I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Trip’s morning reading
Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer apparently wants the Legislature to definitively confer on her the authority to sue the federal government over the recently passed health care reform law, according to AzCapitolTimes blog. But don’t look for a similar rush to the courthouse in New Mexico. Most top office holders in New Mexico are Democrats and many have praised the health care reform law. Plus most of the folks holding the state’s top offices are Democrats, while all but one of the attorneys general planning to sue the feds across the country is Republican.
The AzCapitolTimes reports that Brewer wants the Legislature to give her the authority to sue because there’s no case law in the event of a state’s attorney general disagreeing with the governor on the need for the suit. That’s happened in a couple of states, notably Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Moving to education reform, Delaware and Tennessee have won the first round of the federal government’s Race to the Top contest, according to the Washington Post. The two states won on the strength of their innovative plans to reform public education in their respective states. The monetary rewards are substantial: Delaware could take home as much as $107 million and Tennessee’s haul could top $500 million, the paper reported. The money is to be applied toward programs to reform each state’s public education system. The two states beat out 13 other states and the District of Columbia that were finalists for the money. New Mexico didn’t make the cut, failing to win finalist status earlier this month. More than $3 billion remains in the Race to the Top fund, meaning other states could win money in future rounds, the paper said.
Internationally, coordinated blasts in Moscow’s subway system killed dozens of people, causing authorities there to fear a campaign of terroristic attacks may be coming, the New York Times reports. Authorities believe the blasts were set off by female suicide bombers wearing armed vests, according to the paper.
And now onto race. The history of white people? That headline for a story running in the Book Review section of the New York Times this Sunday stopped me dead in my tracks. For someone who has wondered what is meant by “white” when used in connection with people — I grew up in the Deep South after all — the headline was too intriguing to pass up. It was a good review of a book that captures some of the complexity, politics, and social theory behind the designation of “white” as a racial term. I’ve spent some time trying to understand what “white” means. The term certainly doesn’t have to do with the pigmentation of one’s skin, given how most people who are lumped into this category have skin that looks more pinkish than white. And it’s an amazingly elastic term, seeing as how Hispanics were considered “white” — not Hispanic and white, but white white — in the 1970s where I grew up, mainly because many of us hadn’t had enough experience with a diversity that encompassed anything other than “black” and “white.” Also who is considered “white” and who is not depends, sometimes, on the region of the country where you live. The story confirmed that I’m not alone in parsing some of the meanings and questioning the uses of that ill-fitting word “white.” If you’re interested in demographics or race relations, I’d recommend reading the review.