Civil Rights

Sad day for America

The NAACP is expected to approve a resolution today condemning the Tea Party movement for "explicitly racist behavior."

I would require a flow chart to explain all of the ways that this is wrong.

For starters, the mere act of criticizing a black president is not racist. Nor is it racist to raise public consciousness of the very important issues of spiraling debt, misguided bailouts and a series of social policies that may bankrupt the country.


New Black Panther dismissal is sleeper issue for 2010 midterms

Earlier today I had the opportunity to attend the United States Commission on Civil Rights’ hearing on the U.S. Department of Justice and the New Black Panther Party litigation. The testimony by the hearing's lone witness, former DoJ lawyer J. Christian Adams, was nothing short of extraordinary.

During the 2008 presidential election, members of the New Black Panther Party were caught on videotape brandishing a nightstick and hurling racial taunts at white and black voters as they sought entry to a polling station in Philadelphia.


Who we are

Changes to the Constitution have increased enfranchisement of the electorate (every citizen, upon reaching the age of 18, is granted the right to vote, regardless of color, class, education, ethnicity or other superficiality in the eyes of the law) and granted us greater authority in choosing our leaders (for instance, the 17th Amendment allows senators to be chosen directly by the people of their respective states).

It is this history and coveted freedom that Americans should commemorate as they exalt their country this July 4, 2010 — a day to celebrate the generations of men and women who have sacrificed their time, energy and, often, their lives in order to build a better country.


Rand Paul accepts legalized private-sector racism, sexism, homophobia and discrimination against the handicapped

Make no mistake, Rand Paul is NOT a racist. He merely holds a very extreme view, at odds with the Constitution. He said, very clearly, to Rachel Maddow, that he would prefer the law not prohibit discrimination by private-sector firms that do not receive federal funds.

I have no doubt that in his life, Rand Paul treats all people fairly and decently. And I have always tried to be fair to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). In some areas, such as auditing the Federal Reserve, I agree with him.


How Clinton-era ‘diversity’ hobbled black progress in the South

Thirty years ago I had an essay in the Philadelphia Inquirer making the point that racial integration in the South had become a project primarily to satisfy the white liberal imagination of Northern people rather than to advance the economic progress of black people in the South. While the South had effectively integrated in the 1960s, the North and Philadelphia, where I lived, had not.


Miranda panders

Here's a badly needed Miranda Advisory for all the political and pundit blowhards: "You have the right to remain silent. Use it.”

It would be particularly worthwhile right now if it was taken to heart by all the opportunists who are trying to exploit fear by wildly criticizing officials who Mirandize suspected terrorists in their custody, even U.S. citizens.

They know such simple-mindedness gets voters riled up, which is the way they play the game. Never mind that constitutional rights are not games.


The unintended consequences of diversity

We must stop seeing diversity through the lens of race and ethnicity. Diversity in gender, age, religion, culture, geography and even our professions needs more critical thought and self-examination. As has often been shown throughout our nation’s history, diversity can undoubtedly be a positive force. However, there are too many shocking and absurd examples of how diversity can be quite malicious and divisive.


Racism under the radar screen

Congress has set the stage for institutionalizing racism in America. In a relatively underreported act of Congress, the House passed the Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which authorizes our government to give about one-third of Hawaii’s land to a sovereign entity representing Native Hawaiians. It set up a sovereign state within the state of Hawaii similar to reservations granted to Native Americans on the mainland. This act would also exempt Native Hawaiians from selected taxation and laws. This egregious act is based strictly on race and President Barack Obama promised to swiftly sign it if the Senate supports this bill.


Beware of your friends

I read an interesting front-page story in The New York Times about efforts by the pro-life movement to gain converts in the African-American community. As the story related, “Across the country, the anti-abortion movement, long viewed as almost exclusively white and Republican, is turning its attention to African-Americans and encouraging black abortion opponents across the country to become more active.

A new documentary, written and directed by Mark Crutcher, a white abortion opponent in Denton, Texas, meticulously traces what it says are connections among slavery, Nazi-style eugenics, birth control and abortion, and is being regularly screened by black organizations.”


Critics face sanctions

Three news stories in today’s New York Times report the continuing battle over criticism and the policies of governments to suppress it.