Posts tagged civil rights

Posted 1 year ago

I love the retro styling of the badge.  :)


On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold women’s reproductive rights in the case of Roe v. Wade.

Reblog if you think a woman and her doctor — not politicians — should make the informed decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy.

Posted 1 year ago


To mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Guttmacher Institute wants to make sure everyone knows the facts.

The state of our states.

Posted 1 year ago

Slavery in the US is history, but rather recent history.  


This photograph shows 88-year-old Mrs. Sally Fickland, a former slave, looking at the Emancipation Proclamation in 1947.

She would have been 3 years old when Lincoln signed the proclamation in 1862.

Posted 2 years ago

BBC NEWS - Colombia acid victims seek justice as attacks spread

A competition Columbia does not want to win:

"Since the year began, there have been more than 100 cases. There are women burned with acid across the country." By comparison, it is estimated that more than 150 women have acid thrown on them every year in Pakistan, whose population is nearly four times that of Colombia.

Posted 2 years ago

Woman legislator in Michigan barred from future debates for using the word "vagina" in abortion debate - Boing Boing

Yes, mentioning a relevant part of human anatomy is grounds for being unable to participate in unrelated debates on other bills in Michigan.

Posted 2 years ago
Police will have powers to enter private homes and seize posters, and will be able to stop people carrying non-sponsor items to sporting events.
Posted 2 years ago

Would the Last Civil Right in America Please Remember to Close the Door on Its Way Out? - Lowering the Bar

A deeply disturbing list of “things that government officials could do to an American citizen and still claim later that they didn’t know they were ‘torturing’ that citizen,” according to a recent federal court decision.


Posted 2 years ago

Xinjiang (BBC territory profile)

It’s 2012, and it’s interesting in an unfortunate way that so many people around the world still have no self-determination, no way to choose their government or cultural affiliations.  While discussing Tibet with a friend, I pointed out that Tibet isn’t alone in being oppressed by China: The Uighurs aren’t doing so well, either.

He said, ‘the who?’

The Uighurs are a group of Turkic-speaking Muslims living in a region between China, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia.  Over time, their region has been controlled by Turkic groups, Mongols, Chinese, and Russians.   China has controlled it since my parents were young, and have been doing something we used to call ‘colonizing,’ but which now has updated names like ‘developing.’

Stories from the area pop up in the international news now and then. I think I started noticing more stories in 2009 when there was “unrest.” China and the Uighurs (, July 8, 2009) caught my eye in 2009, when the Chinese government tried to blame the unrest on Rebiya Kadeer, a mother of 11 who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution for engaging in commerce, and was later imprisoned for sending articles about the situation of Uighurs to her husband in the U.S.  (She noted that she was in the same situation as the Dalai Lama, always being blamed…) In 2010 I read about  activists going to jail for writing Uighur websites, and a journalist getting a 15 year term for speaking to foreign journalists (, July 30 2010)… Since then, there are periodic stories about “unrest,” and various accusations by Chinese state media of people who disagree with them being “terrorists.”  It’s never clear what’s really going on, since the Chinese state media is not credible.

But here’s the thing: you never heard about any of these people prior to the “unrest,” did you?  And when you read about the folks in other areas now controlled by China (or Russia, or any number of well armed powers), you never really hear about what they want, because they are under the thumb of someone can suppress it freely. 

Human rights are only available to people living in countries where the governments are inclined to acknowledge those rights, or where pressure can be brought to bear to improve people’s plight somewhat: human rights are nowhere near universal.  Not even now.  Not even close.

Posted 2 years ago

With Hitler later brazenly making it clear that no Jewish athletes would be part of the German team, the US seriously considered boycotting the event. Only disingenuous campaigning by Brundage – who having cosied up to the Führer, contended that each nation had the right to pick whoever they wanted, and that the IOC should not get involved in a piffling “Jew-Nazi altercation” – ensured the States agreed to send over a team. Even then, Brundage could not find the strength to keep out of it: during the Games, he put pressure on the US coaches to remove two Jewish runners from the 4x100m team, ensuring Hitler would not be embarrassed should they win.

Pleasingly, the Games proved to be a thundering PR disaster for Hitler, with Brundage inadvertently doing his bit to kibosh Adolf’s gig. One of the men ordered to replace his Jewish team-mates in the US 4x100m team was Jesse Owens; his gold in that event would be one of four meaty slaps in Hitler’s supposedly superior Aryan face.

The Joy of Six: sporting events that should never have been held | Scott Murray | Sport | The Guardian

With the Bahrain Grand Prix going forward while Bahrain’s doctors and civil rights activists languish in jail, the Guadian saw fit to revisit other sporting events taking place in… let’s just say non-ideal human rights host countries.  This story of unintended consequences is a complete delight!  (The others are also quite interesting - go have a read.)

Posted 2 years ago

By contrast, China’s leaders believe they are bringing development and modernisation to backward Tibetan areas. “The Tibetans here earn more than I do,” said one senior Jiuzhaigou official, surnamed Zhou.

His claim might be true, but Mr Zhou did not want the BBC checking it out by actually speaking to any Tibetans. We were followed, and once more detained for questioning.

BBC News - China lock-down seals off Tibetan unrest (, February 9, 2012).  I’m glad that the English-language media I read has more frequently been acknowledging the media censorship it has to contend with in areas controlled by China, rather than just quoting China’s media spokesmen, as was more common just a few years ago.  

The popular recent custom of presenting two conflicting opinions, one from people who had fled after years of torture, being “balanced” with an official statement that everything is FINE, and pretending that is journalism was not credible!

The reporter of this piece reports on several incidents, including one that included being threatened by officials, and observes that this level of censorship belies public statements about the government’s alleged successes, which no one is permitted to actually see.  This kind of reporting, even when the journalists are foiled in their efforts to investigate conditions in specific regions, is highly informative in its own right.