Friday, May 31, 2013

Organizing for Racial Justice

One of the very important aspects of DSA is to encourage our own education. The videos linked below are from the DSA - YDS conference in February. You can see the kind of intellectual preparation we offer to prepare young people for democratic socialism. There are more videos on the topics here.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Remembering Bert Corona

Join the Mexican American Political Association and the Hermandad Mexicana in commemorating the 95th birthday of Humberto "Bert" Corona on May 29, 2013. Bert Corona was a legendary leader in the Mexican American, Chicano, Mexicano, and Latino communities throughout the United States, but also widely known and respected in Mexico among union and social movements, political parties, and even government officials. He was an activist and leader for 60 years in multiple social movements - labor, immigrant rights, peace, political/electoral representation and civil rights, and the academic institutionalization of Chicano Studies Departments in colleges and universities where he taught and/or lectured as a professor. He is considered the father and political architect of the immigrant rights movement during the 1960s and 1970s with the founding of the Center for Autonomous Social Action (CASA) - General Brotherhood of Workers along with his companion of many years, Soledad "Chole" Alatorre. In 1975 he co-founded with Chole and Socorro Alatorre, the Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, which had been originally founded in 1951 by Felipe Usquiano in the city of San Diego, California with other labor leaders of the Laborer's International Union and the International Brotherhood of Carpenters. Corona and Alatorre built CASA, and subsequently, the Hermandad Mexicana into a broad membership grassroots community-based organization as a fighting force against immigration raids and deportations and in favor of fair and humane immigration reform. Their efforts ultimately culminated in the passage of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which legalized 2.7 million undocumented persons. More importantly, their practical teaching methods demonstrated that immigrants could successfully be organized into labor unions, community action organizations, electoral campaigns, lobbying visits to members of Congress and the state legislature, and build mass movements in the streets as an important form of political action. This they did against all counsel and advice from supposed political experts, foundation funders, legislators and traditional party leaders, union officials, and even left organizations who declared that the undocumented could not be organized.

Monday, May 27, 2013

When racists do research- even at Harvard

The Inside Story of a Harvard Dissertation Too Racist for the Heritage Foundation
How Jason Richwine finally found a place to explore his absurd theories linking IQ to race at the elite university.
Zack Beauchamp Think Progress
May 22, 2013
What is a Hispanic? 
The idea that some racial groups are, on average, smarter than others is without a doubt among the most discussed (and debunked) “taboos” in American intellectual history. It is an argument that has been advanced since the days of slavery, one that helped push through the draconian Immigration Act of 1924, and one that set off a scientific firestorm in the late 60s that’s hardly flagged since.
Yet every time the race and IQ hypothesis reclaims the public spotlight, we are caught slackjaw, always returning to the same basic debates on the same basic concepts.
The recent fracas sparked by Dr. Jason Richwine’s doctoral dissertation is a case in point. The paper is a dry thing, written for an academic audience, yet its core claim, that Latino immigrants to the United States are and will likely remain less intelligent than “native whites,” has proved proper tinder for a public firestorm. The Heritage Foundation’s Senior Policy Analyst in Empirical Studies is now a former Senior Policy Analyst — Heritage could not risk further tainting an immigration report it hoped would be influential by outright defending its scholar’s meditations on the possibly genetic intellectual inferiority of immigrants from Latin America.
It might seem like the book is closed on l’affaire Richwine: he’s left his job, Heritage is left with a black eye, and not a single mind has been changed about the value of research into race and IQ. But there’s still one major unanswered question.
If the dissertation was bad enough to get him fired from the Heritage Foundation, how did it earn him a degree from Harvard?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fix School Discipline

Cornerstone Theater Co. & The California Endowment Present

Talk it Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline

Featuring the World Premiere of a New Play


At the State Capitol in Sacramento, CA

Sponsored by the Office of Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento & Author of AB 420,
the New Play is Based on Real-Life Stories from the Sacramento Community,
Exploring the Overuse of “Willful Defiance” in School Discipline
Wednesday, June 26, 2013

SACRAMENTO, CA – May 21, 2013
 – Cornerstone Theater Company and The California Endowment, in partnership with The Black Parallel School Board, will bring the community, policy makers, and the media together to dramatize personal stories of school discipline and to discuss alternatives to harsh practices on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at the State Capitol in Sacramento.   
This bridge building event, Talk it Out: A Community Conversation to Fix School Discipline, will feature a dramatic reading of a new play, Willful, performed by students, community members and professional actors, with a focus on the current debate over the excessive use of “willful defiance” in school suspensions and expulsions.  The event is sponsored by the office of Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento and author of AB 420, a new bill that would restrict the ill-defined and overused “willful defiance” rationale for harsh disciplinary measures. 

Gang of Eight Immigration Bill

I'm circulating my recent short essay on immigration, originally posted in the amazing blog dedicated to the law and immigration:

Alvaro Huerta

Monday, May 20, 2013

IN Support of Fair and Just Immigration Reform

An Open Letter to the Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee In Support of Fair and Just
Immigration Reform
May 20, 2013
Dear Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
As we stand on the threshold of a potentially new, sweeping immigration reform bill, we write to voice our support for fair, just and humane legislation that will not only bring distressed immigrant communities “out of the shadows,” but which will stay true to the country’s values and respect for human rights and commitment to justice.
Substantial improvements must yet be made to SB 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act. While the proposal includes some provisions that will benefit immigrant communities and future immigrants, we are extremely disappointed with both overarching themes and particular provisions that we believe will continue to undermine basic human and worker rights, foster greater racial discrimination and feed the separation and trauma of immigrant families and their communities. We fear that this bill will keep immigrants in an underclass.
We understand that this is a rare opportunity to engage sweeping immigration policies. Immigrant communities have waited years for the chance to reunite with family members, to be free from the threat of deportation after having lived, worked and raised families here for decades. They have waited for the same labor protections as their citizen co-workers and for the opportunity to become citizens and to vote.
The present proposal fails to reflect our communities’ needs and our collective concerns and aspirations for human rights, fairness and justice in U.S. immigration policy -- the promise of “equality and justice for all”. With the mark-up process underway and before the bill reaches the full Senate for consideration, we urge you to address the following:
Substantially improve the path to citizenship. This path should be inclusive, fair, and safe, without obstacles, undue burdens and lengthy waiting periods. 10 years in a provisional status is too long a wait to obtain a green card. The wait should be reasonable and humane and should not exceed five years, the same as DREAM eligible applicants. While work eligibility and ability to travel are important features of the current proposal, those on the path to citizenship should have access to healthcare and economic supports programs. This includes the removal of the five-year bar on access to vital healthcare and family economic support programs.

The continuing need for school reform

Important essay on school reform efforts in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shattered: The lives of young children

This is what is happening. Please read the letter below and take action.

Groups Call for Deportation Suspension for Immigrants Affected by Overhaul

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Open letter on immigration reform, National Network on Immigration and Refugee Rights

As the Senate Judiciary Committee continues the “mark up” process on S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, we ask you to join our Open Letter in which we urge the Committee to adhere to principles of human rights, fairness and justice.
We are asking for both individual and organizational endorsements of our Open Letter for Fair and Just Immigration Reform. The letter will be sent to Judiciary Committee members prior to the next scheduled mark-up day, May 20.
This endorsement form is for individuals. If you would like to endorse as an individual, please click here. If you would like to endorse as an organization, please click here.
Deadline for signatures: Midnight (Pacific Time), Saturday, May 18.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Critic of immigration argues Hispanic Immigrants have a lower I.Q., not likely to catch up.

By Ashley Parker and Kitty Bennett
May 8, 2013
The Caucus: The Politics and Government Blog of the Times
A co-author of a new Heritage Foundation study highly critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal also wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he argued that immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was “substantially lower than that of the white native population.”
A co-author of a new Heritage Foundation study highly critical of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration proposal also wrote a doctoral dissertation in which he argued that immigrants generally had an I.Q. that was “substantially lower than that of the white native population.”
Jason Richwine, who joined the Heritage Foundation in 2012 as a senior policy analyst after receiving his doctorate in public policy from Harvard University in 2009, focused his dissertation, “I.Q. and Immigration Policy,” on his view that the lower intelligence of immigrants should be considered when drafting immigration policy.
A summary of Mr. Richwine’s dissertation, first reported by The Washington Post, says:
“The statistical construct known as IQ can reliably estimate general mental ability, or intelligence. The average IQ of immigrants in the United States is substantially lower than that of the white native population, and the difference is likely to persist over several generations. The consequences are a lack of socioeconomic assimilation among low-IQ immigrant groups, more underclass behavior, less social trust, and an increase in the proportion of unskilled workers in the American labor market. Selecting high-IQ immigrants would ameliorate these problems in the U.S., while at the same time benefiting smart potential immigrants who lack educational access in their home countries.”
In a section titled “The Immigrant I.Q. Deficit,” Mr. Richwine writes, “Immigrants living in the U.S. today do not have the same level of cognitive ability as natives.”
He concludes that section with the belief that Hispanics are not likely to catch up to their non-Hispanic counterparts.
“No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach I.Q. parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-I.Q. children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against,” he writes. “From the perspective of Americans alive today, the low average I.Q. of Hispanics is effectively permanent.”

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Defend Immigrants

Defend Immigrant Rights
International Worker's Day- May Day-  2013 took  on additional special meaning this year, as the drumbeat for immigration reform gets louder and louder. As part of an ongoing campaign, SEIU and allied organizations - such as Mi Familia Vota and the Community Center for Change – as well as unions and community groups celebrated May 1st with major actions in over 70 cities  across the nation.    See photos. 

   The current immigration bill in the U.S. Senate has some positive provisions, but it fails because it  includes a guest worker program as well as an extensive further militarization of the border.  The bill being drafted in the  Republican controlled House will probably be worse.
   Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) favors both the permanent extension of the  DREAM Act as well as broader immigration reform legislation that would grant immediate permanent resident status to all undocumented workers and their children and would establish an expeditious and non-punitive road to citizenship for these workers and their families.

   We also oppose all workplace discrimination based upon immigration status and oppose any and all guest worker programs because they not only exploit the workers
involved but also undercut all workers’ rights to secure humane wages and working conditions, especially in the service and agricultural sectors.

      DSA is a member of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee rights and  participates  in the global struggle for equitable economic development and labor rights to reduce the forces that push desperate people to emigrate. We understand that massive migrations of workers, refugees and asylum seekers is a consequence of a global political and economic system that works for the benefit of transnational corporations at the expense of the vast majority of the peoples of the world.
See prior post.  A Working Class View of Immigration Reform. David Bacon.

Tech firms lobby on Immigration reform- Mexican families, not so important

Tech Firms Take Lead in Lobbying on Immigration

WASHINGTON — The television advertisement that hit the airwaves in Florida last month featured the Republican Party’s rising star, Senator Marco Rubio, boasting about his get-tough plan for border security.
But most who watched the commercial, sponsored by a new group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction, may be surprised to learn who bankrolled it: senior executives from Silicon Valley, like Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, who run companies where the top employees donate mostly to Democrats.
The advertising blitz reflects the sophisticated lobbying campaign being waged by technology companies and their executives.
They have managed to secure much of what they want in the landmark immigration bill now pending in Congress, provisions that would allow them to fill thousands of vacant jobs with foreign engineers. At the same time, they have openly encouraged lawmakers to make it harder for consulting companies in India and elsewhere to provide foreign workers temporarily to this country.
Those deals were worked out through what Senate negotiators acknowledged was extraordinary access by American technology companies to staff members who drafted the bill. The companies often learned about detailed provisions even before all the members of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who worked out the package were informed.