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Human Rights & Civil Liberties

Human Rights & Civil Liberties

After Minneapolis police shooting of Justine Damond, it's time to decide who runs this town.

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Justine Damond “was the bright light the world needed today,” cried out friend Denise Houser as she visited the makeshift memorial that was left at the scene where a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed Damond on Saturday night. Elizabeth Flores; Star Tribune 

  • I say it's us civilians, and we insist on the reforms the Police Department resists and its political patrons have shrunk from. 
  • Right now, as a lifelong Minneapolitan, I’m ashamed for my community.
  • Related: Sally Yates Rips Jeff Sessions’ Defense For Harsher Criminal Sentences

Richard G. Carlson, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune 

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http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Defend%20Civil%20Liberties%20Graphic_1.jpg July 18, 2017 | Thomas Falloon, one of my paternal great-great-grandfathers, arrived here in Minneapolis from Ireland around the time of the Civil War. His daughter, my great-grandmother Priscilla, was born in Minneapolis in 1866. A maternal great-grandfather, Daniel Carroll, who arrived in the 1880s, was organizing labor unions in Minneapolis at the turn of the 20th century. His son, my grandfather William Carroll, was also a union organizer, and was there in the pitched battle between union men and law enforcement on First Avenue in 1934. I became an assistant public defender here in 1982 and retired in 2010. My two multiracial granddaughters are seventh-generation Minneapolitans.

We’ve been here for a long time. We’ve been progressives for a long time. And right now, as a lifelong Minneapolitan, I’m ashamed for my community.

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Richard G. Carlson, of Minneapolis, is a retired assistant Hennepin County public defender.

Full story … 

Related:

Sally Yates Rips Jeff Sessions’ Defense For Harsher Criminal Sentences, Sam Levine, HuffPost 

  • “While there is always room to debate the most effective approach to criminal justice, that debate should be based on facts, not fear.”
  • Related: Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate
  • Related: Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge

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A new American revolution: Can we find the language — and build a movement — to break out of our nation’s culture of cruelty?

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  • Fighting back against the right's politics of exclusion can be a path toward rebuilding American democracy.
  • Related: Sally Yates Rips Jeff Sessions’ Defense For Harsher Criminal Sentences

Henry A. Giroux, Salon

Tuesday, Jul 4, 2017 | The health care reform bills proposed by Republicans in the House and Senate have generated heated discussions across a vast ideological and political spectrum. On the right, senators such as Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have endorsed a new level of cruelty – one that has a long history among the radical right — by arguing that the current Senate bill does not cut enough social services and provisions for the poor, children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups and needs to be even more friendly to corporate interests by providing massive tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Among right-wing pundits, the message is similar. For instance, Fox News commentator Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, in a discussion about the Senate bill, stated without apparent irony that rising public concerns over the suffering, misery and death that would result from this policy bordered on “hysteria” since “we are all going to die anyway.” Montgomery’s ignorance about the relationship between access to health care and lower mortality rates is about more than ignorance. It is about a culture of cruelty that is buttressed by a moral coma.

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the Global TV Network Chair Professorship at McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University.

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http://stmedia.stimg.co/ows_145653429657613.jpg?w=525Sally Yates Rips Jeff Sessions’ Defense For Harsher Criminal Sentences, Sam Levine, HuffPost 

  • “While there is always room to debate the most effective approach to criminal justice, that debate should be based on facts, not fear.”
  • Related: Smart on Crime: An Alternative to the Tough vs. Soft Debate
  • Related: Prison Reform: Justice vs. Revenge

 

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Five Truths About Voter Suppression

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An election official checks a voter's photo identification at an early voting polling site in Austin, Texas, February 2014. AP/Eric Gay

 

The strength of American democracy depends on the ability of citizens to express their fundamental right to vote. Instead of pursuing the myth of voter fraud and encouraging tougher restrictions on voting, the Trump administration should work to fight voter suppression and expand the electorate.

Connor Maxwell and Danielle Root, American Progress

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May 12, 2017 | The United States has a troubled history of voter suppression. Prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many states used policies such as poll taxes and literacy tests to prevent African Americans from voting. Even after the voting barriers of the Jim Crow era were removed more than 50 years ago, some lawmakers continue to pursue policies that would undermine our nation’s progress.

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/Millian%20Fists%20%7C%20Illusion.jpg Under the guise of tackling voter fraud, 14 states adopted measures to restrict voting ahead of the 2016 election. These measures, including strict voter ID requirements and reductions in early voting opportunities and polling places, created barriers for tens of thousands of low-income citizens and citizens of color. Alarmingly, five of the 14 states have a history of racial discrimination in voting and previously had to seek federal approval before changing their voting laws and procedures.

Connor Maxwell  is a Research Associate for Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress. Danielle Root is the Voting Rights Manager for the Democracy and Government team at the Center.

Full story … 

 

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Special Report | Disability : Hundreds of Thousands of People with Disabilities Blocked from College Aid

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  • When offices set up to assist people with disabilities become obstacles.
  • Eligible but Got Nothing
  • Related: US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities

Meredith Kolodner, The Hechinger Report / AlterNet

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September 27, 2016 | Wendy Thompson always knew she wanted her son to go to college, but she didn’t realize so many people would disagree.

Her son was born with cerebral palsy, a disease that has him using a wheelchair, but has little impact on his academic abilities. He graduated from high school with a Regents diploma in 2013 — a feat accomplished by only 18 percent of students with disabilities in New York City that year, compared to 70 percent of students without disabilities.

Meredith Kolodner was an education reporter at the N.Y. Daily News for three years. Before that she covered the United Federation of Teachers and several other city unions for The Chief-Leader newspaper.

Full story … 

 

Related:

US Education System Fails Students with Disabilities, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

  • U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday focuses his quest to improve classroom performance on the 6.5 million students with disabilities, including many who perform poorly on standardized tests.
  • Part 1: These States Are Failing To Follow Disability Law, U.S. Says
  • Part 2: Why Are Huge Numbers of Disabled Students Dropping Out of College?
  • Colleges are full of it!

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