.
February 18th, 2013
08:16 AM ET

Lawsuit: Race-based request sidelined Michigan nurse

By Ben Brumfield, CNN

(CNN) - A nurse is suing a hospital, claiming it agreed to a man's request that no African-Americans care for his baby.

The lawsuit accuses managers at Hurley Medical Center in Flint of reassigning Tonya Battle, who has worked at the facility for 25 years, based on the color of her skin.

The man approached Battle, while she was caring for his child in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit, asking to speak to her supervisor, according to the complaint filed in January by Battle's attorney.

She pointed the charge nurse in his direction.

The man, who is not named in the filing, allegedly showed her a tattoo that may have been "a swastika of some kind" and told her that he didn't want African-Americans involved in his baby's care.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Black in America • Discrimination • How we look • Race • Relationships • Where we live
Opinion: Where are the female and minority farmers?
February 8th, 2013
12:06 PM ET

Opinion: Where are the female and minority farmers?

Editor's note: Diana Prichard lives and works at the intersection of the alternative food movement and the reality of modern agriculture and believes that a finer-tuned food future is possible without all the in-fighting. She operates a small, niche pork operation; running a few hundred hogs per year in the heart of Michigan's farm country. You can follow her story at RighteousBacon.comTwitter and Facebook.

By Diana Prichard, Special to CNN

(CNN) - I’ll never forget my first agriculture conference. I carefully selected the sessions I wanted to attend and made sure I arrived at the one and only panel dedicated to women in ag early. I picked a seat, pulled my favorite pen and a trusty notebook out of my bag and got ready for what I assumed would be an education-filled hour.

And I suppose, in hindsight, what followed was an education – just not in the way I’d expected.

I will never get back the sixty minutes of my life I spent in that room and all I have to show for it is the knowledge of how a couple dozen women met their husbands. Or, as they were lovingly referred to that day, “their farmers.” I suppose I could have shared a video of my own birth to shake things up a bit. That is, after all, when I met myself, but at the time all I could muster was stunned silence.

The sexism wasn’t new, of course. It was sitting in a room full of other women that I had wrongly assumed would understand it that caught me by surprise.

Read the full post on CNN's Eatocracy blog
January 29th, 2013
06:03 PM ET

'Now's the time' to move on immigration, Obama says

By Dan Lothian, Jessica Yellin and Tom Cohen, CNN

Las Vegas (CNN) - President Barack Obama threw his full support behind a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. immigration laws on Tuesday, saying "now's the time" to replace a system he called "out of date and badly broken."

Speaking at a majority Hispanic high school in Las Vegas, Obama said "a broad consensus is emerging" behind the issue across the country, with signs of progress in Congress.

However, he acknowledged a fierce debate ahead on an issue he described as emotional and challenging, but vital to economic growth and ensuring equal opportunity for all.

"At this moment, it looks like there's a genuine desire to get this done soon. And that's very encouraging," Obama said, later adding: "This time, action must follow. We can't allow immigration reform to get bogged down in an endless debate."

The president spoke a day after eight senators - four from each party - introduced a framework for overhauling the immigration system that would provide an eventual path to citizenship for most of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.

While touted as a breakthrough by its drafters, the plan was similar in many aspects to previous immigration reform efforts that have failed in recent years.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: History • How we look • Immigration • Politics • Who we are
Transgender teacher sues Catholic prep school for alleged discrimination
Cristina Guarino had a photo taken with Mark Krolikowski on her last day in 2008. Later, he grew his hair to shoulder-length.
January 11th, 2013
02:33 PM ET

Transgender teacher sues Catholic prep school for alleged discrimination

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) - Mark Krolikowski has shoulder-length brown hair. He likes to wear multiple earrings and French manicure his nails. Students call him Mr. K.

Krolikowski, 59, taught for 32 years at St. Francis Preparatory School, a 150-year-old Catholic institution in Queens, New York.

Until August. That's when the school laid him off.

He alleges that he was discriminated against because he is transgender and that the school's attitude toward him changed in the eight months after he came out.

He recently filed a lawsuit saying the school and its principal, Leonard Conway, broke the law with his termination and that as a result, Krolikowski has been distressed.

"Teaching - it's my life," Krolikowski said Friday. "I feel that has been taken away from me."

His lawyer Andrew Kimler said Krolikowski's case has "significant ramifications for the LGBT community and is a wakeup call to employers in terms of employment practices."

Conway would not comment but referred questions to his lawyer, Philip C. Semprevivo Jr.

Semprevivo said he could not discuss details of the case since it was in litigation but said Krolikowski was terminated legally.

"We deny all the allegations," he said. FULL POST

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Filed under: Discrimination • Diversity • Gender • How we look • Sexual orientation
Opinion: Latino should have played lead in 'Argo'
Ben Affleck plays the lead role of Tony Mendez in "Argo," which he also directed.
January 9th, 2013
06:33 PM ET

Opinion: Latino should have played lead in 'Argo'

Editor's note: Ruben Navarrette Jr. is a CNN contributor and a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Follow him on Twitter: @rubennavarrette.

By Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN Contributor

San Diego, California (CNN) - The upcoming Oscars are no stranger to causes or controversy. And this year, there is a strong dose of both surrounding the film "Argo" - and its star and director, Ben Affleck.

This controversy bubbled up when the buzz started that Affleck could get an Academy Award nomination for best director when the announcements are made Thursday.

"Argo" tells how an ingenious and daring CIA agent helped orchestrate the rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980. In November 1979, about 300 Islamic students stormed the U.S. Embassy and 66 Americans were taken hostage. But six U.S. diplomats escaped and were hidden at the Canadian Embassy by the Canadian ambassador and his wife.

The CIA agent - Antonio "Tony" Mendez, played by Affleck - successfully led the mission to evacuate the Americans, which involved Mendez and his associates posing as a Canadian film crew that was eager to make a movie in Iran.

The real Tony Mendez was awarded the Intelligence Star for Valor, and other honors, for leading the rescue. He later wrote a memoir, detailing the events in Tehran

Read Ruben Navarrette Jr's full column
Tavi Gevinson may take over the world while you read this
Tavi Gevinson's blog, Rookie, launched in Fall 2011 and broke 1 million page views in under a week.
January 3rd, 2013
09:30 AM ET

Tavi Gevinson may take over the world while you read this

By Abbey Goodman, CNN

(CNN) - Tavi Gevinson started a blog at age 11, became a front-row fixture at Fashion Week, was called "the future of journalism" by Lady Gaga, delivered a TED talk about feminism and female role models in pop culture, is the founder and editor-in-chief of Rookie,an online magazine for teenage girls and, to commemorate its first anniversary, just published 'Rookie Yearbook One,' a hard-copy scrapbook of the best pieces from the site.

And, oh yeah, she's 16 years old.

In five short years, the wunderkind from Oak Park, Illinois, has gone from self-proclaimed nerd to full-blown media mogul, using her platform to champion important teen girl causes ranging from How to Bitchface - a step-by-step primer to "reacting to varying levels of stupidity" (see her demonstrate on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon") to organizing a Get Well Soon card drive for Malala Yousafzai, the 14-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl activist who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen.

Rookie launched in Fall 2011 and broke 1 million page views in under a week. Since then, the site has explored monthly themes likeobsessiondramaplay and paradise. Right now, it's mythology. Or, as Gevinson explains in the editor's letter: "lies, exaggerations, legends, the works."

To kick off each theme, Gevinson creates a mood board using fashion photos, film stills and album art as inspiration. Then she and the site's 50 contributors - including fellow teens and more than a handful of celebrities - go about interpreting her vision through articles, interviews, photos, playlists and illustrations. To accommodate kids' schedules, Rookie updates three times a day: after school, around dinner and before bed.

Before she was named one of Huffington Post's most amazing young people of 2012, Gevinson spoke with CNN about the power of teenage girls, making angst romantic and the one secret Jon Hamm must never find out.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Age • Girls • How we look • Pop culture • Who we are
December 31st, 2012
09:45 AM ET

Meet the star of Key West's 'drag queen drop'

Watch Gary "Sushi" Marion in Key West, Florida, along with many other New Year's Eve celebrations on CNN with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, starting at 10 p.m. ET Monday.

By Kim Segal, CNN

Key West, Florida (CNN) - It started in 1996 as a crazy idea to ring in the new year, but police nearly shut it down.

"They said, 'We have an idea: Let's do a shoe drop. ... We made this shoe for you,'" recalled Gary "Sushi" Marion, the star of a weekly drag queen review in Key West. "'You've got to sit in it for New Year's Eve,' and I said 'OK,' and that is how it started."

So, on New Year's Eve, Marion took center stage inside a massive high-heeled red shoe made out of chicken wire, paper mache and plywood, dangling off the roof of the Bourbon Street Pub along Key West's main street.

Just like the spectacular ball in New York's Times Square, the shoe would be lowered with each final minute of the year until the clock struck midnight.

Crowds started to gather, attracting the attention of police, who tried to shut down the event because the pub owner didn't have a permit.

"(The police) came upstairs to the balcony and told me to get out of the shoe," Marion said. "The owner called the mayor and the mayor was like, 'Leave Sushi alone, close down the street'."
Today, Key West's annual "shoe drop" still stars Marion as Sushi - in a better-constructed shoe - and now attracts attention from around the world.

FULL STORY
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Report: Atlanta Braves may bring back 'screaming Indian' logo
The new logo for Braves batting practice caps, posted on ESPN's website, has been called offensive.
December 28th, 2012
05:33 PM ET

Report: Atlanta Braves may bring back 'screaming Indian' logo

By Moni Basu and Greg Botelho, CNN

Atlanta (CNN) - The Atlanta Braves are reportedly bringing back a controversial screaming Indian logo in their new design for batting practice caps, unveiled in a blog post on ESPN.

Writer Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, who broke the news of the new cap design, said he got a first look at the hat designs from an "industry source."

He gave a failing grade to the Braves logo featuring a Native American wearing a mohawk and a feather in his hair and belting out a tribal yell.

"Last year the Braves conspicuously avoided using their 'screaming Indian' logo as a sleeve patch on their retro alternate jersey - a welcome move for those of us who oppose the appropriation of Native American imagery in sports," Lukas wrote. "Unfortunately, it turns out that the logo hasn't been permanently mothballed. Disappointing. Grade: F."

Braves officials deferred comment to Major League Baseball, which told CNN that the new batting practice cap designs for several MLB clubs, including the Braves, were still in development and may never end up on the diamond.

"We will unveil the program when it is finalized," the MLB statement said. "We do not know where (ESPN) obtained the designs. We can not make them available to CNN because they are not finalized or approved." FULL POST

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Filed under: Ethnicity • History • How we look • Native Americans • Sports
December 26th, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Asian-Americans speak out against Google app they call offensive

By Sarah Edwards, CNN

(CNN) - The maker of a Google app thinks it's fun to make yourself look Asian by changing the shape of your eyes and wearing a Fu Manchu mustache and rice paddy hat.

Another app - "Make Me Indian" - makes you a Native American with brown skin, war paint and a feather headband.

“This is just a fun app (that) lets you indulge you and your friends," says the description of the "Make Me Asian" app created by user KimberyDeiss and available on Google Play.

"You can for a few seconds to make (yourself) a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asians," the description says.

Not amusing or cute, say Asian-American organizations that launched a petition to get Google to remove both apps. FULL POST


Filed under: Asian in America • Discrimination • Ethnicity • How we look • Native Americans • Race
Opinion: Female mass shooter can teach us about Adam Lanza
Laura L. Lovett says lessons from Brenda Spencer can help prevent another school mass shooting.
December 21st, 2012
12:37 PM ET

Opinion: Female mass shooter can teach us about Adam Lanza

Editor’s Note: Laura L. Lovett is an associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a founding co-editor of the Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth.

By Laura L. Lovett, Special to CNN

(CNN) - “I don’t like Mondays.” This was the answer given by one of America’s first contemporary mass school shooters, Brenda Spencer, when asked why she had fired 30 rounds with a semiautomatic rifle at a San Diego elementary schoolyard on January 29, 1979.

She killed the school’s principal and custodian and wounded nine schoolchildren, some as young as 8.

So unfathomable was the event at the time that this action even inspired a popular song.

But today, Spencer has been nearly lost to our collective memory.

Why is she not remembered? Perhaps because she is one of only two female school shooters that we know of. (In 1985, Heather Smith shot her ex-boyfriend and another boy at her high school before committing suicide.)

Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation?

Our biases about gender and violence predispose us to want to make Spencer the outlier.

While it is true that most school shooters have been male and that our cultural association of masculinity and violence may contribute to a shooter’s profile, this association also leads our society to de-emphasize what we might learn from women like Spencer.

And while all of these shootings have complex causes that cannot be reduced to gender alone, when we try to make sense of these tragedies by going back to history of school shootings, we need to do so with a clear eye in order to make meaningful comparisons.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Gender • How we look • What we think • Women
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