The current debate over immigration policy in the United States revolves around how many immigrants we should let in and what we should do about those immigrants that are here without authorization. Continue reading “IMMIGRATION POLICY IN THE US: IT’S ALL ABOUT RACE”
Although we believe that both candidates for President endorse racism, exploitation and war, we don’t deny that they represent different wings of American capitalism and divergent tactics. It is also true that for the second time in the 21st century, 2000 and 2016, the candidate with the largest popular vote lost. (Of course, the real winner was the none of the above vote, made by nearly half of the potential electorate.) The irony is that the long-dominant arm of finance capital, represented by the centrist Democrats like the Clintons and Obama, has twice been a victim to this rigged system. Donald Trump’s overt racism and sexism is not the language they prefer to use, even as they continue mass incarceration, police violence, deportations and resource wars. Better to speak nicely and try to hide the reality from white workers. However, downtrodden unemployed and dispossessed white industrial and agricultural workers could take it no more, and so they either welcomed or were willing to tolerate overt racism in a (futile) search for economic revenge. And the Electoral College, which was invented to guarantee the dominance of the white elite, helped them along. By giving weighted votes to each state on a winner-takes-all basis, this Electoral College system decreases the value of votes in states with a large majority voting one way, ie currently states like New York and California with lots of minority, immigrant and liberal voters. Continue reading “ELECTORAL COLLEGE FOUNDED ON RACISM”
Racism often characterized and determined the success or failure of union organizing and strikes. The Knights of Labor, formed in the 1880s, included black and white skilled and unskilled workers while the trades oriented AFL refused to admit black or unskilled workers. The IWW, the Wobblies, led by leftists, organized multiracial struggles in the mines and other industries. In the 1930s as the Depression deepened, the communist led CIO recruited black and white skilled and unskilled workers. However, its inclusionary practices didn’t often extend to fighting the extra exploitation black workers faced in more dangerous and lesser paid jobs. The labor movement reveals how workers overcame or capitulated to the racism the capitalists nurtured to maintain their own wealth and power. Continue reading “Union Organizing”
(From Lerone Bennett, The Shaping of Black America. Chicago: Johnson Publishing Co., 1975, pp. 61-82. Originally published in Ebony, vol. 25 (August, 1970), pp. 71- 77).
A nation is a choice. It chooses itself at fateful forks in the road by turning left or right, by giving up something or taking something — and in the giving up and the taking, in the deciding and not deciding, the nation becomes. And ever afterwards, the nation and the people who make up the nation are defined by the fork and by the decision that was made there, as well as by the decision that was not made there. For the decision, once made, engraves itself into the landscape, engraves itself into things, into institutions, nerves, muscles, tendons; and the first decision requires a second decision, and the second decision requires a third, and it goes on and on, spiraling in an inexorable process which distorts everything and alienates everybody.
Continue reading ““The Road Not Taken” by Lerone Bennett”
MIGRATION: A REFLECTION OF CAPITALISM
By Ellen Isaacs
Appearing in Zmag, July 2016
The news is full of tragic and shocking stories of the flight of refugees, such as the 12.6 million Syrians internally or externally displaced and over 1000 drowned in June in the Mediterranean Sea. Today, more desperate refugees are seeking shelter in Europe than at any time since World War II.
In this article we will examine why so many people in the world have been driven to flee their homes, the status of migration in the world today, and why capitalism and imperialism are responsible for this phenomenon. We will also explore how nationalism and racism, inventions of capitalism, are used to justify mass displacements and make them more acceptable. Continue reading “Migration: A Reflection of Capitalism”
by The Editors
From: The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic by Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker. Boston: Beacon Press, 2000.
Today, massive unemployment and wars force millions of people to flee their homes. In the US cities, developers are building luxury residences, pushing people out of their neighborhoods and homes. In New Orleans, Louisiana State University leveled miles of newly-renovated houses to build its new medical center.
Continue reading “Sailors, Slaves, Pirates Revolts in the 16th-17th Centuries”
Labor, Free and Slave by Bernard Mandel explores the effects of slavery on white workers. It describes how white workers (“free labor”) responded to slavery and the abolition movement. It holds many lessons we can apply to today’s movements against police brutality and xenophobia.
by Karyn Pomerantz
The Unity of “Free” and Enslaved Workers during the Civil War Period
(From Labor, free and slave by Bernard Mandel, 2nd ed, Chicago: U of Illinois Press, 2007
Labor, Free and Slave by Bernard Mandel explores the effects of slavery on white workers. It describes how white workers (“free labor”) responded to slavery and the abolition movement. It holds many lessons we can apply to today’s movements against police brutality and xenophobia. Continue reading ““Labor: Free and Slave””