We also offer encouragement to form your own group of friends to work together and support each other in election advocacy, and we respond to comments on last week’s post on reparations.
I want to apologize. Retake has blogged from the WordPress platform since we started in 2016. I always get a notification from WP whenever someone comments on a post. Until recently. I wondered why there were no comments of late, so I went into the administrator comment page and found dozens of unapproved comments. They are all approved now. Sorry I didn’t catch this sooner. Read on.
Today we offer links to videos of our Health Security Act Zoominar and my interview with Eric Griego, Working Families Party, along with notices of other worthwhile online opportunities. But before we dive in, I respond to a comment on the post where I asserted it was time to pay reparations to African Americans and perhaps to cancel all consumer debt as relief for the wealth theft of the past 50 years.
Black Lives Matter
Does Not Mean Other Injustice Doesn’t Warrant Redress
In Saturday’s post I offered a brief commentary suggesting that African Americans deserved reparations for their enslavement and subsequent subjugation under Jim Crow. I also stated that Indigenous peoples were just as deserving of reparations for the genocide we visited upon them. I then suggested that maybe we should consider cancelling all consumer debt for 80% of Americans as redress for 50 years of economic exploitation resulting from neoliberal policies that shifted trillions of our money to the wealthiest 1%.
One reader commented: “Isn’t that a bit like saying All Lives Matter,” and I can see the reader’s point. I think that if the US ever does do the right thing and offers reparations to African Americans, that action should include Indigenous peoples. Our treatment of Indigenous peoples has been every bit as bad as our treatment of African Americans. I don’t think this is a compromising the BLM movement at all, but am interested in more reader comment.
I do think the comment is germane to the consumer debt suggestion, and I think the a fix could be to consider reparations and relief separately. This creates a distinction between the centuries-long enslavement and genocide of African Americans and Indigenous peoples, and others who have been exploited economically. These are two categorically different levels of oppression and should be treated separately. Having said that, the transfer (read: theft) of trillions of dollars should not be skipped past. The degree to which right-wing think tanks, Wall St., and their purchased pawns who were supposed to be OUR representatives should be front and center and those industries who oppressed, should be held accountable.
So, readers, does the separation of these two possible initiatives, one reparations and the other economic relief, address the conflation of issues? What do you think of this handling of the issue and the concept of using reparation and relief to address systemic economic oppression? How can the banking industry and other Wall St companies be held accountable? How do you respond to objections to reparations that go something like this: “I never enslaved anyone. Why should my taxes pay for something that happened 170 years ago?”
Health Security Act Zoominar:
What It Is, Why We Need It & What You Can Do!
The panelists have decades of health policy research and advocacy. In this informative discussion, you will be brought up to speed on what the Health Security is and isn’t, how it can ensure quality, affordable healthcare for virtually every New Mexican while saving over $16 B in its first five years. We need to pass this in 2021 and we need you to help.
Retake Conversation with Eric Griego,
Working Families Party, NM Executive Director
Eric Griego shed light on the successful ousting of five Senate DINOs in the June primary and laid out strategy for the November election. Eric is a former NM State Senator so he knows his way around the Roundhouse and elections. A very worthwhile listen.
News In Brief: Another selection of important pieces.
- From the UN Environmental Programme: “Unite human, animal and environmental health to prevent the next pandemic – UN Report”
- From Truthout: “Health Official Says Tulsa’s Spike in COVID Cases Likely Linked to Trump Rally” Duh.
- From Vanity Fair: “Bill Barr Is Running An October-Surprise Factory at Justice”
Race in America with Pramilia Jayapal
THURSDAY, JULY 16, 3:00 p.m. ET – Race in America: Prison Reform
Common, Artist and Activist Scott Budnick, Founder and President of the Anti-Recidivism CoalitionJarrett Harper, Campaign Ambassador for Represent Justice. Hosted by Michele Norris Register for this event here.
A Look Back At Last Week’s Posts
Catch Up On What You Missed
So much news, so little time. Last week we began a new feature, “News In Brief” with links to three important articles from online publications that you might have missed. We also gave the floor to NM Voices for Children to review what transpired during the Special Legislative Session. examined the neoliberal looting of America and the astounding scale of American consumer debt and how we got there, and lastly, a sad, but important report that considers the possibility that the original “worst case” COVID scenarios could be just around the corner.
If you have time to review just one of these posts, I’d choose Thursday, about the fleecing we’ve taken from neo-liberal policies that germinated in the 1970s and began crushing us and enriching “them” in 1980. It is crucial we understand how this happened to us and what we can do to reverse this hideous wealth theft. Read on.
Special Session: All Cuts, No Revenue Increases. It Could Have Been Worse, But We Need to Do MUCH Better in 2021. Plus Huge Court Decision Stops Dakota Pipeline Cold
Tuesday, July 7. We present NM Voices for Children’s excellent analysis of the Special Budget session, with information on where the cuts were made and what was spared. The post also provides links to some tremendous Fact Sheets with each analyzing the federal relief legislation and its impact on various populations and sectors.
We also offered two charts that tell the sorry tale of US response to COVID and the perilous place we are in, plus a “News-in-Brief” link to a report on the court decision to halt the pipeline.
At the end of the post, another Playing for Change video: “Pride of Everyday People,” our tribute to the essential workers.
The Looting of America, Not the Looting Seen on TV,
the Looting of Our Collective Wealth
Thursday, July 9. The recent rioting and looting we’ve experienced is a symptom of pent up rage against a machine that has turned us into cogs, and for blacks and other people of color, disposable cogs, who if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they die.
With an assist from Jeff Silesky, who researched an array of economic indicators and from the New York Times report, “Neoliberalism Is Looting America,” we examine the real looting of America, the 50-year looting of most Americans’ wealth and how the exorbitant rise of key costs (healthcare, housing, college) has left us heavily reliant on consumer debt with high interest exacerbating debt and padding the banking industry profit. It is a truly ugly picture that needs to be addressed.
Is the Worst Case COVID Scenario the American Future?
Saturday, July 11. In this post, we offer a host of Actions & Opportunities that are still in play. We also offer “In Brief” links to two articles on how we should pay reparations to African Americans and on a Bernie Sanders’ outrage over a Congressional Budget Office report indicating that we are robbed of almost $400B a year due to the 1% failing to pay taxes that are due. Together those three articles echo the theme of Thursday’s post.
We followed up on this theme with brief commentary asking whether or not we might address the wealth transfer described on Thursday by cancelling all consumer debt. Finally, we offer a guest post from Seth Abramson. He posted a very well-written prediction that is, tragically, likely to transpire. We presented his brief, powerful, canary-in-the-coal-mine call for sane action.
In solidarity and hope,
Paul & Roxanne