Across the political spectrum, Americans whitewash the working class and exclude labor struggle from black history. Blair LM Kelley’s Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class is a necessary corrective — and provides lessons for struggle today.
Akil Vicks works in clinical research and is a member of River Valley Democratic Socialists of America. He writes about politics and culture at onone.substack.com.
In the wake of the Trump indictments, conservatives are concerned that the justice system is being used to target political enemies. They’re right about that — but as the repression of Cop City protesters shows, they’re wrong about who the real targets are.
Former workers at major tech firms are coming forward to say they were paid six figures to do nothing, a strategy to hoard them from rival companies. It’s just one of many ways capitalists manipulate labor markets. The others aren’t so nice.
Rather than linking the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment disaster to a national culture of impunity for corporations and disregard for working-class people, the Right is stoking racial animosity.
The Biden administration promised a humane and proactive approach to the nation’s housing and homelessness crises. Instead, we’ve gotten technocratic tinkering and homeless encampment sweeps. We need investment in public housing.
The bootstraps narrative is near and dear to Americans’ hearts. But it’s a fiction, one that obscures complex relationships of interdependence and generates a culture of self-blame. It’s time to bust the myth for good.
People voted blue in the midterms because they trust the Democratic Party to preserve democracy. From accessibility for disabled voters to protecting the vote-by-mail process, Democrats should step up and prioritize voting rights wherever they can.
Defenders of capitalism insist that chasing profit is the only reason anything ever gets made. But when Warner Bros. Discovery killed Batgirl to take advantage of a tax loophole, it showed the opposite: the profit motive can stand in the way of creation, too.
Cash bail creates a two-tier justice system where freedom belongs to those who can afford it. For poor people, Illinois’s new bail reform bill is a step toward justice. For melodramatic conservatives drowning in propaganda, it’s right out of a horror film.
Democrats’ midterm strategy is to endorse both law enforcement funding and abortion rights. But there’s a problem: where abortion bans exist, police are now tasked with enforcing them.
Atlanta is constructing a massive police militarization complex on the site of a former prison farm. Residents are overwhelmingly opposed — but business interests, police, and city government are pushing ahead with the proposed “Cop City.”
In the deindustrialized town of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, police recently killed a man having a mental health episode. Now residents are organizing to attack the deep social and economic ills that led to his death.
Capitalism creates social disorder and relies on police and prisons to manage it. Until liberals recognize this link between criminal justice and the economy, their reform programs will be ineffectual — and racist policing and mass incarceration will persist.
From California to Massachusetts, companies like Uber and Lyft are promoting legislation that misclassifies gig workers. What’s worse, they’ve convinced some people that their pursuit of cheap labor is actually a crusade for equality.
“It’s like Uber, but for nurses.” Does that scare you? It should. Private hospitals are increasingly teaming up with Silicon Valley to make American health care even more exploitative.
Neoliberals say that inflation is directly caused by high social spending and good wages, and that working-class people must sacrifice these to bring prices down. But there are other causes of inflation, and solutions to it that don’t pit us against ourselves.
Economic elites and their press organs are up in arms over the decriminalization of syringe possession in New York. Beneath their reactionary bluster about “junkies” lies a stronger belief: that the purpose of a city is to provide investment opportunities for capital.
It’s easy to laugh at people eating “horse paste.” But the widespread willingness to take off-label treatments and drugs formulated for animals stems from problems in our privatized health care system, from domestic pharma prices to global vaccine inequality.