Guest Columnist

BREAKING: La. Sheriff Ordered 'Illegal Alien' Probe of Oil Spill Workers

By Brentin Mock Sheriff_Jack_stephens.jpgSt. Bernard Parish Sheriff Jack Stephens acknowledged today that his office requested federal immigration officials search for undocumented workers among those cleaning up BP's oil spill.

Lincoln Vows to Finally Pay Black Farmers for Bias

black_farmers_050510.jpgBy Jessica Strong Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln stepped into a 10-year-old debacle last week to help Black farmers finally get restitution for years of discrimination by the federal government. Lincoln, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, called on Friday for a long-delayed settlement of the $1.25 billion "Pigford II" case, an historic lawsuit in which thousands of Black farmers charged the U.S.

Accountability for the Return of Abstinence-Only Funding

By Jessica Strong Health care reform's off the front pages, but the new problems it introduced haven't gone away. Outraged at the (unanticipated) inclusion of renewed abstinence-only sex education funding in the bill, the group Advocates for Youth has plans to fight back against Capitol Hill and fight for the sexual and reproductive rights of youth.

Exploring Race in the NYT Tea Party Poll

nytimespoll-teaparty.jpgBy Victor Goode Yesterday's New York Times poll of "tea party" supporters shows that while their most important concern is the economy, they often view this issue through the lens of racially tinted glasses.

Will the FDA Stub Out Big Tobacco's Menthol Ploy?

menthol_ban_033110.jpg By Jessica Strong Last June, President Obama signed a law authorizing the FDA to regulate tobacco and creating a panel for that task. Now the panel’s taking up the question of whether to ban menthol-flavoring in cigarettes, which critics say is used to cover up the taste of cigarettes and recruit young smokers.

It's Back! Abstinence-Only Funding Revived in Health Bill

holding_hands_033010.jpg By Jessica Strong The Obama administration can add this one to its ever-growing list of progressive criticisms: The health insurance reforms the president finalized this morning include a revival of the controversial abstinence-only education initiative known as Title V.

Gaysians Take Over New York Fashion Week

By Alex Jung Inconstancy, rather than a vice, has long been a strength of fashion. Empire waists, shoulder pads, and bubble skirts have all come in, out, and back again. Designers, too, fall in and out of favor with editors and the shopping elite who patronizes them. But lately, there has been a noticeable sea change, too strong to be a 15 seconds type of thing: Asian American designers.

Blacks and Latinos in Florida Hit Hard by Recession, Where's The Recovery?

By Joseph Phelan Like every picture is worth a thousand words, every truth has a cost and the numbers never lie. In this economic crisis unemployment is hitting Black and Latino communities hard. But it isn't just the numbers that matter, it's the stories they represent.

New Orleans Needs More Than a New Mayor

mitch-neworleans-win2.jpgWritten by Jordan Flaherty In a city consumed by the Superbowl and Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans elected a new mayor last weekend. Mitch Landrieu, the state’s current Lieutenant Governor, won 65% of the vote - almost twice the total of the other ten candidates combined. Landrieu will be the city’s first white mayor since his father held the office, from 1970-78.

Police Brutality Breeds Public Outrage After Pittsburgh Teen's Beating

Arts_Student_Beaten_020110.jpgBy Matthew Newton This post originally appeared on true/slant.

Is Scott Brown an Immigration Moderate?

scottbrown012610.jpgWritten by Patrick Young, Esq. CARECEN This post originally appeared at Long Island Wins. Since late Tuesday, I've been asked a dozen or more times "Is Scott Brown an immigration moderate in the mold of other Northeastern Republicans?". Based on the record, the answer is likely "No".

What Does Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Mean for Communities of Color?

federalelectionscom_012009.jpgBy Victor Goode Yesterday, the US Supreme Court drove a nail in the coffin of our ever shrinking democracy. In the case of Citizens United vs.

At Last! SCOTUS Finally Allows Corporations to Influence U.S. Politics

corporateflag.jpgBy Juell Stewart In a move that’s sure to create such political offices as "Georgia’s Junior Senator, brought to you by Coca-Cola," the New York Times reports that the Supreme Court has run roughshod over decades of federal campaign finance measures and has thrown out a rule that once prohibited corporations and unions from using their considerab

The Weekly Diaspora: Real Immigration Reform in 2010

By Nezua, Media Consortium Blogger

"Is it ever 'the right time' to pass immigration reform and a path to legalization?" asks Maribel Hastings at New America Media. The short answer? Yes. Our national economic situation dictates that we are smart about the resources available to us all. It's also a moral imperative to adjust our laws to protect the most vulnerable of us.

Cops Accused of Covering up Luis Ramirez's Murder Had History of Corruption

090512-Luis Ramirez-hmed-607p.hmedium.jpgBy Patrick Young This post originally appeared at Long Island Wins. The killing of a Mexican immigrant by a group of young men in Shenandoah, Pa., has focused attention on corruption and racism in the declining coal town.

The Decade of Fear: A Radical Desi Meditation on The End of The Zeros

leah and a megaphone.jpgBy Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha On the last day of the first decade, I stay home. There are parties across the bridge, but because I have spent five hours piloting a friend to a Stinson Beach visit in a 1992 Honda Accord up and down the S-curves of Highway 1, aka the Throw Up Road, driving across the bridge doesn't seem so appealing.

Gone But Not Forgotten: Oakland Artists Remember Oscar Grant's Murder, One Year Later

I am Oscar Grant and my life matters.Written by Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes This post was originally published on and Oakland Local. A year ago, early New Year's Day

Crazed Kanye West and Naked Lady Gaga: Where Have We Seen This Before?

gaga_kanye_lachapelle.jpgBy Matthew Newton This post was originally published on true/slant. Click thumbnail to enlarge. The question is rhetorical, I suppose.

Virgin Island Prisoners Who Won't Cut Hair Held In Isolation In Virginia State Prisons

UTR prison poster image1.jpgBy Rend Smith In the early part of this decade, a prisoner named Bradley Maxwell got into trouble for refusing a haircut. He was serving time at the Wallens Ridge State Prison in Virginia. He had been convicted of a separate transgression back in his home in the Virgin Islands but was nevertheless shipped to Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in the United States.