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November 21, 2019

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Unmasking the Ku Klux Klan
Last Featured: 2/26/2001

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

A few years ago, a New York Appeals Court upheld a city of New York rule that required members of the Ku Klux Klan to remove any head-coverings or masks when marching. Several other cities have followed suit. New York authorities say that anti-mask rules deter crime, but the Klan says they have a right to speak anonymously and many in the civil liberties community agree. Does the unmasking of the Klan interfere with First Amendment freedoms? And what does it mean for other protesters from differing points of view?

Loretta Ross is the Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education in Atlanta Georgia, a center that provides resources and trains grassroots activists about using human rights to address social injustice in the United States. A long-time activist on women rights and human rights, Ms. Ross has served as the National Program Research Director of the Center for Democratic Renewal, a national clearinghouse for information on hate groups and bigoted violence, including the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi movement. In addition, working for the National Organization for Women and the National Black Womenís Health Project, Ms. Ross has organized massive marches and conferences including women of color delegations to the National pro-choice marches in Washington D.C, and the first national conference of African American women and reproductive rights.

Burton Caine is a professor of law at the James Beasley School of Law at Temple University where he specializes in civil rights and constitutional law and directs the Temple Law School Israel Program. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Caine has lectured and written extensively about the First Amendment. He has lectured internationally on civil liberties on behalf of the State Department and serves on the Board of Directors of both the Pennsylvania Chapter of the ACLU and Americans for Religious Liberty.

Closing Quote
". . . Symbolism is a primitive but effective way of communicating ideas. The use of an emblem or flag to symbolize some system, idea, institution, or personality, is a short cut from mind to mind . . .The State announces rank, function, and authority through crowns and maces, uniforms and black robes; the church speaks through the Cross, the Crucifix, the altar and shrine, and clerical raiment . . . . Associated with many of these symbols are appropriate gestures of acceptance or respect: a salute, a bowed or bared head, a bended knee. A person gets from a symbol the meaning he puts into it, and what is one man's comfort and inspiration is another's jest and scorn."

— Justice Robert Jackson in West Virginia v. Barnette

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.

ATTENTION TEACHERS: Additional materials supporting use of this program in the classroom are available: ClickHere
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
The Brennan Center
First Amendment Center
The American Civil Liberties Union
Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
New York Civil Liberties Union
American Communications Association, Freedom of Speech Resources
Freedom of the press, an annotated Bibliography
Klan Rally in New York Fizzles Under Counterprotests
Soldiers of God : White Supremacists and Their Holy War for America
by Howard Bushart, John R. Craig, Myra Barnes, and Myra, Ph.D. Barnes
The Fiery Cross : The Ku Klux Klan in America
by Wyn Craig Wade
Race and the Justice System
Employment Discrimination Post-Ledbetter
The Women's Equality Amendment