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.
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.
"Let them arrest me". Vehemently anti-Islamic Dutch MP Geert Wilders was scheduled to travel to London tomorrow to attend a screening of his controversial short film Fitna (wiki, mefi). Yesterday however, the UK's Home Secretary notified Wilders that his presence in the UK would pose a "serious threat to [...] public security" (PDF), presumably intending to refuse his entry into UK. Wilders plans to board the flight anyway, daring British authorities to arrest him. [more inside]
Many of us have seen or read The Wave, but how many of us have seen A Class Divided? It depicts one third-grade teacher's attempts to teach Midwestern children about the civil rights movement, many of whom had never met a black person before. As part of a daring experiment, she split the class between brown-eyed children and blue-eyed children, and gave the "browneyes" special privileges. The children were told, in no uncertain terms, that the "blueyes" were inferior. What followed was a lesson in discrimination that the kids would remember for the rest of their lives.
Cynthia Dixon, at the time employed by the University of Toledo, read this Toledo Free Press opinion piece, and wrote this response, which got her fired. Back in May the UT President responded to the growing controversy on local TV. Now Dixon is suing. (text of the suit) [more inside]
Often referred to as “sope”, meaning something magical inhabited by powerful evil spirits, albinos have long been the victims of discrimination in Africa (scroll up). Although Tanzania recently nominated an albino MP, they are being killed and mutilated to support a growing trade.
Stemming from a lawsuit that has gone on for several years, a recent Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. government must make bills with distinguishable tactile features to benefit the blind. While the U.S. government disagrees, the judges say: "The government might as well argue that, since handicapped people can crawl on all fours or ask for help from strangers, there's no need to make buildings wheelchair accessible." Not all blind people agree with the decision. [more inside]
Say you do a job and retire in or before 1996. Your coworker retires after 1997. Coworker gets six times more pension and you're asked to leave the country. Sounds unfair? Not to the British Government. [more inside]
Scoutmaster is a blog from a long-time troop leader in which he talks both about practical scouting tools, such as how to make a fire and how to lash a tower together, and about current issues with discrimination in the BSA.
Segregated Seattle: For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America. Segregated Seattle is a student/community created website and digital archive sponsored by UW's Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Check out the segregation maps, the short films and slide shows, Activist Oral Histories, and a page where you can browse the site by time period or topic. And the Restrictive Covenants Database will help Seattle homeowners determine if the fine print in their deed forbids the property from being "used or occupied by any person of the Ethiopian, Malay, or any Asiatic race."
workplace protection--not as hotbutton as Marriage Equality or Don't Ask Don't Tell, but far more essential
ENDA House hearings start tomorrow --a record 94% of Fortune 500 companies now provide Sexual Orientation Discrimination Protection, and 89% of Americans polled believe Homosexuals should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. Repeatedly introduced and then killed since 1994, the 2007 version--H.R. 2015--Employment Non-Discrimination Act (text of bill)--includes transgender protection for the very first time. The TVC is just one of many organizations fighting it. (there is a religious exemption, but groups like the TVC would be covered by it)
Soulforce Equality Ride! Soulforce, a nationwide organization working to end religious discrimination of gays and lesbians are in the middle of their second annual Equality Ride to raise awareness of Christian colleges and universities that discriminate against queer students. GLBTQ students are discriminated against everywhere. The Riders have been met with both open arms and anger. The Reverend Mel White, who runs Soul Force, ghost wrote Billy Graham's and Jerry Falwell's autobiographies and worships at Falwell's church in Lynchburg, VA in silent protest. Previously.
The First Freedom Project --new from the Dept of Justice, announced at the Southern Baptist Convention along with a call for their help---specifically and only to protect the religious from discrimination against them. Many are not impressed: The administration has often ignored the importance of the no establishment principle by supporting attempts of governments to endorse a religious message, using tax dollars to fund pervasively religious organizations, allowing religious discrimination in hiring for federally funded projects, ... Legal strategies and actions from groups like the Alliance Defense Fund and ACLJ are now official DOJ policy, it appears. ...In his statement, Gonzales mentioned several cases litigated by ADF and its allies ...
"Ben Barres's work is much better than his sister's," one scientist remarked to another. The only problem is that Ben Barres and his “sister” Barbara Barres were the same person. An FTM transsexual offers a unique view of the impact of gender discrimination in science, having seen it from both sides. Despite the fact that recent studies have shown that a woman has to be 2.5 times as productive to be judged as scientifically competant as a man in the sciences, many still argue that there is actually a level playing field, a source of some frustration for many women in the field. (For a somewhat easier to read and referenced response to the Physics Today letters, check out Evalyn Gates’ reply at the end.)
“Treating you with respect and honesty are the cornerstones of our reputation.” --unless you're gay, that is, for a Houston landscaper. Step 1: Turn down 2 gay customers. Step 2: Watch furor ensue. Step 3: Profit (to the tune of $40,000 in new business)
Kissing is terrorist behavior now? From the article: 'Shortly after takeoff, Varnier nodded off, leaning his head on Tsikhiseli. A stewardess came over to their row. “The purser wants you to stop that,” she said...The captain told Tsikhiseli that if they didn’t stop arguing with the crew he would divert the plane.'
Newsfilter: While Philadelphia officials dispute with a local chapter of the Boys Scouts of America over its use of taxpayer-subsidized, rent-free property, despite a policy of open discrimination, the Republican-controlled federal government discusses legislation that would make it illegal for taxpayers to withdraw funding from any youth organization, including the Boy Scouts of America, regardless of its activities or stated policies.
NewsFilter: Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the chapel, teh gay menace strikes again. The GOP-dominated Senate Judiciary Committee backs the Constitutional amendment to prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages. In a fractious hearing, Republican chairman Arlen Specter shouted "Good riddance!" when Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) walked out. Laura Bush recently advised her party's candidates not to campaign on this issue and to handle it with "great sensitivity." Maybe next time.
“British Muslims welcome working with everyone including members of the Lesbian and Gay community against a common enemy, fascism.”
Gay and Muslim groups getting together in the UK? plans are to look at homophobia in the Muslim community and Islamophobia in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The Muslim Council of Britain is also admitting that if you have nothing positive to say keep your mouth shut, which is a very good first step. Can two groups often on the receiving end of hatred work together ? “British Muslims welcome working with everyone including members of the Lesbian and Gay community against a common enemy, fascism.” I don't know if they have the likes of Michael Savage there (or the many many others), who rail against (and call for the death of) both Muslims and gays on the airwaves daily, but it seems hopeful, no?
"What if a person felt their religious view was that African Americans shouldn't mingle with Caucasians, or that women shouldn't work?"
...a growing campaign to force public schools, state colleges and private workplaces to eliminate policies protecting gays and lesbians from harassment....Christian activist Gregory S. Baylor responds to such criticism angrily. He says he supports policies that protect people from discrimination based on race and gender. But he draws a distinction that infuriates gay rights activists when he argues that sexual orientation is different — a lifestyle choice, not an inborn trait. By equating homosexuality with race, Baylor said, tolerance policies put conservative evangelicals in the same category as racists. ... "Think how marginalized racists are," said Baylor, who directs the Christian Legal Society's Center for Law and Religious Freedom. "If we don't address this now, it will only get worse." Should Christians be able to sue for the right to not tolerate or abide by anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies meant to apply to all? Should they still be able to get school activity funding?
When tradition and modernity clash. "While Yeshiva University is officially a nonsectarian institution except for its Orthodox rabbinical school, it is the oldest and largest American university under Jewish auspices. Although commonly thought of as an Orthodox institution, Yeshiva University has been chartered since 1969 as nonsectarian, enabling it to receive state and federal funding." Which is all fine and dandy, except that YU has a history of confrontation with its gay and lesbian students. There was major opposition to the funding of gay and lesbian student organizations. Gay couples sued Yeshiva over apparent housing discrimination. And now, a gay medical student claims he was expelled because of his sexual orientation, and he has a memo that he claims proves his case. Oy.
"I won't let my husband be blank on a wall for too long." Patrick Stewart (no, not that one) gave his life for his country. Normally his family should expect quiet, peaceful surroundings, and ... an atmosphere of respect and dignity. But because his faith lacks "a viable organization", he is being denied his choice of emblem of belief. His wife is waiting for justice before any marker is set. [via]
Laurel Hester, RIP --because she and her partner fought, New Jersey police and fire department employees can now name anyone--not just a spouse--as a beneficiary for pension rights, helping to protect those they love after they're gone. Just one person who made a difference.
LGBT gamers not welcome in World of Warcraft - Despite praise from queer gamers' groups, a feature in the July 2005 issue of Out magazine (sadly not archived online, reader responses 1, 2) lauding the game's gay community, and the presence of hundreds-strong LGBT-positive player groups, developer Blizzard has decided the presence of out gay subscribers would "allow for discussion that we feel has no place in our game". Of course, this isn't the first time Blizzard has angered its paying fans...
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, a case challenging the Solomon Amendment, a US federal law that allows the government to cut federal funding to universities that refuse to allow military recruiting on campus. FAIR is a coalition of law schools challenging this law on the basis that the US military's policy of prohibiting open homosexuals from serving violates the schools' anti-discrimination policies (see section 6-3). Summing the issue up nicely, the dean of one law school said of the US military, "If it were a private employer who discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, race or gender, we wouldn't allow them here on campus." .rm C-SPAN coverage here.
Is discrimination OK when it's against males in general? Apparently Qantas and Air New Zealand think it is OK to treat all males as potential pedophile. The NZ Children's Commission thinks it is a great move to not seat unaccompanied minors next to males, while the Human Rights Commission tends to disagree. Joe Public can't seem to decide either way.
The end of church AND state..from now on just church. [click the listen button] The Salvation Army has just won a court case that says they can hire and fire people based on their religion. Even though the Salvation Army gets a large amount of money from the government. Your tax payers dollars being used to discriminate. Of course this is not the first time the Salvation Army has shown its true colors. Maybe this is a trend. This marks a victory for Bush, if they had lost this rulling his entire faith based program would have fallen apart.