This week’s letters discuss African-Americans and immigration, Bernie Sanders and the criminal justice system, and Jay-Z’s relationship to the NFL and Colin Kaepernick. We share your letters for “Blacks Don’t Blame Immigrants for Bosses Crimes,” “Sanders Unveils Plan to ‘Fundamentally Transform’ Criminal Justice System,” and “Jay-Z Speaks, Raps and Cuts Deals for Himself.”
In “Blacks Don’t Blame Immigrants for Bosses Crimes” Glen Fordexamines polling data that suggests African-Americans oppose anti-immigration measures despite the effects of immigration on their wages and job prospects.
Wallace Nixon writes:
“Black Americans belong to a class of workers which are not protected in American society. Doctors and lawyers from foreign countries, except Europe, are presented with an array of qualifications which they cannot meet when they attempt to work in the united states. When employers prefer one group of workers over another they have very solid, if illegal reasons for doing so. The fact of the matter is that illegal workers because they are more desperate than nationals are given jobs that anyone would do even when the wages are low. The difference is that the American worker will not tolerate the abuse that a foreigner would. The employer is really arbitraging the difference between what the foreigner will accept versus that of the American worker will accept. The employer is making a cold blooded but illegal decision. Why are employers almost never sanctioned and fined for knowingly hiring workers who are obviously not eligible? The foreigner is not taking jobs. The employer is giving the jobs to the most compromised people available. Don’t blame the desperate foreigner for the labor market. Blame Walmart, Home Depot and others who forbid or strongly oppose unions in their companies and local authorities who only call immigration when they are told to by companies who don´t want to pay the foreign workers or has a gripe with them because they resist being further exploited.”
“Sanders Unveils Plan to ‘Fundamentally Transform’ Criminal Justice System” by Jake Johnson reports on the presidential candidate’s proposals for the stated aims of ending the war on drugs and cutting the prison population in half.
Mark Mason writes:
“All very exciting and why it's a waste of time. Sanders will never see the inside of the White House as the boss. This country needs a new constitution, not a new president. Abolish the Senate.”
“Now you're talking! Keep in mind, however, that he's talking about a system in which a lot of Americans make their living. It's not a ‘war’ on drugs, it's an industry. There WILL be push-back.”
In the radio segment “Jay-Z Speaks, Raps and Cuts Deals for Himself” James Hill, Jr. argues that entertainment billionaire Jay-Z’s collaboration with the NFL to “move past” Colin Kaepernick’s “take a knee” initiative is another example of the rapper “positioning himself as an authoritative voice” for “the Black masses, without getting their opinion.”
Isaac Daniel writes:
“I don't think he ever had any values… or moral compass.”
Shannon Elayne writes:
“This misses the mark. Folks are reallyidol worshipping. But I'll briefly clarify. What is missed here is that BOTH Kaepernick and Jay-Z capitalized off the vanguard of activists that pushed the needle. Ferguson and Baltimore Uprisings and Garner/Gurley activists in NY. It misses the breakdown of Jay-Z’s previous betrayals to the Black community and also his insertion into social movements to disqualify that same vanguard. You feel me?
“And for me, it was really Marshawn Lynch that nudged discussions about racism in the NFL. Kaepernick had nothing until his arse was on that bench. He did his own undermining as well to Black liberation work around police terror. Meeting w Twitter CEO, reinforcement of NPIC w that donation stuff and those limiting ‘I know my rights’ classes.....
“He and Jay-Z get measured w the same yardstick in my book. He surrendered nothing. He had no message. I understand that now. He’s cashing checks too. We must caution not to assign our class enemies, the elite, attributes they don't deserve. No money for Ramsey Orta. He's in prison. No money for Kevin Moore. No money for Darren Seals. There are no checks to cash in liberation work.”
Resistance in this stage of American totalitarianism can always be co-opted. The challenge is to find out what is threatening to the order in 2019 and to share this analysis with the masses.
Jahan Choudhryis Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.
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