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Nadra Kareem Nittle

Nadra\'s Race Relations Blog


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Jared Leto Describes Life in The South as Oppressive

Monday April 14, 2014

Actor Jared Leto has sparked a debate by criticizing life in the South during a recent interview with FourTwoNine magazine. Leto was born in Louisiana but grew up in various regions of the United States.

"We escaped early on," Leto said of his Southern roots. "It's very oppressive. ...We would go back for the summers and stay with our grandmother, though. So the culture was always there that we returned to." Read More...

Chinese-American Group Criticized For Affirmative Action Stance

Monday April 7, 2014

The affirmative action debate is typically framed as a black-white issue. In California, however, one of the nation's most diverse states, the affirmative action debate is seeing Chinese Americans square off against Latinos, not to mention fellow Asian Americans.

A constitutional amendment called SCA5 seeks to restore affirmative action in California where the practice has been banned in public universities and other government entities since 1996. While Latinos largely support the measure as do a number of Asian ethnic groups, a Chinese-American group called the 80-20 Initiative has come out strongly against the amendment, even suggesting that Asian Americans, who predominantly lean Democrat in the state, vote Republican because of the issue. The Chinese-American activists don't oppose affirmative action in hiring but in higher education. Read More...

Cesar Chavez Opens to Lackluster Reviews

Monday March 31, 2014

"Cesar Chavez," directed by Diego Luna and starring Michael Pena, America Ferrara and Rosario Dawson, opened in movie theaters nationwide on Friday. Despite the star-studded list of people involved in the film, the biopic debuted to pretty abysmal reviews. So, why didn't the critics like this film?

Film reviewers at the Washington Post, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and more slammed the movie for not offering a three-dimensional portrait of Cesar Chavez. Instead, they said, the labor and civil rights leader's portrayal was saint-like. The landowners were portrayed as cartoonishly evil and greedy and the farm workers as entirely benevolent. Moreover, critics said, the viewers don't get a clear understanding of what inspired Chavez to become an activist for farm workers, take up the mantle of nonviolence, speak about it and more. Read More...

Black Preschoolers Face Harsher Discipline Than Peers

Monday March 24, 2014

Black students not only face harsher forms of discipline than their white counterparts they're also less likely to have access to advanced classes, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

"Black students are suspended and expelled at three times the rate of white students," the New York Times reported based on the Department of Education's study. "A quarter of high schools with the highest percentage of black and Latino students do not offer any Algebra II courses, while a third of those schools do not have any chemistry classes." Read More...

The White Man March Took Place on Saturday

Monday March 17, 2014

A pro-white activist named Kyle Hunt organized an event called the White Man March on Saturday. The purpose of the march was to for whites to observe "an international day for independent pro-white activism." Hunt predicted on his website that thousands of people would turn out for the event, but according to Talking Points Memo, proved to be a gross overestimation.

"By the looks of it, his vision may have been a bit lofty," TPM reported. "The demonstrations appear to have mostly involved a few people here and there holding up signs decrying 'diversity.'" Read More...

George Zimmerman Signs Autographs at Gun Show

Monday March 10, 2014

I can't keep up with the irresponsible choices George Zimmerman has made since a Florida jury acquitted him of murder last July for killing Trayvon Martin. Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote a piece detailing his misdeeds after he won his freedom. Since his acquittal, he's twice been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. To boot, he sparked widespread public outcry after planning to appear in a celebrity boxing match with DMX billed to somehow avenge his killing of Martin. If that weren't bad enough, Zimmerman toured the grounds of the company that manufactured the gun he used to kill Martin just a month after his acquittal.

Zimmerman's lack of decorum and empathy continues to come to light. On Saturday, he appeared at an Orlando gun show for a meet-and-greet, as if he's some sort of hero for killing a 17-year-old boy that he pursued around a gated community, despite a police dispatcher telling him to do the exact opposite. Read More...

Diverse Mix of Winners Take Home Oscars

Monday March 3, 2014

The Academy handed out Oscars to a notably diverse group of entertainers this year. The 2014 Oscar winners include Lupita Nyong'o, a Mexican-born actress of Kenyan descent who took home the Academy Award for best supporting actress for "12 Years a Slave"; Robert Lopez, a Filipino-American who won for best original song for "Let it Go" from "Frozen"; Alfonso Cuaron, a Mexican native who won for best director for "Gravity"; and John Ridley, an African-American who won for best adapted screenplay for "12 Years a Slave," which nabbed the coveted best picture Oscar and was directed by black Brit Steve McQueen.

Remarkably, the 86th Academy Awards marked the first time a film directed by a black man won best picture and the first time a Latino won an Oscar for best director. Not everyone involved in Mexican cinema views Cuaron's win as a win for their country, however. According to an Associated Press article, Mexican filmmakers don't view Cuaron as one of their own because his recent films have little to do with Mexican culture or society. Thirteen years have passed since Cuaron directed his last Spanish language film, the AP reports. Leon Krauze, a cultural commentator and news anchor for the Univision network, told the AP: Read More...

Activists Demand Obama Act on Immigration

Monday February 24, 2014

Immigration activists marched through downtown Phoenix Sunday to demand that President Barack Obama take action on immigration. After proposed legislation such as the DREAM Act crashed and burned in Congress, young undocumented immigrants lack a clear path to citizenship in the U.S. But advocates for immigrants say that President Obama can use his executive powers to usher in immigration reform. The New York Times reports:

"The youths who gathered in Phoenix this weekend for an annual congress of the network, United We Dream, said they felt disappointed by Republicans and Democrats. Pointing to Mr. Obama's pledge early this year to use his phone and pen when Congress did not move on his agenda, they said they would demand that he take executive action to increase protections for immigrants without papers." Read More...

Michael Dunn Not Convicted of Murdering Jordan Davis

Monday February 17, 2014

A Florida jury Saturday failed to find Michael Dunn guilty of murdering Jordan Davis. On Nov. 23, 2012, Dunn, a middle-aged white man, killed the black 17-year-old after the two engaged in a verbal dispute at a Jacksonville, Fla., gas station about the music blaring from the youth's SUV. Dunn proceeded to unload his weapon, killing Jordan and endangering the lives of the other youth in the vehicle. Dunn claimed that he saw a gun in the teen's car, but the youths were reportedly unarmed.

While Dunn, now 47, was not convicted of murdering Jordan because the jury could not agree on a verdict, he was found guilty on three counts of attempted murder and will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars. Read More...

Fight Between George Zimmerman and DMX Canceled

Sunday February 9, 2014

Boxing promoter Damon Feldman announced Saturday that he has cancelled a boxing match scheduled for March between George Zimmerman and rapper DMX. The move comes after Feldman, owner of Celebrity Boxing, faced a fierce backlash for trying to put Trayvon Martin's killer in the boxing ring.

He told website The Root that the outcry over the match caught him by surprise because he aimed "to give what the country wanted--for Zimmerman to get his [expletive] kicked." Feldman also expected to earn a million dollars for scheduling the fight. Read More...

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