By Rafael Romo, Senior Latin American Affairs Editor
(CNN) - Joaquin Luna was only 18. The senior at Juarez Lincoln High School in Mission, Texas, dreamed of going to college. But since he was in the country illegally, that was nearly impossible.
Luna was quickly losing hope of ever going to college, his family says. The Friday after Thanksgiving, Luna put on a suit, kissed his family members, went into the bathroom and shot himself in the head, according to family members.
"He didn't see no other way or no other option," his brother Diyra Mendoza told CNN affiliate KGBT.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported, untold stories from undercovered communities.
Tyler Perry to youth in Penn State scandal: 'I am your brother!'
Tyler Perry, who has spoken publicly of being molested as a child, writes an open letter to the young boy whose allegations spurred the 2008 criminal investigation of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky: "I must tell you, what you have done is so courageous. The strength that it must have taken for your 11-year-old voice to speak out about such a horrible act is something that I didn’t have the strength or courage to do at that age." - Newsweek/The Daily Beast
Study: The high price of low social status
Does one's perceived social status impact how much one will pay for a product? Stanford researcher Daisy Grewal writes about a recent set of studies that investigate how one's perceived social status, the more some are willing pay for services, products and healthcare. - Scientific American FULL POST
By Gil DeLaRosa, CNN
(CNN) - Members of the all-girl, Mexican-American rock band Girl in a Coma are unabashed about their tattooed look and hard-edged sound. But they're also childhood friends who grew up in San Antonio, listening to a mix of Tex-Mex, Tejano - and punk.
With their fourth album, "Exits & All the Rest," released this month on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records, they're trying to prove that rock can come from anywhere, and in many forms.
"We're females. We're trying to prove to everybody that, you know, we can rock, too," bassist Jennifer Alva said. "We're Latinas, we're representing our culture. Two-thirds gay. We have a lot on our plate. We're trying to do a good job of representing all three." FULL POST
Editor's Note: Khurram Dara is the author of "The Crescent Directive: An essay on improving the image of Islam in America," coming this winter (Tensile). He tweets @KhurramDara.
By Khurram Dara, Special to CNN
For the last decade, Islam has been under a lot of scrutiny, and understandably so. When you’ve got terrorists all over the world declaring war on America and the West in the name of Islam, it’s only natural that people will have questions.
But this reasonable concern has rapidly turned into irrational suspicion, with anti-Muslim groups seizing on the opportunity to paint all Muslims in America as radical-loving, violence-approving foreigners.
The problem is that the response from American Muslims has been about as effective as Herman Cain’s PR strategy in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Instead of pooling our resources to combat radicalism, or taking a more active role in our communities so that other Americans better understand us, we’ve resorted to defense tactics.