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November 27, 2014
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Tag: Civil Rights


Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Jr. Dies at 78

Marion Barry Jr., who began his career in public service during the civil rights era and spent four terms as mayor of Washington, D.C., died late Saturday night in his hometown at age 78.

Posted on Nov 23, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: The Immigration Debate

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss President Obama’s plan to allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to remain in the country and work legally. Host Matt Miller thinks the plan was designed to make GOP heads explode.

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 READ MORE



Photo by Marion S. Trikosko, U.S. News & World Report, via Wikimedia Commons

American Hero; American Story

John Doar died last week at the age of 92. If there was a Greatest Generation, he was one of its greatest men.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



Oregon Shakespeare Festival/UNIVERSES

Black Panthers: The Musical

“Party People” examines the complexity and struggle of the Black Panthers and Young Lords.

Posted on Nov 13, 2014 READ MORE



J. Edgar Hoover’s ‘Suicide Letter’ to Martin Luther King Jr. Is Even Worse Than We Knew

Half a century ago, FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover had what he clearly considered to be a big problem in the form of civil rights galvanizer Martin Luther King Jr.

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 READ MORE



Ryan Johnson (CC-BY-SA)

Eric Holder and RFK’s Legacy

When he announced his leave-taking last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of Robert F. Kennedy as his inspiration for believing that the Justice Department “can and must always be a force for that which is right.”

Posted on Sep 29, 2014 READ MORE


Debate: One of the Finest Attorneys General in the Nation’s History?

Assessments of Attorney General Eric Holder’s legacy have been mixed. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund hailed him for his role in transforming the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and his leadership on voting rights. Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union criticized Holder’s record on national security issues.

Posted on Sep 26, 2014 READ MORE



Eric Holder to Resign as Attorney General

He’s spent almost six years guiding the Justice Department through some tricky terrain—think Benghazi, Ferguson and DOMA—and Thursday, Eric Holder made it known he is preparing to exit his position as U.S. attorney general. 

Posted on Sep 25, 2014 READ MORE



For Black Men in America, There Is No Break From Racism

The events of this summer in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted an ugly truth to mainstream Americans: Black men in this country are viewed as so suspicious by law enforcement that they are often shot first and questioned later.

Posted on Sep 19, 2014 READ MORE



Inappropriate Government Watchlisting Threatens Innocent Lives

“A single, uncorroborated source of information—including a Facebook or Twitter post”—is enough to put innocent foreigners and Americans on a watchlist of “known” and “suspected” terrorists shared with foreign and domestic agencies as well as private contractors, ACLU legislative counsel Arjun Sethi writes at The Guardian on Saturday.

Posted on Aug 31, 2014 READ MORE


Sounds of Michael Brown Shooting Allegedly Caught in Audio Clip

A new audio clip released by an unidentified man from Ferguson, Mo., allegedly captures the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 READ MORE



The New Jim Crow: Has the Right Finally Repealed the Civil Rights Act?

The 45 million African-Americans in the United States are unequal before the law vis-a-vis European-Americans and becoming more so.

Posted on Aug 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shawn Semmler (CC-BY)

The Ones Left Behind

The fire this time is about invisibility. Our society expects the police to keep unemployed, poorly educated African-American men out of sight and out of mind. When they suddenly take center stage, illuminated by the flash and flicker of Molotov cocktails, we feign surprise.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 READ MORE



Paul Miller

Telephone Mamas: The Forgotten Dreamers

Our playgrounds are populated with mothers like these, women who send trinkets and duct-taped packages back to their babies in faraway countries. They call them babies, even if they are not babies anymore, because it’s a habit.

Posted on Jul 28, 2014 READ MORE



Dead Is Dead: Drone-Killing the Fifth Amendment

Thanks to a much contested, recently released but significantly redacted Justice Department white paper providing the basis for the extrajudicial killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, we finally know the president in post-constitutional America is officially judge, jury and executioner.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 READ MORE



Grace Lee Boggs, American Visionary

At 99 years old, activist and author Grace Lee Boggs reflects on the last century of American history in a Truthdig interview as PBS prepares to air a new documentary about her storied life. “To understand revolution is twofold,” she says. “It’s not just changing institutions, it’s changing ourselves.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



Voting in Mississippi, 2014 and 1964 (Video)

Mississippi used its new voter-identification law for the first time Tuesday—requiring voters to show a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID at the polls.

Posted on Jun 7, 2014 READ MORE



Freedom Summer II

It took guts to take on the power structure of Mississippi a half-century ago. It takes guts to take on the power structure of giant companies like Walmart and McDonalds now.

Posted on Jun 2, 2014 READ MORE


Maya Angelou

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Posted on May 31, 2014 READ MORE



Maya Angelou, Still She Rises

In remembering Maya Angelou, it is important to recall her commitment to the struggle for equality, not just for herself, or for women, or for African-Americans.

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE



Renowned Poet and Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou Dies at 86

“You may write me down in history/ With your bitter, twisted lies/You may tread me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise,” Maya Angelou wrote in one of her many forceful, unforgettable poems.

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE


Stokely: A Life

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



Stokely: A Life

For too long, this country has relegated its militant black figures to the margins of the historical record. A new biography of Stokely Carmichael is a major antidote to that problem.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



The Economics of Contempt

If it’s spring, it must be time for Barack Obama’s annual drive-by of black America, where he piously lectures them on the state of their lives. He didn’t disappoint this year, treating the nation to two speeches on civil rights in a single week.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



Michelle Obama: Segregation Persists 60 Years After Brown v. Board of Education Ruling

First lady Michelle Obama commemorated the 60th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling on race-based school segregation with a sobering speech Friday to graduating high school seniors in Topeka, Kan.

Posted on May 16, 2014 READ MORE



s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

Donald Sterling’s Illiberal Zionism Part of Racism Controversy With Magic Johnson

Since American discourse changed with the civil rights movement, when conservatives slip up and say what they actually privately think, they get into trouble. 

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE


Watch Glenn Greenwald Debate the Former Head of the NSA

In case you missed the Munk Debate on State Surveillance, here’s another look at the rhetorical contest between one of the NSA’s biggest critics and its former director.

Posted on May 7, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Accepts Ridenhour Prize, Defends Whistle-Blowers

The NSA whistle-blower accepted the prize for “truth-telling” Wednesday afternoon and spoke via a Web stream.

Posted on May 1, 2014 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Sotomayor’s eloquent dissent against the decision to allow Michigan to discriminate by race and sex in the college admissions process has the power to wake those asleep in the dream of our country’s presumed inevitable progress.

Posted on Apr 27, 2014 READ MORE


Anti-Gay Churches Chap ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin’s Ass

Need proof that America’s attitudes about gay marriage are changing? Listen to wrestler Steve Austin, he of the “Stone Cold Stunner,” use salty language to declare his support for same-sex couples.

Posted on Apr 22, 2014 READ MORE



NYPD Pressured to Eliminate Controversial Muslim Spying Program (Video)

After the closure of a police unit that indiscriminately investigated American Muslims, civil rights groups want the NYPD to eliminate all traces of the operation.

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 READ MORE


Paul Robeson: A Watched Man

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE



Paul Robeson: A Life

A new biography of Paul Robeson delves into his remarkable political activism, while revealing a pernicious social order determined to destroy its most effective and outspoken critics.

Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE


Equal Rights

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Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE


Voter Fraud Prevention

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Posted on Apr 11, 2014 READ MORE



couscouschocolat (CC BY 2.0)

Sex, Gender, and the Familiar Fight Over Religious Exemptions

The conflict between religious freedom and gender/sexual equality has become “the most important civil rights issue of this time.”

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE



The NFL Proves Why America Needs to Update Its Civil Rights Laws

If ever there was a perfect example of how employment discrimination against gay people operates on a day-to-day basis—and why Congress needs to outlaw such discrimination—the National Football League just provided it.

Posted on Feb 21, 2014 READ MORE


Lynne Stewart Tells Chris Hedges ‘Every Little Bit Heals’

The recently freed civil rights attorney sits down with the Truthdig columnist to discuss prison, freedom and the issues raised by her detention.

Posted on Feb 12, 2014 READ MORE


MLK for Sale

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Posted on Feb 6, 2014 READ MORE


Macklemore Fights Homophobia With ‘Same Love’ at Grammys

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Mary Lambert and Madonna together performed the anti-homophobic bigotry song “Same Love” live at the Grammys on Sunday.

Posted on Jan 28, 2014 READ MORE



Freedom House

People Are Less Free for the 8th Straight Year, Report Finds

Freedom House has released its annual report on authoritarianism and found that people around the world are less free than they were a year ago.

Posted on Jan 24, 2014 READ MORE


Russell Brand: ‘Socialism Is Christianity Politicized’

Comedian-actor-writer Russell Brand took on a range of topics including spirituality, materialism, politics and revolution during an interview at Cambridge University’s student union in England last week.

Posted on Jan 21, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Beyond the Dreamer

In the last year of his life, Martin Luther King Jr. struggled with what are best understood as existential challenges as he began to move toward an ever-more-profound and radical understanding of what would be required to deal with the nation’s domestic and international problems.

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 READ MORE


Imagining an Ideal NSA

In the second part of their appearance on The Real News Network, Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges and 30-year former NSA official and whistle-blower William Binney grapple with the question of what, exactly, NSA policy should be.

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 READ MORE


Emotional Video Shows Lynne Stewart Returning Home

Civil rights attorney Lynne Stewart, who was sentenced to prison for 10 years, has been compassionately released because of terminal breast cancer. She was greeted on her arrival home by a throng.

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 READ MORE



Iasanta.com.ec (CC BY 2.0)

Before Mandela Was a Hero, the Right Called Him a Terrorist

As the world mourns Nelson Mandela’s death, it also should take a clear-eyed look at his life and the world in which he struggled—and remember those who aligned with the racist apartheid regime of South Africa.

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 READ MORE



lev radin / Shutterstock.com

Populist De Blasio Is New York’s First Democratic Mayor in Decades

By trumpeting economic and civil rights issues, New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio got himself elected Tuesday night to the highest office in the biggest city in America.

Posted on Nov 5, 2013 READ MORE



Alan Cleaver (CC BY 2.0)

Republicans Winning the War of Disenfranchisement

In the months after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act under the argument that it is no longer necessary, regressive voting laws are taking root that threaten to snap the country back to the 1950s, disenfranchising minorities and women.

Posted on Oct 31, 2013 READ MORE



WehoCity (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Binational Gay Matrimony Recognized by U.S. Immigration

Tom Knutson and Phan Datthuyawat were married in Sacramento five years ago; now, thanks to the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage on a federal level, Datthuyawat can finally visit his family in Thailand without worrying about being unable to return to America to live with his husband.

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 READ MORE


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