"I began to believe voices in my head -- that I was a freak, that I am broken, that there is something wrong with me, that I will never be lovable."
"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
The NYC Stop-and-Frisk Program (wiki). Previously. Previously. Previously. And previously. Now there is new audio of how the stop-and-frisk program is being carried out by the NYPD, revealing the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented. Includes some discussion on the culture of being a cop and how these orders are being handed down from the top.
Timothy Kurek is a straight Christian man who decided to go "undercover" for a year as a gay man, [more inside]
Colorblind Racism Inside the U.S. Advertising Industry. A dissertation by Chris Boulton. [15:13 Vimeo] [more inside]
The Dealers is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster was prepared, one which removes all trace of... You guessed it: Women. The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside]
When the Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia in 1967 declared laws against interracial marriage unconstitutional, the last affected state in which a legal interracial marriage occurred was South Carolina in January, 1969, in the city where the Civil War started. What most people don't know is the bride was a transsexual. [more inside]
A preacher rebukes North Carolina media over asking the wrong questions about marriage. North Carolina votes today on Amendment 1, which states that, "Constitutional amendment to provide that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State." Here are some of the people who would be affected.
Christianne Harder on why Jessica Dorrell's actions hurt all women trying to work in college football.
FlyRights is a smartphone app designed to provide a quick and easy way to report complaints of air travel harassment, profiling, and discrimination. Within the first ten hours of its launch, FlyRights had fielded two complaints of harassment and profiling. By contrast, the DHS's report to Congress on civil rights and civil liberties listed only 11 complaints in the first six months of 2011. FlyRights was designed by the Sikh Coalition, the nation's largest Sikh civil rights organization.
"[T]he Commission hereby clarifies that claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as claims of discrimination based on gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII's sex discrimination prohibition"On April 20, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a unanimous ruling for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought up by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, who claimed she was denied a job as at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after she announced she was transitioning from male to female. The decision allows for people who have been fired or prohibited from applying for a job based on their gender identity to bring federal lawsuits against their employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [more inside]
Unanimous SCOTUS ruling: Anti-discrimination laws (such as the ADA) do not apply to church employees with religious duties. Full ruling: PDF, HTML
In the state of Virginia, it is now legal for licensed adoption agencies and foster facilities to discriminate on the basis of a potential parent's sexual orientation, religion, age, gender, disability, political beliefs, or family status. [more inside]
The Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Project brings together philosophers, psychologists, and policy professionals to study unconscious biases against members of stigmatized groups. The recommended reading page collects recent scholarly articles available for download. (Previously)
In October 1870, as American Jews were observing the High Holidays, The Atlantic Magazine published an article called "Our Israelitish Bretheren." 'At the time, it served as a sort of crash course about a tiny, mystifying minority. Today, it survives as something quite different: a snapshot of a transitional moment in Jewish history.' Written by American biographer, James Parton -- the founder of American Heritage magazine.
Leprosy in India has officially been eliminated since 2005 as prevalence of the disease has fallen to historic lows. But what was once a public health issue sometimes looks more like a political or religious one as some of the Christian charities that treat victims come under sustained pressure. [more inside]
The New Republic examines what they're calling "America's Next Great Civil Rights Struggle" and asks, "What will it take for America to accept transgender people for who they really are?" [more inside]
The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that a class-action gender-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart cannot go forward as the class of plaintiffs affected is "too large." All Things Considered summarized the facts of the case last March; Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog reported on the key issue of "class commonality" during oral arguments. The full opinion, authored by Antonin Scalia, is here. Previously.
At Norma's cafe in Farmers Branch Texas the results of the Primetime show "What would you do?" brings tears to the eyes of its actors [more inside]
Brazil's supreme court recognises same sex unions. The Brazilian Supreme Court voted 10-0 (one abstention) yesterday to recognise same-sex civil unions as of equal legal validity to marriage/ with "stable" same-sex couples now able to gain certificates that allow access to equal legal rights. "Discrimination generates hatred," said Justice Carlos Ayres Britto, who wrote the ruling. [more inside]
High-achieving Asian-American students are being shut out of top schools around the country. Is this what diversity looks like now? "'There’s a form of redlining or holding Asian-American students to higher standards than any other group.' Although Asian-Americans represent less than 5 percent of the US population (and slightly more than 5 percent in Massachusetts), they make up as much as 20 percent of students at many highly selective private research universities – the kind of schools that make it into top 50 national rankings. But, critics charge, Asian-American students would constitute an even larger share if many weren’t being filtered out during the admissions process." [more inside]
"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico."
Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers. A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination.
“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” [more inside]
UK respite and foster parents may no longer be homophobic, even when it is due to religious belief. An English Christian couple acting as foster parents have been banned from further placements due to their statement that they could not tell children that homosexual relationships were of equal value, with judges stating that their claims that adoption should still be allowed as a "a travesty of reality". Reaction from the UK religious right (such as it is) is venomous. [more inside]
Transgender Man Plays on Women's College Team. A guard for George Washington University's women's basketball team is a transgender man. Kye Allums, who was born female and has not undergone any hormone treatments, changed his name from Kay-Kay to Kye within the last year and was relieved not to lose his scholarship. "When people refer to me as 'girl' or 'she,' it doesn't sit well with me," Allums said. "That feeling you get when someone pisses you off, that feeling you get when your stomach gets hot and it aches, that's what it feels like. And that's how I know I'm not supposed to be a girl." On Nov. 13, he will be the first transgender person to compete in Division One college basketball, according to OutSports. Opposing fans used to taunt Allums about his masculine build, but it backfired. "I love it," he said. "It makes me feel better about myself to hear them call me a man."
Les Niqabitches stroll around Paris fully veiled from the waist up, but in hotpants and high heels waist-down, to protest the burqa ban in France. Also calling themselves Mi-putes, Mi-soumises, a pun on the admirable organization called Ni-putes, Ni-soumises, they believe the ban is unconstitutional, as calls for similar bans occur in other European countries.
Judge Rules "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Is Unconstitutional - Judge Virginia A. Phillips of Federal District Court struck down President Clinton's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy in an opinion (Scribd) issued late Thursday, ruling on the constitutionality of a complaint brought by the Log Cabin Republicans (PDF). President Obama's Justice Department has until a September 23 deadline to submit objections to the court regarding Judge Phillips's permanent injunction, which is uncertain given Obama's previous support of his Department of Justice defending the legality of DADT, despite his opposition to DADT in principle.
In 1939, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark performed an experiment with dolls which was instrumental to Brown vs Board of Education, a case that struck down black/white segregation in American education. Earlier this year, CNN's AC360 aired the results (update, also) of a follow up statistical study on racial bias in today's children. Anderson Cooper himself explains his motives. [more inside]
Constance McMillen receives $35,000 in a settlement with the Mississippi school district that cancelled her prom. Previously. [more inside]
São Paulo Fashion Week, the nation’s most important fashion event, has been forced by local prosecutors to ensure that at least 10 percent of its models are of African or indigenous descent. The model scouts see it differently - it's all about what sells. "The goal" Brazilian model scouts say, "is to find the right genetic cocktail of German and Italian ancestry, perhaps with some Russian or other Slavic blood thrown in. Such a mix, they say, helps produce the tall, thin girls with straight hair, fair skin and light eyes that Brazil exports to the runways of New York, Milan and Paris with stunning success." Yet, "on the pages of its magazines, Brazil’s beauty spectrum is clearer. Nonwhite women, including celebrities of varying body types, are interspersed with white models. But on the runways, the proving ground for models hoping to go abroad, the diversity drops off precipitously." [more inside]
Are the Rules That Determine Who Can Donate Blood Discriminatory? Canadian AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore say that while the ban on blood donation from men who have sex with other men may have been ethically and scientifically justified in the 1980's, it no longer makes sense. (CMAJ.) Even though the US FDA reaffirmed their long-standing ban in 2007, they plan to revisit the policy in June. [more inside]
"All Islanders looked the same to her, she explained. She couldn't tell them apart. So none would be allowed in." In Anchorage, police uphold the right of businesses to deny service based on race. [more inside]
Disabled traveler Rachel D. took a harrowing flight with United recently. Despite their stated policy, she was told repeatedly that "It's not in our contract to assist passengers with their luggage and we reserve the right to refuse assistance to anyone." This is not the first time United has had a problem with disabled people. (For reference, the federal Air Carrier Access Act that prohibits discrimination towards disabled passencers.)
Debbie Almontaser, who was set to be the principal of a new dual language Arab-English school in 2007, was instead pushed out and forced to resign after she answered the question "What is the root word of 'intifada'?" She answered "shaking off" and many in the news media ran with this as a story. Things didn't go well for her after that, until a federal panel yesterday concluded that she had been discriminated against.
"Race & Gender of Judges Make Enormous Differences in Rulings, Studies Find," is the headline of a February 6 ABA Journal article. The article refers to two studies reported in law reviews, linked here in pdf format, on the effect of gender and race on decisionmaking in harassment and discrimination cases.
"It's going to be okay. I was raised by a single mom, and I turned out just fine." A young doctor in NYC writes a moving post about her observations in the neonatal intensive care unit.
In its January 13, 2010 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked the public broadcast of Perry v. Schwarzenegger, a U.S. District Court case challenging the constitutional validity of California's Proposition 8, despite the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker. Working directly from court transcripts and first-hand accounts from bloggers who have been present at the trial, marriagetrial.com is re-enacting the trial, to provide a "non-biased, objective presentation" of the case for public benefit.
Perceptual Segregation [pdf]. A Columbia Law Review article by Russell K. Robinson: . . . While many whites view race-consciousness as an evil that must be strenuously avoided, blacks tend to see race-consciousness as critical to their survival in white-dominated realms. . . . [more inside]
Malaysian Catholic newspaper Herald was recently involved in a major lawsuit against the Malaysian government, stating that their constitutional rights were violated when they were stripped of their license to publish in East Malaysian indigenous language Kadazandusun. The ruling was overturned, amidst support by state ministers and protests by the Government, the Islamic Opposition party, and Muslim activists - some of whom have spent the past week attacking churches and convents through firebombs, Molotov cocktails, paint, and bricks thrown at glass. [more inside]
The Revolution Will Be Mapped. "GIS mapping technology is helping underprivileged communities get better services — from education and transportation to health care and law enforcement — by showing exactly what discrimination looks like."
Medical Marijuana Apartheid -- as the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy misrepresents (PDF source) the new policy of the American Medical Association (PDF source) in regard to medical marijuana, and the U.S. Congress lifts the ban on Washington D.C.'s Initiative 59 ("the first time Congress has given its assent to a state or local law that permits medical use of marijuana") -- one writer questions whether the "back-door" decriminalization of cannabis has institutionalized class- and race-based discrimination.
The Donald Sterling Rule "Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lives by his own rules. And the only one that matters, apparently, is this: all bad deeds go unpunished. Over the last six years, nearly two dozen L.A. residents have sued Sterling for engaging in racist housing practices and Jim Crow-style bigotry. In a 2003 deposition, the 76-year-old real estate mogul admitted to paying a former employee to have sex with him in an elevator. Three years ago, the U.S. government charged him with "willful" mistreatment of African-American and Latino tenants, and earlier this month, he agreed to pay the Dept. of Justice nearly $3 million to settle a federal racial-discrimination housing lawsuit, the largest award ever for a case of its kind." So why, asks California's Tenants Together, has the NBA said nothing about Sterling's less than sterling behavior? [more inside]
25 students at Lincoln University may not graduate, because they failed -- to lose weight. The students are members of "the first graduating class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take 'Fitness for Life,' a one semester class that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and discussion of the risks of obesity" in order to graduate from Lincoln. [more inside]
Tim Nicholson, a UK former executive, believes he was fired for his environmental views. He has sued his former employer for discrimination on grounds of the Employment Equality act, which states that employees may not be discriminated against for religious or philosophical beliefs. His former employers argue that his views were political, and thus do not fall under the act. [more inside]
"My answer is, I don't know. I don't know." US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage, and being unable to get any definitive answer, denied the request from supporters of Prop 8 to throw out Perry v. Schwarzenegger and ordered the case to trial in January 2010.
Jean M. Fasse (Red Cross during WWII, and later the Special Service). Shirley Ann Thacker (WAVE). Just two of the interviews from the extensive collection of material (photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and posters) at the Women Veterans Historical Collection.
Being a same-sex, taxpaying couple is more expensive, overall, than being a straight, taxpaying couple, for the same services and benefits, when available.
More than 60 African-American day campers from Northeast Philadelphia were turned away from a private swim club because -- according to John Duesler, President of The Valley Swim Club -- "there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion ... and the atmosphere of the club." Creative Steps Day Camp paid The Valley Swim Club more than $1,900 for one day of swimming a week, but after the first day, the money was quickly refunded and the campers were told not to return. [more inside]
Today, on the last day of this year's term, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Ricci v. DeStefano, the latest in the Court's line of decisions on Title VII and the role of race in employment decisions. The famous case centers on white firefighters' claims of race discrimination following the town of New Haven's decision to scuttle a promotion exam after white test takers performed disproportionately better than black firefighters. [more inside]
"How do black women fight crime? They have abortions." "How do you stop a poofter from drowning? You take your foot off his head." These and other 'jokes' featured in an advertisement on The Gruen Transfer, an Australian television program focusing on advertising. The ad, part of a segment called 'The Pitch' which usually produces humorous ads, was banned by the ABC, but the national broadcaster has still allowed it to be viewed online, and hundreds have now seen it. The ad was designed to sell "fat pride", with creator Adam Hunt explaining his motivation behind the ad being to say "if you discriminate against somebody on the basis of their shape then you are no different to someone who is racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic." Debate has raged online if the ad is offensive and discriminatory, as the ABC has declared, and whether or not it was effective. Watch the ad and judge for yourself.