Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Posts of the week: Race and Linsanity, finding 'Love, InshAllah,' carwasheros, a forgotten mass deportation, driver's licenses, more

The New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, February 10, 2012
The New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers, February 10, 2012 Photo by DvYang/Flickr (Creative Commons)

It's been a week during which the racially-charged media coverage of Linsanity has exploded, and the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department has ruffled feathers by saying that undocumented immigrants should have driver's licenses.

Plus the Oscars are this Sunday, and among the nominated films is one that resonates deeply with immigrant day laborers.

Without further ado, the posts of the week:

Monday

Jeremy Lin, professional sports, and those 'underlying racist tropes' In recent weeks, New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin has become the nation's first true Asian American basketball hero. But what is driving the racially charged language and graphics in the media coverage of his rapid rise to fame?

Tuesday

Seeking, losing and finding 'Love, InshAllah' A Q&A with one of the co-editors of the book “Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women,” an anthology of 25 personal stories told by American Muslim women of different ethnic backgrounds. Many are children of immigrants, navigating hybrid identities as they search for a sense of belonging in the United States.

The cultural mashup dictionary: Carwashero "Carwasheros" made some history in Los Angeles this week as the city became the first to have three unionized car washes. What is a carwashero? Someone who washes cars in an industry that is typically low-paid, often hazardous, and which in Southern California is dominated by Latin American immigrants.

Wednesday

Remembering a mostly forgotten mass 'repatriation' to Mexico The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors issued a formal apology this week for a deportation campaign that took place eight decades ago, some might say a bit too late. The federal campaign was called the "Mexican Repatriation," though it's believed that of the hundreds of Mexicans and Mexican Americans rounded up and sent south, more than half were U.S.-born.

Thursday

Driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants: A matter of public safety? Los Angeles Police Department chief Charlie Beck has made headlines in recent days after coming out in favor of driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, saying it would benefit public safety. Critics say licenses are a privileged that people who are here illegally shouldn't have. But is keeping these drivers unlicensed wise?

Friday

The real 'A Better Life': A day laborer's take on the Oscar-nominated film In the film "A Better Life," Oscar-nominated actor Demián Bichir portrays an undocumented Mexican immigrant who works as a gardener. Following a screening this week in Los Angeles before an audience of immigrant day laborers, one discusses how the film relates to his life, and gives it a reality check.

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