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Civil Rights and Race Relations in America and Their Impact on the Lives of African Americans
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Civil Rights & Civic Engagement Organizations Joint Statement on Reapportionment Data: Focus Should Not Be on Partisanship, But People12/28/10
Yesterday, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, MALDEF, along with other civil rights and civic engagement organizations, issued the following statement regarding the recently released reapportionment data:
The release last week of the first numbers from the 2010 Census underscores even more than usual the importance for all Americans, and especially Americans of color of heeding the nationwide redistricting process about to get under way. As the U.S. Census Bureau releases more data in February and March, state legislatures will begin redrawing the boundaries of their political districts – a process that will be heavily influenced by population shifts. The new Census numbers show the effect such shifts and growth in population can have.
When the New York City Council voted earlier this week to require the New York police and schools to issue reports on the suspensions, arrests and summonses of New York students, it represented a victory for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. The uneven application of school discipline, and its effects on the educations of African-American students, is rapidly becoming a hot topic, as parent groups and even human rights groups are questioning whether zero tolerance behavioral policies disproportionately harm black students.
When Kemba Smith Pradia spoke this fall to a gathering of students at South Carolina State University, her candid talk about violence against women and the campus “hype” over drugs, sex and money resonated with students and faculty alike.
“By having enough courage to stand up and share her story, she empowered a lot of young men and women,” says Tiffany McMillian, a social work major at SCSU who was in the audience. “She was really real. (She) didn’t keep any secrets.”
Kemba Smith Pradia knows of what she speaks.
Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said the judge’s decision was “not a setback” because it was consistent with new housing vertical patrol, procedures and training curriculum put in place this year.
Before making a trespass arrest, Mr. Browne said, officers are trained to ask a person: Do you live in the building? Are you visiting someone? Do you have business there? Based on the answers, and on follow-up questions, an officer might establish probable cause for an arrest, or might tell the person to leave or become satisfied that he or she can stay.