The GOP are fighting back hard, for themselves, their fans, and their wealthy and corporate donors. Success for them is rolling back decade of progress – for voting rights, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights, education, and anti-racist measures and more!
Therefore we’ve included near the bottom of this post some relevant materials that impressed us – “Reading for the Week” – an post from political historian Heather Cox Richardson, “Video of the Week” on why the rich are throwing in for anti-democratic legislation, “Article of the Week” by Michael Harriot on “policing” and our “Meme of the Week” re-posted with a comment by Ibram X. Kendi.
ACTIONS TO TAKE!
YOU ARE BEING HEARD! Medicare ACO/REACH is hitting the pause button, but we can’t let up now!
We want to share that your actions regarding the ACO/Reach privatization of Medicare – calling and emailing your legislators and your president – have had an effect! We’ve attached a letter from Physicians for a Nation Health Program (PHNP)
We at Indivisible Ventura also joined a coalition of over 250 organizations to urge the Dept. of Health and Human Services to protect, rather than undermine, the future of Traditional Medicare. (https://protectmedicare.net/health-justice-allies/) (Add your organization if you haven’t already!)
For now, they are “pausing” in their march to hand Medicare over to Wall Street. They know we are now informing ourselves and watching, but there is huge pressure from the wealthy interests on the other side, so keep piling on until Biden uses an executive order to explode this piece of oligarchic shenanigans!
Don’t know what to say or write, and/or who to say it to? Go to tinyurl.com/STOP-ACO-REACH
Missouri should be treated as a war zone.
“We have 14-year-olds walking down the middle of the street in the city of St. Louis carrying AR-15s. What has happened to us?” -Rep. Donna Baringer (D-St. Louis)
Ask Joe Biden to issue a travel advisory for this anarchic state and for Gov. Newsom to add it to the state-funded travel restrictions list.
Celebrate this upcoming Earth Day with an end to drilling off our west coast!
Yeah, we know it’s not Earth Day yet. But April will be here before we know it, while we’re distracted by the House GOP’s nonsense and cruelty.
Earth Day started because a senator from Wisconsin was able to see – in the dead animals and spoiled land of a faraway state – an archetype for all the environmental devastation across America at the time, as well as an impetus for change.
54 years later, there’s been progress, but we still haven’t quelled the original danger that started it all.
Remind the Democrats to get this done, and the GOP’s deficit-warriors that we know that millions of taxpayer dollars are being wasted on these wells.
The deficit – “How will we pay for it?” is the wrong question and a “kitchen table budget” is the wrong analogy.
Joe snaked Social Security and Medicare, the GOP’s prize hostages in the debt ceiling fight, away from them on national TV! Yeehaw!
But there’s still a lot of important programs they can slice and dice.
If we want to indulge in their ridiculous “kitchen table budget” cosplay, they’re the deadbeats pretending to be responsible with money, while letting their friends skate on paying their fair share for the pizza.
Call or email your legislators to support a bill to remove the debt ceiling, write a letter to your paper against playing chicken with our economy, and email a quick note to Joe to hold the line!
Tyre Nichols’ mom is praying for a “greater good.” Let’s start with systemic change – pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
“It’s important that all five officers who committed this heinous murder are African-American. Because people, when given power, will wield it in the way they have seen it wielded – the same ends and against the same victims. And that means that police culture exists to abuse Black people in the streets of the United States.”
We need to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act but we need to expand its limitation of qualified immunity beyond law enforcement personnel…
EVENTS HAPPENING SOON!
OPPORTUNITY FOR YOUTHS – Now thru 02/19/2023 – ONLINE – APPLY TO BE A YOUTH DEMOCRACY LEADER
The Civics Center is accepting applications for its free, semester-long program that teaches students “to see themselves as leaders in their community, gain experience in organizing, cultivate advocacy skills, and collaborate on tactics for making change.” Application deadline is February 19. Share with the young people in our lives and encourage them to apply.
Tuesday – 02/14/2023 – ONLINE –“Tuesday Text Arcades with Field Team 6!” (3:00 pm – 5:00 pm PST)
NOTE: Do NOT sign up here! You need to buy a $25 ticket to attend this text arcade – and tickets are limited to 35 people per text bank. (That includes 1400 texts.) To guarantee yourself a spot, please buy your ticket here as soon as possible: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ft6arcade23Once you’ve bought your ticket, as the event approaches, you will be sent a Zoom link.
And now, the event description: The problem? Field Team 6 has contact information for hundreds of thousands of unregistered, likely Democrats – FAR more than we can afford to text. Yet texting is an incredibly effective outreach tool. And there is always huge volunteer demand for texting. So the only obstacle is funding.
The solution? Text Arcades. A Text Arcade is a super-fast text bank that costs $25 a ticket and gets you 1400 texts to send. And here’s why that’s a game-changer… 100% of your ticket price goes to funding this textbank. In fact, we’re subsidizing the costs of texting to keep the ticket price reasonable, so shout-outs (shouts-out?) to our other donors who are helping defray costs as well! Text Arcades will allow us to reach far more people and register far more Democrats. And we cap attendance to make sure everyone has enough texts to send – so get your ticket before it sells out!
Mobilize link: https://www.mobilize.us/togetherweelect/event/546955/Friday – 02/17/2023 – ONLINE –“Restorative Justice – Transforming Harm to Healing” (7:00 pm PST)
Erik Nasarenko, Ventura County District Attorney;
Heather Garcia, Victor Juarez, and Sarah Mendez with Interface Children & Family Services
Chris Modica, Ventura County Probation
Transforming Harm to Healing is a Restorative Justice Program aimed at reducing disparities in the juvenile justice system and preventing recidivism. Hear how this process can allow the non-violent offender to learn how their actions caused harm and help offer empowerment and closure to the victim.
Please register for the forum in advance here:
OUR PROGRAM IS FREE BUT DONATIONS ARE GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1291237484768Saturday – 02/18/2023 – SIMI VALLEY –“Affordable Housing Event / Vivienda Accesible Feb 2023” (10:00 am – 12:00 pm PST) Nueva Esperanza Covenant Church 4680 Alamo St., Simi Valley
Housing is unaffordable for millions of Californians, particularly among those with the lowest incomes. The housing insecurity and instability that results from the lack of housing affordability impacts people and communities in countless ways, including harming people’s physical and mental health, limiting education outcomes, and restricting access to good jobs and economic opportunity. Only by creating and preserving affordable homes at a much greater pace and scale can we hope to provide affordable homes to every person who needs one. The solution seems simple, but what “affordable housing” means and how it gets created can often feel complicated.
Please join us for a gathering of neighbors to learn about the path to more sustainable housing development and how we can make our community a place for all to call home. This event will address the need for more affordable housing, the benefits affordable housing units bring to the whole community, the city’s plan for providing for more affordable housing, how affordable housing is produced, obstacles that must be overcome, and how community members can play an active role in helping to solve the affordable housing crisis. Join us to learn and build support and progress to make our city more livable and abundant. Live interpretation will be provided in English and Spanish.
Mobilize link: https://www.mobilize.us/mobilize/event/547405/Wednesday – 02/22/2023 – VENTURA – “Fair Grounds Development Proposal – Public Comment” – (5:30 pm) Santa Rosa Building, Ventura Fairgrounds
With the recent Fair Grounds development proposal the Fair Board has decided to host a public Fair Board meeting on February 22, 5:30. The meeting will take place in the Santa Rosa building at the Ventura Fairgrounds.
There will be a presentation by Pacific Sports Group.
You can view their proposal here. https://pacificsportsgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/PSG-VTU-E-Handout-31DAA_01.28.2023.pdf
THIS WEEK’S PICKS!
Video of the Week
Have you ever wondered how the wealthy and corporations justify plowing money into clearly anti-democratic legislation? This video has a reasonable answer, along with a quick history review for those who’ve forgotten how destructive Reagan’s presidency was.
Video link here: https://youtu.be/8gCtWxfrPIg
Article of the Week
“I’m just wondering why you call them “law enforcement officers” if they don’t know the law they supposedly enforce. How can anyone in this country be shocked by police brutality when we train them to be brutal? The largest part of their training is learning to shoot people and the smallest part of their training is learning cultural competence.
They are going to shoot Black people. That’s what they do.”
If you haven’t read anything by Michael Harriot, this is a great place to start.
Article link here: https://thegrio.com/2023/02/09/abolishing-the-police-explained/
Meme of the Week
“The word ‘woke’ has long been used, especially among Black folks, to denote that a person should be aware of structural inequality, informed of the nuances of racism, and sensitive to the prevalence of anti-Black violence.” – Candis Watts Smith, associate professor of political science at Duke University and co-author of Stay Woke: A People’s Guide To Making All Black Lives Matter.
Read the rest of the article on the GOP’s hijacking of “woke” here: https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2023/02/11253627/woke-meaning-co-opted-politics
We do not submit to the GOP’s regressive and inaccurate framing of issues. For example, we always say “forced-birth(er),” where they say “pro-life.”
In a normal world, those who refuse to acknowledge structural inequality, the nuances of racism, and the prevalence of anti-Black violence would not be called “anti-woke.” There’s already a great word in English for these people – “racist.”
And when you hear racists say “woke,” you know exactly what they’re really saying – another word we already have, unfortunately.
Ibram X. Kendi is absolutely correct.
(P.S. For those of use who were puzzled…MTG was mad at the inclusion of Sheryl Lee Ralph singing Lift Every Voice and Sing, often referred to as the Black national anthem, and a team of all-female pilots performed a Navy flyover. She may also be unaware that Chris Stapleton is a Black Lives Matter movement supporter. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/marjorie-taylor-greene-super-bowl-b2281242.html )
Reading for the Week – the beginning of the NAACP
Noted author and teacher – Heather Cox Richardson is a political historian who uses facts and history to put the news in context. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/heathercoxrichardson
February 12, 2023 (Sunday)
On February 12, 1809, Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. Exactly 100 years later, journalists, reformers, and scholars meeting in New York City deliberately chose the anniversary of his birth as the starting point for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
They vowed “to promote equality of rights and eradicate caste or race prejudice among citizens of the United States; to advance the interest of colored citizens; to secure for them impartial suffrage; and to increase their opportunities for securing justice in the courts, education for their children, employment according to their ability, and complete equality before the law.”
The spark for the organization of the NAACP was a race riot in Springfield, Illinois, on August 14 and 15, 1908. The violence broke out after the sheriff transferred two Black prisoners, one accused of murder and another of rape, to a different town out of concern for their safety.
Furious that they had been prevented from vengeance against the accused, a mob of white townspeople looted businesses and burned homes in Springfield’s Black neighborhood. They lynched two Black men and ran most of the Black population out of town. At least eight people died, more than 70 were injured, and at least $3 million of damage in today’s money was done before 3,700 state militia troops quelled the riot.
When he and his wife visited Springfield days later, journalist William English Walling found white citizens outraged that their Black neighbors had forgotten “their place.” Walling claimed he had heard a dozen times: “Why, [they] came to think they were as good as we are!”
“If these outrages had happened thirty years ago…, what would not have happened in the North?” wrote Walling. “Is there any doubt that the whole country would have been aflame?”
Walling warned that either the North must revive the spirit of Lincoln and the abolitionists and commit to “absolute political and social equality” or the white supremacist violence of the South would spread across the whole nation. “The day these methods become general in the North every hope of political democracy will be dead, other weaker races and classes will be persecuted in the North as in the South, public education will undergo an eclipse, and American civilization will await either a rapid degeneration or another profounder and more revolutionary civil war….”
He called for a “large and powerful body of citizens” to come to the aid of Black Americans.
Walling was the well-educated descendant of a wealthy enslaving family from Kentucky and had become deeply involved in social welfare causes at the turn of the century. His column on the Springfield riot prompted another well-educated social reformer, Mary White Ovington, to write and offer her support. Together with Walling’s friend Henry Moskowitz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania who was well connected in New York Democratic politics, Walling and Ovington met with a group of other reformers, Black and white, in the Wallings’ apartment in New York City in January 1909 to create a new civil rights organization.
In a public letter, the group noted that “If Mr. Lincoln could revisit this country in the flesh he would be disheartened and discouraged.” Black Americans had lost their right to vote and were segregated from white Americans in schools, railroad cars, and public gatherings. “Added to this, the spread of lawless attacks upon the negro, North, South and West—even in the Springfield made famous by Lincoln—often accompanied by revolting brutalities, sparing neither sex, nor age nor youth, could not but shock the author of the sentiment that ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.’”
The call continued, “Silence under these conditions means tacit approval,” and it warned that permitting the destruction of Black rights would destroy rights for everyone. “Hence,” it said, “we call upon all the believers in democracy to join in a national conference for the discussion of present evils, the voicing of protests, and the renewal of the struggle for civil and political liberty.”
A group of sixty people, Black and white, signed the call, prominent reformers all, and the next year an interracial group of 300 men and women met to create a permanent organization. After a second meeting in May 1910, they adopted a formal name, and the NAACP was born, although they settled on the centennial of Lincoln’s birth as their actual beginning.
Supporters of the project included muckraking journalists Ray Stannard Baker and Ida B. Wells, and sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, who had been a founding member of the Niagara Movement, a Black civil rights organization formed in 1905. In 1910, Du Bois would choose to leave his professorship at Atlanta University to become the NAACP’s director of publicity and research. For the next 14 years, he would edit the organization’s flagship journal The Crisis.
While The Crisis was a newspaper, a literary magazine, and a cultural showcase, its key function reflected the journalistic sensibilities of those like Baker, Wells, and especially Du Bois: it constantly called attention to atrocities, discrimination, and the ways in which the United States was not living up to its stated principles. At a time when violence and suppression were mounting against Black Americans, Du Bois and his colleagues relentlessly spread knowledge of what was happening.
That use of information to rally people to the cause of equality became a hallmark of the NAACP. It challenged racial inequality by calling popular attention to racial atrocities and demanding that officials treat people equally before the law. In 1918 the NAACP published Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States, 1889–1918, reporting that of the 3,224 people lynched during that period, 702 were white and 2,522 Black. In 1922 it took out ads condemning lynching as “The Shame of America” in newspapers across the country.
When Walter Francis White took over the direction of the NAACP in 1931, the organization began to focus on lynching and sexual assault, as well as on ending segregation in schools and transportation. In 1944 the secretary of the NAACP’s Montgomery, Alabama, chapter, Rosa Parks, investigated the gang rape of 25-year-old Recy Taylor by six white men after two grand juries refused to indict the men despite their confessions. Parks pulled women’s organizations, labor unions, and Black rights groups together into a new “Committee for Equal Justice” to champion Mrs. Taylor’s rights.
In 1946 it was NAACP leader White who brought the story of World War II veteran Isaac Woodard, blinded by a police officers after talking back to a bus driver, to President Harry S. Truman. Afterward, Truman convened the President’s Committee on Civil Rights, directly asking its members to find ways to use the federal government to strengthen the civil rights of racial and religious minorities in the country.
Truman later said, “When a Mayor and City Marshal can take a…Sergeant off a bus in South Carolina, beat him up and put out…his eyes, and nothing is done about it by the State authorities, something is radically wrong with the system.” And that is what the NAACP had done, and would continue to do: highlight that the inequalities in American society were systemic rather than the work of a few bad apples, bearing witness until “the believers in democracy” could no longer remain silent.
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