Black Girls Are Criminalized for Choosing Survival

Black Girls Are Criminalized for Choosing Survival

In every state in the country, the right to self-defense is considered a mitigating factor in criminal prosecutions. If you use violence to defend yourself in an extreme situation, most Americans believe, the law should treat you gently. But not everyone gets to enjoy...
My Mother, Stopped for Driving While Black

My Mother, Stopped for Driving While Black

When the police pulled their guns on my mother, I reached for my phone and told her to be calm and do as they say. My parents and I had just been swarmed by police cars, sirens blaring, as we drove on I-64 through Virginia. Shock and fear consumed my family as we came...
Death by Traffic Stop

Death by Traffic Stop

What’s worse than being pulled over nearly 50 times? Believe it or not, quite a few things. Like racking up over $7,000 in fines and fees when you make just $30,000 a year. Or bearing the constant stress of being pulled over and fined, finally paying off one...
Does the Fourth Amendment Really Protect People of Color?

Does the Fourth Amendment Really Protect People of Color?

You may think that you should be able to leave your home at any time without fear of being stopped and questioned by law enforcement officials for no reason. Maybe you believe the Fourth Amendment protects you from being stopped and searched without cause. Apparently,...
I Am Kalief Browder

I Am Kalief Browder

The day before I started high school, my father took me up to the park around the corner from our house to have “the talk.” It’s the talk black families had when Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in Florida. It’s the talk we had when Michael Brown was shot and...
What Post-Racial America?

What Post-Racial America?

Having an African-American president is convenient. It boosts U.S. credibility in the Global South and makes us look like we’re making progress toward wiping out racism when we’re not. But it will take more than President Barack Obama’s tenure to...
Supreme Court Side-Steps Hate, Racial Profiling in Arizona

Supreme Court Side-Steps Hate, Racial Profiling in Arizona

Em Dickey is an intern for the Break The Chain Campaign at the Institute for Policy Studies. The Supreme Court split decision on Arizona’s controversial SB 1070 law came just 10 days after President Obama’s memo expanding prosecutorial discretion and...
Arizona’s Immigration Bind

Arizona’s Immigration Bind

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer called a news conference in Phoenix after the Supreme Court released its ruling on her state’s “papers, please” immigration law. She announced that the key components of her law “unanimously have been vindicated by...