The civil rights problem of the mid-twentieth century was one of the greatest challenges to the American social fabric since the Civil War. Riots in scores of cities, and serious intergroup tensions and conflicts in thousands more, underlined the seriousness of the problem. Administrative Implementation of Civil Rights examines the role, operation, and contribution of the device most often relied on by local and state governments for dealing with intergroup problems—the human-relations commission. First used in the early 1940s to deal with discrimination against blacks, this commission was later often charged with implementing the civil rights of other minority groups and of women, the elderly, the handicapped, and the poor. It is Joseph Parker Witherspoon’s thesis that the human-relations commission was not used effectively, that an agency of this type has great strengths that most local and state governments did not utilize, and that its weaknesses are susceptible of remedy and must be eliminated. He explains these weaknesses and develops proposals for correcting them. Witherspoon examines the roles of the local, state, and federal governments in solving this country’s complicated and serious civil rights problem and demonstrates that a program that carefully coordinates action by the federal government with action by local and state governments could be made to work effectively. As a part of this demonstration he proposes the enactment of a new form of comprehensive civil rights legislation at local, state, and national levels, and presents a series of four model statutes—the Alpha Model Acts—for effectuating his proposals. The approach emphasized in these statutes greatly strengthens the role of the human-relations commission as a law-enforcement agency and, in particular, focuses the operation of federal and state action upon life in the individual community. The book concludes with a group of appendices listing all state and many local commissions and agencies handling human-relations problems at that time, and summarizing the type of authority, the jurisdiction, the operating budget, and the legislative basis for each. This list will be of interest to those studying the history of civil rights and public policy in the United States.
Drawing primarily on the US #blacklivesmatter movement, contributors to this issue come to terms with the crisis in the meaning of black politics during the post–civil rights era as evidenced in the unknown trajectories of black protests. The authors' timely essays frame black protests and the implications of contemporary police killings of black people as symptomatic of a crisis in black politics within the white limits of liberal democracy.
Topics in this issue include the contemporary politics of black rage; the significance of the Ferguson and Baltimore black protests in circumventing formal electoral politics; the ways in which centering the dead black male body draws attention away from other daily forms of racial and gender violence that particularly affect black women; the problem of white nationalisms motivated by a sense of white grievance; the international and decolonial dimensions of black politics; and the relation between white sovereignty and black life politics.
Despite being characterized as a “nation of immigrants,” the United States has seen a long history of immigrant rights struggles. In her timely book Against the Deportation Terror, Rachel Ida Buff uncovers this multiracial history. She traces the story of the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born (ACPFB) from its origins in the 1930s through repression during the early Cold War, to engagement with “new” Latinx and Caribbean immigrants in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Functioning as a hub connecting diverse foreign-born communities and racial justice advocates, the ACPFB responded to various, ongoing crises of what they called “the deportation terror.” Advocates worked against repression, discrimination, detention, and expulsion in migrant communities across the nation at the same time as they supported reform of federal immigration policy. Prevailing in some cases and suffering defeats in others, the story of the ACPFB is characterized by persistence in multiracial organizing even during periods of protracted repression.
By tracing the work of the ACPFB and its allies over half a century, Against the Deportation Terror provides important historical precedent for contemporary immigrant rights organizing. Its lessons continue to resonate today.
The political and social impact that Albert A. Peña Jr. had on the lives of Mexican Americans, and later Chicanos, is by all counts immeasurable. However, in part because Chicano biography has traditionally been a neglected research area among academics generally and Chicano Studies scholars specifically, his life’s work has not featured prominently in any biographical work to date, making this volume the first of its kind. It provides a richly detailed documentation of Peña’s life and career, from blue collar worker to judge and essay writer, spanning nearly ninety years. Readers will find that at the heart of his story is a focus on grassroots organizing and politics, sharing leadership, and a commitment to social justice.
Lynching is often viewed as a narrow form of violence: either the spontaneous act of an angry mob against accused individuals, or a demonstration of white supremacy against an entire population considered subhuman. However, in this new treatise, historian Guy Lancaster exposes the multiple forms of violence hidden beneath the singular label of lynching.
Lancaster, who has written extensively on racial violence, details several lynchings of Blacks by white posses in post-Reconstruction Arkansas. Drawing from the fields of history, philosophy, cognitive science, sociology, and literary theory, and quoting chilling contemporary accounts, he argues that the act of lynching encompasses five distinct but overlapping types of violence. This new framework reveals lynching to be even more of an atrocity than previously understood: that mobs did not disregard the humanity of their victims but rather reveled in it; that they were not simply enacting personal vengeance but manifesting an elite project of subjugation. Lancaster thus clarifies and connects the motives and goals of seemingly isolated lynch mobs, embedding the practice in the ongoing enforcement of white supremacy. By interrogating the substance of lynching, American Atrocity shines new light on both past anti-Black violence and the historical underpinnings of our present moment.
In the first book-length study of Storer College, Dawne Raines Burke tells the story of the historically black institution from its Reconstruction origins to its demise in 1955. Established by Northern Baptists in the abolitionist flashpoint of Harpers Ferry, Storer was the first college open to African Americans in West Virginia, and it played a central role in regional and national history. In addition to educating generations of students of all races, genders, and creeds, Storer served as the second meeting place (and the first on U.S. soil) for the Niagara Movement, a precursor to the NAACP.
An American Phoenix provides a comprehensive and extensively illustrated history of this historically black college, bringing to life not just the institution but many of the individuals who taught or were educated there. It fills a significant gap in our knowledge of African American history and the struggle for rights in West Virginia and the wider world.
America's Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights tells the behind-the-scenes story of a small federal agency that made a big difference in civil rights conflicts over the last half century. In this second edition of Resolving Racial Conflict: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, 1964–1989, Grande Lum continues Bertram Levine’s excellent scholarship, expanding the narrative to consider the history of the Community Relations Service (CRS) of the U.S. Department of Justice over the course of the last three decades. That the Trump administration has sought to eliminate CRS gives this book increased urgency and relevance.
Covered in this expanded edition are the post–9/11 efforts of the CRS to prevent violence and hate crimes against those perceived as Middle Eastern. Also discussed are the cross-border Elián González custody dispute and the notable tragedies of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, both of which brought police interaction with communities of color back into the spotlight.
The 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act substantially altered CRS’s jurisdiction, which began to focus on gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, and disability in addition to race, color, and national origin. Lum’s documentation of this expanded jurisdiction provides insight into the progression of civil rights. The ongoing story of the Community Relations Service is a crucial component of the national narrative on civil rights and conflict resolution. This new edition will be highly informative to all readers and useful to professionals and academics in the civil rights, dispute resolution, domestic and international peacemaking, and law enforcement-community relations fields.
Questions of human rights are among the most pressing and intractable matters at this historical moment. If claims to human rights are by definition universal, the formulation, legislation, and implementation of them tend to be significantly less than universal. And Justice for All? a special issue of SAQ, examines the idea and the reality of human rights and their attendant discourses. The essays gathered here—from academics and activists working in law, philosophy, political theory, literature, medicine, and ngos—collectively interrogate these universal claims to human rights and the political justice that may or may not follow from them.
Grappling with the philosophical and theoretical questions at the heart of human rights, these essays take into consideration current political configurations such as sovereignty, genocide, humanitarian intervention, and the neglected domain of cultural rights (the right to a cultural identity). Drawing on Enlightenment thinking about human rights at the same time that they analyze the central concepts at work there—including the “humanity of man” and the nature of rights or of law—the contributors make a necessary intervention in a world system that Enlightenment thinkers could scarcely have envisioned.
Contributors. Etienne Balibar, Rony Brauman, Wendy Brown, Rebecca Comay, Jacques Derrida, Paul Downes, Werner Hamacher, Thomas Keenan, Susan Maslan, Jacques Rancière, Bruce Robbins, Avital Ronell, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elsa Stamatopoulou, Slavoj Zizek
We all know what happened at Wounded Knee . . . don't we?
In this powerful and essential work, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn confronts the politics and policies of genocide that continue to destroy the land, livelihood, and culture of Native Americans. Anti-Indianism in Modern America tells the other side of stories of historical massacres and modern-day hate crimes, events that are dismissed or glossed over by historians, journalists, and courts alike. Cook-Lynn exposes the colonialism that works both overtly and covertly to silence and diminish Native Americans, supported by a rhetoric of reconciliation, assimilation, and multiculturalism. Comparing anti-Indianism to anti-Semitism, she sets the American history of broken treaties, stolen lands, mass murder, cultural dispossession, and Indian hating in an international context of ethnic cleansing, "ecocide" (environmental destruction), and colonial oppression.
Cook-Lynn also discusses the role Native American studies should take in reasserting tribal literatures, traditions, and politics and shows how the discipline has been sidelined by anthropology, sociology, postcolonial studies, and ethnic studies. Asserting the importance of a "native conscience"--a knowledge of the mythologies, mores, and experiences of tribal society--among American Indian writers, she calls for the expression in American Indian art and literature of a tribal consciousness that acts to assure a tribal-nation people of its future.
Passionate, eloquent, and uncompromising, Anti-Indianism in Modern America concludes that there are no real solutions for Indians as long as they remain colonized peoples. Native Americans must be able to tell their own stories and, most important, regain their land, the source of religion, morality, rights, and nationhood. As long as public silence accompanies the outlaw maneuvers that undermine tribal autonomy, the racist strategies that affect all Americans will continue.
It is difficult, Cook-Lynn concedes, to work toward the development of legal mechanisms against hate crimes, in Indian Country and elsewhere in the world. But it is not too late.
The right of same-sex couples to marry provoked decades of intense conflict before it was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015. Yet some of the most divisive contests shaping the quest for marriage equality occurred not on the culture-war front lines but within the ranks of LGBTQ advocates. Nathaniel Frank tells the dramatic story of how an idea that once seemed unfathomable—and for many gays and lesbians undesirable—became a legal and moral right in just half a century.
Awakening begins in the 1950s, when millions of gays and lesbians were afraid to come out, let alone fight for equality. Across the social upheavals of the next two decades, a gay rights movement emerged with the rising awareness of the equal dignity of same-sex love. A cadre of LGBTQ lawyers soon began to focus on legal recognition for same-sex couples, if not yet on marriage itself. It was only after being pushed by a small set of committed lawyers and grassroots activists that established movement groups created a successful strategy to win marriage in the courts.
Marriage equality proponents then had to win over members of their own LGBTQ community who declined to make marriage a priority, while seeking to rein in others who charged ahead heedless of their carefully laid plans. All the while, they had to fight against virulent antigay opponents and capture the American center by spreading the simple message that love is love, ultimately propelling the LGBTQ community—and America—immeasurably closer to justice.
When Karl Lutze arrived in Oklahoma in 1945, he stepped into another world. A newly ordained clergyman born in Wisconsin, he was a young white man assigned to minister among Muskogee’s African American community. He soon found that in the South, crosses were as likely to be burned as revered. His recollections of postwar Oklahoma provide a compelling testament to the era’s racial conflict and some steps taken toward its resolution.
Awakening to Equality offers a unique perspective on an often-violent era that witnessed the gradual dismantling of segregation. Serving congregations in Muskogee and Tulsa, Lutze encountered a cross section of both communities—from the white and black power brokers to the most disempowered black and biracial families—and a stratified society buttressed by intimidation, cross burnings, and bombs. His activism in the Urban League and other local civil rights organizations gave him firsthand experience with forces moving toward change, as well as with the more entrenched forces resisting it.
Blending personal anecdotes and recollections of key players in this unfolding drama, Lutze puts a human face on historical and journalistic accounts of social change during the crucial early years of the civil rights movement. He takes readers back to small-town and urban Oklahoma in a time when African Americans were beginning to challenge segregation in Muskogee’s public transportation and a handful of liberal whites were trying to move their communities toward desegregation. Throughout this rich memoir, we meet actual people creating a future—one that involved the very redefinition of America.
More than a view of an earnest young clergyman trying to grow beyond the racial and social limitations of the church of his day, Awakening to Equality also depicts the struggles of Lutze’s own denomination to overcome its earlier accommodation of racism. Lutze’s success in his ministries made his achievements a model for mission work among African Americans and led to his appointment in 1959 first as field secretary and then shortly thereafter as executive director of the Lutheran Human Relations Association, a pioneering civil rights organization. Simultaneously, he taught classes as Associate Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University.
Lutze not only witnessed important events but also participated in them and found that his entire career was shaped by the experience. Awakening to Equality is a moving story that captures the real-life education of a prominent clergyman during a critical period in American life.
In March 2009, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) was briefly taken over by a Christian faction. Their coup was overturned within a matter of weeks, but the episode highlighted a variety of issues, including the role of religion in civil society, sex education, homosexuality, state intervention and media engagement. Although the immediate issue was control of an activist group concerned with women's rights, it has implications for the agendas and concerns of NGOs, 'culture wars', the processes of citizenry mobilization, mass participation and noisy democracy, and liberal voices in contemporary Singapore.
In this book, academics and public intellectuals examine the AWARE saga within the context of Singapore's civil society, considering the political and historical background and how the issues it raised relate to contemporary societal trends. In addition to documenting a milestone event for Singapore's civil society, the authors offer provocative interpretations that will interest a broad range of readers.