civil rights

The Importance of the 2020 Election: How to Save Our Democracy

Mac Regan

After years of legislative and social gridlock, these failings are at a critical stage. But irreversible damage to our historical values, our democracy, and our capitalism can be avoided. The last line of defense now, as in 1776, is citizens who can make informed decisions and have the patriotic courage to sacrifice, compromise, and overcome bias in the service of America. The 2020 revolution for America will depend on objectivity and critical thinking rather than firelocks and cannons.

EPI: Study of African-American Progress in 50 Years

Lauren Victoria Burke

In 2017, the Black unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, up from 6.7 percent in 1968, and still roughly twice the white unemployment rate. In 2015, the Black homeownership rate was just over 40 percent, virtually unchanged since 1968 and trailing a full 30 points behind the white homeownership rate, which saw modest gains over the same period. President Trump has bragged about the Black unemployment rate has reached record lows and homeownership has reached record highs under his presidency. What Trump leaves out is the overall statistical data over many years.

Trump's Ugly Midyear Record on Civil Rights

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

His first nomination out the box was Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department, the umbrella agency that the Civil Rights Division is under. The total remake of the department was a top priority for Trump. Sessions hit the ground running. He demanded the delay, if not the end, of federal consent decrees on police misconduct, a new war on low-level drug offenders, silence on criminal justice reforms, and a full-throated endorsement of private prisons. Given Sessions’ intense dislike of the Voting Rights Act, enforcement of the law is even more imperiled.

The Pride of Black Lives Matter

Angelo Franco

Exit polls showed that as many as 70 percent of African-American Californians voted in favor of Proposition 8. More in-depth studies have since shown that religion, more so than race, was a better indicative of constituents voting for or against the legislation; the study stipulated that African-Americans, being the most religious group in California, accounted for approximately 58 percent of the votes in favor of Proposition 8, while Latin-Americans almost paralleled that with 59 percent voting in favor of it. 

What We Can Expect From a Hillary Clinton White House

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Clinton knows full well the perils ahead. The biggest threat is the Congress that she’ll have to go to with her big spending package. A GOP-controlled Congress will be as hostile to her big budget and tax increases as it was to Obama’s. With a big White House win, Clinton is on far more solid ground when she tries to follow through with the pledge. This will give her the breathing space needed to get parts of her jobs, education, healthcare, and infrastructure overhaul programs through.

 

Human Rights Watch Lists Police Mistreatment of African-Americans as Violation

Charlene Muhammad

In “World Report 2016: Events of 2015,” experts criticize U.S. police practices and become yet another international body bringing the plight of Blacks in America onto the international stage. Once again, high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans gained media attention in 2015, including the deaths of Freddy Gray in Baltimore and Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina,” the report said.

 

On Its 50th Anniversary, the Voting Rights Act is Under Attack

Peniel E. Joseph

For African Americans, the passage of the Voting Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965, represented the culmination of a centuries-long struggle for citizenship. President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the legislation, designed to end a century of voter disfranchisement in the South and other parts of the nation, was inspired by grassroots protests and organizing that gripped the nation. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts in Selma, Ala., linked a local campaign for voting rights to a national movement to redefine American democracy.

My Civil Rights Year

Paul Kleyman

My Selma experience was deeply sensory, staying up all night in the basement of the Brown AME Chapel making coffee for people, moving to the rhythmic speeches and songs in the church sanctuary, crowding into the back of a pickup truck to go to the march after a chilly, pre-dawn rain—and walking 19 miles in tennis shoes (decades before “cross trainers”), only to peal them off in Montgomery and plunge my feet into the happy coolness of red mud.

2014: The Year of the Protester

Kirsten West Savali

There have been those who have described this as the latest iteration of the civil rights movement, but as Malcolm X taught us, there can be no civil rights until we first have human rights. These protesters understand that the expectation of subdued civility in the face of the continued dehumanization of black life is evidence of the racism that this country was founded upon. 

Attorney Gen. Holder’s Compelling Case in the Brown Killing

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Attorney General Eric Holder has a compelling federal case in the Michael Brown killing if he decides to bring civil rights charges against Ferguson, Missouri cop Darren Wilson. He's certainly taken almost unprecedented lightning fast first steps in that direction. He's got a phalanx of FBI agents assigned to the case. He's authorized an autopsy by a crack medical examiner from the military. 

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