Blog of Rights

Sensible Policy, Not Smaller Handcuffs

Sensible Policy, Not Smaller Handcuffs

By Nicole Kief, ACLU & Jennifer Bellamy, Washington Legislative Office at 12:45pm
You may have heard recently about Dontadrian Bruce, the Mississippi high-school student who was almost expelled for holding up the number "3" with his fingers in a photo taken by his science teacher. Dontradian is number 3 on the football team – and despite his being an A/B student with no history of serious disciplinary problems, the school said he was making a gang sign.
Chase L. Cantrell

Michigan’s Unequal Admissions Policy Hurts Students Like Me

By Chase L. Cantrell, Plaintiff in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action at 4:16pm

Just months into my second year of law school at the University of Michigan, I witnessed my rights and life profoundly altered because of the passage of Proposal 2. This law banned Michigan’s institutions of higher learning from considering race…

What Rights?

What Rights?

By Melinda Chateauvert, Author of Sex Workers Unite! A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk at 4:22pm

Melinda Chateauvert will read excerpts from Sex Workers Unite! and sign copies of the book on Wednesday, March 12. For more information and to RSVP, visit http://sexworkersunite.eventbrite.com.

Do sex workers have rights? Put another way, can…

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

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

In 2012, a pregnant woman in Colorado was arrested and jailed after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The reason? A debt collector went to court for a warrant for her arrest—not because she committed any crime, but because she apparently…

Janet Mock, author and trans activist

A Conversation With Trans Rights Activist Janet Mock

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU & Keely Mullen at 4:10pm

In a 2011 Marie Claire article, successful People.com editor Janet Mock, publicly told her story about growing up transgender. Though at the time she had only shared her transgender identity with a few people in New York, "stories about kids who have…

President Barack Obama

What Does It Take To Truly Be "My Brother's Keeper"

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 3:38pm

A year ago, Kyle Thompson a young, Black, freshman was led away from his school in handcuffs and ultimately expelled from school. His offense? Mistakenly thinking that his teacher's attempt to take a note for him was a joke and playfully trying to…

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…

Comics As "Bibles" for Civil Rights Struggles

Comics As "Bibles" for Civil Rights Struggles

By Robert Hunter, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Program at 3:24pm

In the spring of 1958, civil rights leader and future Georgia Congressman John Lewis met Jim Lawson, an organizer with a nonviolent organizing group called the Fellowship Of Reconciliation (FOR). Lawson introduced Lewis to the FOR's popular comic book…

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…

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…