‘I Don’t Think You Can Compromise on Civil Rights’ – DAVID A. GRAHAM MAR 31, 2017


The Old North State’s liberals have wanted for a year to repeal the “bathroom bill,” but the law Governor Roy Cooper signed Thursday has many of his allies disgusted and angry.

DURHAM, N.C.— Depending on your point of view, Thursday was either a red-letter day for North Carolina or a day that should leave the state’s leaders red-faced with shame.

Thursday afternoon, Governor Roy Cooper signed into law a bipartisan bill repealing H.B. 2, the “bathroom bill” that Republican lawmakers enacted one year ago. That law required that transgender people in public facilities use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate, forcing them to use facilities set aside for the opposite gender.

Cooper’s signature was the culmination of a year of campaigning, and the governor, a Democrat, owes his office in part to the law’s unpopularity. But in what he declared was a moment of victory, Cooper found himself defending the deal against furious attacks from progressive grassroots groups.

“I wish this were complete, total repeal and whenever I get a chance to do that, I’m going to do it,” Cooper said during a press conference at the governor’s mansion in Raleigh, where he announced his signature and tried to sell the bill. He blamed the Republican supermajority in both chambers of the legislature for blocking a better law. “Doesn’t do everything we want it to do. More to do. I’m going to keep fighting every single day for LGBT protections.”

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A racial reckoning on campuses is overdue – Updated by Libby Nelson on November 11, 2015, 5:10 p.m. ET


The protests at Missouri won’t be the last.

The most striking thing about the racist incidents that forced the University of Missouri’s president and chancellor from office isn’t how unbelievable they are, but how banal. They could happen on any campus anywhere. They probably are. And now colleges are on notice: A timid response is unacceptable.

The protests at Missouri will not be the last.

The resignations of Missouri president Tim Wolfe and chancellor R. Bowen Loftin might quell the immediate crisis in Columbia, as the leaders hoped. But this isn’t just about one university’s tough semester. Over the past year, Americans have paid more attention to the role racism continues to play in everyday life, from the lingering symbols of the Confederacy to disparities in the criminal justice system.

Now that scrutiny has come around to universities. And while college leaders like to think of their institutions as progressive places, colleges, like other venerable American institutions, have both a past and a present laced with racism. For the first time since the late 1960s, students are forcing them to grapple seriously with it.

Historical racism at universities is getting more scrutiny

Black students during Cornell sit-inUnderwood Archive via Getty Images
Black students at Cornell University occupy the administration building in 1969.

When black students took over administration buildings and held sit-ins at colleges in the late 1960s, they left change behind them: black studies majors, promises of increased student and faculty diversity, new financial aid programs.

Today’s protestors are picking up those half-finished fights and demanding universities return to that era’s unfulfilled promises. Administrators, the students argue, don’t understand and aren’t helping with the challenges and everyday slights that students of color face on campuses that were often originally built to keep them out.

Some of the wounds the students want addressed are old ones. After the Charleston shootings, the persistence of monuments and memorials to the Confederacy and defenders of slavery on college campuses drew public attention. The nation’s most prestigious universities were built with slave trade money and in some cases slave labor — a history that many universities, including those in the Ivy League, weren’t willing to explore until the 21st century.

The University of Texas moved its statue of Jefferson Davis. Bowdoin College, in Maine, got rid of its Jefferson Davis Award. Yale University is still trying to decide whether it should rename Calhoun College, named after the virulent defender of slavery and Southern secession.

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http://www.vox.com/2015/11/11/9716460/missouri-protests-yale-race

 

Mary Robinson: Why climate change is a threat to human rights – Filmed May 2015 at TEDWomen 2015


Climate change is unfair. While rich countries can fight against rising oceans and dying farm fields, poor people around the world are already having their lives upended — and their human rights threatened — by killer storms, starvation and the loss of their own lands. Mary Robinson asks us to join the movement for worldwide climate justice.

The Shaun King controversy, explained – Updated by German Lopez on August 21, 2015, 10:52 a.m. ET


Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is currently at the center of a controversy that has nothing to do with a police shooting or brutality — it’s, instead, about his personal life and racial identity.

Over the past several weeks, conservative media outlets have published multiple pieces disputing different claims King has made about his life over the years. And the latest accusations — which caused the story to trend on Twitter — have called into question whether King is biracial, forcing the activist to disclose personal details about his life in hopes of disproving the accusations.

There’s a bit of history to this conflict. But the fact that a self-identified biracial man is being chastised by conservative media outlets as part of an attempt to discredit him shows just how fluid the entire concept of race can be, and that makes it difficult to know who’s right and wrong when questions about race come up.

Conservative media outlets have questioned Shaun King’s background

Black Lives Matter marchAndrew Burton/Getty Images

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http://www.vox.com/2015/8/19/9180389/the-shaun-king-controversy-explained

 

Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75 – By ROY REED AUG. 16, 2015


Remembering Julian Bond, a Champion for Civil Rights CreditJames Palmer/Associated Press 

Julian Bond, a charismatic figure of the 1960s civil rights movement, a lightning rod of the anti-Vietnam War campaign and a lifelong champion of equal rights, notably as chairman of the N.A.A.C.P., died on Saturday night in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was 75.

The Southern Poverty Law Center announced Mr. Bond’s death on Sunday. His wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, said the cause was complications of vascular disease.

Mr. Bond was one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while he was a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was the committee’s communications director for five years and deftly guided the national news media toward stories of violence and discrimination as the committee challenged legal segregation in the South’s public facilities.

He gradually moved from the militancy of the student group to the leadership of the establishmentarian N.A.A.C.P. Along the way, Mr. Bond was a writer, poet, television commentator, lecturer and college teacher, and persistent opponent of the stubborn remnants of white supremacy.

Photo

Julian Bond at the N.A.A.C.P.’s annual convention in 2007. Credit Paul Sancya/Associated Press 

He also served for 20 years in the Georgia General Assembly, mostly in conspicuous isolation from white colleagues who saw him as an interloper and a rabble-rouser.

Mr. Bond’s wit, cool personality and youthful face — he was often called dashing, handsome and urbane — became familiar to millions of television viewers in the 1960s and 1970s. On the strength of his personality and quick intellect, he moved to the center of the civil rights action in Atlanta, the unofficial capital of the movement, at the height of the struggle for racial equality in the early 1960s.

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Americans sharply divided on same-sex marriage after supreme court ruling – Associated Press in New York Saturday 18 July 2015 09.43 EDT


  • 49% say officials with religious objections should be able to refuse licences

  • Republicans say religious rights should come first, Democrats say gay rights

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Granbury, Texas, demonstrate their support for a local clerk who was refusing to issue licences to gay couples earlier this month. Photograph: Joyce Marshall/Zuma Press/Corbis

Opponents of same-sex marriage in Granbury, Texas, demonstrate their support for a local clerk who was refusing to issue licences to gay couples earlier this month. Photograph: Joyce Marshall/Zuma Press/Corbis

The supreme court’s ruling last month legalising same-sex marriage nationwide has left Americans sharply divided, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll that suggests support for gay unions may be down slightly from earlier this year.

The poll also found a near-even split over whether local officials with religious objections should be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, with 47% saying that should be the case and 49% say they should be exempt.

Overall, if there is a conflict, a majority of those questioned think religious liberties should win out over gay rights, according to the poll. While 39%t said it is more important for the government to protect gay rights, 56% said protection of religious liberties should take precedence.

The poll was conducted from 9 to 13 July, less than three weeks after the supreme court ruled states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

According to the poll, 42% support same-sex marriage and 40% oppose it. The percentage saying they favour legal same-sex marriage in their state was down slightly from the 48% who said so in an April poll. In January, 44% were in favour.

Asked specifically about the supreme court ruling, 39% said they approve and 41% said they disapprove.

“What the supreme court did is jeopardise our religious freedoms,” said Michael Boehm, 61, an industrial controls engineer from the Detroit area who describes himself as a conservative-leaning independent.

“You’re going to see a conflict between civil law and people who want to live their lives according to their faiths,” Boehm said.

Boehm was among 59% of the poll respondents who said wedding-related businesses with religious objections should be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. That compares with 52% in April.

Also, 46% said businesses more generally should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, while 51% said that should not be allowed.

Claudette Girouard, 69, a retiree from Chesterfield Township, Michigan, said she is a moderate independent voter who has gradually become supportive of letting same-sex couples marry.

“I don’t see what the big hoopla is,” she said. “If they’re happy, why not?”

Girouard said local officials should be required to perform same-sex marriages, but does not think that wedding-related businesses should be forced to serve same-sex couples.

“If the official doesn’t like what he’s being asked to do, then quit,” she said. “But businesses are kind of independent, so if they have a strong belief against it, there are enough other businesses out there for someone to use.”

The poll found pronounced differences in viewpoints depending on political affiliation.

For example, 65% of Democrats but only 22% of Republicans favoured allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in their state. And 72% of Republicans but just 31% of Democrats said local officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licences.

By a 64-32 margin, most Democrats said it is more important to protect gay rights than religious liberties when the two are in conflict. Republicans said the opposite, by 82-17.

Article continues:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jul/18/americans-sharply-divided-same-sex-marriage-supreme-court-ruling