Lawrence Lessig on Civil Rights
Ferguson is an amazing example of how they have structured their tax system to basically tax through fines. Taxation through citation. Police officers aren't police officers, they are tax collectors. You park your car, get a traffic violation, you don't pay that fine on time, you get an arrest warrant. This taxes the least empowered political group, because what are they going to do? Elect a candidate to overturn it?
"Obviously, the community has earned an extraordinary victory over the course of the last 20 years," Lessig said. "It's the most successful equality movement in the history of equality movements in just the sense of the speed with which attitudes were reversed and the law brought about to recognize the importance of granting equal status as a constitutional matter. And now, the fight is going to be as a statutory matter, to secure the same kind of equality protections that other groups such as women and people discriminated on the basis of race have."
Lessig said the issue of transgender rights hits close to home because he has a transgender person in his family: His wife's cousin is married to a transgender man. "This is something that's very present in our life as they raise their own family and have to live in a world which doesn't quite understand them," Lessig said. "I think we should be as aggressively supportive of achieving social recognition of the equality of all humans regardless of these characteristics." Lessig said his wife's female cousin was in a same-sex relationship with a woman before he knew her family, but was around for this family decision to transition. "He was not yet a 'he' when it began," Lessig said.
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