The internal violence in the United States, militarized police, and the largest prison system in the world, along with America’s endemic racism, are mirrored in the foreign wars that have been fought almost continuously by the United States since the end of the 19th century. These inner and outer wars, argues historian Nikhil Pal Singh, are intimately connected. The gunning down of unarmed black people in American cities is expressed outside our borders in the gunning down of unarmed Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, often by militarized drones. The prison-industrial-complex at home is given form in the myriad of overseas black sites where victims, kidnapped and transported to other countries by the CIA, are held in secret, tortured, and killed.
The events in Bolivia lay bare the central role that racial subjugation has always played in the “New World,” a hemisphere whose “discovery” by Europeans resulted -- within the span of only 50 years -- in the death by genocide and pandemic of fully a fifth of the Earth’s human population. The Conquistadors frenzied “primitive accumulation” of precious metals, mined by enslaved Natives who died quicker than they could be replenished, created a demand for the capture and importation of millions of Africans with immunities to both European and tropical disease.
How many co-ops can claim they were founded directly out of the Civil Rights movement? Or that they prevented a crisis predicted by government statisticians? The Federation of Southern Cooperatives has demonstrated that level of leadership throughout its 52-year history, and Shared Capital is proud to support their operating model through our work together. The Federation is a cooperative association of black farmers, landowners and cooperatives all around the South, with a focus on cooperative economic development, land retention, and advocacy.
The blend isn’t exact. Bigotry was expressed much more explicitly a century ago, not in code as it usually is now. Jim Crow laws in the South and other forms of racial segregation in the rest of the country were seen by most white Americans as the normal state of affairs. In the national debate on immigration, the most inflammatory rhetoric was largely aimed at immigrants from Asia, not Latin America or the Middle East; Slavs, southern Europeans, and Jews from Eastern Europe also faced widespread hostility.
Discussions of wealth inequality are oftentimes muddled by insufficient statistics. You get some stray comparisons of medians or comparisons of the wealthiest 400 families to the least wealthy half of the country. These incomplete pictures lead to mind-numbing debates about class and race that go nowhere. Below I try to clear up these debates with a more complete picture of race, class, and wealth in America.
Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths. But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the single biggest group of Americans who bike to work live in households that earn less than US$10,000 yearly, and studies in lower-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Boston have found that the majority of bicyclists were non-white.
Thursday night, New Orleans public schools as we knew them ended. With a 5-2 vote by the Orleans Parish School Board, the last remaining public high school in New Orleans became its latest charter school. In a room filled to capacity, replete with security, protesters, placards, chants, and shouts of dissatisfaction, McDonogh 35 Senior High School’s future was turned over to charter school group InspireNOLA. Many were outraged, some were left in tears, but it changed nothing. With the 5-2 decision, New Orleans became the first city in the United States to turn its entire school system over to an all-charter system.
It’s a little-acknowledged reality that housing markets distribute more than mere dwellings. That’s because people’s place in the social order is intimately related to their geographic location generally, and where they live specifically. Housing quality functions both as a reflection and driver of inequality. Beyond that, however, better homes come with better neighborhoods that afford other opportunity-expanding advantages: good, well-funded schools; high-quality and readily available health care; agreeable recreational facilities and parks; full-service grocery stores with healthy foods; excellent retail outlets; nice sit-down restaurants; well-kept roads and other infrastructure; safe distance from pollutants, major transport and cargo routes...
Despite the illusion of adoption as an altruistic child-saving social service . . . adoption is deeply imbued in classism, nearly always redistributing children from economically at-risk “unmarried” or “too young” mothers and fathers, or those in temporary crisis, to adopters of higher socio-economic status who can afford the tens of thousands of dollars that babies cost.
Racial Justice And Cooperatives: Q&A With United States Federation Of Worker Cooperatives Director Esteban Kelly
The worker cooperative movement seems to be gaining more prominence in the U.S., especially locally. "Altogether worker cooperatives represent a small part of the national economy. However, there may be a greater impact at the local level in areas where they are more concentrated," a report by the Democracy at Work Institute, a worker cooperative advocacy group, noted. An important sign that the movement is growing and strengthening came at the turn of this century, when the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) was formed with the mission of connecting and strengthening the burgeoning cooperative sector. To date, USFWC represents around 200 cooperatives and around 6,000 cooperative members across the country, and proceeds with the ultimate aim of advancing economic justice rooted in community-based, shared ownership.
The year 1968 was a watershed in American history and black America’s ongoing fight for equality. In April of that year, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis and riots broke out in cities around the country. Rising against this tragedy, the Civil Rights Act of 1968 outlawing housing discrimination was signed into law. Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in a black power salute as they received their medals at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Arthur Ashe became the first African American to win the U.S. Open singles title, and Shirley Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to the House of Representatives. The same year, the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, better known as the Kerner Commission, delivered a report to President Johnson examining the causes of civil unrest in African American communities.
For the first time in U.S. history, 90% of Americans ages 25 and older have completed high school, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – and the share of blacks who have done so is also at the highest level on record. In 2017, 87% of blacks ages 25 and older had a high school diploma or equivalent. Although the high school completion rate for non-Hispanic whites was higher (94%) than for blacks, the gap has been gradually shrinking. In 1993, the high school completion gap was twice as large (14 percentage points) as it is today (7 points). The share of blacks ages 25 and older who have completed four years of college or more has also roughly doubled during that span, from 12% in 1993 to 24% in 2017.
This week on Act Out! big oil and gas pay a small fine so they can keep on polluting. Next up, YOUR solidarity is needed in an upcoming week of action against the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. Not in the bayous? Well, you don't need to be. This affects us all. Finally, the impact of dirty energy on black and brown communities plus community organizer Maurice Cook joins us to talk white supremacy, the importance of battling racism, of recognizing black history and how to organize TOGETHER in our place and time.
By Ajamu Baraka for Counter Punch - It is absurd and an insult to argue that Russian propaganda efforts “deepen political and racial tensions in the United States,” as proposed by Julia Ioffe in a recent article in the Atlantic. But the linking of the legitimate struggle of African/Black people in the United States against systemic oppression with “foreign” influences has been a recurrent feature of the ideological and military containment strategy of the U.S. state ever since the Soviet Union emerged as an international competitor to the four hundred-year-old colonial/capitalist Pan-European project. From the early twentieth-century activism of the Pan-African Conferences through the Garvey movement, the socialist African Blood Brotherhood and the International African Service Bureau born out of the rise of fascism in Europe and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in the 30s, Black radicals formulated a theoretical understanding of and practical response to the realities of colonial and capitalist racist oppression throughout the African world. And with the taking of state power by the Bolsheviks and the establishment of the Soviet Union and the Third International (COMINTERN), many black radicals gravitated to revolutionary Marxism, as both a critique of the Western capitalist dominance and a theory for disrupting that dominance.
By Julia Conley for Mint Press News - With people of color projected to make up the majority of Americans by 2043, a new study warns against policies that keep many black and Latino households out of the middle class. A new study finds that if the racial wealth divide is left unaddressed, the median wealth for black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053, with Latino Americans reaching the same median wealth two decades later. According to the report by the Institute for Policy Studies and Prosperity Now, the wealth gap between people of color and their white counterparts is showing no sign of narrowing in the coming years—even as racial demographics in the U.S. are rapidly shifting, with people of color projected to make up the majority of the population by 2043. In the next three years, black households are projected to lose 18 percent of their median net worth, while white families are expected to gain about three percent more wealth. The report, “The Road to Zero-Wealth,” defines middle-class wealth as a household net worth of $68,000 to $204,000, and notes the disconnect between income and wealth: a median income for one’s racial background does not guarantee entry into the middle-class. “White households in the middle-income quintile—those earning $37,201-61,328 annually—own nearly eight times as much wealth ($86,100) as Black middle-income earners ($11,000) and ten times that of their Latino counterparts ($8,600),” write the authors.