Jim Harrington

As Interviewed by Jordan Langmore, March 9, 2012
"Our economic structure is the basis of bias."
Jim Harrington

Introductory Profile: About Jim Harrington

My interviewee was Jim Harrington, the director of the Texas Civil Rights Project. Jim believes there is a lot of injustice in society today, particularly by large and powerful institutions and oftentimes by the government. Jim feels that to allow our country to remain strong someone must protect the civil rights being violated so commonly today. Jim does this by filing lawsuits against those who discriminate against others.

Jim Harrington has short, white hair and a beard. He's probably in his 60s (he graduated law school in 1973) and although he was seated behind his desk, he had a commanding presence. Jim had a sense of humor that he held throughout the interview keeping some of the more serious topics from seeming too dark. It was obvious that Jim takes his work very seriously.

Jim Harrington was born and raised in Michigan where he got his law degree. He practiced law for 10 years and then he worked for The Texas Civil Liberties Union until he finally decided to start the Texas Civil Rights Project in 1990. Mr. Harrington has handled numerous landmark cases involving the grand jury, discrimination, police misconduct, privacy, voting rights, free speech and assembly, and the rights of people with disabilities.

The tone of the interview was casual, although some of the topics discussed were very serious. Jim told me that he was trying to open a new office in Huston and he seemed to be tired from lots of extra work. Jim Harrington takes he work very seriously and truly believes that his work has high importance to society

When I asked Jim what the basis for discrimination was, he described society as a pyramid. The people and institutions, such as large corporations and the government, believe that to stay in power they need to keep people below them divided. It is this belief that you need weaker people below you in order to be powerful that drives discrimination and social injustice. In the end I think Jim answered all of my questions in a way that clearly showed all of his beliefs together with relevant stories on social justice.