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U.S. Ethnic Media on the DNC: Passion, Pick-Up Lines and Possibility

Posted: Sep 07, 2012


Editor’s Note: A snapshot of U.S. ethnic media coverage from this week’s Democratic National Convention provides a glimpse into the ways the DNC is playing out in their communities. New America Media takes a look at some of the reporting and commentaries on major themes from the convention in the country’s African-American, Arab-American, Asian-American, Jewish, Latino and Native-American media.

WOMEN

Jewish Daily Forward: What About Working Women?

Nearly 60 percent of working age women in America participate in the labor force. But for all the anecdote-sharing by the wives of the two presidential candidates at their party conventions, the role of working mother was barely mentioned.

In Ann Romney’s case, of course, the omission is understandable. Juggling the work-life balance is simply not in her vocabulary because it’s never been part of her personal experience…

The omission in Michelle Obama’s case is also understandable — politically, at least. With her speech to the Democratic National Convention, Obama completed a masterful transition from the uncertain spouse of an audacious politician to a poised, gracious, articulate and determined Mom-in-Chief. But we wish this Princeton and Harvard educated lawyer would have also been able to point to her own accomplishments instead of downplaying them…

Indian Country Today: Denise Juneau Rocked the House

One of the strongest pieces of evidence of Native people’s ascent within the political infrastructure is the rising star of Denise Juneau, a powerful young educator of Mandan, Hidatsa and Blackfeet ancestry. She is running for re-election as Montana’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

[Juneau] is a woman from the Blackfeet Reservation; very few folks from any reservation ever get on such a large and public stage—it’s even less frequent that women from large and impoverished reservations ever get to be on those kinds of stages. Like many Northern Plains reservations, unemployment there hovers around 70 percent, socio-economic issues abound, and let’s be honest, there are places where it’s difficult to get your footing and to really get ahead.

And that’s why Ms. Juneau did not let anything stop her… Instead, there she was—on the same stage that Bill Clinton would be on later the same evening. On the same stage that President Obama would be on the next night. Mandan. Hidatsa. Blackfeet. Beautiful. Articulate. Powerful. Indigenous. Woman.

IMMIGRATION

Al Día: In a Primetime Magic Act, the Parties Turn Latino, Too Bad It’s All Smoke and Mirrors

There was magic at the recent Republican and Democratic National conventions. But don’t get too excited, it was just an act.

If you watched, you might have been tempted to think Latinos had, at long last, arrived politically. After all, both Florida Senator Marco Rubio and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro were foregrounded as primetime speakers.

They may well be the future of their parties… In their speeches they drew on stories of their immigrant families. They spoke lovingly about grandparents who overcame great difficulties to come to an America full of possibilities. They spoke of parents who taught them about hard work and perseverance and responsibility. There was real magic in their words and stories, and their ability to reach right through the television screen and make you believe.

This is the reality of the magic act we saw: both parties are trying to claim the hearts of Latino voters.
This is the deception behind the magic: both parties are breaking Latino hearts when it comes to immigration.

Univision: Immigration Makes a Difference in Charlotte

Mrs. K, an undocumented immigrant who came to the U.S. in the ‘90s after fleeing her country because of death threats, holds little hope for immigration reform in the next two or three years. “The situation is very difficult,” she says. “Neither Democrats nor Republicans agree. They talk a lot, say a lot, but when the time comes they don’t pass anything. They just want our community’s votes,” she laments.

… For journalist and political analyst Alan Rivera, [renewed promises of immigration reform are] all about “piropos” [pick-up lines] to our community to get the potential [10 million undecided] voters to the polls.”

[But] Mrs. K isn’t giving up hope. “At the end of the day, we’re going to get them to look at us. You will wonder why. My response is: our children are as American as President Obama or candidate Romney. Through their veins runs the pride of being American that we – their undocumented parents who came to this country in search of a dream – have instilled in them. And it’s that dream that stays alive in our hearts.”

ISRAEL

Jewish Daily Forward: Obama Orders About-Face on Jerusalem

A day of criticism and damage control efforts ended with a Democratic about-face on the issue of Jerusalem. The party decided on Wednesday to amend its new platform and to reinstate in its language recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The amendment, which was personally ordered by President Barack Obama, may put an end to the barrage of Republican criticism that threatened to overshadow the Democrat’s convention message to Jewish voters. But it clearly caused an embarrassment to Obama’s re-election campaign and Jewish outreach effort.

Al Jazeera English: Why Are Democrats Upset About Jerusalem?

How the Jerusalem reference was deleted from the Democratic platform for the first time since 1972 remains unclear. It also seemed far from certain that the decision to reinsert the reference received the necessary two-thirds approval from delegates in the hall.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, told CNN the omission was "a technical oversight" and that there was no "discord" on the floor. But Jumana Judeh, a convention delegate and founder of Arab American Women for Obama, told Al Jazeera that she and others had intentionally lobbied to remove the reference from the platform.

"Once it became public knowledge, the Jewish lobby is a very powerful lobby here in the United States," she said, calling the decision to reinstate the plank a "slap in the face."

MARRIAGE EQUALITY

Charlotte Post: Black Clergy Rip Obama on Gay Marriage

The Coalition of African American Pastors have a message for President Barack Obama: Don't take black Christians for granted.

"We are disappointed in our president," said the Rev. William Owens, founder of CAAP. "We love our president and we pray for our president."

That dream doesn't include same-sex marriage. Owens asserted that too many pastors – especially black ones – are quiet on the issue because they don't want to speak out against the first black president.

"They are drinking his Kool-Aid and it's more poisonous than (cult leader) Jim Jones' was."

NBC Latino: Rep. Mary Gonzalez: As an LGBT Latina, the DNC’s Diversity Tells Me I’m Home

The feelings of inclusion and respect that I have felt as a member of the Democratic Party were realities on the stage and the speakers were more than just 'token' speakers… they were symbolic representations of the coalition that makes up the Democratic Party.

It was inspiring to hear my role models Mayor Julian Castro and Representative Joaquin Castro, not only address issues of immigration but also talk about marriage equality and be allies to multiple communities that are not their own.

On top of that, 8 percent of the delegates at the DNC were LGBTQ, the first time a major party has ever welcomed the community in such a way.

DIVERSITY

Asian Herald: The DNC’s Eye on Asian Americans

320 of the nearly 6,000 delegates are Asian American, most of which are leaders of their communities in their home states. [It] is clear that the significance of the overall Asian American vote is starting to be recognized by campaigns and voters alike.

Asian Americans are the fastest growing group in the country, outpacing Hispanics as of 2010. North Carolina has one of the fastest growing populations of Asian Americans having increased 85 percent in the last 10 years.

As the publisher of the Asian Herald, I welcome everyone that has come to Charlotte for the Convention. Over the last 19 years since this newspaper began this city, which has grown so quickly in so short a time, has come to represent the new and the possible.

The Final Call: Black Caucus Declares Unquestioned Support for Obama

The crowd inside roared and applauded as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II put his preacher’s skills to work and turned the Democratic Convention session into a place to shout and bear witness. It wasn’t passion devoted to Jesus, but fiery declarations of support for President Obama, the blessing of a diverse America and a vow to endure any hardship and GOP ridicule to keep the current commander in chief in office.

The Root: Color Them Democrats

Change comes in many colors. And the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., has proved to be a brilliant display of American diversity...

The delegates have gathered to re-elect the nation's first African-American president -- a historic moment -- but what is most striking is the visible difference between the Democratic alliance and their Republican rivals...


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