Blog of Rights

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

Judge to Sikh Man: Remove "That Rag"

By Bear Atwood, ACLU at 4:57pm
Today, in a letter to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), the ACLU and United Sikhs called on state officials to investigate the harassment of a Sikh commercial truck driver pulled over early this year for a flat tire.  After detaining Mr. Jagjeet Singh in January as he passed through Mississippi, the officers called him a "terrorist" and harassed and humiliated him because of his appearance and religious beliefs.  As a devout Sikh, Mr. Singh wears a turban and carries a kirpan.  A kirpan is a small, spiritual sword that is sheathed and sewn to the waistband. It is designed and worn as an article of faith, much as a cross is worn by devout Christians.
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…

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…

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…

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…

Krystin Polk (L) and her mother, Krystal (R)

How a Special Needs Kid Gets Handcuffed and Thrown in Jail "For Her Own Good"

By Carmel Ferrer at 10:55am

Like nearly half of children with autism spectrum disorder, Krystin Polk regularly attempts to wander from supervised, safe places such as her home or school.

The 13-year-old is enrolled at the Magnolia School for special education students…

Why Should This Matter More Than This

We're All Losers After the Supreme Court's Decision in Schuette

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 10:35am

There are many individuals and groups in Michigan who lost as a result of yesterday's United States Supreme Court decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

Schuette is widely misunderstood as being a case about affirmative…

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…

Groups march near the Staples Center, Los Angeles, to protest Donald Sterling.

Why Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy Are Not the Problem

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 2:20pm

In her heartfelt dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, which upheld a Michigan ballot initiative forbidding schools from considering race as one factor in admitting students, Justice Sonya Sotomayor wrote "the way to stop discrimination…

Immigration Enforcement Doesn't Belong in the Courthouse

Immigration Enforcement Doesn't Belong in the Courthouse

By Reverend Elmer Zavala Gonzalez, Minister Member of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery at 4:39pm

In a matter of minutes, I went from seeking justice, to bearing witness, to being racially profiled.

My youngest son who is 3 years old often accompanies me as I do my duties as a minister member of our Mid-Kentucky Presbytery in Louisville.…