Civil Rights

GOP senator calls female colleagues ‘shrill,’ accuses them of ‘feigned’ outrage during COVID-19 crisis

BY: - May 28, 2020

Tensions boiled over in the state Senate chamber during session Thursday, with one Democratic state lawmaker saying she walked out of session after hearing a Republican senator describe her female colleagues in dismissive and sexist terms. “The ability to simply generalize who is and who isn’t in support of your district or your people … […]

LGBTQ rights group files lawsuit over ballot proposal problems

BY: - May 27, 2020

After moving to an online strategy to collect signatures during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders of an LGBTQ rights ballot proposal said this week they can’t amass enough to qualify for the November ballot — and they are suing the state. The Fair and Equal Michigan campaign sought to ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in Michigan. […]

Abuse survivors, people of color face unique barriers in wearing masks

BY: - May 27, 2020

There is no criminal penalty for failing to wear a face mask in public spaces in Michigan, but businesses and venues can refuse people entrance without one, per Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s mask order that went into effect late in April.  State and federal health officials have stressed that face masks can help prevent the spread […]

League of Women Voters sues SOS over Proposal 3 enforcement

BY: - May 26, 2020

The Michigan League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson Friday to remove barriers to the absentee voting rights. The lawsuit, filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals, suggests that voting rights laid out in Proposal 3, which Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018, are not being strictly enforced.  “The […]


Ken Coleman: Reactions to reported Kilpatrick prison release highlight nation’s racial divide

BY: - May 26, 2020

As I watched my Twitter feed while news broke Friday suggesting former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s release from federal prison was imminent, it reminded me of the moment when the O.J. Simpson murder trial verdict was announced on Oct. 3, 1995 — almost 25 years ago.  When it came to the race of those reacting […]

Survey: COVID-19 small business loan program is ‘driver of racial inequality’

BY: - May 23, 2020

As he seeks to do business in a COVID-19 hotspot, Detroit restaurant owner Ron Bartell tries to stay upbeat, despite concerns about the long-term future of his popular eatery.  “We don’t run from any challenges; we run to them,” he said. That’s something the former cornerback who played for nine National Football League seasons knows […]

Republican declares ‘I am not Detroit’ in heated COVID-19 oversight hearing

BY: - May 22, 2020

State lawmakers clashed over the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday during a Joint Select Committee meeting. The tensest moment came when Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Twp.) argued areas outside of hardest-hit Southeast Michigan should reopen, despite a continued rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths in many areas in the state. “This pandemic is not […]

After attacking Whitmer and Benson, Trump turns Twitter fire to Nessel

BY: - May 22, 2020

President Donald Trump has now gone after all three of the top female officeholders in Michigan, adding Attorney General Dana Nessel to the list late Thursday night after his visit to a Ford plant in Ypsilanti. The GOP president has frequently attacked Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Twitter and in press conferences, most famously referring […]

After Trump attacks Benson, Arizona SOS touts plan to mail voter applications

BY: and - May 21, 2020

Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is standing with Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson after President Trump blasted her twice on Twitter Wednesday over mail-in voting. Trump threatened to withhold federal funding from Michigan over a plan to give every voter in the state an opportunity to vote by mail in this year’s elections […]

Updated: Benson counters Trump’s inaccurate voting tweet: ‘We sent applications, not ballots’

BY: - May 20, 2020

Updated, 5:15 p.m. 5/20/20 A day after Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Michigan residents would receive absentee ballot applications for the August and November elections, the president took to Twitter to falsely accuse the state of voter fraud. In a Wednesday morning tweet, President Trump claimed Michigan is sending absentee ballots to its 7.7 […]


Column: Bullies in charge: The ‘reopen’ crowd loves beating up on women

BY: - May 20, 2020

Wisconsin has been re-opened for business. Forcibly reopened, it turns out, by Republican legislative leaders and four state Supreme Court justices. In a messy decision filled with incendiary language and spurious claims, the court overturned Gov. Tony Evers stay-home by “torturing the plain language” of a state statute, as Justice Rebecca Dallet put it in […]

Democratic Jewish Caucus slams Shirkey for speaking at rally with anti-Semitic themes

BY: - May 19, 2020

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) was criticized by the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus after he spoke at what was billed as the “Michigan Patriots Rally” held at Rosa Parks Circle in Grand Rapids Monday night. A woman dressed like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with a penciled-on Adolf Hitler mustache was among the estimated 350 […]