Blog of Rights

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Racist Cover Dismisses Housing Discrimination Against Communities of Color

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Racist Cover Dismisses Housing Discrimination Against Communities of Color

By Robert Hunter, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Program at 12:38pm
To illustrate its cover story about the housing market’s recovery in Phoenix, last week’s Bloomberg Businessweek cover depicted four black and Latino caricatures with obscenely exaggerated features, celebrating in a house filled with cash. You might wonder why an article about a tentative economic upturn should be represented by such alarmingly racist stereotypes—as though it’s a problem that people of color to have access to credit. After intense blowback, Bloomberg Businessweek responded, asserting “Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret. Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we’d do it differently.” However, their “apology” and its focus on their “intention” misses the larger point: Reducing complex economic systems to a caricature, particularly when it is done with an agenda, obscures the real sources of inequality and unfairly blames the victim.
NYT Reports on Hate Crimes FBI Refused to Investigate, Uncovered by ACLU Racial Mapping FOIA

NYT Reports on Hate Crimes FBI Refused to Investigate, Uncovered by ACLU Racial Mapping FOIA

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:25pm

On Friday, The New York Times published an excellent report about the FBI's failure to investigate two 2007 hate crimes that was based on FBI documents the ACLU of Northern California, the Asian Law Caucus and the San Francisco Bay Guardian uncovered…

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

The State of Equality & Justice in America: The Pendulum Swings between Joy and Despair

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:26pm

Let's just take one day, February 27, 2013, as a snapshot of the state of equality and justice in America.

For Kids With Parents Behind Bars, The Work of Black History Month Is Incomplete

For Kids With Parents Behind Bars, The Work of Black History Month Is Incomplete

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:41pm

Over the last month, people across the country have retold the stories of heroes like Dr. Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks...

In the Name of School Safety, Let's Not Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

In the Name of School Safety, Let's Not Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office & Alana Kuhn, Law Clerk, Washington Legislative Office, ACLU at 9:18am

Every parent should be able to send their child off to school knowing that he or she will spend the day in a safe environment.   For many parents across the nation, however, that peace of mind was shattered by the unthinkable tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.  Today, the House of Representatives will take up the issue of school safety with a hearing in the House Education and Workforce Committee.  The ACLU has submitted a statement suggesting ways to ensure that schools are safe places for students to learn, grow, and thrive.

The Legacy of Trayvon Martin

The Legacy of Trayvon Martin

By Meghan Groob, Media Relations Associate, ACLU at 12:14pm

Exactly one year ago today, a 17-year-old boy named Trayvon Martin was gunned down in his quiet Florida suburb in a tragedy that left our country shocked and ashamed. The incident set off a national conversation about racial profiling and the role…

A Reality Check on Newtown: We Must Move Forward, Not Back

A Reality Check on Newtown: We Must Move Forward, Not Back

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:29pm

I, like most Americans, watched in horror as the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfurled last December. As a former elementary school teacher, I could not stop seeing my former students as possible victims, and I was angry, confused, and eager…

The U.S.-Mexico Border: Safer than Ever

The U.S.-Mexico Border: Safer than Ever

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU & Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 10:05am

Over the weekend, "NBC Nightly News" aired a segment on ranchers in rural Arizona concerned with border security. As is so often the case with media coverage of the border, this segment only included one side of the story – ranchers concerned about…

Worried About Police Accountability in New York City? There's an App for That

Worried About Police Accountability in New York City? There's an App for That

By Mike Cummings, Senior Communications Coordinator, NYCLU at 3:54pm

With a flare for innovation fit for Steve Jobs, the New York Civil Liberties Union has empowered anyone...

A Step Forward in Fair and Equal Access to Credit for Minority Borrowers

A Step Forward in Fair and Equal Access to Credit for Minority Borrowers

By Demelza Baer, Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

During our nation's prolonged economic downturn, most of us have been impacted by foreclosures, unemployment, or a significant loss of savings. These hardships, however, haven't fallen equally across the backs of all Americans – minorities have…