Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"Dreamers" Didn't Build Anything - Time To Wake Up And Go Back Home Now...,

thewrap |  Tonight, in this room full of music’s dreamers, we remember that this country was built by dreamers, for dreamers, chasing the american dream. I’m here on this stage tonight because just like the dreamers my parents brought me to this country with nothing in their pockets but hope. They showed me what it means to work twice as hard and never give up, and honestly no part of my journey is any different from theirs.

I’m a proud Cuban-Mexican immigrant, born in eastern Havana, standing in front of you on the Grammy stage in New York City, and all I know is, just like dreams, these kids can’t be forgotten and are worth fighting for.

Tonight, it is my great honor to introduce one of the greatest bands in music history, U2. This band from Ireland first rocked the Grammy boat when they won their first four awards 30 years ago for “The Joshua Tree,” an album that explored their own powerful connection with the American Dream. 46 Grammy nominations and 22 awards later, they extend their stunning Grammy legacy tonight by celebrating New York City and the promise that has drawn generations of immigrants here from around the world. 

Here they are performing in front of a beautiful lady who inspired these timeless words by Emma Lazarus. “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of your teaming shore, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.”

Jordan Peterson: Isn't This Just The Way Women Try To "Debate"?

theatlantic |  My first introduction to Jordan B. Peterson, a University of Toronto clinical psychologist, came by way of an interview that began trending on social media last week. Peterson was pressed by the British journalist Cathy Newman to explain several of his controversial views. 

But what struck me, far more than any position he took, was the method his interviewer employed. It was the most prominent, striking example I’ve seen yet of an unfortunate trend in modern communication.

First, a person says something. Then, another person restates what they purportedly said so as to make it seem as if their view is as offensive, hostile, or absurd.

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and various Fox News hosts all feature and reward this rhetorical technique. And the Peterson interview has so many moments of this kind that each successive example calls attention to itself until the attentive viewer can’t help but wonder what drives the interviewer to keep inflating the nature of Peterson’s claims, instead of addressing what he actually said.

This isn’t meant as a global condemnation of this interviewer’s quality or past work. As with her subject, I haven’t seen enough of it to render any overall judgment—and it is sometimes useful to respond to an evasive subject with an unusually blunt restatement of their views to draw them out or to force them to clarify their ideas.

Perhaps she has used that tactic to good effect elsewhere. (And the online attacks to which she’s been subjected are abhorrent assaults on decency by people who are perpetrating misbehavior orders of magnitude worse than hers.)

But in the interview, Newman relies on this technique to a remarkable extent, making it a useful illustration of a much broader pernicious trend. Peterson was not evasive or unwilling to be clear about his meaning. And Newman’s exaggerated restatements of his views mostly led viewers astray, not closer to the truth.

Intersectionality Is A Farce

truthdig |  In the worlds of politics and nonprofits intersectionality has become a sneaky substitute for the traditional left notion of solidarity developed in the process of ongoing collective struggle against the class enemy. Intersectionality doesn’t deny the existence of class struggle, it just rhetorically demotes it to something co-equal with the fights against ableism and ageism and speciesism, against white supremacy, against gender oppression, and a long elastic list of others. What’s sneaky about the substitution of intersectionality for solidarity is that intersectionality allows the unexamined smuggling in of multiple notions which directly undermine the development and the operation of solidarity. Intersectionality means everybody is obligated to put their own special interest, their own oppression first – although they don’t always say that because the contradiction would be too obvious. The applicable terms of art are that everybody gets to “center” their own oppression, and cooperate as “allies” if and when their interests “intersect.” What this yields is silliness like honchos who run the pink pussy hat marches telling Cindy Sheehan earlier this month that their women’s movement can’t be bothered to oppose war and imperialism “…until all women are free,” and the advocates of this or that cause demanding constant, elaborate performative rituals of those who would qualify for “allyship.”
The nonprofit industrial complex, funded as it is by the one percent, loves, promotes and lavishly rewards intersectionality at every turn because it buries and negates class struggle. Intersectionality normalizes the notion that the left is and ought to be a bunch of impotent constituency groups squabbling about privilege and “allyship” as they compete for funding and careers, not the the force working to overthrow the established order and fight for the power to build a new world. Even Hillary Clinton uses the word now.

Afro-pessimism is a term coined by Dr. Frank Wilderson at UC Irvine, and a nappy headed stepchild of intersectionality. Afro-pessimism, to hear Wilderson tell it is the realization that black people have no natural allies anywhere, that we are born with ankle irons, whip marks on our backs, bulls eyes on our foreheads and nooses around our necks. Blackness, he says is “a condition of ontological death,” and the dead have no allies, at least among the living. Wilderson is at least honest. He freely admits that afro-pessimism leads nowhere and offers no answers to any strategic or even tactical questions. Wilderson’s shtick is that of an old man throwing word grenades and he seems not to care much where or how they explode, as long as they do. Whatever works for him, I guess.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Mueller Will Not Indict Trump For Obstruction, Collusion, Or Any Other Crime...,

theatlantic |  The latest revelations about President Trump have, once again, excited the interest of the public, leading to speculation that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have amassed sufficient evidence to charge the president with obstruction of justice. Trump’s attempt to fire Mueller (which happened last June, but is only now being publicly reported) is, under this line of thinking, the final straw.

Color me deeply skeptical.

Mueller will not indict Trump for obstruction of justice or for any other crime.  Period. Full stop. End of story. Speculations to the contrary are just fantasy.

He won’t do it for the good and sufficient reason that the Department of Justice has a long-standing legal opinion that sitting presidents may not be indicted. First issued in 1973 during the Nixon era, the policy was reaffirmed in 2000, during the Clinton era. These rules bind all Department of Justice employees, and Mueller, in the end, is a Department of Justice employee. More to the point, if we know anything about Mueller, we think we know that he follows the rules—all of them. Even the ones that restrict him in ways he would prefer they not. And if he were to choose not to follow the rules, that, in turn, would be a reasonable justification for firing him. So … the special counsel will not indict the president.


BostonGlobe |  The memo, which was made available to all members of the House, is said to contend that officials from the two agencies were not forthcoming to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge. 

Republicans accuse the agencies of failing to disclose that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign helped finance research that was used to obtain a warrant for surveillance of Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. The research presented to the judge was assembled by a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele.

The memo is not limited to actions taken by the Obama administration, though. The New York Times reported Sunday that the memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a top Trump appointee, signed off an application to extend the surveillance of Page shortly after taking office last spring. 

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under Trump saw reason to believe Page was acting as a Russian agent.

The inclusion of Rosenstein’s action in the memo could expose him to criticism from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from conservatives in the media who have seized on the surveillance to argue that the Russia inquiry may have been tainted from the start. 

Rosenstein is overseeing that investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself. It was Rosenstein who appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel.

People familiar with the underlying application have portrayed the Republican memo as misleading in part because Steele’s information was insufficient to meet the standard for a FISA warrant. 

They said the application drew on other intelligence material that the Republican memo selectively omits. That other information remains highly sensitive, and releasing it would risk burning other sources and methods of intelligence-gathering about Russia.

There is no known precedent for the Republicans’ action. Though House rules allow the Intelligence Committee to vote to disclose classified information if it is deemed to be in the public interest, the rule is not thought to have ever been used. 

Typically, lawmakers wishing to make public secretive information classified by the executive branch spend months, if not years, fighting with the White House and the intelligence community over what they can release.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Jay-Z Sound Stupid AF - Give Me The Wayciss Full-Employment Cheeto Any Day...,

NYTimes |  Mr. Trump is right. Black unemployment in the United States reached its lowest level in December. But, as my colleague Linda Qiu reported two weeks ago, the record is the culmination of a longer trend, and there has been no shift in the larger racial unemployment gap:
The 6.8 percent unemployment rate for black Americans in December is indeed the lowest since 1972, according to the latest monthly data that is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the rate has been in decline for several years, decreasing steadily from 16.4 percent in August 2011 to 7.8 percent in January 2017.
The December figures also do not reflect a significantly different racial unemployment gap. The black unemployment rate has consistently been double that of the white unemployment rate, and remained at that level in December. Presidents, especially in their first year, generally do not single-handedly influence the labor markets — as Mr. Trump suggests.
Further, it’s an open question whether a president can claim credit for economic outputs like unemployment. As my colleague Neil Irwin has explained:
So does Mr. Trump deserve any credit for solid economic results? If you think the economy is driven by concrete, specific policies around taxes, spending, monetary policy and regulation, the answer is no. If you think that what really matters is the mood in the executive suite, then just maybe.
Jay-Z is scheduled to appear at the Grammy Awards on Sunday night. He is nominated for eight awards, including record, album and song of the year.

Grinding Poverty In America

NYTimes |  There are 5.3 million Americans who are absolutely poor by global standards. This is a small number compared with the one for India, for example, but it is more than in Sierra Leone (3.2 million) or Nepal (2.5 million), about the same as in Senegal (5.3 million) and only one-third less than in Angola (7.4 million). Pakistan (12.7 million) has twice as many poor people as the United States, and Ethiopia about four times as many.

This evidence supports on-the-ground observation in the United States. Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer have documented the daily horrors of life for the several million people in the United States who actually do live on $2 a day, in both urban and rural America. Matthew Desmond’s ethnography of Milwaukee explores the nightmare of finding urban shelter among the American poor.

It is hard to imagine poverty that is worse than this, anywhere in the world. Indeed, it is precisely the cost and difficulty of housing that makes for so much misery for so many Americans, and it is precisely these costs that are missed in the World Bank’s global counts.

Of course, people live longer and have healthier lives in rich countries. With only a few (and usually scandalous) exceptions, water is safe to drink, food is safe to eat, sanitation is universal, and some sort of medical care is available to everyone. Yet all these essentials of health are more likely to be lacking for poorer Americans. Even for the whole population, life expectancy in the United States is lower than we would expect given its national income, and there are places — the Mississippi Delta and much of Appalachia — where life expectancy is lower than in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

Beyond that, many Americans, especially whites with no more than a high school education, have seen worsening health: As my research with my wife, the Princeton economist Anne Case, has demonstrated, for this group life expectancy is falling; mortality rates from drugs, alcohol and suicide are rising; and the long historical decline in mortality from heart disease has come to a halt.

Assimilation and Service Required for Replacement Negroe Legitimacy

CounterPunch |  Why do we live in a society that thinks that it’s reasonable to ask someone to shoulder an adult’s responsibility at home, support themselves and perhaps other family members too, and go to school on top of that? And then why do we call them failures when that doesn’t work?

Some students receive financial aid to cover their tuition, but that doesn’t cover their other needs. It doesn’t keep them from working long hours, sometimes on the night shift, in order to make ends meet at home.

This year, some students have an added challenge.

Some are undocumented immigrants, brought here as children through no fault of their own. Obama allowed them to pay a fee in order to avoid deportation and legally work in the U.S. temporarily. Trump ended that program.

When students’ two year work permits run out, what will happen to them? Some students have had relatives, parents even, get deported.

Students who try to educate themselves in these conditions are heroes. We should make it easier, not harder, for them to devote themselves full time to study.

And we certainly shouldn’t discuss them as if they are human garbage who should be deported.

Bruh..., Telling Truth In Public Will Be The End Of You ...,

DailyCaller |  A California city councilman and high school history teacher at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera, Calif, was caught on video disparaging the United States military and calling its members “dumbshits” who are not “high-level thinkers.”

Gregory Salcido is a current member of the Pico Rivera City Council.

Three profanity-laced videos surfaced on Facebook Friday of Salcido declaring to his students that members of the military are dumb people who joined because they were poor students and that they are the “lowest of our low” of the country.

“They’re the frickin’ lowest of our low,” Salcido can be heard saying.

Three video of Salcido’s comments were posted to Facebook by a family friend of the student who took it and they quickly went viral. The student, who wished to remain anonymous, is the son and nephew of military veterans and told the local paper, “It was so disrespectful to my dad and my uncles and all veterans and those still in the military.”

Throughout the three videos, Salcido can be heard using vulgar language to describe the military as failed students with no other options but to serve. “We’ve got a bunch of dumbshits over there. Think about the people who you know who are over there — your freaking stupid uncle Louis or whatever, they’re dumbshits. They’re not, like, high-level thinkers, they’re not academic people, they’re not intellectual people, they’re the freaking lowest of our low. Not morally, I’m not saying they make bad moral decisions, they’re not talented people,”

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Real Thought Police In Higher Ed

zeroanthropology  |  The “views” of the university are a mercantile fiction, a falsehood designed to mislead the public and to caress donors and politicians, the kinds of individuals who are apparently empty and infantile enough to believe that the winning arguments are those that are advanced in the absence of criticism. What if we taught our students that the best way to learn is to ignore whatever they do not like to hear? That is indeed what is being pushed, ironically under the signs of “tolerance” and “inclusion,” the usual neoliberal claptrap.  Thus we witness the university turned into a mere echo chamber for the comfortable, a safe space for moneyed elites to flatter themselves, creating a virtual world of unrivalled ideological purity, contrived harmony, and eternal hegemony.

Finally, messages from university administrators along the lines of “this does not represent the views of the university,” might serve an additional function, but I am just speculating. This might be a polite way of telling rabid members of the public to lay off. We heard you, yes it’s all quite disconcerting, and here is our little statement, now move along. Had universities with their bloated administrations and overt political leanings not wished to enhance their public profiles and represent themselves as quasi-media outlets, they would spare themselves such unnecessary exercises. In the end, pronouncements about “the views of the university” end up multiplying the damage to the university, both as a self-inflicted wounds within the university, and as a sign of intellectual cowardice in the face of bullies. A university administration that engages in such conduct has failed its first and most basic function: to administer university resources in order to facilitate teaching and learning.

Ostracism Is 3rd Wave Feminism's Weapon Of Choice

BostonGlobe  |  Is the doctrinaire left as dangerous to liberal democracy as the unified rule of the right? Certainly, the Trump-era Republican Party has the potential to do grave damage to democratic institutions and is already damaging liberal norms. But the academic left’s hostility to these norms should not be discounted, and its influence over progressive and Democratic dogma is only growing.

What’s more, left-wing campus politics also feed and empower the right. Stories of political correctness run amok, gleefully picked up by conservative media (and in some cases overblown), boost the perception of rampant hypersensitivity, speech policing, and anti-male and/or anti-white bias. New research by Georgia State University Ph.D. candidate Zack Goldberg confirms anecdotal reports that many Trump voters were at least partly motivated by concerns about political correctness.

Perhaps the real danger is that “social justice warriors” on the left are propping up Trumpism on the right, and vice versa. With each side spurring the other to action in a feedback loop, there will soon be little room left for anyone else.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

South Africa A Clintonian Neoliberal Captured State

CounterPunch  |  After the ascendancy of Cyril Ramaphosa to the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) last month and his imminent replacement of Jacob Zuma as national president, it is vital to understand deep structural barriers that prevent South Africa’s achievement of desperately needed socio-economic justice.

The ideological shifts that took place in the ANC’s economic views from 1990 can only be described as breathtaking: from an explicitly redistributive approach, towards embracing the American ideologies of neoliberal globalism and market fundamentalism.

From 1990 Nelson Mandela and Harry Oppenheimer met regularly for lunch or dinner and the main corporations of the Minerals Energy Complex (MEC) met regularly with a leadership core of the ANC at Little Brenthurst, Oppenheimer’s estate. When other corporate leaders joined the secret negotiations on the future of the economic policy of South Africa, the meetings were shifted to the Development Bank of Southern Africa during the night.

Although I was involved in the ‘talks about talks’ from 1987 until 1989, I did not take part in the 1990-94 negotiation process. I have been told that at the time senior individuals attached to the Sanlam Group of corporations were very much against my involvement because of my preference for social-democratic capitalism.

During these meetings an elite compromise gradually emerged between white politicians and capitalists under the leadership of the MEC, a leadership core of the ANC, and American and British pressure groups.

From February 1990 until early 1992, all the ANC policy documents emphasised the need for ‘growth through redistribution’. But when a reworked economic document of the ANC entitled ‘Ready to Govern’ was published in May 1992, the phrase ‘growth through redistribution’ was conspicuously omitted. Since then the ANC has never again emphasised the need for a comprehensive redistribution policy.

The secret negotiations reached a climax in November 1993. At that stage South Africa was preparing for interim government by the Transitional Executive Council (TEC), which decided that South Africa needed a loan of $850 million from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The ‘statement on economic policies’ in the IMF deal committed the TEC to neoliberalism and market fundamentalism.

There can be little doubt that the secret negotiations between the MEC and a leadership core of the ANC were mainly responsible for the party’s ideological somersault. It was, however, not the influence of the MEC alone. There was also pressure and persuasion from Western governments, and from the IMF and World Bank, and global corporations. A large group of leading ANC figures received ideological training at American universities and international banks.

In the years after the Soviet Union imploded in 1991, an atmosphere of triumphalism reigned supreme in American political and economic circles: the ‘American economic model’ triumphed and every country in the world could only survive and prosper if it adapted as quickly and completely as possible to anti-statism, deregulation, privatisation, fiscal austerity, market fundamentalism and free trade.

PropOrNot A Clintonian NeoConservative Production

Washingtonsblog |  According to journalist Robert Parry “The people that will be taking senior positions and especially in foreign policy believe “This consensus is driven by a broad-based backlash against a president who has repeatedly stressed the dangers of overreach and the need for restraint, especially in the Middle East.”

Parry goes on to say that at the forefront of this is the Atlantic Council, a think tank associated with NATO. Their main goal is a major confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia.”

So, to make sense of all this, most of the people listed would have held cabinet positions in a Hillary Clinton presidency. If the Interpreter is a project of RFE/RL then the decision to go ahead with Propornot would have to go across their desk. That includes then Sec of State, John Kerry.

The unasked question of why would a US Government Agency do this (?) needs to be addressed. All the people listed above were actively working for Clinton to get her elected and throw Donald Trump’s campaign off the rails.

After the election, they were going to take care of Clinton’s “deplorables” by dissecting alternative media. I wrote about this before the election and I warned several major new sites what they could expect. I was right on the money. After she lost, it was already in motion. The deplorable media didn’t fall into a particular political pattern other than they did not promote Hillary Clinton.

The purpose of Propornot has been to get people to demand freedom of speech be rolled back. This was/is to be done by destroying fact-based media. If you read further, the entire plan is laid out starting from 2015 when it started coming together.

These people want reality shaped on what the perceived majority (louder) group believes to be true, regardless of what the facts are. Perception based reality is only a Facebook like away from killing one person or elevating another to hero status regardless of what they have done.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Purely Unselfconscious And Utterly Fraudulent Neoconservative Intersectionality

thehill |  Conservative commentator Bill Kristol rips Fox News's Tucker Carlson in a new interview, saying his show could be "close now to racism" or "ethnonationalism." 

"I mean, it is close now to racism, white — I mean, I don't know if it's racism exactly — but ethnonationalism of some kind, let's call it. A combination of dumbing down, as you said earlier, and stirring people's emotions in a very unhealthy way," Kristol told CNBC's John Harwood in the interview published on Thursday.

Carlson recently questioned the widespread outrage over Trump's reported comments referring to Haiti, El Salvador and African nations as "shithole countries."

"So, if you say Norway is a better place to live and Haiti is kind of a hole, well anyone who’s been to those countries or has lived in them would agree. But we’re jumping up and down, ‘Oh, you can’t say that.’ Why can’t you say that?" Carlson asked.

Democrats Learned NOTHING Getting Their Asses Kicked By Trump

CounterPunch |  Even if Democrats take back the House and the Senate, women Resisters who fall the Dems’ co-option game hoping for “equal pay” and “equal rights” will be sorely disappointed. Not because Trump will get in the way — because Democrats won’t fight for anything substantial.

Consider the Democrat most Women’s Marchers probably voted for. Like the rest of her fellow Democrats, Hillary Clinton (a multimillionaire) supported raising the minimum wage to a pitiful $12 per hour. (If it had merely kept up with inflation, it would be $23 per hour now. Given increases in worker productivity, it ought to be at least $25 per hour.)

Nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage earners are women.

Clinton gets better-a-century-late-than-never cred for endorsing the long-stalled Equal Rights Amendment. But Democrats controlled the White House, House and Senate as recently as 2010 — and never mentioned it.

Even on the signature identity-politics issue of abortion rights, Democrats have long deployed a form of psychological terrorism against women. Unless you vote for us, they’ve been telling women, some Republican president might appoint a Supreme Court justice who might cast the deciding vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Women and their partners shouldn’t have to rely on a wobbly 45-year-old court decision. Why don’t Democrats ever propose a bill legalizing abortion nationwide? Considering that 58% of voters, including many Republicans, support abortion rights, and that Democrats could characterize Congressional opponents as misogynists in attack ads, it’s entirely possible that an abortion-rights law could pass Congress. They certainly could have tried under Obama. But they didn’t. Because Democrats don’t care about people. Democrats care about electing and collecting campaign donations for Democrats.

There is no reason — zero, none, nada — to believe that the Democratic Party’s half-century-old refusal to lift a finger to help the disenfranchised will change if and when they win back Congress. Which makes the squandering of the anti-Trump historical moment so tragic.

Resisting the Resistance

theintercept |  In his farewell address, President Barack Obama had some practical advice for those frustrated by his successor. “If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself,” Obama implored.

Yet across the country, the DCCC, its allied groups, or leaders within the Democratic Party are working hard against some of these new candidates for Congress, publicly backing their more established opponents, according to interviews with more than 50 candidates, party operatives, and members of Congress. Winning the support of Washington heavyweights, including the DCCC — implicit or explicit — is critical for endorsements back home and a boost to fundraising. In general, it can give a candidate a tremendous advantage over opponents in a Democratic primary.

In district after district, the national party is throwing its weight behind candidates who are out of step with the national mood. The DCCC — known as “the D-trip” in Washington — has officially named 18 candidates as part of its “Red to Blue” program. (A D-trip spokesperson cautioned that a red-to-blue designation is not an official endorsement, but functions that way in practice. Program designees get exclusive financial and strategy resources from the party.) In many of those districts, there is at least one progressive challenger the party is working to elbow aside, some more viable than others. 

Outside of those 18, the party is coalescing in less formal ways around a chosen candidate — such as in the case of Pennsylvania’s Hartman — even if the DCCC itself is not publicly endorsing.
It’s happening despite a very real shift going on inside the party’s establishment, as it increasingly recognizes the value of small-dollar donors and grassroots networks. “In assessing the strength of candidates for Congress this cycle, we have put a greater premium on their grassroots engagement and local support, recognizing the power and energy of our allies on the ground,” said DCCC Communications Director Meredith Kelly. “A deep and early connection to people in the district is always essential to winning, but it’s more important than ever at this moment in our history.” The committee, meanwhile, has made major investments in grassroots organizing, field work and candidate training, which also represents a genuine change.

But change is hard, and it isn’t happening fast enough for candidates like King. So a constellation of outside progressive groups — some new to this cycle, some legacies of the last decade’s growth in online organizing — are stepping in, seeing explosive fundraising gains while the Democratic National Committee falls further and further behind. The time between now and July, by which most states will have held primaries, will be among the most important six months for the future of the Democratic Party, as the contests will decide what kind of party heads into the midterms in November 2018. The outcome will also shape the Democratic strategy for 2020, which in turn will shape the party’s agenda when and if it does reclaim power.

“We are proud to work with women, veterans, local job creators, and first-time candidates in their runs for Congress, whose records of service to our country and communities are being recognized – first and foremost – in the districts they aim to serve,” Kelly said.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Who Owns The Women's March...,

RollingStone |  A year removed from the Women's March, a lot has changed. Around the country, events marking the one year anniversary of the protests are focused on channeling their energy into political organizing. But the movement is more fractured than ever. Even the name – Women’s March – has become a bitter point of contention between the women who were the public face of last year's march in D.C. — Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez — and the organizers of sister marches around the country and the world.

A number of marches across the United States have received letters from Women's March Inc., protesting their use of the term "women’s march." As the New York Times reported earlier this week, Amber Selman-Lynn, a Mobile, Alabama-based organizer, received a letter from Women's March, Inc. requesting the name be removed from materials promoting the march. The letter said that while the group was "supportive of any efforts to build our collective power as women," they would prefer Selman-Lynn "not advertise your event as a ‘Women's March' action." At issue was Selman-Lynn's use of the slogan, "March on the Polls," created by another group with a similar agenda, March On, in her material. (She removed the name and had them re-printed.)

Many of the organizers of last year's local marches have chosen to incorporate independently – New York's march is being organized by Women's March Alliance, Corp.; Philadelphia’s by Philly Women Rally, Inc. – and some have chosen to affiliate with March On, an umbrella group that sprung up with the express purpose of connecting sister marches after last year's worldwide protest.

Part of the problem, according to Carolyn Jasik, a pediatrician new to activism who helped organize Women's Marches across California last year, is the fact that Women's March Inc. have empowered state coordinators who organized transport from states to the flagship march in D.C., rather than the local activists who organized events in their own communities.

"The local city leads have the best inroads into the community. So if boots on the ground were needed for an action, the city organizers were a lot more equipped to make that happen," Jasik says. After the march, as local groups were primed to get to work right away on issues in their communities, the national organization was still working to formalize a structure and acquire nonprofit status. "These first-time activist leaders needed urgent help with practical matters like legal advice on how to form a non-profit, website support, mailing list management, funding [and] merchandise."

Black People - #Resist/#MeToo IS NOT FOR YOU!

theintercept |  At what point did we settle upon this fulcrum, over which our options are empowerment or helpless victimhood? The answer, of course, is that some establishment, centrist feminists have leveraged positions in the media to determine the terrain of this fight for the rest of us.

They presume that at its best, a feminist movement is all about individual empowerment, as opposed to fighting patriarchal oppression. Only a narrow outlook of feminism could see these two things as coextensive or interchangeable. It’s a position that wants to see the status quo improved but not upended. In political terms, this view is at best a reformist strategy, articulating a position that power can be shared, that power structures can be joined without first being radically challenged and broken.

As journalist Halima Mansoor pointed out on Twitter, the line taken by Weiss and others, Banfield and Whoopi Goldberg among them, betrays the privilege of their position by condemning a woman — “Grace,” the pseudonym of the Ansari accuser — for failing to speak up and walk out when made to feel sexually uncomfortable and violated. “Privilege blinds people who have it to assume everyone else has the same power and therefore should react how they might,” Mansoor wrote.

This is the problem with empty calls for more “empowerment”: They show little to no interest in how power works.

#MeToo risked limitations from the outset, popularized as it was mostly by white, liberal celebrities and framed around the excavation of individualized narratives of trauma. Any movement dependent on an endless string of victim and survivor stories accusing well-known predators and perpetrators can only reach so far.

When the national farmworker women’s organization Alianza Nacional de Campesinas wrote an open letter to sexual assault survivors in Hollywood “on behalf of the approximately 700,000 women who work in the agricultural fields and packing sheds across the United States,” it was an invitation for mutual solidarity that goes further than the tony neighborhoods of Los Angeles and New York.
Invocations of “empowerment” are of little use to these women who face harassment and sexual violence in workplaces, relationships, and situations they feel structurally, emotionally, or financially unable to walk away from — something the attacks against Ansari’s accuser seem to miss.

Divisions have attended every aspect of the so-called resistance since its birth after Trump’s election. Indeed, they color the history of social movements. The lead-up to the Women’s March a year ago was riddled with tensions over privileged, liberal leadership and framing. The demonstration was originally announced under the banner “Million Women March,” until activists condemned the name as an appropriation of the 1997 mass march by black women in Philadelphia.

It was only when a diverse and radically progressive group of organizers, including Sarsour, People for Bernie’s Winnie Wong, transgender icon Janet Mock, and the Working Families Party’s Nelini Stamp developed the Women’s March “Unity Principles” that a vision for an intersectional political movement emerged. Migrants, sex workers, and other vulnerable women were highlighted for solidarity.

Trump Reveals Gerald Horne(Cathedral) and Max Boot(NeoCon) Synergy

(CNN) Author and foreign policy analyst Max Boot feels President Donald Trump is making him feel like a “foreigner” in his own country.

“He’s making me feel like an outsider, a Russian, a Jew, an immigrant,” Boot told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria.

“Anything but kind of a normal mainstream American, because of the way that he is dividing us and balkanizing us and seems to be catering to this white nationalist agenda.” …

Boot said it was “especially chilling” to hear people like Steve Bannon and Steve Miller trying to change the character of the country by “saying we’re not a nation of immigrants.” 

And now from Foreign Policy, Mr. Invade-the-World/Invite-the-World himself, Max Boot, announced that Trump’s election has opened his eyes to White Privilege:
I used to be a smart-alecky conservative who scoffed at “political correctness.” The Trump era has opened my eyes.
BY MAX BOOT | DECEMBER 27, 2017, 1:55 PM
Max Boot is the Jeane J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. His forthcoming book is “The Road Not Taken: Edward Lansdale and the American Tragedy in Vietnam.”
In college — this was in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the University of California, Berkeley — I used to be one of those smart-alecky young conservatives who would scoff at the notion of “white male privilege” and claim that anyone propagating such concepts was guilty of “political correctness.” As a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, I felt it was ridiculous to expect me to atone for the sins of slavery and segregation, to say nothing of the household drudgery and workplace discrimination suffered by women. I wasn’t racist or sexist. (Or so I thought.) I hadn’t discriminated against anyone. (Or so I thought.) My ancestors were not slave owners or lynchers; they were more likely victims of the pogroms.
I saw America as a land of opportunity, not a bastion of racism or sexism. I didn’t even think that I was a “white” person — the catchall category that has been extended to include everyone from a Mayflower descendant to a recently arrived illegal immigrant from Ireland….
That last sentence is just bizarre: if you are claiming that “white” is a “catchall category” that has been “extended” to “include everyone” … and then as your examples of apparent polar opposites you come up with a Mayflower WASP and an Irishman … huh? What is going on in Max Boot’s head?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Chuck Grassley An'Em ARE FITNA Burn Down JEdgar's Diseased Bath House...,

NYPost |  In one text message, an agent suggests that Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew while the investigation was still going on that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton.
How could she know unless the fix was in?

All roads in the explosive developments lead to James Comey, whose Boy Scout image belied a sinister belief that he, like his infamous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, was above the law.

It is why I named him J. Edgar Comey last year and wrote that he was “adept at using innuendo and leaks” to let everybody in Washington know they could be the next to be investigated.

It was in the office of Comey’s top deputy, Andrew McCabe, where agents discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Reports indicated that the Russia collusion probe was that insurance policy.

The text was from Peter Strzok, the top investigator on the Trump case, and was sent to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and also his mistress.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 . . .,” Strzok wrote.

It is frightening that Strzok, who called Trump “an idiot,” was the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump cases.

After these messages surfaced, special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his probe, though both still work at the FBI.

Strzok, despite his talk of an “insurance policy” in 2016, wrote in May 2017 that he was skeptical that Mueller’s probe would find anything on Trump because “there’s no big there there.”

Talk about irony. While Dems and the left-wing media already found Trump guilty of collusion before Mueller was appointed, the real scandal might be the conduct of the probers themselves.
Suspicions are hardly allayed by the fact that the FBI says it can’t find five months of messages between Strzok and Page, who exchanged an estimated 50,000 messages overall. The missing period — Dec. 14, 2016, through May 17, 2017 — was a crucial time in Washington.

There were numerous leaks of classified material just before and after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

And the president fired Comey last May 9, provoking an intense lobbying effort for a special counsel, which led to Mueller’s appointment on May 19.

#ReleaseTheMemo: LaRouchians Got A WHOLE BUNCH To Say...,

EIR | For anyone who wishes to understand the real story of what is behind the “Russiagate” regime change operation in the U.S. today, an expose in the Sept. 29, 2017 issue of Executive Intelligence Review, is a “must read”. There, investigative journalist Barbara Boyd takes apart the cover story of Robert S. Mueller as “incorruptible” and fair-minded, revealing instead that he is a corrupt operative of the British-U.S. intelligence services known as the “Deep State.”

The article, titled “Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job if You Let Him,” documents his career up to the role he plays today as the coordinator of the investigation against President Donald Trump. The story begins in 1982, when Mueller joined the staff of Anglophile U.S. Attorney William Weld in Boston, during the time of a new phase of attacks on American economist and then-Presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

#ReleaseTheMemo: Slow Down - Don't Clown

mediamatters |  Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones purported to exclusively release a secret memo that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has touted which supposedly undermines the investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign in Russia. The document that Jones displayed on air during his January 23 show has actually been publicly available on a government website since at least May 2017.
Jones tried to do damage control later in the show, claiming that forces in the government hacked a computer in his offices to try to prevent him from releasing it, but that it wouldn’t work because “Trump already published it."

Nunes’ memo has been the subject of widespread speculation and triggered the right-wing social media campaign #releasethememo. According to Mother Jones, “The now infamous document was prepared by Republican staffers for the House Intelligence Committee, which is chaired by Nunes, and it supposedly details how the FBI and the Justice Department improperly conducted surveillance in connection with the Trump-Russia probe.”

The Mother Jones article added that “Conservatives looking to discredit the Russia investigation have embraced the classified memo, though they haven’t seen it, and have called for its release. But Nunes has so far insisted on keeping it secret -- even from the Justice Department.”

During his January 23 broadcast, Jones claimed that William Binney, a former National Security Agency official, provided him with “the actual memo they’re talking about.” Jones printed out a copy of the memo and called for his producers to put it on a “document cam” to show viewers, claiming that it was “tomorrow’s news, today.”

The document shown on screen was promptly identified as as a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court memo that is publicly available on the website of the Office of Director of National Intelligence. According to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the document has been available online since at least May 2017.

While presenting the document to viewers, Jones said, “I’ve got to go off air, this is the classified memo right here. I mean I told you I have sources and that I’d reverse engineered it, but I guess the decision has been made by whoever’s telling Binney to send this to us” and “Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the first look. You want to look at it? Got the whole thing.”

Undercover Brother Realized Too Late He'd Signed Up With THE Evil Crime Syndicate

theintercept |  Jeffrey Sterling, the former CIA agent convicted under the Espionage Act for talking to a New York Times reporter, has been released from prison after serving more than two years of his 42-month sentence, and is now in a halfway house.

Sterling’s case drew nationwide attention because the Obama-era Department of Justice unsuccessfully tried to force the reporter, James Risen, to divulge the identity of his sources for “State of War,” a book in which he revealed the CIA had botched a covert operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Risen reported that instead of undermining the Iranians, the CIA had provided them with useful information on how to build a nuclear bomb. (Risen is now The Intercept’s senior national security correspondent and directs First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund.)

The case had a racial dimension, too. Sterling, who had joined the agency in 1993, was one of the few black undercover operatives at the CIA. After several years of what he believed was discriminatory treatment, he filed a complaint against the agency, and then a lawsuit. The CIA fired Sterling in 2002, and his lawsuit was blocked by the courts after the government argued successfully that proceeding with the suit would expose state secrets.

Sterling subsequently met with Senate investigators as a whistleblower about the mismanagement of a classified program he worked on at the agency, the same Iranian program that Risen wrote about in his book. Risen had interviewed Sterling in 2002 for an article about his discrimination lawsuit — but Sterling has denied talking to Risen about the Iranian program. In 2011, when Sterling was arrested, the government’s indictment accused him of leaking about Iran out of “anger and resentment.”

Previously on the Sterling matter at Subrealism:

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Trust Has Collapsed In America

theatlantic |  “The lifeblood of democracy is a common understanding of the facts and information that we can then use as a basis for negotiation and for compromise,” said Bersoff. “When that goes away, the whole foundation of democracy gets shaken.”

“This is a global, not an American issue,” Edelman told me. “And it’s undermining confidence in all the other institutions because if you don’t have an agreed set of facts, then it’s really hard to judge whether the prime minister is good or bad, or a company is good or bad.” A recent Pew Research Center poll, in fact, found across dozens of countries that satisfaction with the news media was typically highest in countries where trust in government and positive views of the economy were highest, though it didn’t investigate how these factors were related to one another.

America actually falls in the middle of surveyed countries in terms of trust in the media, which emerges from the Edelman poll as the least-trusted institution globally of the four under consideration. (In the United States, the firm finds, Donald Trump voters are over two times more likely than Hillary Clinton voters to distrust the media.) Nearly 70 percent of respondents globally were concerned about “fake news” being used as a weapon and 63 percent said they weren’t sure how to tell good journalism from rumor or falsehoods. Most respondents agreed that the media was too focused on attracting large audiences, breaking news, and supporting a particular political ideology rather than informing the public with accurate reporting. While trust in journalism actually increased a bit in Edelman’s survey this year, trust in search and social-media platforms dipped. 

In last year’s survey, the perspective that many respondents expressed was “‘I’m not sure about the future of my job because of robots or globalization. I’m not sure about my community anymore because there are a lot of new people coming in. I’m not sure about my economic future; in fact, it looks fairly dim because I’m downwardly mobile,’” Edelman said. These sentiments found expression in the success of populist politicians in the United States and Europe, who promised a return to past certainties. Now, this year, truth itself seems more uncertain.

“We’re desperately looking for land,” Edelman observed. “We’re flailing, and people can’t quite get a sense of reality.” It’s no way to live, let alone sustain a democracy.

Black Nixon Meme Older Than Mose's Toes...,

theburningplatform | What’s becoming clear now is Fusion GPS, the political dirty tricks operation, functioned as a cutout for the FBI and the Clinton campaign. The FBI shared secret intel with Fusion, who then sold it to the Clinton campaign or distributed to the media at the direction of the campaign. 

There’s a word for all of this and it is called treason. It’s one thing for a career intelligence officer to go bad and start selling intelligence to a foreign government. That just a part of the life of a nation state. It is an entirely different thing when senior members of the political class are working to undermine the fundamentals of the political system. It is the sort of thing that results in hangings or civil wars. It’s why the infamous memo has not been released, despite the fact it could be leaked or declassified by the White House.

That’s what brings us back to Dick Nixon. The mere hint of abuse of the FBI and CIA by the political side of the White House was considered enough of a threat to warrant impeachment. What we have here is worse than anything Nixon was accused of doing, even by his fiercest critics. Stuff that is orders of magnitude worse went on in the Obama White House. Imagine senior FBI men, faced with federal prison, agreeing to rat out major political actors. Imagine them pointing the finger at Obama or his top aides.

Again, this is fundamentally a political problem, but it cannot be ignored. That’s probably why no one is in a hurry to release that memo. It’s not just about partisan politics. Imagine how blacks would react if we have a full blown political crisis that paints Obama as worse than Nixon. That is looking increasingly possible. People have forgotten about the systematic abuse of the IRS, using it against conservative activists in the run-up to the 2012 election. There’s only so much that can be swept under the rug to protect Obama.

This will not end well.

#ReleaseTheMemo: Adam Schitt Say "You Not Smart Enough To Understand The Memo"

theconservativetreehouse | To understand the Four Page House Intelligence Memo at the heart of today’s FISA Abuse stories, it helps to understand why the memo is needed.  We wrote about the issue in a March 2017 outline called: “The Nunes Paradox”  – SEE HERE

As the year-long story has unfolded, there are two central components at the heart of the political corruption and weaponization of the DOJ and FBI:

♦First, corruption within the DOJ and FBI that included their use of unlawful use of FISA-702 exploits; and ♦Second, how that intelligence information was extracted, passed along to those outside government, repackaged, and reconstituted into the “Steele Dossier”.  The finished, albeit sketchy, intelligence was later returned to the FBI to request lawful FISA court surveillance authority. It is a circle of “intelligence laundering”.

The DOJ (National Security Division), and FBI (Counterintelligence Division), worked together on the enterprise. This collaboration is where the insider “small group” participants assemble, intersect and ultimately redistribute themselves into the Mueller investigation with the help of Mueller’s adviser, FBI Chief Legal Counsel James Baker.

The evidence of this corrupt DOJ and FBI weaponization of intelligence is what lies inside today’s Four Page Intelligence Committee Memo.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Pank&Green - SkeeWeet BleachedBlonde BlackWymyn....,

thegrio |  Tubman was a true freedom fighter. Her objective was to get Black people free and she dedicated her life and her own liberty to that singular goal. The pink pussy hat brigade is a feminist lite reaction to real problems. Donning a stupid hat, retweeting a clever quip, and marching once a year does not make one a freedom fighter.

To put that piece of zeitgeist garbage on the head of a legend is profoundly disrespectful and shows a lack of understanding about intersectionality. Putting a hat on Tubman does not link these movements. It does not bring Black women into this fight.

Black women have always been our own best advocates and everyone benefits from our work because we are consistently at the bottom when it comes to wages, civil /human rights, and a litany of other topics. So when Black women’s conditions improve, there is a “trickle up” effect that everyone can enjoy.

So, pink pussy hatters, instead of making an empty and disrespectful statement/gesture, find a womanist in your life who is willing to tolerate your level of ignorance and learn a few things. If you’re lucky, she’ll tell you what you can do to be a true advocate for all women. Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards echoed this sentiment when she urged white women to “do better” at the Women’s March.

In the meantime, keep your hands off of Sister Tubman.

NewYorker |  It’s unlikely that the adornment was meant to project any message besides optimism and frenetic cheek. Nonetheless, the image acutely captures the schisms of the contemporary women’s movement. The Women’s March on Washington originated as a Facebook event, posted in the shell-shocked days following Trump’s election. At the time, it was named the Million Woman March, after a 1997 march in Philadelphia organized by the black women activists Phile Chionesu and Asia Coney. The organizers were roundly criticized for what registered as a white-feminist appropriation of black intellectual labor. Quickly, the event’s title was changed, and the Women’s March established a national board primarily composed of women of color. But the sense of ideological mistrust—the suspicion that the March promotes an agenda that diminishes the work of nonwhite people, and that it is an uncritical extension of support for Hillary Clinton—persists. Last week, a call to boycott the Women’s March in Philadelphia went viral after many L.G.B.T. activists objected to the organization’s insistence that attendees be screened by the police. The pussyhat, too, has been ridiculed: for its origin in a repellent Trump slur, for its possible exclusion of transgender women, for its flippant embrace of the racial connotations of pink.The branding of the Women’s March has unified millions and, as would any phenomenon of its size, has also left many feeling disaffected

 “Harriet Tubman with Pink Pussyhat” feels like an accidental effigy that has bred that skepticism. It’s a question of politics and of taste. The recruitment of historical figures into contemporary mores and fashions is a tic of the movement, a yearning not just for a better future but for a neater past. The dissonance has flared up before: on Election Day in 2016, hundreds of people, mostly women, made a pilgrimage to Mount Hope Cemetery, in Rochester, to decorate the gravestone of the suffragist Susan B. Anthony with “I Voted” stickers. (Anthony collaborated with Tubman, who fought, toward the end of her life for the enfranchisement of black women and men, but Anthony also once said, “I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work or demand the ballot for the Negro and not the woman.”) On seeing the photo of Tubman in a pussyhat on Instagram, some commenters wondered, drolly, if a gentrifier had been trying to spruce up the statue. When the photograph migrated to Twitter, someone who manages the account of Ralph R. McKee Career & Technical Education High School, on Staten Island, chimed in with “solidarity.” The hat does not belong on Tubman. Or, depending on who’s looking, it does.

Build The Wall, Round'Em ALL Up, Send'Em ALL Back - Pronto!!!

DenverPost |  In October 2005, one month after Katrina ripped through New Orleans, a plainly agitated New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin told a town hall audience, “I can plainly see in your eyes that you want to know, ‘How do I take advantage of this incredible opportunity?’ How do I make sure New Orleans is not overrun with Mexicans?” He referred to the fear of many blacks that contractors, with the federal government’s connivance, would skirt labor laws, snub needy black workers and recruit thousands of unskilled, Mexican workers to do the clean up and reconstruction work in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.

The remark was insensitive and insulting. And within days an enraged United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce denounced Nagin, “The Chamber will not allow inappropriate and offensive comments made by Mayor Nagin to deter the hardworking spirit of our community.”

The Chamber’s denunciation was more than a mere slap at him. It conjured up the positive image of Latinos as productive, taxpaying, law abiding and above all else, hard working. For years, the Chamber and nearly every major Latino business, political, educational, and civil rights group had lobbied hard to sell that image to millions of doubting and skeptical American born whites and blacks. And now with one mindless crack, Nagin had tarred that image. But observers at the town hall meeting also noted that the mostly black audience applauded his remarks. Their applause, Nagin’s quip, and the Chamber’s swift outrage, told much about the fear, hostility, misconceptions, and ambivalence that haunts black and Latino relations in America.

The rising tension that underlay the Chamber’s protest of Nagin was probably inevitable after the Census Bureau in 2002 publicly trumpeted that Latinos were now the top minority in the U.S. The news hit black America like a thunderbolt.

Sensing that the Census announcement and the press’s seemingly too eager rush to play the news up could ruffle racial feathers, and could be exploited by some to intensify racial friction and the ill-feelings of blacks toward Latinos, dozens of Latino academics, writers, and activists signed an “Open to Letter African-Americans from Latinos.” They passionately assured blacks that they would “combat the competitiveness” and “opportunism” of many that would seek to pit Latinos against blacks while minimizing the historic suffering of blacks and displacing them from the front running spot they still occupied in the struggle for justice and equality for justice. Writer Richard Rodriguez went even further and blasted federal demographers for malice and stupidity for blaring out that Latinos were now the number one minority. He saw this as a virtual conspiracy by the feds to further “trivialize” blacks and equally bad, to marginalize Latinos as a permanent minority.

The criticism from Rodriguez and assurances from the Latino letter signers was a welcomed effort. But it went largely unreported and unnoticed by blacks. Many blacks still complained that they would be shoved even further to the economic and political margin among minorities in the country. The Census report also showed that Latinos were widening their population growth gap on blacks. That gap will grow even wider in the coming years due to the higher birth rate of Latinos and the continued flood of new immigrants, both legal and illegal, from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia and other Latin American countries.

The reality that blacks will lose even more ground in the numbers comparison to Latinos as fresh waves of immigrants come to America will likely stir more complaints from many blacks. Those complaints rose to a high pitch during the immigration debate in Congress and the mass immigrant rights marches in the streets in March 2006. Though polls showed that blacks were generally more favorable toward illegal immigrants than whites, the polls seemed wildly at odds with the sentiments that many blacks privately expressed on immigration. At the peak of the immigration debate, legions of blacks flooded black talk radio stations and posted angry notes on Internet sites bashing illegal immigrants. The attacks were often little more than a thinly disguised attack on Latinos. 

Black American Citizens Want And Need Immigration Laws Enforced

cis |  Of the 50 million low skilled adults (those 25 years of age and over) in the civilian labor force in 2007, black Americans accounted for about 5.6 million of such workers (or about 10 percent of the total). These black American workers, however, had the highest unemployment rates of any of the four racial and ethnic groups for which the data was collected. Black American adult workers without a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 12.0 percent and those with only a high school diploma had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in 2007. These 5.6 million low skilled black workers accounted for one-third of the entire black labor force of slightly over 17 million workers.

Black youth (16-19 years old) also had the highest unemployment rate of any of the racial groups for whom data is collected. Their unemployment rate for February 2008 was an astounding 31.7 percent. These data are, of course, only for those still actively seeking employment and who are not institutionalized. They do not include those who have been discouraged from seeking employment because they feel it would not be worthwhile even to try to find a job under these conditions of high unemployment among their peers. Nor do they include any of the more than one million black youth and adults who are incarcerated in the nation’s penal system (often because on the inability to find regular employment).

Clearly, black American workers who are poorly skilled have the greatest difficulty finding jobs of all such workers similarly situated in the U.S. labor force.

Illegal Immigration and Black Workers
Illegal immigrant workers tend to concentrate in labor markets that have high concentrations of legal immigrants and citizens (native born and naturalized who are from similar ethnic and racial backgrounds). It is more difficult for authorities to identify them under these circumstances and they can rely on networks of friends and family members as well as other employers and community assistance organizations composed of members of their same backgrounds to find employment. As a consequence, there is a tendency for illegal immigrants to cluster in metropolitan areas (especially central cities) or in rural areas that already have concentrations of persons from similar backgrounds.
Black workers also tend to be concentrated in metropolitan areas – especially in central cities. The only rural labor markets where black Americans are of significant number are in the Southeastern states – a legacy of the slavery heritage of yesteryear.

Thus, it is not everywhere that there is likely to be significant competition between low skilled black workers and illegal immigrant workers but there are ample circumstances where there is – such as the large metropolitan labor markets of Los Angles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Washington-Baltimore. Moreover, some of the fastest growing immigrant concentrations are now taking place in the urban and rural labor markets of the states of the Southeast-- such as Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia which never before were significant immigrant receiving states in previous eras of mass immigration. Indeed, about 26 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population are now found in the states of the South – the highest percentage ever for this region. There is mounting evidence that many of these new immigrants in this region are illegal immigrants.

Because most illegal immigrants overwhelmingly seek work in the low skilled labor market and because the black American labor force is so disproportionately concentrated in this same low wage sector, there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major looser in this competition are low skilled black workers. This is not surprising, since if employers have an opportunity to hire illegal immigrant workers, they will always give them preference over legal workers of any race or ethnic background. This is because illegal immigrant workers view low skilled jobs in the American economy as being highly preferable to the job opportunities in their homelands that they have left. A job that pays the federal minimum wage of $7.15 an hour (some states and localities have even higher minimum wages) is often several times higher than the daily wage they could earn in their homelands, if they could get a job at all. Even the worst working conditions in the United States are typically better than what many have experienced before they came to this country. 

Illegal immigrants, therefore, are often grateful to receive these low wages and they will do whatever it takes to get these jobs (even if it means living in crowded and substandard living conditions and working under harsh and dangerous conditions). It is also easier for some employers to exploit illegal immigrant workers by paying them less than the minimum wage and not paying them overtime wages because they are fearful of revealing their vulnerable status if they were to complain. Citizen workers know that paying the minimum wages means that the employer values your work at the lowest level that he/she can legally pay. Furthermore, citizen workers expect labor and safety laws to be enforced because they believe they have legal rights to job protections. It is not that citizen workers will not do the work that illegal immigrants are willing to do. Rather, it is that citizens often will not do the work for the same pay and under the same working conditions as will illegal immigrants – nor should they.

It is not that employers are evil in their willingness to give preference to illegal immigrants. It is that they are pragmatic in their decision making. Illegal immigrants are available because the federal government has chosen to do little to monitor the work sites of the nation. Seldom are any penalties placed on employers who violate the ban against hiring illegal immigrants working even though it has existed since1986. Moreover, because of this self-imposed impotence by the federal government, employers who try to follow the law are penalized because they must compete with employers who violate the law and benefit by paying lower wages and providing cheaper working conditions that are more profitable to these employer but hazardous to the illegal workers. The status quo, therefore, is a perversity of justice. Law breakers are rewarded while law abiders are punished.

Economists long ago have realized that there is no way to prove or to measure the job displacement of citizens by illegal immigrants. This is because when immigrants (including the large illegal immigrant component) move into a local labor market, citizens tend to move out. Mass immigration has affected the internal migration patterns of citizen workers. As they leave the area or as they dropout of the labor market because they cannot find jobs, immigrants move in to claim the jobs But there is no way to measure the loss since many of the victims are no longer in the local labor market.

As for wage suppression, all studies show that the large infusion of immigrants has depressed the wages of low skilled workers. It is the illegal immigrant component of the immigration flow that has most certainly caused the most damage but there is no way to isolate their singular harm. But even these studies most likely underestimate the true adverse impact because there is a floor on legal wages set by minimum wage laws that do not allow the market to set the actual wage level. What is known is that wages in the low wage labor market have tended to stagnate for some time. It is not just that the availability of massive numbers of illegal immigrants depress wages, it is the fact that their shear numbers keep wages from rising over time and that is the real harm experienced by citizen workers in the low skilled labor market.

What is apparent is that the unemployment rates in the low skilled labor market are the highest in the entire national labor force. This means that the low skilled labor market is in a surplus condition. Willing workers are available at existing wage rates. By definition, therefore, illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly present in that same labor market sector adversely affect the economic opportunities of legal citizen workers because the illegal workers are preferred workers. No group pays a higher penalty for this unfair competition than do low skilled black Americans given their inordinately high unemployment levels

The willingness of policy makers to tolerate the presence of illegal immigrants in the nation’s labor force exposes a seamy side of the nation’s collective consciousness. Illegal immigrants – who themselves are often exploited even though they may not think so —are allowed to cause harm in the form of unemployment and depressed wages to the most vulnerable workers in the American work force.