Second Look – A week in review.

The Armed Protests Outside Brock Turner’s Home Are Dangerously Counterproductive  – Christina Cauterucci of Slate discusses the impact of vigilante protesting.

At the Sacred Stone Camp, A Coalition Joins Forces to Protect the Land – A coalition is forming in North Dakota where a varied group of people are acting as protectors of the land seeking to stop the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The protestors prepare to act as resistance in the fight for the community’s right to land and clean water. This topic has garnered both national and international attention as a battle for the survival of Native people.

The Uncomfortable Truth about Children’s Books – Dashka Slater for Mother Jones discusses the complexities of publishing children’s books in a time when diversity is somehow mistaken from exclusion and social media polices publishers.

Ava DuVernay on Directing Queen Sugar, Properly Lighting Actors of Color, and Why She Used to Be More Brave – The Academy Award-nominated director of Selma discusses with the Vulture TV Podcast the stylistic and directorial decisions in her first foray into television with OWN’s Queen Sugar.

Are Cracker, White Trash, & Redneck Racist? – For MTV News Decoded, Franchesca Ramsey discusses the linguistic history, racial context, and classist realities of references for poor white people in America.

Second Look is a weekly content round-up of articles, videos, podcasts, and blog posts highlighting all things race, gender, and/or social justice. Feel free to discuss your thoughts or opinions in the comments below.

Thoughts about a Social Justice Warrior

Just about a year ago, Jackie texted me.

“Hey Cuz.  Hope you are well.  Can you give me a call this evening…”

Anytime someone sends a text asking you to call, that’s a bad sign.  It foreshadows something texts can’t handle.  “Damn,” I thought.

“Cousin,” she’d called me that since she and Pete got married in 1987; since his last name is Williams, folks assumed I was family.  After all, Williams is a pretty unique name for Black folks…that was a joke that never got old.  Even now, as I anticipated the worst.

“I have cancer.”  OK. I thought, maybe it’s not so bad.  Maybe it’s treatable.  Maybe they caught it early.  Maybe… Continue reading “Thoughts about a Social Justice Warrior”

“I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege

The Pew Research Center found in July that while 63% of women surveyed found gender still posed obstacles for women’s progress, 56% of men said such challenges were mostly history.  Then, this week, a headline in The Guardian put a human face on that divide with this: “’I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male’: Are Modern Men the Suffering Sex?”

Uh, no.  Continue reading ““I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege”

Capital Punishment and Race: Join the Conversation

Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Rachel Lyon’s “Race to Execution” comes to Cincinnati Law on September 21.

I no longer ask, “Do these people who committed these crimes deserve the death penalty?” I ask, “Does society deserve to kill people, when they’re so unwilling to engage in an honest conversation about the impact of race?”

Bryan Stevenson’s blunt question is at the heart of the provocative documentary Race to Execution. Cincinnati Law’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice and the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati will screen the film and host a panel discussion including filmmaker Rachel Lyon on September 21, 2016. Continue reading “Capital Punishment and Race: Join the Conversation”

Breaking the Debt Cycle: CFPB Targets Payday Lending

Get involved in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to reform payday lending.

I need[ed] some money ASAP.  So I called my Mom.

“Mom, I need some money!”

And, she’s like, “No, why don’t you just go ahead and get a pay day loan?”

“What’s that”? 

“You just borrow some money from them and then you pay them back once you get your money on payday.”

I said, “Oh, okay sure.” So I do it, I get my little pay day loan.

This excerpt from a community-based research project involving UC Law Professors Emily Houh and Kristin Kalsem, and Public Allies Cincinnati shows how easy borrowing money can be.  The dialogue is from a “zine,” a small black and white publication that graphically depicted interviews about payday lending, a financial resource relied upon primarily by low-income communities of color.

Almost 30% of Americans don’t have banks, or, if they have them, rely heavily on alternative financial systems like payday loans, rent-to-to-own, or car title loans to make ends meet. Most do so because they don’t believe they have enough money to open a bank account. In addition, these banking alternatives are easy to use and conveniently located.

But these pluses come with significant minuses.

Continue reading “Breaking the Debt Cycle: CFPB Targets Payday Lending”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

The new focus on sexual assault is an opportunity to make real change on campus.

557b8ee85d17a-imageGuest Contributor:  Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)

Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.

Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.

Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence.  Continue reading “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses”

Title IX, Transgender Students, and Bathroom Battles

School districts challenge the Obama Administration’s reading of Title IX.

When Gavin Grimm starts his senior year on August 30, he’ll have to use the girls’ bathroom.  Or a repurposed broom closet.

Gavin is a transgender boy.  Last year, when he and his mom told school officials about his transition, the school agreed to treat him like the boy Gavin always knew he was.  But the School Board objected, ultimately passing a regulation forbidding him from using the boys’ bathroom.  Gavin sued and successfully got an injunction from the Fourth Circuit that prevent the Board from enforcing its new policy.  But the U.S. Supreme Court, in turn, granted the Board’s request to keep the status quo in place until the Court decides whether to hear the Board’s appeal.  So, while the Board works on its petition for review, Gavin’s got to use the girls’ room.  Or that bathroom formerly known as a broom closet.

Gavin’s case is just one of several lawsuits in which transgender students’ rights are at stake. A district court recently put on hold the Obama Administration’s anti-discrimination policies for these students, which means Gavin’s predicament won’t be unique. Continue reading “Title IX, Transgender Students, and Bathroom Battles”