Monica Potts

Monica Potts is a freelance writer, and former staff member of The American Prospect. A fellow with the New America Foundation Asset Building Program, her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Connecticut Post and the Stamford Advocate. She also blogs at PostBourgie.

Recent Articles

Marching After King's Death.

Pacifica Radio , the progressive public radio network, occasionally opens its archives for the show "From the Vault." Apropos for today is the episode in which they discuss Martin Luther King Jr.'s planning in the Spring of 1968 for a Poor People's March on Washington that he would not live to make. Dr. King would not live to see the March. But thanks to the efforts of the Reverend Ralph Abernathy , who took over the leadership role of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and others such as Jesse Jackson , Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta , poor people from around the country began their trip to Washington, DC by any way they could manage. For most of these poor people, this trip was an enormous financial sacrifice, yet a necessary burden -- they would hand-deliver their message to Washington. Some of this journey was recorded by Pacifica producer Arthur Alexander along the road from Memphis Tennessee to Washington DC. The former, safe and stable housing for low-income...

An Update on that Pact with the Devil.

In case you missed it, Ambassador Raymond Joseph , the Haitian ambassador to the United States, reminded Pat Robertson on The Rachel Maddow Show last night that the United States benefited from the deal with the devil in the form of a really good price on the Louisiana purchase. While that provides a sense of satisfaction, it also serves as a reminder on how much the two countries really are linked . And in other Haiti news, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday it would temporarily stop deportations to Haiti in the wake of Tuesday's earthquake. That could be only a practical response to the tremendous problems on the ground, but Taylor Barnes writes at the Christian Science Monitor that some are hoping it might be one step to rethinking a disparity in U.S. immigration policy that makes it easier for Cubans to come to the country than Haitians. . . . Haitians do not have a 'wet-foot dry-foot' policy similar to Cubans, which eases their immigration to the US. (Under...

Court Hears Forced Bed Rest Case.

The New York Times and the ACLU's blog report that a Florida court confined a pregnant woman to bed rest and continued medical care at a hospital against her will. She was at risk for a miscarriage. The ACLU first learned about this case after (Samantha) Burton's pro bono lawyer, David Abrams , called us for help as he pursued an appeal of the lower court's order confining Ms. Burton to hospital bed rest. Frankly, I wasn't surprised to hear that the State of Florida had stepped in to override the medical decision-making of a pregnant woman — unfortunately we have seen that before . What was even more stunning than in other cases was the unlimited breadth of the court order; the complete lack of any consideration of Ms. Burton's constitutional rights or health; and the fact that the hearing had gone forward with no legal or other advocate to represent Ms. Burton. After a brief telephone hearing, and no review of her medical records or consideration of a second medical opinion, the...

The Disturbing Ruling in the Kansas Abortion Killing.

On Tuesday, a judge in Kansas ruled for the second time that he wouldn't bar Scott Roeder , the 51-year-old accused of killing the Kansas abortion provider George Tiller in May, from arguing that he believed he needed to kill Tiller to protect unborn children. The judge, Warren Wilbert , denied prosecutors requests to bar such argument, which could lead to a conviction of voluntary manslaughter, a conviction that would carry a four to six year prison sentence, instead of murder. Wilbert said it would be improper for him to rule on it before the defense made its case, according to the report from McClatchy newspapers. The Kansas statute defines voluntary manslaughter as the intentional killing of a human being committed "Upon a sudden quarrel or in the heat of passion," or "upon an unreasonable but honest belief that circumstances existed that justified deadly force." While it's difficult to easily find precedents for voluntary manslaughter convictions, it's not hard to imagine what it...

Remembering Haiti After the Disaster.

While natural disasters are pretty unpredictable no matter how good our detection systems get, the damage they do to a country like Haiti is not. Destruction from a barrage of hurricanes in the last decade was exacerbated by deforestation, in part because the population relies on wood for fuel. There is probably little doubt that the death and destruction from last night's earthquake -- the full extent of which is still unknown -- was also fueled by poor construction and other infrastructure problems in the largest city and capital of the hemisphere's poorest country. While Americans search for ways to help, it is also worth concentrating on our policies toward Haiti. Former president Bill Clinton , appointed last year to be the country's special envoy, made it part of his mission to not only deal with the problems of deforestation but also to expand the garment industry in the country, over cries from Haiti's politicians that the factories' wages would be too low. The Hope II act,...

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