NBC NEWS — Eight men, the majority of whom are older and black, say they were subject to age and race discrimination while employed at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City, alleging in a lawsuit filed Nov. 20 that they couldn’t advance because of a “glass ceiling” for people of color.
The ex-employees, who are represented by The Cochran Firm, worked at the high-end department store’s flagship location in midtown Manhattan. Some of them were hired back in 2010 and 2011, and were placed in sales in the men’s department with “limited customer traffic and far removed from the department’s front entrance” — putting them at a disadvantage, according to the suit.
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ABC NEWS — A senior official at the Veterans Affairs Department hung a painting of the first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and Confederate general in his office but removed it after some employees circulated a petition to force him to take it down.
David Thomas, a deputy director in the VA office that verifies small businesses for government contracts, never directly received complaints from his coworkers about the painting, a spokesman for the federal agency said Wednesday.
The portrait depicts Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate Army general turned inaugural KKK leader, posing on the back of a horse. The words “No Surrender” and the date 1862 are written on a title card below the painting.
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ABC NEWS — A topic now engrained in the dynamics of the Florida gubernatorial debate, both candidates had a lot to say when it came to the controversies regarding racism.
Republican Ron DeSantis was asked about his affiliations with political donors and figures who have at various points made questionably racist remarks, including a donor who once called President Obama the N-word and his own use of the phrase “monkey this up” when referring to Democrat Andrew Gillum, his African-American opponent.
DeSantis got very testy on the topic, at one point saying he can’t know everything his supporters or people he is affiliated with could have said at one time or another. He instead said he would represent all Floridians, regardless of race, but would not participate in political correctness.
Gillum responded saying “I’m not calling Mr. DeSantis a racist, I’m simply saying the racists believe he’s a racist.”
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SLATE — On Nov. 6, Louisiana voters will decide the fate of a Jim Crow–era law that allows juries to convict people on felony charges with only 10 of 12 jurors agreeing on a guilty verdict. Roughly 2,000 inmates are currently serving life sentences as a result of nonunanimous verdicts in Louisiana.
The split-jury rule was adopted in 1898 in response to the equal protection rights awarded to black citizens by the 14th Amendment. To minimize the influence of black jurors, lawmakers made the change. At the constitutional convention where the law was instituted, its proponents made their motivation abundantly clear—white supremacy.
“Our mission was, in the first place, to establish the supremacy of the white race in this state to the extent to which it could be legally and constitutionally done,” reads an excerpt from the convention’s Official Journal of Proceedings.
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REVEAL NEWS – Every state has a crime victim compensation fund to reimburse people for the financial wallop that can come with being a victim.
Florida is one of seven states that bar people with a criminal record from receiving victim compensation.
The laws are meant to keep limited funds from going to people who are deemed undeserving. But the rules have had a broader effect: An analysis of records in two of those states — Florida and Ohio — shows that the bans fall hardest on black victims and their families.
Administrators of the funds do not set out to discriminate. They must follow state law directing who can receive compensation. But critics call the imbalance a little-known consequence of a criminal justice system that is not race-blind.
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KCCI CBS 8 reports new findings from a six-year study conducted at Iowa State University finds that racism is rampant for Black men in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields. Black men face obstacles in areas of higher education because of inequalities and a lack of support from advisers and peers, according to the findings. But the study also shows that Black males students are riding out the storm, despite the extra challenge. Read the full story from KCCI CBS 8.
“The death penalty in the South has roots in lynching,” says University of Virginia law professor and author Brandon Garrett. In a video interview at Salon, Garrett says “there’s a long, ugly history of racial bias in the American death penalty.” Garrett’s latest book is “End of Its Rope: How Killing the Death Penalty Can Revive Criminal Justice.” In it, Garrett explains what led to the decline of the death penalty, and how reforms could one day bring it to an end. Read more in this article at Salon.
Law school students may sometimes have to defend positions they don’t necessarily agree with. However, a group of Yale law students is disagreeing with the argument that they should have to defend racist points of view. The students are taking issue with a recent opinion piece in Time magazine by a Yale Law School dean. Read more about the story at The Nation.
A temporary worker is accusing the BMW division of Mini of racism and sexism in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Michelle Savoy also says the company retaliated against her when she asked about being moved from temporary status to permanent. Ms. Savoy worked as a temp at Mini for ten years. More on the story is available at Automotive News.