This afternoon, I had the privilege of attending the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony honoring Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley (Cynthia Diane Morris) — the four little girls who were killed in the Birmingham church bombing by Klansmen 50 years ago this month.
Forty-eight years ago, SPLC founder Morris Dees stood at the Alabama Capitol at the end of the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march and heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak on the importance of the vote in democracy. In his view, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 — the section that contains extra voting rights protections that apply mainly to the South — is still necessary.
Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a blow to Arizona’s anti-immigrant law and similar copycat laws that have sprung up in other states. The court’s decision affirms that much about these laws is unconstitutional because many of their provisions are preempted by federal law. The decision also shows the court has significant concerns about the one provision they allowed to stand.
President Nelson Mandela’s death leaves human rights advocates across the world with an undeniable sense of loss. But amid the sorrow, we can take solace from the former South African president’s legacy.
With the support of thousands of people committed to equality, we’ve made great progress fighting hate and seeking justice in 2013, despite facing a historic backlash against the gains of the last 50 years – a radical attack on our country’s most fundamental ideals.
It’s tempting to write off the recent report of a black San Jose State University student being tormented by his white roommates as an isolated problem. The reality is, however, it’s a symptom of a larger problem on campuses across the nation.
In an interview with Oregon Public Radio, Portland lawyer Elden Rosenthal talks about serving as co-counsel to Morris Dees in one of the SPLC’s most famous cases – the lawsuit against the neo-Nazi group responsible for the brutal murder of Ethiopian student Mulugeta Seraw. Listen to the interview here.
On Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner said there is not enough time remaining in 2013 to debate and pass immigration reform. It is almost as if the speaker believes his congressional colleagues cannot walk and chew gum at the same time. Members of Congress are not one-trick ponies, however, and Congress is capable of fixing the broken immigration system in the coming months.
There’s no place in America for workplace discrimination of any kind. But, incredibly, a half century after our nation outlawed discrimination against racial and ethnic minorities and women, it’s still legal in most states for employers to hire or fire a person solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Today, by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), the U.S. Senate took a historic step toward ending this outrage.