Category Archives: Social Justice & Reform
Pope Francis Criticizes Capitalism
“Pope Francis on Thursday urged the downtrodden to change the world economic order, denouncing a “new colonialism” by agencies that impose austerity programs and calling for the poor to have the “sacred rights” of labor, lodging and land.”
This Is What Happens To Court Clerks Who Refuse To Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses
In Texas, Hood County Clerk Katie Lang had refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples for well over a week after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges. The conservative group Texas Values rallied in her defense and even the Family Research Council propped up her discriminatory cause.
Monday morning, Cato and Stapleton filed a federal lawsuit, which describes their experiences being rejected as “humiliating and degrading.” Less than two hours after the suit was filed, Lang’s office issued the couple a marriage license.
Continue reading: This Is What Happens To Court Clerks Who Refuse To Issue Same Sex Marriage Licenses
Related story: Sam Brownback (R-KS) signs sweeping anti-LGBT executive order
The Paragraph On Slavery That Was Cut From The Declaration Of Independence
Thomas Jefferson – attribution: None
TPM Cafe: Opinion
If we push beyond those divided perspectives, however, we can find a trio of more complex intersections of race and the Declaration, historical moments and figures that embody both the limitations and the possibilities of America’s ideals…
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Stand Your Ground Tweet Of The Month @endyourstand
I read the Declaration of Independence yesterday, just to refresh my memory, so tt seems fitting today to debut a new featured post called “Tweet of the Month“, which will present some of the most thought-provoking, engaging interactions from our twittersphere every month. Wishing wish you and yours a happy, safe, Fourth of July, also!
What Voters Should Know About Hillary Clinton
Photo courtesy of wikimedia.org
On June 13 in New York City, Hillary Clinton officially launched her presidential campaign.
“Democracy can’t be just for billionaires and corporations,” she yelled to the crowd of excited spectators and supporters (billmoyers.com).
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Inside the mind of Charleston Massacre shooter Dylann Roof and the culture of White Supremacy
By Robert A. Vella
I stumbled upon this fine exposé by David Nir of the Daily Kos which delves deep into the white supremacist psyche of Charleston Massacre shooter Dylann Roof. It reveals not only Roof’s hatred of blacks and other ethnic minorities, but also his disturbingly confused attitude towards Jews.
Although I won’t cite the text and quotations here (they’re very offensive), I strongly urge everyone to read the article for yourself. Keep in mind that the racist views of Roof are not limited to the lunatic fringe of right-wing extremism, and that they are indicative of a far more extensive problem in America regarding racial attitudes.
See: Dylann Roof: ‘If we could turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening’
What really triggered police misconduct at a pool party in McKinney, Texas
Reblogged from The Secular Jurist:
By Robert A. Vella
By now, you’ve probably heard about the incident in McKinney, Texas where police officer Eric Casebolt – who has since resigned (see: Police officer who slammed black girl to the ground at McKinney, Texas, pool party resigns) – went ballistic on a group of black teenagers attending a pool party. Understandably, it has reignited the ongoing national debate over race relations in America where actual and potential victims of police misconduct see all cops as racists and where white conservatives see all black people as criminals.
However, what really triggered this incident appears to have less to do with either predisposition and more to do with how police respond to citizen reports of “criminal” behavior.
From Terrance Heath of Campaign for America’s Future – Police Violence Against Blacks Has An Economic Context:
A similar economic backdrop exists in McKinney, Texas, where another incident of excessive use of force this weekend led to more headlines and protests. African-American residents of the Craig Ranch neighborhood, a gated planned community in McKinney, held an end-of-the-school-year party at the community swimming pool, attended by a racially mixed group of teenagers, most of whom lived in Craig Ranch. Residents complained that the teenagers were too rowdy. The organizer of the party said that a security guard appeared and began asking the black teenagers if they had pool cards, and insisting the black teenagers leave.
Witnesses agree that the situation escalated when a white adult resident told the African-American teenagers to “go back to section 8 housing,” got into an argument with, and slapped the African-American teenager who organized the party.
McKinney, Texas — which Money magazine ranked last year as the best place to live in America — has a long history of housing discrimination. The city is split by Highway 75. The wealthier section of McKinney (where the Craig Ranch community is) lies west of Highway 75 and is 86 percent white. The older, poorer section of town sits east of the highway, and is 49 percent white.
In 2009, McKinney settled a large housing discrimination lawsuit, alleging that the city was blocking the development of affordable housing for tenants with Section 8 vouchers, in the whiter, more affluent west side of the city. But a court settlement doesn’t mean the issue of housing discrimination is settled, as the reported comment about Section 8 housing indicate. The white resident alleged to have made this comment obviously associated African Americans with what she considered slum housing.
Another reported comment that the black teenagers should get used to the bars outside the pool because “that’s all they were going to see,” reflects assumptions many people make about young blacks.
Just because some racist, segregationist white people don’t like seeing blacks in their gated community, isn’t sufficient cause for police to blindly obey their perverse desires and engage in some sort of American-style ethnic cleansing. Before taking any action, the police should have thoroughly investigated the situation and, even if laws were indeed broken, resolved the matter peacefully. From what I’ve been able to determine, the only crimes which might have been committed are misdemeanor trespassing (by the teenagers) and misdemeanor assault & battery (by the residents) – neither of which warranted the type of police response exhibited by officer Casebolt.
The failure here, and evidenced throughout the nation, falls squarely upon law enforcement administration. Cops who are poorly trained in proper response techniques, or who cannot apply the law equally and without bias, are not qualified to be police officers and should be retrained or removed from duty. Obviously, such professional managerial oversight is severely lacking across America.
The only good news about the McKinney pool party is the white kids’ response to racism
Keeping black people away from white swimming pools is an American tradition
Immigrants, Latinos Helped Drive Business Creation Last Year
Immigrants helped boost business creation in 2014, index finds, while share of new Latino business owners also climbed.
Idaho abortion restrictions are unconstitutional: appeals court
An Idaho law that prohibits abortions of fetuses 20 or more weeks after fertilization is unconstitutional, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Friday.
The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, also struck down an Idaho law that required all second-trimester abortions to occur in a hospital.
Bans on abortion after 20 weeks have been passed in 12 U.S. states since 2010, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights advocacy group. The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure this month that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, and Democratic President Barack Obama opposes it.