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KENNETH

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KENNETH last won the day on December 4 2021

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  1. Hey there's never anything wrong with improving yourself. I know I come off sounding like someone who hates Capitalism and rich people. I can assure you that's not the case. But I think we've broken the Social Contract between labor and business that paid people enough to live comfortably and secure. Labor offered a chance to improve yourself. Never mind it was mainly for white men not blacks or women. At any rate I hope you make it brother. If you do just treat workers better than you've been treated. check out my blog AALBC Black Capitalism and Black Freedom - Race and Beyond - AALBC.com’s Discussion Forums
  2. Poor and low wage workers don't have a monopoly on moral imperfections or dysfunction. Middle class people who are also being clobbered by this rigged economy have their issues too. Perhaps part the problem is Americans do not blame the system or its wealthy corporate benefactors. People blame themselves and other working people for gross inequality and the harm that goes with it. Therefore no activist or political challenge can come about. Thanks so much for responding and keeping me on my toes.
  3. It's not going to harm rich people or the economy to make them pay more. When you consider the super rich who make money off stock only pay around 13% in taxes I don't pitty them at all. As for the IRS oppressing ordinary people - show me the evidence. The Inflation Reduction Act is fairly modest compared to the original and more ambitious Build Back Better Act that was scrapped. Don't believe the tax and spend hype either. Unless you want to cut Medicare and Social Security we've always had government debt. The real question is who really benefits from all that Federal spending? I'm not convinced that it is needy people or programs that advance the general welfare. Ultimately you can't avoid the need for some kind of political reset of this economy that went wrong for working people years ago. That old economy never did enough for black people either. But unless we revive organized labor and forge a multiracial working class struggle then nothing will change.
  4. So glad to see something substantive being done about racism and policing. There's no sense or reason for Breonna Taylor to be dead. This didn't have to happen. If DOJ can put the officers away like Chauvin it might make up just a little bit for Congress's failure to pass the George Floyd Police Reform Act.
  5. Blacks own more businesses today than ever check out the stats. We are better educated than ever. Some of the differences are: 1. All black people no longer live together in segregated neighborhoods, so class divisions are clearer 2. We always had crime and drugs in the larger urban areas and things were getting worse in the 1960s thru the 1970s 3. We never achieved real integration because racism just became more subtle despite some real progress made 4. Black people were hurt by the change from an industrial to service economy that ruined urban areas we mainly lived in 5. Our economy is more unequal for all working people than ever and for the poorest blacks who never got ahead things are worse 6. Racial and economic inequality that marginalize all black people and the poorest most of all will undermine love, dignity, self-esteem, marriage, family, and all kinds of achievement. We also have to stop laboring under the myth that American is made up of self-sufficient groups of people living completely apart who can thrive that way. Most of us work every day for someone else who gets rich off our labor. The elite capitalist class is mainly straight white male and cisgendered. But there are elite class members who don't belong in this configuration. Some are black men and women. That's capitalism. It can be good or awful, so we have to be engaged in politics and activist struggle. Cultural pride, creativity, community building, being a good individual, or strong families aren't a substitute for engagement to shape the politics and counter the powers that be. So much of Black Nationalism and Afrocentrism are escapist not militant or revolutionary modes of struggle for black liberation.
  6. I gave up on the idea of black people having our own country in North America a long time ago. And it makes no sense to live in the US and self-segregate either. We can build our community and be ourselves if we fight to make a less racist more economically just America. Despite our continuing problems look how far we've come since the 1960s. More work needs to be done, but I won't discount the progress made. America is as much ours as anyone else, so I don't think in terms of " their civilization."
  7. It's hard to say I blame you because white men support Trump and oppose all kinds of policies that might benefit them just because blacks would also be helped. As for LGBTQ people many of them are black. Furthermore, white racism cuts across class, income, and education. I want a country that really works for us all, and we have to work together within the political system to get it. To the extent we can prevail good things like individual freedom and genuine pluralism are possible. These two things would greatly benefit black people, our culture, and community.
  8. I'm referring to black people, working class people, women. and LGBTQ people. Anyone who works every day and isn't monied, straight, white, and male. In so many words the majority of Americans. Yet I wanted to center on black people and move outward because it's important to deal with race as much as the other issues. I think we often talk about individuals or individualism outside any societal context. This becomes meaningless when discussing politics or issues. In some ways it becomes evasive. There are always individuals in any society or group who may be doing well even if those around them are not. Think about it like this. Slavery was no less problematic or unjust simply because some slaves were treated well, or some blacks were free. Legal and DeFacto segregation were the same way. There were black businesses, civic institutions, and decent areas in black neighborhoods. But the situation was bad. It had to be challenged. I would make two final points: 1. No individual can continue to thrive in an unjust social or collective setting. 2. If every black person is to be free as an individual then we must work collectively to challenge racial and economic inequality.
  9. Whether it's race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity our society is troubled to the least. It doesn't matter which party controls Congress or the Presidency either. Getting any significant political reform to benefit working people or ensure a more free and equal society for all seems impossible. So, what's wrong? What keeps us from moving forward? Consider the narrative of a center-right political consensus. Secondly, the role of so called moderate centrists especially in the Democratic Party; and lastly the role of wealthy people and big corporations. Politicians in both parties more or less uphold the idea of less government, lower taxes on upper incomes, corporations, economic growth over fairness. All this helps the rich and big business. It's why we don't have paid leave, a higher minimum wage, reduced greenhouse gases, or affordable healthcare for all. The media features pundits, commentary, and analysis which claims the public is against major reforms to ensure economic and social justice. They claim America is a center right country of conservatives and moderates. The media conveys the notion so called left liberal "elites" are pushing an agenda that ordinary people won't accept. Also, popular culture in all forms vilifies those fighting for positive social change. They are portrayed as aloof, weird, pushy, overly sensitive, flighty, and foolish. They aren't ordinary people raising legitimate concerns. They are extremists who cause trouble. They disturb the peace, threaten free speech, thought, and keep us needlessly divided with their " causes." Meanwhile it's politics as usual. The political right becomes more extreme especially in states where they dominate the government. On television they use Fox News and Am talk radio to cater to their base and pick up just enough moderates or undecided people to build a power base. At the national level moderates mainly, Democrats spend most of their time criticizing liberals and leftists especially those within the Democratic Party trying to advance a reformist political agenda. They claim it's things like Single Payer health insurance, the Green New Deal, or stopping racist policing are not politically feasible or desirable. What's worse is these moderates will go along with the Republican Right in Congress to reform. They have done it on police reform, voting rights, and Build Back Better. The original legislation included paid leave, free community college, and more investment to reduce carbon emissions. Don't forget Moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Wealthy people and corporations fit into all this using lobbyists, political action committees, and campaign contributions to influence political leaders. They don't want a more equal economy that benefits workers because it means wealthy investors, owners, and executives would have less wealth and income. They depend on a less democratic country and a less responsive government to safeguard their power and ultimately wealth. To the extent almost all of them are straight, white, men discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity is rampant in business and social circles among these monied elites. However, some of them don't care who you are. Some rich people and corporate executives are fine with token progress towards social equality. But they don't want major change alongside economic justice. We must forge a politics that is grassroots and electoral to change America for the better. It must be built on the idea that capitalism should benefit working people along with wealthy owners and investors. Furthermore, no one should be excluded because of their race, gender, national origin, or sexual orientation. If you think race is the only thing that matters, remember black people are male, female, gay, straight, transgender, and queer. Furthermore, most of us work for a living too. We must strive together to arrive together. BTW that last line is not my own...lol!
  10. Hey thanks to everybody for your feedback and encouragement. It means a lot. On the lighter side of this topic. I would like to see a black romantic comedy about a left leaning black man and a conservative rightwing black woman who manage to stop fighting with each other long enough to fall in love. Maybe a movie for streaming on Tubi or Vudu. It might be a good vehicle for Taye Diggs and Nicole Parker. It might be lighthearted way to explore romance, intimacy, politics, and serious issues from a black male-female perspective. Just thinking out loud.
  11. Black people are not monolithic. There are political differences among us like anyone else. Moreover Conservative Black Republicans have become more visible and vocal since the Reagan Era in the 1980s. But I wonder if differences extend to dating and marriage among black people. Can two black people with very different political views have a relationship, and even be in love? I know from reading this is rare among white people who tend to date, marry, and socialize with those holding similar political views. What about us ?
  12. You're wrong on that point. The political right is pushing us towards authoritarianism. And with Trump and his followers Fascism comes next.
  13. Abortion is not a Constitutional right that's the ruling handed down by the Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision today. Does it matter to black woman who bear the dual burdens of racism and sexism ? Perhaps black people are more tradititraditionalist and concerned with taking care of their children in a confusing, conflicted, and unstable world. Does this matter to us ? Or is this the white man's fight ? I have my own views, but I'm interested in others' thoughts.
  14. This is Rightwing Antisemitism plain and simple. But people on the Right complain about the Left and wokeness. Nonsense. Black people are not pawns lacking agency. We have fought racism and economic exploitation long before there was an American Left or reformist Liberalism. What is Conservatism doing for us ? Nothing. Black Conservatives are helping themselves not us in any collective sense. I won't be " drinking any of that. Kool Aid."
  15. It's refreshing to see us talk about solutions that should make up a political agenda. Too often we leave that to whites. I would add a few things. I'm no expert these are just opinions. 1. Fully fund and expand the power of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to address widespread employment discrimination. 2. Pressure the Senate to pass the George Floyd Police Reform Act which among other things removes qualified immunity for police officers in civil suits. 3. Do the same with voting rights legislation like the John Lewis Voter Rights Act and the For the People Act that would stop voter suppression. When it comes to community development let's empower local governments and community groups by tying the amount of Federal funding for transportation, infrastructure, and block development grants to plans and progress towards poverty reduction, creation of living wage jobs, and reducing racial disparities. The cities, states, and towns, that have plans and meet goals are favored with funding. Furthermore, let's create and fully fund Federal/ Local partnerships to find and implement solutions to racial and economic inequality that fit unique circumstances. Lastly, fund community-based groups and programs with a track record of results. ` All these things will require a more effective and better coordinated black politics that combines propaganda, lobbying, voting, grassroots organizing, street protests, research, internal discussion, and debate. This will be long-term process with many of us never seeing the results. But that has always been the nature of our struggle. Will white people support any of this? No. Many of them will oppose us. But others will join us. More importantly we must continue to fight disrupting the normalcy and tranquility of this society until the powers that be meet our demands.
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