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29
Aug

We should specify that Korean-Mexican cuisine is big in Korea, but the fact that it’s being driven by Korean-Americans here […]

We should specify that Korean-Mexican cuisine is big in Korea, but the fact that it’s being driven by Korean-Americans here – restauranteurs like Sid Kim – made us sit up an take notice. From an interview with Kim on NBC news:

Blending Mexican and Korean food seems strange at first — but why do you think they work together?
I grew up mainly on two types of cuisine: authentic Korean food and authentic Mexican food.

When I came home after school, I would look into the fridge to grab a bite to eat, and I’d almost always see some leftover Korean food that my mom had cooked the night before: meats like galbi, bulgogi, spicy pork belly, and seafood such as spicy stir fried octopus and grilled sea bream. Since I was a kid, I would grab a tortilla, throw in those ingredients, and there you have it — Ko-Mex fusion food.

To be honest, I don’t particularly like the world “fusion” to describe the food at Vatos. Fusion to me implies some sort of forced combination. Things like galbi tacos, bulgogi sandwiches, pork belly burgers and kimchi pizzas aren’t fusion foods. To me, they are just food — the food I grew up on.

That Kim spent significant time in California is not a surprise. We’ve seen a blending of Asian and Hispanic cultures in small and big ways here for years. What is the takeaway from this story? We don’t know. But speaking of takeaway, is there a restaurant like this in LA that delivers?

 

Remember way back to 2013, when Barack Obama had won re-election and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, captured an anemic […]

Remember way back to 2013, when Barack Obama had won re-election and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, captured an anemic share of the Latino vote? The Republican national party did a post-mortem on what went wrong, and came up with a must-do prescription: reach out to more African American, Asian, and Latino voters:

The $10 million outreach effort to includes hiring national political directors for Hispanic, Asian-Pacific and African American voters and elevating minorities within the party. “We’ve done a real lousy job sometimes of bragging about the success that we’ve had” with minorities, in particular Hispanic candidates, Priebus said. To target African Americans, he plans to launch a pilot project in 2013 mayoral races aimed at identifying and turning out potential supporters in urban areas.

Fast forward to summer of 2015. The GOP front-runner is a celebrity businessman who launched his bid for the nomination by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers.

Not surprisingly, Gallup’s daily tracking poll finds Donald Trump doing unbelievably awful among Latino voters, with 65 percent viewing him unfavorably and 14 percent favorably for a net favorable score of -51.

Again, in a crowded GOP field, Trump is the front-runner. And he’s sucking up all the media oxygen. What’s more dispiriting to those who would like politicians of any party to engage in less incendiary rhetoric, the other GOP candidates are doing a “me too.”

Jeb Bush dropped the “anchor babies” bomb last week. You know, that’s where hordes of Mexican women cross the border and have their babies, thereby “anchoring” them in the U.S., giving them sweet, sweet, citizenship. It’s considered a pejorative, and frankly there’s not much evidence that this so-called practice is a big issue in immigration. But it sure does rile up nativist voters. Then this week Jeb launched his “insult every group” strategy by clarifying that in using the anchor babies term, he was really referring to Asians.

Oh yes, he did. Now, in 2015, walk-backs include a high kick to the face of someone else.

The GOP candidates are dancing to Trump’s tune. It’s ugly and it’s pathetic. And the longer it goes on the slimmer any GOP candidate’s chances are of capturing minority votes. So much for that 2013 post-mortem.

The latest flap includes Trump removing Gorge Ramos of Univision from his press conference. For trying to ask a question about Trump’s immigration plan, aside from his stated plan that “it’s all about management,” and “we’ll build a beautiful wall.”

“Go back to Univision,” he told Ramos. Sounds a little like “go back to Mexico,” doesn’t it?

The political site Talkingpointsmemo.com makes the case that Trump’s actions will have a scorched earth effect, keeping Latinos and other minorities away from the party not just in this election, but for many elections to come:

As the New York Times reported, it’s not just Ramos, but Spanish-speaking media on the whole has been more critical of Trump than general market news. Analysis by the nonpartisan media analytics company Two.42.Solutions showed that 80 percent of Spanish-speaking media coverage of Trump focused on his immigration views — as opposed to 58 percent of Trump’s mention in mainstream news — and that coverage has been largely negative, according to the Times.

According to a separate soon-to-be published study by Sergio I. Garcia-Rios, a Latino Studies professor at Cornell University, Latinos who pay close attention to Spanish-speaking media are more likely to be politically active.

“This is not only media, it is media in Spanish, and for the most part we understand that as being Jorge Ramos,” Garcia-Rios told TPM. “This is even among English speakers, who prefer to use English at home. Those who watch news in Spanish, they’re more likely to be excited about politics and more likely to participate.”

Yep. And they’re more likely to vote for the Democrat. If Trump prevails in winning the nomination, something unthinkable just a few months ago, he may have negative coattails, hurting GOP candidates’ chances down ticket across the country. The GOP will be seen as a white nativist anti-immigrant party, riding that tiger all the way to defeat for a generation.

 

15
Aug

You may have heard about the brief sensation a video made when the recording of a black mother beating her […]

You may have heard about the brief sensation a video made when the recording of a black mother beating her teenage son went viral.

The 50-second video, soon broadcast on CBS and CNN, was shot the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral in April, when hundreds of Baltimore residents rioted in protest of his death after he sustained a spinal injury while in police custody. It’s received more than 8 million views. The woman in the video is Toya Graham, then 42, a single parent to five girls. That day she said she spied a rock in the hand of 16-year-old Michael, her only son.

What makes this clip as crushing to watch as many of the videos of police beatings – and killings – of unarmed black men and boys, according to an essayist at Talkingpointsmemo.com, is that so many black parents feel the need to discipline their kids out of fear. What kind of fear? That their sons or daughters, but mostly sons, will give police ANY kind of reason to stop them, arrest them, beat them, or even kill them.

The day of the Freddie Gray riot, Doaty-Mundell says, she graduated Brown-Scott and eleven other parents from a parenting class. She says that because of racism, black parents struggle with letting their children explore and, as a result, tend to stifle children’s natural tendency to discover their environment. “We tend to parent out of fear,’” says Doaty-Mundell. “We don’t want our children to do this so we parent off of that, versus ‘I want you to do this so I’m going to expose you to this.’”

Go read the essay at TPM. It’s one of the best analyses of the kinds of pressures black parents of all economic groups face. In the words of one black author, whose father beat him, he could almost hear his father’s thoughts: either I beat him or the police will. 

It’s going to be a long campaign season. Bernie Sanders, the insurgent candidate for the Democratic nomination for President against […]

It’s going to be a long campaign season.

Bernie Sanders, the insurgent candidate for the Democratic nomination for President against the frontrunner Clinton, just had his biggest rally so far. In Seattle, 15,000 came to hear him speak, dwarfing numbers for all Republican candidates’ rallies, and for most of Clinton’s.

But a funny thing happened at another rally. He wasn’t allowed to speak. The group Black Lives matter, an activist group that is agitating for police reform and the end to practices that have led to the deaths of scores of unarmed black men and women.

Sanders was the final speaker on a long program held at a city park. Shortly after he took stage, a small group of protesters from a Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took the microphone and demanded that the crowd hold Sanders “accountable” for not doing enough, in their view, to address police brutality and other issues on the group’s agenda.

After sharing a few local grievances with the crowd, including school disparities and gentrification in Seattle, the protesters asked for a period of silence to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown being shot and killed during a confrontation with a police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Event organizers allowed the period of silence, as some in the large crowd booed and shouted for the protesters to leave the stage. Afterward, Marissa Janae Johnson, who identified herself as a leader of the Black Lives Matter chapter in Seattle, asked the crowd to “join us now in holding Bernie Sanders accountable for his actions.” She motioned for Sanders to join her at the microphone.

After several minutes of frantic conversations, Sanders left the stage and greeted people in the large crowd who had turned out to see him. Many chanted his name.

Why Bernie? Why haven’t they gone after Clinton or any of the Republican nominees? Possibly because he’s a soft target. His events are open to the public. And on the GOP side, activists can say, “well they won’t listen to us anyway.”

BLM’s tactics have heated up left-leaning political blogs like Daily Kos, where there is a food fight over whether BLM is hurting a candidate thought by many to be a champion of minority rights and police reform, and definitely the most left-leaning candidate in the race. One diary writer is upset with those who are upset at BLM:

The notion that two protests against a single candidate by a non-centralized organization constitute a relevant statistical universe is absurd, but not as absurd as the hysteria that motivates jumping to the conclusion that BLM is a Clinton/Rove plot. It smacks of the same paranoid and patronizing bullshit handed out to ACT UP, all of it at bottom some version of “Behave, Fags, Behave”. I was there, and I remember it well.

I pray Black Lives Matter will keep protesting, keep interrupting, keep standing up, and keep acting up. I stand with Black Lives Matter, inconveniences–to Bernie, Hillary, or anyone else–be damned.

Black Twitter is also unhappy with the BLM protests.

Many Bernie supporters are also ardent supporters of BLM and racial justice. If there are many more interrupted events, there could very well be a rift between the factions.

At any rate, what’s clear is that BLM is determined to make an impact on the 2016 race one way or another.

Well, we’ve been saying this all along. But it’s nice when an acclaimed director (and admitted undocumented American) Jose Antonio […]

Well, we’ve been saying this all along. But it’s nice when an acclaimed director (and admitted undocumented American) Jose Antonio Vargas says it too.

Vargas is the director of the documentary “White People,” and Vargas believes that whiteness cannot be ignored in the larger racial debate in the U.S.

“Too often I think when we talk about diversity or we talk about inclusion, we don’t include white people in the conversation,” he explained to TheWrap, adding that “diversity is the destiny of this country.”

And…

“We are living in such a politically charged and politically correct time that sometimes I wonder how willing are white people to say what they really think and really feel,” Vargas said. “I would rather you say it than not say it, because then you just internalize it … and we don’t talk about it at all.”

Right. We’re looking forward to seeing “White People,” which debuted last week on MTV. It is also available on MTV.com, the MTV App, MTV’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel, as well as the following morning on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and MTV’s Video On Demand services.

15
Jul

Corporatizing gay pride

POSTED BY Admin POSTED IN Uncategorized

Many would call this progress. Others might decry the de-gaying of gay pride. This trend has been going on for […]

Many would call this progress. Others might decry the de-gaying of gay pride.

This trend has been going on for years, and not just in Chicago, and is likely to accelerate in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling in favor of same-sex marriages nationwide.

Some parade-goers have been complaining for years that Chicago’s pride festivities have gone corporate, and in the process turned into a commercialized spectacle and yet another excuse for straight people to day drink in the streets. Some LGBTQ revelers have simply chosen to stay home from the parade in response; others have turned to the growing Chicago Dyke March for a more indie alternative and still others have opted to bring their displeasure to the parade itself, as a group of #BlackLivesMatter protesters did last week, with a die-in style protest that brought the parade to a halt.

To test the theory, Illinois-resident Riley Kollaritsch crunched the numbers of parade participants, listed on the parade’s website, and graphed them with a pie chart by organization type.

Kollaritsch, 27, a writer and creator of the website Project Queer, found that corporate-representation did appear to surpass LGBTQ groups at this year’s parade—several times over. His graph shows there were 132 floats or parade slots held by corporations, compared to 11 LGBTQ groups, 1 bisexual group, 1 trans group and 5 groups related to queer people of color.

So, what does this mean for the future of the LGBT movement, which has not, contrary to popular belief “made it” after gaining marriage equality? Will greater acceptance by society – and coveting by marketers – mean greater assimilation into the mainstream? Will LGBT become “boring”? Will gayborhoods go away (as they’ve started to do)?

13
Jul

Gentrification has gotten a bad rap, with the term akin to “wealthy whites pushing out long-term residents of color and […]

Gentrification has gotten a bad rap, with the term akin to “wealthy whites pushing out long-term residents of color and driving up rents.”

In traditionally Latino Boyle Heights in Los Angeles, younger Latinos don’t have quite the same view about tradition. Their Latin identity, according to this report by local public radio station KPCC, extends as far as the dollar allows it.

Community activists like Gracian had their misgivings back then: were the businesses too cool? Would they change the flavor of what’s traditionally been a working-class immigrant neighborhood?

Turns out the business owners were themselves the children and grandchildren of immigrants. Some grew up in the area. They see the changes, not as gentrification, but rather the evolution of a neighborhood.

“I came and I started going, man, what do I want to do here?” said Guillermo “Willie” Uribe, owner of Eastside Luv, the wine shop. “This could just be an expression of who I am as a Mexican American, you know?”

In the story the owner of a trendy wine shop in Boyle Heights, Eastside Luv, has a rather transactional view about what makes a place of business “traditional Mexican” or for “hip, white folk.”

Still, the First Street strip on which Eastside Luv sits has undergone a transformation. Where an old-school Mexican restaurant once stood, a new taqueria sells green-tinged kale limonada, lemonade. A second bar catering to so-called “chipsters” – that’s for Chicano hipsters – now sits down the street.

But Uribe and others still describe a grass–roots vibe.

“I think that is what Eastside Luv is,” Uribe said. “It’s really just an expression of our Mexican-American-ism, and it is a wide spectrum. We can be as American as we want and as Mexican as we want. And there’s a lot to play with in between.”

This is an example, from a retail perspective, of the increasing fluidity of Latino identity, and we’ve seen this in attitudes of Latino consumers for years. What makes a person Latino (or Hispanic, or Mexican-American – see the terms are varied, too) is increasingly individualistic and dependent on the circumstances. “As Mexican as we want to be” is not just a cute slogan. For younger generations of Latinos, especially in urban areas, identity is increasingly malleable.

A new report is out from the ACLU that shows black Americans were unfairly targeted by banks in the run-up to the housing crisis. The report says that blacks were subjected to redlining, or denying services and being charged more for services.

A new report is out from the ACLU that shows black Americans were unfairly targeted by banks in the run-up to the housing crisis. The report says that blacks were subjected to redlining, or denying services and being charged more for services.

How blacks suffered far more from the housing crisis, from the Guardian:

The resulting economic downturn has adversely affected them to a much greater degree than white homeowners, said the ACLU’s Rachel Goodman, who said the findings suggest banks knowingly preyed on black mortgage-seekers when it came to issuing sub-prime mortgages.

“Race must have been a factor somewhere in the decision-making, because it otherwise doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Goodman said. Goodman pointed out that the report differs significantly from other studies of wealth by race, in that it compares people who are all homeowners and thus presumably fit some definition of “middle class”.

Goodman said the black families in the study, which surveyed 3,000 households (741 of them black), had been subjected to “redlining” – denying or charging more for necessary services – loans to people in historically black neighborhoods, which made the residents of those neighborhoods particularly susceptible to predation by fly-by-night mortgage outfits pushing sub-prime loans so they could turn them around on the then-booming secondary market.

The ACLU didn’t have any recommendations based on its findings. But we can imagine most people hearing this might advise the banks to, in general, stop being scumbags.

There’s a reason for that.

Today, after a young white supremacist opened fire in South Carolina’s historic black church, killing nine, we get the usual apologists who say:

There’s a reason for that.

Today, after a young white supremacist opened fire in South Carolina’s historic black church, killing nine, we get the usual apologists who say:

- Well the government couldn’t have stopped this.

- Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

- He was crazy, crazy, and we can’t stop all crazy people.

And this one: It was a hate crime but it was an attack on Christians. Because it happened in a church. Get it? Therefore preachers should be armed. That trope was peddled on Fox News today. We won’t link to it. No need to give them the traffic.

It was a hate crime. But this white supremacist didn’t shout anything about Christianity. He said Black people are taking over his country and therefore they had to die. He said this. Pretty clear what his motivation was, isn’t it?

But then there’s the flag, the Confederate flag. Still flying at the SC statehouse. At least some in the country – and some even in the old Confederacy – think this is an insult to those who died. From Vox.

This is more than just an awkward juxtaposition. As Cornell historian Edward Baptist explains in a series of chilling tweets, the Confederate flag isn’t just a symbol of the pro-slavery rebellion, it’s also a symbol of post-Civil War white supremacy — including the KKK and other groups that expressed that supremacy violently, at times by attacking black churches. That it’s flying today, after what Charleston police are describing as a hate crime, is profoundly ugly.

It is ugly. Take it down.

By now you’ve probably seen or heard about the video of McKinney, Texas, Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s outrageous and abusive behavior toward a group of black teens at a pool party celebrating the end of the school year, which included pulling a gun on obviously unarmed teens in their bikinis and swim trunks. It is truly must see to believe, so if you haven’t viewed it yet, do so here.

By now you’ve probably seen or heard about the video of McKinney, Texas, Police Cpl. Eric Casebolt’s outrageous and abusive behavior toward a group of black teens at a pool party celebrating the end of the school year, which included pulling a gun on obviously unarmed teens in their bikinis and swim trunks. It is truly must see to believe, so if you haven’t viewed it yet, do so here.

The party was hosted by Tatyana Rhodes and her sister. They live in the Craigs Ranch community and they say most of the guests are residents as well. The teens claim that a woman at the pool began cursing the teens and using racial slurs and telling them to “go back to Section 8 housing.” Another 14-year-old (white) teen stepped in to tell the older white people they were wrong and shouldn’t be talking to the black teens like that and according to Tatiana Rhodes, that is when one of the white women slapped her.

When the conservative-leaning Dallas Morning News says there’s a race problem, there’s a race problem:

But it’s impossible not to wonder how different a scene this would have been if these kids had been white instead of black. Would Casebolt have dared to drag a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl to the ground screaming “ON YOUR FACE!” at a pool in an affluent suburb?

If your answer is yes, let me know the next time that happens.

 

We have not yet seen an official explanation about why that officer only the black kids to sit down and handcuffing them.  There were plenty of white kids running and milling around.  Here’s a term: ‘black goggles’ like we call drunks having ‘beer goggles’. These cops all they see when they see African Americans is potential criminals or at least risks that need to be controlled.  But they ignore the whites in the area because they are not trained to fear them.

Let’s remember who started the “fight” the cops were called to break up. These older white people have their own black goggles.

But there’s a silver lining here. The party itself was black and white kids having a good time. The racial ugliness came from older folks, not part of the party, on down to a girl getting slapped coming to the aid of her white friend who stood up for her. And then the horrendous police response, where the cop sat on the black girl but largely ignored the white kids. So, if the kids are exemplary of their generation – that’s a big leap, but let’s say for the sake of argument they are – there is some hope in erasing more of the racial ugliness in the U.S., even if that requires – sorry for being indelicate – generations of older bigots to simply die off.