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Tidbits - Aug. 5, 2021 - Reader Comments: Simone Biles; Racism and GOP; KKK - Bosses Tool; Affordable Housing; Who is Calling for Cuomo's Resignation/Impeachment?; Decrease Vaccine Hesitancy; New Medicare4All Group; Syringes for Cuba Campaign Update

Reader Comments: Simone Biles; Racism and GOP; KKK - Racist and Bosses Tool; Cigna Workers; Affordable Housing; Who is Calling for Cuomo's Resignation/Impeachment?; Decrease Vaccine Hesitancy; New Medicare4All Group; Syringes for Cuba Campaign Update

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements, AND cartoons - Aug. 5, 2021, Portside

Simone Biles Wins Again! --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz
Re: 'America is Not Racist' Becomes a 2024 GOP Mantra (Joseph Maizlish; Ted Pearson)
It Was Designed as a Flag, Not as a Blindfold  -- cartoon by Bill Maudlin
Re: The Ku Klux Klan Was Also a Bosses’ Association (David Lott; Van Caldwell; Larry Hovekamp; Todd Allen)
Re: The Democrat Blocking Progressive Change Is Beholden to Big Oil. Surprised? (Craig Gauthier)
Law and Order Party  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: 24 House Dems Say Infrastructure Bill Shouldn't 'Throw Money at the Pentagon' (Adolph Reed)
Re: ‘WE ALL QUIT’: How America’s Workers Are Taking Back Their Power (David Zaiss)
Re: ‘We’re Not Animals, We’re Human Beings’: US Farm Workers Labor in Deadly Heat With Few Protections (Deanne Burke)
Re: ‘In Tears Before I Even Logged In’: Cigna Call Center Workers Challenge Working Conditions (Marty de Kadt; Mike Liston)
Re: 17,000 University of California Researchers Could Soon Win a Union (Tim Sheard)
Re: Affordable Housing is in Crisis. Is Public Housing the Solution? (Leanna Noble; Judy Atkins)
Re: If Biden Wants to “Stand With the Cuban People,” He Can Ease the Cruel Blockade (Jose Luis Medina)
Re: When Communists Organized a New Jersey Textile Strike (Lee Zaslofsky)
Re: The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party (Ethan Young)
Re: Nature’s Own Fuel Could Save Us From the Greenhouse Effect and Electric Grid Failure (David Schwartzman)
Re: Minnesota Rice: Twin Cities Chefs Team Up To Combat Racism (Claire O'Connor)
Jim Jordan Wrestles with January 6th  --  cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Resources:

Who is calling for Cuomo's Resignation/Impeachment?
Changing the Message to Decrease Vaccine Hesitancy (Future Historian)
NEW Medicare for All Update Group (Marilyn Albert)

To Do:

Syringes for Cuba Campaign Update (Center for Cuban Studies)

Announcements:

Webinar: Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 | Discussion with Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - August 7 (Claudia Jones School for Political Education)

Simone Biles Wins Again! --  cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

Lalo Alcaraz
July 31, 2021
The Mexican Judge

Re: 'America is Not Racist' Becomes a 2024 GOP Mantra

White people are not the best expert witnesses to tell us whether or not this is a racist culture/country, but they/we seem to be the loudest (and almost the only) people making that claim.

In the absence of a shared definition of "racism" and "racist," or what "a racist county" means and doesn't, it would be good if people told us the meaning they were using the term to carry.  Both critics and defenders don't give us much help in that regard.

The fact that it's often used as something to throw at someone in anger, in other words as a vehicle for emotion, is understandable but doesn't help discussion or change.

The "America is not racist" outcry seems largely about whether the U.S. ("America") is "good" or "bad," and underlying that about whether people who need to shore up their self-worth problems by identifying with something strong, moral, pure, etc. will be able to use an identification with "America" for that role.

Whether the political and media people who raise the cry do or don't understand it, they're playing on the self-worth problems of the more highly shame-sensitive portion of the populace, people who are in near-constant need of injections of reassurance of worth to relieve what must be a torment, and are willing to pay with their votes and money to keep the supply coming.

Joseph Maizlish

      =====

America is not racist. But the United states, which is a major part of America, was founded and built on white supremacy. This fact cannot be contested. Was North America vacant of any people before Europeans got here? What happened to those native inhabitants? There are, today, millions of people of African ancestry in the United States. How did they get here? Unless someone is totally detached from reality the facts of genocide of Native peoples and enslavement of Africans stare us in the face every waking moment. And the extreme poverty and repression of people of color in the United States are their continuing and growing legacy.

In the process of this settler-colonial project in the U. S. the labor of millions of Europeans was also brutally exploited and their democratic rights suppressed. They had, and they have, a choice - to join with those targeted by the project in solidarity, or to join their oppressors for a few more crumbs.

"America" is not a racist country. But the United States is severely infected with white supremacy and racism. The late Claude Lightfoot once wrote a book titled "Racism and Human Survival." We are staring into the face of global destruction brought about by unbridled capitalism and imperialism founded on white supremacy. As a nation the United States inherits the social debt that has been generated by our history. It is a debt shared by us all (especially the super-rich), and it is fast coming due. Paying it is not only an obligation; it's the only way we can save ourselves and our planet.

Ted Pearson

It Was Designed as a Flag, Not as a Blindfold  -- cartoon by Bill Maudlin

More than half a century after they were first published, many of Bill Mauldin’s drawings, such as this from 1969, are sadly current.

“Drawn to Combat: Bill Mauldin & the Art of War” is at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library, 104 S. Michigan.
Show is there for a year, until the spring 2022.

Chicago Sun-Times
May 16, 2021

Re: The Ku Klux Klan Was Also a Bosses’ Association

For plantation owners, however, this transformation was a nightmare — the laborers they held in bondage had waged a “general strike,” as W. E. B. Du Bois later called it, leaving them financially vulnerable and intensely rattled. This racist, revanchist group didn’t simply mourn their defeats — they organized.    

Through the Reconstruction years, the mostly plantation-based Southern ruling class fiercely resisted the efflorescence of black freedom. Restrictive Black Codes, the pro-planter polices of President Andrew Johnson, racist riots in Memphis and New Orleans, and, above all, the widespread terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan brutally demonstrated the limits of emancipation. Led by former slave owners, the Klan meted out various forms of violence to prevent African Americans from voting or attending schools, intimidate northern “carpetbaggers,” and ensure, according to an undated Klan document, that freed people “continue at their appropriate labor.”

David Lott
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

The KKK should be understood not just as a white supremacist organization, but as an employers’ organization: it violently resisted the revolutionary gains of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and sought to keep the black masses toiling in submission

Van Caldwell
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

Again, unwritten and untaught history. The first Klans were Southern aristocrats determined to restore their control before the Civil War. Later, the miners' unions and the Klan have fought each other and there was an overt war between the United Mine Workers and the Klan in Southern Illinois during the 1920's. Idiots who support the Klan fail to realize that they are getting screwed by their pig employers, just to satisfy their racist grudges.

Larry Hovekamp
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

When Trump was first running for president David Duke came out and said the clan has many of the same beliefs as the Republican party no one seemed to listen then. It wasn't an insurrection it was just a peaceful rally. With pipe bombs tasers and nooses.

Todd Allen
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Democrat Blocking Progressive Change Is Beholden to Big Oil. Surprised?

That's why we need term limits on these millionaire's not fit to represent working people, their interests is for more money, they are bought and paid for, get it????

Craig Gauthier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Law and Order Party  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers

Rob Rogers
August 3, 2021
robrogers.com

Re: 24 House Dems Say Infrastructure Bill Shouldn't 'Throw Money at the Pentagon'

Thanks; the whole thing seemed surprisingly useful, both for what I was able to say and how I was able to work out saying it.

Adolph Reed

Re: ‘WE ALL QUIT’: How America’s Workers Are Taking Back Their Power

Shared. "We're all quitting and we're firing the boss."

David Zaiss
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: ‘We’re Not Animals, We’re Human Beings’: US Farm Workers Labor in Deadly Heat With Few Protections

(posting on Portside Labor)

Climate change is potent to farm workers lives. 

The hours for work need to adjust so no one works in a hot field exposed to the sun during the hottest times of the day.  For their protection the situation has to change.

Deanne Burke

Re: ‘In Tears Before I Even Logged In’: Cigna Call Center Workers Challenge Working Conditions

I worked for Cigna’s predecessor, INA (Insurance Company of North America), for 8 years in the 60s. My doctoral work about the control of work in large corporations uses INA as a case study.

The CIGNA article suggests that they have found new ways to control work through the use of new technologies capable of capturing the “metrics” along with the time tested methods of worker intimidation.

Marty de Kadt

      =====

Cigna, do you think maybe there's a link between their record profits and how they cheat both their workers and customers?  Medicare for All will solve this criminal problem, what's taking US so long?

Mike Liston

Re: 17,000 University of California Researchers Could Soon Win a Union

(posting on Portside Labor)

Thanks so much for covering SRU UAW in CA, great news.

Tim Sheard

Re: Affordable Housing is in Crisis. Is Public Housing the Solution?

Unfortunately, this article ends up pushing continued PRIVATIZATION of public housing with vouchers. GOVT. and financial institutions set up public housing to fail and then moved to privatization schemes like vouchers and tax credits which provide incentives for building owners/landlords to move to market rate rents. We need socialized solutions like SOCIAL housing. Check out Right To The City for solid left analysis and demands and ORGANIZING!! Check out Natl Alliance of HUD Tenants for support organizing your public housing!!

Leanna Noble
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

      =====

I am not advocating for vouchers! What I think is useful in the article is the description of why we don’t have public housing in the US and especially any new public housing. It’s neoliberalism run rampant. It’s a description of what is and what is really lousy. 
It is a description of what we have now when we could have social housing - see Gianpaolo’s articles.

Judy Atkins

Re: If Biden Wants to “Stand With the Cuban People,” He Can Ease the Cruel Blockade

Congress should listen to all of the countries of the world who have repeatedly urged the lifting of the punishing blockade of Cuba. It is time to end the U.S.’s economic war on Cuba.

Jose Luis Medina
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: When Communists Organized a New Jersey Textile Strike

America desperately needs a militant, democratic Communist movement. 

Lee Zaslofsky
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

Re: The Three Revolutions of the Chinese Communist Party

Why does John Case (comment in Tidbits July 29) think Walden Bello's piece on China is an arrogant US 'leftist' lecture? Would his opinion change if he knew that Bello is not only a Filipino, but will be running for RP prez next year?

Ethan Young

Re: Nature’s Own Fuel Could Save Us From the Greenhouse Effect and Electric Grid Failure

Bad alternative. Biofuels shift land from growing food to producing fuel with significant lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. For example, ethanol fuel produced from corn and sugar cane has been discredited as a good option because of fossil fuel inputs used in industrial agriculture. Growing plants entails an inefficient capture of solar energy, while wind/solar power is a much more efficient way to do work for society. And rather than simply replacing fossil fuel combustion for transportation with electric vehicles a much better approach is a massive shift to public transit, rail, buses powered by electricity generated by wind/solar power, with electric vehicles servicing inaccessible rural areas. For further documentation see our book

David Schwartzman

Re: Minnesota Rice: Twin Cities Chefs Team Up To Combat Racism

(posting on Portside Culture)

For Minnesotans, the land of 10,000 lakes we value the "wild rice" - cultivated and harvested by indigenous peoples.

Claire O'Connor

Jim Jordan Wrestles with January 6th  --  cartoon by Matt Wuerker

Matt Wuerker
July 6, 2021
Politico

Who is calling for Cuomo's Resignation/Impeachment?

What New York's elected leaders are saying and doing - up-to-date information on what each elected has said/done - and how to contact them to get them to call on Cuomo to resign.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19ACEVlVbxFx1_yyFG292OUqiZivgdGhtmp_99McmLqc/edit#gid=0

Changing the Message to Decrease Vaccine Hesitancy (Future Historian)

No bones about it. We’re getting crushed by the Delta variant of COVID-19. Or, more accurately, the unvaccinated are getting crushed by the Delta variant. This has created a cascade of direct consequences.

First and foremost, people are dying. But not just dying. Dying unnecessarily. As has been noted, 99% of COVID-related deaths have been happening in the unvaccinated. Second, the ongoing prevalence of cases has set into motion a series of policies that reverse the “public lifestyle” gains that had been made. Mask mandates are reemerging, and we’ll likely soon see many more vaccine mandates for specific populations, like health care workers. And then, we get the tertiary consequences and economic drawback of people bunkering back down again. This is not great!

Download the full report at this link, though it’s weirdly buried halfway down under “essential resources.”

NEW Medicare for All Update Group

Medicare for All Updates for Busy Activists

Do you want regular, fact-filled, and brief presentations about the Medicare for All/Single Payer Health Care movement?
Come to the “Improved Medicare for All Update Group” Zoom meetings. On a quarterly basis, a one hour meeting will include a review of important Federal and State developments, and will also include an educational presentation, with plenty of time for questions.

The agenda for the August 25th meeting will be:

  • Update on Federal Medicare for All developments, including the Bernie Sanders proposals to Expand Medicare now in the Congressional Reconciliation Bill. Update on California Single Payer movement and contributions from other states. Marilyn Albert will open.
  • Educational topic: “What do doctors think about Medicare for All Single Payer?” Dr. Corinne Frugoni will open.
  • Questions and Answers, Discussion.

Send an email to m4aupdategroup@gmail.com and you will receive instructions to join the Zoom meeting on:

Wednesday, August 25th 8pm Eastern Time, 7pm Central Time, and 5pm Pacific Time.

m4aupdategroup@gmail.com

Marilyn Albert

Syringes for Cuba Campaign Update (Center for Cuban Studies)


painting by Luis “El Estudiante” Rodríguez, 2020.(Center for Cuban Studies)

First, we want to thank all of you who have donated so generously to the SYRINGES FOR CUBA campaign launched in May. THE SYRINGES CAMPAIGN has been incredibly successful: THE FIRST 2 MILLION SYRINGES ARRIVED IN MID-JULY. 4 MILLION MORE WILL BE SENT ASAP. This appeared on Cuban TV when the syringes were off-loaded.

We’ve now received enough in donations to purchase all 6 million syringes that Cuba needs to insure the complete vaccination of the entire population. This is a tremendous win—for Cuba, for us, for the world.

Unfortunately, the U.S. embargo continues its unnecessarily cruel blockade: the Biden administration has done nothing to reverse the Trump executive orders and in light of the recent protests in Cuba has even ramped up our war against Cuba. One bright light: the Mexican government just sent two Navy ships loaded with food and medical supplies to Cuba—and issued a strong statement condemning the U.S. continuing embargo.

Starting today,  we are joining a campaign to raise the monies  necessary to send urgently-needed PPEs—gloves, gowns, masks (disposable and N95s), plus soap, sanitizing wipes and disinfectants. They will  be obtained and sent in collaboration with Global Health Partners, which has a U.S. Commerce Dept. license to send humanitarian assistance to Cuba.

But we at the Center for Cuban Studies also need your help to continue helping the Cuban people—with our food baskets, with medicines & medical supplies, with educational and art supplies—and with our solidarity in fighting the cruel U.S. blockade. So in addition to what you donate for the MEDICAL SUPPLIES FOR CUBA,  whatever you donate to US through the end of October, half will go toward direct aid to Cuba, and half toward paying our huge rent debt! And of course, you can still earmark your ENTIRE donation for medical supplies or food via our LIFELINE FUND.

YOU CAN DONATE HERE to divide your donation between PPEs and CCS survival or to join the Center as a member (half of your membership will also go to medical supplies through the end of October):

Donate Now!
 

YOU CAN DONATE HERE if you want your entire donation to go for medical supplies through October:

Donate to the CCS Lifeline Fund  

One last thing: Many of you have asked us about the recent protests in Cuba, so below are links to several of the most intelligent commentaries in English:

Again, our thanks to all of you for contributing to the incredible success of the Syringes Campaign! And if you are in New York City anytime between now and mid-October, please visit our terrific new exhibit of Cuban folk and outsider art.

Center for Cuban Studies
20 Jay Street, 301
Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-242-0559

Webinar: Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 | Discussion with Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz - August 7 (Claudia Jones School for Political Education)

This is an invitation to our next event titled Three Historians Speak on Tulsa 1921 featuring scholars Robin D.G. Kelley, John Womack, Jr., and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.

Oklahoma was a powder keg of struggle in the years preceding the Tulsa atrocity of 1921. Tenant farmers, sharecroppers, and workers: Black, white, and indigenous, joined forces in struggles against landlords, usurers, the Klan and the police.

In 1917, the "Working Class Union" (the name of the Oklahoma-based organization) tried to launch a US-wide armed insurrection against the U.S. government and its impending entry into World War I. In November of that year, the "Knights of Liberty", a Klan precursor, tarred and feathered more than a dozen IWW members in Tulsa. Even the 80-years-late 2001 Oklahoma Commission on the "Tulsa Race Riot" (the Commission's term) admitted that the attack on the IWW "proved to be an important step along the road to the race riot."

In 1921, the Klan, police, and oil company planes burned and bombed Tulsa's Black section. Day-after images of Tulsa resemble modern-day images of Gaza after Israeli bombing.

Famed–and committed–historians John Womack, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and Robin D.G. Kelley provide insights into the forces that led to the Tulsa atrocity of 1921.
 

When: Saturday, August 7 at 2:00pm Eastern Time

Zoom Link Here

This event will feature:

  • Robin D.G. Kelley is a historian who holds the position of Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in U.S. History at UCLA. His research has explored the history of social movements in the U.S., the African Diaspora, and Africa; Black intellectuals; music and visual culture; Surrealism, Marxism, among other things. His essays have appeared in a wide variety of professional journals as well as general publications, including the Journal of American History, American Historical Review, The Nation, Monthly Review, New York Times, Color Lines, Counterpunch, Souls, Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noir, Social Text, The Black Scholar, Journal of Palestine Studies, and  Boston Review, for which he also serves as Contributing Editor. 
  • Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma, the daughter of a tenant farmer and part-Indian mother. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. After receiving her PhD in history at the University of California at Los Angeles, she taught in the newly established Native American Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, and helped found the Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies. Her 1977 book The Great Sioux Nation was the fundamental document at the first international conference on Indigenous peoples of the Americas, held at the United Nations’ headquarters in Geneva. Dunbar-Ortiz is the author or editor of seven other books, including Roots of Resistance: A History of Land Tenure in New Mexico. She lives in San Francisco.
  • John Womack, Jr. is a professor emeritus of history at Harvard University and the author of Zapata and the Mexican Revolution. 

Claudia Jones School for Political Education