Blog of Rights

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:55am
This week, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, you’ll hear a lot, as we usually do, about the heroic work he did to move America past the era of state-enforced racial segregation.  Mainly, we remember Dr. King as a prophet of non-discrimination.  If the government treats black folks and white folks alike (which it does not always, even today), we tell ourselves that we have lived up to Dr. King’s mighty vision.     
How Will the Trillions in Federal Spending Affect Immigration?

How Will the Trillions in Federal Spending Affect Immigration?

By Georgeanne M. Usova, Washington Legislative Office at 4:14pm

Congress took an important step this week by passing an omnibus appropriations bill— one giant package to replace 12 spending bills that Congress passes in a normal year to keep the government running for the rest of FY 2014 and avoid another government…

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

Is Race Discrimination in School Discipline a Real Problem?

By Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:04pm

The Department of Justice and Department of Education announced today what we have known to be true for a long time: yes, race discrimination in school discipline is a real problem.

At an event with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney…

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

Florida Cannot Drug Test People Simply Because They’re Poor

By Jason Williamson at 3:30pm

Remember that amazing Daily Show segment a couple years ago in which a correspondent asked Florida Governor Rick Scott to pee into a cup? Governor Scott was dead set on forcing some of the state's poorest, most vulnerable citizens to submit to humiliating…

States Surge Forward on Immigrants' Rights in 2013

States Surge Forward on Immigrants' Rights in 2013

By Jonathan Blazer, ACLU at 3:17pm

As 2013 comes to a close, political pundits will no doubt say that the big immigration story of the year was the paralysis of national immigration reform inside the Washington D.C. beltway. That may be so, if all you're doing is counting lines of copy.…

Data Suggests Boston Police Targeted Black & Working Class Areas For Surveillance

Data Suggests Boston Police Targeted Black & Working Class Areas For Surveillance

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 5:38pm

Earlier this week the ACLU of Massachusetts called for a statewide moratorium on the use of license plate readers. We did so because a MuckRock/Boston Globe investigation revealed serious abuses by the Boston Police Department in its use of the controversial…

Nelson Mandela’s Important Legacy for LGBT Movement

Nelson Mandela’s Important Legacy for LGBT Movement

By Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU at 12:09pm

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." -- Nelson Mandela

On Thursday, the world mourned the death of former South African President and anti-apartheid…

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…

Communities of Color Face Unexpected Foe in Foreclosure Prevention

Communities of Color Face Unexpected Foe in Foreclosure Prevention

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:09am

Millions of Americans are still suffering the effects of the subprime mortgage meltdown. More than four million homeowners have been foreclosed upon already, and nearly 11 million are "underwater," that is, they owe more on their mortgages than their…

Why "Redskins" Is Wrong

Why "Redskins" Is Wrong

By Stephen Pevar, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU at 11:16am

Think of a vile name that you were called by bullies at school based on your religion, your race, your country of origin, or some other characteristic. How did it make you feel? If I call you by the same name but tell you that my intention is to honor…