Blog of Rights

The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World's Agenda

The U.S. Record on Racial Discrimination is on the Whole World's Agenda

By Chandra Bhatnagar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Human Rights Program at 3:18pm
As the United Nations this week debated America's record on race, one name was on everyone's minds: Michael Brown. Not only Americans have been riveted this week by the tragic killing of the unarmed teenager, the subsequent protests, and the militarized response of law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo.

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…

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

Kanye West, "New Slaves" and a Long Tradition of Locking People Up for Profit

By Carl Takei, ACLU National Prison Project at 12:19pm

Projecting his latest music video onto the sides of 66 buildings around the world over the weekend, Kanye West debuted his new song...

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…

Profiling Won't Save Us

Profiling Won't Save Us

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:50am

This piece originally appeared on The Hill's Congress Blog.

The Obama administration this week announced new guidance on how federal law enforcement agents may use race and other characteristics, such as religion and national origin, in their…

Kaleb Winston and his parents

In Perverse Equation, Sketches + Skin Color = Gang Tagger

By Carmel Ferrer at 4:26pm

Kaleb Winston loved to draw. A sketchpad never far from reach, he drew constantly, hoping one day to be an architect like his grandfather.

That was before the gang sweep.

In December 2010, two plainclothes police officers approached…

#DearMrPresident: Stop Profiling Us

The Perversity of Profiling

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Hina Shamsi, Director, ACLU National Security Project at 2:19pm

The Justice Department is considering revised racial profiling guidance that, if issued, could set back race relations and basic fairness in this country. We hope that it does not make that mistake.

The New York Times on Thursday reported that…

Dontadrian Bruce

Where Zero Tolerance Makes Zero Sense

By Carmel Ferrer at 5:02pm

The olive branch is universally recognized as a token of peace. In Mississippi's DeSoto County however, Olive Branch's high school embodies zero tolerance at its worst.

Dontadrian Bruce, a student at Olive Branch High School, didn't know what…

"People in <em>Your</em> Hood Ride Bikes to Shoot People."

"People in Your Hood Ride Bikes to Shoot People."

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:22pm

This week, 22-year-old Modesto Sanchez told lawmakers of the Massachusetts Legislature about the day he and his friend rode their bikes down the street on which Sanchez lived, only to be stopped and frisked within minutes by Boston police officers.…

Poor People Have Rights Too

Poor People Have Rights Too

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 4:05pm

Drug-testing those applying for public assistance is unconstitutional, shortsighted and will end up costing states more than any possible savings.