How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Growing up as a Korean-born African American

KoreAm magazine beat me this week to an interview I'd been looking forward to, and they did a great job with it. The magazine featured a profile of Emile Mack, one of the top-ranking firefighters in the Los Angeles Fire Department. What is unusual about Mack's story, which I learned of recently, is that he is a Korean-born adoptee raised by African American parents.

When Mack was a toddler in a South Korean orphanage, Undine and Clarence Mack were shown his photo at their church and decided to adopt him. Mack grew up identifying with the culture of his parents and peers the Crenshaw district, defying outsiders' expectations and stereotypes. From the story:

“There were people who didn’t know me or my family, and they didn’t tease me because I had black parents, but they teased me because I looked Asian. So it was the typical thing, ‘Hey Chinese, hey this, hey that.’ And then my friends would respond, ‘He’s black!! His parents are black, leave him alone!!’” said Mack, his face lighting up at the memory.

“In fact, that still happens today. There are times when I walk into a room with black friends, and they’ll walk up to someone I don’t know, and say, ‘Hey man, he’s cool. He’s a brother.’ And they’ll immediately accept me just because my friend says, ‘Oh, he’s one of us.’”

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Latinos on losing end of the 'digital divide'

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

A new Pew Hispanic Center study finds that U.S. Latinos are still on the losing end of the long-reported "digital divide," with Latinos less likely to have Internet access than non-Latino whites, or to have a home broadband connection or a cell phone. They also lag behind black Americans in home broadband access.

From a summary of the report:

While about two-thirds of Latino (65%) and black (66%) adults went online in 2010, more than three-fourths (77%) of white adults did so. In terms of broadband use at home, there is a large gap between Latinos (45%) and whites (65%), and the rate among blacks (52%) is somewhat higher than that of Latinos. Fully 85% of whites owned a cell phone in 2010, compared with 76% of Latinos and 79% of blacks.

The disparity is related mostly to income and education levels, and "Hispanics and whites who have similar socioeconomic characteristics have similar usage patterns for these technologies," the report summary reads. Not surprisingly, 71 percent of U.S.-born Latinos are likely to have a home Internet connection, versus 45 percent of foreign-born Latino immigrants.

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In the news this morning: Egypt update, Latinos and redistricting, worksite immigration enforcement, 'Smuggle Truck' and more

Egyptian official: Mubarak will yield power to military - CNN Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is expected to make an announcement Thursday night, according to a senior government official.

The Battle Over Redistricting—Will Latinos Be Represented? - New America Media Will Latino population growth documented by the 2010 census be accurately reflected as electoral districts are restructured?

Arizona Rancher Will Fight Court Order To Pay Damages to Undocumented Immigrants - Fox News Latino Roger Barnett, who was ordered to pay nearly $90,000 in punitive damages to undocumented immigrants he confronted with a gun, plans to pursue a rehearing.

As lawmakers look at E-Verify, businesses fear expansion of immigration program - The Washington Post Some business owners fear that GOP leaders could make a now-voluntary program for checking the veracity of employees' work documents mandatory.

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1970 documentary captured Chicano Moratorium protest

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=famNeiosTVk

Earlier this week, the Los Angeles Times reported that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department could soon release records pertaining to the death of former Times columnist and KMEX-TV news director Ruben Salazar, killed by a deputy forty years ago last August during a protest in East Los Angeles. Salazar, who was covering the protest, died after being struck on the head by a tear gas projectile fired into a building.

The violent protest during which he was killed, often referred to as the Chicano Moratorium protest to end the Vietnam War, was one of a series of demonstrations organized by the National Chicano Moratorium Committee, activists that between 1969 and 1971 pursued a combined goal of stopping the war and rallying for social justice at home.

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Young Egyptian Americans identify with crisis from afar

LA's Egyptians mobilized with protesters at home from 89.3 KPCC on Vimeo.

KPCC interns Cecilia Gregoriades and Faun Kime went out last weekend and spoke with a couple of younger Egyptian Americans, including a young woman from a half-Egyptian family who still identified closely with anti-government protesters in Egypt. Like their parents, these young people are closely monitoring the crisis from here.

The unrest in Cairo and elsewhere is well into its third week, with tension escalating between the protesters calling for democratic reforms and the Egyptian military. There have also been clashes between anti-government protesters and those who support president Hosni Mubarak, a close ally of the United States who has ruled for 30 years and is considered a dictator by many. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 297 people are known to have died in the violence.

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