Poll: Most Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans are U.S. Citizens

"The Puerto Rican Tree," as residents and Parks & Rec workers refer to it, in Norris Square Park. Photo | David Cruz via Instagram.

“The Puerto Rican Tree,” as residents and Parks & Rec workers refer to it, in Norris Square Park. Photo | David Cruz via Instagram.

So this happened: From May 6th to May 9th, the Economist and You-Gov conducted a survey of U.S. citizens 18 and older, asking them several questions about the Puerto Rican financial crisis which has been in the news.

One of the questions was about the citizenship of Puerto Ricans, and the results are a bit embarrassing: Only 43 percent of those surveyed knew Puertorriqueños are U.S. citizens from birth. Another 41 percent thought “Puerto Rican” was its own citizenship, and another 15 percent weren’t sure.

The numbers are higher than I expected, but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’ve heard stories from Boricua friends about Department of Motor Vehicle employees refusing to renew driver’s licenses because they believe Puerto Ricans are “foreigners;” and I’ve seen far too many articles (and even respected research efforts) that classify Puerto Ricans as “immigrants” when they move stateside — as they’ve been doing since beginning of the 20th century.  Read more »

False Alarm in “Active Shooter” Situation in San Diego

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UPDATE 1/26/2016 2 p.m.: On Tuesday morning in California, shots were reported inside a San Diego naval facility, but it looks like it was a false alarm, with multiple press outlets reporting that there’s no evidence that a shooting occurred.

“Apparently someone said they heard three shots in the basement of Building 26. Maybe they did or not is not the point; that’s what they reported, so that’s why we responded accordingly,” Navy spokesperson Jon Nylander said. “We haven’t gotten any reports of any injuries.”

ORIGINAL:

Reports coming out of San Diego, California indicate that an active shooter has been reported at the Naval Medical Center there. Read more »

Delaware Police Officer Acquitted in Shocking Videotaped Kicking

A jury has acquitted a Dover, Delaware, police officer accused of kicking a black suspect in the face — even though the suspect appeared to be complying with commands at the time.

Dover Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, had been charged with felony assault in connection with the 2013 incident, which was captured on a police car dashcam. Webster was seen kicking 29-year-old Lateef Dickerson in the head, knocking him unconscious and breaking his jaw. Dickerson had fled from another officer who was breaking up a fight. Read more »

Philly Religious Leaders Condemn Donald Trump’s Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day at Patriots Point aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during a rally coinciding with Pearl Harbor Day at Patriots Point aboard the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., Monday, Dec. 7, 2015.

Yesterday, prior to speaking at a campaign event in South Carolina, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump issued a press release calling for a total ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The call has drawn fire from other Republican politicians, including several who are critical of the Obama administration’s strategy for combating the fundamentalist Islamic State organization, also known as ISIS or ISIL. It also may have played a role in acts such as last night’s desecration of the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society mosque by an unidentified man who threw a severed pig’s head at its door. It’s also led to the Philadelphia Daily News likening Trump to Hitler on today’s cover.

But as Trump has seized on Islam itself as the grounds for the ban, we thought it more appropriate to ask leaders in the local religious community to respond. Several did: Read more »

Cheryl Ann Wadlington’s Fight to Save Black Girls

Students from Evoluer House summer 2015 Youth Workforce Development and Personal Development programs leaving class at Peirce College.

Students from Evoluer House summer 2015 Youth Workforce Development and Personal Development programs leaving class at Peirce College. Inset: Cheryl Ann Wadlington.

When video surfaced of a South Carolina school security officer yanking a high-school student from her desk because she had allegedly disobeyed orders to put her cellphone away, observers howled. Although the white officer, Ben Fields, was fired, many blamed the girl — an African American teenager — for not complying with her teacher. The incident was one of thousands that have played out across the country in which reported misconduct by Black girls at school prompted a seemingly disproportionate — and often violent — response by school and local authorities.

“Girls of color face much harsher school discipline than their white peers but are excluded from current efforts to address the school-to-prison pipeline,” according to “Black Girls Matter: Pushed Out, Overpoliced and Underprotected,” a report by Columbia Law School’s Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies and the African American Policy Forum. The report, based on a new review of national data and personal interviews with young women in Boston and New York, cites several examples of excessive disciplinary actions against young Black girls, including the controversial 2014 case of a 12-year-old in Georgia who faced expulsion and criminal charges for writing the word “hi” on a locker room wall. A white female classmate who was also involved faced a much less severe punishment. Read more »

Missing Child Found Dead in Haddon Township

On Tuesday morning around 6 a.m., police in Haddon Township, New Jersey were notified that a 3-year-old boy was missing from his home on the 100 block of Cooper Street. Within a few hours, he was found dead, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office. Read more »

Teaching College Today Was Downright Eerie

It is one of those things that you didn’t sign up for as an educator, the idea that you might have to wear a bulletproof vest to lecture on how to edit business communications. That doesn’t cross your mind when you’re getting your master’s degree.

But last night, as my college sent out a mass email about the FBI’s warning over some sort of violent action that might take place at a Philadelphia-area college, I seriously thought about canceling class.

Many of my colleagues did just that: Maybe it was fear, or maybe it was the fact that half of their students started emailing them, saying that there was no way they were coming to campus today, so, to be frank, it was more of a logical choice to call it quits before even showing up. In short, what’s the point? Read more »

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