Civil Rights

Shelby County Commission

Shelby County committee recommends DOJ oversight of juvenile courts

BY: - September 23, 2021

The Shelby County Law Enforcement, Corrections and Courts Committee voted to recommend the U.S. Department of Justice resume oversight of the county’s juvenile court system after concerns that current policies have failed to address racial disparities.  On Wednesday the Countywide Juvenile Justice Consortium (CJJC), a citizen-led board created to hold the juvenile justice system accountable, […]

Juan Lombera, owner of MC Granite in Nashville. After weathering supply chain delays and labor shortages, his next challenge is getting his employees to comply with the federal vaccine-or-test mandate. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee businesses grapple with Biden vaccine-or test-mandate

BY: - September 20, 2021

Like many home contractors, Juan Lombera has had to weather a year-and-a-half of havoc wrought by the pandemic just to stay in business: supply chain slow-downs, labor shortages, workers out sick with COVID all while consumer demand for home improvement — and the marble, slate and quartz countertops Lombera specializes in — continues to rise. […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

Education committee drops discussion of Black history education

BY: - September 17, 2021

Chattanooga Democratic Rep. Yusef Hakeem says he is “surprised and disappointed” the Joint Legislative Education Committee won’t be discussing a bill he introduced during legislative session to provide the study of Black history to public school students.  In April, HB1460 was deferred to summer study, which typically means a bill has little traction. Hakeem wrote […]

(Photo: Getty Images)

Legislators put bail bond industry under the microscope

BY: - September 15, 2021

West Tennessee bail bond agent Shelly Alexander wept Tuesday as she told lawmakers how she once refused to bail her daughter out of jail for a meth arrest. Alexander knew her daughter had a “habit” and would go right back to debilitating drugs if she bailed her out. In fact, she told other bail agents […]

COMMENTARY
American president Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924) gives a speech to Congress, Washington DC, 4th December 1917. (Photo by FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Editor’s column: Presidential precedent exists for drastic action in times of crisis

BY: - September 12, 2021

On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced a six-prong strategy to try to get the current surge of COVID-19 under control. His platform includes fairly non-controversial steps that include making home COVID testing kits more readily available and extending the mask mandate in commercial air travel.  But the leading piece of Biden’s plan is one that […]

COMMENTARY
A Sept. 3 photo Gov. Bill Lee posted on his official Instagram page showed him enjoying dove hunting season in Humphreys County. (Photo: Gov. Bill Lee Instagram)

Commentary: ‘Unapologetic American exceptionalism’ exists in a whitewashed world

BY: - September 7, 2021

I follow Gov. Bill Lee on Instagram.  He’s probably not the first person that comes to mind when one thinks of cutting edge, visual social media.  I don’t follow him because I’m a fan of his policies or his plaid shirts or even his folksy, staged pictures in Anytown, Tennessee.  I definitely don’t follow him […]

Gov. Bill Lee addresses members of the 112th General Assembly at the opening of a special session dedicated to education. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Feds open civil rights probe of Lee mask order

BY: - August 30, 2021

The federal government opened a civil rights probe Monday of Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order on masks, threatening to take action against Tennessee if it finds a violation of U.S. law. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights informed Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn it opened a “directed investigation” into whether the state is […]

U.S. Capitol. Photo by Russ Rohde/Getty Images

House passes voting rights bill but Senate approval unlikely

BY: - August 24, 2021

The U.S. House on Tuesday passed, 219-212, along party lines a bill to reinstate a core section of the Voting Rights Act — a direct rebuke to state laws the bill’s supporters say have restricted voting rights. The bill, named for the late civil rights icon and longtime Georgia Democratic U.S. Rep. John R. Lewis, […]

Ernest "Rip" Patton photographed in the Nashville Public Library, January 2021. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Freedom Rider Ernest “Rip” Patton dies at 81

BY: - August 24, 2021

Ernest “Rip” Patton, Jr., a member of the Freedom Riders, has died at the age of 81.  Patton’s death was posted on the Facebook page of The Freedom Riders Museum on Tuesday. The Montgomery, Alabama museum dedicated to the Civil Rights Movement did not give a cause of death.  In February, Senior Reporter Anita Wadhwani […]

Tennessee House of Representatives (Photo: John Partipilo)

State lawmakers look to levy punishments on those aiding undocumented immigrants

BY: - August 13, 2021

Lawmakers speculated Thursday on how the state can further regulate companies providing services to undocumented immigrants under federal contracts and if the state can levy stricter punishments on those aiding undocumented immigrants.  The questions came during a meeting of the Joint Study Committee on Refugee Issues, which was formed after a group of migrant children […]

Drama Bryant, 38, with her brother Jay, 32, on the front porch of their family's home in Greene County. She is his primary caretaker. (Photo: John Partipilo

Tennessee families struggle with state agencies to get home-based care for those with disabilities

BY: - July 29, 2021

MOHAWK, Tenn. — Drama Bryant’s entire life has revolved around caring for her little brother, Jay, who — at 32 years old — requires 24/7 assistance as a result of congenital conditions that leave him unable to eat, bathe, go the bathroom, speak or walk unassisted. Jay Bryant has Down syndrome and autism, suffers seizures, […]

The nearly 3,000-pound bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest loaded onto a flat-bed truck for transport to the Tennessee State Museum. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Speaker wants more elected “voices” on monument decisions

BY: - July 26, 2021

In the wake of the State Building Commission vote to relocate the busts of Nathan Bedford Forrest and two U.S. admirals, House Speaker Cameron Sexton is set to push for a change in state law, likely to involve more legislators in future decisions to move statues. Sexton issued a statement last week saying, “From the […]