The Rebellion IS Being Funded: The Dangers of Philanthrocapitalism

By Karyn Pomerantz and Ellen Isaacs, 8-8-2020

“I’m very much afraid of this ‘Foundation Complex.’ We’re getting praise from places that worry me.” Ella Baker, 1963 quoted by INCITE!.

In our time of fervent uprisings against racism and the increased unity of workers, many foundations and ruling class opinion influencers like the New York Times (NYT) call for re-imagining or re-creating capitalism in order to save it. Non-profits, corporations, and universities have issued statements deploring inequality and racism as if they just discovered them.

This article discusses the role of foundations and corporations that fund non-profit advocacy, educational, and health organizations. Their motives are actually self-serving, providing tax benefits for themselves (depriving the government of tax revenue) and earning valuable public relations for corporate America.

We will specifically examine the liberal Soros Foundations and the Ford Foundation, their motivations, and the consequences that organizations and movements experience by accepting their support.

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Hating on Hamilton

By Karyn Pomerantz, 7-14-2020

Hamilton, the smash Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, has seduced thousands of theatregoers with its hip hop lyrics, dancing, black cast, costumes, and lighting.  It is a triumph of form over content.

The musical tells the story of Alexander Hamilton who grows up in the West Indies, arrives in the colonies, and becomes the aide to and US Treasurer under George Washington. He exercises his ambition through alliances with powerful men and his marriage into the slave owning Schuyler family, a travesty which is barely noted in the play. 

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Book Review: “White Fragility” versus Anti Racist Agility

By Karyn Pomerantz, June 29, 2020

“White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo ranks as the number one best selling book on many publisher lists and has a months long waiting list at public libraries.  It clearly has an important message to garner such attention. What does this message mean for a multiracial fight against racism as we’ve witnessed in the protests around the world? What kinds of strategies does it encourage to overcome the racist nature of capitalism?

Dr. DiAngelo is a white woman educator who helps companies and organizations diversify their workforces and develop more harmony between workers of different “racial” and ethnic backgrounds. She creates and delivers an antiracist curriculum to the employees, mostly white, in order to expose white people’s racism and, as she states, to encourage them to recognize their privilege so they can stop oppressing black people. (The book focuses on black and white people). 

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Antiracist Book Reviews: Working-Class Unity versus “White Privilege”

by Bill Sacks, retired physician, REVISED June 27, 2020

Black authors have written many nonfiction books on racism over the last decade. Mark Whitaker listed and commented on several in the Washington Post’s Outlook section (June 14, 2020). He pointed out that Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me (2015) opened up a market for such books, and that Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow (2010) was an earlier bestseller that had a huge impact on public thought about incarceration.

The various authors’ analyses of racism differ. Coates claims that there is a caste system, in which all white people oppress all black people, regardless of class. The category of caste draws strict lines between members of different castes, in this case between all white people and all black people. Caste is proposed by Coates as the significant social categorization, as opposed to class, which is defined in relation to exploitation and consists of exploiters and exploited. However, it is class that defines the main interests of each group, not caste. Black exploiters have little in common with black victims of exploitation, who in turn have more in common with white victims of exploitation. Similarly, white victims of exploitation have little in common with white exploiters. The interests of exploiters and exploited are opposed to one another.

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Racist Police Terror: Poisonous Tip of the Class War

Racist Police Terror: Poisonous Tip of the Class War

By Nayvin Gordon, MD, 6-24-2020

Introduction

While police violence and other forms of oppression affect Black workers disproportionately, White workers also suffer from racism, including incarceration and police murders (i.e. greater proportions of black working-class people are killed by cops or incarcerated, while greater numbers of white working-class people are killed by cops and incarcerated).

This article documents some of the ways this occurs.  (See also Racism Makes HALF TRILLION Dollar$ in Super-Profits for Capitalists: an Un(der)told Storyhttps://multiracialunity.org/2020/06/22/racism-makes-half-trillion-dollar-in-super-profits-for-capitalists-an-undertold-story/

The fight against racist killer cops helps all workers:

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Racism Makes HALF TRILLION Dollar$ in Super-Profits for Capitalists: an Un(der)told Story

by Wally Linder, retired railway worker and organizer, June 22, 2020

The financial foundation of U.S. capitalism is racism. It is the source of some $500 BILLIONS (half trillion dollars) in super-profits. That is the difference between the household income of white and Black families and the basis for the oppression of Black workers in all spheres of life.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2019 figures), there were 17 million Black households in the U.S. The median income of those families was $41,361. The median household income of white families was $70,642. If the bosses paid the Black families the same as white families, an additional $29,281 each, they would have to fork over an additional $497 BILLION, 17 million families multiplied by $29,281 each. This would reduce the bosses’ profits by HALF TRILLION dollars.  

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Comrade or Ally? Book Review of : COMRADE, An Essay on Political Belonging by Jodi Dean

By Karyn Pomerantz, 6-12-2020

The uprisings over the horrendous oppression and killing of black people in the US have united people in ways we have rarely seen. Most protests in the past have been comprised of a single demographic group: mostly white in anti-war marches, Latin in immigration demonstrations, and black in anti-racist protests. The multi-racial and multi-ethnic participation in the rebellions stirred by police violence, disproportionate Covid19 deaths in black and native families, and sacrificial back-to-work decisions creates an enormous potential for working class solidarity and revolutionary change.   

Continue reading “Comrade or Ally? Book Review of : COMRADE, An Essay on Political Belonging by Jodi Dean”

ODE TO PUBLIC HEALTH ACADEMY: URGENT CALL TO REFORM AND GO BEYOND PRETTY WORDS

by Ans Irfan, MD, MPH, posted 6-11-2020

Racism is a public health issue. Police violence is a public health issue. Social justice is a public health issue. Let us add a qualifying noun such as “structural” or “systematic” to strengthen our “response” to anti-Blackness and racism. Black lives matter.

With some wordsmithing, some variation of these lines basically constitutes large chunks of the “statements” and “responses” issued by most, if not all, institutions that constitute the public health industrial complex: public health academia; public health associations; public health publishing industry.

Words. Empty words and self-aggrandizing performative advocacy are all that they are. Words matter. What matters more, much more, is the actions that follow them.

SEE MORE: Recommendations to Our Schools and Colleagues:

https://jphmpdirect.com/2020/06/08/ode-to-public-health-academy-urgent-call-to-reform-and-go-beyond-pretty-words/

Where Were the Hypocrites When Police Murdered 1000 People, Disproportionately Black, a Year?

by Karyn Pomerantz, June 7, 2020

appearing in Counterpunch, June 12, 2020

Kudos to everyone taking a stand and acting against racism. Your ongoing protests have inspired a vision of a better world based on cooperation and equity. Your militancy, persistence, and inclusivity reveal a passion for multiracial and global solidarity. As you continue resisting, we now see the hypocrites coming out of the woodwork hyping their phony pledges of anti-racism. 

This message criticizes the liberal organizations that pose as anti-racist while supporting the system that creates inequity. It is not an attack on those who work for them.

During the week of June 1, I received over a dozen “statements” from businesses, universities, and non-profits bemoaning the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery among the 1000 other men, women, and children killed by police every year, killing a disproportionate number of black men and women who have over twice the chance of being killed by police than white people. The messages acknowledged the centuries of enslavement, genocides, and disparities in health, wealth, and covid. It feels like people just discovered the oppression of the working class, especially workers of color.

Where was everyone when Black Lives Matter, Ferguson militants, families of dead children, and immigrant activists demanded an end to state violence, stood up to heavily armed police and ICE, and demanded indictments of killer cops who rarely serve any prison time?

Generations of activists have called for an end to brutal racism. Public health scholars and others have quantified the unequal distribution of those “social determinants of health,” you know, those conditions like housing, poverty, and unemployment that affect health. Who knew? Who cared? Yet rarely does anyone, including “radicals” like Bernie Sanders and AOC, name and oppose capitalism’s profit driven demands as the underpinning of these problems. 

Major public health organizations and schools have advocated for health reforms but only color within the lines of lobbying, petitioning, and begging Congress for money. Do you know that it took three years for the American Public Health Association to pass a resolution that police brutality hurts health? That the GWU School of Public Health refused to make a statement against the rash of police violence until it became popular and impossible to ignore?  That faculty and NGO staff have to censor radical ideas to keep their grant funding and their jobs?

Now we have cops posing on their knees when they aren’t kneeling on necks, football bosses apologizing for racism in the NFL, and businesses like Walmart pledging money for a center on equity and blathering about structural change as they continue to exploit their workforce ($15 per hour!) and lay-off thousands of employees. (Hint: they are the structural problem). 

Are we expected to praise politicians when they urge decarceration but leave people in death traps called jails in Prince George’s County and elsewhere? When they rename a plaza and paint Black Lives Matter on the street while sharing surveillance camera data to identify protestors? These utterly hypocritical actions only occurred when massive, angry, and determined people threatened the peace of the ownership class. Let us expose and reject the politicians (yes, Biden and Cuomo included) and opportunists who mouth platitudes in order to appease us and safeguard their power and wealth.

Let’s keep fighting back and organizing sustainable movements to overturn this system. 

Unemployment under Covid Capitalism: A Preventable Epidemic

Karyn Pomerantz, June 6, 2020

Introduction

There are millions of useful jobs that could improve our quality of life. The Covid pandemic requires the mobilization of millions to provide healthcare, food, outreach, and the production and distribution of protective gear. The US and other countries also need infrastructure overhauls to prevent collapsing bridges and further climate devastation. There are great deficits in education, transportation, housing, and health care that need to be addressed. Unemployment plagues workers, especially black, Latin, and young people. Why is there so much unemployment when our needs are so great?!

This post reports on unemployment, why it exists, how communism can prevent it, and the ways US activists fought it during the Depression in the 1930s.

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