Politics (24)

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) appeared in federal court on Monday (October 7) to fight a Florida law that requires formerly incarcerated Florida residents to pay fines before they can have their voting rights restored, according to a statement emailed to Colorlines.

The law at the center of this fight establishes wealth-based roadblocks to voting and goes against overwhelming support for the Voting Restoration Amendment, also known as Amendment 4, which voters passed during the midterm elections.

An emailed statement from the ACLU explains:

Floridians voted in 2018 to amend their state constitution to restore voting rights to people convicted of most felonies once they’ve completed their sentences. It was the single largest expansion of voting rights in the United States since the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18 in 1971. In response, the legislature passed a bill to limit Amendment 4’s reach, requiring people to repay any fines, fees and restitution before their voting rights are restored—effectively, a poll tax. 

With Gruver v. Barton, attorneys for the ACLU seek to challenge the limits placed on Amendment 4. “Over a million Floridians were supposed to reclaim their place in the democratic process,” reads the ACLU statement. “[However,] some politicians clearly feel threatened by greater voter participation. They cannot legally affix a price tag to someone’s right to vote.”

The hearing is expected to last several days.


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Voters in Tucson, Arizona, gave a resounding “No” in response to Proposition 205, according to Tucson.com. As Colorlines reported on Tuesday (November 5), the measure sought to turn Tucson into the state’s first sanctuary city. It also sought to add restrictions around police questioning residents about their immigration status. 

Tucson.com reports that “58,820 voters, or 71.4 percent, voted ‘no’ on the proposal compared to just 23,562, or 29 percent, who voted ‘yes.’” People’s Defense Initiative, the group behind the movement that became Prop 205, issued a statement to press after the results were announced:

“We are incredibly proud of the hard work and inspiring commitment of our team and the hundreds of Tucsonans who made this campaign their very own,” the statement said. “Through this effort, we were able to uplift an important city-wide conversation that changed Tucson for the better.”

As Tuscon.com reports, lawmakers in Arizona pushed back against the measure, threatening “lawsuits and to withhold tax money to Tucson if the initiative passed.”

The New York Times spoke to Tuscon’s Mayor Jonathan Rothschild ahead of the vote, who said his city is already supporting immigrants. “The city of Tucson,” he said, “in all respects except being labeled as such, operates as a sanctuary city.”


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

The United States Supreme Court on Tuesday (November 12), heard arguments to determine the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and Reuters reports that the justices seem to be divided. This case is “one of the most important of the term,” according to The New York Times, and it will ultimately determine presidential power over immigration policy.

The Trump administration is on a mission to end the program, which is widely supported in Congress and protects roughly 700,000 young immigrants from deportation. Launched by President Obama in 2012, DACA offers protection for people brought to the United States as children. Often referred to as “Dreamers,” they are able to live and work in the U.S. via a renewable temporary status. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for Dreamers. 

According to Reuters, conservative Supreme Court justices appeared to be sympathetic to the Trump administration’s goal to end the program. The news outlet reports:

Several of the five conservative justices appeared skeptical that courts can even review the Republican president’s 2017 plan to end [DACA]…. Even if the court finds that it can be reviewed, conservative justices indicated they think Trump’s administration gave a reasonable explanation for its decision.

Liberal justices, however, were more focused on the hundreds of thousands of people and businesses that have benefited from the program, Reuters reports:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor demanded that U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco, who argued the case for the administration, identify whether the administration considered all the harm that ending the program would do, or if it was just a “choice to destroy lives.”

States suing over Trump’s move to end the program include California and New York, according to Reuters. Lower courts found “Trump’s move to rescind DACA was likely ‘arbitrary and capricious’ and violated a U.S. law called the Administrative Procedure Act.”

The Supreme Court is now considering the case. As Reuters reports:

The justices must determine whether administration officials failed to provide adequate reasons for the decision to end DACA. The initial memo rescinding DACA, the plaintiffs said, gave a “one-sentence explanation” and did not spell out why the administration believes the program is unlawful. The justices will also have to decide whether the administration’s action against DACA is even something courts can review.


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Unless lawsuits against it are successful, the Trump Administration is planning to carry out immigration raids of homes and workplaces across the country starting on Sunday (July 14), reports The New York Times. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will target at least 2,000 people who have been ordered deported but remain in the country. The raids may also capture people in their proximity such as children. 

Democracy Now reports that ICE raids will take place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. Raids were set to take place in New Orleans but the city announced that ICE will postpone the roundups due to Tropical Storm Barry. There are lots of resources online for how to cope with raids. Here are a few of the best:

Emergency Planning

Colorlines sums up what you should do in advance of raids. » We Have Rights campaign offers a preparedness tip sheet that you can download and fill out along with helpful tips for how to store it. The sheet prompts you to list out essential information including your emergency contacts, your consulate and your child’s medication. » Immigrant Legal Resource Center has tips in English and Spanish to help prepare children for possible family separation. » National Immigration Project has a comprehensive illustrated guide to handling a number of situations. 

Know Your Rights

​​​​We Have Rights has animated videos voiced by Jesse Williams that run you through what to do if ICE comes to your home, stops you in the street or comes to your job. Languages include Spanish, Arabic and Haitian Kreyol. » The ACLU presents a range of scenarios, including being stopped in the street.  » Toward the bottom of the page, the American Immigration Lawyers Association has a list of rapid response hotlines in select cities and states. »The Immigrant Defense Project, a clearinghouse of information generated by organizations around the country, has six infrographics that show you how to deal with ICE at your door, in English and Spanish. They include a list of lies that ICEagents routinely tell people. Top ruse: ICE agents pretend to be local police. » Also from the Immigrant Defense Project are know-your-rights posters and booklets in 16 languages. ​​​​​​

Finding Legal Help

Informed Immigrant has a database of service organizations searchable by zip code and coded according to what they do, from providing legal help to connecting you to mental healthcare. » The National Immigration Law Project has a searchable network of attorneys in many states. » The ACLU compiled a list of large national organizations that provide legal help to immigrants. 


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

“Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation,” Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) tweeted yesterday (July 14) to her fellow women House representatives of color: Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Barbara Lee(D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wa.), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.). Tlaib’s response was part of a Twitter storm unleashed on President Donald Trump following a series of racist tweets on Sunday (July 14) that included the sentence: “Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

His comments were apparently directed at Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Pressley and Tlaib—three of whom were born United States citizens, while Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and came to the U.S. as a teenager—and the representatives, and their supporters, did not hold back.



Read more…

Over the weekend, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials embarked on a relatively small operation to arrest immigrants of undocumented status, Reuters reports. President Donald Trump first announced the raid in June via Twitter, where he promised widespread, mass deportations of “millions” of immigrants across the United States.

Immigrants and advocates were bracing for the worst, with many expecting thousands of arrests to take place on Sunday (July 14). However, according to Reuters, “there were only reports of low-profile operations in a few cities.”

Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mary Bauer told the news agency that large southern cities like Atlanta actually saw no ICE arrests over the weekend. “Immigrants and immigrant communities all over the country are in hiding and people are living in these terrified, terrorized ways, because that is the point of this whole action, whether enforcement actions take place or not,” said Bauer.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said there were no ICEarrests in his city. “This is a political act by this president, he’s politicized a United States government agency to help him win re-election,” he told Reuters. 

And though no immigrants of undocumented status were arrested in Miami, a representative of the Florida Immigrant Coalition posted on Facebook that some fearful immigrants were sheltering at home. “They’ve been stocking up on groceries and making plans to stay in their homes with the lights off and the blinds down,” the group posted. “Some are staying home from work.”

The news outlet pointed out that ICE arrests thousands of immigrants in a typical week, per government records. Most of those raids, however, are not posted on Twitter by the president of the United States. Meanwhile, a spokesperson for ICE declined to give Reuters a comment on the agency’s operations, citing the safety of the agency’s personnel.


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

On Tuesday (July 9), oral arguments begin in a case that could result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance. And as a three-judge panel at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans listens, a contingent of Americans—from youth advocates to physicians—are making their voices heard in support of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The lawsuit at the heart of Texas v. United States​ was filed February 2018 by two Republican governors and five Republic attorneys general against the federal government. “A question at the heart of the case is whether the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty remained constitutional after Congress eliminated the penalty as part of the tax overhaul that Mr. Trump signed in 2017,” reports The New York Times.

If the mandate is deemed unconstitutional, it leaves open the question of whether the rest of the ACA can function without it. In December, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas said it could not and that the entire law must be dismantled. The appeals court hearing will now decide if O’Connor’s decision should be overturned.

Without the ACA, there would be an increase of almost 20 million people without insurance, according to Urban Institute. An additional estimated 52 million adults ages 18 to 64 could be denied coverage that they now qualify for if ACA provisions such as the mandate that people with pre-existing conditions be insured are revoked. There also would not be a cap for out-of-pocket medical costs that insured Americans would have to pay. Since the ACA was put into effect in 2014, Black and Latinx Americans have had the greatest decrease in the number of people who are uninsured. 

The fight to save the ACA is led by many groups, including the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA), which today announced a rollout of digital and print ads focused on the attorneys general who filed the lawsuit.

“President Trump may call the GOP ‘the party of health care,’ but the truth is these Republican AGs are in court this week trying to sabotage health care coverage for millions of Americans,” Farah Melendez, political director for DAGA said in an emailed statement. “These health care hypocrites are attacking the critical care people in their states rely on to go to the doctor, afford prescription medication, and take care of sick kids and family members.”


Health Care for America Now and Physicians’ for Reproductive Health are asking Americans to share their stories about how their lives will be upturned if the ACA is repealed, both online and in public rallies. And other organizations are using social media to speak up. 

Advocates for Youth, a nonprofit that fights for the rights of youth globally, have also stepped into the fight. “It is the height of irresponsibility to rob millions of young people of the health coverage they need. The ACA goes a long way toward affording young people the opportunity to take care of their health and plan their futures. The Fifth Circuit must overturn this decision and uphold medical best practices, common sense, and basic human decency,” Debra Hauser, president of the organization, said in an emailed statement.

Legal experts predict that the case will eventually go to the Supreme Court of the United States, likely around the time of the 2020 presidential election.


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/



Read more…

Every day there is a new example of how immigrants in the United States are blatantly dehumanized. It’s time we recognize this as a systemic issue and pass legislation to address one of its root causes.

This culture of hate and bias was evident most recently when ProPublica published its exposé on a secret Facebook group of about 9,500 former and current U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents. The details are enraging: Members from the group casually mocked the deaths of a detained Guatemalan teenager and a father and daughter who drowned in a river searching for refuge. They also devised plans to throw burritos at Latinx Congress members during their visits to border detention facilities. Throughout these exchanges, they used inexcusable and sexually degrading images nonchalantly. Soon after, CNN discovered a second Facebook groupof CBP officers espousing similar views. 

It is no secret that the Trump administration has fueled a White nationalist fervor across the country.  President Trump’s now infamous 2018 comment—”These aren’t people. These are animals.”—is a powerful example of how our leaders use degrading language in an attempt to justify the implementation of cruel policies. It is also no secret that racism is deeply rooted in our country’s history and more embedded in our federal institutions than we’d like to admit. 

This is why to simply treat this latest example as a case of “a few bad apples” is to completely miss the point: our U.S. immigration enforcement apparatus not only creates the conditions and the power dynamics for this kind of vile behavior to exist in the first place, but it also fuels hate. 

As the ProPublica article highlights, the process of dehumanization begins with words, but it does not end there.  Words—when weaponized as threats—translate into acts of violence. A carceral setting, such as immigration detention, that offers few protections, compounded by a sheer lack of transparency and accountability, will inevitably lead to systematic abuses of authority.  

Last year, our organization, Freedom for Immigrants, released a report documenting at least 800 complaints on abuse motivated by hate or bias in ICE detention between January 20, 2017 and June 2018. We tracked incidents of hate and bias as a result of a person’s perceived race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.  It wasn’t simply the fact that immigrants in detention were being called derogatory terms that was disturbing, but that each verbal incident we documented was followed by an action that often led to different—and more serious—forms of mistreatment. 

In fact, we documented verbal abuse that led to physical abuse, sexual assault, denial of medical services, retaliatory use of solitary confinement and denial of visits. In one case, a guard at the Bristol County House of Corrections in Massachusetts told a detained immigrant that he would “bet for him in a fight against another detainee.” The man in detention refused to fight and was consequently denied hygiene products as well as meals. When he tried to issue a complaint, the guard compared him to a monkey saying, “No one will believe baboon complaints.”

We know that stories like these are just the tip of the iceberg and many of them go unreported in the ever-growing mass incarceration of immigrants. For example, in 2017 a group of detained individuals of Iraqi origin claimed in a lawsuit that they were being called “Al-Qaeda” and “camel jockeys” and other atrocious slurs by ICE and contractors while being denied adequate food and medical care. A 2018 report found that a number of African immigrants detained at the privately-operated West Texas Detention Facility were called racial slurs by guards and subjected to arbitrary use of force, such as being pepper-sprayed. Another study along the border by the Center for Migration Studies found that anti-immigrant statements by border patrol agents often involved threats and physical abuse. One of the men surveyed recounted being shoved to the floor by an agent after he yelled at him, “go back to your country.”

Although Freedom for Immigrants’ report led to an internal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General, we have not seen any improvement in the way immigrant prison guards are trained. We also haven’t seen any guards held accountable or facilities closed for being noncompliant with ICE’s own federal standards. We have actually seen the exact opposite.  

While we continue to document hundreds more complaints of abuse motivated by hate or bias, people who are trying to offer care to migrants are being prosecuted, as in the case of activists with the humanitarian aid group No More Death/No Más Muertes.

Making sure that those civil servants who have disparaged or mistreated people in their care be held accountable for their actions would be a good start, but it’s not nearly enough. Individual acts of abuse and human rights violations are symptomatic of a larger issue. The core of the problem lies in the nature of the U.S. immigration detention system, which breeds a culture of impunity and violence. 

There are a number of ways you can help right now to change this. One quick and easy way of making sure that immigrants are not being subjected to mistreatment is by donating to immigration bond fundsWe, along with over 20 other organizations around the country, run bond funds to ensure that people are freed as soon as possible—especially those who are acutely suffering on the inside.  

Another way can help is by bearing witness. We run a national network of 55 visitation groups across the country that not only help break the isolation of detained individuals but also monitor the facilities for human rights violations. With over 200 ICE jails and prisons in the country that are as transparent as a wall of bricks, and with more popping up under the Trump Administration, there is a critical need for people to conduct regular visits.

After you visit a detention facility, you can call or engage with your local elected officials. Think of it this way: Who will speak up for those individuals detained in your backyard if ICE or prison guards are continuously trying to silence them? Constituents have the power to relay these stories to their elected officials and pressure them into taking action, which leads us to our next step.   

Ultimately, what we need is a complete dismantling of this shadowy network of jails and prisons, starting with putting a stop to their growth. Legislation introduced by Sen. Kamala Harris of California and U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington, known as the Detention Oversight Not Expansion (DONE) Act, would help accomplish this. Not one more dollar of our taxpayer money should go toward a system that only serves to further demean immigrants.

Christina Fialho is an attorney and the co-founder and executive director of Freedom for Immigrants.

Liz Martinez is communications director for Freedom for Immigrants. 


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Here’s a flashback for you… read this and let Trump’s vacation time sink in.
This was originally published on May 8, 2012.


“Some of our viewers are complaining, they get frustrated, even angered, when they see the first family jetting around,” St. Louis TV reporter Larry Conners said to President Obama at the White House during an interview on April 12th. So, Conners asked President Obama a pointed question: how much time are you spending on vacation?

“The economy is a big issue and concern for folks,” Conners said to the President.  Viewers complain, “you’re out of touch, that you don’t really know what they’re experiencing,” the reporter said.

On May 1st, Florida Rep. Allen West complained of President Obama’s “wining and dining” at the White House Correspondents Dinner.  GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has also used President Obama’s down time and golf outings as a campaign issue.  On April 27th, House Speaker John Boehner demanded President Obama reimburse taxpayers for trips on Air Force One to North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa.

“This is the biggest job in the world and I’ve never seen a president make it smaller,” Speaker Boehner complained.

But did Boehner, Conners, Romney or West stop to compare President Obama’s vacation time to other Presidents?

Calls to several Presidential libraries reveal that President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, was on vacation more — 1,020 days — than any U.S. President since Herbert Hoover and possibly more than any other President in history.

Even President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was in office 12 years from 1933 to 1945, was on vacation less days than President Bush at 958 days.  Calls to several Presidential Libraries reveal that no President can come close to Bush’s 1,020 days on vacation in an 8 year period.  Even Lyndon Johnson, who spent 484 days at his ranch in Texas and at Camp David during his presidency, came in under Bush’s vacation time.  Some claim the cost of Bush’s frequent trips to Crawford, Texas cost taxpayers upwards of $20 million, but the numbers are hard to confirm.

A recession started in 2001 as Bush took office after 22 million jobs were created during the Clinton Administration from 1993 to 2000.  Bush began wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and presided over the loss of 4 million jobs.  The debt when Bush left office was $10.6 trillion.  In 2005, the Washington Post noted President Bush’s frequent vacations in a piece titled Vacationing Bush Poised to Set a Record as Bush took the longest single vacation — 5 weeks — of any President in 36 years.

President Bush spent 32% of his presidency on vacation.

Bush passed Reagan in total vacation days in 2005 with three and a half years left in his presidency. Reagan spent all or part of 335 days in Santa Barbara over his 8 year presidency.  Bush spent 487 days at Camp David during his presidency and 490 days at his Crawford, Texas ranch, a total of 977 days.

When you add the days President Bush spent at Kennebunkport, Maine, he spent a total of 1,020 days away from the White House — close to 3 years.  At 1,020 days, Bush was close to being on vacation more days than President John F. Kennedy’s total days in office (1,036).  Representatives at the Nixon and Johnson Libraries indicate those two Presidents were on vacation less than 1,000 days during their terms.

President Obama has been on vacation 78 days from 2009 to 2011.  At the three year mark into their first terms, George W. Bush spent 180 days at his ranch in Crawford, Texas and Ronald Reagan spent 112 vacation days at his ranch in California.  Of course, staff was around all three Presidents on vacations and all White House aides argue that the commander-in-chief is never “out of touch” with work.

Calls to the Eisenhower and Truman Libraries reveal that those Presidents were not on vacation for more than 1,020 days.  Eisenhower was on vacation for 456 days during his 8 years in office.  When asked on whether President Herbert Hoover’s vacation days could be over 500 for 4 years a historian at the Hoover Library said, “No chance. Everyone agrees he was a grinder — he was the kind of guy for whom a vacation was rare — his vacation days were less than 50.” Hoover was in office from 1929 to 1933.  Frequently Hoover either drove himself on brief trips or was driven by a military attachment or took the train.

President Obama was on vacation for 26 days during his first year in office (2009).  Ronald Reagan spent 42 days on vacation during his first year in office (1981). President George H.W. Bush was on vacation less than his son, 40 days, in 1989, his first year in office.  President Obama was on vacation less in his first year in office than the previous three Republican Presidents.

No President since Reagan was on vacation less than Bill Clinton. Presidents Clinton and Carter vacationed the least of any of the last seven chief executives.

All Presidents point out that work is being done on vacation.  FDR’s Presidential Library included the following note with their information on President Roosevelt’s vacations: “It should be noted that no sitting modern president, including President Roosevelt, can ever take “a vacation.” Simply being away from the White House does not constitute a vacation.  In President Roosevelt’s case, even while relaxing at Hyde Park, Warm Springs, or on a fishing cruise, he received mail, reviewed dispatches, signed and vetoed legislation, met with political and world leaders, and delivered press conferences and speeches.  During wartime, his periods of true relaxation were even fewer.”


Source: http://www.crewof42.com/

Read more…

The right-wing-never-happy-always-whining Freedom Caucus joined with more moderate Republicans on Friday to sink the farm bill on May 18 in spectacular fashion. The latest floor fiasco featuring a GOP bill going down was a massive embarrassment for Republican leadership in the House.  

That’s probably a good thing for people who are poor in America and who want to eat.  The bill contained work requirements for food stamps in the same way Republicans have required work requirements for Medicaid expansion benefits in many red states. 

“Republicans are putting forward Paul Ryan’s farm bill to drastically cut funding from food assistance programs dedicated to helping our country’s most vulnerable families. Food is not a luxury. Being hungry is not a choice. I’ll be voting NO on this terrible bill,” tweeted Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) on May 18. 

The Farm bill crashed and burned by a vote of 198-213 as Freedom Caucus demanded a “build a wall” immigration vote in exchange for support for the bill. Speaker Ryan, who is retiring at the end of the year, won’t grant that vote. 

“This farm bill is loaded with corporate welfare and subsidies. It’s a big-government, anti-market swamp creature that puts special interests ahead of the American people. Every conservative should oppose it,” wrote Rep. Justin Amash (R-IL) after voting against the legislation. 

“There’s a grotesque irony that ’s ‘Farm Bill’ will take away school lunches from 265,000 kids. GOP lawmakers top priority – after tax cuts for Wall St – is making more American kids go hungry. No wonder Congress has a 15% approval rating,” wrote Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) on May 17. 

Also on May 17, Rep. Keith Ellison wrote that, “The GOP’s Farm Billwould force as many as 2 million Americans off of SNAP food assistance. We should not be shaming people who are in a rough patch in their lives out of accepting the food they need to get by and get back on their feet.”

The bill was accurately seen by many as a welfare reform package that Ryan attempted to pass before he departs Congress.  Given that that’s what he has spent most of his time doing during his career in the U.S. House, few were surprised.  



Source: http://www.crewof42.com/

Read more…

At the beginning of this year, I saw a meme on Facebook where a young man mentioned that over the past year, he had learned to stop “aspiring to sit at tables where he had to bring his own chair, squeeze in between folks and repeatedly convince people that he deserved to be there.”


That was the most accurate description I had ever read about being an undesirable demographic in information technology.


 You’d think I would have figured out that by virtue of being a black woman over the age of 40, it would have occurred to me during the nearly two years and 40-plus interviews I endured before being promoted to my current position that I am really not the demographic employers are currently searching for. In all honesty, I did start to get the picture around the one year mark when I noticed that I and one other older black female were still interviewing long after most of the other people on the “promotional” list had been hired by other departments.

In civil service, you are interviewed in groups based on your score, so you tend to see the same people repeatedly until you, or they, are hired. I could tell when we were now interviewing with candidates from the “open” list, people not currently employed by the city, who tended to skew younger, male and mostly anything other than black, most of whom got hired before I did. It also did not escape my notice that I was hired by someone that knew me by reputation, knew several of my past supervisors and thus knew what she was getting in terms of my skillset, experience and work ethic. Sixteen years after I first started on my path to systems analyst, I had finally arrived.

You would think I would have caught on that in IT, what I do (end-user, deskside support, or Break/Fix) is thought to be a young man’s game. Ideally, the young man will be Asian, Indian, white, Hispanic, rarely black, or if so, generally African or Afro-Caribbean. There is also a current belief among hiring managers that the millennials they so crave are willing to work harder and for less money than more experienced job seekers.

Female personal computer techs are rare; I saw my first in 2001. Craig, who brought her on at the bank where I was working as a temp clerk, also saw in me a capacity for working with computers. By the time I had been working there for a few months, Craig caught on that I was eager to learn and began to teach me to do simple support for my group. He was the first person to encourage me towards a STEM career, which I was going to find out was very rare, and for that I will always be grateful.

 You would think that I had started to figure it out when I enrolled in a trade school in November 2001, shortly before my 30th birthday. During the seven months I spent there, learning PC repair and networking and earning two beginning certifications for PC repair, I started to notice that women were already unusual in this career field. In my class of just over 20, I only recall there being three women. Being a socially awkward introvert, I could easily pick up on some slight discomfort with my presence in a space not traditionally thought to be one for me. My nerdy side did most of the talking while I was there. I had no issue with either the work or displaying my mastery of whatever new concepts we learned, which does NOT help you win friends or influence people, especially in an industry where networking is crucial. And no one likes to be shown up by someone they think shouldn’t be there, even if the intent was not to show anyone up. The experience of being spoken over, or conversely, ignored, would come up again in four years, as I finally started working in Systems.

In IT, perception is everything. I am still taken aback when people are surprised that I am essentially a PC tech. I started by learning basic code on an Apple II series in 1985, but I didn’t stop there. When my older sister brought her first PC home from college, I entered the world of software installation and minor repair. Every assignment I accepted as a temp during the ’90s, I made it a point to learn everything I could, until that fateful day I was told that there might actually be a career in this for me.

Of course, no one knows your history when they first meet you. They can only work off of their perception and expectations. No one expects to see a middle-aged black woman when they call for computer help. Your co-workers and bosses don’t always know how to respond either. I’ve had my assistance refused while an employee waited for the real techs (i.e. younger males) to arrive. I’ve had work I had done consistently and well for years taken away from me and given to a male co-worker, with no explanation. I’ve had work I was doing overlooked because of a younger male colleague’s relentless self-promotion. I’ve been shut out of job-critical information because while my co-workers had no issues sharing resolutions to common issues with each other, whenever I asked a question, I was considered incompetent.

These are just the incidents that would fit in this word count.

It is exhausting to be in a space where you constantly feel that you have to prove yourself. Such is life for those in career fields where your presence is not only unexpected, but mildly unwelcome. But I am blessed because I love what I do, and God granted me the perseverance to endure to get the job I wanted and a thick enough skin to deal with the frustrations that come with it.


Source: https://verysmartbrothas.theroot.com/

Read more…

A new court order could potentially affect thousands of migrant families separated at the southern border before the government’s “zero tolerance“ policy was announced in 2018. A federal judge responded Friday (March 8) to the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLUmotion to order the government to accurately account for allmigrant family separations, including those that took place beginning as far back as July 2017, NPR reports.

Back in June 2018, Judge Dana Sabraw of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California ordered the Trump administration to terminate its family separation policy and demanded that 2,300 children be immediately returned to their families. On Friday, Sabraw granted the ACLU’s request to expand the class action lawsuit to include the thousands of additional separated families that were revealed earlier this year. As Colorlines previously reported:

The United States Department of Health and Human Serivces’ (HHSOffice of Inspector General (OIG) released a watchdog report on Thursday (January 17) indicating that thousands more children were separated from their parents at the border than what was previously understood…authorities are reportedly not sure what happened to many of the children.

The OIG report prompted the ACLU to “include the parents of those children in the same group as those affected by zero tolerance, whose reunification [Judge Sabraw] ordered last summer,” according to NBC News

Sabraw agreed with the ACLU in his most recent ruling and officially “defined the additional class members as all migrant families separated between July 1, 2017, and June 25, 2018,” NPR reports. “The hallmark of a civilized society is measured by how it treats its people and those within its borders,” the judge wrote in his 14-page order. “That [the Trump administration] may have to change course and undertake additional effort to address these issues does not render modification of the class definition unfair; it only serves to underscore the unquestionable importance of the effort and why it is necessary (and worthwhile).”

NPR obtained a statement from ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt regarding Sabraw’s ruling: “The court made clear that potentially thousands of children’s lives are at stake, and that the Trump administration cannot simply ignore the devastation it has caused,” he said. 

As Colorlines previously reported:

Scott Stewart, a lawyer from the Department of Justice, argued it would be a huge challenge for the government to track the families separated as far back as July 2017,” insisting it would, “dramatically change the complexity of this case from the government’s perspective.”

But as Sabraw insisted in his court order: “Although the process for identifying newly proposed class members may be burdensome,” he said, “it clearly can be done.”


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

The United States Supreme Court will soon decide if the family of a Mexican teen migrant who was shot and killed by a border agent will be allowed to sue for damages, CBS News reports. 

The main question the plaintiffs hope will be answered in Hernández v. Mesa is if the shooting death of the teen is considered a “violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures,” according to CBS. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is meant to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Court will also examine the case to determine if his Fifth Amendmentrights were violated, which says that no one should be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

CBS reports that Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca was 15 years old when he stood on the Mexico side of the border between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juarez back in 2010. Agent Jesus Mesa was across from Hernández on the U.S. side when he shot and killed the boy. The agent said people were throwing rocks at him when he fired his gun, shooting Hernández twice. The boy died immediately, according to El Paso Times.

The Supreme Court previously heard arguments in this case in 2017, according to CBS. However, the case was returned to lower courts for more hearings.


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Vida,” the dramatic series about two estranged Latinx sisters, Emma and Lyn, who are forced to return to their old neighborhood in East Los Angeles where they learn a shocking truth about their mother, returns for its second season on Starz tomorrow (May 23). Starring an all-Latinx cast and writing room, the show features storylines that cover topics like assimilation, discrimination and homophobia, all from a place of personal cultural experience.

Ahead of the premiere, showrunner and co-creator Tanya Sarachospoke with The New York Times for an article today (May 22) about the “authenticity police,” Spanglish and colorism.

Just as “Vida” likes to keep it real, so does Saracho, both on screen and in the interview. When talking about how she wants the series to look and feel, she said it was important to get it right:

A lot of times when we watch our communities represented on the screen, it feels like a museum piece. Like we’re coming to watch a safari. But that’s an outsider’s point of view.

Also our skin color—I find that TV Whitewashes our different shades; they wash the diaspora out of us. Latinx—we are all subtones and undertones, and they just wash it out with a blue, or something bright. Or they brownface us even more. They just saturate us. I wanted it to look like us, but also to give it that prestige of an indie film.”

Saracho says that often, Latinx writers face criticism about their authenticity: “You’re not brown enough, you’re not light enough, you’re not Mexican enough. Your Spanish is not good enough.” Which brings her to the use of Spanglish, which is sprinkled throughout the script to add another layer of complexity to the series:

There are opinions on the type of Spanglish we use. It’s so complicated because it’s a made-up way of communicating and there’s not one uniform way. There’s no dictionary that you could look at. It’s how we communicate…The fact that we get the words desmadre and chingona on the key art and teaser art, to me it’s radical. It’s revolutionary because not even every Latino is going to know what desmadre is—it’s something like a “hot mess.” Mexicans and Mexican-Americans haven’t gotten a chance to see themselves like that in key art.

Another group who rarely sees themselves on TV are Afro-Latinx people. To fix this gap in storytelling, Saracho is working on a new show called “Brujas,” which has all Afro-Latinx writers. Until then, “Vida” looks to address the issue. “In this season of ‘Vida,’ I wanted to touch on the notion of being prieto, and how colorism is alive and well in the Latinx community,” Saracho said. “All that is our shame, our stuff that we haven’t aired out that much. And I love when we get to air it out.”


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

The Department of Education (DOEannounced Monday (May 20) that it will expand the Second Chance Pell Experimental Sites Initiative, which allows people experiencing financial hardship and incarceration in certain states to receive need-based Pell Grants for college-level courses.

While the government bans incarcerated people from receiving federal financial assistance, the Second Chance Pell Experiment, which the DOE launched in 2015, allows people detained in the 26 participating states to apply for Pell grants, which are financial awards for undergraduate students experiencing financial hardship. They are funded by the government and generally do not have to be repaid.

According to the DOE, there are currently 64 schools and 26 states taking part in the Second Chance Pell Experiment. Vera Institute of Justice writes in an emailed statement about the expansion that the wider scope of the program will allow “new cohorts of colleges and universities to participate and more students to enroll in postsecondary programming while in prison.” Nick Turner, president and director of Vera Institute, said in the statement, “The U.S. Department of Education’s decision to expand Second Chance Pell is an important validation of the power of postsecondary education to disrupt mass incarceration.” Turner added, “[The experiment] has proven that when barriers to postsecondary education in prison fall, enrollment rates rise, which produces better outcomes for all.”

As Colorlines previously reported, Pell Grants for incarcerated people would, “ultimately benefit students, workers, employers and states.” The Vera Institute points out that “the success of Second Chance Pell and a body of research evidence shows postsecondary education in prison reduces recidivism rates and prison expenditures while increasing public safety and economic opportunity for people after they return to the community.”

Turner says this expansion is the next step, but there is still a fight ahead. “It’s our hope that Congress will show the same commitment to expanding access to postsecondary education in prison by taking the critical step of repealing the federal ban on Pell grants for people in prison outright,” he said. “Access to postsecondary education in prison has a verified track record of creating safer communities, cutting costs and increasing economic opportunity for people and their families post-release.”


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Harriet Tubman $20 Bill Delayed

Since April 2016, the United States Department of the Treasury has said that freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman would replace former president Andrew Grant on the front of the $20 bill, as Colorlines previously reported. But yesterday (May 22), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin confirmed that the redesign will not happen while President Donald Trump is in office.

In a C-Span video of Mnuchin testifying on the international financial system before the House Committee on Financial Services, Representative Ayanna Pressely (D-Mass.) explained the efforts of grassroots organizations to update the country’s currency so it reflects the nation’s diverse population and pioneers. Pressley noted that when former Secretary Jacob Lew announced in 2016 that Tubman would be the face of the new bill, he also confirmed that final design concepts would be unveiled in 2020 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Clearly frustrated by the lack of updates on the project, Pressley asked Mnuchin, “Do you believe that representation matters in American politics and imagery? Do you believe that people, other than White men, have greatly contributed to this country and its history?”

Though Mnuchin said he agreed that others have made contributions to this country, he also said, “The $20 bill will now not come out until 2028. The $10 bill and the $50 bill will come out with new features beforehand,” adding that the redesign will be made by a different secretary altogether. “I have not made a decision to execute on a redesign.”


Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

Read more…

Last-Known Slave Ship Discovered

Nearly 160 years after the Clotilda brought the last kidnapped Africans to the shores of the United States, researchers have located the ship’s remains.



In the years since the Clotilda arrived on Alabama’s shores in 1860, with 109 stolen West Africans below deck, researchers have long believed the ship was the last one of its kind to make the voyage. But where was it? Yesterday (May 22), the Smithsonian Magazinereported that the ship has been located along the Mobile River, near Twelvemile Island.

The search for the ship started in 2017, following talks between the descendants of Africatown’s founders and Smithsonian curator and National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Slave Wrecks Project (SWP) co-director Paul Gardullo. Founded in 1860 during Jim Crow and Reconstruction, Africatown was built by a group of West Africans who were brought illegally to Mobile via the Clotilda; the import of people for the purpose of enslavement was outlawed in 1807.

Rumors that the ship was still in Alabama ramped up in 2018, when a reporter with Alabama’s Advance Local thought he’d found the remains; but that wreck was deemed too large. The Alabama Historical Commission (AHC), National Geographic Society and SWP conducted a week-long survey to determine the Clotilda’s whereabouts with little luck. That same year, Gardullo jumped in to include members from Africatown in the process.

“This was a search not only for a ship. This was a search to find our history and this was a search for identity and this was a search for justice,” Gardullo told the Smithsonian. “This is a way of restoring truth to a story that is too often papered over. Africatown is a community that is economically blighted and there are reasons for that. Justice can involve recognition. Justice can involve things like hard, truthful talk about repair and reconciliation.”

And the timing couldn’t be better. This past February 2019, more than 200 descendants of Africatown’s founders gathered in Alabama for the first time, National Geographic reported. Last year, Zora Neale Hurston posthumously published “Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo’,” which tells the story of Cudjo Lewis, one of the enslaved people on that final voyage.

The Clotilda was authenticated by a group of researchers, led by the AHC and the maritime archeology group SEARCH Inc., which specializes in diving for historic shipwrecks.

For residents of the small Mobile community, this is great news. “So many people along the way didn’t think that happened because we didn’t have proof. By this ship being found we have the proof that we need to say this is the ship that they were on and their spirits are in this ship,” Lorna Gail Woods, the descendant of an Africatown founder told Smithsonian Magazine. “No matter what you take away from us now, this is proof for the people who lived and died and didn’t know it would ever be found.”



Read more…

On Wednesday (May 22), the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) introduced a new rule that would weaken protections for transgender people at homeless shelters. The new rule allows federally funded shelters to deny transgender people entry on the basis of religious beliefs. It would also force trans women to share bathrooms and sleeping quarters with cisgender men.

The rule is the latest move by President Donald Trump’s administration to eliminate Obama-era transgender protections, including a 2016 regulation titled “Equal Access in Accordance With an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs.” Last year, in a slew of anti-trans policies, Trump signed a memorandum that banned transgender people from serving in the United States military. He also signed a “religious liberty” executive order that advocates say opens the door for more trans discrimination. In October, The New York Times reported the Department of Health and Human Services’ intention to change the legal definition of gender in a way that would write transgender peolpe out of existence in the eyes of the law.  

In the summary of the latest policy proposal, HUD officials wrote:

The proposed rule permits shelter providers to consider a range of factors in making such determinations, including privacy, safety, practical concerns, religious beliefs, any relevant considerations under civil rights and nondiscrimination authorities, the individual’s sex as reflected in official government documents, as well as the gender which a person identifies with. 

On Tuesday (May 21), while testifying before the House Committee on Financial ServicesHUD Secretary Ben Carson told the committee that his agency had no plans to change the HUD Equal Access Rule. “The rules from 2012 and 2016 adequately provide for fairness for all communities,” Carson said. “They’ve not been removed. We have not changed any of the rules.”

Per The Washington Post, the HUD website has removed links to resources that inform emergency shelters how to best serve transgender people and follow agency regulations. The agency has also upended policy proposals that require federally funded shelters to post notices that provide information on LGBTQ+ rights and protections. 

Trans people already face disproportionately high rates of homelessness. According to the National Center for Transgender Equalityone in five transgender people have experienced homelessness. Black and Native American trans people have reported the worst outcomes in discrimination in employment, police and street violence, healthcare access and homelessness. Trans youth of color, especially Black youth, experience disproportionately higher rates of homelessness. In a 2014 survey, providers for youth with no homes reported that Black LGBTQ+ youth made up 31 percent of the youth they serve, despite comprising just 14 percent of the general population for their age group. 

In the last year, 70 percent of transgender people ​​​​​​who attempted to enter a homeless shelter were removed or physically or sexually assaulted because of their gender identity, the National Center for Transgender Equality told The Post.

Read more…

Hernández v. Mesa asks if the border officer who killed Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca violated his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.


Shani Saxon  MAY 28, 2019 5:39PM EDT

Supreme Court. White building with multiple white pillars and multiple steps. Guards stand on stairs.

SCOTUS will decide if the family of a teen migrant can to sue the border officer who killed him. 
Photo: Aurora Samperio/NurPhoto via Getty Images


The United States Supreme Court will soon decide if the family of a Mexican teen migrant who was shot and killed by a border agent will be allowed to sue for damages, CBS News reports. 

The main question the plaintiffs hope will be answered in Hernández v. Mesa is if the shooting death of the teen is considered a “violation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures,” according to CBS. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is meant to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. The Court will also examine the case to determine if his Fifth Amendment rights were violated, which says that no one should be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

CBS reports that Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca was 15 years old when he stood on the Mexico side of the border between El Paso in Texas and Ciudad Juarez back in 2010. Agent Jesus Mesa was across from Hernández on the U.S. side when he shot and killed the boy. The agent said people were throwing rocks at him when he fired his gun, shooting Hernández twice. The boy died immediately, according to El Paso Times.

The Supreme Court previously heard arguments in this case in 2017, according to CBS. However, the case was returned to lower courts for more hearings.

Read more…

Image result for michelle obama


Voting has long been a passionate subject for Michelle Obama. A new video sheds light on exactly why the former first lady is a strong crusader for voting rights—and why she is encouraging people to exercise their power at the polls.

Obama shared a powerful story about watching her father vote as a child in the clip, which is part of her “When We All Vote” campaign, an initiative that she co-chairs in an effort to spur voter registration ahead of the midterm elections. Before “When We All Vote” hits the road for a week of action from Sept. 22-29, the ex-FLOTUS had another Black excellence moment that she hopes will inspire people to head to the ballot box in November.

Her story underscored her father’s passion and dedication for voting despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

“I grew up in a household where voting was something you did all the time,” Obama said in the video. “And my father, who had multiple sclerosis, I remember going to the polling place with him and how much effort it took for him to park his car, to get his crutches, to walk into the church basement in our local neighborhood where he voted. And to stand there, holding himself up, making sure he cast his ballot. I remember my father doing this exercise every single election.”


Seeing her dad vote made Obama think about what a “special responsibility” it was — a right that African-American groups fought for during the civil rights era. The clip makes clear that voting was not only a right for Obama, but a rite of passage. She encourages voting in the presidential election and at the local level.


Source: https://newsone.com

Read more…
Email me when there are new items in this category –

The Shorty Roc NYC Show

You need to be a member of The Khaliseum to add comments!

Join The Khaliseum

Comments are closed.

Roshawndra Brown and King Shorty Roc are now friends
Apr 10
Rommey Johnson and King Shorty Roc are now friends
Apr 8
Impulse updated their profile
Apr 3
Julius Edwards is now a member of The Khaliseum
Apr 3
Rommey Johnson and Impulse joined The Khaliseum
Mar 31
Impulse updated their profile
Mar 31
UC updated their profile
Mar 31
King Shorty Roc updated their profile
Mar 31
Pamela Candler and Sunshine Harper joined The Khaliseum
Mar 30
Sunshine Harper updated their profile
Mar 30
GDE Management was featured
Mar 30
UC is now a member of The Khaliseum
Mar 25
King Shorty Roc posted a blog post
The Khaliseum: An All-in-One Platform Empowers Creators and Businesses

The Khaliseum is making waves in the entertainment industry, but its reach extends far beyond movie nights and catchy tunes. This innovative platform is transforming into a…
Mar 11
Christy Love-Lee and King Shorty Roc are now friends
Mar 11
Frank Lee and Christy Love-Lee joined The Khaliseum
Mar 4
Jovanni Alonna Rousseau is now a member of The Khaliseum
Mar 3