civil rights

We honor Civil Rights martyrs by continuing the struggle in our time.

This weekend, as we reflect on the 50th anniversary of the fatal bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, we are tasked to look at our own times and our own role in the struggle to preserve the constitutionally guaranteed Civil Rights of all Americans.

On Sept. 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church, killing Addie Mae Collins, 14, Denise McNair, 11, Carole Robertson, 14, and Cynthia Wesley, 14. The tragic bombing was part of systematic campaign of domestic terrorism carried out by The Klan and other hate groups against black citizens and Civil Rights activists in an attempt to slow the progress being made on behalf of justice and equality.

Happy Women's Equality Day!

Happy Women's Equality Day!

NC Women United: 93 years ago today, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution became official, giving women the right to vote (in theory, if not always in practice). That same year saw the formation of the League of Women Voters of the U.S., organized to help women exercise their newly won right.

UNC-TV Interview: Rights & Gender

UNC-TV Interview: Rights & Gender -

Women and girls advocates touch on clash between gender equality and civil rights.

Where: UNC-TV Public TV

Program: Black Issues Forum

When: Monday, August 26th, 5-5:30pm

OR - Online Viewing at Time Convenient for You: Rights & Gender

View all Segments at: http://video.unctv.org/program/black-issues-forum/

Guests: Beth Dehghan (President & Founder WomenNC)
Adrienne Witherspoon (life-long human rights activist)
Dr. Valerie Ann Johnson (Bennett College)

'Not ready for prime time:' Greensboro paper pans H589

Editorial on the omnibus elections law bill (H589) from the Greensboro News Record:

Gov. Pat McCrory had the right idea when he decided not to hold a public ceremony while signing the state’s sweeping — and repressive — new voting changes into law. There was no sense in calling more attention to this legislative travesty that makes it harder for North Carolinians to vote.

Instead, the governor put out a limp, 96-second video that was about as misleading as last fall’s campaign ads in which he pledged to put politics aside and work for all of North Carolina. On YouTube, McCrory’s latest video is titled “Governor McCrory Signs Popular Voter ID into Law.” A more accurate title might be “Governor Ignores Most of New Law’s Meanest Provisions and Is Promptly Sued.”

MLK Day video

Losing King's hard-fought victories

It's easier to lose civil rights than than to gain them back:

And yet today, in the country and in North Carolina, we see evidence that there is a retreat from progress. Voter I.D. laws are in part an attempt to suppress the votes of the poor and the elderly, two groups likely to vote for more moderate Democrats. School vouchers, using public money to allow people to send their kids to private schools, would drain the public schools of resources and likely hurt poor and minority families who count on public education to fulfill their dreams for their children.

What we're seeing today is evidence, if people were willing to look at it, that the Civil Rights Act and other corrective measures were necessary. And moving backwards on these issues will make our country (and our state) a more dim beacon for freedom for the rest of the world to look at.

Should my family spend $ in NC for my 50th birthday fete next year w/anti-gay Amendment One in place?

Note to North Carolina elected officials and its tourism industry - this question is for you as well. Hit me up with your best case explaining why my birthday should be celebrated here on Facebook or pam at firedoglake dot com and I'll be happy to share your perspective with readers.


It's a relevant question that I'd like to hear your thoughts on because many thoughtful people here in North Carolina, who pay taxes to a state government that put the anti-gay measure on the ballot that passed this May, are wondering how they should spend their discretionary dollars and what they should tell equality-minded friends and relatives to do.

Progressives: now is time to seize on political progress (as messy as it can be) and build a larger coalition

After President Obama's declaration of support for marriage equality for gay couples, we should pick up on this political progress and RUN with it. Don't let our disappointments hold us back, and don't let the election on Tuesday splinter our potentially larger coalitions--which would benefit all our causes including gay rights.

Celebrating a sad anniversary: MLK's assassination

I was a month away from graduating from high school in April 1968. What a lousy year that was. Making it unforgettable are memories of race riots, protests against the Vietnam war, and two assassinations. The first was in Memphis when MLK was shot. The second in June when Sen. Kennedy was shot.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was 39 years old when he died April 4th leading a protest for garbage workers.

From the History Channel website:

What I learned at my arrest at Troy Davis' execution

By Stephen Dear, cross-posted from Facing South. Originally posted at Huffington Post.

A few minutes before Troy Davis was scheduled to be poisoned to death in Jackson, Ga., on Sept. 24, I made the sign of the cross, took a deep breath and, with my friend Kurt, calmly stopped traffic and walked across the street into a phalanx of heavily armed police and SWAT officers at the gates of the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison. We were surrounded.

"I am here to stop the execution of Troy Davis," I said.

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