Bush Civil Rights Hiring

The Boston Globe recently published this important article on the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department.

An excerpt  . . . .

Civil rights hiring shifted in Bush era
Conservative leanings stressed

By Charlie Savage, Globe Staff  |  July 23, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe. . . .

Now, hiring is closely overseen by Bush administration political appointees to Justice, effectively turning hundreds of career jobs into politically appointed positions. . . .

At the same time, the kinds of cases the Civil Rights Division is bringing have undergone a shift. The division is bringing fewer voting rights and employment cases involving systematic discrimination against African-Americans, and more alleging reverse discrimination against whites and religious discrimination against Christians. . . .

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Washington: ballot issue for repeal of gay rights law

From SeattlePI: Signatures filed to repeal Washington gay rights law

Two weeks ago, Eyman reported that volunteers had gathered 30,755 signatures, a far cry from the 112,440 needed by Tuesday's deadline to get the measure on the ballot this fall.

Despite the sluggish response at first, Eyman had been counting on a surge last week following "Referendum Sunday" in which a network of evangelical churches decried the gay-rights law during services, then passed out petitions.

If Eyman has gathered enough signatures, Referendum 65 would appear on the November ballot and Washington voters would approve or reject the law passed this year by the Legislature that outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and lending.

Nice to see the religious right can be counted on to deliver in a crunch.

More after the break.

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Why We Need Immigrants

...Over the weekend we saw hundreds of thousands of immigrants, documented and not, marching in the streets. Their passion, their utter belief in their inalienable rights as humans was breathtaking. What was even more astonishing was their ability to join together, en masse, to organize themselves and speak truth to power. When is the last time we saw anything like that in this country? The Civil Rights Movement. Vietnam? Yes, but Vietnam War protesters were largely confined to colleges and universities...

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god told me to hate you

cross-posted at skippy as well as a literal cornucopia of other community blogs.

one of the more virulent and despicable manifestations of hardly-ever-right wing bigotry comes out in the fundamentalist insistence that it's not only all right to despise homosexuals, but it's downright holy to do so.

the latest case in point: a young woman is suing for her right to be intolerant. the latimes:

ruth malhotra went to court last month for the right to be intolerant.

malhotra says her christian faith compels her to speak out against homosexuality. but the georgia institute of technology, where she's a senior, bans speech that puts down others because of their sexual orientation.

malhotra sees that as an unacceptable infringement on her right to religious expression. so she's demanding that georgia tech revoke its tolerance policy.

more after the jump:

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An African-American View on the Immigration Debate

Over the next few months we're going to try and bring in guest-bloggers that talk about areas of politics we know little about. Tom will be guest-posting at MyDD for a week or so on African-American politics. Here's his bio: Tom Grayman is a pollster, the publisher of the political website The Intelligence Squad, and is author of the book Ghosts of Florida: Making Elections Fair for Blacks.

So the GOP has decided to drop the felonization of undocumented immigrants from its immigration reform idea stew. I take that as a sign of two things:

1. The GOP is in disarray.
2. Taking to the streets can still make a difference.

If only African-Americans still believed in the power of protest to the same extent (I'll address that matter in another post).

What I'd like to do here and now is not so much discuss the GOP's retreat, as to bring an African-American perspective into the broader immigration debate.

Research has strongly suggested that African-Americans - specifically the too-large class of under-skilled African-Americans - suffer from illegal immigration to a highly disproportionate degree. If one of the biggest problems with illegal immigration is that it lowers wages for unskilled work - and even skilled labor - to a level below what the American standard of living requires, it should be blacks (as well as Puerto Ricans and Latino permanent US residents) who are crying out the loudest against illegal immigrants.

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