and regularly plays on stereotypes Americans have of Mexicans.
But he answers readers' questions with enough gusto and satiric flare that many might forget they are being educated on Mexican customs, immigration and labor issues. What began as a spoof in 2004, is now one of OC Weekly’s most popular columns, appearing in 39 cities across the U.S., with a weekly circulation of over 2 million.
In addition, Arellano is now regarded as “perhaps the greatest (and only) living scholar of Mexican-American fast-food." He shares that knowledge in his new book, "Taco USA:How Mexican Food Conquered America." It tells the story of how Mexican food transformed the way Americans eat as it has entered popular culture, unlike any other "ethnic" food.
Gustavo Arellano spoke to CNN about Mexican food in the United States, what Mexican dish he hopes Americans co-opt next, and why he thinks celebrating Cinco de Mayo is silly. FULL POST
By Sheena McKenzie, CNN
(CNN) - History is against Kevin Krigger. A black jockey hasn't won America's most prestigious race - the Kentucky Derby - for over a century.
But in Krigger's mind, history has already been rewritten - we just don't know it yet.
"I know I'm going to win. Why? Because I'm riding Goldencents," he told CNN in his lilting Caribbean accent. "I couldn't be this confident on any other horse."
The bookmakers appear equally assured, placing Krigger as the second favorite to win the $2 million "Run for the Roses" - so called for its iconic blanket of ruby-coloured flowers draped over the winner.
Kentucky is the first race of the U.S. Triple Crown series - followed by the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
But for many, the Derby - run on Churchill Downs' historic dirt track - is also a fabulous festivity, capturing the public's imagination in a way few horse races can.
If Krigger's prediction is right, he'll be the first black jockey to win the premier race since Jimmy Winkfield took the trophy back-to-back in 1901 and 1902.
Today, look out across any U.S. race track and you'll likely see an ocean of white - and increasingly Latin American - jockeys at the helm.
But turn back the clock 150 years and African Americans ruled the field - when the Kentucky Derby first launched in 1875, 13 of the 15 jockeys were black.
Much like the NBA today, black athletes dominated horse racing for the next three decades, winning 15 of the first 28 Derbies.FULL STORY
By Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN
Wilcox County, Georgia (CNN) - It's a springtime tradition in this stretch of the magnolia midlands for crowds to gather at high school students' proms. They'll cheer for teens in tuxedos and gowns while an announcer reads what the students will do once they leave this pecan grove skyline.
Earlier this month, Wilcox County High School senior Mareshia Rucker rode to a historic theater in the nearby town of Fitzgerald to see her own classmates' prom celebration. She never left the car, even to catch up with her friends. She'd recently helped to invite the critical gaze of the world to her county; few would be happy to see her there, she said. Besides, she's black and wasn't invited to this prom reserved for white students anyway.
For as long as most remember, Wilcox County High School hasn't sponsored a prom for its 400 students. Instead, parents and their children organize their own private, off-site parties, known casually as white prom and black prom - a vestige of racial segregation that still lives on.FULL STORY
Editor's note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is a political comedian and frequent commentator on various TV networks including CNN. He is the co-director of the upcoming documentary "The Muslims Are Coming!" and co-host of a new CNN podcast "The Big Three" that looks at the top three stories of the week. Follow him on Twitter @deanofcomedy.
By Dean Obeidallah, Special to CNN
(CNN) - I'm an American-Muslim and I despise Islamic terrorists. In fact, despise is not even a strong enough word to convey my true feelings about those who kill innocent people in the name of Islam. I hate them with every fiber of my being.
I'm not going to tell you, "Islam is a religion of peace." Nor will I tell you that Islam is a religion of violence. What I will say is that Islam is a religion that, like Christianity and Judaism, is intended to bring you closer to God. And sadly we have seen people use the name of each of these Abrahamic faiths to wage and justify violence.
The unique problem for Muslims is that our faith is being increasingly defined by the actions of a tiny group of morally bankrupt terrorists. Just to be clear: The people who commit violence in the name of Islam are not Muslims, they are murderers. Their true religion is hatred and inhumanity.
The only people terrorists speak for are themselves and the others involved in their despicable plot. They do not represent me, my family or any other Muslim I know. And believe me, I know a lot of Muslims.FULL STORY
By Tami Luhby, @CNNMoney
(CNNMoney) - The net worth of American households grew by $5 trillion in the first two years of the economic recovery, but not everyone shared in the riches.
The top 7% of American families saw their wealth grow to $25.4 trillion in 2011, up from $19.8 trillion two years earlier. The remaining 93% of Americans experienced a decline in net worth to $14.8 trillion, down from $15.4 trillion, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.FULL STORY
By Alan Silverleib, CNN Congressional Producer
Washington (CNN) - Partisan tempers flared at a Senate immigration hearing on Monday as top Democrats accused opponents of comprehensive reform legislation of using last week's Boston Marathon bombings to slow or even derail the bill.
"Last week, opponents of comprehensive immigration reform began to exploit the Boston marathon bombing," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.
"I urge restraint in that regard. ... Let no one be so cruel as to try to use the heinous attacks of these two young men last week to derail the dreams and futures of millions of hard-working people," Leahy added.
He said the bill crafted by the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" would "serve to strengthen our national security by allowing us to focus our border security and enforcement efforts against those who would do us harm."
"A nation as strong as ours can welcome the oppressed and persecuted without making compromises in our security," he said. "We are capable of vigilance in our pursuit of these values, and we have seen the tremendous work that the local law enforcement as well as the federal law enforcement have done in the Boston area, and I am so proud of them."FULL STORY
By Katia Hetter, CNN
(CNN) - The Boy Scouts of America would no longer deny membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation, but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders under a proposal it is considering, the group said Friday.
The organization's executive committee made the proposal, which is expected to be presented to the Boy Scouts' voting members in May. If the policy is approved, it would take effect starting January 1.
"If approved, the resolution would mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," Boy Scouts public relations director Deron Smith said.
The Boys Scouts have been considering a change in the longstanding policy against allowing openly gay members. In February, the Boy Scouts' national executive board postponed a vote on lifting its outright ban on openly gay Scouts and troop leaders and ordered a survey of its members on the issue.FULL STORY