racial justice

COMMENTARY

Iowa’s new law raises question: ‘What is systemic racism?’

BY: - June 22, 2021

Faculty and staff in public schools, including public universities, are not to engage in the discussion of “systematic racism” in Iowa or the U.S. when conducting trainings of faculty, staff, and students. That’s according to House File 802, recently passed by the Iowa Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds. Training instructors are […]

Wisconsin congressman tries to ban ‘critical race theory’ in District of Columbia schools

BY: - June 19, 2021

WASHINGTON — A Republican member of the U.S. House from Wisconsin wants to restrict how District of Columbia public school teachers talk about racism and sexism, drafting a bill that’s the latest attack by the GOP against discussions of race and gender in U.S. schools. The bill introduced last week by Rep. Glenn Grothman, titled the “Ending […]

Biden urges Congress to act on policing reform after meeting with George Floyd’s family

BY: - May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — A year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, his family returned Tuesday to Washington, D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws. Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death — the deadline that President Joe Biden had urged lawmakers […]

Congressional Democrats scrutinize state elections laws for effect on minority voters

BY: - May 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Members of a U.S. House panel on Monday debated whether some state elections laws disenfranchise certain voters, including people of color, and split along party lines in their conclusions. The chair of the elections subcommittee of the House Administration Committee, Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C., voiced his concerns about recent voting requirement laws […]

Attempts to ban teaching on ‘critical race theory’ multiply across the U.S.

BY: - May 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — From statehouses to Congress, Republicans have launched into a fight against the teaching of “critical race theory,” which just a year ago was a niche academic term. Experts in critical race theory say it’s about acknowledging how racial disparities are embedded in U.S history and society, and the concept is being mischaracterized by […]

Iowa House sends policing bill to Gov. Reynolds’ desk

BY: - May 19, 2021

Over four months after Gov. Kim Reynolds proposed a “Back the Blue” policing bill, lawmakers have passed their own version of the legislation. The bill creates new penalties for protest-related crimes and gives qualified immunity to police officers. The House voted 56-35 to pass the bill on Tuesday evening, sending the legislation to Reynolds for […]

Charter school bill heads to Gov. Reynolds’ desk, divisive concepts bill gets a makeover

BY: - April 28, 2021

State senators approved a controversial charter school bill Wednesday that would allow new institutions to open outside the purview of a school board. House File 813 would create a new pathway for charter schools to form independently, applying and reporting directly to the State Board of Education. The Senate passed the proposal along party lines, […]

Chauvin verdict: Guilty on 3 charges in George Floyd’s death

BY: - April 20, 2021

MINNEAPOLIS — The jury has spoken, and found Derek Chauvin guilty in the death of George Floyd. The former Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than 9 minutes while he was handcuffed and face down on the pavement last May.  Chauvin was taken into custody and will be sentenced in eight weeks. The […]

COMMENTARY

GOP lawmakers’ actions speak louder than their words on law enforcement

BY: - April 19, 2021

“Now before we get into this debate tonight, let me be clear. If you support law enforcement — truly support law enforcement, you will be voting ‘yes’ tonight. If you stand up tonight and say you support law enforcement, your words will become meaningless with a ‘no’ vote on this bill. Actions speak louder than […]

COMMENTARY

Addressing anti-Asian discrimination also means stopping exploitation

BY: - March 26, 2021

I was chatting with a friend the other day and I mentioned that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was married to someone of a different race. His response: “She’s Asian American, that doesn’t count.” It was a strange thing for an educated man, a retired lawyer to say. Stranger still it was uttered just a […]

COMMENTARY

Standing up for free speech (unless it’s about white privilege or implicit bias)

BY: - March 22, 2021

Sales of dandruff shampoo should be spiking in Iowa after all the head-scratching over the latest adventures of the Iowa Legislature. There’s been a lot to puzzle over. Just last week, the Legislature gave final approval to a bill to make it legal for landlords in three Iowa cities to kick poor people out of […]

GOP lawmakers grill Ames school officials on Black Lives Matter program

BY: - March 9, 2021

Republican state lawmakers castigated Ames school officials Tuesday for presenting what they called “one-sided” and “offensive” materials as part of a districtwide celebration of Black History Month. The House Government Oversight Committee held a nearly two-hour hearing on the curriculum and materials associated with what district officials called a “Black Lives Matter at School Week […]