Monday, October 13, 2008

Civil Rights Roundup: 10/13/08

Your daily dose of civil rights and related news

The Virginia GOP chair compared Obama to Osama, and then refused to back down after critique from the McCain campaign ("While Barack Obama is associated with domestic terrorist William Ayers, the McCain campaign disagrees with the comparison that Jeff Frederick made."). It's a civil rights issue because I'm coming around on my earlier views as to whether the Obama-as-terrorist charges are racially tinged or not.

See also this NYT story.

On the other hand, McCain's resistence to bringing up Rev. Jeremiah Wright is heartening, if frustrating to many of his supporters (including, unsurprisingly, Gov. Palin).

Frederick County, Maryland, is weighing the consequences of its recent immigration crackdown. According to the article, since an agreement was reached with ICE, "9 percent of all people arrested and taken to the county detention center have proven to be illegal immigrants," a number the local sheriff considers a success.

The Austin American-Statesman takes a look at how Latinos are responding to immigration and other issues.

A Fresno Catholic priest came out as gay and gave a sermon urging his parishioners to reject Proposition 8. He was immediately stripped of his post by the local bishop.

In the face of surging US prison populations, policymakers are looking at alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is trying to assuage a wave of voter fears that they will be targeted by suppression and disenfranchise efforts. One of the "myths" they're trying to dispel is that you can't vote if your home was foreclosed. Well, glad to hear it, but if so it won't be for a lack of trying.

Finally, the dean of the University of Nebraska law school is defending affirmative action, and questioned the results of a Center for Equal Opportunity (gag) study which purported to show the school "discriminated" against White applicants. The law school has six African-Americans in its entering class of 146 this year. CEO chief Roger Clegg (remember him?), who has been leading the charge against race-conscious admissions across the country, flatly said he'd rather the school turn "lily white" than preserve affirmative action.


PG said...

The reason I've been reluctant to say that the Obama-as-terrorist-sympathizer stuff is "racist/ racially tinged" is that what I've been watching out for is stuff that smears Obama for being black. I've been watching for the Harold Ford Jr., "don't let him touch our blond women" stuff. But this year it's more subtle than that. There won't be attacks on Obama for being black; indeed, some of the Limbaugh rhetoric has been that Obama isn't really black/ African, but is actually Arab. (I think we can guess where the woman at the McCain rally gets her political info.) Instead, Obama is attacked for his family's ties to Islam -- his father and stepfather both having been raised Muslim, and his own time in Indonesia. I still don't think of this as precisely racist so much as anti-Muslim and xenophobic.

The Gaucho Politico said...

Have you seen the Sander Study that discusses the use of affirmative action in Law School admissions? the study found that the acceptance of students who would usually be rejected but for their race is creating mismatch where those students fail out a higher rates graduate lower in their class, and fail the bar more often. While this Center for Equal Opportunity guy is a real tool and he is advocating against the policy for the wrong reasons the use of affirmative action in a law school setting appears to have hindered rather than helped aa.

Ivan Ludmer said...

If I remember that study right (and it's been a while and my memory is often faulty), it said that those negative effects of affirmative action were highest at higher-ranked schools and low to non-existent at lower-ranked ones. So as far as the University of Nebraska Law School goes, fine institution though I'm sure it is, I don't think I would apply that study's reasoning to it.

The Gaucho Politico said...

Actually i think the study found that the effect held for every tier. it was reffered to as a cascade effect because of the way it rolled down every level. Nebreaska is 73 by the rankings (which everyone says to ignore but then proceeds to cite) so a top tier school but no it is not yale, harvard, or nyu. I cant say that i think they would have a problem with admitting really unqualified aa when only 6 of the class is aa. i brought it up as a general discussion topic relating to law school admissions. as long as the applicants are qualified i dont see an issue with building a racially diverse class.

PG said...

Shouldn't you look specifically at the graduation rate at the University of Nebraska's law school for Africa American students, rather than relying on Sanders's mismatch thesis, which I doubt even he would claim applies to each individual law school in the country?

Thomas said...

I was baptized at that Newman Center Church where the Priest came out against proposition 8. There's a local TV story somewhere online that shows the congregation giving a ~1/2 standing ovation to the priest after his homily, and for that I am still one half proud to be Catholic.