How will the Supremes decide? Will will become of DOMA?
Should this be a matter decided at state level? How about other civil rights issues like desegregation?
How will the Supremes decide? Will will become of DOMA?
Should this be a matter decided at state level? How about other civil rights issues like desegregation?
George Zimmerman, who shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, has been arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. Hopefully, everyone will get their day in court. In addition to George Zimmerman being tried, the Florida law nick-named “Stand Your Ground” will undergo scrutiny.
The first team of Zimmerman lawyers is off the case now. They removed themselves.
Zimmerman turned himself in and is now in custody.
I hope he can get a fair trial.
Is Rick Santorum suggesting that heterosexuals hide who they are also? Do they lock their children away in the attic along with their wives? Is Santorum too young to realize that DADT was also “social experiementation?” It was an incremental step created by President Bill Clinton to fulfill a campaign promise to gays regarding military service. He met with such resistance he had to offer DADT as an alternative to ending the ban on gays in the military to ward off serious Congressional sanctions/legislation.
Santorum really doesn’t get that being homosexual isn’t always about sex. He totally overlooks the state of being component. How does he propose to put that genie back in the bottle?
And as for those trash-a$$es that booed a service member who is honorably serving his country–SHAME ON THEM. They simply have no class. Regardless of how one feels, the booing was totally unacceptable.
Jon Stewart is going on vacation again for 10 days. grrrrrrr
Before he leaves, however, he did handle some important business. Jon’s humor is biting on this one. He rips Glenn Becks’ civil rights/restoring honor rally.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|I Have a Scheme|
All day and yesterday I heard Michelle Obama criticized for her speech to the NAACP. I am not sure why. What is to criticize about her remarks? Why should she not urge the leading black activist group to continue their work toward children? Would people feel differently if we substitute the word American Indian?
Being an outsider has its pitfalls. Such is the case with Rand Paul. Rand Paul is a neophyte and he stepped into the macaca up to his knees–maybe even deeper. In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Rand Paul got on to the subject of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
How can legislation that is nearly 50 years old trip up anyone? Just ask Rand Paul. According to Politico:
In interviews with NPR and MSNBC on Wednesday, Paul indicated unease with the Civil Rights Act’s ban on discrimination by private businesses — sparking a political blaze that threatened to engulf his campaign even before he finished relishing his landslide primary win.
The candidate eased fears some by issuing a damage-control statement stating his opposition to discrimination and doing an interview with conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham in which he seemed to acknowledge the necessity of the Civil Rights Act.
In fairness to Maddow, she gave him every opportunity to self correct. He did not seize the opportunity. He continued to disavow discrimination but did not come out and say he would have voted for the Civil Rights Bill. And the silence was deafening.
The video is long but covers the entire interview.
Civil Rights are defined as: the right to vote, the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office and the right to serve as a notary public. if someone is convicted of felony, then one loses these civil rights. Virginia Constitution says, “No person who has been convicted of a felony shall be qualified to vote unless his civil rights have been restored by the governor.” There is no limitation on the governor’s power to restore rights, and no mention of having to report the names of such people to the General Assembly.
According to c-ville.com:
Virginia and Kentucky are the only two states that do not automatically restore convicted felons’ civil rights. Most states restore these rights upon the completion of a prison sentence, probation or parole. In Virginia, felons convicted of a nonviolent offense must wait three years after completing all court obligations—sentencing, fines and probation—then file an application for the restoration of rights to the Secretary of the Commonwealth.
If your conviction is for a violent offense —or a drug manufacturing or distribution offense—the process is much more difficult.
The nonviolent offender’s application is two pages. The violent application is 12. Iachetta calls the violent felony forms cumbersome. “They’re horrible,” she says.
After waiting five years after all court obligations, a person convicted of a violent felony must obtain a burdensome collection of paperwork: a letter from your most recent probation or parole officer, copies of your pre- or post-sentence report, certified copies of every order of conviction and sentencing orders, three letters of reference and, to top it off, a personal letter to the Governor explaining your convictions and how your life has changed.
Iachetta says that roughly half of the people she sees who start the process don’t complete it.
“There’s got to be an easier way,” says Iachetta. “I don’t know at this point what it is. The process can be streamlined. That being said, until it happens, we’ve got to deal with what we’ve got.”
[Note: Iachetta is Charlottesville's general registrar]
Governor Bob McDonnell has added another hoop for former felons to jump through. He is now proposing that those who want voting rights restored must write an essay outlining their contributions to society since their release, Civil Rights leaders and many others interested in prisoner rights, are outraged by this plan. They say it targets minorities, the poor and the under-educated and denies them of their civil rights. Others are cheering on McDonnell for ‘meaning business.’
McDonnell defends his own plan in the Washington Post:
McDonnell’s administration said the essay requirement is designed to put a human face on each applicant and to help staff members better understand each person’s situation.
“It gives all applicants the opportunity to have their cases heard and have their full stories told,” said Janet Polarek, secretary of the commonwealth, whose office handles the requests. “It’s an opportunity, not an obstacle.”
McDonnell is revamping the entire system for felons to have their rights restored as he works to make good on a campaign pledge to process every application within 90 days, considerably faster than any other administration in recent history.
“Under Republican and Democratic governors, they have had to wait six to 12 months — longer in some cases — to get an answer,” Polarek said. “Under the McDonnell administration, our goal is to restore the rights of everyone who has fulfilled their obligation in the most timely manner in Virginia’s recent history.”
For those who have difficulty with literacy, writing an essay seems like an immovable obstacle. Where in the Virginia Constitution can this kind of requirement be found? Many prisoners and past prisoners suffer from the same malady; under-education plagues prisoners. To ask someone with limited education to write an essay might just fall into the realm of cruel and unusual punishment.
Detailed Historical Information from the League of Women Voters in Fairfax
2. An uncivil or discourteous act.
Just for a moment, remove any accusation of racial slur, the N-word, or spitting. How many of us would like to be an older black man having to walk through an angry mob of white people screaming, taunting, booing, hissing and whatever else they were doing. Those congressman practically had to part the white sea to even move through the crowd.
In the first place, the crowd should not have been that close. The congressmen should have had police escort. I found myself having bad flashbacks to things I have seen on TV throughout my life, things that were going on during my lifetime. No one should dismiss it. Those men were brave to make that walk. If one of them said he was spat on, then he was. Perhaps it was just the spray from the vehenom of hatred spewing from a protestors mouth, but spit is spit–stream, lunger or spray, all gross.
Note: The video is the one Cargo Squid referenced.
UPDATE: See Video at end of PostMarch 11, 2010
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OXFORD, MS – The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit today against a Mississippi High School that has canceled prom rather than let a lesbian high school student attend the prom with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo to the event. In papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the ACLU asks the court to reinstate the prom for all students at the school and charges Itawamba County School District officials are violating Constance McMillen’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression.
“All I wanted was the same chance to enjoy my prom night like any other student. But my school would rather hurt all the students than treat everyone fairly,” said McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi. “This isn’t just about me and my rights anymore – now I’m fighting for the right of all the students at my school to have our prom.”
How about let’s just alter this scene just a little bit. How about if the girl didn’t say she was a lesbian and 2 girls just showed up at the door to go to prom, like unromantic friends. Would they be denied admission? What is wrong with schools?
There was a suggestion made that a private group should sponsor a private prom for ”people like this.’ Now just what is that supposed to mean? I read in the paper that Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church did sponsor a special prom for gay and lesbian students last spring. Good for them. That church is a real standard bearer for helping those who are under-represented. I hope they will do that every year, despite the fact that local bloggers (many who claim to be good Christians) had a field day and made extremely disparaging remarks about the church and the kids. It’s easy to point fingers. Its harder to step up to the plate and provide for those amongst us who might not have an advocate.
Most of the time I think the ACLU is a pain in the ass. I think we are supposed to think that. However, this is one time I am glad they are out there, defending those who might not otherwise have a line of defense. Schools need realize that gay and lesbian students are not all closeted like they were a generation ago, not should they be.
If the school wants to ensure that people’s sensibilities are not offended, it needs to address the behavior of everyone coming to the dance. It needs to set standards of conduct and stick to its guns. It should demand the same lines of decency from the heterosexual students as it is obviously going to do with the homosexual students. They can all do their dirty dancing after the prom.
Three years after the FBI promised to investigate more than 100 unresolved civil rights-era killings, they have made some surprising discoveries. Most of the cases will close without indictments. . The investigations led to very few indictments even though most of the cases were technically solved. The passage of time left many witnesses too traumatized by events, witnesses and perpetrators dead and other problems that are unique to cold cases.
How far have we come since that speech was given by Dr. Martin Luther King almost 47 years ago? Has Dr. King’s dream been fulfilled or even come close? Has prejudice been stamped out or is it seething right beneath the surface? The term ‘racism’ is still thrown about, perhaps more than it was during Dr. King’s day. Has it become a catch all?
Stop! Doesn’t having an African-American president satisfy the dream? We no longer have segregation. Or do we? Is there invisible segregation and if so, whose fault is it? Perhaps we don’t even want to answer these questions. Perhaps they make us as uncomfortable as discussing what Harry Reid meant by ‘Negro dialect.’
Finally, could the door to equality have ever been opened through the legislative process? Was it necessary for the Courts to open the door? I remember seeing “Impeach Earl Warren” signs as a kid. Were those the forerunners of the expression’ Judicial activism?’
For those of us who missed the speech in August, 1963…
December 29 marks the 119th anniversary of what has come to be known as the Wounded Knee Massacre. It is often cited as the last major Indian Battle involving United States troops. The Wounded Knee Massacre, December 29, 1890, took place along the banks of the Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota on what is now known as the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation.
Wounded Knee has become symbolic of US Army abuse towards native peoples. In fact, Wounded Knee became an armed camp as late as 1973 as militant American Indians battled federal officials one more time. Basically local Lakota called for an outside radical group to come straighten out things at Pine Ridge Reservation. Several people on both sides were killed and/or wounded. (see video link below)
Several posts and comments have been about the Souix and about Pine Ridge specifically. Many of the young people on that reservation have become involved with gangs. When one stops and thinks about the tragedy these people have seen, it is almost understandable. The Souix were programmed for a life of poverty by our government. The Souix were not all one big tribe, but a nation of various tribes. The Souix reservation was carved up into 5 smaller reservations. The Black Hills, sacred lands to the Lakota, were taken from them. Some of their lands were sold for a pittance. Children were sent off to boarding school, had their long hair cut off, were given white names and were not allowed to speak their own native language. Most of this history has happened since the Massacre at Wounded Knee.
My grandmother was born October 30, 1890. I knew her quite well. She was not an Indian but I often try to put things in time perspective. Somehow the fact that this massacre happened after her birth makes it harder to accept, hard to deal with as it certainly is not part of ancient history. In fact, 1890 is getting darn close to modern times. The auto had been invented and the airplane was only a decade or so off. How can things like this massacre happen in the United States of America?
The poverty on some of these reservations is simply unimaginable. These people are the real Native Americans, not us. Do we have an obligation to make certain that Native Americans and Native American culture survive? Can they survive in the extreme poverty that many who have not assimilated still live? What do we have to do?
Are American Indians often their own worst enemies? Are their spokespeople standing on principle rather than practicality? In 1980 the Supreme Court awarded the Lakota $106 million dollars for the Black Hills treaty violation. They refused to take the money. They wanted the land. At what point do they decide that they will never get the land back and to take the money? Are those who are standing on pride representing all the people? I can only imagine what $106 million dollars would do to help overcome some of the root problems on reservations.
There are several resources:
http://www.kiliradio.org/ The radio voice of the Lakota Nation.
We Shall Remain (full episodes on PBS. Wounded Knee 1973 is Episode 5)
I did something yesterday I never thought I would do. I spent the morning explaining to people of very different generations who Pete Seeger is. One of them is my own daughter. I had always thought she knew a great deal about music. Another was a person slightly older than I am. Then there were the in-betweens. To me, not knowing who Pete Seeger is is like, not knowing who Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan is. Perhaps I exaggerate……. The History Channel and PBS are my friends. There have been several terrific shows about Pete Seeger.
A civil rights icon from the 50’s and 60’s, simply known as Odetta, died Tuesday from heart disease. Folk music aficionados have followed Odetta for 60 years. She sung a mixture of blues, jazz, and folk music. She has left a legacy of music. No soundtrack of the American Civil Rights movement would be complete without her music.
She influenced musicians like Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, and Janis Joplin. She performed for JFK, marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, and was awarded National Endowment for the Arts Medal of the Arts and Humanities by President Bill Clinton in 1999. The next year she won a grammy.
Odetta had hoped to sing at Obama’s inauguration
For more about Odetta follow the link. Check out the interview with her (it won’t imbed).