How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning: The least Latino state, Dream Act protesters cleared, another record for immigration bills, CA Muslims targeted, m

What is the LEAST Latino State in the Union? - Fox News Latino The 2010 Census results may be showing large Latino population growth in many states, but in West Virginia, the sound of Spanish is still a rarity.

DREAM Act protesters: L.A. drops charges against Westwood protesters who supported DREAM Act - Los Angeles Times All criminal charges have been dropped against nine current and former students arrested last year at a rally for the Dream Act.

Immigration Debate: Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma Considering Similar Arizona Law - ABC News 2010 saw a record number of immigration-related laws, but 2011 is expected to surpass that.

Salavador Reza - Being Latino Online Magazine A short piece on Reza, the Arizona activist and Latino community organizer banned from the state Senate building recently by Senate president Russel Pearce.


Census: Ten states with the biggest Latino population growth so far

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Screen shot of U.S. Census Bureau map showing state-by-state 2010 data, including ethnic populations

The results of the 2010 Census continue to roll out state by state, with California's due out next week. In the meantime, ethnic and racial data for half the states has been released by now, and the Latino population gains from 2000 to 2010 are impressive.

Of the states whose data has been released, Texas still has the biggest share of Latino residents, followed by Nevada, a new addition to the list. But the biggest percentage growth is still being seen in states that are non-traditional destinations for Latino immigrants and their descendants. States like Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina among others have seen triple-digit growth in their Latino populations, though the total share of Latinos in these states remains small.


20 years after the Rodney King beating: Different takes on what's changed, what hasn't

It's been 20 years today since the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers, an incident captured on grainy video by George Holliday, a resident of Lake View Terrace who heard the commotion and captured the beating from his balcony.

The videotape, and the riots that followed in late April after four white officers accused in the beating were acquitted, tore the lid off long-simmering racial and socioeconomic tensions in South Los Angeles and other working-class sections of the city. It also created a national conversation about the treatment of minority groups at the hands of authorities.

Just about every news outlet today has a take on the 20th anniversary of the beating, ranging from interviews with King, who suffered serious injuries and later sued, to explorations of how police conduct business in an era where cameras are omnipresent. A sampling:


In the news this morning: L.A. 20 years after the King beating, Latino cops sue for discrimination, CA census results due out soon, more

Latino Cops, MALDEF Sue California Police Department - Fox News Latino Several Latino officers are suing the police department in Westminster for discrimination and violation of labor rights, saying they were denied promotions and special assignments because they are Latino.

California's 2010 census results to come out next week - San Jose Mercury News The U.S. Census Bureau is due to release the California results of the 2010 census next week, allowing a new statewide redistricting commission to begin redrawing political boundaries.

Anti illegal immigration bill with a twist - A Texas bill proposes making it a state jail felony to knowingly hire undocumented workers, but makes an exception for Texans hiring domestic help: the jobs exempted include "maid, lawn care taker or another house worker at a single family residence."


Video: Running migrant family guerilla art in L.A., pre-Banksy

A post yesterday on a pre-Banksy artistic rendering of the running migrant family freeway sign - one of innumerable pre-Banksy versions, actually - is now in turn inspiring art submissions.

I received this YouTube video of an early-morning guerilla art sprint involving the running family last May 1, shot by a USC film student. Multiple prints of the running characters were installed around the city, dangled over freeway overpasses in the hazy, subdued golden light that dawn brings to a smoggy town. Shaky camera, great footage.

As mentioned in previous posts, the familiar image started life as a caution sign along San Diego-area freeways in the early 1990s, a warning for motorists to watch for pedestrians at a time when smugglers were leading their charges across lanes to evade immigration authorities. Many migrants were hit and killed. Long before British street artist Banksy's much-covered "Caution" stencil went up (and went down) in Los Angeles recently, a number of mostly Latino artists in the U.S. had been claiming the image as protest art. The characters have been reinterpreted as everything from Pilgrims to college graduates, even as the Holy Family.