THE AUDACITY OF HYPOCRISY — LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY

by Ellen Isaacs

November, 2019

It is the era of disavowal of Trump.  Long despised by anti-racists and humanists of many stripes, his foreign policy has now even offended US empire builders, leaving us with an overlap of interests between those who wish to scuttle Trump’s overt policies of hate and those who hate to see US power decrease in the world. Whether via impeachment or election, the time has come for a new carrier of the torch. That person will almost certainly be a Democrat, one who is “liberal” enough to appear to support human rights, justice and democracy but who is also committed to the maximization of US economic and political influence, just more nicely done.

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OVER FORTY YEARS OF LEAD POISONING IN CHILDREN — THE CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM

By Nayvin Gordon and Karyn Pomerantz, October 28, 2019


The US Department of Health and Human Services promoted October 20-27, 2019 as national lead prevention week. As of 2017, pediatricians reported that more than half a million US children had lead poisoning (AAFP, 2019).


The poisonous effects of lead have been documented for over 2,000 years. It is an environmental toxin whose effects are totally preventable; it has no biological role in the human body. Lead causes irreversible brain damage, especially in children. It affects numerous organs, such as the heart and kidneys, and influences behavior and cognition measured by IQ scores and other tests. Researchers have postulated that lead poisoning contributes to higher rates of impulsive behavior, attention deficit disorders, and poorer ability to process information. Nonetheless, the law does not require testing of all children for dangerous lead levels.

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THE SAME OLD STORY – BAHAMA EXPLOITS AND DEPORTS HAITIANS

by Ellen Isaacs

October 18, 2019

What could be more ironic and cruel than witnessing the increasingly racist and nationalist mistreatment and expulsion of Haitians following the devastation wrought by hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas? How does a former victim of British colonialism become a fount of racist nationalism itself? How do the citizens of the only land to have overthrown slavery in modern history deserve this treatment? Because, unfortunately, racism and nationalism are the strategies with which governments around the globe retain power.

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Reflecting Back on the Peterloo Massacre at 200

 

By Karyn Pomerantz, August 2019

         On August 16, 1819, 60,000 men, women, and children gathered in St. Peter’s Field in the heavily industrial city of Manchester, England to demand political representation and better living conditions. It was the most massive assembly to have taken place at the time, amounting to roughly half the population of Manchester. Wearing their Sunday best and accompanied by musicians, they carried banners and signs calling for liberty, a parliament of the people and repeal of the Corn Laws. It was a peaceful, celebratory, yet emphatic crowd: little did they expect the brutal response of their “own” government. However, the ruling class was terrified of insurrection that would topple them from power, as had the French Revolution 30 years earlier. No sooner had the speeches begun than the rulers sent in the British cavalry, backed up by local volunteer militias, to strike them down, disperse the crowd, and arrest the leaders. The sabre-wielding forces wantonly murdered 18 men, women, and children, and injured 650. This pivotal incident became known as the Peterloo Massacre, and this year marks its bicentenary.        

As Mike Leigh, director of the film, Peterloo, writes about its continuing significance:“Despite the spread of universal suffrage across large parts of the globe, poverty, inequality, suppression of press freedom, indiscriminate surveillance, and attacks on legitimate protest by brutal regimes are all on the rise… Peterloo is of seminal importance.”           This article looks back on the events of 1819 and the lessons they hold for us today. It draws on the book, Peterloo by Jacqueline Riding and the film by Mike Leigh, as well as the contemporaneous commentary of several leaders and participants.

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Uniting by Class vs Identity in the Fight Against Racism

Allies vs Comrades

By Karyn Pomerantz, 5-24-2019, updated 9-21-19

People represent themselves in many ways.  They indicate their pronouns to reflect gender identification or introduce themselves as belonging to a national or “racial” group.   Adoption of  the concept of intersectionality has made people further refine their identification with overlapping characteristics, such as an African-American woman or a biracial gay immigrant.  People also define themselves as high or low income, employed or jobless, and professional or service worker. Those not included in a particular classification may advance the causes of those in another group, for example whites opposing racism and men opposing sexism. But the fragmentation of identity by personal characteristics leaves many to believe they can only unite with and owe their deepest loyalty to those in the same group or groups. This reduces those in other groups to allies rather than comrades. Continue reading “Uniting by Class vs Identity in the Fight Against Racism”

DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISM 2: The Anti-Revolutionary Progressive Pundits

revolution1by Ellen Isaacs

It is now said that over 50% of young Americans would prefer socialism, usually equated with democratic socialism. instead of capitalism, Also called democratic socialist are nations that provide more benefits to workers than the US or profess their desire to do so, from Scandinavia to South America. Even before several new young US politicians calling themselves democratic socialists were elected, even before Bernie Sanders ran for President, the most widely admired left of center American social critics also identified themselves this way.

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WHOSE SIDE ARE THEY ON? WE CAN’T RELY ON THE NEW “SOCIALIST” POLITICIANS

by Ellen Isaacs

            The premise of this blog is that US capitalism cannot live without racism, which is also true of many other racialized societies, such as South Africa or Israel, with histories of settler colonialism and large non-European populations. And racism is also basic to imperialist exploitation of the darker nations of the world, be it pre- or post-colonialist, for their resources and markets.

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