293 posts tagged with civilrights.
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"Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan—he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last twenty years because he lowered taxes."

Revisionaries: How a group of Texas conservatives is rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
posted by defenestration on Jan 4, 2010 - 258 comments

Mexico City Approves Gay Marriage

In a first for Latin America, Mexico City's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage Monday night, changing "the city's civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the 'free uniting of two people.'" [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Dec 22, 2009 - 51 comments

Fred Hampton: The Assassination of a Black Panther

December 4th, 2009 marked the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore on Dec 6, 2009 - 27 comments

Civil Rights defeat in Maine

Maine became the 31st state to block same-sex marriage through a public referendum Some said the loss was a sign that the state-by-state approach favored by the largest gay-rights groups had failed and that the focus should move to repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage, and which Congress can overturn without voter approval. Others argued that the defeat only reinforced the need to keep winning grassroots support. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Nov 4, 2009 - 292 comments

US Military Cuts And A Step Towards Equality

Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.
posted by zarq on Oct 29, 2009 - 219 comments

Shades of Jim Crow and the Black Codes, in 2009

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward in Louisiana, has denied a marriage license to an interracial couple, using Tragic Mulatto reasoning. He claims that children of interracial marriages suffer needlessly, and the couple's union won't last. Previously on MeFi: The Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage
posted by zarq on Oct 16, 2009 - 189 comments

Obama reaffirms committments to the GLBT community

While Obama strongly reaffirms his promises to the GLBT community, not everyone is convinced. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 10, 2009 - 258 comments

Don't ask and don't tell and especially don't tell your life partner

'Silent partner' examines what happens when people 'don't tell' "We can really see the destructive effects of 'don't ask, don't tell' . . . when you see the pain that these spouses and partners go through". Lt. Dan Choi introduces a new documentary film about three gay partners of military personnel. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jul 19, 2009 - 19 comments

We climbed up, time to kick the ladder away, so more can't follow us.

“But it was clear to me that any time you deny one group of people the same right that other groups have that is a clear violation of civil rights and I have to speak up on that.” The Southern Christian Leadership Conference — the 50-year-old civil rights organization founded by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others — is seeking to remove the president of its Los Angeles chapter in response to his support of same-sex marriage in California. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Jul 10, 2009 - 193 comments

You Break It, You Bought It, America

In his latest national security speech, President Obama unequivocally reaffirms his commitment to closing GITMO. President Obama's strong statements reaffirming his administration's commitment to cleaning up the legal and ethical mess the Bush administration left behind comes just after congressional Democrats recently saw fit to capitulate to the Republican minority by defunding President Obama's efforts to close GITMO, ostensibly to ensure that President Obama proceeds prudently and avoids setting the terrorists loose on America's strip malls. But others interpret these latest maneuvers from the "weak-kneed" congressional Dems as reflecting a sudden acute case of the political jitters, pointing out that, despite all the fearful talk of the imminent dangers of possible terrorists being held and tried on American soil, it's not as though we haven't done it before. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman on May 21, 2009 - 176 comments

“…If you stand up straight, people can’t ride your back. And that’s what we did. We stood up straight.”

When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated April 4, 1968, he was helping sanitation workers in Memphis form a union. In 1967, SCLC initiated the Poor People's Campaign to unify the African-American civil rights movement with working people's movements more generally. In MLK's words, "It must not be just black people, it must be all poor people. We must include American Indians, Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, and even poor whites." [more inside]
posted by univac on Apr 4, 2009 - 20 comments

Surveillance Self-Defense

The SSD Project. "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 3, 2009 - 12 comments

We wear our dungarees / Above our nelly knees!

Robert Pinter, a 52-year-old gay man who was arrested for prostitution at the Blue Door in the East Village on Oct. 10, spoke at the town hall meeting. He said a young man ... cruised him in the store. He was "charming and persistent, and we agreed to go home for consensual sex, but as we were leaving he said, 'I want to pay you $50 [to have sex].' I didn't respond, but I thought it was strange," Pinter recounted. As the men left the store, Pinter said, a group of men who did not show police identification pushed him against the wall. "I thought I'd been set up by a gang," he said. "I asked them why they were doing this to me. I was totally clueless. They handcuffed me and said, 'Why the f--- do you think we're arresting you — loitering for the purpose of prostitution.'"
Reminiscent of the criminalizing of consensual gay sex in the Stonewall era, New York City cops are using questionable tactics to target, entrap, and falsely arrest gay men.
posted by orthogonality on Feb 2, 2009 - 63 comments

Because of you, John. Barack Obama

The President's hero is a 68-year old preacher, fearless civil rights activist, and Congressman named John Lewis. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jan 26, 2009 - 24 comments

Martin Luther King's Anti-Imperialism

King's Anti-Imperialism and the Challenge for Obama.
posted by homunculus on Jan 19, 2009 - 23 comments

Eye of the storm

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.
posted by Afroblanco on Dec 28, 2008 - 53 comments

Got Milk?

Thirty years ago yesterday (November 27, 1978) San Francisco Board of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Prior to his death he championed a movement against a California proposition (Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative) which sought to ban gays and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. In the midst of a national right-wing, conservative, religious movement heralded by folks like Anita Bryant the proposition was soundly defeated. Fast forward to today. A new film "Milk" [trailer] (starring Sean Penn in the title role) is garnering critical acclaim and is relevant to current events. "Harvey came up against a lot of obstacles, which I think is the case for any gay man now," says Brolin, who plays Dan White [in the film]. "The irony is that Prop 8 is now what Prop 6 was then."
posted by ericb on Nov 28, 2008 - 60 comments

Pleasant Grove City v. Summum

The previously-mentioned Summums want to place their own monument in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk." [more inside]
posted by Non Prosequitur on Nov 13, 2008 - 116 comments

389 years ago

389 years ago...
posted by desjardins on Nov 7, 2008 - 53 comments

A retrospective

We're all anticipating the future right now, but don't forget to remember the past, as well. [more inside]
posted by greenie2600 on Nov 5, 2008 - 9 comments

Oral History of Black Leadership

Explorations in Black Leadership is a collection of video interviews with prominent African-Americans, focusing on activists of one sort or another. 34 people are interviewed, including Nikki Giovanni, John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush, Dorothy Height and Amiri Baraka. There are full transcripts of every interview. Here's an excerpt from the Nikki Giovanni interview: "The kids today have to have a voice. I'm amazed that they found it. I remember Sugarhill Gang with Sylvia, you know: "Uptown, Downtown, the Holiday Inn." You know, things like that. Then, of course, I remember the explosion of Tupac Shakur. Losing Tupac was a great loss for this generation. I have a tattoo--it says "Thug Life" --because I wanted to mourn with this generation. I don't see how people can knock the kids…paying so little attention. I had deep regrets--and I know Rosa Parks, you know, we don't hang out but I know her--I so regretted that she lent her name to be used against Outkast, because Rosa Parks is a wonderful--is a wonderful tune. And they were giving her problems. If people don't--if the younger generation doesn't sing the praises of the older generation they get forgotten."
posted by Kattullus on Oct 25, 2008 - 8 comments

Will the Mormon Church decide who gets married in California?

Prophets and politics. "The Mormon Church works to ban gay marriage in California, even as gay people in places like Rexburg, Idaho, come out of the LDS closet."
posted by homunculus on Oct 23, 2008 - 87 comments

Human Rights Blogger Killed by Russian Police

Magomed Yevloyev, who blogged human rights abuses committed by police in Russia's volatile Ingushetia region, was shot in the temple while in police custody today. The site, ingushetiya.ru (English version), reported the brutal anti-insurgent "Dirty War" tacticts committed by police against Ingushetia's civilian population.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 31, 2008 - 17 comments

Shut Em Down?

'We done heard your voice, we saw your marches, we don't want to hear that any more.' Music artist Nas directs pointed criticism toward civil rights stalwart Jesse Jackson and his generation. But he's not alone. Kevin Powell is running for congress and shares the sentiment. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Jul 23, 2008 - 87 comments

China's plan to tame Tibet

China's secret plot to tame Tibet. "Internal Communist party documents have revealed that China is planning a programme of harsh political repression in Tibet despite a public show of moderation to win over world opinion before the Olympic Games next month." Meanwhile, the military has sealed off several monasteries in Lhasa, keeping over 1,000 monks locked up. Another 1,000 monks have mysteriously disappeared, and may have been sent to prisons in a neighbouring province to keep them silent through the Olympics.
posted by homunculus on Jul 13, 2008 - 111 comments

Between enraged and engaged Buddhism

Asia's Angry Monk Syndrome. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2008 - 19 comments

Happy Birthday, Justice Marshall

"He grew up in a ruthlessly discriminatory world -- a world in which segregation of the races was pervasive and taken for granted, where lynching was common, where the black man's inherent inferiority was proclaimed widely and wantonly. Thurgood Marshall had the capacity to imagine a radically different world, the imaginative capacity to believe that such a world was possible, the strength to sustain that image in the mind's eye and the heart's longing, and the courage and ability to make that imagined world real." Born July 2, 1908, died January 25, 1993. Had he lived, he would have been 100 years old today.
posted by alms on Jul 2, 2008 - 16 comments

1966 federal ban on racial discrimination in housing

The Meaning of Box 722. Letters to Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois in reaction to the 1966 civil rights bill, particularly the federal ban on racial discrimination in the sale and rental of housing. At the time, Chicago was the most segregated city in the north, with boundaries enforced by mob violence. By Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland. When I started researching NIXONLAND I knew the congressional elections of 1966 would form a crucial part of the narrative. They'd never really been examined in-depth before, but by my reckoning they were the crucial hinge that formed the ideological alignment we live in now. Via Brad DeLong.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 5, 2008 - 15 comments

Main Core

The Last Roundup. "Is the government compiling a secret list of citizens to detain under martial law?" [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 20, 2008 - 108 comments

RIP Mildred Loving

Mildred Loving of Loving v. Virginia (1967) has passed away.
posted by Morrigan on May 5, 2008 - 51 comments

Do You Like American Music?

Sounds of America is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Global Sound. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
posted by Miko on Apr 2, 2008 - 12 comments

A credit to his race: the human race

Arthur Ashe's words and legacy. Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) was the first (and only) black man to win Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the US Open tennis tournaments and a very vocal civil rights activist and leader. Last week on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Brian had on Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe[embedded audio player] and they were remembering a moment on Martin Luther King Day 1993, when Arthur called into the show from his hospital room (he died three weeks later). His views from Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Muhammad Ali and the 1966 and 1992 Los Angeles riots are at once eloquent and riveting.
posted by psmealey on Feb 19, 2008 - 7 comments

Six Guantanamo prisoners charged.

Several prisoners held at Guantanamo are charged, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. According to this soundbite, after their time in military court, they'll be able to appeal the decision in civilian court.
posted by ®@ on Feb 12, 2008 - 77 comments

Eight Bars of Soul

Proceeding Otis by two years and 364 days, Sam Cooke was shot and killed on this day in 1964. Much controversy still surrounds his death, but his legacy is untouchable and influence sweeping. From gospel to pop, he did it all. You Send Me, Ain't That Good News, Cupid, Chain Gang, and Bring it on Home to Me were some of his biggest hits and (along with Ray's work) the early foundations of soul; but it was one song, inspired by a white boy's passion, that gave a posthumous voice to a broken nation. Today and forever, Sam Cooke is yours, he'll never grow old.
posted by Roman Graves on Dec 11, 2007 - 31 comments

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush

Al Odah v. U.S. and Boumediene v. Bush go before SCOTUS Streaming on C-Span today. The Center for Constitutional Rights (great podcast) will argue before the Supreme Court today:
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

posted by ao4047 on Dec 5, 2007 - 29 comments

1960's

The Psychedelic 60's: Literary Tradition and Social Change
posted by mlis on Nov 28, 2007 - 26 comments

Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause

Secret Warrants Granted Without Probable Cause
posted by rxrfrx on Nov 22, 2007 - 79 comments

Chaka, When the Walls Fell.

Reagan at Neshoba. Some time ago, a blog post was authored at Mahablog which suggested that movement politics can best be understood when their rhetoric is viewed as a series of metaphors, with an allegory made to a spectacular episode of Stark Trek: The Next Generation featuring Paul Winfield titled "Darmok". Picard and crew stumble across an alien race that speaks only in metaphor. The alien captain, frustrated by the failure to communicate, transports Picard to the surface of a planet, where they must learn to communicate or die. The alien captain does finally reach Picard, but dies as a result of his injuries battling an invisible predator. By way of comparison, examine Candidate Ronald Reagan's speech at Neshoba [audio, 57MB, via, additional context here]. Some pundits are claiming that it is an example of the Southern Strategy codified as dog-whistle politics, whilst others view it as an honest mistake, and others still find an inconvenient long sequence of other "honest mistakes". [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on Nov 13, 2007 - 128 comments

cant stop wont stop progress

Fight the Power: A New Movement for Civil Rights by Jeff Chang. [more inside]
posted by shotgunbooty on Oct 30, 2007 - 19 comments

The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X

The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X. Khalil Islam, formerly known as Thomas 15X Johnson, was convicted of assassinating Malcolm X and served 22 years in prison. One of the co-defendants later swore Khalil Islam was innocent. "The fact was, I was just the patsy. The perfect patsy." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 3, 2007 - 12 comments

"The niggers are coming!"

Through a Lens Darkly - on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her. Photos. Dramatic news footage. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls the first day of school. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 25, 2007 - 48 comments

a place to upload video evidence

Copwatchers: New YouTube Page for Monitoring Oppression & Brutality
posted by nickyskye on Sep 23, 2007 - 48 comments

Society Bluesman, Josh White

Somewhere along your musical journeys you might've heard something by Mr. Josh White (1914-1969). He was a bluesman, but one with the kind of smooth and polished delivery (and some charming novelty tunes) that made him a favorite on the wider, national pop/folk scene. He was pretty sexy, too. He didn't shy away from political/racial themes, either. Unsurprisingly, he ran afoul of the infamous House Un-American Activities Committee during the Red Scare years, and his name was placed on their Commie blacklist. Some few decades later his image graced a US postage stamp. Thanks for the music, Josh White.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 14, 2007 - 24 comments

Moms Mabley

As complete a history of comedian, civil rights activist, and cross-over superstar Moms Mabley as you're likely to find anywhere , including audio, from Beware of Blog.
posted by serazin on Aug 26, 2007 - 7 comments

Padilla Found Guilty on All Counts

A verdict on Padillaand the US. [More inside.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 16, 2007 - 91 comments

One more knot gets tied, sort of

New Hampshire approves same-sex unions with bipartisan, if contentious support, recognizing both in- and out-of-state unions and marriages. While New York's Eliot Spitzer follows up on a campaign promise, higher courts in California and Connecticut may make decisions on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage later this year, deciding if a civil union is an adequate legal substitution for marriage.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jun 1, 2007 - 23 comments

Bikes Against Bush

NYPD Intelligence Op Targets Dot-Matrix Graffiti Bike. More details on the premeditated arrest of Joshua Kinberg by the NYPD just before the 2004 Republican National Convention. Kinberg, now the CEO of FireAnt, was targeted by the "R.N.C. Intelligence Squad" for his Bikes Against Bush project. The police lost his Xtracycle. [Via BB.]
posted by homunculus on Apr 10, 2007 - 66 comments

Jackie Robinson Day

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson

This Sunday April 15, 2007, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the breaking of baseball's color barrier. For one day, superstars and managers throughout the sport as well as entire teams will be saluting his memory by wearing Robinson's retired number 42. Robinson is honored for his tremendous leadership both on and off the field (previously), he is remembered for his determination in overcoming racial prejudice and hatred, and for his post-career activities as a civil rights advocate. Perhaps the highest compliment is to say simply that Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest players to ever grace a baseball diamond, but his contribution to baseball, and to equality in America was far greater than statistics and pennants.

"Mr. Rickey, do you want a ballplayer who is afraid to fight back?" "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back!" See The Jackie Robinson Story, starring the man himself. (1:16:29, Google video)
posted by edverb on Apr 9, 2007 - 20 comments

Dora McDonald, Martin Luther King's secretary, dead at 81

Dora McDonald, Martin Luther King's private secretary from 1960 until his death, has died at age 81. While few have heard of Ms. McDonald, she was a very important figure in King's work, and was the one who had to tell Coretta Scott King that her husband had been murdered.
posted by cerebus19 on Jan 14, 2007 - 6 comments

Any and all acts deemed necessary

The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission was created in 1956 by the Mississippi Legislature in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The Commission's express purpose was to "do and perform any and all acts and things deemed necessary and proper to protect the sovereignty of the state of Mississippi, and her sister states." In other words, it was an official tax-funded agency to combat the activities of the Civil Rights Movement. Their records are now online. [MI]
posted by marxchivist on Dec 5, 2006 - 11 comments

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