Blog of Rights

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

A Mother's Rules for Being Young, Black, and Male

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:08pm
Like many mothers across the country, the Trayvon Martin tragedy still haunts me and makes me want to hold my son closer, knowing that his life as a young Black man in America is not getting any easier. As I wrote in a blog post last year, I've done my best to protect my son, a young man who is 23 and about to enter law school, by teaching him to anticipate prejudice and understand that for some, his skin color is an invitation to scorn and mistreatment. But one heartbreaking lesson to take from this tragedy is that there is essentially nothing that parents can tell their Black children—especially young men—about how to survive in this world that will protect them from violence, and that must change.
Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

Trusting Law Enforcement After the Trayvon Tragedy

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:14pm

The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012, while not the first act of senseless violence of its kind, evoked a wide array of emotions including sadness, anger, and fear. For many of us, hearing the verdict two days ago felt…

Next Steps in Honoring Trayvon Martin: It's Time for Systemic Reform

Next Steps in Honoring Trayvon Martin: It's Time for Systemic Reform

By Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU at 3:18pm

Today, our thoughts are with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, whose young son was taken from them far too soon.

Last night's verdict casts serious doubt on whether the legal system truly provides equal protection of the laws to everyone regardless…

What Does Sheriff Arpaio Have To Do with Immigration Reform?

What Does Sheriff Arpaio Have To Do with Immigration Reform?

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 1:11pm

Last month, a U.S. District Court in Phoenix issued a 142-page decision against Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) in Ortega Melendres v. Arpaio.  After  a three-week trial, the court found that MCSO had…

The Supreme Court Limits Our Employment Rights...Again

The Supreme Court Limits Our Employment Rights...Again

By Christina Black, Women's Rights Project, ACLU & Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:04pm

In a high-profile few weeks of wins and losses at the Supreme Court, there are two end-of-term opinions that will make it more difficult for workers to sue employers who discriminate against them, which may have gotten a bit lost in the shuffle. One…

Let's Extend the Promise of Equal Protection to Housing

Let's Extend the Promise of Equal Protection to Housing

By Demelza Baer, Washington Legislative Office & Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:04pm

In a week of great highs and lows for civil rights, let's celebrate ending on another high note for LGBT equality. As the Supreme Court struck down the core of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" in United States v. Windsor, the Housing Opportunities…

Solution to Campus Diversity Problem Isn't Segregation Everywhere Else

Solution to Campus Diversity Problem Isn't Segregation Everywhere Else

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Courtney Bowie, Racial Justice Program at 6:04pm

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in the university admissions case, Fisher v. University of Texas. In it, the Court left intact the important principle that universities have a compelling interest in a diverse student body,…

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...

Why Childhood Obesity is a Civil Rights Issue

Why Childhood Obesity is a Civil Rights Issue

By Jason Stern, Racial Justice Program, ACLU at 4:04pm

Last week, a New York State appeals court panel appeared to take all the fizzle out of New York City's ban on large sugary drinks, which had been overruled by a lower court judge in March. While the future of the ban remains unclear, one thing is certain:…

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–…