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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/

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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/

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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/

 

 

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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/

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Accusations of abuse against detained migrant children are coming out of Arizona, NBC News reports. Nearly 30 statements from young people in the custody of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “include allegations of sexual assault and retaliation for protests.”

NBC gathered the children’s accounts from “‘significant incident reports’ prepared between April 10 and June 12, 2019, by case managers for the Department of Health and Human Services.”

In one statement, a 16-year-old boy from Guatemala says CBP agents in Yuma, Arizona, removed sleep mats from several cells as punishment after some of the children “complained about the taste of the water and food they were given.” They were left to sleep on concrete floors. 

A detained 15-year-old girl from Honduras said that a bearded officer pulled down her underwear, put his hands under her bra and groped her during a “routine” pat down in front of others. The girl said, “she felt embarrassed as the officer was speaking in English to other officers and laughing.”

CBP spokesperson told NBC News: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection treats those in our custody with dignity and respect and provides multiple avenues to report any allegations of misconduct.” The statement continued, “The allegations do not align with common practice at our facilities and will be fully investigated. It’s important to note that the allegation of sexual assault is already under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.”

The accounts referenced in the NBC News report were taken from children who were detained longer than the 72 hours allowed by the law.

 

 

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

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Last weekend, I was invited to a brunch hosted by Ebele Okobi, who is Facebook’s Head of Public Policy, Africa, and was my de facto tour guide and event planner during my week abroad. There were nine of us there—an African diasporic reunion of black people scattered throughout the globe but settled in London. Among the many conversations we had was a tongue-in-cheek assessment of the variances within the “brands” of racism, which then segued into the ways each country with an African slave-owning history currently reckons with its past. (Brazil pretends it didn’t exist at all, America acknowledges its existence but denies the existence of any sort of foundational residue from it, etc.)

 

And, well, I’m embarrassed to admit that it was here that I learned, for the first time, of the Congolese genocide, where up to 10 million people were killed during Leopold II’s 23-year-long rule of the Congo Free State, and countless others were systematically raped, tortured, dismembered and displaced.

 

Perhaps I was taught this in some history class decades ago and just forgot. Either way, that was the most American I felt in my time there.

This sort of cruelty that people with power exhibited towards vulnerable people—a process equal parts systematic, structural, intentional and gleeful—existed wherever colonization did, and still does today. It is not a uniquelyAmerican trait. But it is an American trait, more essential to our construction and our collective zeitgeist than Babe Ruth. There have been stretches in American history, of course, when the central driving force behind legislation and policy and law have been more empathetic and less antagonistic. But in the span of our history, these moments are outliers. Perhaps even anomalies. If America was honest about who and what it is, we’d sell the snapshots and postcards of the men and women smiling during lynchings at the Cheesecake Factory.

I am reminded of this history this week, as the state of Alabama passed a set of abortion-related measures and restrictions that would seem to be pointless (“Why would they do this?” an otherwise sane person might ask) if you hadn’t yet realized that the punishment is the point. This isn’t about preserving “life.” They—the governor who signed this bill, the legislators who created it, the people who voted for them, and the governors, legislators and constituents in each state where similar laws are being drafted up—just want to enact pain. They want to punish women. For possessing sexual agency. For wanting bodily autonomy. For enjoying sex. For not having babies. For having babies. For not possessing what they believe to be the birthright privileges of whiteness and maleness. It’s petty. It’s punitive. It’s vindictive. They want women—particularly women who are black or brown and/or poor—to suffer.

The silver lining here is that this realization can and should be freeing—as any compulsion to compromise, to “reach across the aisle,” to build a bridge, to extend an olive branch, or to find common ground should be set ablaze and stuffed into a cashew-shaped canoe.

You can’t sway a sadist when your pain is their greatest pleasure. You just build more canoes.

 

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

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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/

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In response to the White House instituting what has been called a “gag rule,” Maryland hopes to be the first state to opt out of the federal Title Xprogram to protect its abortion providers from restrictive measures and funding cuts.

In February, the Trump administration announced that health care organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide abortion referrals will no longer receive federal family planning money under Title X. On Saturday (March 16), the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill that aims to end the state’s inclusion in the program. It now faces a vote with the state Senate. If passed, reports ThinkProgress, the law will require Maryland’s governor to use state money to fund the family planning program.

Established in 1970, Title X provides $286 million in funding for programs that provide services like birth control and mammograms, and screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer. Under the new federal regulation, providers will be able to discuss abortion with patients, but they cannot specify where one can be obtained. Clinics will no longer be obligated to counsel women on all available options if they are pregnant—meaning they can omit abortion from conversations. Previously, a clinic could not receive federal funding unless all options were discussed. In addition, providers who offer abortions must perform the procedure in a separate facility from other services.

Earlier this month, 22 states, including Maryland, filed lawsuits to block the rule from being implemented. Maryland is, however, the first state to use legislative action to push back against the new rule. 

Reports Think Progress:

The Maryland Department of Health receives between $3 million and $4 million dollars annually from the federal government under the Title X program, [Planned Parenthood of Maryland lobbyist Robyn] Elliott said. The state doles out these federal dollars to various providers, including eight Planned Parenthood clinics. Should the administration’s rule barring abortion providers from participating in Title X take effect, the state would no longer be able to dispense federal dollars to these clinics.

Maryland’s population is nearly one half people of color, with Black residents making up 30.8 percent of the state and Latinx accounting for 10.1 percent. And based on national numbers, women of color are disproportionally more likely to receive care that is funded via Title X.

The bill’s sponsor, Representative Shane Pendergrass (D), told ThinkProgress, “We want to make sure Marylanders who get family planning services under Title X have access to the very same methods as people with private insurance. It’s that plain and simple…. Because of the federal rules, they will no longer have that access under Title X. So it’s time to walk away from the federal Title X dollars.”

 

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

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In an effort to foster what it calls “self-sufficiency,” the Trump administration is looking to bring major changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. As a result, an estimated 755,000 people could lose benefits. Two new studies show the detrimental impact that would have not only on individuals but the nation’s economy, too.

When President Donald Trump released his budget proposal for 2020 on March 11, it included a cut of $220 billion over the next decade for SNAP. This is in addition to a rule announced in December to impose stricter work requirements for those seeking hunger relief through SNAP.

A new study from think tank Mathematica published last week (March 14) examines the characteristics of those who would be impacted by this rule change and found it would hit those with the lowest income hardest. The study analyzed the 1.2 million SNAP recipients and determined that 88 percent live in “deep poverty,” which the study defines as at or below 50 percent of the poverty level; close to 80 percent live alone; 11 percent worked; and the average monthly SNAP benefit was $181 per person.

According to the study:

Under the proposed rule, an estimated three-quarters of these SNAPparticipants would be newly subject to a three-month limit on their benefits, according to USDA. Some of them would increase existing work to an average of 20 hours per week, find work or meet the work requirements by participating in an employment and training program or workfare (unpaid work through a state-approved program). However,USDA estimates that two-thirds (755,000 people in 2020) would not meet the additional work requirements and would therefore lose eligibility after three months.

A study from another think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP),analyzed the impact on the entire United States’ economy. It determined that the proposed budget cut, if passed, would lead to a loss of 178,000 jobs by 2030, as a result of reduced consumer spending. It looked at last year’s job market and determined that every 1 billion spent by SNAPrecipients helped support 12,748 jobs. Adds Mother Jones, “CAP estimates that taking away benefits could shrink the GDP by $18.3 billion over the next ten years.”

There are 16.4 million households and more than 34 million people who rely on SNAP benefits in the United States, according to data from the U.S.Department of Agriculture. White Americans are 38.9 percent of that group, Black Americans are 24.9 percent and Latinx are 11.8. AsColorlines previously reported, food insecurity and SNAP participation are disproportionately high among queer and trans people of color.

 

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

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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/

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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.”

 

Source:https://www.colorlines.com/

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The Pentagon has agreed to a request from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build temporary tent housing for up to 7,500 adult migrants, The Washington Post reports. Children are not currently expected to be housed in the spaces.

According to The Post, Major Chris Miller, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, released a statement late Wednesday (May 22) explaining that the migrants will be “processed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” Miller also emphasized that “military personnel will not operate the [temporary] facilities and will only erect the tents,” he said. “Operating the facilities remains the responsibility of DHS.”

Pentagon officials plan to build the tents along the “Tucson and Yuma sectors in Arizona and near the Tornillo, Donna, Laredo and Del Rio ports of entry in Texas,” according to The Post. The scope and cost of the project will reportedly be determined in the next couple of weeks, along with a timeline for completion. 

The request for temporary housing is linked to an increase in the number of migrants apprehended by agents at the southern border. The Post reports:

The flow of migrants over the southwestern border with Mexico has been spiking, straining an already stretched system for processing and housing those who are apprehended. The influx has led to what officials are describing as an emergency due to the overwhelming number of people in custody.

CBP reports that it detained 109,144 migrants in April 2019 alone. That is the largest number of people to attempt to cross the southern border in a single month since 2007.

 

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

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On the 65th anniversary of the ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility senior fellow Roseann Liu breaks down why it’s imperative to call out racism when advocating for fair school funding.

 

Sixty-five years ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of EducationThe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, representing plaintiffs, argued that segregated schools violated the equal protection of the law guaranteed by the 14th Amendment of the U.S.Constitution. The justices agreed. The unanimous 9-0 decision declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal” and ordered school districts to desegregate. Civil rights activists celebrated this decision.

But for many students today, Brown represents the unfulfilled promise of equal educational opportunities.

Although school integration reached its peak in the 1970s, it began to decline in the early-1990s, when districts were released from court oversight. Today, school segregation levels have returned to those of the 1960s.

But desegregation was never the end goal. Robert L. Carter, a leading NAACP attorney on the case, wrote in Derrick Bell’s “Shades of Brown: New Perspectives on School Desegregation”: “the fundamental vice was not legally enforced racial segregation itself; this was a mere by-product, a symptom of the greater and more pernicious disease—White supremacy.”

Civil rights lawyers continue to advance racial equality in education, but now through other means: school funding. While few school segregation lawsuits exist today, school finance cases have been filed in 46 out of 50 states since 1973, with active lawsuits in 14 states.

Instead of claiming that “separate is inherently unequal,” school funding lawyers are now fighting for “separate but truly equal.”

Despite the fact that current school funding schemes overwhelmingly disadvantage students of color, plaintiff lawyers do not often argue that school funding discriminates based on race; even rarer are decisions that rule in favor of plaintiffs based on this argument.

Claims of racial discrimination in school funding are conspicuously absent from lawsuits.

This can be traced back to plaintiff lawyers shifting their strategy in the late-1980s, moving away from the claim that school funding is inequitably distributed based on equal protection clauses, to the claim that state funding is inadequate to provide students with a basic education guaranteed to them by state constitutions. That is, instead of re-slicing the pie, “inadequacy” claims seek to growthe pie.

When I interviewed lawyers about this change in strategy, they cited their concern that a racial discrimination claim would be seen as divisive. In contrast, inadequacy claims could bring together poor White districts and poor districts of color in the fight for more state money. These optics were thought to improve their chances of winning.

The move was largely successful. Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, when equity claims were made based on equal protection clauses, plaintiffs lost 66 percent of these cases. Since 1989, when lawyers shifted to inadequacy claims, effectively sidestepping claims of racial discrimination, plaintiffs won almost 60 percent of these cases.

These outcomes are no doubt a victory to students of color. And yet the legal strategies that led to these wins are out of step with growing evidence about racial bias in school funding that has been spotlighted recently. Nationally, non-White school districts receive $23 billion less than White school districts. In Pennsylvania, the least-White school districts get about $2,000 less per student than the state’s fair funding formula says it should have, while the most-White districts get around $2,000 more per pupil than determined by the formula.

By passing on race claims, lawyers also pass up the opportunity to build effective legal arguments about racially unjust school funding schemes. And since legal strategies set precedents for future cases, forgoing race claims not only effects the immediate suit, it also limits strategies for generations to follow.

Civil rights lawyers have the difficult task of crafting viable legal claims that will prevail in court. While avoiding the “third rail” of a race claim may improve chances of winning the case at hand, this comes at the cost of building the knowledge and legal strategies to successfully argue that school funding is racially biased.

School funding lawsuits represent a new terrain on which battles to achieve racial equality in education are fought. As this generation’s lawyers carry the torch, let them be inspired by the boldness of their predecessors, and be willing to call out the institutional racism that exists in education today.

Roseann Liu is visiting assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies and senior fellow at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility at Swarthmore College. She is writing a book on race and school funding in the United States.

 

Source: https://www.colorlines.com/

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This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Sung Yeon Choimorrow—executive director of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum—says AAPI women need to step into their power.

 

Being an Asian woman in America is complex. There are stereotypes we face by dint of being Asian: myths perpetuated about being subservient, obedient and model minorities. There are the notions others inflict on us from their own lens: nativism in the phrase “go back to China” (even when we’re American, even when our families have been in the United States for generations, even when we’re not Chinese) and sexualization by men who hit on us because they have “an Asian fetish.”

There are the typical biases, and then there are the surprising ones: as an Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) woman, much of the racism and microaggression I experience actually arises in response to moments when I exercise my voice and take up space.

Well-meaning and “open-minded” White people will say things like “you’re so articulate!” or “it’s so refreshing to see an AAPI woman who speaks her mind!” without realizing that they are reinforcing the very stereotypes they think they are bucking. These are the “compliments” I receive as an AAPI woman—backhanded compliments that serve more as insults. Added to this mix are the battles we face just as women, creating a double-bind for those of us with hyphenated identities.

This Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, it’s time for some truths about the AAPI community and about AAPI women. We are actually overwhelmingly progressive, and a key part of the women of color voting bloc. AAPI women have been at the forefront of the resistance to the Trump administration, and continue to challenge the status quo. Women still make less than men, still don’t have mandatory paid parental leave and still live in a culture that normalizes sexual harassment and rape. We fight alongside other women on these policy fronts every day, while also countering issues specific to AAPIwomen—like fighting U.S. militarism and anti-immigrant policies that have led to so many of the most damaging sexualized and exoticized stereotypes about us.

At National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), where I serve as executive director, we live by two mottos. The first is “not your model minority” and the second is “be seen, be heard, be fierce.” These mottos instantly resonate with many of the AAPIwomen I encounter because we all experience a double invisibility in America. As women, we fight to be seen as equal to men in the workplace, with regard to our own bodily autonomy and in policy spheres. As AAPI women, we fight to be seen as powerful individuals who are in no way meek, submissive or fetishized.

AAPI women experience these biases and stereotypes about our culture, our heritage, the national origin of our families and our gender, at an intersection. Perhaps the best encapsulation of what we face came the other day, as I was boarding a flight. Looking at my name on the boarding pass, a gate agent laughed and said, “I’m not even going to try and pronounce that!”

I pronounced my name for her and made her say it three times until she finally got it right. I’m sure she expected that I, an Asian-American woman, would keep my head down and let the joke pass, maybe even politely laugh along. But I wasn’t going to let this stereotypical expectation of me—and the refusal to even attempt to pronounce my name—slip by without a fight.

As the incredible actress Uzo Aduba’s mother once explained to her, if White people can learn to pronounce Dostoyevsky, they can learn to pronounce Uzoamaka. This story is yet another reminder of who people think is worth extra effort, and who is not. Who is visible, and visibly powerful, and who is not. AAPI women like me are stepping up to take back this power and stand in the spotlight. We are worth the extra effort.

It takes courage and resilience to fight invisibility despite living at the intersection of so many biases. But here’s a truth about the AAPIcommunity: our voices are loud and our fierceness transcends stereotypes. We’re here to take up space—our collective fight depends on it.

Sung Yeon Choimorrow is the executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander women and girls in the United States. Follow her on Twitter @schoimorrow.

 

Source:https://www.colorlines.com/

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Furman University to Honor First Black Student

The school voted unanimously to erect a statue in honor of Joseph Vaughn and review its mission and vision with an eye toward inclusivity.

 
 

The board of trustees for Furman University, in Greenville, South Carolina, unanimously approved recommendations made by the board’s Special Committee on Slavery and Justice to create “a statue and day of celebration to honor the late Joseph Vaughn, the university’s first African-American student,” the university said in a statement released Wednesday (May 22).

The statue of Vaughn, who enrolled at Furman in 1965, will live in a prominent place on campus and the university is working to create an annual Joseph Vaughn commemorative day and celebration. The first Black women to enroll, Lillian Brock-Flemming and Sarah Reese, will also be celebrated on campus.

The board also approved the renaming of the school’s lakeside housing area to the Clark Murphy Housing Complex, “in honor of Clark Murphy, an African-American who worked for decades as a groundskeeper at the Greenville Woman’s College, which later merged with Furman University.”

Additionally, the university pledged to review the institution’s mission, values, vision and motto with an eye toward more inclusive updates and to add plaques and markers around the campus that acknowledge the full scope of its history and the people who shaped it. The work is part of Furman’s push to examine its ties to slavery and the legacy left in its wake.

“The trustees are pleased to approve the recommendations made by the Special Committee on Slavery and Justice, which will guide Furman in fully acknowledging and sharing its history to foster a more inclusive future,” said Alec Taylor, chair of the board.

 

Source:  https://www.colorlines.com/

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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.

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*Following the premiere of “Surviving R. Kelly,” many celebs took to social media to slam the artist, including John LegendChance The RapperMeek Mill and Omarion – but fans weren’t exactly feeling his statement.

The B2K singer said he’s ready to strike all the songs that R. Kelly wrote for the group … but only AFTER they profit from performing the tracks on their upcoming Millennium Tour.

“While I know our fans would be greatly disappointed if we didn’t perform those songs on #TheMillennoumTour, after the tour I am retiring those songs from my set list,” he tweeted. “I too am raising a future queen.”

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Kelly penned the track “Bump Bump Bump” for B2K which peaked at number one on the Billboard charts for a week straight. He also wrote and produced “What a Girl Wants,” and “Girlfriend.”

The group announced a reunion tour back in December, but now many fans are wondering why they won’t retire R. Kelly’s songs before the tour ends.

“Unbelievable so you gone profit off the mans work what type of stance is that?” one person tweeted in response to Omarion.

“‘But first I’m gonna get this bag’ is basically what he’s saying,” wrote another.

“Nope! Disappointed. I was so excited to see this tour. But absolutely not supporting your ‘get money and THEN I’ll give a hell no’,” said one fan.

“This is a (expletive) joke! Make money off the songs R Kelly wrote, first, then join the movement?!?! So you sir are also part of the problem. Pick a stance and be courageous enough to stick to it,” one person wrote on Instagram.

Source Link: https://www.eurweb.com/2019/01/fans-slam-omarion-for-not-removing-r-kellys-songs-from-b2k-reunion-tour-setlist/

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*Regarding our earlier story today  about Keyshia Cole needing to finalize her divorce from Daniel Gibson before it gets dismissed, Cole is reacting.

The singer says she’s ready. Been ready … to pull the trigger. However, she says, Gibson is the problem. She claims he is deliberately making things difficult for her.

It seems she has yet to reach an agreement with her estranged husband since October 2017. A month earlier, she had filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences.

Via a post on The Shade Room, Cole notes that Gibson is requesting spousal support and also full custody of their child together. This, as far as she’s concerned, is a non-starter. Period

“I am not giving him full custody nor no damn spousal support! And I’ve asked him over and over to do so, the ball is in his court,” Cole responded.

OK, so we guess that means she is not going to finalize the divorce and will remain married to Gibson.

And your thoughts on this matter are?

Moving along … in other news regarding Madame Cole, she is basically agreeing with Master P’s statements with regard to the sex allegations against R. Kelly. And that is … hold the parents responsible, too.

in a series of tweets, she made clear that she wasn’t dismissing Kelly’s actions, but there needs to be some accountability held up against his victims’ parents as well. Her priority (at least until the child turns 18) is protecting her own, something she suggests the parents fell short of. After getting negative feedback from her comments/posts on the on IG in The Shade Room, she’s not backing down to those coming at her on Twitter, either.

Source Link:https://www.eurweb.com/2019/01/keyshia-cole-speaks-singer-tells-why-she-has-yet-to-finalize-divorce-from-booby-gibson/

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*Following the premiere of “Surviving R. Kelly,” many celebs took to social media to slam or distance themselves from the artist, including Lady Gaga John Legend, Chance The Rapper, Meek Mill, Omarion and most recently Mathew Knowles.

The former manager of Destiny’s Child says he and ex-wife Tina refused to let the girl group work with R. Kelly, as they were aware of the rumors and sexual assault allegations.

via Metro:

The 67-year-old, the father of Beyonce and Solange, told us: ‘I was there, and my former wife Tina was there. The thing with R Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing.

‘R Kelly was managed by Sony, by someone I won’t name, and at that time, they would almost force you to record with [their] artists. ‘And R Kelly wasn’t cheap – it was $75,000, plus travel costs, so we’re talking $100,000 for a song.

‘I personally rejected the song, because I didn’t think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation – this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.’

More from the publication:

However, when we asked Mathew if the rumours surrounding R Kelly played a role in his decisions from then on, he said ‘certainly, it was both of those things’.

The music manager said: ‘The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.’

A source told Metro.co.uk: “Record labels would ask R Kelly to write songs for emerging artists as a way to help them break into the industry and he made several requests for Destiny’s Child. Mathew and Tina rejected all of them because they didn’t want him anywhere near the band which is why they are one of the few acts to debut in the 90s without an R Kelly song in its official discography.”

R Kelly wrote one song for Destiny’s Child, “Stimulate Me,” which appeared on the soundtrack for the 1999 Eddie Murphy film “Life.”

However, according to the report, Kelly was not in the studio when the girls were recording with producer Jermaine Dupri. Said a source: “Mathew didn’t want it on any official Destiny’s Child’s albums so it didn’t appear.”

Source Link: https://www.eurweb.com/2019/01/mathew-knowles-never-let-destinys-child-work-alone-with-r-kelly/

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*While accepting her best supporting actress Golden Globe on Sunday night, Regina King vowed to give women in Hollywood more opportunities to share their voices.

She made clear her mission to only work on projects going forward where at least half the crew are women.

The Emmy winner has now revealed that multiple industry players, including Tyler Perry, have reached out and praised her acceptance speech and her new Hollywood goals.

“[Producer] Bert Salke has [reached out], Tyler Perry, immediately, and those are just a couple of the men,” King told ET. “I haven’t even finished going through all my congratulations emails, so I’m sure there’s a couple of others.”

She also admitted to ET that some folks tried to convince her to pump the breaks on the speech because it was too bold.

“[People have told me] that to take the risk of saying something like that and putting something on myself [like] that was too big,” King said. “I don’t feel like it is. I feel like it’s possible, and the reality is all I had to do was say it.”

OTHER NEWS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Black Twitter Slams Marvin Sapp Over Relationship with ‘Abuser’ R. Kelly

According to the report, she then compared it to her directing career, which includes helming episodes of “Southland,” “The Catch,” “Scandal,” “Being Mary Jane” and “Greenleaf.”

“All I had to do was start saying it out loud, and the amount of support I got and people that helped find workshops and programs for me to go through to hone those directing skills, it happened as soon as I said it,” she explained.

“In the next two years, and it’s going to be hard, I’m making a vow that every thing I produce…[will be] 50 percent women,” she said. “And I challenge everyone out there who is in a position of power, in all industries, I challenge you to challenge yourself and stand with us in solidarity and do the same.”

The actress can currently be seen in Barry Jenkins’ adaption of the 1970s James “If Beale Street Could Talk,” for which she has received several nominations and multiple smaller critics association awards, including in New York and Los Angeles, per PEOPLE.

Source Link: https://www.eurweb.com/2019/01/tyler-perry-reaches-out-to-regina-king-after-her-vow-to-hire-women/

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