Big Win for Affirmative Action in Education
Affirmative action advocates believe they have a chance to prevail at the U.S. Supreme Court, following an appeals panel ruling that struck down Michigan’s ban on affirmative action in college admissions. “We will immediately be asking the University of Michigan to reinstate” affirmative action programs, said George Washington, lead attorney for Detroit-based By Any Means Necessary. “There has been a one-third to 50 percent drop” in minority admissions since the ban took effect, he said.
Stop-and Frisk Protesters Claim Partial Victory
Four activists charged with serious offenses stemming from a protest at a Queens, New York City police precinct, last year, were acquitted of all but disorderly conduct charges. “We view the results of this trial as a victory, because they were going for convictions” that carry one-year jail sentences, said Stop Stop-and-Frisk organizer Carl Dix. Charges are still pending against nine others arrested in Queens, and another group of demonstrators in Brooklyn. “We are going to make these trials a part of this fight” against police abuse of power, said Dix.
Obama Can’t Pass Buck on Extra-Judicial Killings of Blacks
By the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement’s count, more than 140 African Americans have been murdered by police and others under cloak of authority since the start of 2012. President Obama is obligated to deploy the full powers of the federal government to compel law enforcement agencies to “respect the human rights of Black people,” said MXGM. “At the end of the day, they are all still held accountable by the Department of Justice, which, last time I checked, is under [the President’s] direct control,” said spokesman Kali Akuno. “We won’t let him pass the buck.”
Whose Fiscal Cliff?
The elevation of deficit reduction “to the be-all and end-all of policy discussion in Washington really is what’s driving some Democrats away” from their traditional defense of Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, said Chris Hellman, of the National Priorities Project. By endorsing the Simpson-Bowles proposals, President Obama has “made it clear that he is at least willing to discuss some changes in those programs.” Obama is more than willing to impose sever austerity, said Kevin Zeese, of Occupy Washington DC. “He’s going to be giving away the store,” said Zeese. “Every constituency that supported Obama is going to lose in this negotiation.”
Wal-Mart Squeezes Workers
“We have to borrow money from each other just to make it to work,” said Colby Harris, a 3-year Wal-Mart employee from Dallas, Texas. Wal-Mart workers have staged strikes and other actions to protest low wages, poor healthcare benefits, management disrespect and – the latest insult – plans to keep stores open on Thanksgiving. Labor economist and former Bennett College president Julianne Malveaux said “it’s especially egregious when Wal-Mart, the largest and richest company in our country, engages in these activities.” Workers complain they are limited to less than 30-hour weeks, to deprive them of healthcare benefits. “This is an oppressive matrix,” said Malveaux.