Sunday, August 13, 2017

Charlottesville ~ Nina Turner & Our Revolution @ninaturner @ourrevolution




Our Revolution


Yesterday an act of domestic terrorism took the lives of Heather Heyer, a fellow Bernie supporter and coworker in the movement for social justice, and two police officers, Pilot Lt. H. Jay Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bate. Many others are suffering from injuries. Make no mistake, this was an intentional act of hatred by white nationalists. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this act of terrorism and their families.
Sadly, we know that the history of this country is plagued by racial violence and the false notion of white supremacy. From Native American genocide, to slavery, and the era of lynchings, groups like the Ku Klux Klan have sought to take power from people of color through fear and violence. We will not let them, or fear, win.
Look out for updates on vigils and actions in support of Charlottesville on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” We the people, who believe in what the promise of America can become, must continue our fight for racial justice and equality by being strategic and vocal in opposing this public display of hatred and racism. We will continue this justice journey, and no amount of hatred can stop a people determined to rise together.
In solidarity,
Nina Turner
President
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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trump trains his sights on affirmative action ~ @RevJJackson



The assault on affirmative action is classic dog whistle racial politics.
Trump trains his sights on affirmative action
BY JESSE JACKSON
August 8, 2017



The Justice Department headquarters building in Washington. | (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)
Campaigning for the presidency, Donald Trump argued that blacks and other people of color should vote for him. Given their current conditions, he argued, “What the hell do you have to lose?” Since winning election, however, Trump seems intent on proving over and over again just how much African-Americans and other minorities have to lose.
Under Trump’s attorney general, former Alabama Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, the Justice Department has been turned into a Department of Injustice. Sessions, once rejected by a Republican-majority Senate for racially biased actions and statements when nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan, has set about implanting Dixiecrat justice on the nation’s minorities.
He has directed federal prosecutors to seek the harshest sentences possible for nonviolent drug offenses, ensuring the continued incarceration of a disproportionate number of African Americans. The Justice Department has retreated from what was an emerging bipartisan consensus on sensible police reform. It has changed positions to support state laws that suppress minority voting rights. It has extended the federal government’s power to seize the property of innocent Americans.
Now, as reported in the New York Times, the Department is seeking political attorneys to investigate and sue universities “over affirmative action policies that are deemed to discriminate against white applicants.” The assault on affirmative action is classic dog whistle racial politics.
In fact, as former University of Michigan president Lee Bollinger has shown, affirmative action has helped to expand opportunity. Campuses across the country have become more representative of the American people. This has not only helped counter centuries of discrimination; it also allows students to learn with and from people of different backgrounds. This helps prepare the future leaders and citizens of the country.
The Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that a diverse student body is an educational benefit and a boon to the country that justifies affirmative action.
Those who oppose it often assume that university admissions are based upon one objective scale: grade point and standardized test results. This is, in a word, nonsense. University admissions offices labor intensely to create a diverse body of students capable of doing the work necessary to succeed. Grades and standardized tests count, as does the quality of prior educational experience. So does the luck of having an alum as a parent, or wealthy relations who can add to the university endowment, or special athletic or musical or dramatic skills, coming from underrepresented rural communities or from abroad, and more.
Some of these categories — say having parents who are alumni or are wealthy — discriminate disproportionately against people of color, since African-Americans were forbidden to build fortunes under slavery and were often excluded from college admissions until the civil rights movement’s reforms. Affirmative action helps to level the playing field.
Another lie propagated by its opponents is that affirmative action policies make it significantly harder for white students to get into selective colleges. In fact, as Derek Bok, former Harvard president, and William Bowen, former president of Princeton, reported, if selective universities had a completely race-blind admissions policy, the probability of being admitted for a white student would rise from 25 percent to 26.2 percent.
A final myth is that race no longer matters. The right-wing gang of five justices in the Supreme Court argued this in gutting provisions of the Voting Rights Act. States across the country then proved them wrong by enacting new voting restrictions — a revival of Jim Crow voter suppression schemes — that were designed to make it harder for African-Americans and students to vote. America is more segregated than it was at the time of the civil rights movement. Our public schools are too often separate and unequal. Race still matters in this country, big-time.
What do we have to lose with Trump? Equal opportunity, voting rights, police reform, sentencing reform, university admission. People of color are learning that when Trump trumpets America First, he doesn’t include them in his America.


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Monday, July 31, 2017

Medicare for all ~ @BernieSanders



Friends of Bernie Sanders


Thanks so much for your ongoing support.
Let me take this opportunity to give you an update as to what's been happening in recent weeks.
As you all know, the disastrous Republican "health care" proposals have, for the moment at least, been defeated. They were defeated because millions of Americans stood up and fought back. They made phone calls and sent emails, letting members of Congress know how they felt. They got their friends involved in the struggle by utilizing social media. They attended town hall meetings. They went to rallies, including some that I attended in Michigan, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, West Virginia, Ohio, Utah, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
And in poll after poll, an overwhelming majority of the American people were absolutely clear about their opposition to these destructive plans:
No. We will not be throwing 32 million, 23 million, 22 million or 16 million Americans off of health insurance in order to give tax breaks to the rich and large corporations, and to further the right wing extremist ideology of the Koch brothers.
No. We will not be cutting Medicaid by $800 billion, raising premiums for older workers, defunding Planned Parenthood and making it almost impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to get affordable insurance.
Needless to say, while we have won at least a temporary victory by defeating horrific Republican proposals, that is not good enough. We need to go on the offensive, not simply remain in a defensive posture.
The status quo is not satisfactory. Too many Americans continue to have no health insurance. Too many are paying premiums, deductibles and co-payments that are much too high. Too many cannot afford the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs they need. Too many cannot gain access to high quality primary health care or dental care, even when they have insurance. Our goal is not complicated, and it is not radical. It is to have the United States join every other industrialized country on earth in guaranteeing health care for all. Health care must not be considered as a privilege or a commodity. It is a human right to which every man, woman and child is entitled.
Our goal is to create a rational, cost-effective health care system. Today in the United States, we are spending almost $10,000 a year per person on health care. This is absurd and unsustainable. We must not continue a system which is, by far, the most expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic in the world.
Our goal is to put health care dollars into disease prevention and the provision of health care, not insurance company profits, not outrageous salaries for health industry CEOs, not advertising, not billing, not lobbying or campaign contributions.
Our goal is to move this country to a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.
Let me be clear. This will be an enormously difficult and prolonged struggle, and one which will require the efforts of tens of millions of Americans in every state in this country. It will, in fact, require a political revolution in which the American people participate in the political process in a way that we have not seen in the recent history of our democracy.
In order to pass a Medicare-for-all, single payer system we will be taking on the most powerful special interests in the country: Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the corporate media, the Republican Party and the establishment wing of the Democratic Party. In opposition to our efforts there will be a never-ending barrage of TV ads, editorials, political attacks and lies.
If we are going to be successful in this struggle, we have got to be smart – very smart. Not only do we need strong legislation (which I will be offering shortly and an outline of which I will be sending to you), but we need an unprecedented organizing and educational campaign.
How do we counter the lies and distortions against Medicare-for-all that is sure to come? How do we make certain that all of us – men and women, gay and straight, black, white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American -– are in this struggle together? How do we bring young and healthy people to stand alongside the elderly, the sick and the poor?
The battle that we are undertaking is enormous and unprecedented in the modern history of our country. Please send us your ideas as to how we can best go forward. Please give us your vision of what a humane and rational health care system looks like. Please share your experiences with the current system. Please help us map out an effective political strategy.
We are in this together. We need everyone's ideas.
Thanks again for your support and all that you are doing.
In solidarity,
Bernie









 
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