See every term the US Census has used to describe black Americans ~ Dara Lind

The US Census has been counting African Americans as a separate race since 1820. But the way it’s categorized African Americans, and what it’s called them, has changed constantly.

census race history

(Joss Fong/Vox; data from Pew Research Center)

Especially notable is that before 1960, Americans didn’t even have the option of picking their own race; it was the census taker’s job to do it for them. Which means that in 1890, for example, census takers were tasked with figuring out whether multiracial families counted as “mulatto,” “quadroon,” or “octoroon.”

It’s another illustration of how our understanding of what race is, and who belongs to which race, keeps shifting over time — even though people of every era are convinced that the racial divisions of their era are just scientific fact.


11 Ways Hawaii Feels Like A Foreign Country ~ Chloe Fox

From the moment you land in Hawaii, things just feel different.

While Hawaii has been a state since 1959, it has always been a distinctly exotic destination, unlike anything else in the country and even the world. It’s no wonder America fell head over heels in love with the islands.

As the world’s most isolated landmass, Hawaii has its own culture, its own timezone, and its own way of doing just about everything. 

The idiosyncrasies that make Hawaii so distinct are precisely the reasons we love it so.

Below, just 11 ways Hawaii feels like a foreign country. 

  • Even fellow Americans forget that Hawaii is a state.
    No, you won’t need your passport. And yes, we do use the U.S. dollar.
  • But you do have to fill out a form when you land.
    It’s an agriculture form, not a customs form, but after the long flight (roughly 10 hours from New York), it’s easily confused. 
  • You won’t find your bank here.
    Not a single one of the country’s ten biggest banks, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo, has a retail location in Hawaii. Instead, you’ll find local banks like First Hawaiian and Bank of Hawaii.
  • There’s a language barrier.
    Hawaii has two official languages, Hawaiian and English. But Hawaiian pidgin is also widely used. A recent US census of languages in North America included Hawaiian Pidgin  as a recognized language for the first time, meaning a lot of Hawaii residents were pleasantly surprised to find themselves newly bilingual.
  • McDonald’s has a special menu here.
    We’ll take the spam, eggs and rice breakfast platter and one taro pie, please. 
  • But who needs McDonald’s when you have Zippy’s?
    With its extensive menu (saimin and grilled cornbread, anyone?), Hawaii’s very own fast food joint is truly unique.
  • There’s an honest to goodness palace.
    Home to the last monarchs of the Kingdom of Hawaii, Iolani Palace is the only palace on U.S. soil.
  • Hawaii has its own gods.
  • It is truly diverse.
  • Some visitors may experience culture shock.
    There is a unique culture in Hawaii, one that extends well past tiki stereotypes. Aloha is a concept people live by, honking is totally taboo, and don’t you dare think about wearing your shoes or slippers (flip flops) into someone’s house. 
  • It is truly otherworldly.
    Hawaii, we love you. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that Hawaii was the only state with more than one official language. It is not.

Could Black People In The U.S. Qualify As Refugees? By Raha Jorjani

Demonstrators, mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Raha Jorjani is an immigration defense lawyer with the Office of the Alameda County Public Defender. She has also served as a professor at UC Davis Law. 

Suppose a client walked into my office and told me that police officers in his country had choked a man to death over a petty crime. Suppose he said police fatally shot another man in the back as he ran away. That they arrested a woman during a traffic stop and placed her in jail, where she died three days later. That a 12-year-old boy in his country was shot and killed by the police as he played in the park.

Suppose he told me that all of those victims were from the same ethnic community — a community whose members fear being harmed, tortured or killed by police or prison guards. And that this is true in cities and towns across his nation. At that point, as an immigration lawyer, I’d tell him he had a strong claim for asylum protection under U.S. law.

What if, next, he told me he was from America? Black people in the United States face such racial violence that they could qualify as refugees if they didn’t already live here.

Over the past decade, I’ve represented and advised hundreds of noncitizens facing deportation. Many feared persecution in their home countries and sought protection in the United States. To win them asylum status and the right to stay, I showed that my clients had a well-founded fear of future persecution by the government or by groups that the government was unable or unwilling to control. In one case, I successfully argued that if my client returned to his home country, he could be unjustly imprisoned and physically harmed on the basis of his religious beliefs. Black Americans know the risk of unjust imprisonment and physical harm all too well.

According to U.S. asylum law, that persecution must be on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. In many cases, courts have said that violence by police officers, unjust imprisonment, rape, assault, beatings and confinement constitute persecution. Even nonphysical forms of harm, such as the deliberate imposition of severe economic disadvantage, psychological harm, or the deprivation of food, housing, employment or other essentials, help make the case. In one instance, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that an individual who had been arrested, held for three days and then falsely accused of a crime had been persecuted. In another case, it ruled that persecution included ethnic discrimination so severe that the petitioner was unable to find a job in his chosen field.

Does this sound familiar?

The United States claims to be a country that protects refugees, not produces them; a country that chastises nations with poor human rights records. But what of our own human rights record, which shows how far we still have to go in eradicating racial injustice and violence? 

To make an asylum case for black persecution, I wouldn’t have to reach back to 400 years of slavery, lynching, segregation and Jim Crow. I would focus, instead, on the current prolific system of racist policing, mass incarceration and selective prosecution.

I might start by telling the story of Albert Woodfox, an African American man who has spent more than 40 years in solitary confinement as a result of a conviction that was recently overturned. The United Nations has called for an “absolute prohibition” on solitary confinement beyond a couple of weeks. Yet prison officials keep Woodfox locked away. While data on solitary confinement is notoriously hard to come by, a study from the University of Michigan shows that the practice disproportionately affects people of color

African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 31 percent of people killed by police in 2012. According to a ProPublica analysis, black teenagers were 21 times more likely than white teens to be shot and killed by the police between 2010 and 2012. In the United States, there are 1.6 million black men in prison, on probation or on parole, double the number who were enslaved in 1850

I’d remind the court that in 1985, the Philadelphia police dropped an actual bomb on the headquarters of MOVE, a black political organization, killing 11 black citizens, including five children, and destroying 61 homes, an act for which not one city official was prosecuted. That more recently, the subprime mortgage scandal — which for the most part has also gone unpunished — disproportionately victimized black communities. Blacks and Latinos were more than twice as likely as whites to get those risky, high-cost loans.

I would cite the Justice Department’s findings that in Ferguson, Mo., courts engaged in intentional racial discrimination while administering the law. I would point out that black men receive prison sentences that are, on average, 20 percent longer than those of white men who committed the same crimes. That in some cities, police officers engage in racial profiling and unconstitutional stops on a routine basis. I would raise the fact that since 2010, 22 states have passed new voting restrictions that disproportionately affect black voters. While I probably wouldn’t need to, I’d also throw in that in 2013, the median wealth for white households was about $141,900, whereas for black households it was about $11,000. 

This country is dangerous for black people. Black parents live with an ever-present fear that their children will become victims of state violence and terror on the basis of race.

Had they remained alive, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Malissa Williams, Timothy Russell, John Crawford, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, Walter Scott, Ezell Ford, Mya Hall, Dontre Hamilton, Tamir Rice, Tanisha Anderson, Miriam Carey, Yvette Smith, Samuel Dubose and so many others would be able to demonstrate that they had more than a well-founded fear of persecution at the hands of their government or individuals whom their government was unable or unwilling to control.

Black Americans should not have to flee this country to seek refuge.

Michelle Obama Addresses Tuskegee University Graduates ~ Kim Chandler

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (AP) — Michelle Obama on Saturday invoked the storied history of Tuskegee University as she urged new graduates to soar to their futures, saying the past provides a blueprint for a country still struggling with the “age-old problems” of discrimination and race.

The first lady gave the commencement address at the historically black university in Alabama. Obama described how the Tuskegee Airmen, the famed first African-American pilots of World War II, endured humiliating slights as they shattered racial stereotypes about the capabilities of black men and how the university’s students in the 1800’s made bricks by hand to construct campus buildings so future generations could study there.

“Generation after generation, students here have shown that same grit, that same resilience to soar past obstacles and outrages — past the threat of countryside lynchings; past the humiliation of Jim Crow; past the turmoil of the Civil Rights era. And then they went on to become scientists, engineers, nurses and teachers in communities all across the country — and continued to lift others up along the way,” Obama said.

The defining story of Tuskegee is the story of rising hopes and fortunes for all African Americans. And now, graduates, it’s your turn to take up that cause,” Obama said of the university founded in 1881 by Booker T. Washington.

The first lady, taking head on the issue of racial discrimination, mentioned the strife that has occurred in Baltimore and Ferguson — and the slights she and the president have endured — as she addressed the school’s 500 mostly African-American graduates.

“The road ahead is not going to be easy. It never is, especially for folks like you and me. Because while we’ve come so far, the truth is those age-old problems are stubborn, and they haven’t fully gone away,” Obama said.

The first lady said she and President Barack Obama have dealt with the sting of daily slights through their entire lives. “The people at formal events who assumed you were the help and those that have questioned our intelligence, our honesty and even our love of this country.”

She said those little indignities are minimal compared to “nagging worries that you are going to get stopped or pulled over for absolutely no reason” or the “agony of sending your kids to schools that may no longer be separate, but are far from equal.”

Obama said the frustration is “rooted in decades of structural challenges that have made too many folks feel frustrated and invisible. And those feelings are playing out in communities like Baltimore and Ferguson and so many others across this country.” But those frustrations are not an excuse to give in to despair and anger, Obama said.

She said history provides a “blueprint” for moving forward through politics and voting and education.

“Those Airmen, who rose above brutal discrimination, they did it so the world could see just how high black folks could soar. That’s the spirit we’ve got to summon to take on the challenges we face today,” Obama said.

Like the students who made bricks so future generations could attend college, Obama challenged students to do their part, mentoring children, volunteering at food banks and after-school programs and helping others achieve their college dreams.

Obama became the second first lady to visit the private school. Eleanor Roosevelt was the first in 1941, when she flew with a black Army pilot to show support for the famed Tuskegee Airmen.

A crowd of nearly 4,000 heard the first lady’s remarks during graduation. Tickets were largely limited to family members of the 500 graduates. Sarah Jordan, 21, had her mortar board emblazoned with “Law School Bound” and decorated in shiny pink and black. The Pasadena native is headed back to California for law school after getting her English degree Saturday.

“This is such a dream come true for me to have her here. She’s a role model for everyone,” Jordan said. “It means everything especially because I am an aspiring lawyer. I definitely look up to her,” Jordan said. Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

The first lady described the anxiety and criticism she initially endured over crafting her role as first lady, and how she learned to put it aside. She said a cable news program once called her “Obama’s Baby Mama” and that her self-described primary job as Mom might not be what some want to hear from an Ivy League-educated lawyer.

She urged graduates to likewise put aside negative voices and stay true to themselves and their dreams in deciding their paths.

“No matter what path you choose, I want to make sure that it is you choosing it and not someone else,” Obama said.

The Tuskegee speech is one of three commencement addresses Obama will give this spring. The first lady last visited Alabama in March. She accompanied President Obama and their two daughters to Selma for the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march.

Salubrious Saturday – What Does the World Eat for Breakfast?

This I found to be a fun little side trip into the ever popular world of breakfast. So what does the world eat for breakfast? Well for me eggs are always a safe bet, but some of these other options look quite good. I do love food. Stay Healthy and Enjoy!



Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night’s sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day’s work.[1] Among English speakers, “breakfast” can be used to refer to this meal or to refer to a meal composed of traditional breakfast foods (such as eggs, oatmeal and sausage) served at any time of day. The word literally refers to breaking the fasting period of the prior night.[2]

Breakfast foods vary widely from place to place, but often include a carbohydrate such as grains or cereals, fruit and/or vegetables, a protein food such as eggs, meat or fish, and a beverage such as tea, coffee, milk or fruit juice. Coffee, milk, tea, juice, breakfast cereals, pancakes, sausages, French toast, bacon, sweet breads, fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, mushrooms, baked beans, muffins, crumpets and toast with butter or margarine and/or jam or marmalade are common examples of breakfast foods, though a large range of preparations and ingredients are associated with breakfast globally.[3]

Some nutritional experts have long referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day, citing studies that find that people who skip breakfast are disproportionately likely to have problems with concentration, metabolism, weight, and cardiac health.[4][5][6] The nutritionist Monica Reinagel has argued the metabolic benefits have been exaggerated, noting the improvement in cognition has been found among children, but is much less significant among adults. Reinagel also explains that the link between skipping breakfast and increased weight is likely behavioral—compensating with snacks and/or eating more later—and therefore not inevitable.[7] Some say that skipping breakfast may even lead to diabetes as well as coronary disease.[8]