Happy hot, hot Friday. The world continues to turn — a promising week on the civil rights front, a high-intensity time on the geopolitical stage. Here’s what you might have missed:
- South Carolina takes the confederate flag down from its state house. #finally. Check out Wanda Williams-Bailey, Strom Thurmond’s granddaughter — an interracial woman — talk about the decision on Democracy Now.
- In somewhat related news, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of the Attorney General as a special prosecutor in all cases involving unarmed or potentially unarmed civilians killed by the police — a welcome step in the right direction. (via CNN)
- The Obama administration is set to release new regulations on segregation “designed to repair the law’s unfulfilled promise and promote the kind of racially integrated neighborhoods that have long eluded deeply segregated cities like Chicago and Baltimore” (via Washington Post)
- Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association will be tried before the Supreme Court next term, which starts in October. Learn more about the potential effects on public sector unionism at SCOTUSblog.
- In the face of civil rights advances for same-sex couples, the culture appears to be shifting to final discussing the plight of transgender individuals. The NYTimes ran a feature this week highlighting some of their stories. Read about Joni Christian, a union member and transgender woman.
- London Underground employees went on strike yesterday for the first time in 13 years.
- After a resounding “No” vote by Greeks to the last deal on the table with Greece’s creditors, PM Alexis Tsipras has surprised many by offering a deal with similarly harsh austerity measures.
- Rumors have it that the US State Department is reclassifying Malaysia’s status as a human rights violator in order to allow the Southeast Asian country to remain in TPP negotiations. If true, it would mean that human rights violations are “being trumped by corporate trade.”
Photo by Will Spaetzel via flickr (CC-BY-NC-SA).
By Donald LaHuffman
Produced for “Labor and Media Studies” with Prof. Ari Paul, Fall 2014
The United States recently exploded in protest around the country as citizens mobilized to show displeasure at the Staten Island Jury findings. The jurors decided not to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner. Pantaleo had allegedly held Garner in an illegal choke hold until his death, despite Garner’s pleas of not being able to breathe during the encounter. Ensuing local and national demonstrations connected Garner’s death to the earlier police shooting of Michael Brown who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri. Community organizers have included mothers in New York City who have lost their sons to alleged police brutality in previous years in these actions. In my graduate Labor Studies class “Labor and Media” taught by Ari Paul during the fall 2014 semester, my classmates and I met five mothers who told their stories. These mothers told the stories to make sure that they were not forgotten. Continue reading A Survey of Community and Labor Perspectives in the Wake of the Eric Garner Case
This article originally appeared on The Hill.
By Basil Smikle Jr.
On a subfreezing morning in January 2003, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) walked to the pulpit of Trinity Baptist Church’s Martin Luther King Day celebration in the Bronx to make a startlingly rousing speech to their predominantly African-American congregation. Typically, such speeches are principally aspirational — they acknowledge that society has largely rebuked racial discrimination’s ugly past but urge steadfastness in tackling challenges that lay ahead. But it was Clinton’s stirring repudiation of Trent Lott, then the Republican Senate Majority Leader from Mississippi who a month earlier praised Strom Thurman’s 1948 pro-segregation presidential campaign, that enthused the audience. Her remarks suggested changes in leadership alone will not eradicate racism and discrimination but the rigidity of the pathways to political and economic enfranchisement must acquiesce to the strength inherent in this country’s diversity. Continue reading Hillary Clinton’s commitment to civil rights
This book was initially listed in The New Labor Forum Spring 2014 Issue
By Jordan Goodman
The famous African-American singer and actor
became a leading voice for civil rights at home
and abroad in the 1930s and beyond. This biography
draws on internal government archives to
focus on harassment and repression waged
against Robeson by congressional committees,
the FBI, and other agencies.