The verdicts in the Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis cases have focused increased attention on racial disparities in the American justice system, and according to The BYP’s latest memo, nearly three-quarters of Black Youth believe the legal system does not treat all groups equally, a rate considerably higher than that for white and Latino youth.
The Justice Department has announced its intent to sue the state of Texas over its voter ID law.
The law was passed after the recent Supreme Court decision that threw out a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and requires that voters present government-issued photo identification. Student IDs are not permissible.
The lawsuit will contend that the new law is an attempt to deny or restrict the right to vote to minorities, students, and the elderly.
“This represents the department’s latest action to protect voting rights, but it will not be our last,” said the attorney general.
On June 25, the Supreme Court threw out the most powerful part of the Voting Rights Act, whose enactment in 1965 marked a major turning point in black Americans’ struggle for equal rights and political power. The Justice Department’s legal action in Texas is based on another provision in the law. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called the Obama administration’s actions an “end-run around the Supreme Court.”
Intervening in the redistricting case would enable the federal government to seek a declaration that Texas’s 2011 redistricting plans for the U.S. Congress and the Texas State House of Representatives were adopted in order to deny or restrict the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group.
Thoughts on Texas’ voter ID law, and the continued attacks on our right to vote?
Sound off below!
Coming to Chicago this weekend to attend the Beyond November Movement Convening reminds me that I’m only one person in our movement for justice. I’m doing what I can in order to close the gaps that fellow young African Americans face, whether it’s an achievement gap, a civic engagement gap, or even a self-love gap. Rare is a space that is constructed for young black activists to convene and develop blueprints in order to win victories. I’m excited to be a part of this uncommon space.
On his radio show with Tavis Smiley, Cornel West praised the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down DOMA, but also lamented its gutting of the Voting Rights Act.
According to West, the black community is suffering from waning visibility.
“We’re living in an age where we black folk are just being pushed to the back of the bus in terms of our visibility,” Mr. West said
Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) slammed Clarence Thomas in a recent interview, admonishing him for voting to essentially gut the Voting Rights Act.
According to Johnson, Thomas’ horrific vote ranks below the actions of Eric Snowden, the NSA contractor wanted by the government for leaking classified information about U.S. surveillance programs.
As NewsOne reports, Virginia’s Republican Governor Bob McDonnell raised eyebrows recently, announcing that he will make it easier for non-violent offenders to have their voting rights reinstated.
What’s more, he did even after a panel ruled that the Constitution does not allow for McDonnell to do so.
Call this a case of a politician doing right, which unfortunately is becoming out of character and unexpected these days.
The Republican-led North Carolina state government is doing its best to ensure that people of color, especially blacks, whose enormous turnout helped President Obama, have limited impact on elections.
Black North Carolinians are protesting measures that implicitly seek to disenfranchise them.
State lawmakers in the current legislative session are expected to pass bills that would stop same-day voter registration, reduce the early-voting period, end balloting on the Sunday before Election Day and impose a five-year wait for ex-convicts to regain the voting privilege.
Residents of Detroit are protesting an expected state takeover of the city and the appointment of an emergency financial manager.
Activists say the takeover will result in the political disenfranchisement of its residents.
Protesters have picketed press conferences, and even caused traffic jams.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died today after a long battle with cancer.
He was 58 years old.
In a national broadcast, Maduro said Chavez died Tuesday at 4:25 p.m. (3:55 p.m. ET).
Flanked by Cabinet ministers, Maduro teared up as he announced the news.
The Supreme Court’s conservative justices have expressed skepticism regarding a key element of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Specifically, they voiced displeasure with a provision that forces states with a history of discrimination to have changes to their election process approved.
Liberal and conservative justices went back and forth for a tense 70 minutes over the provison.
A very moving video of President Obama thanking his campaign staff and volunteers for their incredible work on his behalf is quickly going viral.
The President becomes emotional – even shedding a few tears- as he heaps praise and gratitude on his team.
He explains, “it’s not that you remind me of myself, it’s that you’re so much better.”
I’m in desperate need of a civics lesson.
I live in a blue state. Deep blue. Even our stop signs are blue. I haven’t seen red since I left Indiana. Since I only lived in Ohio very briefly during a non-election year, I have no idea what it means to live in a battleground state, to be bombarded with ads from both candidates until my eyes and ears bleed purple. It seems like a drag. I’ve only felt the nervous anticipation of election results via proxy; I’ve always known what color Wolf Blitzer or some other cable news anchor was going to assign my state: blue. There is never a question, no constant checking on the percentage of poles that had reported. Illinois democrats vote, and vote often. Even the dead ones. This reality is part of what contributed to the decision I made about exercising the franchise, a choice I may or may not discuss in an upcoming blog. What I will say is that, like election season clockwork, I’ve once again returned a question I really want answered:
Why do we still have the Electoral College?
In the face of voter ID laws that could potentially disenfranchise thousands of minority voters this November, black women in particular are at the forefront of voting rights advocacy across the country.
And the energy and enthusiasm was palpable at a political strategy session in Washington DC this week.
Black women have historically been a significant demographic for the Democratic Party.
On Sunday morning, in 90 degree weather, Grant Park was filled with artists, students, workers, and educators, all antiwar activists, gathered for the main protest against the NATO summit in Chicago. It was the largest demonstration, following three days of anti-NATO actions Buses brought protesters from surrounding states, as well as places as far as New York City and Portland. I saw people who I had interned with at In These Times magazine, having come from Texas and Washington DC. The Chicago left was not only represented, but so was a geographically larger community of activists. My question of day was: “We know it’s thousands, but how many thousands of people are here today?” Still, estimates vary from 2,000 to 7,000 at the height of the demonstration.
From noon to 2 pm was a rally in the park, which would be followed by a march to McCormick Place, where the NATO proceedings were going on inside. The rally was an extremely peaceful congregation that consisted of two hours of speeches, musical acts and vying for shady spots in the park’s green areas. Protesters were surprised to experience very little police presence in the park. Aside from one officer following me to a trash can and checking inside after I’d thrown away leftovers from lunch, police presence at the rally was, for the most part, unseen and unfelt.
This dynamic shifted quite suddenly as we began to march to State Street. Chicago and State Police lined our route and strictly would not let anyone pass their line. Each officer was equipped with at least six weapons and many of them suited in heavy padding, “riot gear.”
Wisconsin’s controversial voter ID law, hailed as the ‘toughest in the nation,’ has been halted by Judge David Flanagan, pending an upcoming trial to determine if it will be done away with altogether.
The law is the product of Gov. Scott Walker’s infamous administration. Brought by the NAACP and immigrant rights group Voces de la Frontera, this latest legal challenge to Walker’s photo ID requirement moved Judge Flanagan to issue a temporary injunction, which essentially freezes the law until trial on April 16th.
The NAACP must prove that a large number of people will be “irreparably harmed” by the new law. But as Colorlines notes, that shouldn’t be too hard since they’ve “got back up from Wisconsin poli sci professor Kenneth Mayer whose research found that over 220,000 people in the state lacked the kind of ID needed to vote under the new law.”