Civil Rights

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In-person voting rule challenges Rutherford County voter ill with COVID-19

BY: - August 14, 2020

On July 29, Brittney Whidden received a phone call from the Rutherford County Election Commission. While her husband’s absentee ballot had been approved, hers would not be. Whidden pushed back, and the election commission made an exception. Whidden, who tested positive for COVID-19 and is recovering, received her ballot via mail July 31, but reached […]

Franklin's Angel Stansberry leads a crowd to Cordell Hull Office Building for the special legislative session. (Photo: Alex Kent)

Special session bill criminalizes camping on state property and threatens voter rights

BY: - August 13, 2020

The Tennessee General Assembly Wednesday passed a bill that makes camping on state property a felony. House Bill 8005 appears to target Black Lives Matter protesters who have been camping on Legislative Plaza in downtown Nashville since mid-June. One portion upgrades the punishment for camping on property not specifically designated for camping from a Class […]

Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson (Photo: Metro Nashville Network)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper: Chief Anderson’s last day is Thursday

BY: - August 6, 2020

Nashville Mayor John Cooper drastically moved up the planned retirement of Police Chief Steve Anderson, announcing Thursday will be Anderson’s last day on the job, following the arrest of a homeless Black man for failing to abide by the city’s mask mandate. Anderson had been with the department for 45 years and served as police […]

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Students work to better Black history and slavery education in TN

BY: - August 6, 2020

When Mariah Toennies was temporarily on crutches and sitting out of gym class, she said she was able to speak with her teacher at Nolensville High School a little more than usual. During one conversation her teacher learned Toennies was adopted by a white family, and that her birth father was black. Toennies said her […]

Marsha Blackburn waves her finger.

Top Homeland Security official vows federal agents ‘will not back away’ from violent protest

BY: - August 5, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration’s number two at the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday defended federal law enforcement officers’ intervention in protests in Portland, Oregon, and other cities this summer. Characterizing some of the protests as “mob rule,” Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told lawmakers  that federal agents could exert force in […]

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus say farewell at the conclusion of Monday’s memorial ceremony for the late Atlanta Rep. John Lewis in the Capitol Rotunda. Lewis, a civil rights icon and fierce advocate of voting rights for African Americans, died July 17. | J. Scott Applewhite – Pool/Getty Images

Get in ‘good trouble’: John Lewis’ words ring out in Capitol one more time

BY: - July 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — The immortal words of the late civil rights leader John Lewis rang out from the U.S. Capitol Monday during a private ceremony in celebration of his life. “You must find a way to get in the way,” he said in a recording of a 2014 commencement speech he gave at Emory University. “You must […]

Mayor John Cooper speaks at his July 16 press conference. (Photo: Metro Nashville Network YouTube channel)

An interview with Nashville Mayor John Cooper

BY: - July 23, 2020

Before Nashville Mayor John Cooper helmed a city grappling in rapid succession with recovery from a destructive tornado, a historic pandemic and sweeping protests for policing reform, he was a candidate who campaigned on his expertise in the wonkiest areas of Metro government. A businessman and real estate executive, Cooper touted his experience in finance […]

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett testifies before the U.S. Senate Rules Committee on Absentee Voting. (Screenshot of Senate Rules Committee.)

Hargett to U.S. Senate: Georgia cat’s application to vote proof of voter fraud

BY: - July 23, 2020

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett cited an alleged instance of a voter registration form being mailed to a cat in Georgia as rationale for Tennessee’s continuing emphasis on in-person voting during a Wednesday hearing of the U.S. Senate Rules and Administration Committee.  Among other instances of alleged voter fraud by mail Hargett cited were […]

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 19, 2016: Congressman/Civil Rights Icon John Lewis views for the first time images and his arrest record for leading a nonviolent sit-in at Nashville's segregated lunch counters, March 5, 1963. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Column: They shall not pass this way again

BY: - July 20, 2020

Words are hardly sufficient to describe the pain and loss of Friday. First came the news that the Rev. C.T. Vivian had died at the age of 95. Less than 12 hours later, the news that U.S. Rep. John Lewis had died was a gut-punch of an exclamation point to what has become a surreal […]

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Commentary: What the prenatal care bill means for incarcerated pregnant Tennesseans.

BY: - July 20, 2020

Imagine being pregnant — you’re thinking about your child’s health and nutrition and your own health and safety. Now imagine being pregnant in jail or prison in Tennessee, where policies around prenatal care and nutrition are as varied as the county jails and prisons across the state. “Being pregnant and incarcerated was the hardest thing […]

A 2018 photo from a TIRRC demonstration. (Photo: Jon Dragonette/TIRRC Facebook)

Immigrant rights group changes leadership as directors step down

BY: - July 17, 2020

Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) faces new direction and leadership for the upcoming election as the current directors step down for a new leader.  Co-Executive Directors Stephanie Teatro and Lindsey Harris recently announced their leave from TIRRC to make way for a new director, Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus. Tennessee Lookout spoke with Teatro, Harris and […]

A Honduran child plays at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center after recently crossing the U.S., Mexico border with his father on June 21, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Border officials did not follow guidelines on migrant children’s health care, government investigators find

BY: - July 16, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has not consistently followed new guidelines for medical care of migrant children and spent some of the agency’s money designated for “medical care” on unrelated items like printers, speakers and its canine program, according to a new federal investigation. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent “congressional watchdog,” found gaps […]