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Posts tagged "Discrimination"

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

ABC host George Stephanopoulos announced on This Week that talk radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham is the network’s “newest contributor.” On her syndicated radio program The Laura Ingraham Show, Ingraham has repeatedly engaged in inflammatory and hateful rhetoric, lobbing numerous attacks against everyone from President Obama to people who receive government assistance to her favorite target, immigrants.

Here are 10 hateful moments from Ingraham in the past year:

1. Ingraham Used A Gunshot Sound Effect To Cut Off A Replay Of Rep. John Lewis’ March On Washington Speech. During her coverage of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in August 2013, Ingraham criticized the event and its speakers, saying the goal “was to co-opt the legacy of Martin Luther King into a modern-day liberal agenda.” She then played a clip of a speech from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who was the youngest speaker at the 1963 March on Washington, abruptly interrupting the playback of his comments with the sound of a loud gunshot. Following criticism of this sound effect, Ingraham defended her use of the gunshot sound, instead calling it a “blow up effect” and claiming that criticism of her using the sound effect on Lewis was an attempt “to crush free speech.”

2. “Hillary Clinton Should Be Absolutely Crucified For Her Lack Of Performance As Secretary Of State.” On her August 2, 2013, radio show, Ingraham lobbed attacks against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton while discussing foreign policy, claiming that the rest of the world is “emboldened by Barack Obama’s weakness” and that Clinton “should be absolutely crucified for her lack of performance” as secretary of state.

3. Ingraham Repeatedly Mocked An Immigration Protestor For Speaking English With An Accent. In November 2013, Ingraham repeatedly mocked a woman who was protesting the Obama administration’s record number of deportations, saying, “Wait, what did she say at the end? I can’t — I need a translator. I speak Spanish too. I’d rather have her just speak Spanish, at least I’d understand that.” She then went on to affect the woman’s accent, stating, “No want more amnesty. No want more lies. No want more phony promises. No want more people coming into the country, filling up our schools and our emergency rooms, having anchor babies and then blaming us for it. No want more that.”

4. Ingraham Claimed Immigration From Mexico Would Turn U.S. Into A “Hellhole.” Ingraham used a May 2013 hearing on immigration reform to claim that immigration from Mexico would create a “hellhole” and a “mini-Mexico,” saying, “I think a lot of you look around at this culture of ours, and some of it is our own fault, but we see America disappearing. I’m not even talking about demographics, I’m talking about our culture.”

5. Ingraham Equated Negotiating With President Obama To Negotiating With Castro On Human Rights. While discussing immigration reform in August 2013, Ingraham claimed that Democrats wanted to a “forge a permanent majority in the U.S. government, which is what they wanted all along.” She continued, “Small government conservatives willing to sit down and forge a comprehensive deal with Barack Obama on immigration. I mean, if you’re willing to do that, you might as well be willing to sit down with Castro and talk about human rights, because he’s had such a great record on that.”

6. Ingraham: People Who Use Food Stamps Are The Next Hurricane Katrina “Roof Squatters.” While discussing the House of Representatives’ passage of the farm bill in July 2013, Ingraham lamented the number of people who use food stamps, saying, “44 million people sucking on the — of the government. You know, the udder of the government.” She went on to say of food stamp recipients, “The next thing you know, they’re going to be standing on the roof, waiting for the helicopters to rescue them, right, the roof squatters during Hurricane Katrina.”

7. Ingraham Threatened To Personally Primary Challenge Republicans Who Support Immigration Reform. In May and June of 2013, Ingraham launched a series of attacks against Republican politicians whom she perceived as supportive of immigration reform, going so far as to claim that she would “primary challenge [Arizona] Senator Jeff Flake [her]self.” She also stated that she would look into running against Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham for his immigration policies, saying, “people think I’m joking, I’m actually not joking,” and later asserted that she would campaign against any House Republican who supported comprehensive immigration reform.

8. Ingraham Smeared The American Children Of Undocumented Immigrants As “Anchor Fetuses.” Ingraham’s attacks against pro-immigration reform Republican politicians were accompanied by numerous smears against immigrants and Latinos, including referring to the American children of undocumented immigrants as “anchor fetuses” during a discussion about Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) “embrace of the path to citizenship” in May 2013.

9. Ingraham Compared Obama’s Immigration Policies To “Spousal Abuse.” Ingraham invoked a “spousal abuse” analogy in February to describe President Obama’s immigration policies, claiming, “The administration led by Barack Obama are abusers of our Constitution.”

10. “We Can Then Wall Off Detroit” If Immigrants Move There. In January, Ingraham derided Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder’s plan to attract skilled immigrants to work and live in bankrupt Detroit, saying, “we can then wall off Detroit” to keep those immigrants from moving to other parts of the country.

h/t: Hilary Tone at MMFA

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Senate Bill 2681 has returned to the Mississippi legislature, resurrected by Senate and House Republicans during the last week of the three-month legislative session. SB 2681, the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act (PDF here), is one of many bills introduced in the states this year aimed at creating a “license to discriminate” against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people into law.

Opponents thought the bill had been temporarily defeated in early March when the controversial language was amended to institute a study committee in its place. Now, it’s closer to its original form.

Section 1 of the bill says, “Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection.”

In practical terms, for example, that would mean that a hotel or restaurant owner could refuse service to gay customers while claiming “exercise of religion” and government would have no recourse.

New to the bill is this, found in lines 16-18 of Section 1:

(b) Laws “neutral” toward religion may burden religious exercise as surely as laws intended to interfere with religious exercise; (c) Government should not substantially burden religious exercise without compelling justification;

The target of this section seems to make it clear that the bill is meant to reach far beyond just attacking LGBT rights. In fact, it seems to hint at a case before the Supreme Court right now, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby. In what could prove to be a landmark decision, the Supreme Court will decide whether or not corporations can refuse to provide female employees healthcare that includes birth control on the basis of religious belief (and thus whether or not corporations are people with all the rights people enjoy – including free exercise of religion).

The requirement that all healthcare plans include birth control for women may be one of those “neutral” laws that SB 2681 now mocks with quotation marks. This bill would make it clear that employers in Mississippi can refuse to comply with laws that don’t like on religious grounds. So if an employer who happens to be a Jehova’s Witness wants to deny employees access to healthcare that includes blood transfusions (which Jehova’s Witnesses are religiously opposed to), the government would have to provide a compelling justification before “interfering with” the employer’s “free exercise.”

The possibilities the quote-unquote “neutral” language introduces are truly myriad. The point, of course, is to say that there is almost nothing over which a claim of religious belief does not take precedence. A law doesn’t have to be intended to interfere with religious exercise; a religious person just has to claim it interferes.

This version of the bill goes beyond protecting free exercise of religion, instead solidly establishing claims of religious exercise in a privileged position above all else.

The bill makes explicit that it applies to all state laws, rules, regulations, and municipal and county ordinances. That could jeopardize recent advances made in Starkville, Hattiesburg, and Oxford, where anti-discrimination effort – including discrimination against LGBT people and other minority – via diversity resolutions have passed to great fanfare in recent months.

The bill still protects the interests of the business community, ensuring that “nothing in this act shall create any rights by an employee against an employer if the employer is not the government.” So, while the act does mean that employers can discriminate against employees and customers on the basis of religious exercise, employees are definitively barred from doing the same in reverse.

The Arizona-style “license to discriminate” bill goes back to a vote on the Mississippi House and Senate floors for an up-or-down vote. No further changes will be allowed. If it passes both houses, SB 2681 then goes to the governor’s desk.

H/T: Tony Merevick at BuzzFeed

New party tries to woo Hungary’s Roma (via AFP)

With elections looming on April 6, a new party is trying to win over Hungary’s largest ethnic minority, the Roma, a community scarred by deep poverty and racism and disillusioned by traditional politics. “Until now, the Roma have never had credible…

addictinginfo:

Sexist Pig Bryan Fischer: Women ‘Designed’ by God To Be Secretaries

Gender Discrimination Is Part Of Sexist Pig Bryan Fischer's Past

Bryan Fischer not only admitted, but gloated, about practicing gender discrimination his church because God designed men and women for different work.

God made women to be secretaries, not men, so gender discrimination is perfectly okay. That gem game from religious nut Bryan Fischer. He also admitted to discriminating on the basis of gender at his church. Specifically, he told men not to apply for secretarial or receptionist positions, because he wanted someone who sounded hospitable on the phones.

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It has barely been a month since Arizona’s “practice or observance of religion” legislation giving any person or group the “ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief” was vetoed by the governor who helped write the legislation. Arizona evangelicals were incensed their attempt to expand religious liberty to mean religious freedom to impose Christianity on any Arizonan or disregard any state or federal law failed, but little did they know that within a month of defeat the Supreme Court would decide whether or not to make the failed Arizona legislation the constitutional law of the land in a federal “practice or observance of religion” case. The so-called Hobby Lobby case will allegedly answer whether or not a private secular corporation is a religious person that can disregard federal law and impose its religion on female employees, and like Arizona’s failed “religious liberty” legislation, a decision for Hobby Lobby will be a national religious tyranny license with far-reaching implications.

It did not take more than a quick perusal of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties counsel’s arguments before the High Court demanding religious liberty to disregard a federal law to understand that there is much more to the case than meets the eye. It was the claim by Hobby Lobby that its religious belief determined that certain forms of birth control such as Plan B and IUDs induce abortion that goes against the corporation’s religious belief. The attorney for the government explained that none of these contraceptives aborts a pregnancy, but only prevents implantation in the uterine lining that is the definition of pregnancy; therefore the contraceptives could not possibly induce abortion.

The response from Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties came in the form of an amicus brief by former Democratic Senator Bart Stupac who wrote that “this doesn’t matter because although the government has made statements that terminating a fertilized embryo before it implants in the uterus is not an abortion, the relevant matter for claim of conscience is plaintiffs’ belief that a distinct human life begins at fertilization. It is no salve to be told that the government defines abortion differently.” However, it is not the government’s definition of abortion; it is humanreproductive biology that dictates there is no pregnancy until a blastocyst (when the embryo is a hollow sphere) implants in the uterine lining in the womb. A blastocyst is the second stage after a sperm cell punctures an ovum (fertilization) and becomes a single-celled zygote that is physically unable to implant in the uterine wall and likely sloughed off. Therefore, a zygote cannot be a living human being according to biological reality and Hobby Lobby’s Christian bible according to its god almighty.

It is the idea that Hobby Lobby’s religious “belief” is not supported by its own bible or biological reality that makes a favorable ruling tantamount to enacting Arizona’s “religious observance” legislation the law of the land.  The Arizonalegislation granted any individual or group freedom in the “practice or observance of religion the ability to act or refusal to act in a manner substantially motivated by a religious belief, whether or not the exercise is compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief.” If the Court rules for Hobby Lobby, then it acknowledges the corporation’s religious belief that human life begins at fertilization and sets a very dangerous precedent redefining pregnancy, making personhood the law of the land, and redefines abortion, miscarriage, and contraception as homicide; something the pro-life movement lusted after for decades. It also allows anyone to “act or refuse to act” if they claim they are motivated by “religious observance;” even if it is not “compulsory or central to a larger system of religious belief” such as Hobby Lobby’s ridiculous assertion that “human life begins at fertilization.”

Despite the High Court is ruling regarding a corporation’s religious liberty, once the precedent is set in stone any small business owned by a racist can claim religious liberty to refuse to serve people of color, a homophobic owner can refuse to serve or hire gays, and any hardline evangelical can refuse to hire Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Catholics, or women by claiming their religion forbids women working outside the home. In fact, there are no anti-discrimination or civil right laws that cannot be disregarded if anyone claims adhering to them violates their religious beliefs whether or not those beliefs are part of a religion. The real danger is the myriad edicts that are firmly rooted in the Christian bible anyone claiming religious freedom or conscience violation will be allowed to act upon regardless state or federal laws.

A ruling in favor of Hobby Lobby et al will adversely affect women first and it is game over for women’s reproductive rights because every Republican-controlled state will enact bans on abortion and contraception based on the idea that life begins at fertilization. As an aside, it was not until Republican man-god Ronald Reagan granted the Jerry Falwell, Paul Weyrich, and Francis Schaeffer “moral majority” political power that the idea a fetus is a living human being became mainstream. In fact, prior to 1982 the official position of the Southern Baptist Convention and Protestant evangelicals was that “god does not regard the fetus as a soul no matter how far gestation has progressed,” and that the “method of preventing pregnancy (including induced abortion) is not so much a religious as a scientific and medical question to be determined in consultation with one’s physician.” One wonders how much America’s women love Ronald Reagan now.

The religious right has panted for a “religious liberty” ruling abolishing the First Amendment’s “free exercise clause” in their behalf since 1982 to restrict other Americans from their right to religious freedom and they will not stop at dominating women. Although there was no mention of gays in Arizona’s “practice or observance of religion” legislation, it is believed that legally discriminating against gays was a major goal of the failed legislation.  A ruling for Hobby Lobby will set the precedent for any business or individual to discriminate against anyone as long as they claim it is part and parcel of their religious belief system, and one might be hopeful uber-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will join liberals on the bench and repeat his opinion to Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties their claim of corporate religious liberty is “an exaggerated view of religious freedom that serves to make the professed doctrines of religious belief superior to the law of the land, and in effect to permit every citizen to become a law unto himself.” However, the High Court is ruling for a corporation and there is little doubt the conservatives will follow their Citizens United decision and come down on the side of the secular for-profit corporations regardless the absurd assertion they pray, worship, and demand religious freedom to become a law unto themselves.

If Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby goes HL’s way, it’ll set off a scary precedent. 

h/t: Rmuse at PoliticusUSA

Hopefully IP52 fails in Oregon in November, while the marriage equality legalization ballot measure passes. 

h/t: Oregon United For Marriage’s Mike Marshall at Huffington Post

davis-abbot

The Equal Pay laws being dismissed by Republicans around the country don’t just apply to women. They also apply to minorities.

Republican AG Greg Abbott is running for governor of Texas, and he’s been making sweet talk to the ladies of Texas about how he totally loves equal pay for them, while at the same time refusing to say if he would actually support a law that allowed them to sue if they were not being paid equally for the same work. The people had their suspicions, especially after Republican Governor Rick Perry vetoed the state Lilly Ledbetter Act that was passed by the Texas legislature (not exactly a bastion of progressive thought).

Finally Abbott was busted for paying the women in his Attorney General office less than men for the same work. Since he’s been running that office for 11 years, the policies are a pretty safe reflection of his values. So he had to admit that although he talked a good game, he really didn’t mean it when he whispered sweet promises of equal pay to get you ladies to lay down and vote for him. It was all a lie. He would also veto the equal pay law, just as Big Business required.

Speaking of sweet empty promises, it turns out that on average in this same Attorney General’s office Anglo assistant attorneys general earn “on average $77,740 in base salary, while minorities earn $72,214.” Yeah, that doesn’t seem like a big deal unless you are the person earning less just because… SKIN COLOR. Furthermore, “The highest, best-paid classification of assistant attorney general is comprised almost exclusively Anglos: of the 21 members, just one is a minority.”

Nolan Hicks exposed this pay disparity today in The San Antonio Express-News (subscription link):

Even as Texas grows increasingly diverse, Anglos continue to vastly outnumber minorities in key positions and earn more salary in the Texas attorney general’s office.

Anglo assistant attorneys general outnumber their minority counterparts by more than 3-1, an analysis by the San Antonio Express-News of payroll data from the attorney general’s office shows.

Additionally, they earn more than $5,500 more in base salary, on average, than do minority assistant attorneys general.

A spokesperson for Abbott’s AG office tried to rescue him from today’s truth by declaring that while the numbers tell another story, she’d like you to believe that these salary decisions are based on each person (the logical and only conclusion from this statement is that minorities on average somehow lack things that Anglos have, other than the color of their skin). Lauren Bean huffed in a statement noted by The San Antonio Express-News, “Salary decisions are based on each individual attorney’s experience and qualifications – any assertion otherwise is baseless and irresponsible.”

Yes, hush up your baseless and irresponsible people noting statistical averages and asking questions! The Texas Republican finds your questions baseless and irresponsible. So there.

Now we just wait for the other shoe to drop on Abbott’s fantasy world, which clearly does not include women or minorities. In Abbott’s world, no one ever asks him why his policies are a bend over for big business and benefit white men– a category he fits into.

If the office were run by a Hispanic woman who paid other Hispanic women higher than white men with the same qualifications, Fox News would be running an endless scream fest about how white men are being targeted in Texas. But since it’s just minorities and women, who are supposed to know where they belong, well, this questioning is “irresponsible”. Only white men have the privilege of outrage, apparently, and indeed of questioning the practices and policies of say the IRS, for example.

I give you the shrinking Republican tent that may turn Texas blue on day in the not too distant future.

The question is really if Republicans like Greg Abbott aren’t discriminating in their own Attorney General’s office, than what do they have against allowing a minority or a woman the right to seek legal remedy longer than 180 days after their first paycheck? Greg Abbott should borrow a line from Cheryl Crowfor his rallies, “Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe.”

Republicans keep saying they love women and minorities, but yet their policies and laws benefit big business and hurt women and minorities.

This might explain why Democratic opponent State Senator Wendy Davis is surging from her double digit lag to a single digit lag. Greg Abbott better get it together and soon.

h/t: Sarah Jones at PoliticusUSA

thepoliticalfreakshow:

over, 50%, of, sikh, children, are, bullied, in, school,, simply, because, of, their, faith,Over 50% of Sikh Children Are Bullied in School, Simply Because of Their FaithImage Credit: AP

Children who wear traditional religious garb are twice as likely to be bullied than their less conspicuous peers, a new report shows. 

Over 50% of Sikh children endure school bullying, according to a study from the Sikh Coalition of more than 700 Sikh students in Massachusetts, Indiana, Washington and California. It’s even worse for Sikhs who wear a turban, a staggering 67% of whom report being bullied. 

That’s a significant jump from the estimated rates of bullying in the U.S. The National Center for Education Statistics states that around 32% of all teenage students report being bullied in school, while the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has an even lower estimation of around 20%.

Sikh children are being tormented by other students who make fun of and rip off their turbans, hurl names such as “terrorist” and “Bin Laden” at them, and tell them to “Go back to their country.”

image

Image Credit: The Sikh Coalition

One student, known as L Singh in the report, recounts his experience being, along with his brother, the only Sikh in a California school. He wore his hair uncut in a topknot, and used to leave school in tears every day after being picked on by classmates. After two years, his mother visited the school, but that made no difference. “Teachers were racist out there,” he said. 

Eventually, his parents took him to the barber shop, where he took off his turban and cut his hair. Sing remembers his mother and father were crying. But again it made little difference. He was still bullied so badly that the family had to relocate to Indiana. 

For a Sikh, cutting the hair is seen as “the most grievous injury,” the director of the Sikh Coalition, Amardeep Singh, told Al Jazeera. “It’s like cutting your arm off, or a leg. Sikh history is replete with stories of Sikhs literally choosing death over having a haircut.”

There are more than 25 million Sikhs in the world, making Sikhism the fifth-largest religion. It’s tricky to determine the size of the U.S. Sikh population, because the census does not enquire about religion, but the Pew Research Center estimates that there are 200,000 American Sikhs, while the World Religion Database at Boston University has this number at 280,000.

Sikhs have lived in the U.S. for more than a century, according to the report, but have faced extra antagonism in the last decade, since 9/11 shook America.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

"Brown skin and turbans have popularly become associated with terror," the study explains. "Crude popular culture stereotypes of terrorists and damaging media images outside the classroom have made their way into the classroom, to the detriment of young Sikhs."

It’s also not just a school problem, as Sikh adults face hate crimesworkplace discriminationand mistreatment at airports. Last August — one year after a gunman killed six people at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc. — the U.S. Department of Justice said it would begin tracking hate crimes against Sikh-Americans for the first time in history. 

But the classroom is an important place to start. The report calls on Congress to prioritize the passage of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require public schools to implement anti-harassment codes of conduct and report data on bullying to the Department of Education. It also wants to see inaccurate and inflammatory information about Sikhs — including “extraneous references to Sikh terrorists’” — removed from school text books.

That seems like a reasonable request, when more than half of Sikh children are being bullied.

Source: Lauren Davidson for Policy Mic

BarbWire, the new conservative website run by Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber, today posted a Heritage Foundation article called “Four Businesses Whose Owners Were Penalized for Their Religious Beliefs.”

But Barber added his own editorial flare to the article by adding an image of an anti-Semitic Nazi poster which reads, “He who wears this symbol is an enemy of our people,” to describe the supposed persecution of business owners in the US who discriminate against gay customers.

h/t: Brian Tashman at RWW

think-progress:

h/t: Zack Ford at Think Progress LGBT

h/t: Ian Millhiser at Think Progress Justice

Judson Phillips, president of Tea Party Nation, is a little upset about Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s decision last night to veto a bill that would have expanded the ability of business owners to discriminate against LGBT people and others.

“Tyranny is on the march,” Phillips declares in a piece on the TPN website that he also emailed to members of the group, adding that business owners who are not allowed to discriminate against gays and lesbians are “slaves” to the “great liberal state,” aided by “French Republicans” like Brewer.

“The left and the homosexual lobby are both pushing slavery using the Orwellian concepts of ‘tolerance’ and ‘inclusiveness,’” he writes.

Phillips then wonders if business owners will be forced to “create a cake for a homosexual wedding that has a giant phallic symbol on it,” “create pastries for a homosexual wedding in the shape of genitallia [sic],” or “photograph a homosexual wedding where the participants decide they want to be nude or engage in sexual behavior.”

H/T: Miranda Blue at RWW