Tag Archives: poverty

Political Puppeteers: Policing Pregnancy for Profit, Promoting Personhood for Power

Poor and working-class women often find pregnancy a difficult time, especially if they have jobs that don’t offer health care benefits, sick time or maternity leave. Those challenges can make pregnancy difficult enough without the extra worry of health care providers and/or zealous prosecutors looking over your shoulders and sometimes even examining your urine to make sure you aren’t engaging in activities they consider ‘harmful’ to your fetus. Continue reading

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On Racism: Black Rebellion and White Resistance

The Kerner Commission painted a grim picture of the racial situation in the United States. It predicted not only more, but possibly worse, racial rebellions. Americans were warned that continued white racism could lead to a divided nation, with cities under semi-martial law. The prescribed remedy was a national commitment to summon the will necessary to effect systemic change that would fully integrate African Americans into the mainstream of American life.
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On Privilege, Projection and Pathology: A recent debate between Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates reveals the misconceptions that rule America’s understanding of race and poverty

I agree with Ta-Nehisi Coates. Conservatives and liberals alike prefer to focus on perceived deficits in black and brown people than on structural racism and the concepts of white supremacy that undergird it as the principal reasons for disparate conditions and outcomes for many blacks and Hispanics. White privilege means not having to think about the many ways the lives of those who are classified as white are enhanced and protected by the subjugation and exclusion of racial minorities. White privilege provides white ethnics escape from the stigma of poverty – as historian Nell Irvin Painter aptly distinguishes, “Not all black people are poor, but among the people in America defined by race, black people tend to be the poorest.” Continue reading

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Paul Ryan’s Politics of Gruel…….are Workhouses Next?

“Please sir, I want some more…” it’s one of the most poignant pleas in literature, recognizable by generations of people around the world as the words spoken by a young and hungry Oliver Twist in Dickens’ famous novel of the … Continue reading

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Obama’s Inequality Problem……..Illusory Wealth

Despite elected officials promises to restore the American middle class, we’ve increasing become a country with just two classes economically – the class of people who work for money and the class of people whose money works for them.

Millions of people will enjoy watching Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill as demoniacal deceptive traders in the Wolf of Wall Street. At some point after they stop laughing, they’ll think about the description of ‘The Market’ as a giant Ponzi scheme and wonder just how much of the wealth of the top 1% is based on creating tangible goods and services and how much of it is ‘wealth on paper’ generated by making successful bets with other people’s money? Continue reading

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