Steven Greenhouse’s Beaten Down Worked Up is a critical look at the past, present and future of unions in America. While Greenhouse’s work, as he acknowledges, doesn’t provide the detail into historical incidents other books do, Beaten Down Worked Up is an important read.
I consider myself a student of history. I like to believe I have a good grip on why American history has unfolded the way it has unfolded.
Yesterday, I learned about the Teller and Platt Amendments for the first time. I’m writing about them because they say so much about the dominance America wishes to hold over other nations, the way American imperialism was a driving force behind Castro taking over Cuba, bungled foreign policy, oppressing people of color in the name of corporate profit, and outright racism and white supremacy on the part of the United States.
Nancy McLean’s Democracy in Chains should be read by anyone interested in understanding the radical right. Democracy in Chains highlights the complete lack of morality that exists within radical libertarians. The book chronicles their decades-long support for racism, voter suppression, and even murderous dictatorships. As Democracy in Chains makes clear: the radical libertarian movement cares about nothing beyond their ability to make money and control wealth. Everything from our lives to our government should be sacrificed so they can possess as much as possible.
Michele Alexander’s The new Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness is one of the most important books I have read in a long time. Alexander demonstrates in revolting clarity how America has used the facially-neutral war on drugs as the current way of controlling and punishing black people, especially black men.
Anna Clark’s The Poisoned City is about the contaminated drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan. The Poisoned City is a difficult, necessary read. It says so much about America and human nature; unfortunately, it too often highlights the worst of both.
Yesterday, Joe Biden gave a speech in Burlington, Iowa where he criticized Donald Trump for failing to condemn white supremacy. Biden accused Trump of “fanning the flames.” Biden’s seminal message was that Donald trump is encouraging white supremacy. All we have to do is beat Trump, and things can return to a more normal state of affairs. Biden’s too simplistic message misses the point.
When They See Us is a 4-part Netflix series about the so-called Central Park Five. The story of the Central Park Five has been part of the discussion over the last few years because Donald Trump wrote a letter in all of New York City’s major papers urging the death penalty for the five boys who were between 14 and 16 years old.
While Trump’s involvement should be discussed because its even more evidence of his racism, the most important part of the story has been ignored.
Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law is a great look at how the policies of the United States Government actively worked to segregate America. The Color of Law matters because it walks readers through laws, court opinions, and political decisions that forced America to segregate. The book also does a good job rebutting some of the arguments traditionally made in opposition to the reality that segregation was a choice made by racist and/or white supremacists to make unconstitutional segregation an American reality.
Since the Democratic debates, the media has been giving a lot of attention to the exchange about school bussing between Kamala Harris and Joe Biden. What is not being discussed is the racism behind America’s educational system.
With Facebook in trouble for allowing people to exclude potential renters based on race, redlining has been in the news lately. So, I thought it would be good to remind everyone of what redlining is and of ow it was critical to the federal government’s efforts to segregate America.