Welcome

As Elana Levin says, “If white people don’t address racism around the dinner table than we are leaving that work to people of color to do. And that’s not fair. Our relatives are more likely to listen to us than anyone else and there are tested ways to do this. So check out these resources.”

I’d add this tip from Jesse Alexander Myerson on how to talk to family members, “talk about their lives and their stories and what they’re afraid of and angry about and what breaks their heart and who they blame for it and what they take joy and hope in — not their opinions of Hillary Clinton.”

Also I think it’s important to be fully aware that you’re not going to share the perfect talking point or explainer article that will forever transform a loved one brainwashed by 24/7 propaganda being poured into their brains. But in the face of that massive coordinated media effort by some of the biggest companies in the world with billions and billions of dollars behind it, our best hope (slim as it is) in the fight is the real-life relationships we have that are based in shared history and love.

Starting a conversation now is about making a long-term commitment to do the difficult emotional, empathetic work of relationship building and repair over time, to go through the painful process of trying and maybe failing, and then doing the difficult work of trying again anyway.

And I’ll be interested to hear how it goes!

Some great video resources and articles below to get started (h/t Jeronimo Saldaña from Archana Sahgal), and if anyone else has anything to share, please leave them in the comments!

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Leading Trump Census pick causes alarm

The 2020 Census might be put in the hands of Thomas Brunell, an inexperienced professor who wrote a book titled “Redistricting and Representation: Why Competitive Elections Are Bad for America.”

You know how some people comfort themselves into thinking change is inevitable because of the changing demographics of America? What about when ongoing efforts to suppress minority votes combine with a systematic effort to even further under-represent minorities? Trump can make the pick for deputy director of the Census unilaterally, without Senate confirmation.

“After the 2010 census, Brunell testified or wrote a report in support of GOP redistricting efforts in Alabama, South Dakota, South Carolina and New Mexico. In North Carolina, where GOP leaders drew congressional districts that were ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court for unfairly discriminating against black North Carolinians, he wrote a report on behalf of the state analyzing the extent of racially polarized voting in 51 North Carolina districts. In Ohio, he wrote a report in opposition to expanded early voting.

“If Brunell is installed in a top Census Bureau job, “there are tons of little things he could be doing to influence what the final count looks like,” said the former high-ranking Commerce official. “The ripple effect on reapportionment would be astounding.”

“Beyond its impact on elections, the decennial census directs the destination of hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funds each year.”

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Christmas Sam on Twitter

It’s one of those days when I’m having extreme emotional reactions to graphs. Here’s the latest one: employers steal more than twice as much from workers than larceny, burglary, robbery, and car theft COMBINED.

via Facebook https://twitter.com/CollectableCat/status/932738863449214976

Felix Salmon on Twitter

The Non-Partisan Tax Policy Center says that under the GOP tax plan, 82 million households will see a tax increase.

To put this in context: There are 125 million households, in total, in America. Under the GOP plan, MOST households will see their taxes rise.

*MOST OF US* will pay more so a few corporations and rich kids who inherit their parents’ wealth will pay less.

via Facebook https://twitter.com/felixsalmon/status/932779205531717632

Love this 21st century economy where we pay crazy rents, and then pay an additional $525 a month to sit at A DESK in a room of five desks to do freelance work with no benefits.


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Opinion | How to Stop the Predators Who Aren’t Famous

“The fact is that sexual harassment is more about power than sex; any industry with extreme power differentials will be afflicted by it. “Raising awareness” is crucial, but not enough.

“The service industry, where more than half of workers are women, is especially plagued by sexual harassment. Tipped work is notorious … The Restaurant Opportunities Center, an advocacy group seeking fair wages and better treatment for workers, reports that a majority of restaurant employees are sexually harassed weekly.

“Domestic workers are another especially vulnerable group. They are often immigrant women of color, sometimes without legal immigration status, sometimes living in their employers’ homes. This combination makes them uniquely subject to intimate harassment and intimidation. A majority of female farmworkers, who often toil in isolation in the field, have experienced sexual harassment or assault.

“For these women, shaming their bosses on Twitter or going to a newspaper is, unfortunately, rarely an option — if the predator doesn’t have a big public profile, few will notice the complaint except, perhaps, the guy with the power to fire the person complaining. That’s why women in these fields often take another route: collective action … The idea is to use collective power to restructure power dynamics in whole industries.”

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These Wall Street Companies Are Ready to Cash In on Trump’s Border Wall

Sterling is the only publicly traded company that we can get information on who is bidding to build Trump’s wall. But if they’re any indication, Wall Street — across the political party spectrum — is seeking to cash in on Trump’s divisive hate.

“A report on Sterling’s Wall Street investors, published today by [Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York, New York Communities for Change, and Partnership for Working Families], warns of the “growing alignment” between the financial elite and the nationalist right-wing, and argues that Trump’s policies are not just a reflection of hard-line nativist ideology, but also of the economic and financial interests of beneficiaries that have largely been able to deflect scrutiny.

“Private equity firm BlackRock — headed by longtime Democrat donor Larry Fink — is the largest investor in Sterling, owning nearly 8 percent of its stock as of November 1. Between March and June of this year, as Sterling prepared to bid on the prototype contract, BlackRock increased its investment in the company by 195 percent. Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO Jamie Dimon has spoken critically of Trump’s immigration policies, invested in Sterling for the first time over that period.”

“Most tellingly, as Dimon sought to portray himself as a moderate on immigration, JPMorgan went from owning zero to 145,200 shares in Sterling. BlackRock now owns nearly 10 percent of Sterling.”
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