CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 19, 2013 |
The family of an unarmed Culver City man fatally shot in the back last November filed a $15-million wrongful-death and civil rights lawsuit against Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputies and the county on Friday. Jose de la Trinidad, 36, a father of two, was fatally shot Nov. 10 by deputies who said they believed he was reaching for a weapon after he got out of a car following a short pursuit in an unincorporated county area of Willowbrook. The suit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges that Deputies Angel Grandes and Alexandro Gonzalez shot and killed De la Trinidad after he got out of the car even though he was complying with the deputies orders and had his hands raised above his head with his back to them.
April 14, 2013 |
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When I told friends I was planning a trip to Birmingham, the reaction was universal. "Alabama?" one asked. "On purpose?" I shared their skepticism, viewing the travel literature with the jaundiced eye of a longtime Angeleno who puzzled over the concept of vacationing in the South. But I was flying here for a business meeting that had been scheduled for Presidents Day weekend, so why not take some extra time and look around? It's not the oldest or most storied city in the South.
March 29, 2013 |
This year is the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s decision to violate an injunction forbidding him to pray, sing or march in public in Birmingham, Ala. On Good Friday 1963 (which fell on April 12 that year), King led a march from the 16th Street Baptist Church (where four black children would be killed in a bombing five months later), heading toward City Hall. He was almost immediately arrested, charged with violating a court order and taken to the Birmingham jail.
March 27, 2013 |
The Supreme Court, hearing arguments on the emotionally charged issue of gay marriage for the first time, appeared willing Tuesday to restore marital rights to gays and lesbians in California but uncomfortable with legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. The justices sounded sharply divided as they considered Proposition 8, California's ban on gay marriage, and wary of going too far, too fast. None of them spoke up for a sweeping ruling that would require every state to change its marriage laws.
March 26, 2013 |
At the top of great social movements, charismatic leaders spin out visions of things that just might be. Closer to the bottom, it's journalists who sometimes force us to confront the way things are. Jack Nelson was one of the best journalists of the last half of the 20th century because he held a mirror up to his fellow Southerners just when the civil rights movement needed him to, and showed them a reflection they could not abide. "Scoop: The Evolution of a Southern Reporter" tells the story of Nelson's progression from a scrawny kid with middling grades and no particular consciousness about race into a crusader against inequality, who would follow a story's truth to the most uncomfortable places.
March 25, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court will hear Michigan's appeal of a surprising ruling that struck down its voters' ban on giving “preferential treatment” to students based on their race, weighing the emotionally tense issue of affirmative action for the second time in a year. The Michigan measure is nearly identical to the California proposition that in 1996 abolished race-based affirmative action policies for admission to the state's colleges and universities. But defenders of affirmative action went to federal court in Michigan and won a ruling from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that held the state measure unconstitutional on the grounds it took away a civil rights provision that benefited minorities.
March 24, 2013 |
Court decisions sometimes spark dramatic political backlashes. Brown vs. Board of Education, which struck down school segregation laws in 1954, temporarily retarded progressive racial reform in the South and advanced the political careers of racial extremists. Furman vs. Georgia (1972), which strictly limited capital punishment, increased support for the death penalty, and Roe vs. Wade (1973) catalyzed a powerful right-to-life movement. The Massachusetts Supreme Court's 2003 ruling in favor of marriage equality led 25 states to enact constitutional amendments barring it. One possible outcome of the Hollingsworth vs. Perry litigation currently before the Supreme Court, which challenges California's Proposition 8, is a broad ruling in favor of marriage equality.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2013 |
Olen Burrage, a farmer and Ku Klux Klan member who owned the Mississippi land where the bullet-riddled bodies of three civil rights workers were found buried in the 1960s, has died. He was 82. Burrage, who was acquitted on civil rights charges related to the murders, died March 15 at a medical center in Meridian, Miss., the McClain-Hays Funeral Home announced. The cause was not released. The Ku Klux Klan slaying became one of the most infamous episodes of the civil rights era and led to the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed discriminatory practices that kept African Americans from voting.
March 21, 2013
Re "Remodeling the world's moral map," Opinion, March 17 Shame on Richard Rodriguez. Drug addiction is not immoral, and neither is what he terms "depleted biological energy. " He writes that "as religious belief declines, so does the biological dynamism of a nation. " With increased education comes more enlightened and intentional decision making. Rodriguez's caricatured white European isn't so much choosing "between a Volvo and a Saab" as much as choosing between a single college-educated child enjoying the same standard of living in the middle class of his parents and three ill-prepared children struggling in the lower class.
March 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama plans to nominate the government's top-ranking civil rights lawyer as the new secretary of Labor on Monday, a key position as the administration prepares to take on immigration reform. Thomas E. Perez's nomination had been expected, but the administration said last week that the announcement was not imminent. If confirmed by the Senate, Perez would be the only Latino in Obama's second-term Cabinet. He is the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.