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


kansas-state-capitol-2.jpgHAYS, Kan. - Today, the Kansas NOW Political Action Committee announced its endorsements for the candidates running in the 2010 primary and general elections. Kari Ann Rinker, state coordinator of Kansas NOW, explains, "These endorsements indicate the PAC's approval of candidates who are, or promise to be, leaders in promoting NOW's issues, or candidates whose voting records, if they exist, demonstrate this support."

Kansas candidates were asked to respond to 7 survey questions and provide comments. The PAC's survey questions addressed issues such as gender equality, access to reproductive health care and legislation reducing violence against women.

Once the surveys were tabulated and reviewed by the KS NOW PAC Committee, decisions were made to endorse 45 Kansas Democrats and 11 Kansas Republicans. For the complete list of endorsements, click here.

multiculture.gifGREAT BEND, Kan. - Most white people in America are apprehensive of angry black men. Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball. Sidney Poitier broke the color line in Hollywood. And Barack Obama broke the color line on the Presidency of the United States. And all three of them did it by keeping their cool.

Jackie Robinson was a terrific baseball player. But that's not why Dodger G.M. Branch Rickey chose him to be the first black in Major League Baseball. Robinson was a UCLA graduate, and an Army veteran. But Rickey would not sign him until Robinson agreed NOT to fight back at the inevitable racism. "Are you asking me to be a black man who doesn't fight back?" asked Robinson. "I'm asking you to be a big enough man NOT to fight back," said Rickey.

Paying Tribute to the Sleeper Below

kaw-nation-seal.gifCOUNCIL GROVE, Kan. - When on the evening of July 16, 1861, Judge J. H. Watson observed several Indian graves on the brow of a hill overlooking the Cottonwood River and Middle Creek in western Chase County, he proceeded to desecrate them.

"These [the graves] are formed by piling up stones over the dead body," wrote Watson. "On removing a few of these, I perceived the moldering bodies of the once proud savage, an old rusty tin cup, and the decayed remains of what was once a bow and arrow."

Because the Kanzas had encamped in this area the previous winter, it is likely these were the graves of their tribesmen. And the violation of Kanza graves by white people was not uncommon.

LAWRENCE, Kan. - This piece was written by Lawrence NOW chapter convener, Ashley Barnes. Jana's life continues to inspire the young activists and advocates of the future. Thank you Jana. We miss you.

Two years ago today Jana Mackey, a Lawrence-area women's rights activist, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, a man known to have a history of domestic violence. She was a law student at KU, a lobbyist for the National Organization for Women, and a volunteer advocate for sexual assault victims. I never met Jana Mackey but her legacy resonates within the community - the impact that Jana left on the Lawrence community is readily apparent and her tragic story only accentuates the necessity of her efforts as a women's rights activist.

Kari Ann Rinker, Kansas NOW State Coordinator, came to my class and spoke of Jana's story and about the organization that her parents started in her honor - 1,100 Torches. 1,100 Torches is a simple organization, challenging people to get involved in their communities via volunteer service - essentially, it is a massive, community-wide, call to action.

My call to action was becoming involved in the Lawrence chapter of NOW which has just been reinstated. Jana was very involved in this organization and as I thumb through old files and paperwork, I have seen notes she made, and I wonder just how this tragedy could affect one with as much knowledge on the subject of domestic violence... How could this awful thing happen to someone my age and from my community? The answer is, sadly, simple - it happens far too often.

WICHITA, Kan. - A new ruling by the Supreme Court states the right to bear arms is a fundamental right. Really? Why just a gun? Should we then have the right to bear a sword? An Uzi? A taser? Why not?

According to various philosophers and political leaders we have certain natural rights. Thomas Jefferson famously referred to these rights as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." When it comes to liberty we especially value freedom of speech and conscience since we are born with the capacity to develop reasoning skills and communicate.

Thus we consider it our right to have the freedom to say, think, and write what we believe as long as it does not pose an immediate threat to public safety. To deny or suppress the innate right to reason and communicate would violate our very nature as humans. Right?

But do we really have "natural rights" or are those rights just ideas we have determined in our minds as something we desire?

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: June 2010. The next archive is Human Rights: August 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: July 2010 section.

The previous archive is Human Rights: June 2010. The next archive is Human Rights: August 2010.

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

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