THE BLOG

Diversity News & Notes: So-Called Black Names Do Exist, Mexican Gun Buyback Program Nets Bombs, Obama's Chicago Speech Backlash

02/19/2013 09:06 am ET | Updated Apr 21, 2013

Well folks, the fact that names tend to be passed down or reused inside families and certain names appear to be preferred by black and white parents, should come as a surprise to precisely no one. But a new paper released by the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that these distinctive racial naming practices predate the 1960s. The other big finding: according to census data the most common given name for black men is Booker. Not so surprisingly, the study also confirms that names that are considered "distinctively black" have been linked to a range of not so great outcomes including higher/ longer-running periods of unemployment.

In Mexico City, officials are ramping up a gun and other weapon buy back program that since December has induced residents to turn in, "more than 2,500 guns, 225 grenades, 16,000 cartridges and a bomb, government officials said. Residents have received cash totaling $344,716, in addition to gifts and vouchers," Fox News Latino reported.

Over the weekend, Obama's big speech in Chicago about violence and guns got a lot of push back from people who think he came, played a little politics, blamed absent black fathers and isn't showing the same sort of sympathy or concern about the violence that kills too many Black Americans that he did in Newtown, Conn. or Aurora, Colo. Now, there's absolute truth in the idea that any gun control efforts need to be tailored to address the kind of "routine" handgun violence that effects so many cities and communities of color, not just assault weapons used in tragic but rare mass killings. And, there's certainly truth in the idea that efforts to reduce black unemployment and other root causes of the disproportionate rates of poverty in black America are important matters on which many people want and feel that they need to hear from Obama. But the backlash, and nearly outright rejection of the idea that families and family structures have anything to do with the violence that plagues Chicago and many other cities is pretty surprising. Publications ranging form Time magazine to Clutch (an online publication), Ebony and Poltics365.com, all expressed real frustration with Obama's mention of absent black dads. But, what if we worried less about the image of black men/black fathers and more about the actual conditions under which many black children are being raised? Is there anything that Obama can say on this topic that seems important or legitimate? What should he have said in Chicago? I'd like to hear your thoughts. Email me at Janell.ross@huffingtonpost.com

In case you missed it, Politics365 had an interesting take Friday on the purchases - fedoras, Rolexes and memorabilia - that appear to be at the root of Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s legal problems. Politics365 has the list of questionable campaign spending.

Despite the Obama Administration's public commitment to focus deportation efforts on high priority targets - those convicted of or wanted for serious crimes - USA Today reported this weekend that people caught driving without a license and other minor infractions remain targets for immigration officials. In fact, these people are being rounded up and deported to bolster the administration's annual deportation figures.

After a trip to Atlantic City earlier this year to report on just how integral immigrants are to the city's economy (they work in the area's casinos and hotels), I wasn't surprised to read that the Trump Plaza, one of the strip's biggest casinos, sold last week. The casino industry in Atlantic City is shrinking and its population is changing dramatically even if its Republican-dominated politics have not. Now, a Latino-owned California company plans to take over and rename the Trump Plaza, Fox News Latino reports.