In the years after enslavement, Southern Whites did all they could to return to a manner of slavery. No White “owned” a Black person, but many Whites behaved as if they did. Theoretically, Blacks were free to come and go as they pleased, but if they went to the wrong store, sat in the wrong part of the bus, or failed to yield narrow sidewalks to Whites, they could expect a physical confrontation.
In President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, he appealed to our nation’s employers to raise wages from the current minimum of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. He has already signed an executive order that requires federal contractors to be paid $10.10 an hour, an only appropriate move since so many workers on federal contracts are living in poverty.
Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared a war on poverty.
Happy New Year! Jan. 1 and Jan. 2 are the days when most think of the “new” year, yet with the first Monday in January falling on Jan. 6, that’s probably when most people will return to their desks with focused energy and ready to go.
If I close my eyes, I can remember 1984. I am among those running from meeting to meeting working to pass Proposition J, the San Francisco ballot initiative that required the city to divest pension funds from companies doing business in South Africa.
All Renisha McBride wanted to do was to go home. She had been in a car accident, her cellphone was dead, and she needed help.
The brilliant surgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson is out of order and out of control when he compares the Affordable Care Act to slavery. As a physician, he must know how many people lack health care, and how much work this administration had done to right that wrong. As a health advocate, he must have seen those men and women who decide to forego pain medication in favor of something to eat for their children.
At press time, it was unclear whether Congress would finally evade a government shutdown on Oct. 1. I do know, however, that I am sick of the budgetary brinkmanship that plagues our government. Every few months there is some crisis or another that has the House of Representatives and the White House at loggerheads. This time, Republicans in Congress want to defund Obamacare as part of the budget that must be passed and say they are willing to let government close to meet their goal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that Republicans are holding a gun to the American people’s heads, and he isn’t lying.
When the poverty data was released on Sept. 17, comparing the poverty situation in 2011 to that in 2012, many hoped that poverty levels would drop as an indication of economic good news. But while the gross domestic product has risen, and the wealthy are gaining income, those stuck at the bottom are still simply stuck.
Steven and Laurie, a White married couple that lives near Richmond, Va., work at a big box store. She is a cashier; he works in the storeroom. Each earns about $9 an hour but neither works 40 hours a week. Indeed, they are lucky to pull 40 hours a week combined. Sometimes, they are fortunate enough to pull 45 hours a week between them. Some weeks their combined hours are just 30.