Tuesday, December 29, 2015
We continue our review of the top Human Rights at Home stories of 2015. In the 4th place spot for 2015 is Gay McDougall's moving commentary on the movie Selma, posted January 12. 2015. Growing up in the segregated south, McDougall attested to the basic truths depicted in the film. In the weeks and months following McDougall's commentary, the movie continued to encourage discussion of race and human rights in the U.S., with a highpoint at the Academy Awards. Though nominated, Selma did not win Best Picture. However, when Selma composer John Legend accepted the Academy Award for best song (for "Glory"), he took the opportunity to observe before an international viewing audience that "[t]here are more black men under correctional control today than there were under slavery in 1850." Along the same lines, Kairos Center Director Larry Cox has used Selma as a starting point for an analyzing the challenges of moving from civil rights to human rights.
McDougall's own work on human rights and civil rights also continues apace, and in July 2015, she was confirmed as a member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Turning to the news of the day: the Food Labor Research Center, the Berkeley International Human Rights Law Clinic, and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United have released a comprehensive new report titled Working Below the Line: How the Subminimum Wage for Tipped Restaurant Workers Violates International Human Rights Standards. With case studies and in-depth analysis of the history of tipping and contemporary employment laws, the report makes a strong case for reform on the local and national levels.
Tomorrow, we highlight the blog entry in the #3 spot for 2015 -- check back!