CNN's Soledad O'Brien leads a special town hall event about the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin – that has sparked a national dialogue on race, justice and America. Tune in tonight at 8pmET on CNN – and follow the live blog below. We'll include your comments from social media, as well quotes from the show:
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Editor’s Note: Roberto Rodriguez is an assistant professor in the Mexican-American studies department at the University of Arizona. He blogs at drcintli.blogspot.com.
CNN's Thelma Gutierrez reported on this story for In America. Her report is here.
By Roberto Rodriguez, Special to CNN
(CNN) - Look at the image above. For people who live outside of Tucson, Arizona, it evokes shock and even horror. For most of us here, it was but another day in Arizona.
On March 13, the day I took this photo, students from Tucson High School showed up to the Tucson Unified School District board meeting, to once again air their support for the now dismantled Mexican-American studies department.
Bleeding hands of a 17-year-old student injured at the protest on May 3, 2011.
On May 3, 2011, I witnessed dozens of riot-equipped law enforcement officers treat Mexican-American studies supporters inside and outside of Tucson Unified School District headquarters as though they were potential terrorists. To get into the meeting, everyone had to pass through metal detectors. That evening, seven women, including two senior citizens, were arrested for attempting to speak before the school board.
Editor's Note: Saturday marks the 17th anniversary of the murder of the Latino superstar remembered the world over by one name: Selena. When she was shot and killed by her fan club president, the headlines spoke of a 23-year-old Mexican singer who was about to "cross-over" to American pop super stardom. The truth was, however, the woman considered the "Queen of Tejano Music," and her husband, Chris Perez, were American kids raised in Texas, speaking English - not Spanish.
“Mexico was the logical place to begin our international publicity blitz. We already had a fan base there, and we could easily drive to the shows from Texas. Of course, none of us fully realized just how nerve- racking it would be to go from playing relatively small venues in the U.S. to playing large amphitheaters and doing interviews in Spanish in Mexico. We were scheduled to play in Monterrey during our first trip, and there was mad press all day. We went from one interview to the next: radio, television, magazine journalists, you name it. Before the trip, Rick had helped me practice saying my name and what instrument I played.
I kept repeating this phrase to myself like a mantra: “Mi nombre es Chris Perez y toco la guitarra. Mi nombre es Chris Perez y toco la guitarra.” I knew how absurd the Mexican journalists would think it was if we sang in Spanish but couldn’t even manage to speak in basic textbook phrases. I was determined not to embarrass the band— or myself.
Julian Bond, former chairman for the NAACP, said gay and lesbian rights are an extension of the civil rights movement, and civil rights should belong to all Americans. He said he knows his point of view isn't popular among all African-Americans, some of whom are offended when gay rights are compared to the civil rights movement.
“They’ve adopted our songs, we ought to be happy," he said. "They’ve adopted our slogans, we ought to be happy and they’ve adopted the way in which we’ve gone about it in a non-violent way, we ought to be proud of that.”
Bond has received criticism in the past for being vocal about his support for gay and lesbian rights, but said he was eager to play whatever part he could.
"If these people are helping me, can I help them, should I help them?” he said.
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By Stephanie Goldberg, CNN
(CNN) - In "The Hunger Games," wealthy Capitol citizens of all races and ethnicities come together to watch the 74th annual bloodbath of the same name. It seems some present-day moviegoers, however, are a bit less "post-racial."
Earlier this week, some "Hunger Games" fans tweeted their discontent because the characters of Cinna, Thresh and Rue are played by black actors in the big screen adaptation. This, despite the fact that both Thresh (Dayo Okeniyi) and Rue (Amandla Stenberg) are described as having "dark skin" in Suzanne Collins' novel, while Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) is simply described as having short brown hair.
Whether fans' remarks - such as, "Awkward moment when Rue is some black girl and not the little innocent blonde girl you picture" - stem from poor reading comprehension or intolerance, they're indicative of a larger issue in Hollywood, said Harry M. Benshoff, an associate professor of radio, TV and film at the University of North Texas who co-wrote "America on Film: Representing Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at the Movies."
"Hollywood has never been on the forefront of the civil rights movement," said Benshoff, who hasn't read or watched "The Hunger Games."