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May 14th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

Italian soccer match stopped due to racist abuse of Milan's Balotelli

(CNN) - A leading Italian soccer coach has called for stronger action against racism after a top-level match between AC Milan and Roma was suspended Sunday due to abusive chants by supporters.

Milan striker Mario Balotelli was targeted by visiting fans throughout the match, and referee Gianluca Rocchi called the game to a halt in the second half to warn the crowd via the public address system.

After several minutes' delay, the match continued and ended in a 0-0 draw.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri later said the official's decision was not strong enough.

"In my opinion, there's only one solution to racism in stadium and that's suspend the match," Allegri said on Milan's website.

"To get rid of this stuff in our stadiums, you have to make big decisions. It could penalize some people but in the long run it would help us to grow as a nation and become more civilized."

Read: Italy's proud racists

He told reporters at the post-match conference: "There's no point in interrupting the game. It's a middle ground decision and it serves no purpose. Either the game should be suspended or you keep playing.

"Mario gave all he had this evening, but he's 22 years old and always subject to these racist boos and that's not good. People go to the stadium to watch the two teams but there's always these uncivilized people."

Roma was fined €50,000 ($65,000) by the Italian league on Monday, its fans having been accused of abusing three Milan players - though none were named in the Lega Calcio's notification of the punishment.

The club issued a statement saying it "condemns any form of racial abuse."

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Filed under: History • How we live • Race • Where we live
May 13th, 2013
01:59 PM ET

Parents believe missing daughter alive

(CNN) - Phoenix Coldon's parents discuss how adult missing persons are treated by police. They believe their daughter is alive.

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Filed under: Age • History • How we live
Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney
Traditional sugar calaveritas, or little skulls, are displayed in Mexico City on October 31 ahead of the Day of the Dead.
May 11th, 2013
09:10 AM ET

Day of the Dead trademark request draws backlash for Disney

By Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN

Read this article in Spanish on CNNMexico.com.

(CNN) - Is it possible to trademark the name of a holiday? The Walt Disney Company was interested in doing so.

On May 1, the entertainment giant filed an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure the phrase "Día de los Muertos," or "Day of the Dead," across multiple platforms. Disney subsidiary Pixar is releasing a film - for time being called "The Untitled Pixar Movie About Dia de los Muertos" - this fall.

Here's the problem - Día de los Muertos is a traditional holiday celebrated on November 1 and 2 in Mexico and across Latin America. People honor the lives of lost family members or friends by building altars, holding processions, decorating gravesites and placing offerings for loved ones. Over the years, the holiday has gained a foothold in the United States, too.

Disney hoped to secure the rights to the title "Day of the Dead" and such themed merchandise as fruit preserves, fruit-based snacks, toys, games, clothing, footwear, backpacks, clocks and jewelry.

But the Latino community raised a ruckus about the application on social media.

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Washington Redskins' Owner: "We will never change the name of the team"
May 10th, 2013
02:19 PM ET

Washington Redskins' Owner: "We will never change the name of the team"

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
Senate panel starts amending immigration bill
Senate panel starts amending immigration bill Supporters for immigration reform from the group Campaign for Citizenship say a prayer prior to the start of the reform bill's markup before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
May 9th, 2013
05:38 PM ET

Senate panel starts amending immigration bill

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.

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Blacks outvoted whites in 2012, the first time on record
Residents of the historically African-American neighborhood of Harlem wait in line to vote on Election Day.
May 9th, 2013
08:30 AM ET

Blacks outvoted whites in 2012, the first time on record

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.

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'Ask A Mexican' columnist: Cinco de Mayo is "pointless"
May 5th, 2013
06:00 AM ET

'Ask A Mexican' columnist: Cinco de Mayo is "pointless"

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

'History has already been written' for Kentucky Derby's black jockey
Kevin Krigger, a 29-year-old from the Virgin Islands, is the first black rider to compete since Marlon St. Julien in 2000.
May 4th, 2013
09:00 AM ET

'History has already been written' for Kentucky Derby's black jockey

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.

History repeats?

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.

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April 30th, 2013
01:32 PM ET

Segregated prom tradition yields to unity

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
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April 25th, 2013
02:18 PM ET

Opinion: I'm Muslim, and I hate terrorism

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.

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