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CI: The “Criminal” Court and the Needlessly Divided “Left”

June 26, 2013 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Corrupt Judiciary, Corrupt Legislature, Criminal Injustice Series, Imperialism, Intersectionality, LGBTQ, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights, Voting Rights, White Privilege

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 “Criminal Court” and the Needlessly Divided “Left”
by nancy a heitzeg

Today, I was going to post a nice uplifting tribute to Sister Helen Prejean – on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Dead Man Walking. The power of one voice, and yes that is true.

Maybe someday. In light of recent news items and SCOTUS rulings, frankly i am not in the mood. While media and many are distracted by cult of personality wars over Paula Deen, Edward Snowden and his mouthpiece, The Supreme Court of the United States set the Civil Rights clock back on many issues of legal equality, I can’t even began to calculate just how far.

Yes the odious Section 3 of DOMA was ruled unconstitutional today in United States v. Windsor and SCOTUS further invalidated the California same-sex marriage ban in Hollingsworth v. Perry. (Please note: these rulings do not over-turn the same-sex marriage bans in 37 states.) These are great and overdue victories on the long road to LGBTQ equal rights under the law. Forward.

But the whiplash inducing “logic” of SCOTUS both giveth and taketh away. A series of decisions this term undercut hard fought legislation that served to protect minorities and women. All, of course, while strengthening the power of corporations, as ever post – Citizens United. Key cases this term decided mostly by 5 old smug white  black-robed white-minded  men:

This is the legal solidification of the color-blind paradigm just decried here. War on Black – now fully legalized in soothing “race-neutral” language. War on Women too.

So, who beyond the immediately impacted groups and their proven allies is gonna care? And then what are you gonna do? And i am talking about real world ACTION not signing some damn on-line petition. or tweeting until your fingers blee,d or writing a blog post calling for the fantasy of a Constitutional Amendment on Voting. Doesn’t count – doesn’t cut it. People died for these rights – where you gonna be for the next round?

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Obama On Fiscal Cliff: ‘Make Your Voices Heard’ #My2K

December 03, 2012 By: seeta Category: Civil Rights, Consumer Rights, Economic Terrorism, Science/Technology

From CampusProgress:

At a press conference Wednesday, President Obama announced the creation of a new social media campaign to raise awareness about the upcoming fiscal cliff.

The fiscal cliff—or fiscal showdown, as we’re calling it—is a bundle of expiring tax cuts and cuts to program spending that threaten America’s middle class with an average tax increase of $2,200 if Congress cannot reach an agreement by the end of the year. Twitter users can now tweet using the hashtag #My2K to express concerns about how the potential tax hike would impact their daily life.

During the press conference, Obama pressed that an agreement by Congress on how to handle the “fiscal cliff” is critical and must be reached before January.

“This debate is not just about numbers,” he said. “It’s a set of major decisions that are going to affect millions of families.”

There is consensus among lawmakers and economists that increasing taxes on the middle class would be detrimental to our economy, particularly for small businesses. President Obama agreed, calling on Congress to “pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income.”

A bill, which the president said he is willing to sign quickly, would protect 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses from the tax increase. The wealthiest Americans, who have balked at the idea of higher taxes, would also get a tax-break on their first $250,000 worth of income.