civil-rights

Rep. Espaillat Files Complaint Against Lawyer Who Unleashed Racially Charged Rant
Man in video identified as 42-year-old Aaron Schlossberg

Rep. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., filed a grievance against lawyer Aaron Schlossberg on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat filed an official grievance through the state court system against a man who was filmed this week going on a racially charged rant in a Midtown Manhattan lunch market.

The video, in which the man berates two workers at the market for speaking Spanish and taking his money through the “welfare” system before threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to deport them, has since gone viral.

Opinion: What Is the Cost When the Language of Politics Devolves?
Normalization of racially charged words is dangerous

A Trump supporter holds signs attacking Muslims and the Black Lives Matter movement behind a line of community relations police offers prior to the start of a rally by President Donald Trump on Aug. 22 in Phoenix. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

The words Americans now say, listen to and ignore in the world of politics once would have been publicly, if not privately, unacceptable — even in the world of sports.

Don’t believe me?

All the Voter ID Laws in May Primary States, Explained
Primary season ramps up, state requirement vary to cast ballot

Voting signs are posted at the early voting polls at One Judiciary Square in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

More states in recent years enacted voter ID laws requiring people to provide some form of proof that they are who they say they are before casting a ballot. Courts across the nation continue to judge, while Republicans say these laws are necessary to prevent voter fraud and Democrats argue the laws create barriers to voting and disenfranchise minority voters.

Either way, if you plan to vote this May, here’s what you need to bring:

In Face of May Day Protests, Here’s Where Senators Stand on Labor
See where senators stand on immigration reform, minimum wage and right-to-work

Immigration rights activists rally in Dupont Circle in Washington before their May Day march to the White House to oppose President Donald Trump’s immigration policies on May 1, 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Protesters took to the streets this week for May Day demonstrations calling  for better working conditions, higher pay and more compensation.May Day protests usually take place in progressive cities and states and focus on low income workers, immigrants and minimum wage jobs. The politicians representing those places and people don’t always share activist views on labor. Here are what senators from a few states with major protests think about activists’ demands:

Raising the minimum wage:“You can bet Democrats in Congress are going to fight to make $15 minimum wage a reality in this nation, from one end of the country to the other,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a speech on the steps of the Capitol last week, according to Vox.Immigrant workers:“I support further securing our borders; prohibiting hiring of undocumented immigrants by requiring job applicants to present a secure Social Security card,” the New York Democrat told the League of Women Voters in 2010. He also supports “requiring undocumented immigrants to register with the government, pay taxes, and earn legal [status or face deportation.]” Right-to-work laws:“We’re offering the middle class and those struggling to get there a better deal by taking on companies that undermine unions and underpay their workers, and beginning to unwind a rigged system that undermines every worker’s freedom to negotiate with their employer,” Schumer told the Washington Post on fighting Right-to-Work laws.

Opinion: America’s Future Depends on Clearly Seeing Its Past
A tragic history should be recognized by all

Victor Garlington holds up a photo of the lynching of his great-uncle Richard Putt after a South Carolina honor guard lowered the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds for the last time on July 10, 2015, in Columbia, South Carolina. America cannot move forward, Curtis writes, when so many leaders and citizens are mired in competing visions of its tragic past. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

It may be a museum that makes viewers want to look away, with its solemn memorial to the thousands of men, women and children murdered — lynched — in countless acts of domestic terrorism. But facing truth must come before reconciliation, before Americans can clearly see where the tribalism that continues to threaten unity can eventually and inevitably lead.

The Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice, opening this week in Montgomery, Alabama, is one step toward acknowledging the complicated truth of an America that too many still want to see as all glitter, an unvarnished march toward liberty and justice for all. Of course, the existence of the memorial does not mean those who most need to see it will be planning a trip any time soon.

Opinion: Taking the Lessons of the Holy Season and MLK — but Not to Heart
Trump and others miss key parts of civil rights leader’s message

President Donald Trump’s proclamation honoring Martin Luther King Jr. missed his demand that America’s laws must work for everyone, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call file photo)

Belief in the separation of church and state has turned out to be situational, depending on what issue you want the government to highlight or ignore — abortion rights or aid to the poor, criminal justice reform or same-sex marriage — and which faith you favor.

This is a time of year that challenges that not-so-bright line, no matter what side you fall on, when the occasional (or non) worshipper nevertheless is drawn by devotion, guilt or nostalgia to traditions that otherwise are pushed aside.

Opinion: It’s the Action of Youth That Shames Lawmakers
Amid the chaos of Washington, young marchers stepped up

Whether or not you agreed with the vision of the many young people who participated in the weekend’s “March for Our Lives” rallies across the world, at least they had one, Curtis writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It was partly partisan politics that drove protesters and counterprotesters in the global “March for Our Lives” on Saturday. Many who traveled to Washington or their town squares demanded action on school safety, gun control and more.

But to Washington lawmakers, of both parties and on either side of the gun issue, who just managed to pass a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill to keep the government running that same week and may not pass any other major legislation for the rest of the year, it was a rebuke.

All 22 Female Senators Demand Leadership Acts on Sexual Harassment Legislation
They want legislation passed in the House to come to the floor in the Senate

All 22 women members of the Senate want Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to bring legislation on sexual harassment passed in the House to a vote in the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women in the Senate are ramping up the pressure on chamber leadership to pass legislation to address the issue of sexual harassment and discrimination in congressional offices. 

All 22 female Republican and Democratic senators sent a letter Wednesday urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer to bring House-passed legislation on the issue to the floor for a vote. 

Judge Tosses Rep. Lujan Grisham’s Restraining Order Against Ex-Intern
Transgender intern claims she was discriminated against and fired

Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., obtained a restraining order that was later thrown out against a former intern in her office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One day after Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham obtained a restraining order against a former intern who worked for her on Capitol Hill, another judge scrapped the order.

Lujan Grisham, who is vacating her seat in New Mexico’s 1st District to run for governor, said she was “fearful” of former intern Riley Del Rey, and said in court documents that she “believes Ms. Del Rey intends to cause her serious harm or her behavior will harm other people in public settings.”

The Never-Ending Crisis at the Indian Health Service
As the chronically under-funded agency struggles, American Indians are getting sicker and dying sooner

Patients wait at an Indian Health Service clinic on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. (Will Kincaid/AP)

The health disparities between American Indians and the rest of the United States population are stark. American Indians are 50 percent more likely than others to have a substance use disorder, 60 percent more likely to commit suicide, twice as likely to smoke, twice as likely to die during childbirth, three times more likely to die from diabetes and five times more likely to die from tuberculosis. They die on average five years sooner than other Americans.

The Trump administration has pledged to make tribal health care systems more effective. During one of his confirmation hearings, new Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told senators the administration would welcome opportunities to improve the $5 billion Indian Health Service, which provides care for 2.2 million American Indians. “It’s unacceptable for us to not be providing high-quality service,” Azar said.