He was due to stand trial next month, but has asked to enter a guilty plea in federal court on Friday, court records show. Eight children had to move because of his alleged arson.
The ex-con has previously served time for hate crimes against African Americans, and has also claimed to be the leader of the Illinois branch of a far-right white hate group led by Matt Hale, who’s serving a 40-year prison sentence after being convicted of asking a follower in 2002 to murder U.S. District Judge Joan Lefkow.
Moudry’s face, neck and arms are covered in racist tattoos.
But in a poetic irony, an African-American federal defender — MiAngel Cody — was last summer appointed to represent Moudry, who could not afford to pay an attorney.
On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would hear two cases challenging state and federal laws which prevent the legal union between same-sex couples.
But it’s not the only significant civil rights case the Court has decided to take up this term.
Last month, the Supreme Court said it will consider the constitutionality of a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the hallmark legislation from the Civil Rights era that has come under increased challenge.
The cornerstone provision is known as Section 5, which holds some states accountable to get federal clearance before making any changes to their voting laws.
Many think the Court’s decision to hear the case, announced just three days after the election, spells doom for the cornerstone provision. But whatever the justices’ decision, the case may end up, as the influential SCOTUSBlog put it, “as one of the most significant rulings of the current Term.”
Oral arguments in the case, Shelby County v. Holder, are set for next year, with a decision expected by June. Let’s take a step back and see why this case is so consequential:
What’s Section 5 again?
As we’ve explained before, Section 5 requires nine mostly Southern states — Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alaska, Virginia, Texas and Arizona — and areas of seven others to preclear any change to a voting law or procedure with the federal government.
This review is conducted by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice or a panel of federal judges on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. If a voting change hasn’t been submitted for review, the change can be legally unenforceable.
Section 5, which was enacted by the original Voting Rights Act, was meant to address the systemic disenfranchisement of African Americans by state lawmakers in the South since the end of Reconstruction.
Under the provision, covered jurisdictions must prove that any proposed voting change doesn’t have a discriminatory purpose or effect or would diminish minorities’ ability to elect a favored candidate.
The zealots and demagogues are beginning to have an effect, it’s past time to reverse this ugly trend.
More than 6,000 hate crimes were reported to U.S. law enforcement agencies in 2011 — a 6% decrease from 2010, the FBI said Monday. But crimes based on the victim’s sexual orientation increased slightly.
Nearly half of the 6,222 hate crimes reported in 2011 were racially motivated, the FBI said, with nearly three-fourths directed at African Americans. More than 16% were motivated by anti-white bias.
About 59% of the known offenders for all reported hate crimes were white, and 21% were black, the agency said.
The Anti-Defamation League, which monitors and seeks to combat bigotry, welcomed the overall decrease in hate crimes but highlighted those motivated by sexual orientation.
“The increase in the number of reported hate crimes directed against gays and lesbians, now the second most frequent category of crime, is especially disturbing,” the ADL said in a statement.
The last straw for the African American police officer living in an upscale Orange County community was the acid pellets someone shot into his garage in October, the corrosive capsules damaging his car.
It had been an ugly, racially tinged pattern since the Inglewood police officer, his wife — a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy — and their two children had moved into the Yorba Linda neighborhood in 2011.
Rocks were thrown through their windows, car tires were slashed, and racial taunts were shouted by passing motorists. One day, their 6-year-old son came home from school asking why his classmates said they couldn’t play with him because he was black.
“It just illustrates that even amid our really wonderful community, life is different for some people,” said Rusty Kennedy, the executive director of the [Orange County Human Relations] commission.
Though African Americans account for a small fraction of the county’s population — no more than 2% — they are the most frequently targeted group for hate crimes, Kennedy said. [Emphasis added.]
Gee, Rusty, do you think there might be some relation between those two facts?
Bill O’Reilly knows that for the hard right, “traditional” is a key buzzword, whether it’s associated with marriage, ethnicity, or far right nationalist alliances, it’s just another way to to say “White European Christians.” At the end of the day Bill’s saying there aren’t enough paranoid white people who are afraid of people who are different for his candidates to win anymore. I guess you just didn’t sow enough fear at Fox this election Bill, so I guess this means you’ll just ramp it up more for the midterms.
On his show last night, O’Reilly responded to comedian Jon Stewart’s criticism that mourning ‘traditional voters’ is latent racism. But in his rebuttal, O’Reilly explained that the mass turnout of voters of color signaled an end to ‘traditional American voters.’ The new voters, he argued, don’t understand ‘traditional American values’:
If you look at the exit polling, you’ll see that a coalition of voters put the President back into the oval office. That coalition was non-tradition, which means it veered away from things like traditional marriage, robust capitalism, and self reliance. Instead, each constituency that voted for the President — whether it be single women, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, whatever — had very specific reasons for doing so. […]
Traditional American voters generally want a smaller government in Washington, more local control, some oversight on abortion, and believe in American exceptionalism.
Four years ago, there were doubts, then hope, then worry, work and elation. Today, as African American voters look at electing the first black president to a second term, there is support tinged with disappointment and defensiveness.
There are worries about President Obama’s support for gay marriage, worries about the economy and worries about life under a Mitt Romney administration. There are fewer thoughts about making historic strides and quieter worries about history slipping away.
“Some people may see it as subdued, but I think the difference is there’s more of a serious tone to it,” Matrice Brown Johnson, a 53-year-old Obama supporter from Richmond, said of African American backing for the president. “People are taking it more seriously.”
On the surface, Obama’s support among blacks appears solid. In a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 92% of registered African American voters surveyed said they backed Obama, and 5% supported Republican nominee Mitt Romney. No other constituency offers the president such consistent and solid support in polls.
But the shift in mood and energy from four years ago could have an effect in an election expected to be decided by thin margins.
With the Obama campaign desperately trying to turn support into votes, even subtle shifts may change the result. In important battlegrounds Obama won four years ago — Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Florida — the campaign is preparing to lean more heavily on support from African Americans as it braces to lose white voters.
Within the public policy arena, the contemporary use of the term wealth stripping has generally referred to financial products and services like payday lenders, rent-to-own stores, and the like that exploit the lack of financial sophistication among economically disadvantaged populations. Awareness of the problem among policy-makers and advocates arguably originated with Michael Sherraden’s 1991 book, Assets and the Poor. Sherraden’s landmark work spawned a virtual avalanche of research, proposals, and innovative initiatives on asset building. Out of that body of research grew significant attention toward wealth stripping. John Caskey’s seminal 1996 book, Fringe Banking: Check-Cashing Outlets, Pawnshops, and the Poor, was the subject’s foundational text, highlighting how the high cost of alternative or fringe lenders strips away the financial resources of the poor. Many other scholars have since followed with different perspectives on both saving opportunities and the wealth-stripping challenges confronting the poor.
Even today, writings on the subject of wealth stripping tend to focus principally on the high cost of alternative financial services. But the Great Recession—driven by the foreclosures that hit minority communities especially hard—demands a broader examination of the issue to include ways in which the failure to impose or enforce consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws can lead to even greater harms. This broader perspective is essential if we are to understand and address the unique hurdles faced by low- and moderate-income households and people of color, who are disproportionately affected by these problems.
Wealth stripping has only increased during the economic crisis. Since the onset of the Great Recession, Americans have lost $7 trillion in equity in their homes. The Federal Reserve estimates the median American family has lost nearly two decades of wealth, or almost 40 percent of their assets. In a separate report, the Pew Research Center estimates that Latinos, Asians, and African Americans have experienced wealth losses of 66 percent, 54 percent, and 53 percent respectively, compared to 13 percent for whites. These losses are largely due to home foreclosures and lost equity
snake has been let loose in the autumn Saturday and Sunday afternoon Edens of those couch potatoes among us who love to watch football.
I heard Charles Barkley, interviewed at Wimbledon, remark that now that the word is out about the frequency of concussions in football more young black athletes will begin playing tennis, golf, and other sports where the life-shortening element isn’t so serious. Is this, I wonder, true? I have no notion, though, contra Sir Charles, the number of African Americans currently playing major league baseball, last I had heard, had dropped from 33 percent to roughly 8 percent.
The concussion question reminds me that boxing—one of the great sports of my boyhood in the 1940s and early ’50s—is, if my interest in it is any measure, moribund. Every so often, channel surfing on HBO or on one of the ESPN channels, I come across a prize fight and pause. The spectacle on view is generally two Hispanic-surnamed guys, heavily tattooed, in garish shorts, flailing away at each other under sad and swollen faces. Truth is, I feel a little unclean watching it; it feels, more precisely, like viewing pornography, something one shouldn’t be doing.
How did boxing go from the premier American sport to its wretched current condition? Baseball may long have been the national pastime, but nothing drew the excited attention of sports fans the way a heavyweight title fight did. I recall, at 14, sitting in the Nortown movie theatre on the northside of Chicago on a Friday night in the autumn of 1951 when the movie was stopped to announce that 28-year-old Rocky Marciano had knocked out 37-year-old Joe Louis two and a half minutes into the eighth round of their fight in Madison Square Garden. Movie-stopping—that’s how big boxing was in the United States in those days.
So sad that watching a boxing match has begun to resemble watching a human sacrifice.
Every boy of any athletic pretension knew all the boxing moves: Jabs, hooks, crosses, uppercuts, the bolo punch (devised by a welterweight named Kid Gavilan, née Gerardo Gonzalez). Playground fights always began in boxing posture, with one’s guard up. My father, Canadian born, and hence a man with no interest in baseball or football, liked boxing, and bought two sets of boxing gloves with which he taught me, at roughly age seven, the rudiments of the sport. (My own last fight, let me insert here, was at age 11 with a boy named Barry Pearlman in the Eugene Field School playground, and it ended in a draw.) He also took me to the Golden Gloves, the intercity amateur competition of three-round fights in all weight divisions that served as a minor leagues of sorts for professional boxing.
Those who want to reelect President Obama need to face a disappointing reality: The chances that Mitt Romney may win in November are real, and one of the reasons is that some of those who supported Obama in 2008 and still believe in him today are making noises that they may not come out to vote.
Yes, this may only happen on the margins — but the margins matter in a close election that could well come down to base turnout.
Demoralized Democrats need to snap out of it, starting at this week’s convention in Charlotte. They need to realize that Obama has been a very successful President, and the Republican alternative is as stark and dangerous as anything offered by President George W. Bush.
Over the last three-and-a-half years, the GOP has become an extraordinarily narrow party. It’s incredibly homogenous — 87% white, 52% male and 53% older than 50, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s because its policies and rhetoric have alienated African Americans, Latinos, gays, young people, women and the well-educated.
After years of decline, Orange County faces a 14% increase in reported hate crimes, many of them targeting people based on race or religion, a new report says.
According to the report released by the Orange County Human Relations Commission, African Americans, who make up 2% of the county’s 3.2 million residents, were most frequently the victims of hate crimes, with 19 reported cases.
Members of the Jewish and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities also were targets in the increasing number of incidents, the report said. In all, 64 reported hate crimes occurred in 2011, the report said, as the county has grown more diverse.
“I would hope there would be a day when you wouldn’t see 64 documented hate crimes in our community,” said Rusty Kennedy, who heads the commission and who began recording the statistics 21 years ago. “But I fear they’re happening much more frequently than we’re aware.”