The New Civil Rights Movement? - September 26, 2003

Times Watch for September 26, 2003

The New Civil Rights Movement?

Reporter Steven Greenhouse lauds the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, a bus tour of legal and illegal immigrants making protest stops in 100 cities to promote immigrants rights. Greenhouse waits until the seventh paragraph of his Thursday story before noting the drive concerns gaining legal status for illegal immigrants: The riders hope for nothing less than to move immigrant rights, especially gaining legal status for more than eight million illegal immigrants, to the forefront of legislative and political debates.

Though the people that would benefit arent even American citizens, the Times parallels this bus ride with the civil rights movement in the South. Greenhouse gushes: Inspired by the 1961 freedom rides that sought to integrate buses in the South, the new ride aims to turn immigrants' rights into a new civil rights movement. Later he notes: The Congressional Black Caucus, the N.A.A.C.P., the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and other African-American groups back the ride. Not only do those groups see it as a valuable tribute to the 1960's freedom rides and civil rights movement, but they also recognize that the push for immigrants' rights will help immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean.

He claims: Anti-immigrant groups have denounced the ride, heckled the rallies and sent threatening e-mail messages. So a group sent a threatening e-mail? If so, one would expect Greenhouse to have details. Since he doesnt, the unsubstantiated allegation comes off as a cheap shot against all who oppose illegal immigration (and who arent necessarily anti-immigrant, as the Times would have it).

For more on the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, click here.

Civil Rights | Steven Greenhouse | Immigration | Race Issues

Ashcroft, Bush, and the Beatniks

Dean Murphy takes time off the California recall beat to visit the famous City Lights beatnik bookstore in San Francisco for Thursdays Times. Murphy manages to invest the aging pre-hippie bohemians with dissident allure in this bit on renowned Beat poet and City Lights founder Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Yet in the era of George W. Bush and John Ashcroft, the dissident Beat voices are enjoying a renaissance of sorts in antiwar strongholds like San Francisco, and Mr. Ferlinghetti and City Lights are once again feeling good about being simultaneously marginalized and essential.

For more on Dean Murphy's story, click here.

Arts | John Ashcroft | California | Dean Murphy | Poetry

Stop Jayson Memo Writer Promoted

Jonathan Landman, the Times metropolitan editor (and author of the stop Jayson Blair memo) has been promoted. The Times reports Landman will oversee long-term coverage of major news events and reporting projects involving multiple newsroom departments. He will report to Mr. Keller and Jill Abramson, managing editor for news gathering.

Also, a story from the Society of Professional Journalists convention notes Landmans claim that top editors at the Times brushed aside warnings about Jayson Blairs journalistic shortcomings, contradicting a principal finding [the Siegal Report] of the papers investigation into the former reporters actions.

Jayson Blair | Jonathan Landman | Siegal Report