Blog of Rights

Diversity and Dissent in Lee Daniels' The Butler

Diversity and Dissent in Lee Daniels' The Butler

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:16pm
2013 was considered by some to be a "banner year" for films featuring African-American actors and stories, due in part to the release of Lee Daniels' The Butler. Despite notable performances by Forest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey, the film failed to garner a single Oscar nomination. According to one critic, part of the reason is that "there's not enough Black people voting, the ratio is still off. The majority of voters don't like Black film."
The Promise and Hope of Detroit

The Promise and Hope of Detroit

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:19am

"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world", as Percy Bysshe Shelley put it. I was reminded of this power that poetry has to illuminate social and political realities while reading Jamaal May's "There are Birds Here." May was born and raised…

What Have We Learned from the Spies of Mississippi?

What Have We Learned from the Spies of Mississippi?

By Hugh Handeyside, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:45pm

The documentary film "Spies of Mississippi," which aired on PBS on Monday, is a grim reminder of the depths that Mississippi authorities plumbed in their efforts to subvert the civil rights movement. The film chronicles the role of the Mississippi…

Remembering Larry King

Remembering Larry King

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:16am

We live in freedom by necessity. We must reshape our world. We must love one another, or die. --Vijay Prashad, The World We Want is the World We Need, Riverside Church

Today I remember Larry King who was killed six years ago. On…

Court-Sanctioned Extortion by Private Probation Companies: Modern Debtors' Prisons

Court-Sanctioned Extortion by Private Probation Companies: Modern Debtors' Prisons

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:46am

Yesterday, Human Rights Watch released Profiting from Probation, a report that confirms the ACLU's worst fears about the privatization of probation services: for-profit companies are increasingly working with county and city courts around the country…

What If the Interracial Family in the Cheerios Ad Consisted of Two Dads?

What If the Interracial Family in the Cheerios Ad Consisted of Two Dads?

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:15pm

I don't know about you, but I love the Cheerios ad featuring the adorable daughter of an interracial couple. It's both sweet and charming, but what I really appreciate is its depiction of a family that is rarely visible on TV even though it is certainly…

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

An Important Victory for Indian Tribes

By Peter Beauchamp, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 1:20pm

This week, the ACLU won an important battle on the road toward protecting the rights of American Indian children and their parents and tribes. Chief Judge Jeffrey L. Viken of South Dakota's federal District Court ruled that a lawsuit filed by the ACLU…

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

6 To-Dos for Obama's Sixth Year as POTUS

By Shawn Jain, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:54pm

Last night's State of the Union address covered many issues important to Americans, including economic inequality, winding down foreign wars, climate change, pay equity, closing Guantanamo, voting rights, and much more.

But from a civil liberties…

Southwest Border Tour Excludes Border Communities

Southwest Border Tour Excludes Border Communities

By Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties & James Lyall, Border Litigation Staff Attorney, ACLU of Arizona at 4:54pm

Newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wrapped up a two-day visit to the southwest border region last week, starting in McAllen, Texas, and ending in Tucson, Ariz. The stated purpose of the trip was to "tour border operations, receive…

An Unequal Playing Field: A Response To Richard Sherman's Post Super Bowl Playoff Game "Outburst"

An Unequal Playing Field: A Response To Richard Sherman's Post Super Bowl Playoff Game "Outburst"

By Nirali Beri, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Project at 10:14am

After two hard fought games over the weekend, it was determined that the Denver Broncos would be facing the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII next month. Both teams have overcome significant obstacles this season to reach the championship…