News Stories

Off-site news items.

Black Couple Sues Neighbor, Homeowners Assoc. for Harassment

January 28, 1999
Shirley Dunbar Doka, Mohammed Doka and the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington will file a suit in U.S. District Court for the State of Maryland this Thursday morning against Greencastle Lakes Community Association Inc. (Greencastle Lakes), The Management Group Associates Inc. (Management), and John S. Tuma, seeking redress for racial harassment that has placed the Dokas and their children at risk of physical harm.
     Despite knowing about extreme racial harassment perpetuated against the Dokas by neighbor John Tuma, and despite numerous steps they could have taken to discipline Tuma, Greencastle Lakes and Management did nothing to stop the ongoing harassment.

Race Preference Foes Boost Pressure

January 27, 1999
Conservatives who say top U.S. colleges are illegally using racial preferences in admissions are taking their case to the nation's college newspapers.
      The newspaper ads by the Center for Individual Rights, a conservative law firm representing students suing universities, are headlined ``Guilty by Admission'' and charge that nearly every elite college in the United States violates the law.
      But many educators say the law firm has misrepresented 20 years of court rulings and overstated colleges' efforts to bring diversity to their campuses.

Non-discrimination policy may affect group's tenancy in Palo Alto

January 27, 1999
A proposed non- discrimination policy for the city of Palo Alto could jeopardize the Boy Scouts' 40-plus years of tenancy at one of the city's community centers.
     Because some Boy Scout troops have excluded gays, agnostics or atheists from their membership, the proposed policy might prevent the city from continuing to lease part of the city-owned Lucie Stern Community Center to the group. The policy could affect the Boy Scouts, but since it is still being drafted, their fate is unclear, according to City Attorney Ariel Calonne.

High Court rejects census sampling plan

January 26, 1999
The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the federal government's plan for using a controversial counting method to estimate portions of the nation's population in the 2000 Census, ruling in a case that carries enormous political and economic consequences for communities around the country.
      By a 5 to 4 vote, the justices said federal law prevents the Clinton administration from supplementing the Census Bureau's traditional procedure of trying to reach every household with statistical estimates that would be used to determine the nation's population and divide seats in Congress among the states.
      But beyond the crucial apportionment purpose of the census, the court did not foreclose allowing "statistical sampling" for other important purposes, such as the drawing of political boundaries within each state and the allocation of federal funds for everything from road construction to housing for the poor.

Black Panthers push community programs

January 24, 1999
Thirty years ago, David Hilliard walked the streets of West Oakland with a black leather jacket on his back and an M-1 carbine in his hands.
      These days, the former Black Panther chief of staff makes the trip as a candidate for City Council -- no gun in his grip, less hair on his head, but the same rallying cry: Power to the people.
      ``This is the beginning of trying to really restructure and to rebuild another movement,'' he says.

Boeing settles race discrimination suits

January 23, 1999
Rhonda Capps says she had seen so little advancement of fellow blacks during 13 years of work at The Boeing Co. that she recently felt ready to quit.
      But a settlement forged between the aerospace giant and black workers who sued the company for various discriminatory practices has given her hope.
      ``The other day I changed my mind,'' said Capps, an electrical engineer and one of the suit's plaintiffs. ``I want to see this work.''
      Boeing agreed Friday to pay $15 million to settle allegations it discriminated against blacks in hiring, promotions and workplace treatment. The company admitted no wrongdoing.

Trial of dragging suspect to begin

January 23, 1999
Last June, just hours after the black man's right arm, head and torso were recovered from where they'd scattered as he was dragged two blood-smeared miles behind a pickup truck, investigators zeroed in on three white suspects.
      But despite provocative physical evidence, the trial of the first suspect, John William ``Bill'' King will not be open and shut when it begins Monday with jury selection.
      King, 24, is an ex-convict with a history of involvement in a racist prison gang. But whether he intended to kidnap Byrd and then to kill him will be key in the capital murder case -- and, if he is convicted, to whether he's sentenced to life in prison or put to death.

FBI: Race common hate crime motive

January 22, 1999
More than half the 8,049 hate crimes in 1997 reported to the FBI were motivated by racial prejudice, the bureau said.
      As in 1996, racial prejudice was the most common motivation for hate crimes, accounting in 1997 for 4,710 incidents.
      In order of magnitude, other reported motivations were 1,385 incidents attributed to prejudice about religion, 1,102 sexual orientation, 836 ethnic or national origin, 12 to disability and four to multiple prejudices, the FBI said Thursday.
      The 1997 data come from 11,211 law enforcement agencies in 48 states and the District of Columbia, representing 83 percent of the population.

Fannie Mae, NAACP team up

January 22, 1999
For the Rev. Imagene Stewart, who runs a homeless shelter in the capital city, it was the first time the NAACP ``has reached down to the little people.''
      With great elan, Ms. Stewart interrupted a news conference by officials of the civil rights organization and mortgage giant Fannie Mae to make that statement.
      The reason for her excitement was an announcement about a partnership between the two groups that will that will provide up to $110 million in mortgage financing for black families that can't afford big down payments.
      Under the program, Fannie Mae will provide financing for qualified black borrowers who will be able to put down as little as 3 percent to 5 percent of a home's value.

Denny's continues its streak of bias suits

January 21, 1999
Denny's is becoming as well known for the variety of discrimination lawsuits filed against it as it is for its Grand Slam breakfasts.
      A Denny's restaurant may have deliberately slipped bacon and ham into the meals of two Muslims who had requested no-pork dishes, an investigator with the Montana Human Rights Bureau says.
      ``The fact that the ingredients for these meals are packaged separately and do not contain any pork products ... implies that these products were placed in the food intentionally,'' according to the investigator's report.
      Two Muslims, Abdussalam Sipes and Clarence Watson, filed a religious discrimination complaint with the bureau, seeking an apology and $1 million each. The investigator's report was made public this week by an Islamic organization.
      Denny's, based in Spartanburg, S.C., settled a $46 million discrimination suit in 1994 filed by black Secret Service agents who complained they were denied service at a Maryland restaurant.
      The restaurant chain recently launched a $2 million anti-racism campaign consisting of a series of TV commercials. The ads were launched on the same day a group of Hispanic patrons sued the chain after employees at a San Jose restaurant refused to seat them and had them ejected. Denny's employees are now also required to undergo anti-discrimination sensitivity training.


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