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civil rights



  • Thirty Years after Mount Pleasant Erupted, a Push for Better Treatment Persists

    by Mike Amezcua

    Central American refugees living in Washington's Mount Pleasant neighborhood had fled US-backed repression but found harsh treatment by immigration authorities and local police. In 1991 frustration erupted. Today, the unrest still raises questions about citizenship and belonging. 



  • What History Can Teach Banks About Making Change

    by Destin Jenkins

    "Celebrating Juneteenth and recruiting more Black bankers is one thing. It is quite another for financial firms to use their unique power to actively undermine the systems that perpetuate racial inequality."



  • Ramsey Clark, Attorney General and Rebel With a Cause, Dies at 93

    Ramsey Clark's tenure as Attorney General saw the aggressive enforcement of civil rights law; his liberalism strained his relationship with Lyndon Johnson, who blamed Clark in part for energizing the "silent majority" that led Richard Nixon to victory. He continued in private life to represent unpopular defendants and oppose American militarism.



  • “The Greatest Purveyor of Violence in the World”

    by Liz Theoharis

    Martin Luther King's 1967 Riverside Church address pointed out that the cause nonviolent civil rights struggle required him to challenge the US government to end militarism. Today, the pandemic shows that an ethos of nonviolence must include an active approach to end suffering through global cooperation. 


  • What Comes Next?

    by Stephanie Hinnershitz

    In 1979, Asian American leaders testified to Congress about problems of discrimination, opportunity and hostility facing their communities. The official response largely enshrined a "model minority" myth that obscured ongoing problems behind a celebratory narrative of inclusion. Waves of anti-Asian violence in the 1980s belied that story, and warn us not to minimize the climate of hostility Asian Americans face today.



  • Justice for the Negro Leagues Will Mean More Than Just Stats

    Major League Baseball will incorporate player records from various Negro League competitions in its official statistics. Black players denied the chance to play in the segregated Major Leagues will now be listed among the official all-time greats, but will this move actually raise awareness of the political and social forces that kept the game segregated?



  • Interview: A Rich Man's War, A Poor Man's Fight

    Historian Keri Leigh Merritt, interviewed about the history of labor organizing in the South, links the history of Southern policing to the maintenance of exploitative labor practices after the Civil War and explains how the fight to unionize Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama facility extends the politics of the Civil Rights Movement.


  • Incognegro, Part II: How New York Law Enforcement Worked to Destroy Core

    by L.E.J. Rachell

    Ray Wood's memoir alleges that as a rookie NYPD detective he was coerced to act as an agent provocateur to convince members of New York's Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) chapters to commit crimes or other acts that would discredit and destroy the movement. The NYPD and FBI could clear the air by releasing their files on infiltration of Black-led organizations. 



  • The Filibuster’s Ugly History and Why It Must Be Scrapped

    by Sean Wilentz

    Democrats fear what a Republican Senate might do without the filibuster; they should fear what Republican state legislatures will do unless they take away the tool of obstruction standing in the way of legislation to protect voting rights. 



  • For 100 Years, the Filibuster has been Used to Deny Black Rights

    by John Fabian Witt and Magdalene Zier

    The filibuster is often associated with Southern conservatives' opposition to civil rights legislation, but it's important to note that the modern use of the tactic emerged to defeat the 1920 Dyer anti-lynching bill – the NAACP called the filibuster a "license to mobs to lynch unmolested." 



  • One Old Way of Keeping Black People From Voting Still Works

    by Jamelle Bouie

    The Senate filibuster thwarted a bill for federal supervison and certification of state elections, allowing Mississippi to ratify a white supremacist state constitution by suppressing  the black vote.