No matter how liberal, the new Pope, as with Benedict, will change nothing

“In Benedict, the Catholic Church got the pope it deserved,” writes John Patrick Shanley in The New York Times. Shanley, author of the play Doubt, pulls no punches. Pope Benedict, he correctly charges, is “a protector of priests who abused children. He’d been a member of the Hitler Youth. In addition to this woeful résumé, he had no use for women.”

This pope led a multinational corporation mired in financial scandals and unable to fire the most egregious criminals in its midst. There is almost no country he can visit where Catholics have not suffered because of the Church.

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Postfamilialism and the graying population: US financial collapse?

The global causes of postfamilialism are diverse, and many, on their own, are socially favorable or at least benign. The rush of people worldwide into cities, for example, has ushered in prosperity for hundreds of millions, allowing families to be both smaller and more prosperous. Improvements in contraception and increased access to it have given women far greater control of their reproductive options, which has coincided with a decline in religion in most advanced countries.

With women’s rights largely secured in the First World and their seats in the classroom, the statehouse, and the boardroom no longer tokens or novelties, children have ceased being an economic or cultural necessity for many or an eventual outcome of sex.

But those changes happened quickly enough—within a lifetime—that they’ve created rapidly graying national populations in developed, and even some developing, countries worldwide, as boomers hold on to life and on to the pension and health benefits promised by the state while relatively few new children arrive to balance their numbers and to pay for those promises.

Until recently that decrepitude has seemed oceans away, as America’s open spaces, sprawling suburbs, openness to immigrants, and relatively religious culture helped keep our population young and growing. But attitudes are changing here as well. A plurality of Americans—46 percent—told Pew in 2009 that the rising number of women without children “makes no difference one way or the other” for our society.

These changes are not theoretical or inconsequential…

read the rest at Why the Choice to Be Childless is Bad for America – Newsweek and The Daily Beast.

What about the Black immigrant problem?

After record-breaking levels of detentions and deportations under the Obama Administration, immigration reform is finally gaining traction across the nation due to bipartisan support. When President Obama met with progressive immigration leaders last week to tackle the issue, the groups represented at the conference – United We Stand, the National Council of La Raza – were almost entirely Latino.  Even the NAACP, that old stalwart of Black rights, has framed immigration reform as a Latino issue, building coalitions with increasingly powerful Latino groups. For this generation, immigrants in America have been painted as a decidedly  Latino, leaving non-Latino Black immigrants feeling marginalized and voiceless even as we face the consequences of the last four years of an increasingly sweeping and punitive immigration system.

It’s not the strength of the Latino coalitions that have kept Black immigrants out of the national immigration debate, Instead, it is the weakness of our own splintered voices functioning as individual ethnic organizations instead of a unified coalition. Whereas Latinos seem to have largely succeeded in creating a unified front on immigration reform, Black immigrant groups still struggle to organize around a set of common goals.

This fractured approach became painfully evident when the Administration resumed deportations to Haiti exactly one year after the catastrophic earthquake and amidst a cholera epidemic. Haitian organizations lobbied for relief in the form of Temporary Protected Status (TPS). At the same time, Liberian organizations were separately seeking the renewal of their TPS. The political clout of a coalition able to represent both the Liberian and Haitian community for the exact same status would’ve been unprecedented-unfortunately, no such organization existed. “This has been a wake-up call,” says Marleine Bastien, founder of the advocacy group Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miyami (Haitian Women in Miami). As someone who has been working on immigration reform for almost 20 years, Bastien was “caught off guard by the recent momentum of the Latinos.”

Unlike Latinos, Black immigrants often fall victim to the same residual stereotypes of poverty and criminality that continue to plague African-Americans. The current record-breaking detentions and deportations have swept up undocumented immigrants, legal residents, and criminals alike. Black immigrants consistently place on the top 10 list of most-deported foreign nationals, even though they constitute only 11% of the US immigrant population (Black people as a whole make up 13% of the U.S. population). In 2012, 6,510 Caribbean nationals were deported to their countries of origin, a higher per capita deportation level than Latinos…

read the rest at Blacks and the Immigration Crisis, Part 1 – News & Views – EBONY.

SB1070: Why are cops calling Border Patrol after pulling people over?

Raul Ochoa witnessed what was going on and intervened, positioning himself underneath Border Patrol’s vehicle until they took him into custody.

“I asked and said why do you need to call border patrol when the reason you pulled them over had nothing to do with their immigration status,” Ochoa told News 4 Tucson shortly after he was released.

Border Patrol agents said in a statement that he was arrested, “after failing to respond to repeated warnings and refusing to move from beneath the vehicle.”

While Ochoa walks free, he said it’s the families that are placed into a culture of fear.

“We keep seeing families separated by border patrol by local police calling border patrol…” Ochoa said, adding: “By detentions of families, by deportations, by the deaths at the border so I said enough is enough.”

via Tucsonans protest arrest of immigration activist | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona.