Category Archives: news

Emil Guillermo: Going back to Indiana? NOT. The pendulum continues to swing on civil rights in America.

The late Michael Jackson sang that song about Indiana. An oldie but goodie.

Going back to Indiana?

The answer now is an unqualified,  “HELL NO!”

Jackson  was from Gary, which is practically Chicago, and a real indication of how segregated the state remains today. More black and urban to the north, more white and ag to the south.

Now Gov. Mike Pence has signed a controversial new law that some say is a revival of Jim Crow.

It’s called “The Freedom of Religion Restoration Act,” and critics say it provides the cover for legal discrimination against more than just religion.

Those who defend the law readily say it’s a way to show concern with same-sex marriage. Those against the law say it creates the opening to discriminate against others. Don’t think it won’t happen.

Now what about the other 19 states with these so-called “religious freedom” laws pending?

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This MSNBC map shows the full list of 20 states that have ventured into this arena of legal discrimination:  Indiana,Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma,Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

All the states I won’t be visiting anytime soon.

Now you see how important a tiny little thing like a commemoration of Selma was.

Just as we lurch forward, there are forces that would have our  progress recalled.

And now, we really are going backwards.

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Emil Guillermo: Analiza Moitinho de Almeida declines comment, but gives a statement on Beverly Hills bakery suit on worker/trafficking abuse.

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Analiza Moitinho de Almeida, an owner with her husband Goncalo, of the L’Amande  French Bakery in Beverly Hills, declined to comment, but did speak to me by phone Thursday when I called her this week.

See what she had to say about the lawsuit filed by 11 of her workers who allege worker abuse/fraud/trafficking  in a suit worth more than $1 million.  

See original NBCnews.com story here.

UPDATES:  More to come on this story. Keep checking back on amok.com.

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Emil Guillermo: Second thoughts on Starbucks’ #racetogether while I’m drinking my Peet’s coffee

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OK, OK.  I am joining the coffee grumps. Coffee, black, no race convo.

I read the Starbucks insert in USA TODAY this past weekend, and frankly, I’m astonished.

Race together?  It’s pretty much the same two lanes:  black and white.

In an eight-page insert, the first mention of Asian Americans is on page 5.

In one of 8 questions, there’s this question: “Asians recently surpassed Latinos as the fastest growing group of new immigrants to the United States.” TRUE or FALSE.

The answer is: TRUE.

“Asians recently surpassed Latinos as the fastest growing group of new immigrants to the United States.”

Asians are mentioned in the timeline titled, “Path to Progress.”

But as I point out in my column on the aaldef.org/blog, there are some glaring omissions.

Pass the Peet’s. And see my new column on the aaldef.org/blog.

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Emil Guillermo: Earnest Starbucks gives in to race bullies and no longer encourages baristas to write #racetogether on cups.

I was hoping CEO Howard Schultz would stick to his ideals and stay the course. But I guess, when you’re a corporate enterprise, you can’t go 100 percent on principle if it means you could lose profits by doing the right thing. Ultimately, it’s about shareholder value, and I’m sure Schultz heard from some who weren’t crazy about the idea.

Reports say Starbucks isn’t giving up the initiative. They’re just telling baristas not to use the hashtag  #racetogether on cups.

I know they say they had planned to phase out the writing on the cups. But they would have kept it going if it didn’t blow up in their faces.

Still, they’re not throwing out the baby with yesterday’s old coffee water. They’re moving forward.

I said previously how much I liked the idea.

Small talk actually can lead to better relations. Too often racial hurt comes from micro-aggressions that people of color experience. Positive small talk simply can make people in general more aware of their words.

But I’m in the minority here.

Starbucks says it’s not giving up.

Maybe #Racetogether 2.0 will simply be more of what the company had been doing successfully–public forums for employees and corporate partners who opt-in.

Preaching to the choir always works.

That’s the sad thing about this experiment.  It shows us exactly where we are racially in this country. With our sensitivity levels at new heights, everything is capable of being misunderstood when it comes to race.

Starbucks has learned you can even be dissed for earnestness when no one really wants to make the  effort to have the tiny conversations  we need.

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