Monthly Archives: January 2016

Helping Immigrant Families in Flint’s Water Crisis | Genesee County Hispanic Latino…

From Gregory Basta: “This weekend, Art Reyes III helped coordinate the deployment of over 100 volunteer canvassers in Flint to get immediate resources to the hardest hit in Flint – low income communities, immigrant communities, and communities of color, as well as to start the process of organizing these communities over the long term. We’re working with a tremendous coalition of activists, organizers, clergy, and Flint families – including Genesee County Hispanic Latino Collaborative – please donate to keep these organizing efforts going!”

This is a human rights violation right here in the United States. For all of us consumed by the media about the presidential election because we care about right and wrong and justice, this is a chance to do something right now for people directly suffering — and build longer term power so no one can do this to them again.
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The story behind the dark Times Square subway poem

I never knew the story behind this poem, posted in pieces in the tunnel at Times Square, above the hundreds of thousands of commuters who walk through everyday:

“Overslept.
So tired.
If late,
Get fired.
Why bother?
Why the pain?
Just go home.
Do it again.”

Of course an earnest millennial tried to cover up the poem with more “uplifting” verses, to which the poet’s widow replied, “Why be optimistic in these times? Be realistic — life sucks. You get through it the best you can.” cc: Becca Klaver

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Preview: Anonymous, Inc.

Mark Allen Hays and Global Witness are releasing their shocking findings on 60 Minutes tomorrow. Why has the US become known as the easiest place for corrupt dictators, terrorists, drug cartels, oligarchs, and the richest, scummiest corporations to launder money? Because of our refusal to pass common sense transparency laws for trusts and LLCs and because of high-priced “elite” lawyers who are willing to launder the money for ANYONE. Tomorrow on 60 Minutes see hidden camera footage captured by Global Witness of New York lawyers agreeing to move questionable funds into the US. How do murderers and kleptocrats make millions from murder and grand scale theft? In many cases its because New York lawyers make it happen.

cc: Erica Razook, David Segal
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Center for Popular Democracy

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How Populists Like Bernie Sanders Should Talk About Racism

Ever since Coates’s critique of Sanders, I’ve been waiting for something like this. It’s not just that plutocrats took over government and now black people and people of color happen to be disproportionately affected. Anti-black racism has been at the core of the inequality Sanders speaks of, the inequality that hurts all of us. What if instead of talking about race-blind inequality that disproportionately affects black people, Sanders talked about how racism, throughout our history, has been the entry point for the 1% to push through policies that hurt all of us. You can’t pretend the reason we don’t have a Nordic-style safety net is just the plutocrats — the main reason we don’t have an advanced economy welfare state is because of the fear that black people and people of color might also benefit from it. When progressives fail to talk about racial inequality as the goal rather than the consequence of these policies, we fall into the reactionaries playbook.

“In the New Deal and Great Society years, white majorities broadly supported activist government because they perceived it as helping people like themselves—hardworking, deserving, decent. But as government programs became available to people of color, conservatives saw that they could gain ground by dog whistling about welfare and criminals, using racially coded terms to invoke the specter of liberal government coddling people of color—the very groups whose fortunes seemed to be rising just as life was getting harder for the white working class in the 1970s. As GOP campaign strategist Lee Atwater put it: “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—-r, n—-r, n—-r.’ By 1968 you can’t say ‘n—–r’—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things.… [but] anyway you look at it, race is coming on the back burner.”
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Rise Up

Congratulations to Rise Up, Erin Hurley, Nelini Stamp, Shabnam Bashiri for their work exposing just how toxic Stone Mountain, a confederate monument is. Now the Federal Reserve of Atlanta is moving the annual policy conference from its usual venue — surrounded by confederate flags at a site celebrating the confederacy.

cc: Center for Popular Democracy
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Chicago Police Have Been Sabotaging Their Dash Cams

Last month the [Chicago Police Department] found that 80 percent of its 850 dash cams do not record audio, and 12 percent don’t record video either … Officers frequently tampered with dash cams, stashing microphones in their glove boxes or pulling out batteries. Some dash cams were found with their antennae deliberately destroyed, and others had had their microphones removed altogether.

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