Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Nondiscrimination

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Revealed: Matt Shea aided group training young men for ‘biblical warfare’

Archconservative Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich told The Guardian that“it almost sounds like going back to the Hitler Youth concept”.


The fact that this sorry individual has not been condemned by the Republican officeholders in the state of Alabama should tell the world what kind of people we are down here.

We are a bunch of right wing, pretend Christians. We want to control the lives of everyone else without practicing the slightest bit of self control.

We are a gun loving, animal abusing, group of hypocrites who have no conscience except when it comes to telling a woman whether to maintain a pregnancy. We are men who impregnate women and then take off, never to be seen or heard from again.

We are mainly white and frequently suck [leech] off the federal government pretending to be disabled while leveling criticism at people of color for needing financial help.

In short, we are a shameful part of the United States and I think that any corporate entity considering doing business here should rethink its decision.

And the corporate entities who are already here should speak out and condemn this man and every rotten sick thing he stands for.

An anonymous Alabama Democratic activist, commenting on the news that Goodloe Sutton has resigned as editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden after publishing an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to ride again. Sutton’s decision came to step down was sudden and unexpected. Initially, he defended his racist, hate-filled editorial, telling the Montgomery Advertiser:

“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off… We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”

However, he has now turned his paper over to his clerk… a black woman.


Abolition of death penalty in Washington draws attention from national, world media

Here’s a roundup of the coverage of today’s historic victory for human rights:

Note that stories published by local media are not included above.

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‘Trump, Trump, Trump!’ How 45’s name became a racial jeer

The New York Times examines “a phenomenon distinct from the routine racism so familiar in this country: the provocative use of Trump, after the man whose comments about Mexicans, Muslims and undocumented immigrants — coupled with his muted responses to white nationalist activity — have proved so inflammatory.”

Video Clip

Police officer: Relax, we only kill black people

In this dashcam video, presented with context by The Young Turks, Police Lieutenant Greg Abbott can be heard saying to a motorist he has pulled over, “Remember, we only kill black people. Yeah, we only kill black people, right? All of the videos you’ve seen, have you seen the black people get killed? You have.”


Reader responds to revival of hunger strike at Tacoma’s infamous private prison

To The Editor:

More than four hundred people have joined the hunger strike in the NWDC in Tacoma that started Monday. What are they demanding? Edible food, access to medical care, expedited immigration hearings, and pay of more than $1 per day of labor. These demands are not only utterly reasonable, it is horrifying that they are not already standard practice and that people detained in the NWDC have to take such extreme measures to demand basic rights and necessities.

This is not the first time the NWDC has drawn attention for it’s questionable practices. Last fall, we heard about the detention of a man who was adopted from Korea as a toddler and lived in the U.S. his entire life, simply because his adoptive parents didn’t fill out the proper forms. He was torn away from his wife and kids and locked up in the NWDC to be deported to a country he knew nothing about.

It seems clear that our current system of detaining undocumented people is a gross violation of human rights. And yet the Trump administration is asking for billions of additional tax dollars to implement mass detentions and deportations of undocumented people. What about America being “the land of the free,” “the land of opportunity?” Are these values we care about at all as a nation or are they just intended as cute catch phrases? Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Maria Cantwell, and Rep. Dave Reichert should reject this unreasonable request.

But this is a bare minimum. These injustices have been going on for much longer than the current administration has been in power, and simply preventing them from getting worse doesn’t make them better. There should be an immediate investigation into the shady practices of the NWDC, and for long term solutions to this crises we must work towards comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented Americans.

Helen Mountjoy-Venning, Olympia

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Highlights from court ruling halting Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Courtesy of the New York Times: “Here are some highlights from Wednesday’s ruling by Judge Derrick K. Watson of United States District Court in Honolulu, who issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Trump administration’s revised travel ban from going into effect nationwide.”


There are so many problems with Trump. I always wanted to come to America, I love America, but not any more, not with Trump.

— Refugee Abdullahi Warsame (The Globe and Mail: Fearful of Trump policies, families risk frigid 3 AM hike from Minnesota into Canada)

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How Washington State upended Trump’s travel ban

The New York Times profiles Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. The nation’s attention is now on Washington after the state won a sweeping victory against the Trump regime in federal court, incensing the so-called president.


Democrats either need to feed, nurture and aggressively champion the resistance, or they need to get out of the way in favor of someone who will. The usual rules no longer apply.

— Markos Moulitsas, speaking to The New York Times (As Democrats take to the streets, lawmakers rush to keep up).

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Mexico: We will not pay for Trump border wall

Mexico’s political leaders have wisely chosen defiance instead of capitulation. In a nationally televised address, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto declared that his country does not believe in walls and will not finance the border barrier that Trump has vowed to build. If the last few days have taught us anything, it’s that by uniting together against Donald’s bigotry, we can stop neofascism in its tracks.

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Trump weighing Muslim registry, says adviser

Can you say “unconstitutional”? “Un-American”?

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Maricopa County’s Joe Arpaio officially charged with criminal contempt

“Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio was officially charged Tuesday with criminal contempt of court when a federal judge affixed her signature, a formality that throws the lawman’s political and personal future into a level of crisis never before seen in his twenty-three years in office,” reports the Arizona Republic’s Megan Cassidy.


Arrest Arpaio, not the people! Racist Trump-supporting sheriff, accused of targeting Latinos, is charged with criminal contempt


Arrest Arpaio, not the people! Racist Trump-supporting sheriff, accused of targeting Latinos, is charged with criminal contempt

“Federal prosecutors on Monday charged Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County with criminal contempt of court, saying he willfully defied a judge’s orders to stop targeting Latinos — including citizens and legal immigrants — in traffic stops and other law enforcement efforts, behavior the judge said showed a pattern of discriminatory policing,” The New York Times reports.

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NCAA moves championship events out of North Carolina, citing anti-LGBT law

Breaking from The New York Times: “The National Collegiate Athletic Association said on Monday that it would relocate all seven previously awarded championship events from North Carolina during the 2016-17 academic year because of concerns over laws passed by the state that it said violated the civil rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”


Racism is racial prejudice plus power. Racism is the intentional or unintentional use of power to isolate, separate and exploit others. This use of power is based on a belief in superior racial origin, identity or supposed racial characteristics. Racism confers certain privileges on and defends the dominant group, which in turn sustains and perpetuates racism. Both consciously and unconsciously, racism is enforced and maintained by the legal, cultural, religious, educational, economic. political and military institutions of societies.

— Excerpt from the National Council of Churches’ 1984 policy statement on racial justice, quoted at Netroots Nation 2016.


I saw a young man, shot, helpless — shot for no apparent reason. I saw my nephew shot by a man, clinging to his life with no help. It was the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life.

— Clarence Castile, uncle of Philando Castile, who was killed by police in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, during a traffic stop near St. Paul.

The slaughter of Castile by police was captured on video and it has led Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to call for a federal investigation.

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‘He’s got a gun! Gun’: Video shows fatal confrontation between Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge police officer

Two reporters for The Advocate of Baton Rouge explain what is known so far about the killing of Alton Sterling, a thirty-seven year old black man who was killed by police in Baton Rouge without justification.


Many of the gun shot wounds were fairly severe… Many trunk, abdomen and extreme gun shot wounds. Our operating room has been quite busy all day long with those injuries.

— Dr. Michael Cheatham, chief surgical quality officer for the Orlando Regional Medical Center (via the Orlando Sentinel).

Recommended Link

North Carolina Republicans, U.S. Department of Justice file dueling lawsuits over HB 2

The fight over HB 2 North Carolina’s discriminatory new law targeting transgender individuals, has escalated after Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his legislative cohorts filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking a determination that HB 2 does not violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Department of Justice promptly responded with its own lawsuit asserting that HB 2 *does* violate the Civil Rights Act. Justice is asking for an injunction to block HB 2 from being enforced.