Tag: Civil Rights and Liberties

Let the People Vote

ImageVoters waiting in a long line to vote in the 2018 midterm general election, outside a polling station located at Robious Middle School in Midlothian, Virginia. CreditMichael Reynolds/EPA, via Shutterstock The United States finally has the pro-democracy movement that it needs. Last week, ballot initiatives to improve the functioning of democracy […]

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Sessions, in Last-Minute Act, Sharply Limits Use of Consent Decrees to Curb Police Abuses

WASHINGTON — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has drastically limited the ability of federal law enforcement officials to use court-enforced agreements to overhaul local police departments accused of abuses and civil rights violations, the Justice Department announced late on Thursday. In a major last-minute act, Mr. Sessions signed a memorandum […]

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Sessions Executed the Agenda of a President Who Could Not Look Past a Betrayal

WASHINGTON — The night before he was fired, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in high spirits. He was watching the midterm election results at the Justice Department with his wife and staff members, according to two people present, and enjoying a final, welcome evening of normalcy before President Trump abruptly […]

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A Leader in the War on Poverty Opens a New Front: Pollution

Want climate news in your inbox? Sign up here for Climate Fwd:, our email newsletter. GREENSBORO, N.C. — The air in the Shiloh Baptist Church was thick with the heat of human bodies. The crowd, a mix of black and white faces, filled the pews in what was ostensibly the […]

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Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History

The poolside confrontations keep coming. This summer, a black boy was harassed by a white woman in South Carolina; a black woman was asked to provide identification by a white man in North Carolina; and a black man wearing socks in the water had the police called on him by a white manager of an […]

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Israel Doesn’t Want to Be My State

“It’s a little complicated,” I tried to explain. And it really was complicated to explain the law that Israel’s Parliament passed earlier this month without using terms like “racial segregation,” “discrimination” and “supremacy.” How was I going to explain to a 12-year-old that he is a citizen of a state that holds that he is […]

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Uber Gains Civil Rights Allies Against New York’s Proposed Freeze: ‘It’s a Racial Issue’

As president of the New York Urban League, Arva Rice often relies on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft to reach her home in Harlem after late-night events. “I have been passed up by yellow taxis on numerous occasions,” explained Ms. Rice, who is black. “When you live in Harlem or Bed-Stuy, getting home […]

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Microsoft Urges Congress to Regulate Use of Facial Recognition

Amid a growing call for regulations to limit the use of facial recognition technology, Microsoft on Friday became the first tech giant to join the chorus. In a lengthy blog post about the potential uses and abuses of facial recognition, Bradford L. Smith, the company’s president, compared the technology to products like medicines and cars […]

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Alan Dershowitz Is Enjoying This

CHILMARK, Mass. — This is what McCarthyism evidently looks like on Martha’s Vineyard. Alan Dershowitz is holding court on the front porch of the Chilmark General Store, talking to old friends and complete strangers, nearly all of whom stop to tell him, between sips of their iced coffee, to keep doing what he’s doing. A […]

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For Hope in Trump’s America, I Read Sojourner Truth

It took a war, radicals, lawbreakers, advocates who risked their lives and careers, a shift in power, economic opportunity, profoundly oppressive conditions —— but things changed. Six years ago I participated in the Occupy movement, during which a crossracial coalition of people from New York to Honolulu protested income inequality, gentrification, police brutality and unjust […]

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Trump Administration Reverses Obama on Affirmative Action

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will encourage the nation’s school superintendents and college presidents to adopt race-blind admissions standards, abandoning an Obama administration policy that called on universities to consider race as a factor in diversifying their campuses, Trump administration officials said. The reversal would restore the policy set during President George W. Bush’s administration, […]

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Op-Ed Columnist: The Red Hen and the Resistance

But to mitigate the effects of backlash, an effective protest politics also needs to make sure the acts of protest are clearly linked to the evil being protesting, and that they set up scenarios where the person being protested, not the protester, comes out looking bad. Thus in the civil rights era, the sites of […]

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Found in a Courthouse Vault: A Paper Trail for Civil Rights History

Advertisement With the arrest of Rosa Parks in 1955, the Montgomery bus boycott electrified the struggle against segregation. It was all recorded in appeals bonds, court motions and $10 fines. Tiffany B. McCord, the Montgomery County circuit clerk, viewed records stored in the courthouse basement.CreditAudra Melton for The New York Times June 26, 2018 MONTGOMERY, […]

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A Moment to Savor: A Saudi Woman Rejoices as Driving Ban Ends

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — While Saudi Arabia counted down the hours until midnight for the ban on women driving to be lifted, Hessah Alajaji ran out of patience. She put on some lipstick, jumped in the driver’s seat of her parents’ Lexus, and at 9:10 p.m. drove out for dinner. “I’m a bit naughty,” she […]

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Dick Leitsch, Whose ‘Sip-In’ Was a Gay Rights Milestone, Dies at 83

At a time when many gay men concealed their sexual identities, Mr. Leitsch was open about his. As Mattachine’s president from 1965 to 1969 and then as executive director, he faced television cameras, briefed reporters and lectured widely, never worrying about his jobs as a bartender, waiter and journalist for gay publications. One Leitsch article […]

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Dorothy Cotton, Rights Champion and Close Aide to King, Dies at 88

Dorothy Cotton, a confidante of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was the only woman in his inner circle of aides, marched in perilous civil rights demonstrations and was a driving force in getting Southern black people to vote, died on June 10 at a retirement home in Ithaca, N.Y. She was 88. […]

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Op-Ed Columnist: A Present-Day Bull Connor

Trump already knows these cases, but rather than show any sympathy for the dead, he simply cheers for more police, more police pressure, and more police brutality. During the campaign, Trump traveled to Sanford, Fla., where Trayvon Martin had been killed by George Zimmerman. Trump never mentioned Martin, but said: “African-Americans are living in hell […]

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In Newark, Police Cameras, and the Internet, Watch You

Mr. Sinha, of the civil liberties union, said the only comparable video feeds with such unlimited access were those showing traffic or beach conditions. “This is expansive,” he said of the Newark program, “and its stated purpose is to have people snitch on one another.” Another Set of Eyes Officials say the cameras do not […]

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Protecting Privacy Is a Civil Rights Issue

Among the few available tools for vulnerable groups are the notices requiring personal consent before a company collects your sensitive data, which many have criticized as ineffective. It’s true that click-through consent screens, alone, are not enough to protect your privacy. But for Black Lives Matter protesters, victims of domestic violence and blue-collar retirees, the […]

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4 Years After Eric Garner’s Death, Secrecy Law on Police Discipline Remains Unchanged

But last month, the department’s top legal official said in a letter that the statute precluded the department from fully complying — a position that was abruptly reversed by Commissioner O’Neill, who has framed his department’s use of the law as an effort to balance transparency and safety. “There are people out here that are […]

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