Michigan Segregation/Apartheid Law Overturned (Temporarily)

Not to worry conservative folks – the fix is in on this one with the 5 Thugs in Robes of the (formerly) Supreme Court – now known as the “Cash and Carry”. The re-Segregation of America will proceed on schedule!

Appeals court panel strikes down Michigan’s affirmative action ban

Affirmative action is back on the menu in Michigan, but for how long is anyone’s guess.

On Friday, a federal appeals court struck down Proposal 2, the 2006 Michigan constitutional amendment that banned affirmative action in college admissions, employment and contracting.

“It’s a tremendous victory,” Detroit attorney George Washington said after a U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in a 2-1 decision that Proposal 2 was unconstitutional.

He represents a coalition that sued the governing boards of Michigan’s three largest universities — the University of Michigan and Michigan State and Wayne State universities — to overturn the proposal.

Not so fast, countered state Attorney General Bill Schuette, who said he plans to ask the entire U.S. 6th Circuit to reconsider the ruling. In the meantime, Proposal 2 will remain the law, Schuette said.

Proposal 2 — which Michigan voters approved 58%-42% — “embodies the fundamental premise of what America is all about: equal opportunity under the law. … Entrance to our great universities must be based upon merit, and I will continue the fight for equality, fairness and rule of law,” Schuette said.

The ballot proposal was prompted by a long legal fight brought by three white students who claimed to have been denied admission because of racial preferences in U-M admissions. The Supreme Court ruled narrowly in favor of the universities in 2003.

Legal experts said a final decision by the 6th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, if the case gets that far, could go either way…

The appeals court said Proposal 2, which state voters approved 58%-42%, is unconstitutional because it restructured Michigan’s political process in a way that placed special burdens on minorities that deprived them of equal protection under the law. White people overwhelmingly voted for the proposal, polls showed, while black people overwhelmingly opposed it.

“The majority may not manipulate the channels of change in a manner that places unique burdens on issues of importance to racial minorities,” Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. wrote in an opinion joined by Judge Martha Craig Daughtrey. Judge Julia Smith Gibbons dissented, saying Michigan voters didn’t restructure the political process by amending the constitution, “they have merely employed it.”…

Black Lawmakers Battle New “Jimenez Crow” Anti-Immigrant Laws

Only a few decades since the passage of he Civil Rights Act eliminated legal cover for Jim Crow in America – Tea Party Republicans seem determined to bring it back…

This time, at least initially focused against “illegal” immigrants.

This battle is nothing more than the opening salvo in the re-segregation of America by the Tea Bagged.

Black Legislators on Frontline Against AZ-Style Immigration Bills

As immigrant advocates battle hardline immigration bills in state capitols across the country, they’re receiving crucial support from caucuses of black legislators.

Black Teens Face the Water Cannons in 1950's Montgomery, Alabama

Black politicians have come out in defense of immigrants, questioning the morality and wisdom of tough immigration legislation in states from Nebraska to Georgia, where “copycat bills” are being modeled on Arizona’s immigration enforcement legislation, SB 1070. That bill ignited a national debate last year on whether states should take immigration matters into their own hands. The fact that federal courts have blocked many parts of Arizona’s law from being implemented has not deterred the copycats.

Nineteen state legislatures have considered Arizona-style proposals this year, according to Suman Raghunathan, Immigration Project Coordinator at Progressive States Network, a New York City-based nonprofit. Ten of these proposals have been defeated, but they remain alive in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.

Black legislators have been vocal in warning that, if approved, these bills could have unintended consequences, including damage to local economies, racial profiling, and diluting the federal government’s constitutionally-granted authority over immigration matters.

In the face of an ongoing backlash against immigrants, this deepening alliance between pro-immigrant lobbyists and black lawmakers has begun to transform state-level politics around immigration.

In Mississippi, the black legislative caucus was instrumental in sinking a get-tough immigration measure that had seemingly unstoppable momentum and bipartisan support. The bill would have required Mississippi law enforcement agencies to check the immigration status of people detained in any “stop, arrest, or detention” and created a state offense for failure to carry “an alien registration document.” Continue reading

Tea Baggers In North Carolina Re-segregate Schools

If you ever wondered what the Tea Party really is all about…

Republican school board in N.C. backed by tea party abolishes integration policy

RALEIGH, N.C. – The sprawling Wake County School District has long been a rarity. Some of its best, most diverse schools are in the poorest sections of this capital city. And its suburban schools, rather than being exclusive enclaves, include children whose parents cannot afford a house in the neighborhood.

But over the past year, a new majority-Republican school board backed by national tea party conservatives has set the district on a strikingly different course. Pledging to “say no to the social engineers!” it has abolished the policy behind one of the nation’s most celebrated integration efforts.

And as the board moves toward a system in which students attend neighborhood schools, some members are embracing the provocative idea that concentrating poor children, who are usually minorities, in a few schools could have merits – logic that critics are blasting as a 21st-century case for segregation.

The situation unfolding here in some ways represents a first foray of tea party conservatives into the business of shaping a public school system, and it has made Wake County the center of a fierce debate over the principle first enshrined in the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education: that diversity and quality education go hand in hand.

The new school board has won applause from parents who blame the old policy – which sought to avoid high-poverty, racially isolated schools – for an array of problems in the district and who say that promoting diversity is no longer a proper or necessary goal for public schools. Continue reading

In the End, For Conservatives – It’s Always About Their Racism

Here’s the core of the arguments against Atty General Holder’s DOJ. And up until the last paragraph, the author makes a reasonable case of why is the DOJ involved in such minor things that should be handled within the purview of the local school administration or at worst – State Courts.

‘Civil Rights’ Gone Wild
To the Civil Rights Division, pilgrimages and stiletto heels matter more than actual violations of the Civil Rights Act.

The Author  points out several cases where Federal involvement seems a bit on the overkill side such as -

In the latest outrage, the Civil Rights Division is suing the board of education in the leafy Chicago suburb of Berkeley, Ill. The board’s offense? It would not allow a middle-school computer-math-lab teacher to take off three weeks during December’s crucial end-of-semester course reviews and final exams in order to make a pilgrimage to Mecca…In 1977, in TWA v. Hardison, the Supreme Court held that it is an “undue hardship” if the employer has to “bear more than a de minimis cost” in order to provide the accommodation.

The author hints at going off the rails here with:

Extremists in the Civil Rights Division are pouncing on other school policies as well. When it was first formed in the 1960s, the division pursued cases of real discrimination — cases where, for example, black students were harassed or intimidated or provided with intentionally inferior education.

Why? Because one of the problems with the Bushit Administration’s DOJ was a complete ignoring of Minority Civil Rights for a all hands on deck, fruitless search for the Holy Grail of conservative bigots – cases of reverse discrimination.

They managed to actually find and prosecute 1 case in 8 years, despite 12,000-16,000 cases of discrimination against minorities being referred to the DOJ by local authorities a year… Which they ignored. So when the author is referring to “Extremists”… The Bushit Administration perversion of the Civil Rights Division resulted in filling the Division with…what? Good Ol’ Boys?

The current cases involve two schools in upstate New York that supposedly discriminated against one male student who wore a pink wig and makeup and another male student who wore a wig and stiletto heels and wanted to be able to “dress like a woman.” These students had violated the schools’ common-sense dress codes and were told to change clothes and remove the makeup. That prompted the Civil Rights Division to come knocking. The boys were being treated “differently” from female students, and such differential treatment, the division asserted, “implicate[s] the civil rights laws that we enforce.”

Sounds reasonable. The local school system should have the ability to define a dress code for all students as far as I can see. One of my personal heroes is the principal in memphis who has developed “The Urkel” System -

But then the author goes and quotes these scumbags -

As Roger Clegg of the Center for Equal Opportunity observes: “The Obama administration apparently believes that it is unconstitutional for high schools to have a dress code that makes distinctions between what is appropriate dress for males and what is appropriate dress for females.” Clegg also points out that the division’s attempt to equate “sexual-orientation discrimination” with sex discrimination, by asserting that the use of sexual “stereotypes” is an instance of the latter, is nothing but naked bootstrapping (if you will pardon the expression). But legal justification or not, in the eyes of the warped and silly (but dangerous) lawyers inhabiting the division, barring boys from wearing stiletto heels is a serious civil-rights violation.

For those not familiar with right-wing racist code language, “The Center for Equal Opportunity” is one of the KKK organizations in suits that occupies the right, whose sole purpose is to re-segregate schools fully with the financial and legal support of the so called “Federalist Society” made up of right wing, and racist lawyers little better than the Council of Conservative Citizen scum they shill for.

So our writer isn’t really pissed about th DOJ’s intrusion  into local decision making, as much as he is pissed that such intrusion isn’t on behalf of re-segregation, and the re-institution of Jim Crow.

The proof?

Oddly, one of those views is that discrimination by some racial groups is perfectly acceptable. This explains why the Justice Department dismissed the New Black Panther Party voter-intimidation case it had already won. It is why this administration is studiously not pursuing cases like the one filed against Southern Illinois University in 2006 for maintaining a paid fellowship program that categorically excluded white males from applying. It was the Bush administration’s race-neutral enforcement policy in such cases that enraged the radical civil-rights organizations that dominate Washington and formed the basis for much of the unfair and misleading criticism of that administration’s enforcement of civil-rights laws.

The “author” in this case, was one of the racist scumbags illegitimately placed in the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division during the Bushit Administration, who now works at one of the right wing’s premier racist “think tanks”…

Hans A. von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department.

Methinks this conehead sheet wearer…

Has a problem.

If the best the right can do is to complain that Atty General Holder is a “bad man” because he won’t let them be bigots-in- charge anymore.

They have a weaker case than even I thought, and I already had them as the “bargain brand” in those toilet tissue commercials where one drop of water cases where you wouldn’t want to set the good china on the cheap stuff…

That Defective Southern Memory Thing…

Former RNC Chair, and current Governor of Mississippi Haley Barbour’s fond memories of White Citizen’s Councils …

And the reality.

How Things Change... The Old...

The Real Story of the White Citizens’ Council

And New. Former Republican Senator George Allen and Council of Conservative Citizens

Although the term “historical revisionist” seems to have been co-opted these days by committed right-wingers who typically reserve it for liberals who refuse to adhere to the true and sacred American narrative according to Limbaugh and Beck, apparently Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour didn’t get the memo.  In a recent interview with The Weekly Standard, Barbour, who is a favorite of the ultraconservative, race-baiting Council of Conservative Citizens, offered a startling new interpretation of this group’s massive resistance-era antecedent, the arch-segregationist White Citizens’ Council, whose title was subsequently deracinated to become the Citizens’ Councils of America.  When asked how his hometown of Yazoo City, Mississippi came to integrate its public schools relatively peacefully in 1970, Barbour responded:

“Because the business community wouldn’t stand for it,” he said. “You heard of the Citizens Councils? Up north they think it was like the KKK. Where I come from it was an organization of town leaders. In Yazoo City they passed a resolution that said anybody who started a chapter of the Klan would get their ass run out of town. If you had a job, you’d lose it. If you had a store, they’d see nobody shopped there. We didn’t have a problem with the Klan in Yazoo City.”

Mississippi Governor and Former RNC CHair Haley Barobor at Council of Conservative Citizens BBQ

The White Citizens’ Council was formed in July 1954 in Indianola, a little north of Yazoo City in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, by a World War II veteran and plantation manager, Robert B. “Tut” Patterson, and some local businessmen and politicos.  The council organizers had been inspired by a speech by Judge Tom Brady, also a Mississippian, who called on Southern whites to mount an organized resistance campaign against the Supreme Court’s integration decree.  The Council spread across, and ultimately out of, Mississippi, generally attracting the white economic and political elites of the Deep South’s Black Belt counties but later making some inroads among blue-collar whites in the cities as well.

Pledged to maintain white supremacy, the councils foreswore violence but did their best to intimidate blacks who might think about challenging the status quo and to make painful examples of those who did.  Perched atop the local economic pyramid, the councils’ white elites could seriously reduce, if not cut off entirely, the flow of commerce and credit, not to mention employment, to blacks who got out of line.  Council leaders typically made it a point to see that the names of any black persons who had attempted to register to vote or signed petitions for school desegregation made their way to the local newspapers so that whites in the community would know which blacks to fire, turn off their tenant farms, or deny credit.  An Alabama council member summed up his group’s aims quite candidly when he explained, “We intend to make it difficult, if not impossible, for a Negro who advocates desegregation to find and hold a job, get credit, or renew a mortgage.” Continue reading

That Post-Racial America

The demographics of the United States are changing rapidly, making a number of assumptions and stereotypes utterly wrong.  Among them -

You will never see this on Faux news but – More poor now live in the suburbs than in urban environments.

Low-density suburbs

 

The United States is no longer the “Land of Opportunity” - economic upward mobility between generations is lower in the United States than in Canada, Sweden, Germany, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Norway, Finland, and France. British kids born to fathers in the bottom fifth of U.K. national earnings have less than a 30 percent chance of ending up in that earning group themselves, while U.S. kids have more than a 40 percent likelihood of remaining stuck at the bottom.

Worse - By international standards, the United States has an unusually low level of intergenerational mobility: our parents’ income is highly predictive of our incomes as adults. Intergenerational mobility in the United States is lower than in France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark. Among high-income countries for which comparable estimates are available, only the United Kingdom had a lower rate of mobility than the United States.

However – in this here “post racial” America, where we are in vast majority doing worse than our parents…

Segregation Drops to Lowest Level in a Century

America’s neighborhoods became more integrated last year than during any time in at least a century as a rising black middle class moved into fast-growing white areas in the South and West.

Still, ethnic segregation in many parts of the U.S. persisted, particularly for Hispanics.

Segregation among blacks and whites fell in roughly three-quarters of the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas as the two racial groups spread more evenly between inner cities and suburbs, according to recent census data.

The findings are expected to be reinforced with fresh census data being released Tuesday on race, migration and economics. The new information is among the Census Bureau’s most detailed releases yet for neighborhoods.

“It’s taken a Civil Rights movement and several generations to yield noticeable segregation declines for blacks,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who reviewed the census data. “But the still-high levels of black segregation in some areas, coupled with uneven clustering patterns for Hispanics, suggest that the idea of a post-racial America has a way to go.”

The race trends also hint at the upcoming political and legal wrangling over the 2010 census figures, to be published in the spring. The data will be used to reallocate congressional districts, drawing new political boundaries. New Hispanic-dominated districts could emerge, particularly for elected positions at the state and local level. States are required under the Voting Rights Act to respect the interests of minority voting blocs, which tend to support Democratic candidates.

Milwaukee, Detroit and Syracuse, N.Y., were among the most segregated, all part of areas in the Northeast and Midwest known by some demographers as the “ghetto belt.” On the other end of the scale, cities that were least likely to be segregated included Fort Myers, Fla., Honolulu, Atlanta and Miami…

 

 

Reinventing Segregation

For anyone who grew up in the segregated South, Haley Barbour’s recollection is a joke…

A very bad joke.

The New Jim Crow – “Culture Wars” In America – Really a Race War

This one from Truthout – Hat Tip!

This is a powerful analysis of the forces behind the “culture wars” and the desire to preserve Jim Crow as a functional entity by the right wing in America by Cary Fraser. Follow the link below to the original where support documentation is provided in the form of footnotes and links. As one example of this, work by Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness) has shown that during the height of Jim Crow, blacks went to prison at roughly four times the rate of whites; today the black imprisonment rate is seven times that of whites. (Another good reference in the prison industrial Jim Crow element of this is by Robert Perkinson – Texas Tough: The Rise of America’s Prison Empire.)

As I have reported here in The New Jim Crow series – the New Jim Crow impacts nearly every aspect of life for minorities in America, starting with access to education, credit, the ability to start business and conduct commerce, through access to jobs.

The New Jim Crow, Ubiquitous and Masked as "Culture Wars"

Coming to Terms With Equality and Diversity: America’s Ongoing Culture Wars

The recent decision by the Texas School Board of Education to revise the curriculum in the state to reflect a more “conservative” approach to social studies and history has highlighted the ongoing debate about the role of education in American society and culture. The explicit desire by the conservative majority on the Texas School Board to impose an ideological orientation in elementary and secondary education – including a shift of focus away from the civil rights movement and slavery, an emphasis upon ensuring that students be taught that the idea of the separation of church and state is not in the Constitution and promotion of the need to safeguard American sovereignty from threats posed by organizations such as the United Nations – is a barometer of the increasing uncertainty that has overtaken the conservative factions in American society. The election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president, on the basis of a well-executed campaign that demonstrated the increasing electoral influence of multi-ethnic coalitions in American politics, has served as a catalyst for reactionaries of all stripes to seek ways to reverse the movement of American society toward a greater openness and engagement with the wider world, including the diverse communities of color within the country. A recent article in the Wall Street reports that recent statistics suggest that population growth among minority groups in the United States will exceed growth rates among whites in the near future.(1) If that demographic shift takes place, the United States will become a country where there is no single ethnic group or race that will constitute a majority within the population. The promise of greater cultural and ethnic diversity in the American population is a guarantee of the erosion of the white-supremacist ethos that has defined American society over the course of its history. Continue reading

Ending Segregation (Again) in Mississippi

Remember the battles over School Busing?

Mississippi School District Ordered to End Racial Segregation

A federal judge gave a school district in Mississippi 30 days to halt the ‘clustering’ of white students into certain schools and classes, saying it amounted to segregation.

A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a Mississippi school district to halt local policies that had allowed some of the district’s schools and classes to become racially segregated.

US District Judge Tom Lee gave the Walthall County School District 30 days to amend its student transfer policy and ordered an immediate halt to the alleged “clustering” of white students into certain classes in Tylertown, Miss., elementary schools.

“The district shall cease using race in the assignment of students to classrooms in a manner that results in the racial segregation of students,” Judge Lee said in his eight-page order.

“The district shall randomly assign students to classrooms at the Tylertown Elementary Schools through the use of a student management software program,” the judge said.

Desegregation Order Dates Back 40 Years

The action stems from a federal desegregation order issued in August 1970 – nearly 40 years ago. The case was closed for lack of activity in 2001. Continue reading

The New Jim Crow – Locking Minorities Out at Law Schools

One of the ongoing efforts by conservatives in this country has been to reestablish Jim Crow though a series of legislative and legal moves. Conservatives were stung badly during the 50′s and 60′s by a series of legal decisions which overturned most of the Old Jim Legislation and penalized many Jim Crow practices. Recognizing that in any fair court of law they could not win – conservatives put a 30 year full court press on the Judiciary, and formed legal associations like the Federalist Society to attack advancements in Civil Rights, and get “their” Judges appointed at the Federal Level who would rule in support of their platform – regardless of the Constitutionality or legality of the issue. These attacks culminated in the current 5-4 conservative majority in the Supreme Court – fully supporting the establishment of the New Jim Crow.

The Difference Between the New Jim Crow and the Old Jim Crow is in how it is implemented - not their objectives.

We see the result of that effort to seed the courts in the volatile judicial appointment battles during the Clinton and Bushit Administrations, and the steady attacks upon Affirmative Action by misnomered organizations supported by the Federalist Society such as the Center for Equal OpportunityThe Center for Individual Freedom , and the National Association of Scholars which functionally have replaced the old White Citizen’s Councils in suing and legally blackmailing schools and Universities into racially segregating policies.

And, of course at least one “black” organization headed by the usual suspects to add a racial defense in terms of the short lived Center for New Black leadership, created solely to provide cover for the right’s offensive against Affirmative Action (equal opportunity) – whose leadership consisting of Peter Kirsanow, Gerald  Reynolds, and Brian Jones were all appointed to high level positions within the Bushit Administration as a reward for their Tomming in the University of Michigan Case (Grutter v Bollinger). The CNBL was set up by Federalist Society Lawyer Mitchell Pearlstien, and funded by the “Foundations” which fund many of the racist, and white supremacist organizations on the right – the JM Foundation, the John M. Olin Foundation, and the Donner Foundation. Continue reading

“The Tuskeegee of the North” – The Bordentown School in New Jersey

There is a myth formulated by some that black folks weren’t (and aren’t) interested in education, and somehow – before the Brown vs Board of Education decision didn’t develop facilities of their own. I’ve previously discussed the “Jenny Dean” School in Mananas, Virginia and Maggie Walker in Richmond, Virginia.

The New Jersey Historical Society has developed a film about the Manual Training and Industrial School for Colored Youth, or “Bordentown School” as known to locals.

Here is an old film about “Bordentown”. It looks to have been shot in the late 30′s or mid 40′s -

Documentary chronicles Bordentown school as ‘A Place out of Time’

The school’s bloodlines go back to Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois. It was visited by Washington, Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein and Joe Louis. Duke Ellington and Nat King Cole played there. So did Althea Gibson. Those are the big names.

Continue reading

On Massive Resistance and School Integration in Virginia

Black students recount early days of integration

I remember this period vividly, as I was one of the first wave of black students in my County to integrate a previously white school. In my case a Junior High School, covering grades 7 and 8. There were 7 of us, 5 girls and 2 boys, who in 1963 volunteered as part of the rolling integration plan, which had started in 1960 with the integration of a few Elementary Schools by a few volunteers. We were a select group, considered the brightest kids in our area, out of the pool of potential candidates, and received some special counseling by both our parents and the local NAACP relative to how to react to some of the things which undoubtedly would be thrown our way – both physically and mentally.

Farmville School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, serving white Children

Modern, brick, Farmville School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, serving white Children

Monton School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, for Black Children built out of plywood and tar paper

Moton School in Prince Edward County, Virginia, for Black Children built out of plywood and tar paper

RICHMOND — For some of the black students who took the first steps toward integrating Virginia’s public schools more than a half-century ago, the memories of their hardships have not faded with time.

“That was the worst two and a half years of my life,” said Andrew Heidelberg, one of 17 black students to attend previously all-white Norfolk public schools in 1959, as Virginia’s efforts to resist racial integration began slowly to unravel. Continue reading

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