How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

In the news this morning

Good morning. There are several interesting stories out there today, including some locally:

  • The Los Angeles Times has a follow-up to a story that recounted the memories of a 92-year-old child of Greek immigrants who grew up in South Los Angeles, when his neighbors were "German, Polish, all different nationalities." In an immigrant town, all that changes is where people come from.

  • has a short piece with video about a group of East Los Angeles residents proposing that the unincorporated community incorporate as a city.

  • 89.3 KPCC reports that a coalition of union, education and Latino leaders is planning a nine-city bus tour as part of a statewide Latino voter registration drive.

  • A piece of staff commentary in The Atlantic asks a question that has also been asked about the legacy of SB 1070: "Will the 14th Amendment Talk Cost the GOP More Hispanic Votes?"


The year of the ethnic reality TV series


Photo courtesy of Levi's

The cast of "Norte a Sur" at the start of their trip earlier this summer, stylin' in Alaska

It's turning out to be the year of the ethnic-group reality show. First there was MTV's "Jersey Shore," the show that introduced the world to a party-mad group of Italian-American stereotypes (though they're not all Italian) with names like The Situation and Snooki, offended the heck out of Italian-American groups, prompted advertiser boycotts, and became must-see television in the process.

The formula is being copied in Los Angeles, where a show tentatively dubbed "K-Town" - bluntly labeled by TMZ as "Like 'Jersey Shore,' But with Asians" - has been in production in recent months. TMZ, ChannelAPA and various bloggers, including Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man, have been following the show's progress. In The Daily Beast today, contributor Joyce C. Tang compares the two shows, character by obnoxious character, and speaks to a producer, who says that unlike "Jersey Shore," the idea is to break down the model-immigrant sterotype.


On the Patt Morrison show: the debate over the 14th Amendment

Starting at 1 p.m., 89.3 KPCC's Patt Morrison will discuss the growing political debate over the 14th Amendment as more GOP leaders join a movement to curb birthright citizenship, with the goal of denying citizenship to U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. From the website: " this a viable political endeavor or election-year antics at the expense of children?"


In the news this morning

With Arizona and SB 1070 mostly off the radar for now, there's a little more variety this week in immigration-related news, and the debate over the 14th Amendment and birthright citizenship is at the top of the list.

  • Politico has several reports on the movement to revise the 14th Amendment as more GOP lawmakers join in. Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce, who introduced SB 1070, in quoted in one story as saying, "it doesn’t take a constitutional amendment. It just takes a clarification.” In another story, Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal finds himself getting dragged into the debate on account of his own background as the U.S.-born child of Indian parents.

  • On the good-news front, Latino and Asian L.A. County residents can make a toast to health and long life: The Los Angeles Times has a story on a new county health report's findings that despite high numbers of uninsured, fewer county residents are succumbing to chronic illnesses. Among ethnic groups, Asians had the lowest death rate. Latinos had a lower death rate than black and white residents. A "Latino paradox" - in which less smoking and healthier eating (for the first generation, at least) outweigh low income and lack of insurance - is cited as a possible explanation.