Obamas Respond To Daunte Wright Shooting With A Plea For Police Reform

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-04-19 17:00Z by Steven

Obamas Respond To Daunte Wright Shooting With A Plea For Police Reform

The Huffington Post
2021-04-13

Ryan Grenoble, National Reporter

“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the former president and first lady wrote.

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday responded to the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright with a call to “reimagine policing” in America, noting with some incredulity that Wright’s needless death came as jurors heard arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd barely 10 miles away.

“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the two said in a written statement.

“The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Volunteers Needed for Research Study on Multiracial Women and the Law

Posted in Law, Media Archive, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2021-03-30 12:58Z by Steven

Volunteers Needed for Research Study on Multiracial Women and the Law

Carnegie Mellon University
2021-03-30

Julie Mi-Yeong Kidder, Doctoral Student, Instructor of First Year Writing
Rhetoric Program, Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Do you identify as a multiracial woman who works in the law? Are you interested in participating in a research study on racial and gender identity in the legal field?

Qualifications:

  1. Are at least 18 years old
  2. Identify as a woman
  3. Identify as two or more races
  4. Are actively working or studying in the legal field
  1. Participation Involves One 45-90 minute interview over Zoom
  2. There is no direct compensation for participation.
  3. Participation is voluntary.

For any questions or to schedule your interview session, please email Julie Kidder, Principal Investigator.

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The children colonial Belgium stole from African mothers

Posted in Africa, Articles, Europe, History, Law, Media Archive, Religion on 2021-03-12 16:12Z by Steven

The children colonial Belgium stole from African mothers

Al Jazeera
2021-02-03

Annette Ekin
Brussels, Belgium


An archive photo showing children at Save, a key institution to which stolen mixed-race children were taken [Courtesy of metisbe.squarespace.com]

Taken from their mothers in what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Burundi, decades on a group of mixed-race elderly people are fighting the Belgian state for recognition and reparations.

Monique Bitu Bingi, 71, has never forgotten how it happened.

It was 1953 when the white colonials came for her in Babadi, a village in the Kasai region of what is today the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), then a Belgian colony. She was four, the child of a Black Congolese woman and a white Belgian colonial agent. Because she was mixed-race, she would be forced to leave her family and live at a Catholic mission. If she stayed, there would be repercussions: the men – farmers, hunters and protectors of the village – would be forcibly recruited into military duty and taken away. When the time came to leave, her mother was not there to say goodbye. She had left, unable to watch her daughter go.

Monique remembers travelling with her uncle, aunt and grandmother who carried her. She could tell something was wrong from her grandmother’s sadness. They walked west for about two days, crossed a river and slept in cabins used for drying cotton. When they reached Dimbelenge they hitched a ride northwest on a truck carrying the body of a woman who had died in childbirth. It was headed for Katende, in today’s Kasai Central province, where the St Vincent de Paul sisters’ mission was. Monique fell asleep. It must have been a Wednesday because weddings happened on Wednesdays and when she awoke outside the mission she saw a young Congolese couple, the bride dressed in white, and strangers everywhere. But her own family was gone. She remembers walking through the crowd, crying, until an older girl from the mission brought her inside to the others.

Among the countless abuses committed by the Belgian state during its colonial occupation of the Congo from 1908 to 1960, taking over from the exploitative and violent rule of King Leopold II which killed millions of Congolese, and its control from 1922 to 1962 under a League of Nations mandate in Ruanda-Urundi (today Rwanda and Burundi), is the little-known systematic abduction of biracial children from their maternal families…

Read the entire article here.

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Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2021-02-27 03:58Z by Steven

Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

National Public Radio
2021-02-25

Mary Louise Kelly, Host
All Things Considered


Rena Logan, a member of a Cherokee Freedmen family, shows her identification card as a member of the Cherokee tribe at her home in Muskogee, Okla., in this photo from October 2011. She is among the some 8,500 people whose ancestors were enslaved by the Cherokee Nation in the 1800s.David Crenshaw/Associated Press

The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court ruled this week to remove the words “by blood” from its constitution and other legal doctrines.

The words, added to the constitution in 2007, have been used to exclude Black people whose ancestors were enslaved by the tribe from obtaining full Cherokee Nation citizenship rights.

There are currently some 8,500 enrolled Cherokee Nation members descended from these Freedmen, thousands of whom were removed on the Trail of Tears along with tribal citizens.

“The Freedmen, until this Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruling, they couldn’t hold office, they couldn’t run for tribal council and they couldn’t run for chief,” says Graham Lee Brewer, an editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News and KOSU in Oklahoma. “And I would argue that that made them second-class citizens.”…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:04:10) here.

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Twin sisters sue Wampanoag Tribe over disputed membership

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2021-02-14 22:12Z by Steven

Twin sisters sue Wampanoag Tribe over disputed membership

Cape Cod Times
Hyannis, Massachusetts
2020-09-27

Jessica Hill, News Reporter


Twin sisters Kayla, left, and Katie Balbuena outside their East Falmouth home. The sisters have filed suit against the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, arguing that tribe has wrongly taken them off its membership roll. Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times

MASHPEE — Twin 20-year-old sisters are taking Wampanoag tribal leaders to court after they were removed from the tribal membership roll.

Kayla and Kaitlyn Balbuena are suing the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Enrollment Committee in Tribal Court after the committee removed them from the tribal roll about a month ago.

“We don’t want to sue our tribe,” Kayla said, “but we just want to fight for our rights back.”

The Balbuena sisters filed the lawsuit on Sept. 15. The sisters, who live in East Falmouth, argue that the tribe’s enrollment department placed them on a pending list and have taken away their rights as tribal members based on hearsay and falsehood.

The enrollment committee and Rita Lopez, the enrollment department director, did not respond to a request for comment. Jessie “Little Doe” Baird, vice chairwoman of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council, also did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the entire article here.

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‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United Kingdom, Women on 2020-11-01 01:35Z by Steven

‘What a Barrister Looks Like’: A Young Black Woman Paves the Way

The New York Times
2020-10-30

Megan Specia


Alexandra Wilson at her offices in London. “My ability is underestimated, quite a lot,” she said. Amara Eno for The New York Times

Alexandra Wilson is working to change England’s legal establishment, and perceptions about who belongs in it, from the inside.

LONDON — It was looking like a typical day at the office for Alexandra Wilson as she arrived at a London courthouse ready to defend someone accused of theft.

She tied her hair into a neat knot, shrugged on her black robe and pulled on a white horsehair wig — the official garb of Britain’s barristers, the lawyers who argue most cases in court.

But once she was in the courtroom, things went off script. In a patronizing exchange that was rude at best and hostile at worst, the prosecutor, an older white man, scoffed at Ms. Wilson, chided her for speaking with her client and tutted at her requests for details on court documents.

Unfortunately, it was an all too typical day for Ms. Wilson in a profession where, as a young Black woman, she often finds herself fighting for recognition and respect…

…As the 25-year-old daughter of a Black Caribbean father and white British mother from working-class roots, she is still a rarity in the cavernous halls of England’s courts.

Her unabashed observations about race and class have drawn a following of thousands on Twitter, inspired a book about her experiences and driven her to found a community for Black women in the legal professions. Just over a year into her career, she’s only getting started…

Read the entire article here.

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In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Posted in Books, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Justice, United Kingdom on 2020-10-31 23:06Z by Steven

In Black and White: A Young Barrister’s Story of Race and Class in a Broken Justice System

Endeavour (an imprint of Octopus Publishing Group)
2020-08-13
272 pages
5.67 x 1.18 x 8.58 inches
Paperback ISBN-13: 9781913068301
Hardback ISBN-13 9781913068288

Alexandra Wilson

Alexandra Wilson was a teenager when her dear family friend Ayo was stabbed on his way home from football. Ayo’s death changed Alexandra. She felt compelled to enter the legal profession in search of answers.

As a junior criminal and family law barrister, Alexandra finds herself navigating a world and a set of rules designed by a privileged few. A world in which fellow barristers sigh with relief when a racist judge retires: ‘I’ve got a black kid today and he would have had no hope’.

In her debut book, In Black and White, Alexandra re-creates the tense courtroom scenes, the heart-breaking meetings with teenage clients, and the moments of frustration and triumph that make up a young barrister’s life.

Alexandra shows us how it feels to defend someone who hates the colour of your skin, or someone you suspect is guilty. We see what it is like for children coerced into county line drug deals and the damage that can be caused when we criminalise teenagers.

Alexandra’s account of what she has witnessed as a young mixed-race barrister is in equal parts shocking, compelling, confounding and powerful.

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Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:42Z by Steven

Setting the Record Straight On The Case of Loving V. Virginia

Medium
2020-10-25

Arica L. Coleman, Ph.D.


Mildred and Richard Loving. Courtesy of Getty Image.

The recent death of Bernard Cohen, one of the lawyers who represented the plaintiffs Richard and Mildred Loving in the landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which overturned proscriptions against interracial marriage in the United States in 1967, has once again thrust the case back into the headlines. In 1958, Richard Loving a “white” man, and Mildred Jeter a “colored” woman, violated several Virginia codes when they married in the District of Columbia, where interracial marriage was legal, and afterward returned to their home in Caroline Country, Virginia, where interracial marriage was illegal, to live as husband and wife. The couple was taken to jail, tried for the crime of being married, and then banished from Virginia for 25 years.

Fittingly, the 86 year old Cohen who this month of Parkinson’s Disease has been eulogized for cementing his place in American legal history at the young age of thirty-three when he and his co-counsel Philip Hirschkop rocked the Supreme Court with a two-pronged legal argument against state-imposed anti- interracial marriage laws which included a poignant direct quote from Richard Loving who told the attorneys, “Tell the court I love my life, and it is just unfair that I cannot live with her in Virginia.” The Court unanimously agreed.

Yet, in recounting the events which led up to the couple’s triumphant victory of love over hate, the storyline in these accounts follows the popular narrative of the Loving story. But there is more to this case than many have supposed. This article highlights a few unknown facts and debunks some myths about this historic case…

Read the entire article here.

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Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2020-10-28 20:31Z by Steven

Bernard Cohen, Lawyer in Landmark Mixed-Marriage Case, Dies at 86

The New York Times
2020-10-15

Neil Genzlinger


Bernard S. Cohen, left, and Philip J. Hirschkop, co-counsels in Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court’s landmark unanimous ruling in that case in 1967 struck down bans on interracial marriage. Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection, via Getty Images

With Philip J. Hirschkop, he brought Loving v. Virginia to the Supreme Court, which struck down laws against interracial marriages.

“Dear Sir,” began the letter from Washington that found its way to Bernard S. Cohen at the American Civil Liberties Union in June 1963. “I am writing to you concerning a problem we have. Five years ago my husband and I were married here in the District. We then returned to Virginia to live. My husband is white, and I am part Negro and part Indian.”

The letter, from Mildred Loving, went on to explain that when she and her husband, Richard, returned to Caroline County, Va., to live, they were charged with violating Virginia’s law against mixed-race marriages and exiled from the state.

“It was that simple letter that got us into this not-so-simple case,” Mr. Cohen said later. The not-so-simple case was Loving v. Virginia, which Mr. Cohen and his co-counsel, Philip J. Hirschkop, eventually took to the Supreme Court. In a landmark unanimous ruling in 1967, the court said that laws banning interracial marriage, which were in effect in a number of states, mostly in the South, were unconstitutional.

Mr. Cohen died on Monday at an assisted-living center in Fredericksburg, Va. He was 86…

Read the entire obituary here.

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Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-11 01:10Z by Steven

Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

The New York Times
2020-09-08

Jack Healy, Rocky Mountain correspondent


Ron Graham’s father, Theodore Graham, center, as a youth with his youngest sibling, Rowena, on his lap, in a photograph from around 1912. Mr. Graham spent decades assembling documentation showing that he is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. via Ron Graham

Enslaved people were also driven west along the Trail of Tears. After a historic Supreme Court ruling, their descendants are fighting to be counted as tribal members.

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Ron Graham never had to prove to anyone that he was Black. But he has spent more than 30 years haunting tribal offices and genealogical archives, fighting for recognition that he is also a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

“We’re African-American,” Mr. Graham, 55, said. “But we’re Native American also.”

His family history is part of a little-known saga of bondage, blood and belonging within tribal nations, one that stretches from the Trail of Tears to this summer of uprisings in America’s streets over racial injustice.

His ancestors are known as Creek Freedmen. They were among the thousands of African-Americans who were once enslaved by tribal members in the South and who migrated to Oklahoma when the tribes were forced off their homelands and marched west in the 1830s…

Read the entire article here.

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