Monday, August 17, 2015

The Economics of the Black Live Matter protests why Republicans need to get the log out of their own eye

Much as it pains me to write it, I agree with Mark Thiessen on two points:

  • First, I do think Republicans should follow the lead of their only declared African American candidate and engage the #Blacklivesmatter movement before protesters disrupt more rallies. 
  • And Second, I also think it would be good if those same protestors show up at more Republican rallies.

But that’s where our agreement ends.  I don’t think the “over the top” tactics of the movement will backfire – in its day privileged, powerful whites called the Montgomery Bus Boycott an over the top uncivil approach to civil rights – and yet it crippled a major American city and led to the Civil Rights Act  whose impact is still being felt today.  Those who are threatened by protest movements, whether Black Lives Matter or Occupy – always say the tactics are uncivilized and will backfire – even though those same tactics are the least radical response a marginalized, oppressed community can deploy (see Riots – Watts for the more violent approach to the same problem).

I also disagree that President Obama’s policies are the reason African Americans (and poor whites, and Latinos and Asians) are in the straights they are.  Minority and impoverished communities are reaping 30 years of Trickle Down Economics write both large and small, and it hasn’t worked.  The 300 to 1 ratio often quoted in the news media as the return to COE’s vs. return to employees in our “recovery” is NOT related to anything the President has done – rather it reflects both corporate boardroom choices, and the Republican insistence on deficit funding wars (while reducing domestic spending to allegedly pay for them) along with the idea that tax cuts for the rich and corporations will spur growth (which they haven’t) – with a healthy side order of “free trade agreements” supported by BOTH parties that have been nothing more the shell games to move American manufacturing to cheaper countries – gutting the middle class and all but destroying private sector unions.  Supply Side economics has certainly benefitted the American rich who are overwhelmingly white; it has done absolutely nothing to benefit the poor – who are more often than not people of color.

Further, Thiessen sidesteps completely the fallout of all the domestic cuts he and his Party of Record have supported – namely the reduction in services for poor people who want to climb out of poverty.  Thiessen talks about how Republican should create equal opportunity for everyone to succeed economically.   Which would be great if Republicans would actually fund job training programs, daycare, effective public transportation, drug rehabilitation, and quality public education which are all needed services if our Nation’s poor will ever hope to compete on the economic stage. Absent that critical support – a strong recognition that Black Lives Matter if ever there was one - Mr. Thiessen and his ilk are blowing so much more smoke to hide the true intentions of their oligarchic political establishment.  Republicans need to address the log in their own eyes before they shout again about the spec in someone else's.

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