Welcome to the ‘2012 Election’ Archive

Here you will find all archived articles and posts under the selected category. Thank you for visiting and supporting the movement.

CI: The Supreme Court and the Shape of Social Movements

February 04, 2015 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, 2014 Mid-term Elections, 2016 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary, Criminal Injustice Series, Government for Good, Intersectionality, Police State, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.


The Supreme Court and the Shape of Social Movements
by nancy a heitzeg

I spend too much time thinking about the Supreme Court (although one could argue that others do not do so enough), and more now too, in light of recent events. There is a lot that i could say about the insanely unchecked power of nine robed people, their shadowy grip over the entirety of all our legal endeavors,  and the insidious death star that is the Roberts Court – about to knee-cap Obamacare, rule Gay Marriage a state’s right issue, destroy the legal protections against discrimination afforded by  “disparate impact,”  allow states to torture condemned prisoners to death with any old randomly mixed drug cocktail, additionally constrict women’s protections against discrimination in employment and reproductive matters, and ensconce, even further, the flow of corporate “persons” $$$ into all arenas of politics, while simultaneously diluting the votes of real flesh and blood people.

But I won’t.

Instead, a word about the impact of the Supreme Court on social movements. In the midst of Black History Month, screenings of Selma, and current movements against racialized police state violence, we must remember the significance of Brown v the Board of Education, Topeka Kansas (1954). Despite the practical limits of Brown in effecting desegregation or the failure to implement the directives of Brown II, there can be no denying that the ruling – “separate but equal is inherently unequal” – created a over-arching legal framework that emboldened the Civil Rights Movement.

The repudiation, at the Federal last word level, of the Jim Crow machinery set up in Plessy freed the Civil Rights Movement to pursue direct action civil disobedience with the confidence of victory. Certainly, there was the omnipresent risk/reality of brutal police response, extra-legal violence and death. But segregation could now be challenged at the local and state levels — the buses in Montgomery, the lunch counters in Greensboro, the beaches in Florida, everything in Birmingham – with the assurance that should the cases wend their way through the Federal Courts, the protesters would prevail. The highest Court in the land was 9 – 0, unanimously, on their side.

There are no such assurances today. To the contrary. The Roberts Court, in a series of heavily partisan 5-4 decisions, has largely undone the major legislative and judicial achievements of the Civil Rights Era, and dragged us back towards an Ante-Bellum landscape of extreme state’s rights. Read: state’s right to discriminate.

At the inspiring, poignant end of Selma, the teletype across the screen updates us as to the fate of protagonists. But missing is the fate of the signature legislation which resulted from the many bloody sundays, mondays, tuesdays. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 too lies dead – disemboweled by the Roberts Court in Shelby County v Holder (2013). The victory and sacrifice of so many, undone, by mere paper.

All of this is not to discourage the movements of this moment, but rather to say, Know the Terrain. The Supreme Court offers now no umbrella of support for demands of equality, inclusion, protection from State violence. We will not be saved. Our tactics, our strategies, our protests must take account of the current legal landscape. They must be bold imaginative, community-centered, and untethered to any expectation of sanctuary in the courts. They must operate outside the frame.

This is to say too, even to those who eschew electoral politics, keep a close eye on those nine robed judges and to the possibility of who may appoint them. It matters; their decisions shape the space for movements for decades, for generations not yet born, and mean the difference between raw repression and a small bit of breathing room.

And finally, this is to say that progress is not an uninterrupted forward motion, that no victory is guaranteed forever, Whatever we win today, we must be prepared to defend and re-defend without tire. For the long haul.


ObamaCare: “Not Just a Website”

October 22, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, 2014 Mid-term Elections, Consumer Rights, Economic Development

Government Shutdown Planned by GOP, Paid for by their Corporate Masters

October 06, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, 2014 Mid-term Elections, Corrupt Legislature, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality


A Federal Budget Crisis Months in the Planning, New York Times

To many Americans, the shutdown came out of nowhere. But interviews with a wide array of conservatives show that the confrontation that precipitated the crisis was the outgrowth of a long-running effort to undo the law, the Affordable Care Act, since its passage in 2010 — waged by a galaxy of conservative groups with more money, organized tactics and interconnections than is commonly known…

The current budget brinkmanship is just the latest development in a well-financed, broad-based assault on the health law, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative initiative. Groups like Tea Party Patriots, Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are all immersed in the fight, as is Club for Growth, a business-backed nonprofit organization. Some, like Generation Opportunity and Young Americans for Liberty, both aimed at young adults, are upstarts. Heritage Action is new, too, founded in 2010 to advance the policy prescriptions of its sister group, the Heritage Foundation.

The billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort. A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman’s legs during a gynecological exam.

The groups have also sought to pressure vulnerable Republican members of Congress with scorecards keeping track of their health care votes; have burned faux “Obamacare cards” on college campuses; and have distributed scripts for phone calls to Congressional offices, sample letters to editors and Twitter and Facebook offerings for followers to present as their own.


Revelations: 44 is 52

August 04, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Arts and Culture, Intersectionality

Happy Birthday to President Barack Obama!

President Obama On Trayvon Martin:”There is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws…”

July 19, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Prison Industrial Complex, Voting Rights

President Obama’s remarks on Trayvon Martin (full transcript)

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

And you know, I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

black line Capture

CI: The War on Black – “Color-blindness” and Criminalization, Part 2

June 12, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Intersectionality, Media Conglomeration, Prison Industrial Complex

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

The War on Black – “Color-blindness” and Criminalization , Part 2
by nancy a heitzeg

Editors Note: As I write this, my Twitter feed is exploding in debate over the NSA/Prism spying program and the attendant leaks. I am seeing the Right decry the same policies they supported — hey voted for — under BushCo because.. well, the President is Black and must be ceaselessly criminalized. I am witnessing liberals defend USA PATRIOT ACT policies that they rejected under Bush because.. well, the President is Black and must be defended for what he  “represents”, at least to some. I am seeing the purity left and libertarians in outrage over governmental intrusion, because… well, White Privilege and now it matters since the target is not just people of color via COINTELPRO or NYPD Stop and Frisk.. But  never mind, let’s co-opt Rosa Parks and MLK..

This is exactly to the heart of my post: Overt racism v. Color-blind racism, an epic battle between two false choices all played out on a personalized level. No structural analysis, nor attendance to systemic racism/classism, and no ability to draw the straight line to consideration of race class gender in the law and its’ enforcement….There is another way..

Last week in Part 1, CI examined a recent report from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the extrajudicial killing of 313 Black people by police, security guards and vigilantes. The report illustrated, in the extreme, how the criminalizing archetype – as  attached to Black Men in particular-  becomes the excuse for, quite frankly, Genocide.

MXGM makes it plain  that ” the practice of executing Black people without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation.”

It is a War Against Black People, and certainly, extra-judicial killings represent just one aspect of this criminalizing war:

These killings come on top of other forms of oppression black people face. Mass incarceration of nonwhites is one of them. While African-Americans constitute 13.1% of the nation’s population, they make up nearly 40% of the prison population. Even though African-Americans use or sell drugs about the same rate as whites, they are 2.8 to 5.5 times more likely to be arrested for drugs than whites. Black offenders also receive longer sentences compared to whites. Most offenders are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses

And how does this War persist without national outrage?  With no declared State of Emergency? With so few proposed remedies?

Short answer: White Supremacy.

The devil, of course, is always in the longer details, and so today we turn to a deeper exploration of  “color-blind” racism, the central role of criminalizing archetypes, the complicity of Left, Center and Right, and dare we hope?? – a way out of the color-blind fog..


In 2012 Election, African American Voters Surpassed White Turnout For The First Time Ever

April 29, 2013 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Voting Rights

From ThinkProgress:

Though Republican election officials in battleground states sought to dampen voter turn out of traditionally Democratic voters through by instituting identification requirements and limiting early voting hours, a new analysis of census data by the Associated Press shows that African Americans “voted at a higher rate than other minority groups in 2012 and by most measures surpassed the white turnout for the first time.”

More significantly, the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida and Colorado would have tipped in favor of Romney, handing him the presidency if the outcome of other states remained the same.

African Americans outperformed their voter share, representing 13 percent of total votes cast in 2012
while making up 12 percent of the population — despite facing great obstacles to exercising the franchise.
A poll conducted by Hart Research poll immediately after the election reported that 22 percent of African-Americans waited 30 minutes or more to vote, compared to just 9 percent of white voters. A more thorough analysis from Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed that black and hispanic voters waited nearly twice as long to vote as whites. In Florida, home to the longest lines, at least 201,000 people may have been deterred from voting by the long waits.

Black youth was also far more likely to be asked to show ID, a study by professors at the University of Chicago and Washington University in St. Louis found, and many did not even try to vote because they lacked the required identification.

“It’s Simple Mathematics”

February 16, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Criminal Injustice Series, Economic Terrorism, Education, Housing, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, White Privilege


Real Solutions Don’t Demand Marriage, Just lots of Math..

See also Prison Culture, The Atlantic and The Washington Post

black line Capture