SPLASH! News: Dems Don’t Give a Damn, Philando Castile, Ravages of Racism, and More

Weekly Progressive Army News

Kiran Opal

Jacob Woocher – Democrats Don’t Give a Damn About Your Health Care

Republicans in the Senate are on the verge of passing a secret health care bill that would likely cut Medicaid by over $800 billion and throw 23 million people off their health insurance, all to finance $600 billion in tax breaks for the rich.

Yet, Democratic politicians do not seem to care. They cannot be bothered to do anything unconventional in this extraordinary situation.

Other than a few tweets, there’s been virtually no effort by the Democrats to call attention to this impending disaster or to slow down the proceedings of the Senate — a move that would both bring media attention to the issue and buy activists time to organize backlash. Instead, Democrats are content to go about their business as if there’s no threat of millions losing access to health care, reaching a deal with the Republicans about Russian sanctions on Monday afternoon, June 12.

 

Michael Sainato – Philando Castile and the Wisdom of James Baldwin

Philando Castile is now the latest murder victim to be denied justice by a system designed with racism as its foundation. Castile did everything right, yet he was tacitly presumed to be a criminal for having a “wide nose,” and looking like a suspect. Throughout his life, Castile, at only 32 years old, was stopped by Police 42 times, only six of which were for anything a police officer would actually notice outside of a vehicle.

On the day of his murder, he informed the officer, Jeronimo Yanez, he legally had a firearm in his vehicle, with his fiance and daughter. At that point, the officer lost his cool and within seconds fired seven shots at Castile, killing him. “I don’t know where the gun was,” Yanez said on his body microphone after he fired his weapon. Castile’s fiance then livestreamed on Facebook the aftermath of the shooting, with Yanez nervously shaking throughout the video on the side of the car continuing to give commands to Castile and his fiance.

 

Pamela GetzThe Ravages of Racism

For decades the White Working Class (WWC) fancied itself to look like sitcoms of the 1950s, such as Father Knows Best and Leave it to Beaver; they believed that success was a simple formula:

Hard work = Success

So they toiled. Longing for the American Dream kept them on the hamster wheel, forever chasing a goal line that was ever moving. When success was reached by a few it stood as proof that the program worked and that all they had to do was keep plugging away. When results didn’t manifest for so very many they started to look for reasons why and this is where racism enters the picture.

Success in America has always been and remains a different, more complicated formula:

Who you are + Who you know x Opportunity = Success

The key factor is Opportunity and that is what White Privilege affords so many: a better opportunity. It really is that simple, but WWC Americans clung to the ideology that all it took was hard work to get success and that anyone who didn’t succeed was personally at fault — until they didn’t succeed.

 

Kurk HackbarthTop Ten Takeaways from UK General Election 2017

On Thursday, June 8, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party shocked the world: wildly outperforming expectations, it denied Theresa May’s Conservatives a governing majority, opening up a new and unexpected era in British politics. What lessons should we draw from this pivotal election?

1. Progressive platforms are popular. In 2015, Labour leader Ed Miliband ran on a centrist platform and lost the election with 30% of the vote. Just two years later, Jeremy Corbyn ran on a more progressive platform that advocated increased investment in public services, making universities tuition-free, banning fracking, building public housing, transferring to renewable energy, nationalizing the trains, post office, water, and electricity, recognizing Palestine, banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Political suicide, right? Wrong. Labour in 2017 upped its vote share to 40%, the largest swing for the party since 1945. And just a few days later, a new poll showed that if the election were held again, Labour would win 45% of the vote and beat the Tories by six points (the UK being a multi-party system, reaching 50% is not necessary to win an election). The left, in short, is no longer being held hostage to the third-way centrism of the Blair years.

 

Aaron BowersockThe People’s Sum Up

I’m glad I went. Let’s start there.

I attended the 2017 People’s Summit in Chicago, IL, and I’m glad I did. I was able to reunite with the Bernie family I made in Philly, meet some family for the first time, and of course listen to, speak with, and take selfies with some of the journalists that influence me most.

The organization and execution of this summit were the literal opposite of Fyre Festival – so major respect to the organizers on that front. I’ve produced conferences before and, once, a colleague said, “Aaron, the shuttle is on fire!” I laughed at her joke, but she was wasn’t joking. Our bus, carrying about 50 VPs and CEOs was on fire. So yes, to the workers who produced this event, I applaud you for the smooth execution and not lettin’ us see you sweat.

As for the criticism of the agenda? Sure, it’s warranted, and in this piece I’d like to talk about the pros and cons of the agenda, but mainly I want to cover the People. It seems the actual attendees and what we experienced has somehow been left out of the overall conversation.

Written by Jami Miller

Jami Miller

Jami is a 37-year-old mother, who is open about her struggles with chronic mental health issues.

Jami Miller is an Editor of Progressive Army.

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SPLASH! News: Dems Don’t Give a Damn, Philando Castile, Ravages of Racism, and More