Human Rights

A Civil Rights Battle over a Streetcar

Even after the Emancipation Proclamation freed African-American slaves in the Confederacy on Jan. 1, 1863, racial bias was common even far from the rebellious South. Later that year, blacks fought to get access to horse-drawn streetcars in San Francisco, writes William Loren Katz.

Tales of Reagan’s Guatemala Genocide

Exclusive: Guatemala is finally putting ex-dictator Efrain Rios Montt on trial for genocide in the extermination of hundreds of Mayan villages in the 1980s, but Ronald Reagan remains an American icon despite new evidence of his complicity in this historic crime, reports Robert Parry.

No Rush to Judgment in Boston

Exclusive: Three people died and scores were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, part of the annual celebration of the Patriots who drove the British back from Lexington and Concord in 1775. For once, the U.S. news media didn’t rush to judgment about who did it, Robert Parry says.

US Still Dominates in Arms Spending

The U.S. government’s military spending excess — when compared with the rest of the world — is down somewhat due mostly to troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan but still accounts for 39 percent of the global total,  according to a new international study, examined by Lawrence S. Wittner.

Russia Bars Bush-Era Torture Lawyers

Exclusive: Washington and Moscow exchanged lists imposing sanctions on each other’s officials accused of human rights crimes. But America’s benefit of the doubt no longer applies, as the Russians named John Yoo and David Addington, Bush-era legal advisers who twisted the law on torture, Robert Parry reports.

The ‘Stooge-Like’ Palestinian Authority

As Israel changes “the facts on the ground” through settlement of Palestinian land, the prospects of a two-state solution fade from unlikely to impossible. That has made the Palestinian Authority into a “stooge” organization and helps explain the resignation of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Palestinian Right to Resist?

If journalistic objectivity is applied honestly, it means that all people must have equal standing whether they’re “on our side” or not; outrage over human rights crimes can’t be selective. But Israeli journalist Amira Hass faced fierce attack when she said Palestinians had a right to resist, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

Dr. King’s Warning of ‘Two Americas’

Besides battering down the walls of racial segregation, Martin Luther King Jr. demanded that America address its  economic barriers to fairness and justice, a challenge that may have earned him even more contempt from the power structure, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship note.

The Right’s Second Amendment Fraud

Exclusive: The Senate has beaten back a filibuster from Tea Party Republicans to block debate on possible gun-reform laws in the wake of last December’s massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators in Connecticut. But the setback won’t stop the extremists from continuing to twist the Second Amendment, says Robert Parry.

The Madness of NYT’s Tom Friedman

Exclusive: Looking back at the Iraq War and other disastrous U.S. foreign policy choices, you might wonder about the sanity of American leadership. But if you read star columnist Thomas L. Friedman, you’ll learn that it’s the rest of the world that’s crazy, as Robert Parry explains.