Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: Human Rights: April 2010


GIRARD, Kan. - "Maria. Maria! The floor. That floor is not clean." It was the most shrill and demeaning voice. Maria stood there, a look of confusion and shame on her face. Peter, fluent in Spanish, calmly directed Conception to sweep the floor. The shrill voice barked at Peter, "She understands what I said, they all understand English-they just pretend like they don't. They're lazy."

It was the same every morning, a recording repeating day after day. No matter how hard Conception worked, she was never granted the respect of being called by her name or thanked for her work.

freedom-flag.jpgHAYS, Kan. - Tea Party supporters talk about 'freedom from government' but as a new survey suggests, many of the Tea Party supporters also strongly support certain government activities that could limit citizen freedom.

A new University of Washington survey shows that whites who are strong supporters of the tea party are apparently less committed to freedom and equality than those who oppose or are unenthusiastic about the movement.

"Our survey suggests that among tea partiers, there's less dedication to certain civil liberties," said Christopher S. Parker, a UW assistant professor of political science who leads the 2010 Multi-State Survey of Race & Politics. It examines what Americans, including supporters of the tea party, think about race, public policy, national politics and President Barack Obama.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Connie Schultz, nationally syndicated columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, will give this year's lecture for the Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series, entitled "Words from the Heart: Gender, Justice and Advocacy" on Wednesday, April 28 at 7:30 p.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas.

"We selected Connie Schultz to be this year's speaker because of her dedication to issues of concern to Jana," said Kathy Rose-Mockry, chair of the Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series board. "Connie has spent her career fighting for the same causes Jana did--women's rights, equality, social justice and serving others."

The Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 2009 to commemorate late women's rights activist and KU law student Jana Lynne Mackey.

immigration.gifWICHITA, Kan. - For over a century, some in American politics have attempted to keep certain groups of people from voting. Traditionally, going back to ancient Rome, the only people who could vote were those who owned property and the people who owned the property were men. But over the years, the United States passed laws and constitutional amendments to expand voting rights to other groups of people. In spite of Jim Crow laws and other similar means of disenfranchisement, we are generally quite proud of our efforts in suffrage, though the reality is we have a very long way to go.

Last week, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law a new measure to "crack down" on undocumented workers. It requires, among other things, for immigrants to carry their papers on them at all time that prove they are in the country legally. As these papers are important legal papers, it is dangerous to carry them around all the time. Kansas Secretary of State candidate Kris Kobach says this will apply only to immigrants and not US citizens as it is a federal crime to say one is a citizen when they are not. This is a curious statement.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Women, have you ever been walking home alone at night, and jumped at every twig that snaps, or has your heart skipped a beat when a shadow crosses your path, do you go over self defense scenarios in your head? Many of us are aware of the rules for walking alone at night: do not listen to your headphones, do not talk on your phone, have your keys ready in your hand. The reality is often times, women do not feel safe walking alone after dark. Many women I know will not even walk alone at night on the K-State campus, a place where we feel safe and at home most of the time. It is time to "Take Back the Night"!

HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Dynamic collaboration and strategic approaches are vital in prevention and intervention advocacy in the areas of domestic and sexual violence.

Volunteer work and activism with the Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Center in my city has given me perspective that values the unity of community advocates in fighting to protect the rights of every person.

Advocacy cannot be submerged or made secondary to the goals of careerism, territoriality, or to the effort of maintaining status quo. We define our commitment as advocates as being a part of a movement to end oppression. This definition constitutes solidarity with other movements to end oppression, such as oppression based on race, gender, sexual orientation/preference, social class, economic status or minority.

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Over 200 people demonstrated their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in Manhattan and Riley County on Saturday in first Pride march and rally the community has seen. Marchers represented individual LGBTs, allies, various community and K-State organizations and two of Manhattan's religious congregations: the Unitarian Universalism Fellowship and First Congregation - United Church of Christ.

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Lead marchers
Marching down Poyntz Avenue with a police escort the participants were met by a smattering of supporters along the route that took them west on Poyntz, then north on 11th Street and down Moro through Aggieville, ending at Triangle Park.

Jonathan Mertz, Chair of Flint Hills Human Rights Project, said: "I was driving the pickup at the end of the parade. When I turned onto to Poyntz to follow the walkers I had this view of a mass of people with signs and rainbow flags walking up the street and more people were running to join the crowd. It took my breath away."

WICHITA, Kan. - Sarah Palin is coming to the Intrust Arena in Wichita, Kansas on May 2. It is a fundraiser for a Christian school. We can only speculate as to what her contract with the school entails as the documents have surely been shredded by now... for everyone's protection of course.

Her appearance in Wichita doesn't surprise me, the demographic here seems right up her alley. There has been an onslaught of 'tea bagger' mentality in our state with sovereignty resolutions, tenth amendment activists packing the gallery of our state house producing a sea of American flags, camo and orange safety gear (I guess some analogies between lobbying and hunting, could be made), the expansion of concealed carry laws, pushes to opt out of national heath care reform before its passage and now that it has passed calls for our state attorney general to join the ranks of the rabid by challenging the national healthcare legislation. It all seems like such a waste of time, energy and money... cue the ½ term Alaskan Governor, please.

When Did Rape Become Funny?

SHAWNEE, Kan. - Facts show that rape is anything but funny. According to statistics, someone in the US is raped every two minutes. Additionally, victims of rape are 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide, and 3 times more likely to suffer depression. According to the group One in Four, "8% of men admit committing acts that meet the legal definition of rape or attempted rape. Of these men who committed rape, 84% said that what they did was definitely not rape." Sixty percent of rapes are never even reported, and only 6 percent of rapists will ever spend a day in jail for their crime. Are you laughing yet?

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and their allies will make history as they hold the first Pride March ever in Manhattan on Saturday 24 April. The march will start at 2:00 pm in front of the Riley County Courthouse and will proceed down Poyntz Avenue to 11th Street, then north on 11th to Moro, through Aggieville, ending in Triangle Park with a rally that goes until 4:30 pm.

Along with speeches and entertainment, the rally will feature openly gay musician Tom Goss. Goss will also be in concert with Jeremiah Clark later on the 24th beginning at 9:00 pm at Mel's Tavern in downtown Manhattan.

HAYS, Kan. - I've been a part of the Human Right's Group for about a month (give or take a a few days for anyone who's counting). Through the group's many activities I've made friends that are both genuine and unique. Last Monday, while I was chained to a pole, I met roughly ... eight new people that I had never seen before in my life. But this isn't just about the people (well, in a way it is, since it's the Human Rights Group), it's about what the people in this group are able to bring to society. So far, I've been able to take part in two events that the Human Right's Group has hosted - "A Day Without Shoes", and "Spare Change to End Chains."

GREAT BEND, Kan. - Growing up my parents always told me, I could be anything I wanted. I suppose that is why it was so heartbreaking when I found out the rest of the world does not agree. I cannot begin to list the amount of times it has been insinuated I cannot do something because I am of the female origin, but I can count how many times it has been directly stated to me.

Running for election this fall I have come across many different people. Most everyone I met has been respectful, and I have enjoyed positive discourse with them. This week I caught a snag.

TOPEKA, Kan. - If you live in Kansas, chances are pretty darn good that you've heard of psychotic homophobe, religious cult leader and all-around a-hole freakazoid Fred Phelps.

You may not, however, have heard of his son, Nate Phelps. Nate is the 6th of Fred Phelps' 13 children. Rather than follow in his father's footsteps and stay with his family clan, Nate chose to leave home at 18 and has never looked back. He denounces all of his family's homophobic beliefs and, through lots of thoughtful contemplation, is an atheist.

What's sort of shocking--as if there's anything about the Phelpses that can't be called "shocking"--is that Nate shines a light on the secretive Phelps compound and reveals the chilling physical abuse he and his siblings endured while growing up, both at the hands of their father and each other--at their father's direction. You can read some of Nate's story on his website. He's also busy writing a memoir.

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is Human Rights: March 2010. The next archive is Human Rights: May 2010.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents. The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.


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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the Human Rights: April 2010 section.

The previous archive is Human Rights: March 2010. The next archive is Human Rights: May 2010.

The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.

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