April 24th, 2012
02:01 PM ET

'Awkward Black Girl' creator Issa Rae responds to racism

By Sarah Springer and Sarah Edwards, CNN

(CNN) –After “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl," won the Shorty Award for best webshow last month, creator Issa Rae saw racist comments and the N-word lobbed at her via social media.  The show hadn't won the popular vote, but the judges selected it to win; some commenters said media attention around the death of Trayvon Martin was at the root of the win.

“The backlash was pretty intense,” Rae said about the comments made by fellow competitors. “I’m glad they didn’t win, they didn’t deserve to, by any means."

Although negative comments are nothing new for the 27-year-old actress, Rae said, what others had to say never bothered her until now, especially with the recent social media furor over some of “The Hunger Games” characters being black.

“Everything is so clear right now, after ‘The Hunger Games,’ I started taking it more seriously," she said. "In a sense that’s what they wanted, for me to be all beat up by it, but I refuse.”

Knowing this issue was much bigger than her alone; Rae said she was compelled to say something about it. So, a few of weeks ago she took her thoughts to xojane.com where she wrote about the influx of racism floating around the webisphere.

“Users hide comfortably behind their computer screens and type the most obnoxiously offensive things they can think of and thirstily WAIT for an angry response; a validation of their modest efforts," she wrote.


Opinion: What if justices let states make immigration policy?
This week the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's immigration law.
April 24th, 2012
01:06 PM ET

Opinion: What if justices let states make immigration policy?

Editor's note: Tamar Jacoby, a fellow at the New America Foundation, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners in favor of immigration reform.

By Tamar Jacoby, Special to CNN

(CNN) - As recently as six years ago, it was conventional wisdom among lawyers, legislators and policy advocates that the states had no role in setting immigration policy. Since then, there has been a federalist revolution of historic proportions.

One-third of the states now mandate that some employers enroll in the federal employment verification program, E-Verify. Seven states require it of all but the smallest employers. Five have enacted policing laws similar to Arizona's SB 1070 that allow local police to inquire about the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons who they suspect are in the country illegally.

No wonder the Supreme Court is weighing in, hearing arguments this week on the Justice Department's challenge to SB 1070. Refereeing turf battles between Washington and the states is one of the court's first responsibilities.

Read Tamar Jacoby's full column 

Engage: Politicians planning around Supreme Court Arizona immigration debate
Activists protested the Arizona immigration law being debated in the Supreme Court this week.
April 24th, 2012
11:38 AM ET

Engage: Politicians planning around Supreme Court Arizona immigration debate

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

If upheld, Democrats to force vote on Arizona immigration law - Washington Post

Mariah Watchman wants to be the first Native American supermodel - Indian Country Today

Opinion: Koreatown newspaper editor reflects on aftermath of L.A. riots  - KoreAm

High school soccer team wears hijab to support teammate - South Florida Sun-Sentintel

Investigation: Are U.S. border agents using excessive force? - PBS Need to Know

Josh Hutcherson, Chaz Bono win at GLAAD awards - Los Angeles Times

Opinion: The truth about Arizona's immigration law
Visitors wait to enter the U.S. in Nogales, Arizona. Thousands of Mexicans have work permits and commute daily.
April 24th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Opinion: The truth about Arizona's immigration law

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group.

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor

San Diego (CNN) - With the Supreme Court poised this week to hear arguments in the legal challenge to Arizona's immigration law, it's a good time to explain what this law and the ruckus surrounding it are really about.

The left says it's about racism and political extremism; the right claims the issues are border security and public safety.

Wrong. In the two years since Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, it's become clear that this law, and the debate over it, are really about three things: fear, power and freedom.

Read Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s full column