Opinion

October 30, 2013

Charles Oliver: White band discriminated against

• The Hampshire College Hype Committee canceled an appearance by the band Shokazoba because band members were too white. The band performs Afrobeat, a musical genre that originated in Nigeria in the 1960s, and had been slated to perform at a Halloween-themed concert recently. But the school committee dropped them from the event because some students objected to a predominantly white band playing African music. A member of the band notes that before they were originally hired to play, the college required them to sign a contract stating that they did not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, physical ability or sexual orientation.

• In a pre-dawn raid, agents of the U.S. Coast Guard, the federal Department of Homeland Security and the Maryland State Police — wearing full body armor, of course — searched the home of reporter Audrey Hudson. They had a warrant to search for and seize any firearms and ammunition because her husband was found guilty almost 20 years ago of resisting arrest and is legally barred from owning firearms. They didn’t find any guns or ammunition. But Hudson said that didn’t seem to bother them. Instead, the agents questioned her about articles she had written that they said were “embarrassing” to the Federal Air Marshal Service. The agents seized her notes and records.

• Burbank, Calif., police stopped 1,021 drivers at a sobriety checkpoint. They singled out six for field sobriety tests. They arrested no one for DUI. But they did cite one driver for driving without a license and another for an unspecified driving infraction.

• Officials in Palmer, Mass., have agreed to pay $5,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit brought by Ian Freeman. Freeman sued after he was arrested for disorderly conduct for trying to videotape a public auction of town-owned properties.

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