I’m becoming obsessed with ALEC. It started as a small interest but the more I read and the more research I do, the more I have to find out.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has been in the press a lot these days. ALEC has a long history of supporting the conservative agenda. Several major corporations have stopped or are in the process of stopping their support of this group. ALEC's positions on "Stand Your Group" and Voter I.D. initiatives are finally in the public eye.
It seems that racial profiling discussions are back on the legislative agenda. Last week Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) chaired a hearing on racial profiling in America – the first hearing on the issue in over a decade. Below is an excerpt from Sen. Durbin’s website:
“African Americans continue to face racial profiling on the streets and sidewalks of American cities. Since 9-11, Arab-Americans, American Muslims, and South-Asian Americans have faced national origin and religious profiling. And a recent spate of federal, state, and local measures has subjected Hispanic Americans to an increase in racial profiling under the guise of combating illegal immigration.” Durbin said. “Racial profiling undermines the rule of law and strikes at the core of our nation’s commitment to equal protection for all.”
(The complete article is here http://durbin.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=a8191909-fc81-4f66-bbb5-285e763f35e8).
Ten years since the last one, wow. I wonder what’s been going on for the past ten years. I also wonder how many of us even knew there was a hearing.
There are many issues and challenges affecting African Americans and other persons of color today. Some of them make the headlines but the majority of them do not. Throughout the past sixty years college students have played a significant role in bringing some of these issues to the forefront. On campuses today there are thousands of students having events, promoting initiatives, facilitating discussions, and so on focusing on social awareness and social responsibility. Although I do not have the empirical evidence to support my position, I submit that most of this good work goes unnoticed.
I believe that if we create a mechanism for college students to communicate and share information, a “Marketplace” of sorts, they will be in a better position to collaborate and work collectively. It is for this reason that The “Marketplace” for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility was launched.
Ernest R. Heyward is the Founder and President of the Marketplace for Social Awareness and Social Responsibility Inc.