Tag Archives | Discrimination

EU Rules Obesity Can Count As Disability

Just when you thought that the obese were the last large class of people left unprotected by discrimination laws, the European Union Court of Justice has ruled that if the obesity of a worker “hinders the full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers”, then obesity can fall within the concept of “disability.” From BBC News:

Obesity can constitute a disability in certain circumstances, the EU’s highest court has ruled.

The European Court of Justice was asked to consider the case of a male childminder in Denmark who says he was sacked for being too fat.

Grasa-abdominal-cintura.jpg

Photo Fj.toloza992 (CC)

The court said that if obesity could hinder “full and effective participation” at work then it could count as a disability.

The ruling is binding across the EU…

Clive Coleman, the BBC’s legal correspondent, comments:

Today’s ruling was of great interest to employers across Europe. The judgement makes no direct link between Body Mass Index and obesity, but is a powerful statement that an obese worker whose weight hinders their performance at work is entitled to disability protection.

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AFA: Shops who display ‘We Don’t Discriminate’ stickers are bullying Christians

Those poor Christians are contriving experiencing persecution, again.

The Sermon on the Mount

The Sermon on the Mount (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

via Pink News

The American Family Association has claimed that by pledging not to discriminate against their customers, Mississippi businesses are ‘bullying’ Christians.

The campaign was born after the state’s Governor, Phil Bryant, signed a ‘religious freedom’ law, protecting businesses who discriminate against gay customers.

The bill prevents authorities from placing a “burden on a person’s right to the exercise of religion”.

Equality Mississippi says in two weeks it has distributed over 500 of the stickers, which state: “We don’t discriminate – If you’re buying, we’re selling!”

AFA spokesman Buddy Smith said: “If you do that, you are agreeing with these businesses that Christians no longer have the freedom to live out the dictates of their Christian faith and conscience.

“It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign, and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture.

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Once Again A Young African American Is Killed For Seeking Help Following A Car Accident

renisha CBS News reports on a tragedy that echos the police killing of Jonathan Ferrell in North Carolina less than two months ago:

The attorney representing the family of a Detroit teenager who was shot and killed while apparently seeking help after a car accident says the girl was injured and may have wandered a Dearborn Heights neighborhood for as long as an hour before arriving on the porch of the man who shot her.

McBride, whose cell phone was apparently dead, “knocked on several doors and no one answered,” said Thurswell. The one man who did come to the door, apparently came armed with a shotgun. McBride was shot in the face and died on the man’s front porch.

Police have said the man, who has not been identified but is reportedly 54-years-old, told them he thought McBride was trying to break into his home and that the shotgun fired accidentally.

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On Immigrants Versus Expats

immigrantsRegarding how the terms we use frame our perceptions, Mehran Khalili on the terms for people from other places:

Immigration, a lexicon: You’re a ‘migrant’ when you’re very poor; ‘immigrant’ when you’re not so poor; and ‘expat’ when you’re rich.

Semantics matter: the images evoked by the words used to refer to a group of people will, over time, help to define what we think about that group and how we act towards it. And in the case of people migrating to Greece who have in recent years been badly mishandled by the state, the use of neutral language in reporting by international media and NGOs is vital.

Literally speaking, ‘migrants’ and ‘expats’ do indeed have the same meaning. But since practical usage can be something else entirely, feed both terms into Google Images to see how they’re illustrated. ‘Expats’ in Greece are depicted as white; ‘migrants’ as darker-skinned.

Who decides what ethnicity a person should have to be called a migrant?

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Republicans Now Seeking To Prevent Women From Voting

votersIt’s no longer just about minorities, the poor, and college students; introducing the next target for disenfranchisement. The New Civil Rights Movement notes that Republicans in Texas (and a number of other states) have now devised and passed new voter ID laws that will render a large fraction of female voters, but not male voters, ineligible to vote:

As of November 5, Texans must show a photo ID with their up-to-date legal name. Only 66% of voting age women have ready access to a photo document that will attest to proof of citizenship. This is largely because women have not updated their documents with their married names. Suddenly 34% of women voters are scrambling for an acceptable ID, while 99% of men are home free.

A birth certificate is not enough. Women voters will have to show legal proof of a name change: a marriage license, a divorce decree, or court ordered change; and they have to be the original documents.

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North Carolina Passes Sweeping Voting Restrictions Aimed At Minorities And Students

votersSince the Supreme Court’s striking down of a key portion of the Voting Rights Act in June, lawmakers in conservative Southern states have leapt into action passing legislation to restrict the ability of minorities, the young, the poor, and college students to vote. Via Buzzfeed, some of the most extreme changes are coming in North Carolina:

On Thursday, North Carolina legislators passed a revised voter ID bill, supported by Republicans who control the state Legislature, that would will place sweeping new restrictions on when, where, and how citizens can vote.

  • The early voting period will be shortened by a week, from 17 days to 10. Same-day registration during the early voting period will be eliminated.
  • Straight-party ticket voting will be eliminated.
  • Political party chairpersons will be allowed to designate up to 12 poll “observers” to monitor polling locations in order to ferret out voter fraud. Democracy North Carolina refers to these observers as “vigilantes.”
  • Sixteen- and 17-year-olds will no longer be allowed to pre-register to vote.
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The Mind-Boggling ‘Literacy Test’ Louisiana Gave To Black Voters In The 1960s

You may have heard that prior to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (gutted by the Supreme Court a week ago), across much of the American South blacks were denied the right to vote if they failed a literacy test. You might imagine that a literacy test confirms one’s ability to read and write. You would be wrong. Via Slate, take a shot at passing the actual test given to black voters in Louisiana in 1964. Remember that if you want to vote, you must get a perfect score, you have a mere 10 minutes to do the entire test, and half the questions don’t actually make sense. Also your results will be scored by the racist white voting registrar.

literacy test

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Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Portion Of Voting Rights Act

voting rights actThe Supreme Court giveth some rights, and taketh others away. The Los Angeles Times reports:

A sharply divided Supreme Court has struck down a key part of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965, freeing the Southern states from federal oversight of their election laws and setting off a fierce reaction from civil rights advocates and Democratic leaders.

The court’s conservative majority moved boldly Tuesday to rein in a law revered by civil rights groups that is credited with transforming the South by ensuring blacks could register and vote. In doing so, the court eliminated a tool that the Justice Department used hundreds of times to prevent cities, counties and states from adopting allegedly discriminatory voting rules.

Speaking for a 5-4 majority, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. pronounced the Voting Rights Act’s pre-clearance process a “resounding success” — and then declared it unconstitutional. The decision is likely to be felt in small towns and cities across the South, legal experts said.

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Attacks Against Emos And Goths To Be Considered Hate Crimes In United Kingdom

In five years, Bronies will be added to the census. The Huffington Post UK writes:

A police force has become the first in the country to record attacks on goths, emos and punks as hate crimes. Abuse towards alternative subcultures will be classed in the same way as those based on race, religion, disability or sexual orientation.

The historic move was welcomed by the mother of teenager Sophie Lancaster, who was kicked to death in Bacup, Lancashire in 2007 because she was dressed like a goth. Miss Lancaster, 20, was kicked and stamped to death because she was dressed as a goth in a park in Bacup in August 2007.

A police spokesman said: “From April 2013 Greater Manchester Police also now records alternative sub-culture related hate crime.” There are no immediate plans to change the national hate crimes register, but last year Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone acknowledged that the five recognized categories of hate crime was “an incomplete list”.

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Affirmative Action For Ugly People?

nerdIs being hideous a disability? Severe unattractiveness may be the final frontier in regards to discrimination based on physical characteristics. In the New York Times, economist Daniel S. Hamermesh makes the case for affirmative action for the ugly:

The effects are not small: one study showed that an American worker who was among the bottom one-seventh in looks, as assessed by randomly chosen observers, earned 10 to 15 percent less per year than a similar worker whose looks were assessed in the top one-third — a lifetime difference, in a typical case, of about $230,000.

In addition to whatever personal pleasure it gives you, being attractive also helps you earn more money, find a higher-earning spouse (and one who looks better, too!) and get better deals on mortgages. Each of these facts has been demonstrated over the past 20 years by many economists and other researchers.

Why this disparate treatment of looks in so many areas of life?

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