Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN.com contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist.
By Ruben Navarrette Jr. , CNN Contributor
San Diego (CNN) - In Texas, where voters will go to the polls on Tuesday, politics can be brutal.
Case in point: the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. It's rough and dirty and personal. And, whether it ends Tuesday or continues on to a run-off on July 28, it could blow up all the bridges that Republicans in Texas built over the years to Hispanic voters.
This is because, in the 11th hour, the primary went down a muddy road. That is, if you think that accusing a candidate with a Spanish surname of favoring "amnesty" for illegal immigrants - with no evidence to back it up - is hitting below the belt because it raises questions about divided loyalties and feeds into the perception that all Hispanics favor open borders and unlimited immigration.
No kidding. There are those Americans who are convinced that Hispanics are working behind lines to help Mexico reclaim the Southwest in an elaborate "reconquista."
Editor’s note: As President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney court the Latino community’s vote, CNN takes an In Depth look at this complex and diverse community, what matters most to Latino voters, and how their vote will influence the November elections.
by Alicia W. Stewart, CNN
But here is what's new to know about the impact of Latino voters: It will be felt in places one might not expect.
"Moving beyond the Southwest and Florida, Latino voters can also influence the election results in 'nontraditional' states like North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, " said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, a polling firm. "Those states have had substantial growth in the Latino population and among voters, based on our analysis of census data and statewide voter rolls."
Florida-based political analyst Charles Garcia noted earlier this year that in North Carolina, the number of registered Hispanic voters has almost doubled to more than 130,000 since the last presidential election.
"President Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by 14,000 votes," Garcia said. "In 2008 there were 68,000 registered Latino voters, and a whopping 84% of them participated in the election."
Polling experts say this shift will affect the 2012 election.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
Columnist: Why military women are fighting for right to die in combat -The Washington Post
Profile: Lieutenant Colonel Olga Custodio, first Latina military pilot; commercial airline pilot - Fox News Latino
In effort to curb bullying, an Oxnard, California school district bans racial epithet used to belittle those from Mexico indigenous community - The Los Angeles Times
Opinion: Priscilla Chan, Mark Zuckerberg's wife, is 'dream' of 'Tiger Moms' everywhere– Buzzfeed
Black, gay Christians find home in Harlem church -The New York Times
Editor’s note: CNN.com writer Moni Basu is author of “Chaplain Turner's War,” published by Agate Digital.
By Moni Basu, CNN
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) – Darren Turner insisted on going to war, even though the Army usually reserves desk jobs at home for new chaplains like him.
Turner was young and green, enthusiastic about taking God to the battlefield. The Army captain had learned that people in pain are often wide-open to inviting God into their lives.
Jesus always ran to crises. Turner was going to do the same.
He’d enrolled in seminary in 2004 at Regent University in Virginia, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. And early in his spiritual journey, he was inspired by Christian writer John Eldredge, who suggests that American men have abandoned the stuff of heroic dreams, aided by a Christianity that tells them to be "nice guys."
God, says Eldredge, designed men to be daring, even dangerous.
By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - Barbara Graves, who helped her husband launch Black Enterprise magazine in 1970, died Friday after a three-year battle with gall bladder cancer, the company said.
Graves, 75, died at Howard University Hospital in Washington, D.C.
Graves was an elementary school teacher before helping her husband, Earl G. Graves Sr., launch the magazine. She "held every major position, including editorial director, circulation director and chief financial officer."
The businesswoman also was co-founder of the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, which describes itself as "a professional leadership conference designed especially for executive women of color," and is a known as a major networking event.
By Sarah Springer, CNN
(CNN) - Olivia Pope is smart, runs a successful business and is the center of attention when she enters a room.
She’s the kind of woman who magazines say every woman can be, and the type that others love to hate.
There’s just one thing: She is also black.
After a successful first season, viewers know that Pope, the lead character on ABC’s “Scandal,” is African-American.
But they might not realize the significance of her race. FULL POST
Editor's note: In the Security Clearance "Case File" series, CNN national security producers profile key members of the intelligence community. As part of the series, Security Clearance is focusing on the roles women play in the U.S. intelligence community.
By Pam Benson, CNN
(CNN) - You don't really expect to simply fall into the spy business, but for Jeanne Tisinger, that's pretty much how it happened.
She was a business major at George Mason University, looking for some experience in her field while continuing her studies. She joined the college's work-study program and, much to her amazement, her first interview was with the Central Intelligence Agency.
"I was surprised they were even hiring co-op students," she says. "Why would they want a college kid to come into their version of campus? I wasn't sure what they were going to do with me. Then there was, of course, a part of me that was. wow, the mystique of the CIA – what better place to start. It was just kind of a bit of a wide-eyed wonder."
That was nearly three decades ago.
"I'm the classic story of sometimes it's better to be lucky than good," Tisinger says.
She's still with the agency, rising through the ranks to become the CIA's first female chief information officer nearly two years ago. Her job is to oversee the CIA's vital information technology systems and coordinate information-sharing.
Editor's note: Pedro Noguera is a professor at New York University and director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education. He is editor of "Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation's Schools" and author of "The Trouble With Black Boys ... And Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education."
By Pedro Noguera, Special to CNN
(CNN) - For the past 25 years I have been working as an educator, researcher and policy advocate.
I am also the parent of four children who have attended public schools.
In each of these roles I have tried to improve public education and advance the educational rights of children, particularly those who have historically been poorly served.
Given my background, I was pleasantly surprised by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's recent assertion that education was "the civil rights issue of our time".
Romney is only the most recent politician to connect changes in education to civil rights. Similar remarks have been made by President Obama as well.
Typically, the politicians who make such declarations link it to a call for reform.
Romney has chosen to connect his declaration to the issue of choice and vouchers.
The question is: Why does Romney believe that simply by promoting school choice the problems that plague public education in America will go away?
Perhaps Romney is not aware that choice and voucher systems have actually been around for a while, and in the cities that have adopted these policies, the challenges confronting American education have not gone away. FULL POST
By Paul Gittings, for CNN
(CNN) - A century after her childhood inspiration Jim Thorpe won two gold medals at the Stockholm Olympics, synchronized swimmer Mary Killman will be competing in her first Games in London this year.
Like the legendary athlete, Killman comes from a part Native American background in Oklahoma, and is a registered member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN).
Thorpe, who grew up in the Sac and Fox Nation, was spoken of in hushed tones by her elders.
"I'm very proud of my background," Killman told CNN. Her tribe are proud of her as well, regularly highlighting her achievements in their publications.