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A poll tax by any other name

July 9, 2020 - States across the country require people with felony convictions to purchase their voting rights back if they ever want to cast a ballot again. It is a mechanism that felony disenfranchisement schemes increasingly rely upon, and it marks a return to the sordid tactics of Jim Crow.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Police use tear gas banned from war on protesters at home

June 3, 2020 - As people took to the streets nationwide to condemn last week's Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, they were met in many places by tear gas, which is banned from use in war but still deployed domestically by police for crowd control. The tear gas canisters fired in recent protests in Minneapolis and many other cities were made by Florida-based Safariland, whose products have also been controversially used against asylum seekers at the U.S.-Mexico border.

COVID-19 and the unfunded Black Belt commission

April 10, 2020 - The Southeast Crescent Regional Commission was created in 2008 to provide economic development assistance to Black Belt states but has never received its full appropriation from Congress — even while its counterpart covering whiter, richer Northern states has. With Black Belt communities being ravaged by the pandemic, it's past time for action.