Charles Blow: removal of the Confederate flag is only about a tenth of the battle against institutional racism. My comment:
Forget the Confederate flag: institutional racism is as all-American as the Stars & Stripes. It's as hushed up as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Whose jobs do you suppose will be the first to disappear when this right-wing corporate power-grab gets ratified? Black and brown people were disproportionately affected by the unemployment and wage suppression wrought by NAFTA -- and the TPP has been described as NAFTA on steroids. Since it will inordinately reward the largely white plutocracy. and inordinately punish already impoverished people both here and abroad, the TPP is the very epitome of institutionalized racism.
Those Confederate flags that Walmart stocked were probably sewn by Asian slave labor. Racism knows no boundaries, nor does the capitalistic greed that perpetuates it.
Red-lining exists in all 50 states, despite the laws on the books. As an article in today's Times reveals, middle class Black families are still being steered into poor neighborhoods. Minorities pay more for groceries in "food deserts," and courts rubber-stamp gerrymandering. If that brand of disenfranchisement doesn't work, record incarceration does. There are more Blacks in prison today than were enslaved in the decade preceding the Civil War. The War on Drugs is racist; affluent white kids rarely go to jail when they get caught with dope.
The first step toward getting rid of racism is getting rid of wealth inequality. We need a government jobs program, and we need to tax the rich.
(P.S. -- Now that anti-racism is being concern-trolled across the political spectrum, I think it's important to keep hammering away at how terribly racist and classist these so-called "trade" deals truly are. What politician wants to be called a racist, after all? Maybe we can convince them to do the right thing in their own political self-interest if not in the public interest.)
On a related note, would CIA whistle-blower Jeffrey Sterling be in prison if he were white?
Speaking of the CIA and racism, tomorrow is the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. To mark the occasion, one hundred civil rights organizations are demanding that the UN call out the US for its abject failure to give justice to both the perpetrators of torture and the "folks" (Obama's word for the victims) who have been tortured. From the ACLU website:
Shockingly, the Justice Department declared to a U.S. court that it has never opened the full report it received from the Senate, let alone reviewed it for evidence of human rights violations and criminal wrongdoing. And yet yesterday, in response to a new letter from the ACLU, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch — supported by more than 110,000 signatures calling for comprehensive criminal investigation — DOJ spokesman Marc Raimondi told The Miami Herald:Can we finally just be honest and admit that the Justice Department is nothing but a corrupt public relations agency when it isn't hounding and harassing journalists who are trying to do their jobs?
In 2009, the Attorney General directed a preliminary review of the treatment of certain individuals alleged to have been mistreated while in U.S. Government custody subsequent to the 9/11 attacks. That review generated two criminal investigations, but the Department of Justice ultimately declined those cases for prosecution because the admissible evidence would not be sufficient to obtain and sustain convictions beyond a reasonable doubt. Those investigators have also reviewed the Senate Committee’s full report and did not find any new information that they had not previously considered in reaching their determination. This inquiry was extraordinarily thorough and we stand by our previously announced decision not to initiate criminal charges.The Justice Department’s reluctance to order a new independent criminal investigation defies any common sense and fundamental principles of the rule of law. It also flies in the face of U.S. and international law obligations and sends a dangerous message to U.S. and foreign leaders that torture has no legal consequences.
Hillary Clinton tells a Black audience that Her Life Matters. Backlash ensues. For all her millions, she keeps forgetting to replace that gosh-darn battery in her Miracle Ear for chronic tone-deafness.