labor organizer

[ image description: A screen shot of a post that reads “Don’t cross oceans for people who wouldn’t cross a puddle for you.” Someone has crossed this out with a big grey X and underneath added “No, do it. Do cross oceans for people. Love people, all people. No conditions attached, no wondering whether or not they’re worthy. Cross oceans, climb mountains. Life and love isn’t about what you gain, it’s about what you give.” End of descripton ]

I hate this post, I hate it so much. And let me tell you why.

At first it seems like a pretty good post, right? You should love people and do things for them because you want to or because it’s nice, or just because you love them, not because you expect something in return. Yeah. We learn that as kids. But listen. Listen to me. It is not that simple. Yes you should do nice things for people. Carry in your grandmother’s grocerys even if she forgets to say thank you. Sure. But you should never, never, pour yourself into someone who does not give back to you.

Doing everything for someone who gives you nothing in return is not love.

A friend of mine worded it really well “The point of the original post was to emphasise that your own mental/physical health is more important than someone’s selfish needs.” It’s not romantic to run yourself into the ground for someone who can’t even be bothered to care about you. And not only is it not romantic, it’s unhealthy.

I have, on more than one occasion, “crossed oceans” for people who I do believe loved me, but who didn’t even come close to crossing them for me. And do you know what I got out of that? The first one I lost 10 pounds because I was so miserable I could barely eat and I was throwing up what I did eat. And I was still doing whatever I could to be with them, and make them happy, even though they didn’t seem to be willing to put any work in themself. Why bother, I was always there. The second one I ran my own mental health so thin that that literally could not do anything for him, all I could do is sit in the bathtub and think about how I coudln’t feel anything. But I still refused to turn my phone off and ignore his messages. I still made myself avaible to him because he “needed me.”

There was nothing romantic about either of those situations (note: only one was a romantic relationship but the idea of giving and giving and giving when you’re gettin nothing back is romanticized whether it’s in a romantic or platonic relationship.) There was nothing beautiful or selfless about it. It was miserable. I was miserable. I can remember one of my friends telling me he missed me because all I could talk about was the person I had allowed to become my whole life.

And in the end, both of them stopped talking to me.

Don’t believe anyone when they say the second part of that post. It’s bullshit and I’m really tired of seeing it romanticized. It tells people (especailly young girls) that this is an okay way for a relationship to be, that this is what they should be doing. 

There is nothing selfish about demanding that your emotional labour be reciprocated. That’s what makes a relationship (romantic, platonic, or otherwise) healthy. That’s what love is. Both people giving. Both people supportin each other. Not one person giving until they have nothing left for themself. 

APUSH The Musical Part One: songs from musical theater that explain concepts from apush chapters 2-26 of american pagent 

8tracks / playmoss / youtube 

1. Molasses to Rum from 1776: explains the triangle trade as well as the hypocrisy of the revolutionary era on the topic of slavery 

2. Sit Down John from 1776: the apprehension of moderates to declare independence during the continental congress

3. But Mr. Adams from 1776: the declaration of independence (this is partly on here bc it’s about jefferson wanting to bust his nut) 

4. Non-Stop from Hamilton: the formation of the federal government, the constitutional convention, and the federalist papers

5. Cabinet Battle #1 from Hamilton: arguments between federalists and democratic republicans over assumption, excise taxes on whiskey, and slavery 

6. The Room Where It Happens from Hamilton: the dinner that jefferson hosted which decided assumption as well as where the capital would be located 

7. The Election of 1800 from Hamilton: the election of 1800 would lead to the creation of political parties 

8. Alll American Prophet from Book of Mormon: the formation of mormonism and its westward expansion 

9. Rock Star from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the anti-elitist sentiments that would lead to an increase in populism as well as how jackson’s anti-elitist populism contradicted with his own superiority complex 

10. Corrupt Bargain from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the bargain which got JQA elected during the tie breaker for the election of 1824

11. Populism Yea Yea from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the rise of populism and jacksonian democracy 

12. Ten Little Indians from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: the awful awful treatment of native americans (especially during jackson’s administration) 

13. Someone In a Tree from Pacific Overtures: the treaty of kanagawa and the “opening” of japan 

14. The Wild Wild West from Harvey Girls: westward expansion and the wild west

15. Paint Your Wagon from Paint Your Wagon: the california gold rush and westward expansion 

16. A Peculiar Institution from Civil War: the awful awful treatment of slaves 

17. The Glory from Civil War: the civil war in general 

18. The Ballad Of Booth from Assassins: john wilkes booth’s assassination of abraham lincoln 

19. The Ballad of Guiteau from Assassins: charles guiteau’s assassination of president garfield because he wanted to place chester a arthur in power so his faction would reap benefits of patronage 

20. The Bottom Line from Newsies: business owner’s cost cutting methods which often disenfranchised the workers 

21. The World Will Know from Newsies: the organization of labor unions against big business during the gilded age 

22. The Ballad of Czolgosz from Assassins: leon czolgosz’s assassination of president william mckinley because he felt the working class was oppressed

After resisting Donald Trump in an unprecedented manner—at one point, more than 1 in 4 GOP senators had refused to endorse him—the Republicans in Congress now appear willing to see Trump “instrumentally,” which means, so far, ignoring his misdeeds. They’ve essentially agreed to live with his peculiarities, and even his shakiness on some of their core principles, because he offers them a vehicle to achieve decades worth of aspiration: a conservative Court, lower taxes, regulatory relief, weakening of organized labor, and possibly even dismantling the social safety net as we’ve known it since the 1960s.

The Laws of Gravity Catch Up to Trump

I’m old enough to remember when the GOP was really committed to investigating the White House… two months ago.

Undocumented activists announce plans for the biggest workers strike in over a decade

  • A coalition of immigrants’ rights groups, workers organizations and labor unions just announced their plans for the biggest single day strike in over ten years. The strike, planned for May 1 — a historically significant day for labor organizing — is an attempt to highlight the importance of labor from immigrants and working class people of color in the United States economy.Organizers from Movimiento Cosecha, an immigrant rights activist group told Mic more than 400,000 workers have committed to the strike and they’re expecting heavy turnout in states like California, where tens of thousands of workers from the SEIU United Service Workers West have pledged to join the strike. 

  • They’re also encouraging allies across the country to strike in solidarity with immigrant workers. Read more. (4/3/2017 4:30 PM)

Since white people never understand simple statements unless people of color repeat them ten times, let me say this again: racism is taught. Racism is not a belief pre-determined by biology, neuroanatomy, genetics, or anything else. Racism is how white supremacy manifests. White supremacy is the reason that white people are taught to be racist since childhood, and white supremacy is the reason everyone, including people of color, grow up embedded in a racist environment. White entitlement is maintained by the mechanisms of white supremacy. It propagates through imperialism, modern slavery, police brutality and other forms of state violence, incarceration, and even education. There is no excuse or explanation for racism other than white supremacy - no, working-class white people aren’t racist because of capitalism wreaking havoc on their lives; white women aren’t racist because of patriarchy; white LGBT people aren’t racist because of heternormativity; white disabled and neurodivergent people aren’t racist because of ableism. 

That white supremacist groups are able to appeal to all these classes of white people who are marginalized on some axis is proof of white supremacy - even though these specific groups of white people may face some type of marginalization and even violence, they still align with their race because it affords them a facade of power. And look, this has been the case for hundreds of years. Poor Irish immigrants in the south (USA), who were quite literally seen as the dregs of Southern society, were not only still regarded better than black people, but they themselves celebrated that at least they weren’t grouped with black people. Unions and labor organizations routinely discriminated against black people, against East Asian immigrants, and against Jewish people - in fact, many of them were created to combat the onset of immigrant labor. Plenty of white feminist and white LGBT activists contribute their time to racist and imperialist causes and organizations to “empower” themselves. Similarly, if you’re going to tell me that I should excuse racist white neurodivergent people because “they don’t have the same handle on objective reality and are susceptible to being racist because of that”, not only are you inadvertently exposing your own ableism, but you’re also telling me that neurodivergent people of color don’t matter and that people of color should be “fine” with violence if it’s coming from a white neurodivergent person. 

White neurodivergent people are not racist because of their home circumstances or neurochemical imbalances or developmental dysfunctions or symptoms of mental illness. They are racist because even they are socialized to be racist. White supremacy affords power to even the most marginalized white people because even the most marginalized white people will still gain the benefits of white socialization and will still be regarded as superior to all people of color. Moreover, neurodivergent people of color who may also struggle with cognitive functions and perceptions of objective reality aren’t enacting racist violence. So to say that racism is symptomatic of mental illness is meaningless.
Hundreds Of Thousands Of Workers Will Strike May 1, Organizers Say
A major union local and a coalition of worker centers have voted to strike on International Workers Day, calling for others to join.
By Cora Lewis

Almost 350,000 service workers plan to strike on May 1, a traditional day for labor activism across the world, in the most direct attempt yet by organized labor to capture the energy from a resurgent wave of activism across the country since the election of Donald Trump.

Tens of thousands of members of a powerful California branch of the Service Employees International Union will participate in the strike, according to David Huerta, the president of the chapter.

“We understand that there’s risk involved in that,” Huerta told BuzzFeed News, “but we’re willing to take that risk in order to be able to move forward in this moment, while the most marginalized are in the crosshairs of this administration.”

Since Donald Trump’s election, there has been no shortage of wildcat strikes by groups disproportionately affected by his administration’s policies. But this time around, organized labor is driving the effort. According to a coalition of groups leading the strike, more than 300,000 food chain workers and 40,000 unionized service workers have said they will walk off the job so far.

Huerta’s union chapter represents tens of thousands of workers, including janitors, security officers and airport staff, while the Food Chain Workers Alliance, which represents workers throughout the food industry, says hundreds of thousands of its non-unionized members have committed to striking.

“We are a workforce made up mostly of immigrants, women, African Americans, and indigenous people….Without workers, who does Trump think will harvest the crops, craft the food, transport it to market, stock the shelves, cook in kitchens, and serve the meals?”

It’s on!

Half-formed thought of the day

A big theme in news articles and commentary lately is manufacturing jobs, crisis of labor, crisis of automation, etc, heavily focused on white working-class men. Often with the obligatory mentions of Luddites, carriage-makers and the automobile, etc etc pick prior examples as you please. But here’s a dot I’m not seeing connected:

Modern feminism arose out of a crisis of automation.

Feminism isn’t just the incorporation of women into longstanding ideals of citizenship and equality, although that’s important. Feminism is what happens when the huge amounts of domestic labor that need to get done for society to function–and that women as a class-like entity have been responsible for in most agricultural societies–can be done with machines in a fraction of the time. In the time it takes to get from the invention of the sewing machine to the mass adoption of the microwave, half the labor force goes from a back-breaking full-time job to chronic underemployment. 

(The other big structural pillar that people underestimate is safe, controlled reproduction. Its importance as a personal right is feminist dogma now, but IMO that misses just how much the insoluble problems of constant pregnancy and death in childbirth shackled the entire structure of society. Like, the reason there’s still so much conflict over this is that we’ve basically solved one of the eternal problems of the human condition and are still figuring out what the fuck to do with our success. But that’s a topic for another time.)

Mind you, I’m not saying “stop thinking of the white working-class men when you could be talking about women!” Just that it’s a potentially interesting point of comparison that’s being overlooked. And I’m definitely not saying it’s a one-to-one comparison, for probably some of the same reasons it’s being overlooked: underemployment plays out differently with unpaid labor that’s generally organized through household units instead of a more liquid job market. Or rather, supplemented by a job market for domestic labor, which is also heavily female and goes through its own series of upheavals.

Anyway. I don’t have enough knowledge of the relevant fields to develop this much further. But I thought I’d toss it out there in case somebody does, or just wants to cc it to the thinkpiece writers at the Atlantic.
'When We Rise' Is 'Appallingly Timely,' Activist Cleve Jones Says
Cleve Jones, whose memoir provides much of the basis for ABC's gay-rights miniseries "When We Rise," says the miniseries is "appallingly timely"

TheWrap spoke with Jones and Austin P. McKenzie, who plays him in part of “When We Rise.” McKenzie, best know for the Deaf West Theatre’s 2015 Broadway revival of “Spring Awakening,” plays the young Jones, while Guy Pearce plays him later in life.

TheWrap: Fifty years ago, CBS aired a special called “The Homosexuals,” in which Mike Wallace warned viewers the subject might be “disturbing.” What is it like to see this project air on a broadcast network?

Cleve Jones: It’s certainly a milestone and it’s very exciting, and I think for all of us real characters who were a part of this, we see this as an opportunity to move things forward. There are parts of it that are not exactly accurate, but it remains truthful to the movement and that’s what counts.

Why did you decide to take this on?

McKenzie: I remember reading the script for the first time in my apartment in New York City, and there are just some scripts you get, and the second you read it you just know you have to play the role. I didn’t really know why. I think maybe there was something about the way Cleve’s vulnerability was written. I was really connected to it.

Cleve, what is it like to have these actors portray you and figure out your mannerisms?

Jones: It’s an odd experience… I’ve been very fortunate to have three extremely talented actors portray me and could not be happier.

The Trump administration just rolled back protections for transgender students. The timing seems almost impeccable…

Jones: When we started working on the screenplay we certainly had no clue that any of this could have happened… If this series helps people figure out how to fight back, that’s good. But I’m not a single-issue person, and every issue I care about is at stake right now. So, it’s turning out to be appallingly timely.

Austin, do you consider yourself part of the LGBTQ community?

McKenzie: I consider myself a part of any movement that ‘s moving towards love and freedom and equality.

What did you learn from working on the series?

McKenzie: You don’t have to know the history of the movement or see the television show to want to fight for justice. I didn’t know any of this specific history. I didn’t know who Cleve Jones was or Roma Guy or Ken Jones, and I felt so privileged to have learned the history and to feel embraced by a community that is really rooting for this television show… Cleve was a big part of that learning process. When I first met him, he took me around the Castro. I call him the Jesus of the Castro Street… Cleve is so intimidating and then I met him, and he was like — I’m not sure I’m allowed to say it…

Jones: Watch it Austin!

McKenzie: He was rambunctious. I’ll say that much. I’m a big believer that you are as old as you act, and when when I met Cleve I felt like he was the youngest person I’d ever met. When I met him in San Francisco we walked around the Castro and he would point to the windows of an apartment he used to live in… He told me so many of  the windows of the Castro were splattered with blood from the riots, and he showed me the camera shop that Harvey [Milk] used to own… I think from then on, I really thought, I have to do this role the best that I can for Cleve. That was the end goal for me. I wanted to do justice by Cleve and that’s sort of what I woke up to on set every day.

Cleve, what was it like for you, knowing there’s a whole generation of gay people who have no real connection to this struggle, whether because they weren’t born yet or because there are so few people alive from that time?

Jones: I don’t blame younger generations for their lack of awareness. Americans in general are not interested in history. As I’m approaching 60, I was given so many death sentences over the years, that I realize I owe that to the movement and that’s not hyperbole, that’s not rhetoric. I would be dead if it weren’t for the movement.

Why a mini-series?

Jones: It’s all about the reach, of course. Even best-selling novels don’t have the reach of ABC. That’s just amazing. I think that it was smart for ABC to do this. They’re competing against very edgy boundary-pushing products out of Amazon and Netflix and Showtime and HBO and the rest. There’s an audience for it and I think the audience is huge.

Are you ready for what’s about to happen once this airs?

McKenzie: Am I ready for it? I’m too young to know anything about life. I’m trying to take it day by day.

Jones: I don’t anticipate that my life is going to change much as a result of this. I’m not a celebrity. I work for a a labor union. I’m an organizer. I live in a rent-controlled apartment in the Castro, trying to hang on here.

What do you think of the explosion in social engagement we’re seeing across the country these days?

Jones: I think it’s unlike anything this country has ever experienced, at least since the Great Depression or World War II. I think that’s how deep the crisis is. I believe we are entering into a period of political chaos. Out of that chaos is the potential for great evil, but there is also the possibility of great good.

Do you feel like Trump’s win has forced you out of retirement? 

Jones: Oh, who wants to to retire? What will I do? I don’t golf. I imagine I will drop dead on some picket line.

Austin, how has this changed you?

McKenzie: It’s going to sound strange, but I’m not really someone who likes to be in the spotlight. I’m not looking for fame. There’s a comfort in playing a real person because in a way, it takes the attention off me and puts it on this real person’s life.

Jones: I think I have to add something here. I don’t know Austin well, but I’ve paid attention to him for a while and this was an extremely difficult thing for him… He was subjected to a lot of pressure and real intense challenges and he had to struggle and he’s grown a lot as a man and is a stronger person because of this experience. I think he was profoundly changed by this experience in a very positive way and I’m proud of him.

Austin, that’s a nice compliment. How does that make you feel?

McKenzie: Wow. I feel known. I feel more respect for him. I’m just happy to hear that.

Cleve, what was it about Austin that made you and Lance think he was the right guy for the role?

Jones: We viewed videos of people reading the script. It was a bit different than my experience with “Milk” where I actually was aware of Emile [Hirsch] before. With Austin, his reading was good but then also there was this YouTube video of him performing. What’s the name of the song, Austin?

McKenzie: “Brother” by Matt Corby.

Jones: The quality of the video wasn’t great, but the performance gave me goosebumps.

Austin: I felt very happy that I could write that song for episode 3. I pitched a song called, “Thinking of You,” to Lance for the show and they took it. And when we first showed it to Cleve, that was a really good moment. I had written with the thought of some of the things Cleve went through, one of his lovers in particular, and they ended up using it and that was really satisfying for me.

You didn’t know each other before this project. How would you describe your relationship today?

McKenzie: The first day I met Cleve, and he’d spoken about “Milk” and Emile Hirsch, I remember him saying, “From this day forward we’re going to have a connection forever because you’re playing me and we’re going to have this connection regardless if we talk again or not.” I think that’s definitely true. I feel like I know him intimately now.

Jones: We’ve gotten to know each other and there will be a connection forever. It’s just how it is. The people that I met during “Milk,” those relationships are still evolving.

“When We Rise” premiers at 9/8c on ABC.

Hm, I think a lot of people mistakenly assume that bi women who end up being in long-term m/f relationships, marriages, or partnerships forget their connections to the LGBT community or that they stop caring about their bisexuality. It’s erroneous to assume those things. Certainly they gain social and material benefits from being in m/f relationships and will never face the hardships that f/f or m/m couples face, but they still care immensely about their community and their bisexuality. 

I’ve come across plenty of bi women - both average bi woman activists and bi women celebrities - who still wholly and enthusiastically participate in LGBT organizing, protests, and movements. They’re important mentors for younger bi women. They provide space and community to younger LGBT women (and people). Though they’re in m/f relationships, they still understand the terrifying nature of initially realizing that you’re not straight and coming to terms with how that will impact you in the future. Moreover, I find that many of them use the material benefits they gain - specifically social access/social capital - to educate people about LGBT rights and issues, to create platforms that bridge gaps and divides, and to recruit genuine allies (here I mean allies that are sincere and not selfish or performative about their politics; of course you’d be hard-pressed to find them but some do exist, however rare). 

They’re still doing important work. I’m not trying to say that they have a “hard” life because they’re dating a man. Instead, what I’m saying is: don’t write them off. They’re still bi and they’ll always be bi and they’ll always contribute their time, effort, and labor to support LGBT organizing, and they’ll use the social ease of access afforded to m/f couples to do important work and to educate people. Also, I’m not saying that they deserve some sort of special praise or award; all I am saying is that we should remember that a bi woman’s identity doesn’t disappear when she enters a long-term relationship. She’ll still care about the people she’s in solidarity with and she’ll do her part to rally for them. 

25 Labor Events and Organizers Who We Should Teach About During Women’s History Month

“Labor history is rich with the contributions of women, and unions have historically stood up for women’s rights. As we celebrate Women’s History Month this March, we should recognize the incredible contributions that women have made to the labor movement and American history. Here’s a list of important women and landmark moments for women in American labor history.”

See the full list here

March 27, 1917 - Russian Provisional Governments Lifts Legal and Social Restrictions on Jews

Pictured - A Jewish labor Bund during a march. The Russian Provisional Government eliminated Tsarist restrictions Jewish movement, political freedom, job quotas, and much else.

The Russian Empire gained a massive Jewish population in the 18th and 19th century when it took part in the partitions of Poland-Lithuania. By 1914 more than 5 million Jews lived in Russia, the vast majority on the western border in Poland, the Baltics, and Ukraine. Catherine the Great established this zone in 1791 as the Pale of Settlement, a restrictive area for Jewish settlement, with movement outside prohibited. Jews could live or work outside the Pale only with strict limitations, which cordoned them off into a number of jobs.

Government policy that restricted Jewish rights helped stir up constant ethnic unrest in Russia, leading to pogroms designed to terrorize and chase out Jews, events that plagued Russia’s 19th and early 20th centuries. New laws forbade Jews from settling in many cities, limited the numbers that could serve in the army, forbade them from conducting business on Christian holidays, and limited their political rights. An ultra-monarchist group called the Black Hundreds especially demonized the Jewish population and played a leading role in pogroms. During the war, the conservative Russian military suspected Jews of being spies, and mercilessly drove them away from the border. In 1917 thousands of Jews had been ripped from their homes and made refugees.

Thus the Tsar’s abdication probably caused few Jewish tears. A large segment of the Jewish population was politically active, engaged in either socialist labor Bunds or Zionist organizations. A number, mostly of youths, did join the Bolsheviks or other ultrarevolutionary groups, but they represented both a minority of the Jewish population and a minority of Bolsheviks. The easy conflation of Jews and communism is reactionary nonsense.

Russia’s new leftist-liberal Provisional Government began reforming Russia’s Tsarist laws immediately, and on March 27 it began to life restraints on Russian Jews. They were allowed to move freely, to hold political office, to use Yiddish in business, among other things. Unfortunately, the reversal of repression on Jews only confirmed to monarchists and conservatives their conspiratorial link between revolution and the Jews, and over the next few years the Jewish population would suffer from more pogroms and harassment by the White Army during the Russian Civil War.