Deadline: Monday ! Protect Women’s Rights


We’re mad as hell and we need you with us. If you’re also enraged by all the deplorable ways the Trump-Pence administration is trying to undermine equality in this country, now is your chance to stand up for what’s right.

Make a tax-deductible gift to help power the Law Center’s groundbreaking work to hold the administration accountable and resist policies that are nothing but blatant discrimination. Hurry — the deadline is tomorrow at midnight!

Thanks,For all of us here at the Law Center, doing nothing as bigots dismantle decades’ worth of protections for women and girls is not an option. We can’t let up.Will you please donate whatever you can to help us keep up our legal fight?

Sabrina Joy Stevens
Senior Manager of Campaign and Digital Strategies

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Sunu Chandy
Date: Wed, April 25, 2018 at 1:27 PM
Subject: When they go low, we go to court

 

 

As lawyers at the National Women’s Law Center, one burning question keeps us up at night:

What else can we do to protect women, girls, and the most vulnerable among us from the worst changes in this policy this administration plans?

That question feels especially urgent right now. At any time, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is expected to roll back basic safeguards that protect women in schools from assault. And we’re preparing for efforts by the Trump-Pence administration to try to roll back the Affordable Care Act’s Health Care Rights law, which provides key anti-discrimination protections.

This comes on the heels of newly released rules that allow employers to refuse to provide insurance coverage of birth control and a proposed rule allowing religious beliefs to dictate patient access to care.

How much our team can fight back against these attacks, and what kind of legal defense we can muster, will depend on the generosity of individual supporters like you, Carmen. That’s why I’m asking you to donate to support the Law Center’s daily work against discrimination in our health care settings, our workplaces, and our schools: Make a tax-deductible gift today.

Trump and his pals have never been coy about their view of the government’s role: For Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and others, political power is nothing but a tool to impose their own bigoted beliefs on everyone, especially women, people of color, and LGBTQ folks.

Someone has to stand up to them, Carmen. The National Women’s Law Center has filed numerous lawsuits and amicus briefs in state and federal courts to protect our rights, and we’re not stopping now. But our adversaries have almost limitless resources. We can’t do this without you.

I’m asking you to help us stop Trump’s assault on equality. Donate whatever you can before the April 30 deadline to protect all of us from discrimination.

Thank you for all that you do.

Sincerely,
Sunu Chandy
Legal Director
National Women’s Law Center

Lynching memorial leaves some quietly seething: ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’


Anthony Ray Hinton spent decades in jail for crimes he did not commit. His book is a harrowing masterpiece

The brutal new memorial to the south’s dark side has left some in Alabama frustrated and angry at its insistence on confronting the past

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 Pain and terror: America remembers its past – video

Black men were lynched for “standing around”, for “annoying white girls”, for failing to call a policeman “mister”. Those are just a few of the horrific stories on display at a new national memorial to lynching victims in Montgomery, Alabama.

One mile away, another historical monument tells a very different tale about the American south: the First White House of the Confederacy celebrates the life of “renowned American patriot” Jefferson Davis, who served as the president of the Confederate states, while making virtually no mention of the hundreds of black people he and his family enslaved.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/embed/2018/04/pain-and-terror/v2/index.html

The contradictions of Montgomery’s historical narratives were on full display this week as thousands of tourists and progressive activists flocked to the city to mark the opening of the country’s first memorial to lynching victims – while some locals quietly seethed, saying they resented the new museum for dredging up the past and feared it would incite anger and backlash within black communities.

“It’s going to cause an uproar and open old wounds,” said Mikki Keenan, a 58-year-old longtime Montgomery resident, who was eating lunch at a southern country-style restaurant a mile from the memorial. Local residents, she said, feel “it’s a waste of money, a waste of space and it’s bringing up bullshit”.

“It keeps putting the emphasis on discrimination and cruelty,” chimed in her friend, who asked not to be named for fear that her child would disapprove of her remarks. The memorial, she added, could spark violence.

The angry and in some cases blatantly racist reactions to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and accompanying Legacy Museum provided a window into some white Americans’ deep resistance to confronting the nation’s brutal history of racial violence, from slavery to mass incarceration.

While celebrities and civil rights icons lauded the memorial as a powerful symbol of America’s shame and a turning point toward healing, some conservatives in Alabama rolled their eyes at the project, saying they were more concerned with saving Confederate monuments, now under threat from leftwing activists.

Alabama’s Republican governor, Kay Ivey, wasn’t present at the memorial launch, but did release a video promoting her efforts to preserve Confederate monuments a week prior.

A sculpture depicting the slave trade at the entrance of the National Memorial For Peace And Justice.
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 A sculpture depicting the slave trade at the entrance of the National Memorial for Peace And Justice. Photograph: Bob Miller/Getty Images

Seated at the front porch of the First White House on a sunny morning, curator Bob Wieland said he supported the Legacy Museum, but felt strongly that Confederate landmarks be preserved, especially as the city is changing and the “sleepy old cotton south falls away”. That means, he said, “keeping this museum [the First White House] just to have a positive taste, an old south taste, as the new comes up”.

Asked about criticisms that the state-funded First White House “whitewashes” the evils of slavery, Wieland said, “We could certainly tone down the celebration [of Davis], but … it is part of civil war history.” Discussing the lack of references to slavery, he said the museum was “more of a political military history” than a “social history”.

While some of the most vocal Alabama defenders of Confederate monuments said they broadly backed the concept of a lynching memorial, they also expressed anxiety about its impact, some reverting to racist stereotypes of African American rioters. 

“Bring that stuff to light, and let it be there, but don’t dwell on it,” said Tommy Rhodes, a member of the Alabama Sons of Confederate Veterans. “We have moved past it … You don’t want to entice them and feed any fuel to the fire.”

Randall Hughey, another member who also owns a local radio station, emphasized his support of the museum – but also repeatedly questioned the veracity of its facts.

“They have every right to have the memorial, if it’s accurate,” he said, adding that he was perplexed by reports of more than 4,000 lynchings. “That seems pretty incredible to me that there would be that many documented lynchings … That was not the norm.”

Equal Justice Initiative, the group behind the memorial and lynching data, did six years of research and made extensive visits to southern sites.

Mary Massey, a 58-year-old nurse on her way to lunch in Montgomery, expressed disdain at the project: “We didn’t have nothing to do with that. I think they just need to leave it alone. It’s just stirring up something.”

Inside the lynching memorial, which features steel monuments dangling like bodies.
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 Inside the lynching memorial, which features steel monuments dangling like bodies. Photograph: USA Today Network/Sipa USA/REX/Shutterstock

Her husband, Jim, said he supported the memorial as a way to recognize a “horrible” piece of black history, but added: “It’s gone and won’t happen again.” He also said he suspected that for many in Montgomery, the reaction was: “Let sleeping dogs lay.”

Keenan, who is Native American, said she would never visit the memorial and was worried it would exacerbate “racism” in Montgomery: “It ain’t gonna change that. It’s going to get it started more.”

At the opening day of the memorial – which features hanging steel monuments dangling like bodies above the visitors – some black Alabamians said they felt optimistic.

“For so long, society has put a shadow over these things,” said Brittany Willie, a 19-year-old from Huntsville, Alabama, who found an engraving of the name of one of her ancestors. “People are going to see this and realize these people were innocent. They were killed for who they are.”

“This is something our children need to know, so they can understand the struggle,” added Victoria Dunn, a 40-year-old Montgomery resident, who came with her husband.

“This is going to be something embraced by everybody.”

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Stop racist threats of violence at Walmart ~Van Riper said to him, “if it was up to me, I’d put that rope around your neck.”


Stop racist threats of violence at Walmart

Dear Walmart Home Office,
The members of OUR Walmart Civil Rights are outraged at the behavior of Art Van Riper, a manager from Home Office. It is unacceptable that after making documented racist threats of physical violence that Mr Van Riper is still employed by Walmart. We demand the immediate termination of Mr Van Riper and the reinstatement of all associates who were dismissed from the Richmond, CA store remodeling crew.

Why is this important?

Markeith Washington was working on the overnight remodeling crew at the Richmond, CA Walmart Store which was supervised by Art Van Riper. Van Riper was notorious among associates for screaming insults, calling the crew “a bunch of lazy ass workers.”

During one night of work in September of 2012 while Markeith was tying a rope around his own waist to aid in moving a heavy counter, Van Riper said to him, “if it was up to me, I’d put that rope around your neck.” Shocked at this hateful comment, Markeith simply responded, “That’s not right.”

Markeith and his fellow remodel crew associates were understandably outraged by Van Riper’s threat. They bravely joined together to demand discipline for Van Riper and respect on the job by taking actions including talking to management, sending a letter to Walmart and even participating in a work stoppage strike.

More than two years after threatening to lynch Markeith, Art Van Riper still has a job with Walmart. Associates who stood up to Van Riper’s unacceptable conduct have been fired and none rehired by Walmart.

In early December, an administrative law judge ruled that Walmart illegally disciplined workers who went on strike because of Van Riper’s behavior.

It is unacceptable that Walmart, the country’s largest employer of Black people, would conduct an investigation into this incident and continue to employ Art Van Riper. By refusing to take action–even in the face of a judge’s ruling– Walmart is complicit in Art Van Riper invoking the traumatic, racist violence of lynching.

Walmart must set a precedent that this type of behavior from management is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Walmart must fire Art Van Riper, rehire all the associates who protested the incident and put human resources practices in place to ensure racist threats of violence never again happen in a store.

As Demario Hammond, one of Markeith’s coworkers who witnessed Van Riper’s verbal attack and was disciplined for fighting back, puts it, “We grew up learning from our mistakes, but only because when we did something wrong our parents would check us. Managers like Art continue to work at Walmart, and will continue treating associates with disrespect unless Walmart’s upper management or Home Office does something about it. His behavior deserves consequences.”

At least 4,000 were lynched – a repost … reminder


A group documenting lynchings is trying to erect markers at the sites, but expects local opposition.

Nearly 4,000 African Americans were victims of “racial terror lynchings” in the South between 1877 and 1950, according to a new report by the Equal Justice Initiative.

The report, released today, is the result of some five years of research by the organization. It has found that racial terror lynching was much more prevalent than previously reported. The researchers documented several hundred more lynchings than had been identified in the past. They did so by reviewing local newspapers, historical archives and court records. They also conducted interviews with local historians, and the families and descendants of the victims.

In all, EJI documented 3,959 lynchings of black people in twelve Southern states, which is at least 700 more lynchings in these states than previously reported. More than half of the lynching victims were killed under accusation of committing murder or rape against white victims. The EJI says that racial hostility fed suspicion that the perpetrators of the crimes were black and the accusations were seldom scrutinized. “Of the hundreds of black people lynched under accusation of rape and murder, nearly all were killed without being legally convicted,” says the report.

Some states and regions were particularly terrifying for African Americans, with dramatically higher rates of lynchings compared to the rest of the South. These areas included Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Counties that were particularly terrifying were Hernando, Taylor, Lafayette, and Citrus counties in Florida; Early and Oconee counties in Georgia; Fulton County, Kentucky; and Moore County, Tennessee, which had the highest rates of lynchings. Phillips County, Arkansas, and Lafourche and Tensas parishes in Louisiana were regions of mass killings of African Americans that make them historically notorious. Georgia and Mississippi had the highest number of lynchings of all the Southern states.

In conversations with survivors of those that had been lynched, EJI found that lynching played an integral role in the migration of millions of African Americans away from Southern states.

EJI also found that there was an astonishing lack of effort to acknowledge, discuss or address lynching in Southern states and communities. According to the report, many of these communities tried to veil this violent past by erecting monuments memorializing the Confederacy and the Civil War instead, while hiding the violence and terror used against African Americans.

The report says that there are currently few memorials that address the legacy of lynching, and that most communities do not actively  recognize how their race relations were shaped by terror lynching.

Bryan Stevenson of EJI told the New York Times that his group wants to force people to reckon with the country’s violent and racist past by erecting the memorials. He said the EJI hopes to select some of the lynching sites and erect markers there. This will involve a significant amount of fundraising by the non-profit group. EJI is also bracing for controversies and objections as it tries to erect these markers.

“Lynching and the terror era shaped the geography, politics, economics and social characteristics of being black in America during the 20th century,” said Stevenson.

The report by EJI is part of a larger project that also involves the recognition of slave markets in the South and the erection of markers on those sites, particularly in Montgomery, AL. Stevenson said that  regional and state governments have not been receptive to such markers although there are plenty of Civil War memorials in Montgomery, as well as some Civil Rights movement markers.