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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

Death penalty, shot through with racism, cannot be fixed

Ex-justice Stevens, sharply critical of the high court's current right-wing majority, now has concluded, "That personnel changes on the court, coupled with 'regrettable judicial activism', had created a system of capital punishment that is shot through with racism, skewed toward conviction, infected with politics and tinged with hysteria."

Jarvis Tyner, People's World

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On CBS "60 Minutes" show and in a detailed essay in New York Review of Books, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens came out swinging against the death penalty.
It is a remarkable and courageous shift in his opinion, after years of supporting it.

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Stevens, who came to the court a Republican in 1975, was appointed by then-President Gerald Ford. But over the years, as the court shifted to the far-right, he became a part of the liberal wing of the court.

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In June, he retired at age 90, and has since decided to speak out on a number of important issues.

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The Racism of Blood and Guts Palin

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  • Episode Three of Sarah Palin’s Alaska makes Sarah’s flub on North Korea this week (Nov 21-27) entirely understandable.
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  • Sarah Palin's Brand of 'Feminism' More Popular With Men Than Women
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Billy Wharton, Bronx County Independent Examiner | NY

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Episode Three of Sarah Palin’s Alaska makes Sarah’s flub on North Korea this week (Nov 21-27) entirely understandable.  Who has time to understand such geopolitical complexities when there are so many “life lessons” to impart to your children?  This, as well as providing enough proof that far-right Conservatives really aren’t the racists they are made out to be, took up most of the episode.  Kim Il Jong be damned!

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The Blood, The Blood, The Blood

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It is hard to determine which show is bloodier, Sarah Palin’s Alaska or AMC’s The Walking Dead.  Sure the zombie flick features busted heads and constant blood splatters, but each Palin episode includes a ritual fish kill with full dissections.  Last week, the fish guillotine, this week the bloody fish table.  The blood is everywhere, on everything and is offered to the viewer as evidence of what Alaska is all about.

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Sarah Palin's Brand of 'Feminism' More Popular With Men Than WomenAdele M. Stan, AlterNet
Palin peddles a shallow narcissism dressed in 'empowering' feminist language.

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Maddow: Fox Uses 'Flagrantly Bogus Stories' to Provoke White Racism

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted.

David Edwards and Muriel Kane  Raw Story/AlterNet

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MSNBC's Rachel Maddow called out Fox News on Thursday (July 22) for its role in promoting reports about Shirley Sherrod and ACORN that proved to be distorted. She charged that the network "continually campaigns on flagrantly bogus stories designed to make white Americans fear black Americans."

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"I showed up in the weirdest place last night," Maddow began. "I was on The O'Reilly Factor. It was very spooky."

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When Maddow accused Fox during her appearance on Bill O'Reilly's program of playing an active role in "the fake ACORN controversy," the show's host responded by sneering that Fox "kick[s] your network's butt every single night."

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One Year Later, Arizona Law Keeps Families from Getting Public Benefits

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One year after it became law, a measure created to fight alleged fraud committed by undocumented immigrants applying for public benefits, is hurting those who actually qualify for the services.

Valeria Fernández, New America Media

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One year after it became law, a measure created to fight alleged fraud committed by undocumented immigrants applying for public benefits, is hurting those who actually qualify for the services.

HB 2008 went into effect on Nov. 24, 2009, requiring state agencies, cities and government employees in Arizona to report to immigration authorities anyone they considered to be in the country illegally. Under the law, government workers could face up to four months in jail if they fail to report someone.

Unlike SB 1070, another controversial law aimed at making undocumented immigrants subject to incarceration, there was no public debate on HB 2008. It was approved quietly as part of budget negotiations by conservative Republicans including Rep. Senator Russell Pearce, and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer.

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Racism Is Hardly a Thing of the Past

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  • Is Jim Crow back? Are African Americans, particularly African American men, once more suffering systematic discrimination on the basis of race -- a discrimination that locks them out of equal rights and basic citizenship?
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  • Listen to the hard logic offered by Michelle Alexander, a law professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness.
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Rev. Jesse Jackson, Huffington Post

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Mr. Fish

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Is Jim Crow back? Are African Americans, particularly African American men, once more suffering systematic discrimination on the basis of race -- a discrimination that locks them out of equal rights and basic citizenship?

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The question is incendiary -- and seems unreal. This is the post-racial America, where an African American can be elected president. Overt expression of racism is no longer socially acceptable. So, how could anyone allege the revival of Jim Crow laws, the laws that locked blacks into a permanent underclass under segregation?

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Listen to the hard logic offered by Michelle Alexander, a law professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness. Professor Alexander makes the following points:
• More African Americans are under correctional control today -- in prison or jail, on probation or parole -- than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.
• More black men were disenfranchised in 2004 than in 1870, the year the 15th Amendment was ratified, prohibiting laws that explicitly deny the right to vote on the basis of race.
• More than half of working-age African-American men in major urban areas -- according to one report, as much as 80 percent in Chicago -- have criminal records and are thus subject to legalized discrimination.

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