Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Civil Rights Roundup: 08/26/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

Ms. Magazine gives its quick take on the appointment of Hans von Spakovsky to a staff position on the US civil rights commission.

Inside Higher Ed has the scoop on the higher education elements of the Democratic Platform, including (among other things) a restatement of their support for affirmative action.

.... And here's McCain's plan, courtesy of the Chronicle on Higher Education, which notes McCain's apparent reversal on that issue from the days in which he called attempted bans "divisive."

A restaurant was forced to pay damages to a woman they fired because she was pregnant.

While the US Senate dawdles, California may take fixing Ledbetter into its own hands.

Oddly, Colorado Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to support a measure banning affirmative action, leading observers to wonder if both sides are misunderstanding what the initiative would do.

Two DNC protesters were arrested for not giving their names to the police upon request. The case (and any civil rights complaint) will hinge on whether the cops had "reasonable suspicion" that the pair was committing or was about to commit a crime.

A column in the Detroit Free Press urges Michigan to expand coverage in its bias crimes law.

Two NYPD cops are being charged with civil rights violation after assaulting a motorist in an apparent road rage incident while off duty.

Shocking news: Immigration judges subjected to political vetting by the Bush administration are disproportionately likely to reject asylum claims.

Jesse Jackson in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Obama can inspire but we must lead."

Jacob Weisberg says that only racism can explain an Obama loss. A Wall St. Journal column ridicules that notion. I'm not going to buy into Weisberg's thesis wholesale, but I think legitimate questions will be raised if either Obama runs way behind the generic Democratic wave in a year with such good fundamentals for his party, or if we see a major showing of the Wilder effect.

Experts say that the Canadian police must diversify if they want to remain effective in their ever-more multicultural society.

Connecticut courts have recognized that transgender discrimination is in violation of law prohibiting sex stereotyping.

1 comment:

PG said...

Something more complicated than a simple "I don't want a black man in the White House" would be at work in an Obama loss. It would be a mixture of many kinds of fear of difference, not just racism but also xenophobia (Obama is the son of a foreigner and lived overseas); Islamophobia (the "secret Muslim" stuff only works as a smear if people are bothered by the idea of a Muslim president); anti-elitism (Obama has not learned, as Jindal did, how a very smart guy campaigns among the bubbas)...

Obama's difference from the majority of American voters is not solely of color. It also is a difference of background and culture. He is exactly the kind of candidate whom Dems have learned not to run in local races in conservative and moderate states: a thoroughgoing liberal who is perceived by non-liberal voters as an outsider too different from themselves.

Because I too am the child of foreigners who prized education as the way to rise, have links to a minority religion, an Ivy League JD and some culturally elite tastes (arugula is good stuff, especially with mango and crabmeat), I identify with Obama personally as well as politically. That I can identify with him probably is not a good sign for his relevance to most voters.