Friday, October 13, 2017

Roy Moore Led Charge Against Removing Segregation From Alabama Constitution – Talking Points Memo

Roy Moore Led Charge Against Removing Segregation From Alabama Constitution – Talking Points Memo

By CAMERON JOSEPH Published OCTOBER 13, 2017 6:00 AM

Alabama’s state constitution still contains the following language:
“Separate schools shall be provided for white and colored children, and no child of either race shall be permitted to attend a school of the other race.”

In 2004, a bipartisan coalition of Alabama leaders moved to eliminate sections of the state constitution mandating school segregation and poll taxes. They assumed it’d be an easy feat — until Roy Moore got involved.

Democrats and Republicans led by then-Gov. Bob Riley (R) worked together on an amendment to remove language in the state constitution mandating “separate schools for white and colored children” and allowing poll taxes, Jim Crow-era requirements that people to pay to vote that disenfranchised most black people.


The changes were purely symbolic — all of the state constitutional language had already been struck down by state and federal courts — but civil rights and business leaders saw it as a way to heal old wounds and make the state more attractive to big business.

The opposite happened instead, and Moore’s fierce opposition likely made the difference.

“He had a huge impact. It was a measure that was set to pass without much opposition and then because he got involved it changed the dynamic completely,” said Susan Kennedy of the Alabama Education Association, the state public teachers’ lobby that supported the amendment.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The day nine young students shattered racial segregation in US schools | World news | The Guardian



Sixty years ago school started thee weeks late in Little Rock as Gov. Orville Faubus defied the United States Supreme Court's school integration order.  the image above became the an icon of white racist resistance.

But the lives of the two girls at the center of the photo - the stoic Elizabeth and the raging Hazel took an unexpected turn.  Years later  Hazel called Elizabeth.  David Margolick tells the story of their not so easy reconciliation in his book Elizabeth and Hazel.



The day nine young students shattered racial segregation in US schools | World news | The Guardian

by David Smith

It was September 1957, the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, and nine black pupils little guessed they were about to plant a milestone in the struggle for civil rights to follow those of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old lynched in Mississippi in 1955, and Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Alabama later the same year.

Brown v Board of Education, the landmark 1954 supreme court ruling that segregated schools were unconstitutional, should have meant she and fellow pupils could take their places at Central High. But Governor Orval Faubus of Arkansas, in the deep south, remained defiant and used the national guard to block their enrollment. The African American children were left in limbo for three weeks.

On the first day of term, the national guard were there to stop the nine entering Central High, where all 1,900 attendees were white. Three weeks later, on 25 September, the group braved a hostile white crowd, climbed the school steps and were escorted to class by US army troops. They became known and revered as the Little Rock Nine.

Eight of the nine are still living and will return to Little Rock on Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the US’s first major battle over school segregation. A day later, several will be in Washington to speak at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. It will be a moment to reflect on how far the US has come in unravelling educational apartheid – and whether, in recent years, progress has stalled or even reversed.

The share of “intensely segregated” black schools has trebled over the past 25 years, according to research by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which warns of a “resegregation” taking hold. One of the Black students, Minnie Jean] Trickey, who turned 76 earlier this month, asks bleakly: “What kind of country doesn’t see education for all children to be the primary value? I think the US has two values: segregation, which they do so well, and violence.”

Speaking by phone from her longtime home in Canada, she can still remember vividly the combination of segregation and violence that left her “whole body shaking with fear and shock” as a teenager six decades ago.


On 23 September 1957, the group did get into the building with police protection. But an angry mob of more than a thousand white people had gathered in front of the school, chanting racist abuse such as “Go back to Africa”.

“I really think that we were afraid to look at the mob; at least I was,” says Trickey. “So we just heard it and it was like a sports event, that sound, the roar, but it was a roar of hatred, and just thinking about it makes me shake.”****

KEEP READING

Harvard Law acknowledges burden of slave labor

We are in a period of intense debate about race - because we have elected a racist President of the United States.  Is that too harsh? Not after his descent at Trump Tower,  not after his birther: calumny, and certainly not after his inability to directly address the virulent racism on display at Charlottesville, Virginia. 
There is a surface plausibilty to leaving up the monuments to heroes of the war to save slavery.  Plausible if post-civil rights movement we had erected statues, renamed bridges and roads (other than the de rigeur re-naming of the main street in Black communities).
A few months ago Georgetown acknowledged  its debt to the slaves sold by Jesuits to allow the school to remain in operation. - gwc

Thursday, September 21, 2017

4th Bellwether Over J&J Metal Hip Implants Kicks Off - Law360

Mark Lanier, the outstanding Texas trial lawyer is taking another whack at Johnson & Johnson.  The pharma giant is battling 9,000 hip implant cases, pelvic mesh cases, and talc cases.  

4th Bellwether Over J&J Metal Hip Implants Kicks Off - Law360

This is the fourth bellwether trial involving the Pinnacle line of metal-on-metal hip implants. The first involved a single plaintiff from Montana and ended in a defense win. The second, involving five plaintiffs from Texas, ended in a $502 million verdict that was reduced to about $150 million. And the third, involving six plaintiffs from California, ended in December with a more than $1 billion verdict, later reduced to about $543 million.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Chemerinsky brief argues Trump's pardon of Arpaio is void

Chemerinsky brief argues Trump's pardon of Arpaio is void

Updated: A proposed amicus brief filed Monday argues that President Donald Trump’s pardon of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is void because it violates the Constitution. The brief (PDF) was submitted to a federal judge in Phoenix who is considering whether the pardon, issued before Arpaio had a chance to appeal his contempt conviction, requires her to vacate the conviction, Law.com (sub. req.) reports.


Arpaio was found guilty of contempt for violating a federal judge’s order to stop detaining citizens based only on a suspicion they were in the country illegally. Trump pardoned Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, on Aug. 25.
On one side is the U.S. Justice Department, which is urging U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to vacate all orders in the case and dismiss it as moot.

A Powerful, Disturbing History of Residential Segregation in America - The New York Times

Growing up in Levittown the first Black person I saw was at Jones Beach.  As I got interested in the news - reading the New York Times which we got every morning, the struggle against segregation was in the south.  I never asked "why is there no one Black in our town?"  When we moved to Massapequa when I was 13 it was the same.  Italians,Irish, Jewish but nobody Black.



What I didn't know was that the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) refused to insure mortgages in neighborhoods that were not all white.  That our Levittown contract to purchase included the provision that we would sell only to Caucasians.

Richard Rothsetein demonstrates the federal government - which financed the entire post-war suburban housing boom - actively segregated the country.  Richard Rothstein demonstrates decisively that the segregation of America's towns and cities is not just the result of private preferred but rather the result of conscious government policy. gwc

A Powerful, Disturbing History of Residential Segregation in America - The New York Times

by David Oshinsky

THE COLOR OF LAW
A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
By Richard Rothstein
Illustrated. 345 pp. Liveright Publishing. $27.95.
In the summer of 1950, with Americans reeling from the news of North Korea’s invasion of South Korea and Senator Joseph McCarthy’s ever expanding “Red hunt” in Washington, Time magazine ran a disarmingly cheerful cover story about the nation’s housing boom, titled: “For Sale: A New Way of Life.” Featuring the builder William Levitt, who had recently transformed some Long Island potato fields into a sprawling complex of starter homes — two bedrooms, one bath and an extension attic for $7,990 — it spoke reverentially of the development’s parks and playgrounds and many rules. “Fences are not allowed,” Time noted. “The plot of grass around each house must be cut at least once a week,” and laundry couldn’t be hung outside “on weekends and holidays.”
One rule, however, was conveniently absent from the piece. Homeowners in Levittown were forbidden to rent or sell to persons “other than members of the Caucasian race.” Asked about this so-called “racial covenant,” Levitt blamed society at large. “As a Jew, I have no room in my mind or heart for racial prejudice,” he said. “But I have come to know that if we sell one house to a Negro family, then 90 or 95 percent of our white customers will not buy into the community. This is their attitude, not ours. As a company, our position is simply this: We can solve a housing problem, or we can try to solve a racial problem, but we cannot combine the two.”
At first glance, Levittown stands as a prime example of de facto segregation, which results from private activity, as opposed to de jure segregation, which derives from government policy or law. Levitt, after all, appeared to be an independent businessman responding to the prejudices of the home buyers he hoped to attract. In truth, it wasn’t that simple. As Richard Rothstein contends in “The Color of Law,” a powerful and disturbing history of residential segregation in America, the government at all levels and in all branches abetted this injustice. “We have created a caste system in this country, with African-Americans kept exploited and geographically separate by racially explicit government policies,” he writes. “Although most of these policies are now off the books, they have never been remedied and their effects endure.”
Levittown reflected this dynamic. Popular with World War II veterans and their families, its 17,500 houses required no down payment. The federal government guaranteed low-interest bank loans for Levitt to build them, and low-interest mortgages for veterans to buy them. The government also made clear that developers receiving these incentives must sell to whites only. 
Photo
One of the great strengths of Rothstein’s account is the sheer weight of evidence he marshals. A research associate at the Economic Policy Institute, he quite simply demolishes the notion that government played a minor role in creating the racial ghettos that plague our suburbs and inner cities. Going back to the late 19th century, he uncovers a policy of de jure segregation in virtually every presidential administration, incl

The Resegregation of Jefferson County - The New York Times

What we call the "but for test" demonstrates that but for slavery and the American system of apartheid known under the sanitized name "Jim Crow" white people would not be trying to escape Black schools and neighborhoods.
The complexity of resisting the resegregation movement turns on the difficult question "whose burden is it to correct the historical error of America's original sin. - GWC
The Resegregation of Jefferson County - The New York Times




In 2013, a flier began making the rounds in Gardendale, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. On it, a blond white girl wearing a red backpack and knee-high socks peered innocently at a question hanging above her head: “Which path will Gardendale choose?” Beside her was a list of communities in Jefferson County — Pleasant Grove, Center Point/Huffman, Adamsville/Forestdale, Hueytown — under the heading: “Places that chose NOT to form their own school system.” Below that was a list of four communities — Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Trussville — that did form their own school systems and were “listed as some of the best places to live in the country.”
To outsiders, these names are meaningless, but local residents knew exactly what was being said. In Jefferson County, like in any other racially mixed metropolitan area in the country, the names of towns and neighborhoods can serve as code, a way of referencing race without being explicit. Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Trussville and their schools were heavily white. Center Point, Pleasant Grove and the others listed next to the girl all had large black populations — some had shifted from majority white to majority black.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Letter from a Birmingham jail

In his letter from a Birmingham jail King states his position on obedience to law:
Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest.
I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law.

M.L. King, Jr. on Meet the Press (1965) discussing civil disobedience
In Selma - the movie - King is just one of many heroes
Rev. M.L. King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963) 

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Resegregation of Jefferson County - The New York Times

The Resegregation of Jefferson County - The New York Times

by Nikole Hannah-Jones



In 2013, a flier began making the rounds in Gardendale, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham. On it, a blond white girl wearing a red backpack and knee-high socks peered innocently at a question hanging above her head: “Which path will Gardendale choose?” Beside her was a list of communities in Jefferson County — Pleasant Grove, Center Point/Huffman, Adamsville/Forestdale, Hueytown — under the heading: “Places that chose NOT to form their own school system.” Below that was a list of four communities — Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Trussville — that did form their own school systems and were “listed as some of the best places to live in the country.”
To outsiders, these names are meaningless, but local residents knew exactly what was being said. In Jefferson County, like in any other racially mixed metropolitan area in the country, the names of towns and neighborhoods can serve as code, a way of referencing race without being explicit. Homewood, Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Trussville and their schools were heavily white. Center Point, Pleasant Grove and the others listed next to the girl all had large black populations — some had shifted from majority white to majority black.
The flier was produced and sent out by a group of parents calling itself Focus (Future of Our Community Utilizing Schools) Gardendale. Focus was created in 2012 with a singular purpose: to split off Gardendale’s schools from the 36,000-student Jefferson County school district, where black students outnumber white ones. This process of breaking off is known as secession, and school secessions have become fairly common. Laws in 30 states explicitly allow communities to form their own public-school systems, and since 2000, at least 71 communities across the country, most of them white and wealthy, have sought to break away from their public-school districts to form smaller, more exclusive ones, according to a recent study released by EdBuild, a nonpartisan organization focused on improving the way states fund public education.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial | Dallas-Fort Worth Legal Examiner | Dallas-Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial | Dallas-Fort Worth Legal Examiner | Dallas-Fort Worth Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial. DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial Update. The latest DePuy Pinnacle hip failure trial which was set to start this week with the fourth bellwether trial has been postponed until later in September.
Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial
Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial. DePuy is under fire over its Pinnacle/Ultamet line of metal hip devices causing metal poisoning and premature failure according to lawsuits.
Postponed DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial
DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trial Update. Federal Judge Ed Kinkeade delayed the upcoming DePuy Pinnacle hip implant bellwether trial after a split federal appeals panel requested that he halt the proceedings due to a “grave error.”
In the August 31st opinion, two of three judges on a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit refused to grant a petition for writ of mandamus filed by DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. to halt the trial.
But two of the three judges indicated that U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade committed a “grave error” in allowing certain trials to take place before him, including the latest one involving eight New York plaintiffs.
DePuy Pinnacle Metal Hip Failure Trials
In May 2011, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation centralized pretrial proceedings in the cases before Judge Kinkeade in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
Johnson & Johnson has lost the last three out of four bellwether trials and the company is appealing the massive verdicts, urging the Court to remand thousands of cases back to individual U.S. District Courts nationwide for trial dates.
There have been no settlements to date over the DePuy Orthopaedics’ Pinnacle Hip Replacement system, and Johnson & Johnson has vowed that it has no intention of settling hip replacement injury claims for patients who have developed side effects with DePuy Pinnacle implants.