How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Latinos and health: Blessed and cursed at the same time?

Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr (Creative Commons)


This Tuesday kicked off a monthlong effort by the American Diabetes Association to urge people to get tested in order to see if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes, which typically strikes during adulthood. This is serious business for minorities. According to the diabetes association, Latino, African American and some Asian and Pacific Islander groups are at disproportionate risk of developing the disease.

For Latinos in particular, though, the risk of diabetes and other diseases is balanced against what's referred to as the "Latino health paradox." Latinos have a longer life expectancy and, at least as newcomers, are widely believed to be generally healthier than the average population, in spite of lower income levels and insufficient access to health care.

Latinos live longer on average than other segments of the population, 7.7 years more than non-Latino black Americans, and 2.5 years more than whites, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Latinas especially have the highest life expectancy at birth, 83.1 years.

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In the news this morning: Minorites make up most of U.S. growth, state immigration laws, an Arizona teacher's anti-Latino letter and more

New milestone: 1 in 6 Americans is Hispanic - MSNBC.com Census Bureau to release more data today; minorities are epected to make up for 90 percent of growth since 2000.

Salvadoran restaurants in Los Angeles: Beyond the pupusa - Los Angeles Times Timed to coincide with Obama's visit to El Salvador,  piece on Salvadoran food flourishing in Los Angeles.

More than 25 million Latinos live in polluted areas - Fox News Latino According to a report, two-thirds of Latinos in the United States live in areas that do not comply with federal standards for air quality, and Latinos are three times more likely than whites to die from asthma.

ESCONDIDO: Council votes to require E-Verify eligibility checks - North County Times Anti-illegal immigration measures and related controversy aren't new to this northern San Diego County city.

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After the ranting anti-Asian UCLA student, three great music videos

Screen shot from Wallace's video

Whatever misguided creativity moved UCLA student Alexandra Wallace to post a video of herself ranting about Asian students in the library and utter her now-famous "ching chong, ling long, ting tong" line a week and a half ago fell far short of what she termed "an attempt to produce a humorous YouTube video."

Wallace, who claimed afterward to receive death threats, has since announced that she'll no longer attend UCLA. But during her brief infamy, she spawned a creative legacy of videos made in response to her rant, and these have continued to appear. Some have been funnier than others, some angrier than others, and not all have been high art.

But some, like these three music videos, have been nothing short of genius.

This week, Angry Asian Man posted the video and lyrics for a hilarious rap from the San Diego hip hop band afterschoolspecial, filmed, naturally, in a library. The video:

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Ethnic food tastes worth acquiring: Tejuino

Photo by mswine/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Can fermented masa taste good? Yes. A cup of tejuino, August 2008

We're on day three of a week of posts involving those delicacies from Southern California's smorgasbord of ethnic cuisines that may not sound, look, smell, or even necessarily taste like delicacies on the first try, but are tastes worth acquiring because they're pretty darn good.

Readers have been sending in suggestions, so look for a list at the end of the week. In the meantime, today's delicacy is tejuino, the Mexican fermented corn drink made with piloncillo, the unrefined brown sugar used in Mexico, and that tastes far better than it sounds. Really.

The suggestion comes from Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly, he of ¡Ask A Mexican! fame and the author of a forthcoming book on the history of Mexican food in the U.S. Here's what he wrote in an e-mail about tejuino, which is beloved by tapatíos, the nickname for Guadalajarans:

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Angelenos/Angeleños speak out on who they are

In a brief post yesterday, I mentioned that I'll be moderating a panel next week at KPCC titled "Angelino, Angeleno, Angeleño: Who are we?"

It's going to be a discussion on the evolving identity of Los Angeles, based on a popular post on the KCET website a couple of months ago by author D.J. Waldie about the disappearance of the Spanish consonant ñ (pronounced “enye”) from "Angeleños," the original Spanish term for city residents.

I threw out a few questions yesterday: What is an Angeleno today? How does the culture we were raised in, and the part of the L.A. area we call home, shape how we define ourselves? In great polyglot Los Angeles of the 21st Century, do we still define ourselves geography, by area code, by ethnicity?

On KPCC's Facebook page, several readers shared their thoughts. A particular line from one of the readers below resonated: "Angelenos are all a little Mexican, a little Korean, a little Jewish no matter where they're actually from."

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