As the Supreme Court weighed arguments on same-sex marriage, Chief Justice John Roberts wondered aloud from the bench whether action on the issue by the court was necessary, because “politicians are falling all over themselves” to bring the legal rights of gay and lesbian Americans in line with those of everyone else. If only this were true. In up to 34 states it’s still legal for employers to deny jobs to citizens simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
On February 8, 2013 Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies raided a sports apparel company and arrested 23 workers suspected of working in the country without legal permissions. Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s raid at Sportex Apparel left many sons and daughters with out their parents—among them is a deaf teenage girl who’s mother, grandmother and grandfather have been in detention since the raid.
8 year-old Aamira Fetuga followed Tennessee lawmaker Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) around the state capitol until he agreed to drop a bill linking welfare benefits to a student’s academic performance.
Nearby, a choir of 60 activists sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children” as Fetuga handed Campfield a petition demanding that he drop the controversial bill.
Jackie Robinson made history on April 15, 1947 when he became the first African-American to play in the all-white major leagues. Then 28, the Georgia-born, Los Angeles-raised World War II veteran had already made a name for himself playing on Negro League teams and as an infielder for the Montreal Royals. Yet when he stepped up to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, Robinson became more than an athlete. If baseball was the national pastime, Jackie Robinson—who excelled despite vitriolic on-field racism—was a symbol of all that was not right in this country.
A single storyline about Native Americans and sports dominates general media coverage: The shameful and continued use of racist logos, mascots and gestures in professional football and baseball. Of course this remains an urgent issue. But the unexpected rise of Louisville’s women’s basketball team—and sister Cardinals Jude and Shoni Schimmel—in this year’s NCAA tournament provides a long-awaited chance to highlight another story.
The assumption that there is no real difference among black people is exactly what racism is. Our differences, our right to our individuality, is what makes us human. The point of racism is to rob black people of that right. It would be no different than me assuming that Rachel Weisz must necessarily have something to say about black-Jewish relations, or me assuming that Paisley must know something about barbecue because he’s Southern.