Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice

March 14, 2012 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Intersectionality, Poverty, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights, White Privilege

In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country’s black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America’s unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Banning the Truth in Alabama Prisons: “Slavery By Another Name”

February 12, 2012 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights

Alabama prison officials banned the award-winning book. Will they now stop prisoners from viewing the upcoming PBS documentary based on it, Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II?

Slavery By Another Name

The PBS broadcast on Monday, February 13, comes in the wake of the admission by Alabama prison officials that they banned prisoners from reading the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Blackmon based on its content examining racial history in the South. Officials at Kilby Correctional Facility in Mt. Meigs, Alabama, made this admission in response to a civil rights lawsuit that was brought against them in September 2011 by the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI).

The book by Mr. Blackmon, an award-winning journalist and political correspondent for the Washington Post, documents how African Americans in Alabama and throughout the South were re-enslaved in the years following the Civil War, due in part to laws specifically written to facilitate the arbitrary arrest of African Americans.


NYPD: West Indian American Day Parade attendees are savages

December 07, 2011 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoner Rights, White Privilege

From The Root:

This week the big news on the Racism Watch is the New York City cops who have been discussing on Facebook black attendees of Brooklyn’s West Indian American Day Parade in classically unsavory terms: “Animals.” “Savages.” “Drop a bomb and wipe them all out.” And it would hardly be hasty to assume that terms even meaner than those were bandied about; we are only being told about snippets of a thread since erased from the site.

Typically, news like this is classified as evidence that racism in America is still “out there,” and in ways more significant than what is acknowledged by those who claim it is on the wane. People like, yes, me.

I thought it might be useful to spell out how someone like me receives news like this business with the New York cops. I have always stressed that conflict between the cops and, especially, young black men is the keystone reason for a sense among blacks that white America stands united against them. Racism manifests itself in other ways, but most of those cases are not the kind that make healthy people feel as if a nation is set against them. As Ellis Cose has said, “Rage does not flow from dry numerical analyses of discrimination or from professional prospects projected on a statistician’s screen.”

Rage does flow from being pulled over and maybe even roughed up by the cops for no good reason.

Dictators Over POC

September 12, 2011 By: seeta Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Economic Terrorism, Intersectionality, Voting Rights

The Advancement Project, in partnership with Michigan Forward and New Media Advocacy Project, has released a video detailing Michigan’s attack on democracy, voting rights and people of color.

Michigan’s state legislature passed Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act on March 16,2011. Also known as Public Act 4, this law greatly increases the power and authority of Emergency Managers who can be appointed by the Governor to deal with financial emergencies in schools, cities, villages and townships.


Crimes Against Latinos Up

August 16, 2011 By: seeta Category: 2012 Election, Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Immigration, White Privilege

As the 2012 presidential election campaign heats up, expect more violent rhetoric from the Republican party. The GOP continues to thrash about like a wounded animal as it refuses to come to grips with the fact that there is a black man in the “White” House; and the fact that the U.S. will have a minority-majority population in a matter of years. In the meantime, while GOP politicians continue to incite violence, immigrants remain the target of hate crimes.


It’s no secret that the country’s demographics are rapidly changing. And while the shift toward becoming browner and younger is certainly transforming the political landscape, civil rights advocates also believe that it’s creating a dangerous environment for communities of color who they say are becoming the nation’s easiest scapegoats for a lagging economy.

That reality can be seen clearly in in the increasing number of hate crimes. Racially motivated attacks reached a startling number last year, as hate crimes against Latinos in California increased by nearly 50 percent. According to a recently released report by the state attorney general’s office, hate crimes against Latinos jumped from 81 to 119 between 2009 and 2010.

Information on the national number of hate crimes in 2010 will not be available until November, however the new statistics from California suggest that despite a slight dip in reported hate crimes around 2008, attacks are once again on the rise. Between 2003 and 2007, anti-Latino hate crimes rose by 40 percent, but the FBI reported decreases for the following two years. While national reports aren’t always perfect indicators, California’s accuracy in its findings is considered better than most other states’.