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.
Ain’t I a Woman?

Ain’t I a Woman?

By Alicia Gay, ACLU at 1:20pm

Recently, a colleague here at the ACLU sent around a story about an African-American woman’s experience giving birth that literally left me crying at my desk.

Birthing While Black, was written in the aftermath of the Blue Ivy Carter,…

The Daily Show Tells Florida Legislators: "I Think I’m Gonna Need You to Pee into This Cup"

The Daily Show Tells Florida Legislators: "I Think I’m Gonna Need You to Pee into This Cup"

By Rachel Bloom, ACLU at 12:09pm

Last night the Daily Show featured ACLU client Luis Lebron, a Navy veteran who refused to take the drug test required by the State of Florida for welfare applicants.

An Open Letter to the President on Race

An Open Letter to the President on Race

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:07am

Dear Mr. President,

Do you remember any of your campaign ads from your 2000 Congressional campaign? I'm thinking specifically of a radio ad touting your support for a bill that required police officers to log the ethnicity of every driver they…

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…

14-Year-Old Arrested for Playing with Puppy While Black. Seriously.

14-Year-Old Arrested for Playing with Puppy While Black. Seriously.

By Rebecca McCray, ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project at 3:09pm

Last week down in Florida, 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian was playing in the water with a friend at the beach when a Miami-Dade police officer approached him to ask what he was doing, misinterpreting their play for a fight. Tremaine walked away from…

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

Want to Restore Fairness to the Criminal Justice System? End Racial Profiling

By Alex Berger, Legislative Assistant, ACLU at 3:35pm

Just over a year ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee held its first hearing on racial profiling in over a decade on the heels of the murder of 17-year-old Florida resident Trayvon Martin.

His death gave a face to the terrible practice of racial…

The War on Marijuana Has a Latino Data Problem

The War on Marijuana Has a Latino Data Problem

By Lynda Garcia, Soros Fellow, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 11:49am

We know that the War on Marijuana unnecessarily drags hundreds of thousands of people into the criminal justice system every year for having marijuana. And, because of a new ACLU report, we know that it is Blacks who are disproportionately arrested–…

Muslim Profiling and Behavioral Profiling

Muslim Profiling and Behavioral Profiling

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:24pm

Yesterday I posted about the debate over profiling Muslims at the airport, and how Bruce Schneier persuasively argued that the concept, which seems so intuitively sensible to so many Americans, is a terrible idea even just from a security point of…

Continuing the Fight for Civil Rights and Prisoners' Rights

Continuing the Fight for Civil Rights and Prisoners' Rights

By David Fathi, National Prison Project at 3:46pm

In the United States, the freedom struggle of Black people and the struggle for prisoners' rights have long been intertwined.