November 22nd, 2011
06:31 PM ET

Rareview: Race matters at Occupy Atlanta

When Kung Li learned that civil rights activist and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, a Democrat from Atlanta, was denied the chance to speak at an Occupy Atlanta general assembly meeting last month, the former director of the Southern Center for Human Rights decided to respond. In her open letter to Occupy Atlanta, which was later published as an essay on Colorlines.com, Li explains why you can’t talk about the economy without talking about race.

In cities around the country, the Occupy movement is continuing.

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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Race • Rareviews
Life without electricity in central New Mexico
Photographer Peter DiCampo photographed residents in Pajarito Mesa, New Mexico, where their settlement lacks basic services.
November 22nd, 2011
02:24 PM ET

Life without electricity in central New Mexico

Nights are extra-dark in one settlement outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Several hundred people live there, but the brightest lights are several miles away, or come from a full moon.

Most of the people in New Mexico's Pajarito Mesa have low incomes, but they jumped at the chance to own their own land, even if it came without some of the things you’d find in a modern subdivision. Because the land they bought wasn’t zoned for housing, they live without many of the trappings of municipal life, like roads, hookups to water and sewer service or access to the power grid.

Instead, many scrape by with improvised solutions: propane stoves, generators, flashlights, ice coolers, candlelight, and, for a few that can afford it, solar panels or homemade wind turbines. The city of Albuquerque recently installed a water pump in the community, but residents still must fill tanks or buckets and then haul them to their homes. FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Ethnicity • How we live • Latino in America • Social justice • Technology
Engage: 'White House shooter' back story; baby boomer communes; Romeo Santos
Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez's back story plays differently in Spanish language media.
November 22nd, 2011
12:34 PM ET

Engage: 'White House shooter' back story; baby boomer communes; Romeo Santos

Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.

Story of White House shooter changes depending on media source
Oregon Public Broadcasting notes the difference in coverage of Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who is charged with an attempt to assassinate the president. “Most English-language headlines call him an Idaho man. Most Spanish-language headlines give Ortega's Hispanic heritage top billing.” - Oregon Public Broadcasting

Is the Republican Party becoming the 'White Party?'
Author and Columbia journalism professor Tom Edsall explores how the “Republican white strategy” worked in the midterm elections, despite warnings from conservative leaders that it will impact the next election: “Regardless of the ultimate success of the Republican strategy, these trends guarantee that race and ethnicity will be dominant themes underlying the 2012 election, infusing the debate over deficits, taxes and government spending." - The New York Times

Some Baby Boomers return to communes for retirement
"A growing number of Baby Boomers who are choosing to retire to intentional communities, an umbrella term for living situations organized around a common value structure or vision.” - The Atlantic


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Filed under: Engage
November 22nd, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Opinion: Chaz Bono: 'Stop focusing on the ways we're all different'

Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, an author, a recent "Dancing with the Stars" cast member and the only child of entertainers Sonny and Cher. On November 27, "Being Chaz," a documentary follow-up to the Emmy-nominated "Becoming Chaz," will debut on The Oprah Winfrey Network. It follows his life after transitioning from female to male.

He's in the public eye now, but grew up in the limelight of a very different America - ethnically, racially, socially. When CNN Entertainment asked Bono to discuss his view of today’s America, he said the country has progressed, but is more divided than he ever thought it could be.


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Filed under: Gender • How we look • Pop culture • What we think
Santana on "Glee"
November 22nd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Opinion: What not to love about Latinas on TV

Editor’s note: Melissa Castillo-Garsow is a Mexican-American writer pursuing a doctorate in American studies at Yale University. Her writing has appeared in The Acentos Review, Hispanic Culture Review and other journals.

By Melissa Castillo-Garsow, Special to CNN

With Eva Longoria’s stint as Gabrielle Solis on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” in its final season, it may seem like there will soon be a gaping hole for Latina representation on primetime TV. Not to worry - “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry is now producing a show called “Devious Maids," the story of four Latina housekeepers in Beverly Hills.

Thanks, Cherry. Your follow-up to Gabrielle Solis - an adulterous, shallow woman who uses her appearance and sex appeal to get what she wants - is of course, the biggest Latina stereotype of all: maids. It makes me feel like we’re moving backward.