How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

What is State Question 755? Here's more

Photo by Il Primo Uomo/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Source: Ballotpedia.org

Source: Ballotpedia.org


The AtlanticWire has a roundup of stories on Oklahoma's State Question 755, an until-recently obscure ballot initiative in the Sooner State that, if approved by voters, would prohibit the state's courts from using international law or Islamic Sharia law when making rulings.

I wrote about this curious bit of proposed legislation the other day. As unusual and geographically removed as it seems, State Question 755 is relevant beyond Oklahoma in the same way that Arizona's SB 1070 - and Oklahoma's similar HB 1804, which preceded it in 2007 - have been politically relevant beyond both states.

The inspiration for the measure, according to its backers, comes from a New Jersey case. From CNN:

The question might seem a befuddling one for a ballot in the heartland, but it stems from a New Jersey legal case in which a Muslim woman went to a family court asking for a restraining order against her spouse claiming he had raped her repeatedly. The judge ruled against her, saying that her husband was abiding by his Muslim beliefs regarding spousal duties. The decision was later overruled by an appellate court, but the case sparked a firestorm.

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In the news this morning: Little change in AZ post-SB 1070, ethnic voters in California races, immigrants gaining jobs, more

Ariz. immigration law three months later: no arrests - USA Today After a federal court judge prevented key portions from going into effect, SB 1070 has failed to live up to opponents' fears and supporters' hopes.

Whitman Governor Bid Imperiled by Latino Voter Erosion - Bloomberg The controversy that erupted over her undocumented former maid has gotten in the way of Meg Whitman's appeal to Latino voters.

Ethnic Voters Rally Around Boxer, Field Poll Shows - New American Media - EthnoBlog Field Poll results put Sen. Barbara Boxer ahead of Republican challenger Carly Fiorina among most ethnic minority voters, including Republican-leaning Vietnamese-American voters.

Foreign-born workers top U.S. born in job hunt - CNNMoney A Pew Hispanic Center study shows that immigrants have gained hundreds of thousands of jobs since the recession is said to have ended, while native-born workers lost more than a million jobs.

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On Halloween and ethnicity, commodified

Photo by Dana Robinson/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Par-tay! Ethnic drag on Halloween, October 2007

Halloween is nearly upon us, which means it must be time to, er, don an afro wig, a sombrero and fake mustache, or a Kim Jong Il costume? Nah, not so much.

Blogger Anna John of WAMU 88.5's DCentric in Washington, D.C, one of Multi-American's sister websites on the NPR Argo Network, had this to say about "ethnic" costumes in a post yesterday:

I save the side-eye for those special outfits which turn cultures in to costumes; while some people think it’s “fun” to be “Ghetto Fab“, “Seductive Squaw” or “Asian Doll“, I have to restrain myself from reminding these insensitive boors that some of us can’t take off our skin.

My point is, ethnicity isn’t something to be ordered online for $52.95 and then worn to a succession of bars, where other revelers spill drinks on your micro-kimono or faux-feathers. Some of us are born with a certain phenotype and this affects how we are viewed and treated, every moment of every day. We don’t have the luxury of selecting our culture from a catalog and then discarding it, conveniently, after a holiday.

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Pew survey: Political backlash has Latinos divided on immigration issues, worried about discrimination

The results of a new national survey from the Pew Hispanic Center show the political backlash against illegal immigration creating divisions on a number of issues among Latinos (including between those who are immigrants and those who are native-born) and prompting worries about discrimination.

To begin with, the survey found Latinos in general to be divided over what to do about the nation's estimated population of 11.1 million undocumented immigrants. From the report:

A small majority (53%) says they should pay a fine but not be deported. A small minority (13%) says they should be deported, and a larger minority (28%) says they should not be punished.

More people surveyed saw discrimination as an issue than they did during a previous survey:
Today, more than six-in-ten (61%) Latinos say that discrimination against Hispanics is a “major problem,” up from 54% who said that in 2007. Asked to state the most important factor leading to discrimination, a plurality of 36% now cites immigration status, up from a minority of 23% who said the same in 2007. Back then, a plurality of respondents—46%—identified language skills as the biggest cause of discrimination.

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In the news this morning: Anti-immigrant backlash, the Sanchez-Tran race, private prison industry's link to SB 1070, more

More U.S. Latinos say they face discrimination - The Washington Post Nearly two thirds of Latinos surveyed as part of a new study believe they are being discriminated as part of a backlash over illegal immigration.

Ethnic media take different views of Sanchez-Tran congressional race - 89.3 KPCC How ethnic media is covering the race for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County, what appears to be a close contest between Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez and Republican challenger Van Tran.

Ariz. Spends $1M To Defend Immigration Law - KPHO Phoenix Gov. Jan Brewer's office reportedly spent more than $620,000 defending Senate Bill 1070 in July alone.

Los Cenzontles: A 'Little Factory' Of Culture - NPR The group was formed when leader Eugene Rodriguez, a third-generation Mexican-American, created a place for kids in San Pablo, Calif. to hang out.

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