Posts tagged with "Discrimination"

Ruth Bader Ginsburg illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 MAGAZINE.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Cassandra Yany

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died Friday after her long battle with cancer. The 87-year-old Supreme Court justice was a trailblazer who continuously worked to end gender discrimination and preserve our civil liberties. 

The Supreme Court announced Friday that Ginsburg passed away at her Washington D.C. home due to complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer. She had previously overcome lung, liver and colon cancer. In July, she revealed that the cancer had returned, but that she would continue to serve on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg’s revolutionary career started when she graduated at the top of her class from Cornell University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in government. Two years later, she attended Harvard Law School with her husband, Martin Ginsburg. There, she was one of only nine women in her class of over 500 students, according to NPR.

During their time at Harvard, Martin was diagnosed with testicular cancer, so Ruth would take notes for the two of them and help him with his work, all while trying to juggle being a new mom. When Martin landed a job at a firm in New York, the family packed up and Ruth finished her education at Columbia University. 

Once Ginsburg finished school, she began to experience the discrimination that came with being a female lawyer. According to TIME, she was unable to secure a position at a premier law firm or one of the Supreme Court clerkships, regardless of the fact that she had been the first students to serve on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews, and graduated at the top of her class. These jobs were instead easily given to males who had ranked lower than her in school. This led her to work a lower court clerkship and teach at the Rutgers Law Newark campus.

At Rutgers, she co-founded the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. While she was there, she learned that she wasn’t earning the same wage as one of her male counterparts. The dean attributed this pay disparity to the fact that the male professor had a family to support, while Ginsburg’s husband already had a good-paying job. This type of discrimination caused her to hide her second pregnancy.

After her son was born, Ginsburg began teaching at Columbia, becoming the university’s first tenured female professor. There, she also co-authored the first case book on discrimination law. She later went on to co-found the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1972.

During her work as a lawyer, Ginsburg established that equal protection under the law, as stated in the 14th Amendment, should extend to gender. She won five out of the six cases that she argued before the Supreme Court on gender discrimination. She often chose to find this prejudice in cases where males were the plaintiffs being discriminated against, as seen in the 2018 film On the Basis of Sex. 

In 1980, Jimmy Carter appointed Ginsburg as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. She became the second woman on the Supreme Court, and the first Jewish justice since 1969 when she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993. During her time, she eliminated almost 200 laws that discriminated against women. 

Ginsburg also fought for the rights of immigrants, the mentally ill, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. She approved gay marriage in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, stating that if you can’t deny a 70-year-old couple the right to marriage due to their inability to procreate, you can’t deny a gay couple of that right either.

Ginsburg supported women’s reproductive rights, fighting for the coverage of contraceptives despite anyone’s religious beliefs. At the time of Roe v. Wade, she litigated a case where a pregnant Air Force captain was told she would have to have an abortion in order to return to her job. She noted the hypocrisy present in this case— that the U.S. government was encouraging abortion – and found that it served as a clear example of why women should have the right to make their own life decisions.

Ginsburg’s passing gives Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump the ability to appoint a new justice, despite her dying wish to not be replaced until after a new president is elected. This opportunity could make the Supreme Court more right-leaning and jeopardize cases like Roe v. Wade that are at the forefront of equal rights movements. 

This comes four years after McConnell’s 11-month Republican blockade of President Obama’s nominee for the court, where he argued “that a president shouldn’t be able to seat a new justice in the final year of their term.” Obama noted this in a statement released early Saturday, where he said “A basic principle of law— and of everyday fairness— is that we apply rules with consistency, and not based on what’s convenient or advantageous in the moment.”

After the news broke Friday night of Ginsburg’s death, hundreds of people gathered outside the Supreme Court to pay tribute and create a memorial on the building’s steps. Many signs have since been left outside of the court honoring her legacy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday morning that there will be a statue built in Ginsburg’s hometown of Brooklyn to “serve as a physical reminder of her many contributions to the America we know today…”

Trump issued a proclamation Saturday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on the day of interment “As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg…”

RBG will be dearly missed by Americans on both sides of the aisle. We have lost a longtime champion of equal rights, but her legacy will never be forgotten.

banging gavel illustration

Philly Police Sues Mayor,DA, Commissioners

Today, Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, and the current chairman and general counsel of the latter, announced the filing of suit against the The Plainview Project, Mayor Jim Kenney, Soros financed District Attorney Larry Krasner and the former and current Philadelphia Police Commissioners Richard Roth and Danielle Outlaw. The complaint, which can be viewed at www.freedomwatchusa.org, alleges discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity and sex, insofar as the plaintiffs, six Philly cops, were terminated and/or constructively terminated for private social media posts which were illegally hacked by defendant The Plainview Project, a radical anti-police left wing group, likely financed by George Soros. The social media posts were falsely characterized by the defendants as racist, homophobic and Islamophobic, in an contrived effort to remove them from the police force for political purposes. As a result, the complaint also contains counts for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violation of constitutional rights.

The complaint, which plaintiffs reserved the right to later convert to a class action for all similarly situated Philly police, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and is styled Melvin et. al v. Kenney et. al, Case No. 2:20-cv-003529.

Klayman, who was born and raised in Philadelphia as was his local co-counsel Andrew Teitelman, had this to say on behalf of his clients after filing suit:

“There is a systematic effort by these defendants to harm and endanger the police, in order that the left can take control of not just major cities like Philadelphia but the nation as a whole. My clients, brave Philly cops who risked their lives in one of the most dangerous of cities, are being made the scapegoats for hack leftist politicians, district attorneys and their enablers, such as George Soros, in order to seize control over our body politic. White male cops in particular have been targeted for extinction, based on discrimination. We at Freedom Watch believe that all citizens, including white male cops, deserve to be respected and to that end we have brought suit for damage and other relief in excess of $90,000,000 USD. The defendants must be taught a lesson they will never forget.”

George Floyd illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

George Floyd Family Suing

By Eamonn Burke

The family of George Floyd will sue the city of Minneapolis, claiming his rights were violated during his arrest, consequently allowing racism and brutality to fester in the city’s police force. This comes as newly released body cam footage clearly shows Floyd pleading with officers and telling them he cannot breathe. The lawsuit will target financial reparations for Floyd’s children and siblings.

The family’s attorney, Mr. Crump, is calling the murder of Floyd “torture” and calling the disproportionate killing of black people by police a “public health crisis”. He cites “deliberate indifference” from the city of Minneapolis on this issue.

“Everything seems to have stopped and got shut down in America during the coronavirus pandemic except racism and discrimination and police brutality against Black and brown people.” says Crump. “This is the tipping point for policing in America.”

Crump is hoping this case will set a precedent for future lawsuits by establishing the damaging financial repercussions that the wrongful killing of marginalized people can incur. Additionally, he anticipates major changes in policing, which have already begun as Minneapolis takes steps to abolish the police

Meanwhile, the killers of George Floyd – ex-officers Derek Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao – have all been charged with aiding and abetting in 2nd degree murder, and await their trial date on March 8, 2021. Their lawyer declined to comment on the topic.

Football illustration by Rita Azar

Washington NFL Team Changes Name

By Gabriella Scerbo

Following hundreds of protests condemning racism, the Washington Redskins football team combat discrimination by changing their name. 

Much of the Native American experience has been one filled with hatred, violence, and disadvantage throughout U.S. history. The term “redskin” was a way to identify Native Americans from white colonizers in the 19th century. Today, with the derogatory term cheered in crowds, adorned on merchandise, and profited from by the NFL, the discrimination of Native Americans continues to be normalized. 

Corporations including Target and Nike have agreed to stop selling Washington Redskin merchandise if the name is not changed; Amazon has already taken to removing the team’s merchandise. Now, the team plans to change the mascot as well as any Native American imagery connected to the sports team.

Although the Washington Redskin name is more than eighty years old, it is better late than never to better the NFL. While the Washington football team may be first team at any national level in sports to change their racist name, they are hopefully not the last. Hopefully more companies will follow suit as the world continues to question the racist implications and origins of symbols in our society.

banging gavel illustration

Landmark Supreme Court Rulings

By Eamonn Burke

A series of historic and liberal rulings have been passed in the Supreme Court within the last few weeks, the latest being an abortion decision, the first under Trump as President.

The Louisiana law dictating that doctors must have certain privileges at local hospitals in order to perform an abortion was ruled out by the Court on Monday by a 5 to 4 ruling, with Chief Justice John Roberts tipping the scales to the Democrats. It comes as somewhat of a surprise as many expected Trump’s court, including two of his appointees, to remain restrictive against abortion. The decision comes following multiple occasions of criticism towards Justice Roberts from Republicans in cases concerning the national census and the Affordable Care Act. One such Republican, Senator Ted Cruz, reacted with a scathing remark that the Justice “sided with abortion extremists who care more about providing abortion-on-demand than protecting women’s health.” Progressives simply chalked it up to committing to precedent. It is most definitely not a certain signal that Justice Roberts would uphold Roe v. Wade. The law, if passed, would have limited the state of Louisiana to just one abortion clinic.

The decision also comes on the heels of two other landmark cases in favor of liberals, one being a civil rights law pronouncing job discrimination against lgbtqia+ people illegal, and the other being to protect the young immigrant DREAMERS by upholding DACA.

Tulsa Race Massacre

By Emmet McGeown

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, there is a strip of land known as Greenwood. In the early 20th century, it was renowned as a bustling business district with a prosperous and self-sufficient economy. Such a pre-Depression boomtown, still thriving off the discovery of oil in 1901 and still harnessing the energetic drive of frontierism, was not uncommon. Yet, Greenwood was exclusively Black prompting Booker T. Washington to dub it “Black Wall Street.” 

Due to staunch segregationist sentiments, African Americans constructed “Black Wall Street” as an oasis of social and economic mobility amidst the sand dunes of bigotry. The vibrant and animated nature of the business district was a testament to the American dream; despite crippling adversity, these business owners and professionals had created an innovative community dedicated to serving their own people’s needs. Black attorneys, doctors, and businessmen formed the nucleus of Greenwood around whom a middle-class utopia was established. Black-owned newspapers and movie theaters catered to the residents’ social perspectives and colloquialisms while Black schools and real-estate agents educated and housed their fellow man. 

However, on May 30th, 1921, 19-year-old shoe shiner, Dick Rowland, shared an elevator from the 1st to the 3rd floor of the Drexel building with Sarah Page, a 17-year-old white elevator operator. Sarah Page accused Dick Rowland of assault; she later dropped the charges, but it was too late. Dick Rowland was arrested the following day. An angry white mob arrived at the courthouse and began demanding justice. Their anger was fueled by the prevalent dogma that white womanhood was a sanctimonious virtue that ought not to be violated by the savagery of the Black man.

As the mob gathered around the courthouse, a few Black men from Greenwood arrived to defend Dick Rowland, one of them being his father, a prominent Black businessman. As Black and white citizens faced off, there was a struggle over a gun and a shot rang out injuring a white man. The match was struck. The Black residents retreated and set up a barricade at the railroad tracks in an attempt to prevent the white mob from invading their district. The barricade did not hold, and violence engulfed “Black Wall Street.” 35 blocks of Black property was set aflame with “the fires becoming so hot that nearby trees and outbuildings also burst into flame.” – Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot.

Yet this massacre was not limited to flames. The white mob dropped nitroglycerine bombs from private airplanes, there were reports of decapitations and white children were armed and sent scavenging the neighborhood, told by their parents that they were at liberty to murder Black folk. The Greenwood District burned for 2 days as the Governor of Oklahoma and the federal government engaged in ambivalence. Eventually, the national guard was called in and martial law was declared but it was too little too late. The “Black” in “Black Wall Street” no longer stood for African Americans rather, proceeding the massacre, it alluded only to the dark ash that coated the wreckage left behind.

Every single insurance claim was denied as the Black community was prohibited by established financial forces from rebuilding their community. The claims totaled over $2.7 million. An opinion piece in the Tulsa Tribune Editorial condoned the violence and expressed no remorse over the barbarity unleashed upon Greenwood.

In a 2018 Vox documentary, when asked, “Do you think life is better for black folks in America?” Hazel Jones, the last living survivor of the massacre at the time replied, “Nah. Some places, it is some places it’s not.” The legacy of this horrific event lives on 99 years later. Whilst things have undoubtedly gotten better for African Americans in terms of civil rights legislation, employment opportunities, and education, why is it so that people like Ms. Jones believe that Black America is just as subjugated and abused as it was in 1921? The sentiments of Black individuals who concur with this feeling must be acknowledged and better investigated in order to begin attempting to rectify the injustices which have plagued the African American community since this nation’s inception. 

Amazon Under Fire

By Eamonn Burke

The online shopping megacorp Amazon is under heavy criticism following an insensitive stunt on Juneteenth, the day that slaves in Texas were informed of their freedom.

Rather than honor this day with a paid day off, Amazon offered chicken and waffles to their employees in a Chicago warehouse yesterday. The senseless gesture was accompanied by a statement:

“We stand in solidarity honoring the black community by supporting local black businesses. We are happy to share an authentic meal crafted by Chicago’s Chicken + Waffles.”

The warehouse employees, a largely African American demographic, condemned the “celebration” as racist, and felt that it reinforced the very message that Amazon was seemingly denouncing. A spokesperson for Amazon claims that the intention was to support a local black-owned business.

“So much for supporting your Black/African American employees. Where’s the Solidarity in that?” said an employee. “We demand a paid holiday, not some damn chicken.”

This is part of a continuing criticism of Amazon for poorly treating warehouse workers and subduing their attempts to unionize. These motives were revealed in a shocking video intended for Whole Foods managers that leaked. In addition, a November petition that demanded better working conditions was signed by over 600 employees. The complaints constricted breaks, lack of transport assistance, and high risk of injury.

ICYMI Historical Win + Upcoming Events

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that existing federal law forbids job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or transgender status, a major victory for advocates of gay rights and for the nascent transgender rights movement — and a surprising one from an increasingly conservative court. By a vote of 6-3, the court said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate because of a person’s sex, among other factors, also covers sexual orientation and transgender status. It upheld rulings from lower courts that said sexual orientation discrimination was a form of sex discrimination.

Construction Services Showcase LAGLCC Supports ACA 5 One Billion in Contract Dollars Lost Annually by Businesses Owned by Women, People of Color Due to Prop. 209 ACA 5 will allow Californian voters to remove an outdated and antiquated law that restricts local and state leaders from minimizing inequality, and promoting economic fairness. This measure seeks to prevent continued discrimination against women and people of color by allowing gender, racial and ethnic diversity to be considered as one of many factors in public employment, public contracting, and public education. California is one of only eight states to have an anti-equal opportunity ban. ACA 5 has passed the State Assembly and is currently headed to the Senate. Add your name to the list of endorsers at Opportunity4All.org Join our Slack Community Information on new economic relief, events and other resources is fast-moving. Join our Slack channel message board to get information in real-time. You will also be able to join interest-specific channels to ask questions and share resources with other LAGLCC members. You may have been unable to sign up for our slack due to an expired link in a previous email but you can navigate directly to our slack at laglcc.slack.com EID Loans & Advance Program Re-Opened To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 APPLY NOW Individual, Institutional, and Structural Racism: Policing Join our partners at Culver City Chamber of Commerce, Culver City Ad Hoc Equity Subcommittee, and Culver City City Council Members Lee and Sahli-Wells, for an ongoing series of teach-ins and conversations around individual, institutional, and structural racism.

The series aims to meet the urgency of the moment by listening to community voices and recognizing how racism shows up in interpersonal interactions, institutions, and cultural, historic, and ideologicalstructures. Together we will talk about, seek to understand, and address the root causes of the racial inequities we see today. Each conversation will focus on how racism shows up in healthcare, education, employment, policing, housing, and other systems. The first conversation focuses on policing and will take place on Friday, June 19, 2020 at 5PM. June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, holds incredible significance by commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. We will begin our discussion with recognition of this special day.

Upcoming Virtual Committee Meetings & Networking Events

June 16 – Young Entrepreneurs Committee (Register)

June 17 – LAGLCC Virtual Luncheon (Register)

June 25 – Construction Suppliers Showcase Event (Register)

June 30 – Virtual HH for LGBTQ Entrepreneurs of Color (Register)

July 2 – Online LAGLCC Networking Mixer (Register)

July 7 – How to Drive Sales through Corporate Storytelling (Register)

July 8 – How B Corps are Creating Shared Prosperity (Register)

July 17 – Ask a QuickBooks Online Proadvisors (Register) Historical Victory!

360 Magazine

Ruha Benjamin x Deepening Social Inequality

From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce white supremacy and deepen social inequity.

Far from a sinister story of racist programmers scheming on the dark web, Benjamin argues that automation has the potential to hide, speed, and even deepen discrimination, while appearing neutral and even benevolent when compared to racism of a previous era. Presenting the concept of the “New Jim Code,” she shows how a range of discriminatory designs encodes inequity: by explicitly amplifying racial hierarchies, by ignoring but thereby replicating social divisions, or by aiming to fix racial bias but ultimately doing quite the opposite. Moreover, she makes a compelling case for race itself as a kind of tool – a technology designed to stratify and sanctify social injustice that is part of the architecture of everyday life.

This illuminating guide into the world of biased bots, altruistic algorithms, and their many entanglements provides conceptual tools to decode tech promises with sociologically informed skepticism. In doing so, it challenges us to question not only the technologies we are sold, but also the ones we manufacture ourselves.

The Author:

Ruha Benjamin is an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University.

Amazon Discrimination

Amazon‘s board of directors pushed investors at today’s annual shareholder meeting to reject a Free Enterprise Project (FEP) proposal that sought to end the company’s practice of viewpoint discrimination against conservative and Christian organizations within the Amazon Smile charitable giving program.

The shareholder resolution specifically called into question Amazon’s reliance on the widely-discredited left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as the gatekeeper for AmazonSmile charitable recipients.

“Amazon consistently brags about its commitment to ‘diversity and inclusion,’ but I don’t think its board of directors knows what that means. By relying on the SPLC to decide which charities are eligible to receive donations through AmazonSmile, the company is expressing public and open hostility toward conservative and religious organizations,” said Justin Danhof, Esq., General Counsel and FEP Director at the National Center for Public Policy Research, who submitted the proposal. “That’s viewpoint discrimination and it’s abhorrent.”

In the proposal, Danhof noted: We are also concerned that the Company’s failure to respect diverse social, political, and religious viewpoints in the Smile program is symptomatic of a tendency to discriminate against such views more broadly. For example, although Amazon’s policies state “we provide our customers with access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable,” it has recently begun removing books based on customer objections. And, while Amazon publicly affirms its commitment to different perspectives, it officially opposed a shareholder proposal to gauge progress in ideological diversity on the Board of Directors in its 2019 proxy materials.

The shareholders should be aware of the extent to which discrimination against social, political, or religious views by Amazon in its partnerships, content policies, and options for customer-selected charitable donations may jeopardize Amazon’s current market-dominance and may negatively affect important social dynamics beyond Amazon’s immediate business impact.

The full proposal and Amazon’s response to it are available on pages 41-43 of company’s proxy statement.

In presenting the proposal, Danhof stated: Amazon allows the SPLC to pick and choose which charities are eligible for the Smile program. Why? The extreme leftists at the SPLC use this power to exclude groups that it disagrees with ideologically, while it, in turn, reaps tremendous windfall from the Smile program. This is wildly hypocritical and calls into question Amazon’s poor governance controls.

Audio of Danhof’s presentation can be heard here. A written, annotated version of Danhof’s statement can be found here.

During the meeting, Danhof and other conservative shareholders repeatedly questioned Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos as to why the company engages in such blatant viewpoint discrimination. Bezos refused to address their questions.

“If Bezos can defend Amazon’s outright bigotry, then we invite him to do so,” said Danhof. “It’s pathetic that one of the most powerful men in the world can’t answer a simple question. Yet it is also telling that Bezos seems to have zero defense for this deplorable behavior.”

Earlier this month, Danhof penned an article published by Breitbart in which he noted: Today the SPLC is known mostly for publishing an annual “hate map,” which it claims is a census of the hate groups operating within the United States. In reality, this cynical yearly exercise is little more than a public listing of SPLC’s political enemies.

How else can one explain SPLC categorizing groups such as the Family Research Council and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) with the Ku Klux Klan? ADF is the nation’s preeminent legal advocate for religious liberty. Litigating to advance the principles espoused by America’s founders and enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, ADF has scored 10 victories at the United States Supreme Court since 2011. What exactly have the racists at the Ku Klux Klan done in that timeframe?

Everyone knows the Klan is a hate group. What the SPLC is trying to do is convince gullible leftists that conservative and religious organizations are morally equivalent to the KKK. It’s reprehensible and it’s fake news. And Amazon’s partnership lends a corporate veneer of credibility that only perpetuates this false narrative.

Conservative investors can learn how to support proposals that align with their values and how to vote down leftist resolutions by downloading FEP’s Investor Value Voter Guide. A thorough discussion of the resolution presented today to Amazon starts on page 52 of the guide.

Today’s Amazon meeting marks the 21st time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2020.