Michigan

Appeals Court Rejects Right Wing Attack on Hate Crimes Law

A unanimous court thoroughly debunks the demagogic assertion that the Hate Crimes Act threatens First Amendment rights.
PFAW Foundation

Not Business as Usual: Senate Confirms One Long-Delayed District Court Nominee, Leaves Another 18 Hanging

Washington, DC – The Senate today confirmed Gershwin Drain, a nominee to fill a long-standing emergency vacancy in the Eastern District of Michigan. The 55 to 41 vote came on the heels of the Senate GOP’s unprecedented refusal to confirm even consensus appeals court nominees until after the presidential election. While Senate Republicans claim to be cooperating on filling district court vacancies, they are doing so grudgingly and inefficiently, allowing no more than one vote a week. As a result, the backlog of pending nominees has gotten larger and larger. Drain, nominated to fill an emergency vacancy that has been open for three and a half years, was forced to wait over four months after committee approval for his long overdue vote on the Senate floor.

There are 74 district judgeships currently or about to become vacant and 18 qualified nominees waiting for votes on the Senate floor. Ten of these would fill judicial emergencies. Most have been waiting for a vote since June or earlier; four of them since April. As the Senate prepares to leave for its August recess, there is no reason not to vote on all these long-pending nominees.

“There is no way that Gershwin Drain should have had to wait four months simply for an up-or-down vote from the Senate,” said Paul Gordon of People For the American Way. “Senate Republicans have already announced they’ll filibuster all remaining appeals court nominees, even those without opposition, even those strongly supported by members of their own party. Now, they’re making the confirmation process for the 18 remaining district court nominees painfully slow. There are more than 60 vacancies in district courts around the country that need to be filled immediately, with another dozen about to open up. The Senate GOP should start doing its job and let the President and Senate fill them in a timely manner.”

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Barton Falsely Claims 'There is not a Single Grocery Store in the City Limits of Detroit'

On today's edition of "WallBuilders Live," David Barton and Rick Green were discussing what they considered several positive changes that were taking place in the state of Michigan thanks to the election of lots of Tea Party candidates to the state legislature.  In making the point that things were really bad in the state, Barton claimed that he was recently there and was shocked to learn that there is "not a single grocery store in the city limits of Detroit": 

Detroit has a population of over 700,000 and Barton is claiming that there is not one grocery store within a city this size?  How exactly does he think these people are getting food? 

Now I haven't been to Detroit in person, but I do have access Google Street View which allows me to find various of grocery stores located within the city in about two minutes, like University Foods located at 1131 Warren Ave W, Detroit, MI 48208:

And an Aldi grocery store located at 15415 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48205:

And Parkway Foods located at 13210 E Jefferson Ave, Detroit, MI 48215:

In fact, a simple Google Maps search for "supermarket" in Detroit returns dozens and dozens of results:

As we have said several times before, if Barton cannot be trusted to accurately report on contemporary issues that are easily verifiable to anyone with internet access, how can anyone trust anything that he says?

Boykin: Go To Dearborn, Michigan and 'You Would Think You Were in Beirut or Damascus'

Over the weekend, Jerry Boykin was interviewed on a radio program out of Bakersfield, California ahead of a scheduled appearance at a local church early next week where he will undoubtedly promote his anti-Islam conspiracy theories.

During the interview, Boykin warned that every serious Muslim was determined to enshrine Sharia wherever they lived and that they were making great progress in establishing it in America.  This prompted one of the co-hosts to ask Boykin about Dearborn, Michigan which he claimed was "almost one hundred percent Muslim and operating under Sharia law now," a statement with which Boykin agreed, adding that "if you walk down the streets, you would think you were in Beirut or Damascus": 

Voter suppression’s on the menu in Michigan

Last month we reported on the citizenship question that came up during Michigan’s primary. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for voter suppression in the Great Lakes State.
PFAW Foundation

Michigan Primary raises citizenship question

“Are you a citizen?” was the question posed by the Michigan Primary even before voters were asked to decide between President Obama or Santorum and Romney.
PFAW Foundation

Will 'Michigan Become the First Islamic State in America'?

Today the United States Reformation Prayer Network, an organization of “prophetic voices” using “strategic targeting coordinates for reformation prayer” founded by Cindy Jacobs, sent out a prayer alert for Michigan’s Tuesday primary which warned about the state’s Muslim community. Rick Joyner of the Oak Initiative previously warned that “there is actually an attempt to make Michigan our first Muslim state,” and in the prayer alert from Anita Christopher of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network and the West Michigan Prayer Center made the same claim today: “There seems to be an underlying agenda by Islam to have Michigan become the first Islamic state in America.” She went on to call for Michigan to ‘come into its Kingdom destiny” and for the government to “make covenant decrees over the people.” While such a claim is absurd on its face, it appears even more ridiculous after learning that Michigan’s Muslim community represents approximately 3 percent of the state’s population:

Michigan has suffered great economic hardship for many years due to foreign competition and costs of doing business. We have historically historically [sic] been an anti-Semitic state, and hold one of the largest population of Muslims outside of the Middle East. There seems to be an underlying agenda by Islam to have Michigan become the first Islamic state in America.


• Declare that Godly men and women will be elected who carry a Biblical worldview and have moral integrity.

• Declare that our elected leaders will stand with Israel.

• Declare that our elected leaders will uphold traditional marriage and the sanctity of life.

• Declare our elected leaders will preserve our God-given Constitution.

• Cry out for the wind of awakening to come into this region.

• Cry out for revelation for the Church to see Michigan’s issues with Kingdom mindsets.

• Decree that Michigan will come into its Kingdom destiny.

• Decree the government of Michigan will shift and begin to make covenant decrees over the people.

Media Advisory: Detroit-Area Faith Leaders to Hold Demonstration Against Lowe's

DEARBORN, MI -- On Saturday, December 17 at 11:00 a.m., Christian and Muslim faith leaders, elected officials and community activists will hold an interfaith protest at a Lowe’s store near Dearborn, Michigan Saturday to protest the company’s decision to cave to anti-Muslim extremists and pull advertising from the TLC show “All-American Muslim.”

Lowe's pulled its advertising from the show after the Florida Family Association, a small right-wing fringe group, complained that it showed American Muslims "as ordinary folks just like you and me."

African American Ministers in Action Reject Divisiveness of 'The Call: Detroit'

On Friday, Nov. 11, right-wing activist Lou Engle and the group Transformation Michigan will host The Call: Detroit, a prayer rally whose stated purpose is to convert Muslims to Christianity to prevent what Transformation Michigan calls “the advance of the enemy.”

When speaking with mainstream news outlets, The Call: Detroit’s organizers have attempted to downplay their anti-Muslim rhetoric, painting the rally as an inclusive gathering for people of faith to pray for Detroit’s depressed economy. However,Engle and Transformation Michigan’s statements to supporters show that The Call will present something much more harmful and divisive: an attempt to stir up misunderstanding and fear of Detroit and Dearborn’s Muslim populations while promoting a view of government exclusively by and for conservative Christians.

Rev. Charles Williams II, Pastor of Detroit’s Historic King Solomon Baptist Church and a member of People For the American Way's African American Ministers in Action , urged people of faith to reject the divisive and politically charged extremism of The Call, and to join together in prayer for a future that lifts up all the people of Michigan, regardless of faith and ethnicity.

“All of us in Detroit have been praying hard for the future of our city and everyone in it,” said Rev. Williams. “We need to keep on praying and we need to keep on working hard for economic and social justice that lifts up every person, rich and poor. What we don’t need is more divisiveness and fear.

"Religious leaders who support this event should really take a look at what its undertones are all about. As a Christian pastor I support prayer, but not to bash another religion, nor to hide behind the subterfuge of political gamesmanship.

“Our Muslim neighbors in Detroit and Dearborn want the same things that all of us want – jobs to support our families and the freedom to live our lives as we choose. Those like Rev. Engle who come into the state stir up fear about a mythical ‘Muslim takeover’ and set us against each other, distract from the real problems that we face. We can’t face our problems and lift ourselves up if we are busy tearing each other down. Let’s work, and pray, together for the future of our city.”

More information about The Call: Detroit is available at People For the American Way’s Right Wing Watch: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/fact-sheet-call-detroit

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Attend a Rally to Save the American Dream this Saturday!

Events have been organized in cities and state capitols across the nation to show solidarity with workers in Wisconsin. Find the event or events nearest you.

PFAW Memo: Election Results, the Far Right, and Fighting Back

Tuesday's electoral returns offered a mixed bag of results. A few bright spots managed to appear among some disappointing defeats, and politicians from both parties should consider them carefully before making rash, and perhaps costly, conclusions.
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