Tuesday, October 16, 2012

UPDATE: EU's Racist Anti- Roma Policies & GOP Racism Sending Obama back to Kenya & ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

The hate speech and racism at the core of the Republican election campaign to oust Obama.

Wisconsin Senate Candidate's Son Says We "Have The Opportunity" To Send Obama Back To Kenya by Andrew Kaczynski Buzzfeed ,Oct. 14, 2012

also see: Nine most racist moments of the 2012 election :The "47 percent" is only the tip of the iceberg -- and the election is still weeks away By Alex Kane, Alternet via Salon.com, Oct. 16, 2012

And here's 5 more reasons which show why Mitt Romney is unfit to be president

Five disturbing stories that reveal the real Mitt A close look at Romney's past reveals many warning signs -- some even worse than driving with his dog on the roof
By Lauren Kelley, Alternet via Salon.com, Oct. 16, 2012

Mitt Romney’s infamous dog-on-the-roof-of-the-car story is atrocious, and has been mocked within an inch of its life. But there are many other stories from the Republican presidential candidate’s personal life that illuminate what kind of a human being he really is. Here’s a look at a few of them.

1. Mormon women have reported “horror stories” about Romney from when he served as a Mormon bishop.

2. He reportedly pushed Bain employees to lie to get information.

3. He paid for his son and daughter-in-law’s surrogacy agreement, which included an abortion clause.

Speaking of Romney’s hard-to-pin-down stance on abortion, a recent story about his son Tagg, who had twins through a surrogate earlier this year, reveals that Romney seems to fall into the “abortion for me, but not for thee” viewpoint so common among conservatives. As AlterNet’s Sarah Seltzer recently noted:

TMZ released a blog post this weekend explaining that in the surrogacy agreement signed by Mitt Romney’s son, Tagg, there were clauses that allowed both the parents and the surrogate to opt for an abortion in non-life-threatening (but serious) situations.

There’s evidence that the clause may have been included by mistake, but:

Still, the fact they did allow the clause in — and indeed, that it’s a standard part of surrogacy agreements — is telling, because it’s totally reasonable to have those kinds of clauses in a surrogacy agreement. Surrogates shouldn’t be compelled to complete pregnancies that threaten their health. That’s common sense, right? Not in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s dream world.

4. He’s annoying his neighbors by quadrupling the size of his beach house.

5. He publicly berated a man for drinking and smoking weed

And speaking of racism the economic crisis of 2008 has had a greater negative impact on African Americans and other people of color than on the rest of the American citizenry.

The 2008 economic meltdown reveals how the Banks scammed African Americans and other people of color into taking on loans and mortgages which were misrepresented as being afordable which has led to home foreclosures and bankruptcy for those who had little to begin with. The ACLU is now taking action to redress these wrongs to communities of color by the banks use of predatory loans and mortgages.

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices By Dennis Parker, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program ACLU, Oct. 15, 2012

The economic crisis of 2008, which was devastating for the nation’s economy as a whole, was nothing short of disastrous for communities of color. Much of the decades of progress toward full inclusion in the American dream which was ushered in by the landmark civil rights laws of the 1960’s disappeared virtually overnight, stripping communities of color of their homes and their financial futures. These enormous setbacks were not the result of a natural disaster but were instead the easily foreseeable consequences of forces set in motion by banks eager to realize enormous profits without regard to the impact upon vulnerable communities.

The ACLU, along with the National Consumer Law Center and the law firm of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, filed a lawsuit today to hold Morgan Stanley, one of the institutions which placed these forces in motion, responsible for the destructive impact on families and communities in Detroit, Michigan. We are holding Morgan Stanley accountable for its collaboration with the sub-prime lender New Century Mortgage Company, which supplied Morgan Stanley with a steady stream of irresponsible, high-risk loans issued in neighborhoods that were particularly susceptible to economic ruin.

...The impact of these foreclosures started with families who lost their homes, and radiated out to communities ruined by empty houses that were poorly maintained and subject to vandalism. The effects promise to be felt long into the future. Families losing their greatest asset, their homes, lose their economic bedrock; the consequences can be felt for generations, as parents are less able to assist their children by leaving them money or financing their education or business start-ups using their homes as collateral.

Predictably, these impacts were felt far more severely by people of color in Detroit, represented by the plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

Hear plaintiff Rubbie McCoy’s story here:

...As new gatekeepers to the American Dream of homeownership, Morgan Stanley and its Wall Street partners could have implemented policies that furthered the possibility of home ownership for people who throughout the history of the country were prevented by discrimination from dreaming the dream. They could have assisted in building stable communities that would enrich the lives of their residents and the nation. At the same time, they could have made a reasonable profit and operated within the bounds of good business practices.

Instead, Morgan Stanley and others chose to barter the dreams and well being of the most vulnerable people for quick profits. We are pleased to bring this case to address this fundamental unfairness and to demonstrate that no institution is above the law. Institutions like Morgan Stanley contributed to a significant reversal of the gains this country has made in the four decades since the civil rights movement. The lawsuit we file today invokes a defining achievement of that movement – the Fair Housing Act – to seek justice for our clients and help restore some of that lost progress.

UPDATE: European countries involved in ethnic cleansing of Roma.
Given European countries unjust racist based treatment of the Roma it seems odd that the EU would be given a nobel peace Prize .

France: Scores of Roma left homeless in forced eviction near Paris, Amnesty International, Oct. 15, 2012

WASHINGTON - October 15 - Around 150 Roma – including some 60 children – have been left homeless outside Paris after being forcibly evicted and having their homes bulldozed on Monday morning, Amnesty International said.

The forced eviction in Noisy-le-Grand, in the department of Seine-Saint-Denis east of the capital, is the latest in a string of similar operations in Roma settlements across France in recent months.

“Authorities in Seine-Saint-Denis utterly failed to live up to their human rights obligations when conceiving and carrying out this operation, which amounts to a forced eviction,” said Marek Marczyñski, Europe and Central Asia program director at Amnesty International.

“In a scenario that has become all too common for Roma communities across France, scores of families, including young children, have again been rendered homeless because the local authorities failed to provide alternative housing,” Marczyñski said.

As many as 150 Roma from Romania have been living in shacks in the Noisy-le-Grand settlement for the last two years.

In April this year, a court in nearby Bobigny ruled that the settlement was to be evicted on or after June 13, 2012. The ruling cited the camp’s precarious conditions and noted that given the large number of children, a delay of two months – the standard length in most eviction cases – would be granted in order to give residents time to find an alternative housing solution.

On October 8, the Seine-Saint-Denis Prefecture called a meeting to discuss best practice for operations to evict the unauthorized settlement of Noisy-le-Grand. Although local NGOs attended, Roma were not invited to the meeting, and no precise date was given for the planned eviction.

Police officers and officials from the Prefecture visited the camp several times in the week prior to the eviction, and informally warned residents that the eviction would take place on the morning of October 15. Since mid-September, police officers – often dressed in plain clothes – had visited the camp several times to tell inhabitants to leave and that eviction was imminent, leaving inhabitants unsure of when the eviction would actually take place.

According to media reports and local activists, at around 8:15 A.M. on Monday some 10 police vans circled the settlement, and residents were given just an hour to gather their belongings and leave. An hour later, the camp was vacated and bulldozers started destroying the settlement’s shacks.

Amnesty International urges European Nations to prove they are worthy of Nobel Peace Prize by treating minority ethnic groups such as the Roma justly and fairly and by abandoning racist ethnic religious stereotyping and hate mongering. This is of course even more urgent these days due to the economic crisis during which times ethnic or racial minorities are often offered up as scape-goats. In the 1920s when Germany entered a period of economic crisis that Hitler and the NAZI party were able to convince the German people of the Big Lie that all that befell them from the losing of WWI to hyperinflation and massive unemployment could be blamed on the Jews whom Hitler argued were conspiring against the German people.

In the USA and other countries faced with a decade long economic crisis after the 1929 stock market crash there were those hate mongers such as Henry Ford and Father Couglin and the KKK and American Nazi Party/Bundt who used the occassion to preach against various groups such as the Jews , Blacks and others as undermining the health of the state ie racial and ethnic purity of their white Christian European ancestry.

No time for EU to rest on laurels after Nobel Prize win Amnesty International, Oct. 15, 2012

The EU won the prize on its achievement of peace within its borders and respect for human rights. No doubt both are a reality. However, it is also not the time to bask in this glory since the last few years have shown a decline in attention to human rights violations and desperate lack of political will to devise an internal EU human rights mechanism.

Despite its Charter of Fundamental Rights and despite its strong anti-discrimination legislation discrimination against Roma is at its peak in several countries – the problem to which the EU as an instutution still has not responded adequately.

Feeble action on addressing discrimination of Muslims and other minorities puts the EU in an embarrassing position politically.

And then there is the treatment of sexual minorities in some of the newer EU member states.

The hope that a Nobel Peace Prize brings today is that the EU will be able to look sincerely on what it got the prize for and what that brings in obligation to make another effort on its human rights record and foreign policy.

If it does, it will be able to address some of the fundamental challenges it faces and stand proudly in the same row as champions of human rights such as Martin Luther King, Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Irin Carmon argues that the push for "Personhood " legislation which would give personhood and rights to a fertilized egg /embryo/Zygot and therefore restrict the reproductive rights of women by making abortion in effect illegal in most cases with few if any allowable exceptions .

My only qualms with this argument is that given that Romney and Ryan and the GOP are all in sync in wanting to outlaw all abortions without exception as we saw at the RNC convention and at other gatherings such as the Values Voters' Summit and throughout this election campaign that if the Republicans win the election we can expect them to attempt to pass either a full frontal attack on women's reproductive rights by pushing "Personhood" legislation or taking incremental steps to eventually bring about the same results.  If they don't win they will try again to use state legislatures to pass what are in effect anti-abortion laws and if they maintain or increase their power in congress that they will continue to push  for similar legistation at the federal level.

Anti-abortion movement has a referendum problem Nationally, the ballot measure no longer looks like an effective weapon to limit reproductive rights By Irin Carmon, Salon.com, Oct. 16, 2012

The movement to classify fertilized eggs as people has hit a speed bump: “Personhood” won’t be on a single ballot this election, in a year with very few reproductive rights-related referenda at all. Anyone hoping that abortion would be used as a wedge issue to turn out so-called “values voters” for Republicans will have to look to congressional races and the presidential campaign, where reproductive rights have been unusually prominent.

This is not how it was supposed to work for the Colorado-based movement behind the Personhood push, which has been defeated twice in its home state and a third time in Mississippi. At the time that a petition drive succeeded in Mississippi for the 2011 ballot, there was reason to believe that the most conservative state in the union would start making Personhood look like a viable strategy for banning abortion, state by state, and somehow forcing the Supreme Court to consider a new abortion-rights paradigm. That didn’t happen. After a campaign that brought grassroots and national mobilization, focusing on “unintended consequences” involving birth control and infertility, 58 percent of Mississippi voters rejected the measure. This year, the Personhood movement hasn’t even been able to get on the ballot in its own state, because so many of its signatures were disqualified. (Anti-abortion forces are fighting that call in court, but Colorado’s ballots have already been printed.)

...Nationally, the ballot box no longer looks like a particularly attractive place to directly limit reproductive rights. “Since 2005, anti-choice extremists have seen their ballot measures attacking reproductive rights fail ten out of 11 times in states from Mississippi to South Dakota to North Dakota,” points out Samantha Gordon, spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice America. For example, in June, North Dakotans rejected by nearly 30 points a ballot measure intended to undermine contraceptive access provisions in the Affordable Care Act. South Dakotan voters have rejected abortion bans twice.

Arguably, the anti-abortion movement has been far more effective in passing incremental state laws — and using them, with the help of an ever-more conservative Supreme Court, to chip away at Roe, the ultimate target.

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