Thursday, July 03, 2008

Civil Rights Review: 07/03/08

Your morning roundup of civil rights and related news. The review will be off for July 4th, and will return to action Monday morning.

The NAACP has made its way to Utah to fight mortgage discrimination.

A Texas death row inmate's execution has been delayed again as he tries to get courts to consider DNA evidence that might prove his innocence.

Gender gaps persist in Houston's fire department -- particularly at the upper levels.

The Justice Department is looking at endorsing profiling by the FBI -- even when there is no individual suspicion of wrongdoing.

A Texas grand jury declined to indict a man who shot and killed two burglars who were robbing a neighbors home. The Houston Chronicle has a good editorial on the matter.

AlterNet reports on folks who are changing their middle name to "Hussein" to combat intolerance.

A lawsuit has forced the release of a detained legal immigrant who alleged that her health problems were received negligible attention from federal authorities. The government denies wrongdoing, but the NYT reports that they have instituted new reporting requirements regarding the deaths of immigrant detainees (this woman, thankfully, did not die -- though from the reports of her condition she came pretty close).

Shorter David Broder: There's no actual evidence that increased diversity is undermining American "identity". But since some conservatives said that was happening, I'll repeat all their talking points anyway.

This is a great example of a technically accurate headline that still probably was a poor choice: "Bushmen denied visas to build mud-huts in Va."

San Francisco has reversed its "sanctuary policy" for illegal immigrant children. The city remains adamant, however, that the young men and women are "victims" and alleges that many of them were effectively pressed into slavery by local gangs. "We have a duty to defend these kids, zealously," said Patricia Lee, manager of the public defender office for juvenile court.

A transgender woman was just found murdered in Memphis, the apex of "a string of hate crimes against the Memphis transgender community."

1 comment:

PG said...

When it comes to the treatment of immigrants, the Bradley team sees a real threat in such things as multilingual ballots and bilingual classes. Such accommodations to the growing diversity of the population could lead to "many Americas, or even no America at all," they maintain.

What a gloriously revealing excerpt. If the Bradley team genuinely believed that America coheres around a shared set of ideas, rather than a shared ethnicity, they would not be fearful of multilingual ballots and bilingual education. Concepts such as referenda, write-in votes, free speech and civil rights are eminently translatable into other languages. Having citizens fail to learn English is problematic because it retards their ability to advance in and contribute to our society, but it does not in any way prevent them from understanding what the United States is about. Once again, conservatives show that their real fear is of diversity of race, religion, language and culture -- not of disloyalty to the Constitution.