RiceCR0607 - African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement
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Huge numbers of people wanted Bernie Sanders to be president but the people with real power used it to nip that dream in the bud, didn't they?
Huge numbers of people wanted Donald Trump to be president because they believed he would make life better for ordinary people, but his cabinet is filled with billionaires like himself who have no intention of doing that, do they?
Life could, and should, be much better for ordinary people in the United States than it is. Why isn't it? People who have to work for a living until they retire (if they're even able to ever do that) and who, unlike the upper class, can't live in luxury without working have been on a treadmill of defeat for hundreds of years.
We have waged heroic struggles to abolish slavery and Jim Crow, to win the 8 Hour Day and the right to form a labor union, and to end unjust wars. Our labor militancy scared FDR and his class into giving us a New Deal in the 1930s. But what has it gotten us?
- Social Security and Unemployment Compensation that means abject poverty for many and is in danger of being cut by efforts to privatize it;
- Labor unions that are notoriously undemocratic with top leaders in cahoots with management;
- The New Jim Crow of racist prison incarceration and a racist War on Drugs designed to stigmatize blacks and Hispanics as criminal races;
- Decent paying jobs outsourced or automated so that now both parents have to work and we can hardly remember "the good old days" when (for some, at least) a single 8 hour job was enough to support a "middle class" family;