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.
I Wish #Motorcyclevagina Were Trending for a Better Reason

I Wish #Motorcyclevagina Were Trending for a Better Reason

By Becca Cadoff, Reproductive Freedom Project at 5:07pm

A lot has happened in North Carolina this week, and it's only Wednesday! If you haven't been able to keep track of it all, here's the skinny.

First, over 60 activists were arrested at the Capitol on Monday after thousands showed up to protest…

"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

"Ag-Gag" Not Just About Animal Welfare

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 9:54am

A story out of Utah this week neatly showcased the rising concerns among civil liberties and press freedom groups around so-called "ag-gag" laws, which, in various ways, make it illegal to document animal abuse on factory farms and other agricultural…

Larry Kirschenman

As a Soldier I Defended Our Rights, Now Who Will Defend Mine?

By Larry Kirschenman at 5:10pm

For a year now, I've been asking how a 75-year-old Vietnam Vet and retired prison guard like me could wind up in the hospital after being brutally mistreated by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

I live in a quiet retirement community,…

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, & Elena Kagan. Photo: S. Petteway

Religious Beliefs Don't "Trump" Women's Equality

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project at 11:06am

The imposing columns. The ornate and soaring ceiling. The hushed tone. The Supreme Court feels like a place where justice happens. There is a sense of importance, reverence, and loftiness. I've worked on every reproductive rights case to reach the…

Decades Later, No Justice for Kent State Killings

Decades Later, No Justice for Kent State Killings

By Laurel Krause, Co-founder and Director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal at 10:31am

On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired between 61 and 67 shots into a crowd of unarmed anti-war protestors at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and wounding nine others. My 19-year-old sister, Allison Krause, was…

I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

I Was Six-Years-Old and Locked in Solitary

By James Burns at 1:24pm

Solitary was the worst thing that's ever happened to me. I was in and out of jail while I was growing up, and every time I was in solitary confinement, it felt as horrible as the first time I was locked up and left alone.

The first time I'd…

Macklemore: "If You Like Being Free Like Me, Get The ACLU Card Today."

Macklemore: "If You Like Being Free Like Me, Get The ACLU Card Today."

By Doug Honig, ACLU of Washington at 12:28pm

Rap superstar Macklemore is urging his fans to get the card "that lets my gay friends marry the hell out of each other." That's the ACLU's legendary membership card. "If you like being free like me, get the ACLU card today," the award-winning rapper…

Your Place is in the Kitchen, Not on a Fire Truck

Your Place is in the Kitchen, Not on a Fire Truck

By Mie Lewis, Women's Rights Project at 11:31am

Last week, we filed a friend-of-the court brief in support of Aimee Greene, a firefighter who faced discrimination and harassment while working in the Buckeye Valley Fire District in Arizona. Despite having college degrees in firefighting, thousands…

Writers, Lawmakers, and the NRA Support ACLU Challenge to NSA Spying

Writers, Lawmakers, and the NRA Support ACLU Challenge to NSA Spying

By Noa Yachot, Communications Strategist, ACLU at 10:04am

Updated (09/05/2013): An impressive array of organizations and individuals filed amicus briefs yesterday in support of the ACLU's constitutional challenge to the government's collection of the call records of virtually everyone in the United States.…