The US response to COVID-19 has been a farce, and President Donald Trump’s address on it last night has only added to the confusion. What isn’t in doubt, however, is the administration’s priority: protect the market at all costs. Those in power are clearly more concerned about “consumers” than human beings in this country.
And that’s why this may be a moment for mutual aid organizations to step up, Dr. Margaret Flowers, co-director of Popular Resistance and a member of the steering committee of Health Over Profit, an organization working to achieve a national improved Medicare for All healthcare system, tells our still-reasonably-healthy hosts. The virus can be contained, but it will take public education, well-staffed health hotlines, free walk in clinics, accessible testing and thoughtful monitoring, all steps our government so far has been unwilling to implement. The man-made crisis in this country, however, presents an opportunity to look clearly at the flaws in our health, social, and economic infrastructure and perhaps build a more equitable society in the aftermath.
Abe Paulos, deputy director of communications and policy at the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, spoke with hosts Bob Schlehuber and Jamarl Thomas about the administration’s racist immigration policies, namely the travel ban targeting a number of African nations. These restrictions are driven by politics and plain old economic bullying, as usual, and though they target black populations, domestic politics takes care to keep immigration from being seen as a “black issue,” dividing natural allies in the US political sphere.
Glen Ford, author and executive editor of the Black Agenda Report, described the forces controlling the black vote in this presidential primary. Duopoly politics, dominated by one ruling class, keeps black voters caught in a structure that offers them little choice, exacerbated by the domination of black civic and social organizations by the Democratic Party. However, the activation of Bernie Sanders’ base of young voters, young black voters among them, could mean a sea-change for the left, and point that way toward an escape from this system.
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