Tag Archives: civil rights

Book review: Against Equality

26 Oct

I picked up a copy of Against Equality at the 2010 Richmond Zine Fest. I had heard about it, and was too busy to go see a presentation about the book at U of R a couple weeks ago.

I just wanted to let people know that Against Equality is really worth reading. Even if you have been keeping up to date with the radical queer response to the mainstream Gaygenda to legalize Gay Marriage, Against Equality manages to collect essays and interviews from a wide variety of sources, some of which you probably missed.

The essays in general do an excellent job of bringing issues of intersectionality, social justice, and privilege to light in regards to the Gay Marriage campaigns.

The discussion about immigration and immigrant rights in regards to gay marriage explains very well how it is not enough to support imimgrant rights only in the context of one type of partnership. Gay marriage is diluting the immigration issue. Continue reading

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May 21st: Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo

25 May

Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo (April 11, 1925 – March 25, 1965)-

Viola was a civil rights worker who was murdered by the Klu Klux Klan in Alabama. She was a mother of 5 in Michigan, who was moved by the Civil Rights movement. She travelled down south to take part in protests and marches. She was helping to drive local marchers home after the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. In her car was 19 year old Leroy Moton, who was an African American. Driving home, they were forced off of the road by another vehicle. The Klansmen shot into the car, hitting Viola twice and killing her. Leroy played dead when the Klansmen came to inspect the car. After they left he ran for help.

The murderers were quickly apprehended. The reason this case can be said to involve the state is that one of the 4 men in the car was an informant for the FBI. The four Klan members in the car, Collie Wilkins (21), FBI informant Gary Rowe (34), William Eaton (41) and Eugene Thomas (42) were all arrested.

A series of all white juries acquitted and mistrialed the case for a while. In the mean time 2 of the Klansmen died from other accidents and natural causes before they ever served time. They were eventually all found guilty and sentenced to 10 years. Gary Rowe, the FBI employee, was put into the Witness Protection Program, because of Death threats from the KKK.

The Klansmen received a lot of community support, even having a parade in their honor.

On December 28, 1977 the Liuzzo family, filed a lawsuit against the FBI. They charged that Rowe, as an employee of the FBI, had failed to prevent Liuzzo’s death and had in effect conspired in the murder. Which would make the state culpable for the murder. Later, the ACLU filed another lawsuit on behalf of the family.

Rowe was indicted in 1978 and tried for his involvement in the murder,but the first trial ended in a hung jury, and the second trial ended in his acquittal.

Ultimately the folks who were accountable for this murder were not truly held accountable. The state and the Klansmen got away with the murder of Viola Liuzzo.

McDonnell’s Preservation of White Supremacy

7 Apr

Word has it that another white, male, middle aged politician  has fucked up. I am definitely not wearing my surprised face, lets just say that much. I even have a hard time mustering up decent outrage over things like this, because they are so common and intrinsic to the system we live in. These sorts of bad decisions, perpetuations of racism/classism/sexism/ etc., oppressive maneuvers seem to me to be the obvious ends of the way our government and economy functions. I try not to be shocked, but rather, roll with the punches.

In this case, lets talk about how Virginia’s governor (not my governor, I don’t vote) issues a statement on the down-low Friday about re-declaring April Confederate History Month. Continue reading