By Al Harkins, October 19, 2017

Image: A woman receives warm meals from a Disaster Relief truck run by the American Red Cross in the Midland Beach neighborhood in Staten Island

As many writers have observed, the American Red Cross (ARC) is very good at one thing: raising money, with annual revenues of over $2.6 billion.  But they aren’t very good at delivering help to those who need it.  In 2010 when the earthquake struck Haiti, killing an estimated 100,000 to 316,000 people, ARC staff swung into action doing what it does best: raising money. Their appeal to “save lives,” aided by endorsements from President Obama and celebrities and fueled by a pioneering text message campaign, raised an incredible $488 million. Continue reading “AMERICAN RED CROSS—GREAT AT RAISING AND WASTING MONEY”


edited by Ellen Isaacs and Karyn Pomerantz, Sept 1, 2017 

charlottesville aug 2017

Thousands of anti-racists rallied in Charlottesville on August 12 against the largest rally by a combined force of white supremacists seen in decades.  Although protestors succeeded in disrupting the planned agenda of the alt-right, one anti-racist was murdered. This right-wing gathering was allowed to occur, as others will be in the future, because racism and terrorism are necessary to capitalism when it can no longer provide jobs and services that people need.  Trying to divide workers by race and nationality is the bosses’ way of protecting their interests and weakening us.  But we won’t have it! Continue reading “CHARLOTTESVILLE SHOWS WE NEED A MASS MULTIRACIAL MOVEMENT TO STOP THE FASCISTS IN THEIR TRACKS  “

JOIN the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights

millions march 2By Tomiko Shine and Charlotte Malerich

This Saturday, August 19, the Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign (APP-HRC) marched with dozens of other organizations and thousands of concerned individuals to end slavery in the U.S. Continue reading “JOIN the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights”

MORE ABOUT HEALTH: Structural Racism and Stress

By Karyn Pomerantz, August 8, 2017

you may be suffering from capitalism

This blog post presents the ways the ruling class of owners and financiers intentionally use racism to create profit and separate the working class.  It discusses structural racism and its manifestations in health.  Subsequent pieces will discuss how structural racism affects health because of policies in housing, education, employment and other necessities of life. Continue reading “MORE ABOUT HEALTH: Structural Racism and Stress”


The distribution of cholera cases around the Broad Street pump, as discovered by John Snow

By Ellen Isaacs

The mission of this blog has been to focus on racism as a primary and essential aspect of capitalism, especially American capitalism, without which that system could not survive. In the article recently published, Racism is a Scourge on the Public’s Health, we began to illustrate the role of racism in adversely affecting the health of non-white as well as white workers. We would now like to delve more deeply into the relationship between capitalism and public health—the promotion of health of entire populations. Continue reading “MORE ABOUT HEALTH: PROFIT AND PUBLIC HEALTH”

Town Hall Meeting at the University of Maryland to Organize Against the Murder of Richard Collins III

By Karyn Pomerantz, June 5, 2017

On May 20, a white neo-Nazi student at the University of Maryland in College Park murdered Richard Collins III, a black student who was waiting for an Uber on campus.   This killing occurred just days before another neo-Nazi stabbed 3 people who were protecting 2 women from his vicious harassment. He killed two of the men and wounded a third who tried to prevent his stabbing two women because one wore a hijab.  Trump’s racism has emboldened many racists, spreading terror among black, Muslim, Asian and Latin people. Continue reading “Town Hall Meeting at the University of Maryland to Organize Against the Murder of Richard Collins III”

How Slavery in the Fields and Factories Created King Cotton and Capitalism

A Book Review by Karyn Pomerantz of : The Empire of Cotton: A Global History by Sven Beckert.  London, Penguin Books 2014.

cotton pickingThe cultivation of cotton and the production of cotton materials, made profitable by racist slavery and genocide, birthed capitalism.   The Empire of Cotton describes the history of cotton production from before the Christian era through present day outsourcing to Asian sweat shops heavily staffed by impoverished women and children.  Mexico, Brazil, India, China and Egypt also grew cotton yet never developed any new economic structures to maximize its value as England did. Continue reading “How Slavery in the Fields and Factories Created King Cotton and Capitalism”


The original HOLC map of New Orleans. High “risk” black areas in red.

A Book Review

by Ellen Isaacs

“Racial segregation in housing was not merely a project of Southerners in the former slaveholding Confederacy. It was a nationwide project of the federal government in the twentieth century, designed and implemented by its most liberal leaders….Until the last quarter of [that century}, racially explicit policies of federal, state, and local governments defined where whites and African Americans should live….The policy was so systematic and forceful that is effects endure to the present time.” These quotes are from the preface to The Color of Law, a new book by Richard Rothstein, that presents a wealth of evidence in support of his thesis. The general ignorance of the history of de jure (by law) segregation is so profound that Chief Justice John Roberts could get away with saying that since residential segregation “is a product not of state action but of private choices, it does not have constitutional implications.” Such ideas inhibit legal remedies for the consequences of housing segregation, such as segregated education. The author also shows how racist housing laws contributed to income differentials, the large differences in wealth between blacks and whites, and prevented interracial cohesion. Continue reading “THE U.S. GOVERNMENT CREATED AND/OR PERPETUATED SEGREGATED HOUSING – WITH MALICE AND FORETHOUGHT”


by Ellen Isaacs


            Most articles verifying the effects of racism on health attempt to suggest solutions, ranging from combating provider bias, to changing the insurance system, to reducing income inequality. However, we start by asking a fundamental question: Is it possible to erase the racial differences in health and health care in our capitalist system? Continue reading “RACISM IS A SCOURGE ON THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH”


by Bill Sacks

While pointing the finger at terrorists as wanton murderers (which they are), the US is among the one-sixth of the world’s nations that still use the death penalty, almost exclusively against the working class; five out of six nations have abolished it. Besides those whom the courts officially execute, US police unofficially (extra-judicially) execute even more – far more than in any other country. Police act on the street as prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner, all within seconds.

In contrast, following judicial sentencing, official executions occur decades later, with most spending their entire lives on death row without execution. This varies wildly across the US. Twenty states have abolished the death penalty, and, of the other thirty, many execute maybe 1%, while others execute as many as 70%. This alone indicates the unfairness of the death penalty that, along with public sentiment opposed to capital punishment in the early 1970s, prompted the US Supreme Court to abolish the death penalty in 1972, only to bring death back to “life” in 1976.

Capitalism, particularly in the US, aims the death penalty almost exclusively at the working class, and at men. White collar crime often has far greater consequences – for example, the tobacco company executives who lied for years about the deadly effects of smoking, the politicians who sent working-class soldiers to kill and be killed in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq, and even the bankers’ responsible for the 2008 crash that wiped out pensions and better- paying jobs. But rarely does white collar crime result in an indictment, let alone end in conviction – and never in execution.

The unequal application of the death penalty, confined only to the working class, also occurs largely along racial lines. This is traceable to the US history of slavery, Jim Crow racism (slavery by another name), and rampant lynch mobs in the 1900s. Such extrajudicial lynchings were only terminated by the government’s saying in effect to the racist mobs, “You can end your vigilante practice, since we (the state – federal and state governments) are going to take over the practice officially.” Cops, however, are the lynch mobs by another name, still permitted to kill with impunity.

From 1882 to 1964, the more than 4,700 lynchings killed far more black than white (mainly) men – roughly 3 to 1 – with many whites lynched for associating with black friends ( Judicial executions, on the other hand, victimize far more white workers than black – 56% have been white, and 35% have been black since 1976. But in proportion to their respective portions of the population, a white worker is only one-eighth as likely to be executed as a black worker, though there are roughly equal numbers of black and white men on death row awaiting executions that may never take place. Workers of Latin, Native American, and other ethnic groups suffer fewer executions.

Until execution for rape was outlawed in 1977, almost 9 out of 10 of the 455 men executed for rape between 1930 and 1967 were black, almost all for raping white women, with undetermined numbers innocent of the crime. When black women were the rape victims, regardless of the color of the rapist’s skin, rarely was the death penalty applied.