Blog of Rights

Truancy Courts Violate the Law, Threaten Parents and Children

By Yelena Konanova, Racial Justice Program at 1:26pm
Last fall, Jeremy Bowen, a 14-year-old student receiving special educational services at Westerly High School in Westerly, Rhode Island, took the courageous step of integrating into mainstream classes. Jeremy struggled with the assigned work, and his mother, Elizabeth Boyer, spent countless hours in meetings with school officials working to revise Jeremy's education plan to provide him with the support and services he needed.

Racial Profiling Is Ineffective, Distracting, and Detrimental to Public Safety

By Jasmine Elliott, Washington Legislative Office at 2:16pm

Racial profiling is "a sloppy, lazy substitute" for actual policing, said Professor Deborah Ramirez from Northeastern University School of Law, at a House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing…

Crop of image by Arlo Bates via Flickr

When Big Data Becomes a Civil Rights Problem

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:06am

My colleague Jay Stanley just wrote about an invasive new police tactic employed by the Chicago Police Department. Using software created by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the city developed a “’heat list’ — an index of…

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

Why Is Kyle Thompson Under House-Arrest?

By Diana Scholl, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 3:07pm

Kyle Thompson likes playing football, playing video games, and hanging out with his friends. The Michigan student has also been under house arrest since last March and barred from school for six months. Why? His teacher wanted to see a note he had…

Graduation Gap Between NCAA Black and White Student-Athletes

By Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 6:10pm

According to my bracket, next weekend, the University of Texas and the University of North Carolina will battle for a national basketball title. In reality, Butler, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), University of Kentucky, and University…

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…

Cop Assaults Elementary School Student

Cop Assaults Elementary School Student

By Seema Sadanandan, Organizer, ACLU of the Nation's Capital at 1:43pm

When Officer David Bailey grabbed a 10-year-old student by the back of his head and slammed it into the school cafeteria table, it is safe to say that student was not free to leave. On that afternoon, Bailey decided that his routine beat on the streets…

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

Racial Profiling at Logan Airport Undermines Security and Freedom

By Carol Rose, Executive Director, ACLU of Massachusetts at 6:10pm

Reports that the so-called "behavioral detection program" at Logan Airport leads to racial profiling is front-page news in today's Sunday New York Times. You have to admire the courage of the TSA screeners who raised the alarm that pressure from TSA management to meet quotas leads to targeting of passengers based on their race, ethnicity, and religion-- even when they clearly pose no terrorist threat.

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

For just over three years, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull out in front of states that still have the death penalty...

NEW REPORT: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Marijuana Arrests

NEW REPORT: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Marijuana Arrests

By Ezekiel Edwards, Director, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 10:27am

Marijuana has become the drug of choice for police departments nationwide. According to The War on Marijuana in Black and White, released today, police made over 8 million marijuana arrests between 2001 and 2010, and marijuana arrests now account for…