How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Ads targeting Latinos: 'Don't vote.'

A GOP-affiliated group called Latinos for Reform has produced a national television ad to air in targeted states, including in Nevada, telling Latinos not to vote. "Yes, you heard right," the voiceover goes in Spanish. "Don't vote."

There are Spanish and English versions of the ad, which makes the bizarre argument that not voting is the only way for Latinos disappointed by a lack of progress on immigration reform to "send a clear message" to politicians. "If they haven't done anything for immigrants on two years, they shouldn't count on our vote," the Spanish voiceover goes. And this should include those who have pushed immigration reform measures? According to the logic here, yes, you heard right.

The ad has angered groups who are trying to get Latino voters out to the polls, including the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), whose executive director Arturo Vargas denounced it on Twitter this morning.


Quote of the moment: 'Some of you look a little more Asian to me'

"...I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me. I don’t know that."

- U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, speaking to the Hispanic Student Union at Las Vegas' Rancho High School

It has not been a good day for Angle, the Republican candidate running against Democratic incumbent Harry Reid for the Nevada U.S. Senate seat. Her recent comment before a room full of Latino high school students has been all over the news today since the Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston posted a transcript of her statement this morning, with video.

Links to the news item have been making the Twitter rounds, eliciting a variety of responses, with wisecracks predominating (like this one on Twitter accompanying a link to the item on Politico, posted by @LatinosMatter: "She meant in every barrio there's a vato called 'Chino.'"). Ouch.


Interesting take on Disney workers' hijab and the mainstreaming of Muslim culture

Photo courtesy of CAIR-LA

Intern Noor Abdallah in modified Disney uniform

It's been a few weeks since I last wrote about Noor Abdallah and Imane Boudial, the two Muslim women working at the Disneyland resort in Anaheim who were pressuring their employer for the right to wear hijab at work.

In his column yesterday, the Los Angeles Times' Michael Hiltzik wrote about the issue again with some interesting perspective on Disney: Given the company's massive influence on entertainment and mainstream culture in general, could its actions help pave the way toward the mainstreaming of Muslim culture and standards of dress?

As an example of Disney's cultural evolution, Hiltzik cited in his column Disneyland's one-time ban on same-sex dancing, which in 1984 led to the eviction of two gay men from the park. The company lifted the ban the next year following a court challenge.


An interactive map of Latino voters

Screen shot of interactive map showing percentage of Latino registered voters (Source: Pew Hispanic Center)

The Pew Hispanic Center has released a new interactive map of the Latino electorate, illustrating the percentage of eligible Latino voters by state.

Moving the cursor over each state brings up details, including how many Latino voters there are and what percentage of the overall electorate they make up. California ranks first, with close to 5.4 million eligible Latino voters based on the available data, which was taken from the 2008 American Community Survey.

The center recently released the results of a survey on Latino voter attitudes, which showed strong support for Democratic candidates but weak voter motivation.


In the news this morning: The PA hate crime conviction, the EPA and communities of color, a birthright citizenship bill, more

Soul-searching in Shenandoah - Opinion - The Times-Tribune On the conviction last week of two young Pennsylvania men for the hate-crime beating death of undocumented immigrant Luis Ramirez in 2008.

Smuggler who used Lynwood 'drop house' can get 10 years - Long Beach Press-Telegram When a search warrant was served on the Lynwood house, 37 undocumented immigrants were found inside.

EPA's "environmental justice" tour comes to California - Los Angeles Times New EPA chief Lisa Jackson: “Too often it's the poor and minority communities who have little voice in environmental decisions, but live in the shadow of the worst pollution."

Disney should lead the way on acceptance of Muslim clothing and customs - Los Angeles Times An interesting take on Disney and the two female Muslim employees who have pressed the company on their right to wear hijab at work.