If we are One Nation, then why is racial profiling still such an issue?

From the Restore Fairness blog-

When Huda Alasali tried to board the ferry to Governor’s Island with her children and a friend last Saturday, a New York Waterways employee told her that she could not get on the ferry unless she removed some of her religious attire. She was told that removing her hijab was in compliance with regulations and security reasons, yet these were not rules listed on the dock. New York Waterways later confirmed that they have no rules against ethnic and religious attire. Huda spoke to CBS about her ordeal-

“I said to him, if you have a metal detector, you can check our bags. You can check us. We don’t have nothing with us…He said, No you cannot go on the ferry with all that clothes. Take it off….Truly I felt like, you know what? He thinks that we are terrorists.”

When Huda and other passengers protested and the ferry’s captain got involved, the crew member relented and Huda, her friend and their children did eventually get to Governor’s Island. The damage had been done, however. Even though the authorities apologized and assured Huda that the employee in question has been suspended, she is planning on filing a lawsuit for discrimination. “I don’t want money…I’m looking for respect,” she told CBS news.

In light of increasing incidents of discrimination such as this one, and that of a New York taxi driver bring stabbed by a customer after saying that he was Muslim, a new 11 minute documentary challenging Americans to “Face the Truth” on race in America becomes more relevant than ever. The documentary accompanies a report by the Rights Working Group examines the devastating impact of religious intolerance and racial profiling.

The documentary and report were screened at a Congressional hearing in D.C. yesterday, attended by advocates, police chiefs, community organizers and legislators, and demonstrated how the humiliating practice of racial profiling does little to make us safer. They urge Congress to pass the End Racial Profiling Act (ERPA).

As the momentum for fair immigration and racial justice grows, this Saturday, October 2, exactly one month before Election Day, more than 100,000 people will gather in Washington, D.C. for One Nation Working Together. The march represents a rapidly growing movement across the United States with more than 170 human rights, civil rights, environmental, labor, peace, youth and faith-based organizations joining with the Latino community to stand up for what America believes in and to mobilize voters for this November.

The march comes on the heels of a comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced in the Senate by Senator Menendez (D-NJ). The bill, co-sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), is a strong workable bill to move the legislative process forward. For the senators who have introduced it, it is a concrete proposal that shows there is no stopping the demand for comprehesnsive immigration reform as a solution to our broken immigration system. Measures include strengthening border security, smart interior enforcement and requiring the estimated undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. to register with the government, pay their taxes, learn English, pay a fine, pass a background check and wait in line for permanent residence.

It’s time for action. As the elections move nearer, there will be political manoeuvrings no doubt, but it is important to stand by beliefs of whats important in America – fairness and justice. Take action now.

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org




More Details on the Hawaii Civil Unions Vote

The Democratic sponsor of Hawaii’s civil unions may face a tougher than normal re-election fight in the wake of the April 29th vote to grant gays and lesbians the right to join civil unions. Still, State Rep. Blake Oshiro was heartened by the outcome:

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After Prop H8: Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats)

In a typically rare occasion, I had to cross "The Orange Curtain" last weekend to attend two major LGBT civil rights events in Los Angeles, Equality Summit and Camp Courage. And even though I hardly got any sleep Saturday night, I'm glad I did both. One helped me understand what went wrong with the No on H8 campaign in California last year, while the other helped me realize what needs to be done to make it right in 2009 and 2010.

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Remember the Ladies

"In the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors."ABIGAIL ADAMS TO JOHN ADAMS, MARCH 31, 1776

One of the most important pieces of legislation we'll soon be acting on in Congress is a national economic recovery package. A large portion of the new federal spending--perhaps  as much as 20 percent--will be focused on infrastructure construction, including transportation and school projects, energy efficiency improvements, and green economy investments such as smart grid expansions.

While President-Elect Obama is to be applauded for proposing a recovery plan that focuses on a wide number of areas, including education and healthcare,  the proposed infrastructure spending in the plan overwhelmingly benefits men and won't be of much help to unemployed women. In 2007, only 9.4 percent of the 11.9 million workers in the construction industry were female and in major infrastructure occupations with an employment base of 100,000 jobs, women held only about 3.9 percent of jobs. Without efforts to increase workforce diversity, this could lead to a massive shift of hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth from women to men.

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Well-Behaved Queers Never Make History

(Proudly cross-posted at C4O Democrats)

When I recently read about this latest wave of Obama supporters telling LGBT people to "STFU" over homophobic minister Rick Warren delivering the President-Elect's inaugural invocation, I became disturbed. Why must queer pepple simply shut up & act like bigotry is OK if it's done in a "unifying" way?

But then, I realized something. It's not enough for us to keep complaining about something that may or may not change. No, instead we need to get up & speak out. We must be loud, be proud, and raise some holy hell until we win our civil rights.

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