Slaves: The Capital that Made Capitalism

Julia Ott — April 9, 2014, New School for Social Research   Family of African American slaves on Smith’s Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina, circa 1862. © Timothy H. O’Sullivan | learnnc.org Racialized chattel slaves were the capital that made capitalism. While most theories of capitalism set slavery apart, as something utterly distinct, because under slavery, workers do not labor for a wage, new historical research reveals that for …

Racism – book excerpts

“The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth.” “Even today, most US history textbooks tell the story of the Louisiana Purchase without admitting that slave revolution in Saint-Domingue made it …

Disproportionate effects from fossil fuel pollution: African Americans asthma hospitalization rates are 3 to 5 times higher than for Whites, and asthma deaths are 2 to 3 times higher

African American communities, including workers, are most likely to be exposed to the pollution from fossil fuel based energy production through coal plants, oil and gas refineries, as well as pollution from energy production through nuclear facilities and waste incinerators.  We pay a severe price for this chronic, pervasive toxic exposure through health impacts. There are numerous examples of the health disparities. One glaring …

Race, not poverty, was found to be the strongest predictor of exposure to PM 2.5, a health-damaging particle created when fossil fuels are burned.

By Phil McKenna, Inside Climate News, 2 March 2018  A new EPA study found that in all but four states, non-whites face higher exposure than whites to PM 2.5, much of which comes from the burning of fossil fuels. Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images Black Americans are subjected to higher levels of air pollution than white Americans regardless of their wealth, …

Looking at Indians, white Americans see themselves: Thinking about natives in an era of nativism

Feb 10th 2018, The Economist IN EARLY 1924 the blue-bloods of Virginia found themselves with a problem. To criminalise interracial marriage, the state had drafted a law that classified anyone possessing even “one drop” of non-white blood as “coloured”. Awkwardly, that would include many of the so-called First Families of Virginia, because they traced their descent to a native American woman, Pocahontas, who had …

6 Tips for White People Who Want to Celebrate Black History

Shay Stewart-BouleyDebby Irving posted Feb 08, 2018, Yes! Magazine Here’s what you can do to authentically engage with Black History this month and every month. Shay Stewart-BouleyDebby Irving posted Feb 08, 2018 We’ve come a long way from Negro History Week to Black History Month and yet too often the celebrations that are planned in predominantly white spaces are nothing short of …

Uber, the “Metropocalypse,” and Economic Inequality

Posted on February 5, 2018 by Working-Class Perspectives, Georgetown, DC Public transit infrastructure in Washington, D.C. is crumbling. Metro and bus services have been cut. Fares have gone up. And, safety remains a problem. After 40 years of deferred maintenance, poor management, and the lack of decent, long-term funding, the Metro system needs $1.4 billion worth of repairs, and it must close …

Cornel West: America is spiritually bankrupt. We must fight back together: The undeniable collapse of integrity, honesty and decency in our public and private life has fueled racial hatred and contempt

By Cornel West, from his new 25th Anniversary introduction to Race Matters, also in The Guardian, Sun 14 Jan 2018  We live in one of the darkest moments in American history – a bleak time of spiritual blackout and imperial meltdown. Exactly 25 years ago, in my book Race Matters, I tried to lay bare the realities and challenges to American democracy in …

Starling Crossing is a responsive road surface that puts pedestrians first: Smart crosswalk reacts to cars and pedestrians in real time

From Curbed, by Lauren Ro, 13 Oct 2017.  Below this article is one on who drivers are stopping for and not. Starling Crossing puts pedestrians first.  Photos via Dezeen A slew of innovative solutions for roadways has emerged this past year, from solar panel-paved roads to an artificial intelligence-powered program that automatically monitors road conditions. Now another high-tech project can be added to that list. London-based Umbrellium, an urban …

Toward a Real Racial Justice Platform for the Political Revolution:  Nina Turner, president of Our Revolution.

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, in Washington, DC, Nina Turner, then-State Senator for Ohio, addresses the crowd at the We Shall Not Be Moved march, organized by Rev. Al Sharptons organization, National Action Network. (Photo by Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images) BY SARAH JAFFE It is very much a part of Our Revolution’s work to change systems that promote discrimination and …