Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September Presidential Statements: Emancipation Proclamation and “Rocket Man” Speech

This Friday (September 22nd) marks the anniversary of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
As Commander-in-Chief, Lincoln specifically declared: "That on the 1st day of January, A.D. 1863, all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
He did more. President Lincoln also proclaimed that freed slaves would work for wages. That was a remarkable statement because no slave-owner could ever imagine paying a slave. Lincoln said:
And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defense; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

Now, compare the tone of President Trump’s angry and arrogant UN speech (September 19th) to this conclusion of Lincoln’s proclamation, which was offered in the midst of a war that would kill close to 700,000 soldiers: “And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”

Saturday, September 16, 2017

What Does It Mean to Be an American?

That’s the question we will explore in our immigration and employment class on Monday. 
A recent survey asked Americans about what makes us Americans. For some, being Christian is important: 30 percent of Democrats say so, 56 percent of Republicans say so, and 63 percent of Trump primary voters considered this fairly or very important. 
Another dimension is explored: civic values. 
Along these lines, click on the Chobani story (a minute-and-a-half), (Scroll down for a brief video).

Hamdi Ulukaya founded Chobani in 2005 when he bought a closed Kraft plant and hired Kraft “yogurt masters” who had been laid off. Today, his company is worth $1.3 billion. In 2012, he opened the largest yogurt plant in the world in Twin Falls, Idaho.
Hamdi was born in Turkey and is of Kurdish ancestry. He came to America in 1994 to study English and business.
That is my conception of being an American.

What's your conception? Birth in America? Living here and being productive, regardless of legal status? Does race or ethnicity matter? If yes, why? These questions are on tap for Monday. We welcome all views. To join the discussion, share yours at 

Friday, September 15, 2017

How Far Can Your Employer Push You Into a Wellness Program?

The Affordable Care Act allows your employer to incentivize your participation in a “wellness program.” Those programs include smoking cessation, weight loss, and preventive screenings.
Sounds good, and it is, but: Employers gain access to medical records in connection with these programs.
And there is this complication: Employers may offer up to 30% reduction in the employee contribution to health insurance for participation. Okay, that’s the incentive part.
But what if you don’t want to participate, especially because you don’t want your employer to access your medical information. From that perspective, wellness programs are discriminatory.
The AARP has sued to stop that part of the law that allows employers to have access to medical records. They say, with good reason, that the current regulation violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Where did the 30% come from? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (under Pres. Obama) used this number—admittedly arbitrary—to draw a line between a wellness program that offered a carrot (30%), and one that offered a punitive stick for not joining (31% and up).
It’s a tough case. The employer’s 30% incentive limit might save $240 for an employee who pays $800 a month for insurance (if it’s a family plan and a spouse enters a wellness program, the Obama regulations allow the employer to pay 60%).

On the other hand, why should employers see your medical records when it is not a matter that is work-related—e.g., smoking, weight loss or gain, and similar?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

“Table: Nigga-1 Guest”: How Far We Have Fallen

You are looking at a receipt from a Texas restaurant, issued on January 1, 2015. In all, six African-Americans are suing the restaurant for intentional infliction of emotional distress, seeking $1 million.
If you think they are over-valuing their lawsuit, think again.
Consider the words of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, on Pres. Trump’s short list for the Supreme Court. In a recent race discrimination case, he joined the majority in awarding damages. He wrote separately to emphasize this point: “being called the n-word by a supervisor … suffices by itself to establish a racially hostile work environment.” 
He’s not alone. 
Federal appeals courts have consistently ruled this way: Rivera v. Rochester Genesee Reg’l Transp. Auth., 743 F.3d 11, 24 (2d Cir.2012)  (“no single act can more quickly alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment than the use of an unambiguously racial epithet such as ‘nigger’ by a supervisor in the presence of his subordinates”); McGinest v. GTE Serv. Corp., 360 F.3d 1103, 1116 (9th Cir.2004) (“It is beyond question that the use of the word “nigger” is highly offensive and demeaning, evoking a history of racial violence, brutality, and subordination”); Swinton v. Potomac Corp., 270 F.3d 794, 817 (9th Cir.2001) (the word “nigger” is “perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English, ... a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry”); Rodgers v. Western-Southern Life Ins. Co., 312 F.3d 668, 675 (7th Cir. 1993) (“Perhaps no single act can more quickly alter the conditions of employment and create an abusive working environment than the use of an unambiguously racial epithet such as “nigger” by a supervisor in the presence of his subordinates”); Bailey v. Binyon, 583 F.Supp. 923, 927 (N.D.Ill.1984) (“The use of the word ‘nigger’ automatically separates the person addressed from every non-black person; this is discrimination per se.”); Spriggs v. Diamond Auto Glass, 242 F.3d 179, 185 (4th Cir.2001) (far more than a “mere offensive utterance,” the word “nigger” is pure anathema to African–Americans”); Daso v. The Grafton School, Inc., 181 F.Supp.2d 485, 493 (D.Md.2002) (“The word ‘nigger’ is more than [a] ‘mere offensive utterance’…. No word in the English language is as odious or loaded with as terrible a history.”); City of Minneapolis v. Richardson, 239 N.W.2d 197, 203 (1976) (“We cannot regard use of the term “nigger” ... as anything but discrimination ... based on ... race.... When a racial epithet is used to refer to a [black] person ..., an adverse distinction is implied between that person and other persons not of his race. The use of the term “nigger” has no place in the civil treatment of a citizen....”).

Using this word is very costly, too. 
See $16.6 Million Verdict Against Corona Company in Racial Discrimination Lawsuit, The Press-Enterprise (June 29, 2017) (employee was called the “N” word and other racially offensive names); Kirk Mitchell, Denver Jury Awards Nearly $15 Million in Racial Discrimination Case, The Denver Post (Feb. 11, 2015) (white employees and supervisors of Matheson Trucking and Matheson Flight Extenders Inc. often used the N-word when referring to black workers); Bethany Barnes, Portland Public Schools, After Expressing ‘Respect’ for $1 Million Verdict, Appeals It, The Oregonian (Aug, 22, 2017) (two employees were relentlessly subjected to the N-word and having a noose in the workplace); Laura Bult, Sara Lee Agrees to Pay $4M to Black Employees Who Say They Were Called Racial Slurs, DAILY NEWS (Dec. 22, 2015); Chris DiMarco, Top 10 Most Expensive Discrimination Settlements of 2013, INSIDECOUNSEL MAGAZINE (July 8, 2103) (Bradley v. City Of Richmond settled for $1 million in a case brought by eight African-American pipefitters who alleged that they were subjected to racial epithets and other forms of bias); Tim Gould, Noose, ‘N-word’ Lead to $3.6M Race Discrimination Settlement, HR MORNING (Aug. 3, 2016) (New Jersey Transit settled discrimination lawsuit with seven employees who were subjected to the N-word and a put around one employee’s neck).

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Volunteer Deportation Corps? Trump-Inspired College Kid Asks ICE to Deport DACA Student

On YouTube this weekend, a DACA student at a private college shared a tearful post. Paola Garcia said fellow student Taylor Ragg posted a picture of her Facebook profile, saying, “Everyone go report this illegal at my school bragging about breaking the law.” 
President John F. Kennedy created the Peace Corps, a new agency and a new opportunity for Americans to serve their country and their world. 
President Trump’s anti-immigrant zeal would be topped-off if he created the opposite: The Volunteer Deportation Corps.
Ms. Garcia posted on YouTube: “Racists are emboldened today, and he’s inciting them to harass me and report me,” referring to President Trump.
This opened the floodgates to more anti-immigrant hate.
“Hope you enjoyed your visit. Back to them dirt floors of your homeland, stinky ass.”
Another posted a video of someone filling out a tip form for immigration authorities.
The local paper contacted Mr. Ragg via Facebook for a comment. He replied: “Lexington Herald Leader is Fake News.”

Garcia, who was brought to this country when she was 2, grew up in St. Albans, W.Va. According to his Facebook page, Ragg is from Harlan and is a former legislative intern for the U.S. Senate. He also was a campus coordinator for Students for Rand, a group that supports U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green.
Late breaking: Mr. Ragg is no longer enrolled at this college.
Thanks to Lexington-Herald Leader reporter Linda Blackford for an excellent article.

Race Against Time: How the Phony Voter Fraud Commission Echoes the Past

“Voter suppression” is a term that bounces off most of us. And why not? We’ve never seen it or really heard of it.
So, here is an example: Southern states, in the 1880s-1910s, passed “grandfather clauses” to limit or deny black voting. Here is how they worked: States defined voter eligibility as the sons or grandsons of voters who were eligible in 1866 or before.
Who couldn’t vote in 1866? Blacks. Thus, while grandfather voting laws were neutral on their face, they were 100% discriminatory. Oklahoma’s version of this law was struck down in Guinn v. United States (1915). The ruling said that the “grandfather law” violated the Fifteenth Amendment—granting blacks the right to vote (click on picture of Oklahoma lawmakers who approved this voter suppression law, circa 1908). 
The 15th Amendment specifically declared that the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude, and that Congress shall have power to enforce this Article by appropriate legislation. 
Kris Kobach is giving the voter suppression idea new life. His phony commission met this week in New Hampshire to advance the narrative that massive voter fraud undermined the 2016 election in New Hampshire. What he is really speaking about is 5,000 voters—mostly college students— who lawfully registered to vote in New Hampshire even though they are from another state. Most are presumably liberal, some are people of color. Kobach’s commission is overwhelmingly white.
If Kobach wants to play this dirty game, let’s look at older white people—politely called “snow birds”— who live in places such as Illinois and have a second home in Florida. Some snow birds leave colder primary residences by November, are registered to vote in Florida, and are usually wealthy and Republican. Florida is a state that is roughly 50-50 red/blue.

These voters are not a problem for Kobach because they are white.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Major Court Win for Employees Who Breastfeed

Most of us don’t realize that “Obamacare” strengthened weak-to-nonexistent legal protections for breastfeeding employees. Abolish the ACA, and you also do away with an employers' obligation to provide times and a place for a nursing mom to breastfeed her infant or express milk.
With that backdrop in mind, there was a landmark court ruling on Thursday that reinforced these protections.
A federal appeals court—a conservative one, no less— upheld a jury verdict against the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama for forcing a police officer to resign after failing to accommodate her need to breastfeed her baby.
Former police officer Stephanie Hicks in 2013 sued Tuscaloosa, alleging that the police department where she worked was liable for pregnancy discrimination, constructive discharge, interference with her rights under the Family Medical Leave Act and retaliation for exercising those rights.
Hicks worked as an investigator; but after taking 12 weeks for FMLA leave in connection with the birth of child, she was transferred to the patrol division. As a consequence, she was required to wear a bulletproof vest at work. She continued to work but fell into a depression.
Her doctor entered the picture, and wrote a request for alternate duty to accommodate Ms. Hicks’ breastfeeding.
The Neanderthal-chief refused the request, but offered her a larger vest. She resigned upon hearing that response.
A jury awarded Hicks $374,000, though later the court reduced the judgment to $161,000.
Tuscaloosa appealed to the 11th Circuit in 2016.
In Thursday’s opinion written by Circuit Judge Charles Wilson, the panel said breastfeeding was a legally protected medical condition that merited accommodation. 
BTW, click on the picture for more info on benefits to breastfed babies.
For more, see Hicks v. Tuscaloosa, here:

Friday, September 8, 2017

What Uber “Hell” Means

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Uber Technologies used software to interfere illegally with its competitors. 
They are looking at an alleged software program-- called internally "Uber Hell"-- that was secretly downloaded to an Uber driver’s phone app. The software allegedly could track when the driver was working for competitors such as Lyft. 
"Uber Hell" reportedly allowed Uber to see what Lyft was charging for rides and how many drivers were nearby. 
The implication is that Uber would adjust pricing in real-time to undercut Lyft.
This follows allegations in 2014 that Uber had employees order and cancel more than 5,000 rides with Lyft.
On Monday, our class will examine O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (2015). 
In that path-breaking case, Uber drivers in California successfully argued that they deserved a trial on the issue of whether they were employees, and therefore entitled to a tip-for-service under that state’s labor code.
Uber charged riders a 20% service fee—a fee that struck many riders as an added-tip. Uber did not remit that money to drivers.

From my perch as a labor/employment law professor: When a company has a strategic vision that fundamentally builds on the idea of subverting labor/employment law, they not only risk liability in those areas—these "geniuses" don’t know when to stop cheating. (Another example is Enron, the famously fraudulent company that cheated employees' pension plans and energy markets.... and investors.)
If these allegations are true, Uber executives would appear to face criminal wire-fraud and antitrust charges. And that’s before any lawsuit from Lyft.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Recalling My Coach Hambly Prank

The good looking guy in the picture is former Illinois Volleyball Head Coach, Kevin Hambly. Recently, he left Illinois for the same job at #1 Stanford. Tomorrow, he returns “home” with his Stanford team.
So, this is a good time to share my Coach Hambly Prank story.
It begins on a Friday night, around 9:30, sometime after the season was over. I overheard my wife, Janet, talking to our kids, Ben and Sarah. By this time, they were in grad and law school at Illinois—in short, of legal drinking age.
They were talking to their Mom via text, and they mentioned that Coach Hambly came into the bar a few moments ago.
This was all idle chit-chat. Unbeknownst to them, I overheard the back-and-forth because Janet was casually relaying the conversation to me.
After waiting about ten minutes, I texted Ben and Sarah, something along these lines: “Hey, the weirdest thing happened. Mom put on make-up, dressed-up nicely, and bolted out of here. She didn’t mention where she was heading. Do guys have any clue?”
Apparently, our kids were mortified upon receiving this text. They “slammed down their beers” and settled their tab immediately, thinking that their mother was on the prowl for Coach Hambly.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Later that night, I told them all about my prank…. I don’t know if Janet was more “amused” by my stunt, or by our kids’ apparent willingness to connect my suggestive text to the implication that their Mom was seeking to rendezvous with Coach Hambly.
Welcome back, Coach! J

Paying Judges to Speak

Why would a chief justice of a state supreme court direct his court to enter into a no-bid contract worth $700,000 with a public relations firm? Following an expose in the Raleigh News & Observer, some North Carolina citizens are wondering about that. This fishy story begins with Chief Justice Mark Martin paying $17,000 to assemble a slick video and speech for his presentation to federal judges in Charleston, S.C. 
Two days before the speech, he modified this public speaking contract to add $549,500 for a year’s worth of public relations for the state court system—features such as monthly fee of $10,000 for the firm to monitor Twitter and Facebook, and another $10,000 a month for graphic design of newsletters, brochures and court websites. More work was tacked on bringing the full contract to more than $700,000.
So far, there is no suggestion of illegality or an ethics violation. There is a broader context for this odd arrangement. Justice Neil Gorsuch is scheduled to speak at a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of the conservative group, The Fund for American Studies, on September 28. The venue is the Trump International Hotel in Washington. The group occasionally files friend-of-the-court briefs, a conventional way that groups and people who are not parties in litigation to make persuasive arguments to the Supreme Court. Nothing about Justice Gorsuch’s speech is illegal or unethical.
There is no information about whether Justice Gorsuch will be paid to speak. However, if he is paid a fee, there would be nothing illegal and unethical. Justice Antonin Scalia took 23 privately funded trips in 2014 alone to such places as Hawaii, Ireland, and Switzerland.
An Illinois judge will answer an ethics complaint alleging that he gave paid speeches. However that matter is resolved, the examples of Chief Justice Martin, and Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Gorsuch show that high-level judges transact business with public interest groups and vendors in the course of doing their jobs.
For all of these judges, no one has credibly alleged that their judicial opinions were the product of improper influence. For some, the matter ends there; but for others, these speeches appear to diminish the office of the court. More to this point, why do these judges appear before groups that align with their ideologies and not make themselves available to groups with opposing or different views? In that respect, these judges behave more like politicians than judges, though that line is blurring.
We are at a crossroads for defining the public role of judges. The traditional view is built on the concept of separation of powers. This explains why our constitutional framers wanted to shield federal judges from the hot-and-cold winds of politics.

If we are no longer interested in a more reserved, less political type of judge we should consider a new architecture for courts. In civil cases, instead of being seated above us in black robes to convey an aura of authority and neutrality, our judges should sit at the head of a conference table, wearing business attire. This is the norm for tens of thousands of arbitrators (private judges) in the U.S. The informality does nothing to diminish the quality of justice. If judges want to engage the public at eye-level, let’s dispense with the hypocrisy that they are superior to us and bring them closer to us in the courtroom.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Helping DACA Children: An Option

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
6020 S University Ave Chicago, IL 60637-2704
Child Advocate Program
The Young Center provides bilingual, often bicultural Child Advocates who are appointed by the federal government to advocate for the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children. The role of the Child Advocate is to ensure that all decisions on behalf of an immigrant child consider the child’s best interests—safety and well-being. The Advocate stands with the child at the center of the complex U.S. immigration system, accompanies the child to court, learns the child’s story, ensures the child has legal representation, and advocates for that individual child’s best interests. 
Young Center staff—attorneys and social workers experienced in immigration and child welfare law—provide best interests recommendations to immigration judges, asylum officers, deportation and removal officers, ICE trial attorneys, border patrol officers and other government officials. The best interests reports detail the issues at stake and make specific recommendations about the child’s safety and well-being whether they remain in the U.S. or return to their home country.
Population(s) Served
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Facebook: TheYoungCenter,

Update for HR Professionals: What DACA Rescission Means for Employers

I will comment below. For now, I pass on the key FAQs for employment of DACA individuals. The FAQ pull-out is here: The term EAD means Employee Authorization Document—in effect, a work permit.
Q6: What happens when an individual’s DACA benefits expire over the course of the next two years? Will individuals with expired DACA be considered illegally present in the country?
A6: Current law does not grant any legal status for the class of individuals who are current recipients of DACA. Recipients of DACA are currently unlawfully present in the U.S. with their removal deferred.  When their period of deferred action expires or is terminated, their removal will no longer be deferred and they will no longer be eligible for lawful employment.
Q14: Is there a grace period for DACA recipients with EADs that will soon expire to make appropriate plans to leave the country?
A14: As noted above, once an individual’s DACA and EAD expire—unless in the limited class of beneficiaries above who are found eligible to renew their benefits—the individual is no longer considered lawfully present in the United States and is not authorized to work.  Persons whose DACA permits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 are eligible to renew their permits. No person should lose benefits under this memorandum prior to March 5, 2018 if they properly file a renewal request and associated application for employment authorization.
Q15: Can you provide a breakdown of how many DACA EADs expire in 2017, 2018, and 2019?
A15:  From August through December 2017, 201,678 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire. 
Of these individuals, 55,258 already have submitted requests for renewal of DACA to USCIS. In calendar year 2018, 275,344 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire. 
Of these 275,344 individuals, 7,271 have submitted requests for renewal to USCIS. 
From January through August 2019, 321,920 individuals are set to have their DACA/EADs expire. 
Of these 321,920 individuals, eight have submitted requests for renewal of DACA to USCIS.
Employer Sanctions
The employer sanctions provision of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 prohibits employers from hiring, recruiting, or referring for a fee aliens known to be unauthorized to work in the United States. Violators of the law are subject to a series of civil fines for violations or criminal penalties when there is a pattern or practice of violations.
In my 2015 article in Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, I explored sanctions against employers who violate work authorization requirements. From approximately 2000-2013 [Bush and Obama years], the average sanction for employers and aliens was a civil fine of $500-$1,000. Criminal sanctions were only applied to individuals who coordinated evasion of the law—e.g., people who forged and sold documents.
The law affords, however, a criminal sanction. Would the Trump administration seek a prison term for an employer who does not comply with the law? My educated guess is yes, subject to defining "pattern" (guessing two violations).
I leave on this note. The lawyers who serve as anti-immigration architects have long devised “self- deportation” laws. 
The current situation shows how this could work out. A 25-year-old nurse who has a valid EAD that is due to expire next October might start to look for a safe haven right now—the point is that the nurse will explore self-deportation options.

An interesting question is whether some nations will treat our dreamers as candidates for asylum—in other, victims of inhumane political or ethnic prejudice. It’s a matter of perspective. But it’s plausible, in my judgment.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Conservative Think Tank Opposes Trump’s DACA Removal

The most interesting response to today’s DACA phase-out is not from liberal groups—it’s from conservative groups, such as the libertarian think-tank, Cato Institute.
The organization estimates that terminating DACA and immediately deporting those enrolled in the program would cost the federal government $60 billion, and would reduce economic growth by $280 billion in the next 10 years.
Their reasoning: “The deportation of DACA participants would cost the American economy billions of dollars, as well as billions of tax dollars foregone while doing little to address the true concerns that Americans may have about unauthorized immigrants.”
The talk we are hearing today from the administration that nothing dire will happen to DACA children and young adults is belied by this analysis by Cato (quoting below from

DACA has three different aspects—deprioritization for removal, “deferred action,” and employment authorization. First, the DACA memo tells agents to prevent Dreamers who may be eligible for DACA “from being placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States.” This provision deprioritizes their removal. Under new expansive enforcement priorities laid out in a February 20th memo from then-Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly, many DACA recipients would be targets for removal if Kelly’s successor rescinds the DACA memo. That’s because the Kelly memo creates “priorities” so expansive that they include nearly all unauthorized immigrants, while specifically rescinding all “conflicting” memos except for the DACA memo and the memo that expanded DACA and provided for the never-implemented DAPA program.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Hypocrisy on Trial

When Justice Robert Steigmann appears before the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board for a disciplinary hearing, the full-blown hypocrisy of our state’s court system will be on trial.
Hypocrisy #1: The State of Illinois cares very little about judicial ethics. A 2014 audit of this board was highly critical of the state’s neglect. The Board had four vacancies for its fourteen-member complement. The Board had a backlog 311 complaints filed by citizens and lawyers, some alleging mental incapacity of judicial officers. Today, the Board has nine members—and operates with three vacancies. One vacancy is for a public member; one is for a lawyer, and one is for a judge. The only explanation for these vacancies is neglect.
Hypocrisy #2: The only judge on the current Board, who also serves as the Vice Chair, is Paula Gomora. Judge Gomora was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2001 but failed to retain her seat in the 2002 election. Sitting judges in Illinois almost never lose retention elections. She spent the next six years off the bench and won a seat in 2008. Could the Illinois Supreme Court not find a judge with a better track record to preside over its only check on its ethics rules? And why is there a judicial vacancy?
Hypocrisy #3: Justice Steigmann is accused of accepting more than $20,000 in speaker fees by using the court’s office to solicit paid speeches. The complaint also alleges that Justice Steigmann made himself available only to police agencies—but not defendant groups—and to health care providers, but not to groups that sue hospitals and doctors.  
Compare that to the fact that the current Chief Justice, Lloyd Karmeier, a Republican with strong backing from big business, and his Democratic opponent spent $9.3 million on a supreme court seat. Justice Thomas Kilbride, a Democrat, received more than $2 million from the state Democratic Party and labor unions. These campaign donations are perfectly legal and do not raise issues under our state’s judicial ethics rules. But many Illinois citizens wouldn’t see much difference in Justice Steigmann’s alleged misconduct and the norm in this state that candidates for Supreme Court receive millions of dollars with the purpose to influence how these judges rule on important cases.
Hypocrisy #4: Most states model their rules after the American Bar Association’s suggested code. One rule, titled “Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary,” says: “A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety (emphasis added).”
Now look at the milder version we have in Illinois, which avoids “shall” and replaces it with “should.” Our version states: “A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself or herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary (emphasis added).”
What curious wording we have for Illinois judges. Our judges “should” comply with the law. For the rest of us, we can never argue in a judge’s court that we “should” obey the law, but we aren’t required to. As to us, laws are mandatory.

Unless and until our state judicial code adopts the rules that apply to almost every other state, we will have a court system that is prone to abuse. Even if only a handful of judges misbehaves, the damage to the integrity of our courts is too large to ignore.

Happy Kiosk Day!

Say hello to Kiosk. Yesterday, I had my first encounter with a McDonald’s kiosk. It’s okay—but it means that McDonald’s is probably going to employ fewer people to work the counter. I expect that over time McDonald’s will infuse Kiosk with something that resembles a personality. Kind of like Alexa for fast food.
This small and humble transaction has implications for Donald Trump’s redo of virtually every trade agreement we have. His goal is to bring back manufacturing. Look at the chart below. 
American manufacturing has been in decline since the 1940s (the chart shows manufacturing employment as a percentage of overall employment). The decline has been steady and irreversible.
Technology-- more than trade-- has taken out manufacturing jobs. 
Renegotiating trade agreements could start trade wars, but won't reverse this 70-year trend. 
As a labor arbitrator for 30 years, I have witnessed this decline. I have seen at least some of the human toll it has taken on individuals, labor unions, and communities.
I don’t offer a panacea, but I do believe that our nation needs to invest in training and retraining its workforce. We need a culture that supports ongoing human capital investments, even in people whom we view as older. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Want to Save a Life? Consider DACA Adoption

On Tuesday, we will find out how mean-spirited the Trump administration is. Among its most loathsome anti-immigration policies, its worst is the idea of removing protected status for “Dreamers” under the Obama administration’s DACA rules.
“Dreamers” are people who meet the following criteria for “Deferred Action” (meaning they will not be deported even though their presence in the U.S. is currently unlawful): People under 31 years of age as of June 15, 2012, who came to the U.S. while under the age of 16; have continuously resided in the U.S. from June 15, 2007 to the present; and meet other conditions for training, education, and lacking a criminal record. There are 2 million "dreamers."

If President Trump rescinds DACA, these young people will be exposed to deportation.

Let’s think about this: A 25-year-old woman, for example, who was brought to this country illegally in 1995, at three years of age, and who is now a college graduate and working as a nurse will be sent back “home” to El Salvador. Her parents left El Salvador because it was (and is) wracked by gang violence and offered no hope for a future…. And as for the U.S., what would be the loss of our human capital investment in educating this woman, from pre-school, through grade school, high school, and college?
It is premature for me to think at length about adopting a DACA child; but if the Trump deportation machine took a vicious turn in this direction, would my wife and I think about the very complicated and costly pros and cons of making this type of life-changing decision? It's something to think about. 

Making it a very hard and consequential decision, a child cannot be adopted under these circumstances if he or she is 16 years of age or older. And that says nothing about whether the child's parents would even think about such a thing.

Hopefully, President Trump will rescind his ill-considered campaign promise to deport DACA children and young adults. Failing that, hopefully, Speaker Paul Ryan will introduce legislation—as he hinted at today— to grant legal protection to these people. Democrats and Republicans alike should get behind Rep. Ryan’s idea. But we have seen how Congress repeatedly fails to enact any legislation. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

How “Shout” Came to America

Teaching an immigration course is a great learning experience! Sharing new information is a joy.
The word shout is likely derived from “saut.” This is a West African word of Arabic origin that describes an Islamic religious movement performed to exhaustion.
African slaves who were brought to the coast of Georgia and South Carolina preserved their language and customs, as much as masters allowed.
Slaves held religious meetings in “praise houses.” This provided a spiritual outlet for enslaved Africans on plantations, where fast-paced rhythmic hand clapping accompanied ring shout (spiritual) songs.
Anthologists have discovered that these services often included the ring shout, in which rhythmic hand clapping and counterclockwise dancing were performed to spirituals.

These customs barely survive today. One group that keeps the flame burning is in Georgia, known as the McIntosh County Shouters. If you want to see and hear this, click on this link (8:30 is the start of the song, clap, dance, and shout):

Abuse of Pardons? A Prohibition-Era Precedent

The president’s pardon of Joe Arpaio has a precedent—sort of. 
Phillip Grossman sold liquor in 1920, in violation of the National Prohibition Act. Like Arpaio, he was enjoined by a court to stop breaking the law. He continued. The court, then, fined and imprisoned him for criminal contempt—i.e., violating the court’s order. President Calvin Coolidge pardoned Grossman.
Sounds like Arpaio’s case—but there are differences. Grossman had to admit guilt. Arpaio does not. Grossman paid a $1,000 fine. Arpaio has been fundraising for his book and next political campaign.
The feds re-arrested Grossman to finish serving his prison sentence. The Supreme Court ruled that Grossman’s pardon did not violate the Constitution, and therefore, he could not serve more time.
Here is the interesting part that relates to the possibility that President Trump might pardon everyone connected to the Mueller investigation—Flynn, Manafort, Donald Jr. and others. The Supreme Court said in its 1925 decision:
If it be said that the President, by successive pardons of constantly recurring contempts in particular litigation, might deprive a court of power to enforce its orders in a recalcitrant neighborhood, it is enough to observe that such a course is so improbable as to furnish but little basis for argument. Exceptional cases like this, if to be imagined at all, would suggest a resort to impeachment, rather than to a narrow and strained construction of the general powers of the President.
This has two clear meaning. 
First, the Supreme Court in 1925 could not imagine a president with the constitutional audacity of Donald Trump (“it is enough to observe that such a course is so improbable as to furnish but little basis for argument”). 
Second, as if anticipating Donald Trump, the Court said, nonetheless, that courts cannot stop this behavior. Only Congress can, via impeachment.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Want Hope? LINK (Liberty in North Korea), a Student Group at UIUC

These students are in LINK, a UIUC student group (and beyond) that raises money, awareness, and hope for refugees from North Korea. They dream really big … and I am grateful that they’ve opened my eyes to something I wouldn’t imagine is possible.
Here is a brief example of what they do:
Ji Yeon escaped from North Korea several times, but she was always sent back to face harsh punishments. Since her rescue, she has finally reached safety and no longer has to live in fear. It costs $3,000 to rescue one refugee and empower them in their new life.

If you want to help, visit

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Menstruation Discrimination

A woman has been fired for a bleeding through her clothing at work. Alisha Coleman, Georgia a mother of three, had a common symptom of pre-menopause: sudden-onset, heavy periods. My wife alerted me to this and asked about her prospects of winning her lawsuit.
In a nutshell, this looks like a textbook case of “disparate treatment” (intentional discrimination), and therefore, her odds of prevailing look very good.
But in my cursory search for precedent on this, I found nothing.
I found two recent law review articles on more general treatment of menstruation, and recommend them. I have excerpted very brief “teasers” from these articles (quoting below):

“Reconstructing Pregnancy,” SMU Law Review (2016), by Saru M. Matambanadzo, Tulane Law School:
Discrimination by employers on the basis of menstruation both is and is not prohibited discrimination under Title VII, as amended by the PDA (Pregnancy Discrimination Act). Policies requiring that women have a regular menstrual cycle before returning to work have been viewed by some courts as violating Title VII’s prohibitions against pregnancy discrimination. However, in other cases, courts have held that menstrual cramps are not a medical condition related to childbirth or pregnancy for the purpose of the PDA and therefore disparate treatment on the basis of menstrual cramps is not sex discrimination. (Click here for the article:

“Tampon Taxes, Discrimination, and Human Rights,” Wisconsin Law Review, by Prof. Birdget Crawford, Univ. of Penn Law School and Prof. Carla Spivack is the Oxford Research Professor of Law at Oklahoma City University School of Law (2017) (Click here for the article:

In finding for the taxpayers in Geary, the Illinois Supreme Court also held that the City of Chicago should interpret its taxing ordinance to include menstrual hygiene products in the definition of “medical appliances,” and thus exempt them from taxation. In fact, the Illinois Department of Revenue and its Chicago counterpart were working with virtually identical statutes, but the State of Illinois adopted a regulation under which it interpreted the phrase “medical appliances” in its sales tax statute to include menstrual hygiene products (thus exempting tampons and sanitary napkins from taxation), but the City of Chicago did not interpret the phrase the same way. The Geary court ruled that the Chicago City Council had a policy of administering and enforcing municipal tax statutes in a manner that was consistent with the State of Illinois' interpretation of state tax statutes. Thus, for purposes of the Chicago city sales tax, tampons and sanitary napkins should be classified as “medical appliances” and were exempt from taxation.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Build a Wall! ... No, a Moat! … Oh, Never Mind

Texas faces a devastating flood. Perhaps building a moat would be cheaper than building a wall.
The point of this post is that neither a wall nor a moat will prevent illegal immigration.
According to a May 2017 report from the Department of Homeland Security, more than 50 million foreigners entered the U.S. legally in 2016 by flying, driving or arriving by ship at a port.
Of that immense group, 1.47 percent— or 739,478 people— stayed in the country past the length of their visa. Immigration law refers to that not as illegal immigration but as “accruing an unlawful presence.” But practically speaking, it's no different than walking across a desert opening (called, by statute, "making an unlawful entry").
I just checked on a one-way fare on Southwest from Mexico City to Dallas for September 20, 2017: $162. Pretty cheap. And it's cheaper and safer than paying "mules" to transport people in the back of a packed trailer.
Unless the U.S. expands its travel ban to Mexico and other nations where people of color live (and are therefore objectionable to an administration that wants to promote a white nation), the so-called problem of “illegal immigration” will not be stopped. It will simply occur in the quiet spaces of our airports.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Grubhub “Gig Work” Case Set for Trial: Why It’s a Big Deal

Uber, Lyft, Homejoy, Grubhub, Snagajob, CityHour—they are versions of “gig work.” That term means that a person performs work, usually through an internet intermediary, and is paid “piece rate” or by the task. 
Upside: Flexibility. 
Downside: No wage-and-hour protections (minimum wage, overtime), no insurance for vehicles, liability, or personal health, no pension contribution, etc.
Many of these “gigs” run afoul of federal and state wage and hour laws, which have very broad definitions of employment. The definition of “employ” is this: “to suffer or permit to work.” Gosh, that sounds like doing dishes after dinner!
Lawson v. Grubhub might be the first gig work case to actually go to trial. Most settle; a few are dismissed. 
A judge has set trial for September 5th in San Francisco. Grubhub drivers are seeking to be treated as employees under a very worker-friendly California law that requires employers to reimburse workers for travel expenses incurred in the course of doing business.

FedEx lost a major case along these lines about 15 years ago—but that wasn’t gig work. This is “app-driven” work. The implications are huge.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Publication Announcement: “Targeting White Supremacy in the Workplace”

Stanford Law and Policy Review will publish my article by this title.
Why does it matter? The article develops a new theory under the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871 for suing hate groups (formal and informal) that deprive blacks, other people of color, and immigrants of rights equal to whites. The 1871 statute uses the phrase "white citizens" as a baseline for ensuring that nonwhites have the same rights.
Can you give me an example? Sure. At a large Pennsylvania steel mill a few years ago, the grand dragon of the state’s Ku Klux Klan showed a recruitment video to workers on break. The plant had numerous nooses, swastikas, and so on. The termination rate for blacks was 30%; for whites, less than 1%. The company was held liable under Title VII, an employment discrimination law. The Pennsylvania Klan has not been held responsible. My article shows lawyers how to use this 1871 law to sue leaders and “conspirators” (using the law’s terminology) who create unequal conditions between blacks and whites (again, using the law’s terminology). They can be sued for monetary damages and court orders to stop hate tactics.
What’s the goal of the paper? If the paper is used in just one case similar to the one above— these are extreme cases, not garden variety racial harassment— and if a court adopts my theory that current forms of racial intimidation are re-segregating workplaces (as in Jim Crow times), this will be a success. In other words, if a few white supremacists have to pay damages, my hope is that some racial hate groups will be deterred. 
If the article is published and ignored, it will be a failure. Time will tell.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Most Awesome Two Minutes? Not Totality

This post is especially for friends who missed totality (and are very disappointed). I found totality powerful, emotional, and awesome in the true sense that G-d is partially revealed in the moment.
But since totality is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it makes you think about how short life is in the grand scheme.
My personal totality was watching the birth of my twins, and my last child (the seventh-- and last-chance in-vitro transfer-- after six heartbreaking disappointments). All three were miracles in a statistical sense—but anyone who is part of the birth of her or his child will likely say it’s the greatest moment in one’s life.
I hope I see the next total eclipse in 2024— maybe I won’t.
But I had my totality long before yesterday—and if you think about the most intensely spiritual and awesome two minutes of your life, it’s probably not a total solar eclipse. No special glasses are needed for the most awesome two minutes of our lives.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

How Do We Feel About Racial Identity Groups? Click Image

This post is short. It pulls out data from an NPR/Marist poll conducted on August 17th, after Charlottesville.
Two brief comments:
The poll doesn’t show if support for white supremacy fell (it varies from 2%-4%), rose, or stayed about the same. My hunch is that support didn’t change one way or the other.
Did you notice that President Trump’s approval rebounded sharply this past week? It did.
August 14: 37.4% composite approval; August 18, 39%.
August 14: 57.4% composite disapproval; August 18, 55.1%.

No commentary is provided—I simply pass this along to readers who are interested.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

10 Ways to Fight Hate

This important to-do list is from the Southern Poverty Law Center. I have simply summarized key points. For more,
1. Act: Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance by the perpetrators, the public and — worse — the victims. Community members must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.
2. Join Forces: Reach out to allies from churches, schools, clubs, and other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police, and the media. Gather ideas from everyone, and get everyone involved.
3. Support the Victims: Hate crime victims are especially vulnerable.
4. Speak Up: Hate must be exposed and denounced. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth.
5. Educate Yourself: An informed campaign improves its effectiveness. Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Understand the difference between a hate crime and a bias incident.
6. Create An Alternative: Do not attend a hate rally. As much as you might like to physically show your opposition to hate, confrontations serve only the perpetrators. Every act of hatred should be met with an act of love and unity.
7. Pressure Leaders: Elected officials and other community leaders can be important allies.
8. Stay Engaged: Promote acceptance and address bias before another hate crime can occur.
9. Teach Acceptance: Bias is learned early, often at home. Schools can offer lessons of tolerance and acceptance.
10. Dig Deeper: Look inside yourself for biases and stereotypes.
Thanks to friends and friends-to-meet-in-the future for already taking these actions.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Do Republicans Have a Conscience?

Of course, most do. But there are two disturbing legal stories today that call for serious discussion about the soul of the Republican Party.
Arkansas— a red state that is controlled by Republican politicians— reported that its Department of Correction paid $250 in cash to buy enough midazolam for use in two executions. A heavily redacted hand-written receipt shows the material was picked up in person on Aug. 4. Pharmacies refuse to sell execution drugs to states, period. No worries for this heavily evangelical state—they apparently bought it off the street. Just my thought— they gave defense lawyers for Arkansas’s death row plenty of legal ammunition to make an Eighth Amendment “cruel and unusual punishment” argument. And now there's a new argument: Can a state use unlawful means to execute a prisoner? That's a Due Process argument under the 14th Amendment. But nobody asked me. Anyway, Arkansas’s conscience is not getting in the way of killing people like unwanted stray dogs at the shelter.
Run-Over Liberal Protester Laws: Black Lives Matter and other liberals groups have tied up streets, and even interstates, with protests that lack a permit. I’m not defending this—just saying it’s nonviolent civil disobedience. Now, a series of red states have various bills that would exempt drivers who hit protesters from liability (states include Florida, Texas, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Rhode Island (blue state)). Yep, it'll be okay for drivers to hit protesters who don't get out of the way. This is cruel, stupid, unconstitutional, and insulting to responsible Republicans.  
Several months ago, I reported on a Michigan bill that would subject union street protests— incredibly rare events these days, even if you count Fight for 15— to jail terms. Well, at least they won't be killed. Thank you, Michigan GOP.

Republicans in the mold of Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jeb Bush, Bob Corker—you get it— would find these developments revolting. But rational Republicans seem to be on the run. 
For these mostly evangelical lawmakers: What would Jesus say to killing people like animals and okaying car drivers to run over other human beings? 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Who Would Weep for a Statue? "Great Leaders" Who Killed Themselves

This post is not a wish; it is a worry. Hearing Donald Trump’s ghost author for The Art of the Deal predict that the president will follow his past behavior—resign and declare victory-- I was struck by his account of Trump’s psyche. In sum, Trump doubles down and eventually loses; doubles down on his losses, and loses more and more and more. Eventually, his partners abandon him, and he quits while declaring victory.
That is unusual behavior but not so unique. Many of us have an Uncle Joe who follows a similar course, without making so many billions and so many enemies.
But filtering this analysis through two more lenses.
First, Uncle Joe does not perpetually attack people; but our president cannot go more than 36 hours without using Twitter to viciously attack someone. His attacks are indiscriminate, and increasingly target his allies. That is alarming.
The second piece is the president’s elegy for statues. Politics aside, how can a man mourn a statue and not have real feelings for people, other than disdain, mistrust, and vengeance?
Here are three “great leaders” who took their own lives. I hope my comparison is wrong. But my gut says it’s possible. As for me, I see parallels in these cases— personalities with grandiosity and delusion, a lust for power, abandonment, and betrayal,  followed by closing in” from political enemies, ending in self-martyrdom.
Adolf Hitler
Hitler realized by late 1944 that he could lose the war. By the next April he concluded Germany’s military failures meant it had forfeited its right to survive as a nation. He ordered the destruction of all German industrial infrastructure before it could fall into Allied hands. His minister, Albert Speer, secretly disobeyed the order.
According to U.S. Armed Forces newspaper, Stars and Stripes, Hitler met with his inner circle for the last time on April 22nd. He launched into a tirade against the treachery and incompetence of his commanders, culminating in his declaration—for the first time—that “everything was lost.” Several days later, Hitler was informed that Mussolini was captured and hung. Within hours, Hitler shot and killed himself.
Marcus Junius Brutus the Younger (Brutus)
Julius Caesar acquired dictatorial powers, enraging Roman senators who plotted to kill him. Brutus was recruited to the conspiracy. On the Ides of March, Brutus led an all-out assault that killed Caesar in the hallowed halls of the Senate. 
The Senate granted the assassins amnesty, but ordinary Romans were outraged. Brutus fled to Crete. Two years later, his world was a fast-closing circle, with his protecting legions fleeing from his consul. Knowing his army had been defeated and that he would be captured, Brutus committed suicide by running into his own sword being held by two of his own men.
This iconic Carthaginian general battled a much bigger and stronger Rome. But over time, the Roman strategy of attrition was too much for Hannibal’s strategic prowess. Roman generals avoided direct battle with Hannibal— instead, they fought guerilla wars that slowly dissipated Hannibal’s power. Facing defeat, Hannibal drank poison that he carried in a ring. Before dying, he left behind a letter declaring, "Let us relieve the Romans from the anxiety they have so long experienced, since they think it tries their patience too much to wait for an old man’s death.”
That sounds like uncomfortably like President Trump-- trying to turn the psychological tables on an enemy in the context of a tragic and lost battle.

What Ex-Klansmen from 1871 Want to Tell You

My research paper delves into testimony for the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871. About 125 witnesses came before Congress. Most were former Confederate soldiers. Some had joined the KKK voluntarily; others were coerced. Some quit because their wives or ministers insisted. Now, that’s a thought for today.
I have taken the following excerpt from my paper— if you read these brief quotes, you will form your own connections from the past to the present. [In that time, Democrats were pro-states rights/pro-slavery; Republicans were today’s version of liberals.]
The Ku Klux Klan created an integrated terror system, using economic segregation and exclusion to achieve its political objectives. Seven more witnesses came before the House of Representatives to testify about the Klan’s labor segregation practices.
William L. Rogers, a South Carolina merchant, explained that he left the Democratic party because “they passed a resolution declaring that they would give no work to any man, white or black, who voted the Republican ticket, nor permit him to live upon their lands, nor sell him provisions, but would starve him out.” 
A South Carolina Confederate veteran, John R. Cochran, repeated this theme: “Democratic clubs were organized throughout the county, and it was generally understood, and I was so told by many members of the clubs, that resolutions were passed in the clubs that no man should employ colored men who voted the Republican ticket, and there was a general system of intimidation and violence in many portions of the county.” 
Thomas C. Scott explained how the Klan tied its campaign of political terror to employment for freed blacks: “I heard Gabriel Cannon, state canvasser, say, in addressing the colored people, that if they voted the radical ticket, they would lose their friends and wonder about like Indians; get their length, two by six, and their bones would whiten the hills, as they were dependent upon us for everything— bread, employment, and sustenance.” 
Thomas Hill, whose residence was not disclosed, testified to being economically coerced to join a Klan-supported Democratic club: “Being a poor man, and in order to save my life, I was compelled to sail under false colors.” 
Jed P. Porter, Union County South Carolina, testified about a threat made to a former slave:
A short time before the election a freedman who lived in my neighborhood informed me that a coffin had been left in the shop where he worked, with a notice that if he did not leave the country at once he would be killed for being a Radical. I am satisfied it was true, and the freedman left at once for Columbia.
Wilson Cook, a resident of Greenville County, South Carolina for more than 30 years, elaborated on his observation of political intimidation: “Threats that if they voted the Republican ticket they would be turned away from the homes which they occupied as employ√©s.”
Testimony of Johnson Wright, a 38 year-old carpenter, demonstrated that the white supremacist toolkit of threats included complete banishment from all economic relationships—in effect, a racial boycott: “There were threats made against persons of Republicans, and also against threats that every man who voted the Republican ticket would be turned off and left to starve.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Anti-Semitic Intellectuals: They Aren't Who We Thought They Were

Anti-Semitism comes from the same cauldron of blind hate as racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, homophobia, and related social pathologies.
But it is important to point out that behind every group of brainless thugs we saw in Charlottesville, there is a “thinker” sitting in his office, cranking out hate that masquerades as learned scholarship.
And now I have the displeasure of introducing a renowned anti-Semite, Prof. Kevin MacDonald, retired Professor of Psychology at California State University–Long Beach (formally censured by his university and faculty colleagues in 2008).
He is currently the editor of the Occidental Observer, which he says covers “white identity, white interests, and the culture of the West.” The Anti-Defamation League says that the Occidental Observer has “become a primary voice for anti-Semitism from far-right intellectuals.”
If you want a flavor of this high-minded racism, stated so glibly that you might miss its hate-messaging, try this out from his Occidental Observer mission statement: “Societies in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand that have been controlled by whites for hundreds of years are the only ones to accept their own demise as a moral imperative.” That’s where the thugs in Charlottesville come in handy—this “stand-your-white-ground” rally gives force to the white racial mission that McDonald spells out.
Here is a sample of his poisonous work:
A People that Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group (1994). That book is interesting to square with the two Jewish leaders at President Trump’s side yesterday during his elevation of white supremacy—Steve Mnuchin and Gary Cohn. They have taken assimilation so far they cannot separate themselves from Trump’s hate messaging. And note: Jews stand united with many other broad social groups that condemn the white supremacists at Charlottesville. The only people causing us to stand alone are McDonald’s thugs.
Here is another publication: Stalin’s Willing Executioners: Jews as a Hostile Elite in the USSR. That sounds like a way to update the blood libel that Jewish people drank Christian blood instead of wine (or used the blood of a Christian child to bake matzo) to celebrate Passover. That was a medieval libel; McDonald gives us the genocidal version from Stalin’s regime in the 1940s.
I conclude with McDonald’s book, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism. What makes this title arresting is how it rips off Sigmund Freud’s iconic 1929 book, Civilization and Its Discontents. Anti-Semitism advances the stereotype of Jews as a parasitic and predatory people whose success depends on stealing from others. Without a revealing a trace of irony, McDonald has tried to cash in on Freud’s classic book title (Freud was Jewish).

What’s the point here? We cannot dismiss white supremacy as a group of uneducated yokels. They are more sophisticated and dangerous than we care to admit.