Just days ahead of a midterm election they hope will deliver them a majority, House Democrats are promising to prioritize anti-discrimination legislation that would for the first time establish widespread equal rights protections for LGBTQ individuals.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently said she would introduce the Equality Act as one of her first orders of business if Democrats retake the House in November. Pelosi made the announcement at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, telling the crowd the issue of equal rights for the LGBTQ community is “personal.”
The 1964 Civil Rights Act already bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. The Equality Act, if passed, would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the law and expand those protections beyond the workplace. It would outlaw gender discrimination in places like restaurants and retail shops, in seeking housing, using health care and social services, applying for a loan or participating in the jury selection process.
About 20 states and the District of Columbia currently have local gender and sex non-discrimination laws on the books.
The House bill has 198 co-sponsors, including two Republicans. But no Senate Republicans have signed on, and social conservatives oppose the legislation. And even if the bill cleared Congress, it would still have to be signed by President Donald Trump, who has aligned himself closely with religious conservatives.
Still, Democrats plan to move forward with the bill if they win the House majority, teeing up a test of the GOP’s willingness to block it.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the legislation will be given a low bill number, meaning it would be among the first pieces of legislation to be introduced. Hammill described such a designation as “a place of honor.”
The Equality Act is a far-reaching piece of legislation, decades in the works, that would safeguard the LGBTQ community against discrimination and bias. It was introduced in both chambers of Congress in 2015, where it died in committee, and reintroduced in 2017, but has not been voted on.
“This is a very simple proposition,” said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., the lead sponsor of the bill in the House.
“We have a long history in our country of prohibiting discrimination and promoting equality. It’s the founding principle of our country, and I believe the vast majority of people in our country think discrimination is wrong. In many ways Congress has to catch up to where the American people are.”
A narrower bill to bar gender discrimination in the workplace, called the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, passed the Senate in 2013 with 64 votes, including 10 Republicans. But then-House Speaker John Boehner, a vocal opponent, opted not to bring it to a floor vote.
In accordance with our University of St. Thomas mission of advancing the common good and convictions of dignity and diversity, we seek to create and sustain a diverse, equitable and inclusive community. As such, the university is committed to this Action Plan to Combat Racism. The action plan will be layered to reach faculty, staff and students. Some actions will be implemented as soon as possible, with current students in mind. Other actions will begin now, with a longer timeline.
We will continually build on this list of actions and incorporate additional ideas from students and our community in the days and weeks to come. The implementation details for many of these actions require further work, and we will do this together.
The current action steps include, but are not limited to:
CAMPUSWIDE MEETING: We will hold a campuswide conversation on Oct. 31 that marks the beginning of our collective commitment to a new action plan to combat racism at St. Thomas. The event will have educational and healing components and a commitment to action.
CONVERSATIONS IN THE CLASSROOM: We will ask faculty to encourage direct and culturally-sensitive conversations in the classroom that acknowledge the Brady Hall incident and provide an opportunity for conversation. We will provide additional training and communications tools for faculty to help them with these conversations.
LAUNCH ANTI-HATE CAMPAIGN: We will prominently, visibly, unabashedly and on an on-going basis display symbols and messages throughout our campus that hate is not welcome here.
TRAUMA RESOURCES: We are committed to providing trauma resources for students and others on campus, with a particular focus on our population of color. As a first step, we will increase the diversity of our counseling staff.
CAMPUSWIDE ANTI-BIAS TRAINING: By the end of the academic year, every St. Thomas student, staff and faculty will take part in anti-bias training. This will include bystander training to broaden the number of allies on campus.
BIAS INCIDENT AND HATE CRIME REPORTING: We will educate our community about Minnesota’s hate crime laws so all better understand how hate crimes are investigated, prosecuted and penalized. We will encourage students, faculty and staff to report hate crimes and bias incidents and provide clear guidance for and ease of reporting on our website. In addition, the university will be transparent regarding reports of bias-motivated incidents in the residence halls, including action steps and response.
IMPROVE CAMPUS CLIMATE IN RESIDENCE HALLS: Residence Life will work closely with senior leadership to provide learning opportunities to residential students to improve climate and safety in the residence halls.
CAMPUS EXTERNAL ASSESSMENT: We will contract with an external group to comprehensively assess and make recommendations about 1.) our campus climate; 2.) student outcomes related to diversity, equity, and success (e.g., graduation/success and retention rates); and 3.) employee outcomes related to diversity and equity (compensation and retention rates).
I have a question for white people.
I will preface it with an excerpt from a recent email sent by a reader named James. He wrote: “It is the blacks who are by far the most racist of all people as they can’t seem to simply forget their damn color and move on with life, get more education and skills, manage their money, stay married, stay out of crime and live a good life.”
I share this email not because it’s surprising, but, rather, because it’s common. Indeed, it’s a rare day when I don’t get three just like it before lunch.
Which brings me to the aforementioned question for white people — or at least, for white people who, like James, fret about African-American bigotry. The question is this:
How, precisely, does all this “black racism” impact your life?
Does it cause police to be called out while you are barbecuing in a park, swimming in a public pool, smoking in a parking garage, sitting in a coffee shop or otherwise minding your own business?
Does it cause politicians to close polling places in your neighborhood, or pass Photo ID laws demanding forms of identification you literally cannot get, in order to suppress your vote?
Does it impact your health? (“African Americans are routinely under-treated for their pain compared with whites, according to research.” — Washington Post, April 4, 2016.)
Your wealth? (“According to a new study … median Black and Latino households will lose the little relative wealth they have by about the time people of color form a majority of households in the U.S. By 2053, Black households will have a median wealth of zero.” — Forbes, Sept. 11, 2017.)
Your housing? (“A half-century after the Fair Housing Act became a civil-rights landmark, multiple studies show housing in America is nearly as segregated as it was when LBJ enacted a law designed to eliminate it.” — U.S. News and World Report, April 20, 2018.)
Your children? (“Racial bias against black students begins long before they get to their teens — it starts in preschool, according to a study released today from the Yale Child Study Center.” — U.S. News and World Report, Sept. 28, 2016.)
The Anti-Racism Network of SA (Arnsa) on November 1 and 2 comes at an important time – when we’re seeing distinct shifts globally towards right wing, fascist thinking. We are living in an increasingly polarised world, with policies and practices that are often framed by sentiment that is anti-immigration, anti-Black, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic. This encroaching narrow conservatism is intersectional, negatively affecting the most vulnerable in society.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly four years ago, anti-apartheid struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada said that “we can safely assume that we might be at a crossroads with regard to the resurgence of global racism”.
Since then, we’ve seen Donald Trump’s ascendance and the emergence of right-wing political parties across Europe. In the developing world, we’ve seen the troubling emergence of Hindu nationalism, while in Brazil we’re witnessing the growing popularity of the right-wing.
In South Africa, not only have we had repeated xenophobic attacks, but we now have the African Basic Movement, whose core mandate is to get rid of foreigners. We have written to the Independent Electoral Commission, calling for the party’s deregistration.
We also have examples of how narrow interest groups have gained recognition and support. People are increasingly being mobilised around ethnic, tribal or racial identity in a bid to secure resources or government services. Others have established links abroad, as with AfriForum’s recent lobbying expedition to Washington.
READ: Real Racism
Beyond the broader global context, there is the day-to-day lived experience of entrenched structural racism and personal racism. We have had our fair share of everything from school policy discrimination to the racist vitriol of various individuals.
These local and international examples point to several trends: a growing expression of overt racism without shame or fear for the consequences; leadership positions being won on populist, nationalist rhetoric; the use of electoral or other platforms to legitimise racist policies or narratives; and the emergence of organised right wing movements that are increasingly interconnected.
When Kathrada delivered his UN speech, he called for the “Greenpeace of anti-racism” – for progressive organisations globally to present the alternative, the counter-narrative to the emerging global right. To do this, local formations dedicated to fighting racism will be required to organise themselves into a national coalition. This is essentially the base that Arnsa aims to build.
National coalitions will have to develop links with similar organisations globally. Arnsa has set up links with the European Network Against Racism and other organisations, but these relationships need to be strengthened and extended to a broader international network. In a grassroots way, irrespective of its size, an organisation can play an important role in building a united front against the growing threat of globally coordinated racism.
How to Challenge Racism in College Admissions
Challenge Racism in College Admissions
Colleges and universities in the United States have long prioritized race over academic fit in admissions decisions in order to achieve “student-body diversity.”
According to a 1978 U.S. Supreme Court decision, this practice—known as affirmative action—is legal, so long as race is only one of many considerations.
1 In essence, this ruling outlawed racial quotas (i.e., reserving a specific number of seats for particular minorities).
But allows institutions to give minorities the equivalent of bonus points for being minorities.
Although the justices attempted to prevent the possibility that a candidate could be denied admission for not being a minority.
Spots are limited—so bonus points for one candidate could mean another of higher merit is not accepted.
In the 1978 Supreme Court decision, Harvard College was cited as an exemplar of affirmative action.
Not only does Harvard—the world’s most prestigious institution of higher education—continue its modus operandi of favoring minorities in admissions decisions, but it does so explicitly as a matter of official policy.
It is, ironic, therefore, that the college is in court this week, being sued for allegedly discriminating against minorities, specifically Asians.
Cape Town – Chase the DA away. When they knock at your door to campaign for next year’s elections, chase the DA away because they are racist, focused only on advancing white people.
So said Atlantis councillor Greg Bernado who, along with chief whip Shaun August and mayco members Siyabulela Mamkeli, Suzette Little and Thulani van der Stemela, resigned from the DA on Thursday.
The five party members resigned shortly after executive mayor Patricia de Lille had addressed a full council sitting at the Civic Centre.
They cited racism and victimisation by the party’s higher echelon as one of the main reasons for their departure.
“I would like to tell communities: they (DA) are busy with their campaigns. When they come to your door, chase them away. They are a bunch of liars, they are a bunch of deceivers,” Bernado said.
De Lille said she had suffered vicious attacks for over a year in a council that was hell-bent on smearing her name.
Two Bowmans reports probing De Lille had contradictory findings, she said, in that in one report into corruption and maladministration in the City of Cape Town, she is reportedly found to be complicit in irregularities.
The second report, however, absolved her, De Lille said.
De Lille also gave those who accused her of using City money to renovate her home a chance to publicly apologize.
Failing that, she would take legal action against them, De Lille said.
August took to social media shortly after his resignation to explain his reasons.
“I can no longer support a racist regime who continue to undermine my fight for non-racialism and equality. I can no longer serve a party that claims a particular set of values but acts contrary to those values. I can no longer serve a party that is inconsistent with the application of rules, where some are above them. I will continue to serve the people of South Africa in any capacity and will endeavour to do so with integrity and the principles that will put our citizens before us as politicians,” August said.
When asked about whether they were concerned about how the exodus could negatively affect the party, provincial leader Bonginkosi Madikizela said: “It is concerning because you want to grow and not lose people. We would have loved to retain these members, but they’ve taken a decision to leave, which means we must focus on two very important things, service delivery and preparing for the elections next year.”
He added that it was not “something new for people to break away”.
The same people “who are crying foul can be accused of the very same allegations they are making”, Madikizela said.
He said the party was taking a “strong stance” to get to the bottom of the allegations.
While the vacancies of the five councillors were now available, DA Cape Metro chairperson Grant Twigg said: “We have vacancies now and we will go through normal processes to fill them.”
Asked whether there was a name on the table to replace August, Twigg answered “no”.
The deputy chairperson of the DA federal council, Thomas Walters, said the party was not racist.
“There is nothing original about calling the DA racist. The DA has the most diverse leadership and electorate of all political parties in South Africa. That, I think, is enough of an answer to people playing the race card. There are also allegations of intimidation that are downright untrue.”
Romania will have to play its next competitive game behind closed doors and its soccer association has been fined by UEFA for racist chants and banners at a Nations League game.
UEFA says the Romanian soccer association was fined 50,000 euros ($57,080) for the racist behavior of its supporters and another 23,000 euros ($26,250) for fans invading the field and lighting fireworks at the national stadium in Bucharest.
UEFA previously said the “racist behavior” included incidents targeting Romanian neighbor Hungary when the national team played to a 0-0 draw against Serbia on Oct 14.
Romania fans also held up a banner linking refugees to terrorism, and a video posted on social media showed fans chanting a slogan supporting Serbia’s territorial claim to Kosovo.
Romania hosts Lithuania in the UEFA Nations League on Nov. 17.
UEFA says the Romanian soccer association was fined 50,000 euros ($57,080) for the racist behavior of its supporters and another 23,000 euros ($26,250) for fans invading the field and lighting fireworks at the national stadium in Bucharest.UEFA previously said the “racist behavior” included incidents targeting Romanian neighbor Hungary when the national team played to a 0-0 draw against Serbia on Oct 14.Romania fans also held up a banner linking refugees to terrorism, and a video posted on social media showed fans chanting a slogan supporting Serbia’s territorial claim to Kosovo.Romania hosts Lithuania in the UEFA Nations League on Nov. 17.UEFA says the Romanian soccer association was fined 50,000 euros ($57,080) for the racist behavior of its supporters and another 23,000 euros ($26,250) for fans invading the field and lighting fireworks at the national stadium in Bucharest.UEFA previously said the “racist behavior” included incidents targeting Romanian neighbor Hungary when the national team played to a 0-0 draw against Serbia on Oct 14.omania fans also held up a banner linking refugees to terrorism, and a video posted on social media showed fans chanting a slogan supporting Serbia’s territorial claim to Kosovo.
Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.com T&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.
Low-cost carrier Ryanair has issued a statement to clarify its response to an incident in which a woman was racially abused on one of its flights, and accused the daughter of the victim of making an “untrue” claim about whether the airline made an apology. Ryanair also implied its cabin crew had not understood the seriousness of the incident at the time, which happened while passengers were boarding a flight from Barcelona to Stansted last Friday.
In a statement, Ryanair said it “immediately wrote . . . to the female passenger at 11am on Sunday morning, apologising sincerely for what happened on board the aircraft . . . We also invited the passenger to contact the airline if they wished to discuss the matter further. The claim made in the media in recent days, that Ryanair did not contact or apologise to the female passenger, is untrue.” Carol Gayle, daughter of victim Delsie Gayle, said in the days after the incident: “Nobody has apologised. We’ve not had nothing. We just want an open apology from Ryanair.”
However, on Friday Ryanair made public copies of a letter and an email that it said had been sent on Sunday morning from the airline’s customer disruptions manager to Ms Gayle: “On behalf of Ryanair, may I sincerely apologise for what happened on board our aircraft,” the letter said. Ryanair also said it only became aware of a video of the incident — in which a man identified as David Mesher called Mrs Gayle “an ugly black bastard” — late on Saturday, October 20, “when it gained widespread coverage on social media.” The airline said it reported the incident to the police at 9am the next morning. It implied its cabin crew had not understood the seriousness of the incident at the time: “While these events were videoed by another passenger on a mobile phone, this video was not shown to cabin crew until after landing in London Stansted.”
Mr Mesher spoke to media on Friday morning, saying he was “not a racist person by any means” and apologising for Mrs Gayle’s distress. He claimed it was “just a fit of temper at the time”. The airline said: “Ryanair’s Spanish cabin crew were aware of an argument between these two passengers during the boarding process, but were not aware of, as they were not present when, racist comments that were made by the male passenger towards the female passenger.” Robin Kiely, head of communications at Ryanair, said the airline had “treated [the incident] with the urgency and seriousness it warranted”.
“We trust that this statement will address the inaccurate media coverage of this incident over recent days, and that the legal rights of both passengers will be respected, while the police services in Essex and Barcelona conduct their investigation of this matter, with Ryanair’s full co-operation and assistance.”
Principal who used N-word repeatedly says the slur ‘was used in context’ during anti-racism discussions
used N-word repeatedly says the slur ‘was used in context’ during anti-racism discussions
A high school principal who uttered the N-word on multiple occasions insists he used it in the context of antiracism discussions.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Doug Leist, the principal of Kings High School first used the N-word in January during a staff meeting.
Days after a basketball team that included King students wore jerseys bearing racial slurs. In a discussion about countering racism, Leist was heard using the word.
Then, in September, the principal reportedly repeated it to a black student who wanted to play a pep rally song that contained the N-word.
In that discussion, Leist reportedly used the word three different times to convey why it was inappropriate.
“He could’ve easily said ‘the N-word’ or ‘inappropriate language’ and I would have got the point,” the student said, according to the Enquirer. “I was extremely uncomfortable.”