Category Archives: Black Brown and Beyond

ACTION: Building Bridges Between African American and Immigrant Communities

Yesterday, I posted on an op-ed piece written by the president of NCLR that talked about the current opportunity to mend relations between the Latino and African American Communities. So – let the work begin!

Nearly 200 Activists, Academics, Youth and Community Members Engage in Critical Dialogue on Building Bridges Between African-American and Immigrant Communities

The New York Immigrant Coalition will be hosting a free conference tomorrow that will work on “Building Bridges Between African American and Immigrant Communities”.

Saturday, November 22nd. Join us for the 2nd Annual Building Bridges Conference where activists, academics, youth, and community members will work together to develop a better understanding of the distinct and common challenges our communities face and explore ways of working together to build a stronger movement for social, racial and economic justice.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke will provide special remarks on the post-elections political landscape and the potential for moving forward progressive policies that strengthen African-American and immigrant communities.


WHEN: Saturday November 22, 2008, 9:30am-4:30pm

WHERE: The Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies at CUNY, 25 West 43rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), 18th Floor

For more information click here.

The Latino Voter Surge – and What it Means

vote-aqui2I’ve talked a lot recently about the Latino vote and the integral role it played in this month’s election. Latinos turned out in record numbers at the polls, claiming their spot as a political force to be reckoned with. Yesterday, Janet Murgia, president and CEO of NCLR, had a great op-ed published on this same topic.

Murgia notes that the historic Latino voter surge doen’t only mean a place at the table for Latinos, but it also signifies an opportunity to heal some of the historical tensions between African American and Latino communities.

Though our journeys in this country have been different, we have more that unites us than divides us. Both the African American and Hispanic communities have relied on hope for a better tomorrow for future generations, hope for the elimination of hate, and hope for a stronger nation for all Americans. On November 4, this hope translated to votes as President-elect Obama captured 66 percent of the Latino vote. On November 4, our common concerns and hope for the future trumped whatever tensions exist between our communities. On November 4, we came together and rose above our differences.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Obama reminded us of what it means to hope. He energized a multitude of new voters with his call for Americans to hope for a better tomorrow and to come together to bring about change through collective responsibility. It is our obligation as Americans to not only believe in our power to accomplish this change, but to continue to turn our hope into action like we did on Election Day.

Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric = Political Suicide

From Simon Rosenberg’s Blog at NDN:

[Sunday} on Meet the Press, Tom Brokaw cited NDN in asking Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) whether the weak showing of the Republicans these last few years with Hispanics was endangering their Party’s ability to be a majority in the 21st century.

Regardless of your party affiliation, it is clear that Latinos were the decisive vote in this past election. It is also clear that they swung towards the Democrats. An excerpt from the full transcript of the interview (which is posted at NDN):

Senator Martinez: The fact of the matter is that Hispanics are going to be a more and more vibrant part of the electorate, and the Republican Party had better figure out how to talk to them. We had a very dramatic shift between what President Bush was able to do with Hispanic voters, where he won 44 percent of them, and what happened to Senator McCain. Senator McCain did not deserve what he got. He was one of those that valiantly fought, fought for immigration reform, but there were voices within our party, frankly, which if they continue with that kind of rhetoric, anti-Hispanic rhetoric, that so much of it was heard, we’re going to be relegated to minority status. (bold added). 

The nativists and anti’s can no longer get away with their language of hate and their scapegoating of Latinos. Politically speaking, it is suicide. And realistically speaking: it is aiding and abetting in the murder of innocent immigrants. Stop the hate.

ACTION: United Colors of Mississippi Unity Conference

The United Colors of Mississippi

The 2008 SCLC-MIRA Unity

Conference And Dinner

The Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference will host the third annual United Colors of Mississippi unity conference next Thursday thru Saturday in Gulfport, MS.

The goal of this conference is to foster collaboration between Latino, Immigrant, African American, and Asian communities.  Speakers include Wade Henderson, President and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Ana Avendano, Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO, and Screenwriter Ligiah Villalobos of “Under the Same Moon”.

Little Rock Missionary Baptist Church,

4538 15th Street, Gulfport, Mississippi


Thurs- Sat., October 23-25, 2008






Click here to R.S.V.P. for this great conference!

For more information on the conference please feel free to contact Alisha Johnson at or Catherine Han Montoya at

Hate Will Never Win

Siler City, North Carolina, once considered the quientessential Southern small town, has become home to a population that is nearly half Latino. NPR reports:

In 2000, David Duke, the former KKK grand wizard turned Louisiana politician, led an anti-immigration rally in Siler City, putting the town uncomfortably in the national news.

In fact, though, the response was not what Duke hoped for. Several dozen supporters showed up to cheer for the former Klansman, but most locals stayed away. And if Duke hoped to inflame anti-immigrant sentiment in town, his appearance seems to have had the opposite effect.

“This was not representative of the mindset here in Siler City at all,” says Barry Hayes, owner and operator of the town’s radio station, WNCA-AM. “And we kind of hung our heads when that happened and couldn’t wait for it to go away.”

Duke forced residents and their leaders to take a position, says Paul Cuadros, who coaches Siler City’s high school soccer teams and teaches journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Were they going to stand down there with David Duke and the Klan against the Latino population, or were they going to try and find some other kind of accommodation to be able to live [together] in [this] town?”

Eight years later, while tensions and resentments remain, most everyone in Siler City agrees that the racial climate is calmer than it’s been in years. The embarrassment of the Duke rally led local leaders to step up efforts to accommodate the Latino population. And with time, many longtime residents, black and white, have begun to find common ground with their Latino neighbors in the meeting places of small-town life.

Listen to the full story at NPR.

VIDEO: Race and Immigration: Behind the Debate

The Accidental American has posted a great video discussing the intersection of race and immigration.

Be sure to check it out!

VIDEO: CNN Discusses Immigrant Murder in Pennsylvania

Below is a clip from CNN Newsroom yesterday – I think that the lawyers’ responses speak for themselves.


Also – keep reading below for a full transcript of the show:

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