Thursday, November 6, 2008

"A Black Family in the White House that Slaves Built" | The Bigotry of Prop. 8 | Why Racist Attacks Didn't Work

AlterNet: The Mix is the Message   Rights & Liberties Newsletter
November 5th, 2008
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How Prop. 8 Could Dismantle My Marriage  

How Prop. 8 Could Dismantle My Marriage
By Thanh Ngo, New America Media
The passage of Prop 8 means my partner Andrew and I will be legal strangers once again. He will no longer be my husband. Read more »

 

Yesterday morning, several hours before the networks declared Barack Obama the new president of the United States, Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, wrote a short e-mail that captured the excitement of the historic election. "Lines are huge!" he wrote. "Obama will win. It is historic."

A black family in the White House that slaves built. Yes, slaves were used in the construction of the White House. When I was a child this never could have happened. In the 50's when I visited Florida, even after Brown v. Board of Education, there were separate drinking fountains and bathrooms for Blacks. When Center for Constitutional Rights was founded in the 60's there were only three elected Black officials in the Black belt; today there are thousands. So we are seeing an amazing moment in American history.

The sentiment would be repeated by many Americans over the course of the day, overwhelmed at the significance of the first African-American president. Today, where I live in Brooklyn, there was not a copy of the New York Times to be found. They'd sold out by 8am.

Enthusiasm and relief over the election was tempered by news today that in California, Proposition 8, which seeks to eliminate the right to same-sex marriage, will pass. It is a bitter loss, even as the legal ramifications remain unclear. We may wish to believe that Obama's election means the country is starting to move past racism, but prejudice remains pervasive. Just as we can't rely on Obama to solve the mountain of social and racial inequalities that remain, neither can we sit back while same-sex couples are denied the most basic human rights.

Be sure to visit AlterNet tomorrow for more on Proposition 8, as well as further analysis on this historic election.

Thanks for reading,

Liliana Segura

Editor, Rights & Liberties

 

Why African Americans Should Oppose California's Proposition 8  

Why African Americans Should Oppose California's Proposition 8

Voting for Prop 8 is a betrayal of civil rights principles and a hypocritical denial of some of the real crises that imperil black families. Read more »

Surprising Last Minute Religious Rallies for Both Sides of CA's Proposition 8  

Surprising Last Minute Religious Rallies for Both Sides of CA's Proposition 8

The final push both for and against California's proposition 8 to terminate marriage rights for gay couples was made by various religious groups. Read more »

California's Prop. 5 Could Change the Course of America's Drug War  

California's Prop. 5 Could Change the Course of America's Drug War

Californians have chance with the NORA initiative to reject decades of fear mongering and try alternatives to jail for drug abuse. Read more »

Racism Isn't Keeping Arab Americans from the Polls  

Racism Isn't Keeping Arab Americans from the Polls

Despite discriminatory tactics attempting to derail their votes, huge numbers of Arab Americans will vote on Tuesday. Read more »

Rep. Keith Ellison on the Ugly Attacks Obama Has Faced in the Election  

Rep. Keith Ellison on the Ugly Attacks Obama Has Faced in the Election

The first Muslim in Congress, no stranger to the prejudice and fearmongering leveled at Obama, explains why these attacks ultimately fail. Read more »

California's Prop 4 Jeopardizes Doctor-Patient Relationship  

California's Prop 4 Jeopardizes Doctor-Patient Relationship

Prop 4 would turn physicians into cops, eroding their trust with younger, teenage patients. Read more »

Daring to Dream of a Black President  

Daring to Dream of a Black President

Some of America's leading black voices, including Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Spike Lee and Tiger Woods share what it means to them. Read more »

  PEEK and Video: The hottest buzz and videos on the web  

Same-sex Marriage Bans Pass in CA, AZ, FL  

Same-sex Marriage Bans Pass in CA, AZ, FL

In bitter contrast to the election of the first African-American president, prejudice prevails on LGBT rights. Read more »

The Man Behind Proposition 8  

The Man Behind Proposition 8

The reclusive billionaire, the mother of Blackwater's Erik Prince, and the drive to fund this year's most controversial referendum. Read more »

Cruel California Ballot Initiative Seeks to Keep Elderly Prisoners Locked Up Longer  

Cruel California Ballot Initiative Seeks to Keep Elderly Prisoners Locked Up Longer

Prop. 9 asks taxpayers to pay to incarcerate those who cost the most to confine yet pose the least threat to public safety. Read more »

Mercenary Firm Offers to 'Detain Troublemakers' on Election Day  

Mercenary Firm Offers to 'Detain Troublemakers' on Election Day

This is probably not the best sign for democracy. Read more »

 

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