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Tuesday, May 21, 1996

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  • Freedom of Speech

    We bring you some historic tape of the late W.E.B. DuBois, the legendary African American sociologist, founder of the NAACP, publisher of Crisis magazine and author of The Souls of Black Folk. DuBois received his PhD from Harvard University in 1895, one year before the Supreme Court’s historic Plessy Versus Ferguson decision which legitimized institutional racism. This week marks the 100th anniversary of that high court ruling which made "separate but equal" segregation a way of life. In this rare recording of a 1953 speech, given to the Southern California Chapter of Peace Crusade, DuBois talks about the importance of meaningful work and the continuing economic inequality in America. The speech is remarkably fresh, despite the fact that’s its more than 40 years old... The growing gap between rich and poor and economic insecurity are major issues in this election year. Later today in Washington D.C., AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Children’s Defense Fund President Marion Wright Edelman will lead a rally and speak-out on income inequality, calling on Congress, the Administration and both leading Presidential candidates to exercise political and moral leadership in addressing this problem.

  • Welfare Issues

    This weekend, President Clinton endorsed the radical welfare overhaul proposed by Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, a possible Republican Vice Presidential candidate. The Wisconsin program eliminates the main welfare program, AFDC, and requires every adult recipient to work. By granting Wisconsin a waiver, Clinton has taken a preemptive strike against the GOP Presidential front runner Bob Dole who is set to visit Wisconsin today and lay out his views on welfare reform. Dole was expected to attack Clinton’s record on the issue. Clinton has vetoed two Congressional welfare reform bills claiming they are too harsh on poor children. But Wisconsin’s plan is considered by some to be equally draconian. In March, Democracy Now held a debate on WISCONSIN WELFARE REFORM, including the latest legislation "W2–Wisconsin Works."

  • U.S. Supreme Court Decision on Gay Rights Initiative.

    The Supreme Court Monday ruled 6-3 that Colorado’s Amendment 2 is unconstitutional. The voter referendum which passed in 1992, bans state and local governments and agencies from passing or enforcing laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing, jobs or public accommodation.

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