Double-vision on Mexico’s “drug war”

by Michelle Chen on March 11 2009, 4:21PM

On the U.S.-Mexico border, drug-related violence rivals immigration as a media fixation, projecting images of a so-called “failed state” and a “wave” of killings. The New York Times cites a National Drug Intelligence Center report calling Mexican cartels “the…

Topics: Global Affairs, Immigration, Politics

New York’s uphill climb to drop the rock

by Michelle Chen on March 6 2009, 3:55PM

All eyes are on New York as it moves toward reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The mandatory-sentencing statutes have reshaped the prison population since the 1970s by drawing in thousands of people of color and low-level and nonviolent offenders….

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Framing Bills With Racial Equity in Mind

by Jorge Rivas on March 6 2009, 1:57PM

Photo: Newsok, Video below. The Organizing Apprenticeship Project (OAP) in Minnesota has been working on including racial equity in legislation for years. When a bill titled “Driver’s license and identification card required to show full head and face” was…

Topics: Politics

Dropping the rock

by Michelle Chen on February 5 2009, 11:30AM

This week, New York took a decisive step toward reforming the Rockefeller Drug Laws—the notorious mandatory-minimum sentencing rules that have driven the mass incarceration of people of color over the past generation. Despite some marginal reforms in recent years, the…

Topics: Politics

It’s Time to Rethink Our Welfare Policy

by on February 4 2009, 1:31PM

Earlier this week the New York Times reported that even as many states have skyrocketing unemployment, their welfare rolls are shrinking. As a researcher for a racial justice think tank, I’ve been traveling the country collecting accounts of how this…

Topics: Politics

Patterson May Appoint Anti-Immigrant Senator

by Jonathan Adams on January 23 2009, 10:32AM

Now that Caroline Kennedy has dropped out of the running to replace Hillary Clinton in the Senate, reports speculate Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand from upstate New York is going to be announced tomorrow as the new Senator. Gillibrand has a…

Topics: Politics

Targeted neighborhoods, pt. 2: NYPD stop and frisk

by Michelle Chen on January 16 2009, 5:23PM

A new, disturbingly timely report by the Center for Constitutional Rights documents glaring racial disparities in the stops and searches carried out by New York City police. The analysis is hardly surprising, but the data does provide statistical muscle to…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Politics

Obama Considers Another Centrist Dem for Interior Secretary

by Guest Columnist on December 15 2008, 10:20AM

Obama Considering Appointment of Centrist Dem & Alberto Gonzalez Supporter as Interior Secretary By Roberto Lovato This article in the Denver Post (DP) indicates that President-elect Obama is preparing to announce the appointment of Colorado Senator Ken Salazar as…

Topics: Politics

Lots Going Down in Chi-Town: Obama, Blago, and the Republic Sit-in

by Terry Keleher on December 9 2008, 10:38AM

From his transition office in downtown Chicago, as President-Elect Barack Obama continues to rapidly line up has plans and personnel for his incoming administration, he’s getting a close-up look at a lot of other significant developments going down around…

Topics: Politics

Obama Could Pass Over Progressive Latino for Interior Secretary

by Guest Columnist on December 8 2008, 8:11AM

Obama Rumored to Be Leaning Toward Pro-Hunter, Pro-Logging Democrat to Lead Interior Department By Roberto Lovato, Of América A source close to the Obama transition team just told me that “(Congressman Raul) Grijalva fell out of favor and they are…

Topics: Politics

Preventing Unintentional Racial Impacts

by Terry Keleher on November 26 2008, 10:04AM

Originally published by American Forum ILLINOIS EDITORIAL FORUM By Sen. Mattie Hunter and Rep. Arthur Turner Suppose you’re a white person who uses drugs. Now suppose you’re a black person who uses drugs. Think you run the same risk of…

Topics: Politics

How to Accept It’s a Post-Racial Society (a.k.a., How You Can Learn to Stop Making Excuses, Throw Away All Your Race Cards and Accept We Are Living in a Post-Racial Society)

by Dom Apollon on November 11 2008, 3:28PM

If you’re like me, you justifiably shed tears at the incredible symbolic power unleashed this week when Americans chose Barack Hussein Obama to be our 44th president. Moreover, his victory speech rightfully reminded us after eight years in the Bush…

Topics: Politics

State Wins and Losses: Ballot Initiatives Roundup

by Jonathan Adams on November 7 2008, 7:11AM

Immigration While immigration was all but ignored by both presidential candidates, voters in several states were presented with ballot measures on immigration enforcement and English-only requirements. In Oregon, an English-only initiative failed though one passed in Missouri. A harsh criminal…

Topics: Politics

PROP 6 and 9 = More for 69

by Guest Columnist on October 16 2008, 12:23PM

By Truc T Nguyen, Generations Ahead November is a hefty month for the future of America with a historical presidential election at stake and, for Californians, an opportunity to prove our humility on the ballot. A quarter of the propositions…

Topics: Politics

The Red Meat of Hate

by Terry Keleher on October 14 2008, 10:54AM

An op-ed by bestselling author Frank Schaeffer entitled “An Open Letter to John McCain,” published in Friday’s Baltimore Sun, has generated considerable buzz. Schaeffer excoriates McCain for “”feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate.”…

Topics: Politics

Racist Republican Strategy Attracts Violent Supporters

by Jonathan Adams on October 7 2008, 7:54AM

H/T Huffington Post John McCain seems to be cutting more people out of the country he wants to put first with racist insinuations of Obama’s “otherness.” Watch as he asks “Who is the Real Barack Obama, ” and someone…

Topics: Politics

Why Racial Politics and Voting in Ohio Impact Us All

by Guest Columnist on October 3 2008, 10:44AM

By Chris Crews Only a few months ago, I was tromping through the lush forests of Central Ohio passing Amish horse and buggies and eating venison while working as an environmental education teacher with Ohio middle schoolers. But nowadays…

Topics: Politics

California Families Win, Two ‘Books Not Bars’ Bills Signed

by Jonathan Adams on September 30 2008, 10:58AM

A great victory for the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, its partner organizations and for all California families, Governor Schwarzenegger signed the Family Communications Act (SB 1250) authored by Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco and the Keeping…

Topics: Politics

A Note on DNC Protesters…and Activists In General!

by Guest Columnist on August 28 2008, 10:42AM

Originally published on Kenyon Farrow Today I came across this video report, from the American News Project, about police intimidation of protesters at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this week. This video, we’ve seen a million times since the…

Topics: Politics

Getting out the Latino vote

by Rinku Sen on August 28 2008, 7:13AM

Yesterday, I was all about the Latinos. First, I interviewed people about the Latino vote and what the Obama campaign is doing to get it. Latinos at the convention are enthusiastic about their candidate (“Obamanos”), but there is some…

Topics: Politics