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As I noted in Wednesday in the Weekly Briefing, North Carolina has been the butt of more national media takedowns of late than Anthony Weiner. Today’s skewering is authored by Dean Obeidallah of the Washington Bureau of the Daily Beast and it’s entitled: “North Carolina, Your Anti-Sharia Law Takes the Cake.” It’s definitely worth your time. Here’s a highlight:

“Why would Republicans in North Carolina feel the need to prevent a threat they admit isn’t real?  Even the North Carolina Bar Association called the legislation unnecessary.

Maybe looking at the legislative history of this proposed bill will give you some insight. The Republican-controlled House’s version also included provisions to restrict a women’s right to an abortion. So in the very same breath these Republicans were trying to prevent Islamic law from being imposed, they were trying to impose Christian law.

No surprise, then, that they fear Muslims will be trying to impose their own religious-based laws—it’s exactly what these Republicans are trying to do.”

Read Obeidallah’s entire post by clicking here.

New report shows that in North Carolina, African Americans are 3.4 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, despite equal use rates

State spent almost $55 million enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010; ACLU-NC says North Carolina needs to change failed laws

RALEIGH – According to a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union, North Carolina spent nearly $55 million enforcing marijuana possession laws in 2010, while statewide African Americans were arrested for marijuana possession at 3.4 times the rate of whites, despite comparable marijuana usage rates. The report, Marijuana in Black and White: Billions of Dollars Wasted on Racially Biased Arrests, released today, is the first ever to examine state and county marijuana arrest rates nationally by race. Read More

The good people at Imagine 2050, a group committed to making America’s increasingly diverse and multi-racial society work for everyone have posted a report on the cookie-cutter legislation passed last week by the House that seeks to respond to the imaginary threat of “Sharia law.”  

The post also reports that the troubled characters behind the movement to pass such bills into law around the country by the American Laws for American Courts initiative (ALAC):

“Some news outlets and blogs have even mentioned the bill’s roots in the ALAC model. Equally, or perhaps more, important is this bill’s link to the original ALAC author, David Yerushalmi, an anti-Muslim activist and lawyer with a record of extremist rhetoric and questionable ties. Read More

In case you missed it, Jessica Rocha of the N.C. Justice Center has an excellent essay in today’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer on the absurdity of the proposal by conservative state lawmakers to prevent the state of North Carolina from making use of identification cards issued by foreign governments.

As Rocha writes:

“Some people who live in North Carolina can’t get a state-issued card. If they are foreigners, they can get IDs issued by their governments, just like Americans get them from ours as the country best positioned to confirm the facts regarding a person’s citizenship, age, complete name and address. For Mexican citizens living in the United States, regional consular offices process and issue consular identification cards. Also known as the “Matricula Consular,” it does not confer immigration status or eligibility for any U.S. benefits or privileges. It is a path to nothing more than clarity…. Read More

pink-licenseFrom ACLU-NC Communications Director Mike Meno:

ACLU-NC Calls New Design of Driver’s Licenses for Young Immigrants ‘Huge Step in the Right Direction’

New Design for Driver’s Licenses to be Issued Next Week to Young Immigrants Receiving Deferred Action Removes Much-Criticized Pink Stripe, Adds Clarifying Phrase ‘Legal Presence,’ And Will Keep Licenses Horizontal for 21+

RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation says a new design for driver’s licenses the N.C. Department of Transportation unveiled today for young immigrants receiving work permits through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) is a step in the right direction but that concerns about the licenses remain. Read More