Blog of Rights

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

Mandela Faced the "Goliath" of Racial Discrimination

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:21pm
Nelson Mandela's life is a rebuke to oppression and to those who would respond with frustrated resignation or hatred. It is difficult to imagine a more unlikely success story against seemingly impossible odds. South Africa's system of apartheid seemed like the purest manifestation of racial discrimination possible. The fact that the discrimination was perpetrated by a small minority of whites against a majority of blacks in their own native land dictated that the means of maintaining the cruel racial hierarchy be extreme and pervasive. That the principal actor in the destruction of this unjust system would be an activist sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa's notorious Robben Island is nearly miraculous.
Communities of Color Face Unexpected Foe in Foreclosure Prevention

Communities of Color Face Unexpected Foe in Foreclosure Prevention

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:09am

Millions of Americans are still suffering the effects of the subprime mortgage meltdown. More than four million homeowners have been foreclosed upon already, and nearly 11 million are "underwater," that is, they owe more on their mortgages than their…

Why "Redskins" Is Wrong

Why "Redskins" Is Wrong

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:16am

Think of a vile name that you were called by bullies at school based on your religion, your race, your country of origin, or some other characteristic. How did it make you feel? If I call you by the same name but tell you that my intention is to honor…

Scottsboro Boys Exonerated, But Troubling Legacy Remains for Black Men

Scottsboro Boys Exonerated, But Troubling Legacy Remains for Black Men

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:01pm

The Alabama Board of Pardons and Parole's posthumous pardon today of the last of the black men wrongly convicted of the rape of two white women 82 years ago in Scottsboro, Alabama seems to write the final chapter of a sorry story that epitomizes the…

Border Quilt Lays Stories of Loss and Courage on National Mall

Border Quilt Lays Stories of Loss and Courage on National Mall

By Alyssa Telander, Border Resident & Outreach Coordinator, ACLU of New Mexico, Regional Center for Border Rights at 4:23pm

With all the talk about immigration reform that goes on behind closed doors in Washington DC, it's rare to hear from the people who actually live on the US-Mexico border, and who will be profoundly affected by what Congress does or doesn't do regarding…

What a Waste

What a Waste

By Jennifer Turner, Human Rights Researcher, Human Rights Program, ACLU at 9:51am

It's time to abandon the mindset that our criminal justice system should only be about extreme, one-size-fits-all punishment – particularly when the skyrocketing number of these sentences being meted out is grossly out of proportion with crime rates, which are falling.

Shopping While Black: Harms Go Deeper Than You Think

Shopping While Black: Harms Go Deeper Than You Think

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:03pm

Just in case we need reminders that too many people share the bias linking all black people with criminality, New York newspapers over the last two weeks were filled with stories of Black and Latino shoppers who were questioned and detained for suspicion…

"I’ll Never See My Son's Prom Picture"

"I’ll Never See My Son's Prom Picture"

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:00pm

Lucille MacBeth, mother of slain Florida teen Jordan Russell Davis, did all she could to keep from crying during her testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution earlier this week. After nearly five minutes of testimony,…

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Newly sworn in FBI Director James Comey has ordered all new FBI agent trainees to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, so they can reflect on the FBI's infamous history of hounding the civil rights leader and recognize "the…

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

Let’s Talk About The Way We Discipline Kids

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 4:02pm

A couple years ago, a high school student in Philadelphia named Kevin was caught with a small pair of scissors in his backpack while going through the school's metal detector. He had forgotten to remove it after wrapping Christmas presents at his girlfriend's…