November 30th, 2011
03:12 PM ET

Opinion: Maria Cardona: Latinos don't have to pick one political identity

Editor's note: Maria Cardona is a Democratic strategist, a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a former senior adviser to Hillary Clinton and former communications director for the Democratic National Committee.

By Maria Cardona, CNN Contributor

(CNN) - Last week’s Republican debate brought some interesting surprises. As a Latina Democrat, the biggest one I saw was Newt Gingrich’s defense of a legalization program for undocumented immigrants who have roots in the community and pose no threat to society.

Herman Cain has “joked” about an electrified fence on the border. Michele Bachmann can’t stop talking about her outrage at “anchor babies.” Mitt Romney, in an effort to make himself look like an immigration hardliner, has disavowed any past stances that would make him look soft on the issue. Most of the GOP candidates have gone to “kiss the ring” of Arizona’s Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio - arguably the most anti-immigrant law enforcement officer in the nation. So Gingrich’s new found “compassion” stands in stark contrast to the rest of the GOP field, who have tripped over each other to show who is most right-wing on immigration.

But how will all this play out for Latinos in 2012? Is the community divided?  Will they stay home in 2012?  Will they still support this president or will Gingrich create a new opening for the GOP with Latinos?


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Filed under: Latino in America • Politics • What we think
Census: More elderly than ever before in U.S.
New Census data says there were 90 men ages 65 and older for every 100 women -- an increase since 2000.
November 30th, 2011
02:26 PM ET

Census: More elderly than ever before in U.S.

By Sally Holland, CNN

Washington (CNN) - The Census Bureau released data Wednesday that shows there are more people 65 and older than ever before in the United States.

According to the 2010 numbers, there are 40.3 million people age 65 and older, an increase of over 5 million since the 2000 Census. The older population grew at a faster rate than the population as a whole.

But the best news might be for older males.

"Males show more rapid growth in the older population than females over the decade," said Carrie Werner, a statistician at the Census Bureau. "While females continue to outnumber males in the older ages, males continued to close the gap over the decade by increasing at a faster rate than females."


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Filed under: Age • Who we are
November 30th, 2011
11:40 AM ET

Black community hit hard by AIDS

Editor's note: This week, CNN Health's team is taking a close look at the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Southeast with a series leading up to World AIDS Day on December 1. Learn more about the problem and our upcoming stories.

"I have a disease, but the disease doesn't have me," says Del'Rosa Winston, who was diagnosed with HIV more than 20 years ago.

Since she found out she was HIV positive, Winston has become an HIV prevention specialist who aims at raising awareness and educating black women about the disease.

The numbers are still high: The rate among black people is eight times higher than the white community.

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Filed under: Black in America • Health • How we live
November 30th, 2011
11:14 AM ET

Poll: Should English be the United States' official language?

Former House Speaker and 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich recently shared what he called a “humane” immigration policy; some conservatives call it a step toward amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Gingrich recently laid out more details including stronger border control, a guest worker program, knowing American history as a requirement for citizenship, improving the legal visa system and making deportations easier.

And another thing: He wants to "establish English as the official language of government." What do you think? FULL POST

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Filed under: Ethnicity • How we live • Immigration • Latino in America • Politics
November 30th, 2011
10:09 AM ET

Engage: FAMU drum major's parents speak out; cable company discrimination alleged

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

Parents of Robert Champion, Florida A&M student who died, speak out against hazing– National Public Radio

Lawsuit against Comcast alleges company discriminated against African-Americans - The Chicago Tribune

More than half of new households owned by Latinos - Housing Wire

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Filed under: Engage
Opinion: Why diversity matters in a restaurant kitchen
Bill Smith wrote about the importance of diversity in a kitchen for CNN's Eatocracy blog.
November 30th, 2011
06:00 AM ET

Opinion: Why diversity matters in a restaurant kitchen

Bill Smith has been the chef at Crook's Corner, a restaurant in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, for nearly two decades.  In 2011, Crook's Corner was honored with The James Beard Foundation's America's Classic Award – a distinction for locally owned restaurants "beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community," according to the Foundation.

In addition to his cookbook "Seasoned in the South," Smith often writes on the topic of immigrants in the professional kitchen – including recipes inspired by staff and his own travel journals from Mexico.

"In a restaurant kitchen, chances are good that your dishwasher won’t speak English as a first language. There are lots of reasons for this," Smith says.

"For starts, you can wash dishes in any language so a lack of English needn’t be a hindrance to the new arrival. I’ve been a chef for over 20 years. Here are five things to be said in favor of continuing this custom, offered in a time when people are being very snippy about these very nice people."

Read Bill Smith's commentary (and sweet potato tamale recipe)