Tag Archives: NAACP

Anti-Latino Laws Ignite The South

By Guest Contributor Lamont Lilly

Protesters at a rally against Alabama’s HB56. All photos by the author.

In its original format, Alabama’s Beason-Hammon Act granted school resource officers the right to badger fifth graders on the basis of their immigration status. The state of Alabama, which passed the law, also known as HB 56, in June of 2011, was the only state in the country requiring public school administrators to verify immigration data for new K-12 students.

However, just two months ago in August of this year, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the student provision of HB 56, declaring it unconstitutional and a legal breach of Plyer vs. Doe, which mandates that states provide an education to all children, regardless of their immigration status. The 11th Circuit also struck down Georgia’s HB 87, a state proposal to criminalize the “transporting and harboring of illegal immigrants,” a statute with anti-Latino written all over it, a proposal with no parallel within the U.S. system of federal law.

These recent rulings were key in dispelling the notion that individual states can create their own immigration regulations, bypassing federal authority. When initially proposed, Alabama’s HB 56 along with Georgia’s HB 87, were sold as valuable pieces of legislation that would boost local economies – laws that would crack down on the presence of those entering the U.S. illegally. Conservatives billed such bigotry as a quick fix to unemployment and poorly performing schools. Instead, such rogue policies were a complete setback to Civil Rights and due process.

In Alabama, children of all ages were deterred from attending school and pursuing their education. Many withdrew out of fear that their families could be deported if questioned about their immigration status. According to the U.S. Justice Department, over 13 percent of Latino children withdrew over the one year HB 56 operated before federal intervention. Instead of teaching Geometry, classroom instructors were fishing for birth certificates.

As for those local economies and decreasing unemployment rates, the state’s number one industry, agriculture, was damn near decimated. We’re talking an agricultural sector accustomed to generating over $5.5 billion per year. Industries dependent upon migrant labor, like poultry operations, were devastated. Small farming operations were brought to a halt, as valuable workers were scared indoors. Others simply migrated for the purpose of mere safety.
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Excerpt: The Root On Thurgood Marshall And The Death Of Willie James Howard

Goff and his men had an explanation for the “accident.” They told the sheriff they’d only taken Howard down to the river so the boy’s daddy could give him a whipping. But Howard jumped into the river instead, drowning himself.

James Howard was threatened into supporting Goff’s version. Three days later, the Howards sold their house and left town. But not before Thurgood Marshall stepped in and requested that Florida Gov. Spessard Holland demand an investigation. The governor condemned the killing but told Marshall, “I am sure you realize the particular difficulties involved where there will be the testimony of three white men and probably the girl against the testimony of one Negro man.”

Marshall’s NAACP friend Harry T. Moore believed it was “a waste of time to seek help from state authorities.” He’d investigated dozens of lynchings in Florida and concluded, “The life of a Negro in Suwannee County is a very cheap article.”

Despite Marshall’s efforts, a Florida grand jury declined to indict Goff and his two accomplices. The Department of Justice never moved on the case, and the killing of Willie James Howard was soon forgotten.
- From “Florida’s History of Failed Justice,” by Gilbert King

Open Thread: What To Do Next

staring at the computer in anger sucks. what are we going to do about this?
- Joel Reinstein, from Wednesday night’s open thread

By Arturo R. García

If there was one positive to come out of Wednesday night, it was the sight of all the people rallying on behalf of Troy Davis – not just in Georgia, but at the White House and the Supreme Court; in Europe; and online, where it became just a bit suspicious to some that Twitter seemingly did not recognize the #TroyDavis and #occupywallstreet hashtags. (One explanation I read Wednesday evening was, because there actually is a Troy Davis username on the service, it could not be a trending topic. No word yet on #occupywallstreet.)

But, as Joel mentioned above, the question for many going forward is, what now?
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New Anti-Abortion Campaigns Emerge In Two More Cities

By Arturo R. García

After being seen in Chicago, and Los Angeles, the anti-abortion push targeting women of color has spread to Atlanta and Oakland.

The latest campaign, headed by The Radiance Foundation has “no political reason at all,” according to chief creative officer Ryan Bomberger. However, the new billboards – which say “The 13th Amendment freed us. Abortion enslaves us” – was timed to coincide with Juneteenth, which celebrates the emancipation of U.S. slaves Bomberger told The Huffington Post:

“When you look at what abortion has brought to the black community, it can’t be typified to anything other than present-day slavery. Roe v. Wade used the 14th Amendment–which finally gave humanity to African Americans—and contorted it to give someone the right to kill an unborn child. It’s just like slavery, because you have a class of people who are considered less than human, and therefore they can be treated like property.”

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Can Blacks Bum Rush The Show?: Bringing Diversity to TV

By Guest Contributor Patrice Peck, cross-posted from Zora & Alice

How can you notice that something is missing if you never even acknowledged that thing to begin with? The lack of racial diversity on the major television networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and The CW—clearly illustrates how an omission can actually be rather glaring. Yet, whenever critics draw attention to the lopsided numbers of lead minorities in television, writers, producers, and casting directors are quick to cry color-blind in hopes of white washing the issue with a fresh coat of guiltless naivete. When addressing this issue, television executives always point to profitability and markets as the main reasoning behind their casting while uncomfortably skirting around their propensity for narrow thinking, country club-style hiring, and disregarding racial diversity.

Then, this September, NBC inadvertently shed light on television’s homogeneity by picking up J.J. Abrams’ newest project, Undercovers, a show surrounding a married couple who leave retirement to rejoin the CIA. Abrams (Lost, Alias) and co-creator Josh Reims (Felicity) made headlines with their unorthodox casting of Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, both black actors, making Undercovers the second NBC show to feature a black lead couple (The Cosby Show being the first.)

Nonetheless, at a panel for Undercovers, Reims still insisted that when it came to casting the leads, both he and Abrams considered novelty as opposed to color as if the two weren’t synonymous in Hollywood. “[We said] Let’s just see every possible incarnation of person [so we won’t end up with] the same people we’ve seen on TV a million times … Boris and Gugu came in, and we sort of knew immediately, these are them. We didn’t go out of our way to say we are hiring two black people to be the leads of our show, but we didn’t ignore it either.”

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Watch The New Restore Fairness documentary and Face The Truth About Racial Profiling

By Guest Contributors Madhuri Mohindar and Ishita Srivastava, cross-posted from Restore Fairness

“I’ve seen a lot in my life but to be degraded… not just stripped of my clothes, being stripped of my dignity, was what I had a problem with.”

Kurdish American Karwan Abdul Kader was stopped and stripped by local law enforcement for no reason other than driving around in the wrong neighborhood. This is one among many stories featured in a powerful new documentary “Face The Truth: Racial Profiling Across America”, produced by Breakthrough’s Restore Fairness campaign and the Rights Working Group, showcasing the devastating impact of racial profiling on communities around our country, including the African American, Latino, Arab, Muslim and South Asian communities.

Face the Truth: Racial Profiling Across America from Breakthrough on Vimeo.

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Shirley Sherrod, Journolist, the NAACP, and the Tea Party

by Latoya Peterson

Kill the phony mean before it kills you. That the truth is probably somewhere in the middle… that if both sides think you are biased against them it probably means you’re playing it straight… that the extremes on both sides are equally extreme, deluded and irresponsible— these practices have rotted out, and the sooner they are done away with, the better footing political journalism will be on. Just as it should be routine for reporters to ask themselves, “am I showing undue favoritism here, am I slanting my account?” it should be routine to ask, “am I creating a false symmetry here, am I positing a phony mean?”

Jay Rosen

This is mayhem and foolishness!
Niecy Nash

So let me get this straight.

Joe Biden will go on record saying that both he and Barack Obama do not believe the Tea Party is a racist organization.

However, the Obama Administration will not go to bat for Shirley Sherrod, who shared a story about overcoming racial bias, which was manipulated into a false charge of racism.

The NAACP straight up condemned Sherrod (who was speaking at one of their events!) before all the facts were on the table, leading to a semi-apology from the organization. Which means that the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was first at bat for white folks unjustly smited by years of black oppression.

Meanwhile, the NAACP was already on the offensive since it had lobbed bombs at the Tea Party, alleging it was a racist organization.

The Tea Party and various conservative outlets responded with an “I know you are but what am I” play, complete with “playing race card” reference.

Then, some fool named Mark Williams thought that was his cue, so he decided to let his racist flag fly with every anti-black stereotype in the book, pretending he was “satirizing” the NAACP.

The Tea Party Federation responded by removing Williams from his post, but other members of the Tea Party Express continue to allege that the NAACP are the “real racists”.

And amid all of this, more emails were published from the now-defunct journolist, advocating charging Republicans with racism as a political strategy to deflect from the attention given to Jeremiah Wright during one segment of the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK: Mark Williams, The Tea Party Express’ Non-Racist Racist

By Guest Contributor Diana Nguyen, originally posted at Disgrasian

Having read and re-read and re-read and re-read the parody letter that Tea Party Express talking head Mark Williams wrote to Abe Lincoln in the voice of NAACP President Ben Jealous, speaking for “The Coloreds,” I’ve got to say:

I DON’T GET IT.

In an effort to defend the Tea Party’s position that it isn’t racist, Williams cleverly decided this week to turn the tables on an, uh, obvious target: the NAACP. He called them out for being “racist” (Naturally!) due to the fact that the 99-year-old organization’s name still includes the word “colored.”

In case you aren’t familiar with the NAACP, I’ve included their mission and vision statements below:

We at DISGRASIAN hate to lend any more attention to the Tea Party–they’re a fringe group that hardly deserves the amount of attention they receive, but dammitall if their amusing take on the English language doesn’t keep us coming back for more! When we heard about this incident, it fascinated us because we understand parodies. And jokes. Hey, we like parties. We felt we could be objective.

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