While we at Sisters of Resistance have been contemplating the US government shutdown as indicative of the imminent collapse of an empire, the incisive Imara Jones over at the excellent news site Colorlines.com has written this important and practical piece about how the shutdown will disproportionately affect communities of color, poor communities, and women and children who rely on the government for employment and services.
What’s particularly distressing about the shuttering of the government is that it comes at a time when unemployment remains in the double digits for blacks and Latinos. As the Center for American Progress points out, federal, state and local governments since 2008 have eliminated 750,000 public sector jobs. Given unionization and strong anti-discriminatory hiring practices, people of color are more likely to have jobs in the public sector. This is particularly true for African-Americans, and it’s why joblessness remains so stubborn in communities of color.
The truth is that people of color represent a larger proportion of the federal workforce than the workforce overall. According to the Washington Post, 35 percent of federal workers are non-White versus 30 percent of all workers. This means that a shutdown will only add to the economic woes and employment worries in communities of color.
Read the whole thing here.
We leave you with a brief but critical message to those in government who created this mess:
A quick roundup of all the sexist shit that’s been reported around the web recently. If you have things to add, leave them in the comments below.
Trigger warnings for statistics and/or descriptions of rape, violence against women, photos of the Nigella-Saatchi incident, and Action Bronson’s disgusting EP cover.
- Underground rapper Action Bronson releases new EP with racist/sexist cover image [no one in the blogosphere seems to have critiqued this yet. not to worry. we plan to.]
We express our solidarity with students at Warwick University who have just released a statement confirming that they have occupied the Council Chamber in protest of the marketization of the public university. An excerpt from the statement is below; the statement can be read in full here. They can be contacted at PPUWarwick on Facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While fees climb to £9,000 a year, bursaries are either cancelled or transferred to ‘fee waivers’; meanwhile, in universities like Warwick, maintenance costs are driven up by the construction of ever-more expensive accommodation. The vast post-university debt (£43,500) now facing less privileged students whose families cannot afford to pay up-front makes university education seem both risky and undesirable for many. This process is changing the perception of higher education from a public good to a private investment, from a communal right to an individual privilege, accessible only by the few, as demonstrated by falling applications from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The widening gap in pay between senior managers and frontline staff, and the debt forced on students, means that the university now reproduces social inequalities rather than contesting them. This undermines the university’s democratic function as a space in which free thought, debate and critical inquiry is fostered in order to give people the tools to challenge social hierarchies and play an active role in the public sphere.
Our opposition to the rising salary of the Vice-Chancellor speaks to a deeper opposition to the continuing marketization and privatization of higher education. The problems at Warwick University are problems for the entire university system under market logic. The management of this university is failing to make the case for the protection and promotion of the public university, so we must do it. The government’s radical restructuring of higher education has crept up on us, and we must act now if we are to resist – before it’s too late.
***TEACH-IN UPDATE: Tuesday June 18th at 16:45 there will be a teach-in held outside Senate House at Warwick University to discuss the future of higher education. Speakers include 2 co-founders of the Campaign for the Public University. More details here.***
As the benefit caps begin to be implemented in London, we want to share with you this important new report by researchers at Sheffield Hallam University. It documents how the financial impact of the UK government’s cuts will vary widely across the country, hitting Britain’s poorest places the hardest, and allowing more affluent areas “to escape relatively lightly”.
Hitting the Poorest Places Hardest:
The Local and National Impact of Welfare Reform
by Christina Beatty and Steve Fothergill,
Sheffield Hallam University, April 2013
The findings of the report illustrate class warfare in action – how neoliberal policies for economic “recovery” put the burden of “austerity” on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable. So although Margaret Thatcher will be buried tomorrow at a cost of £10M to the UK taxpayer, her oppressive classist ideology can be seen to live on in the policies of the current government.
No to Welfare Reform! Stop the Cuts!
Get involved: UK Uncut
Vandana Shiva on International Women’s Day: “Capitalist Patriarchy Has Aggravated Violence Against Women” [Democracy Now!]
“The liberation of the earth, the liberation of women, the liberation of all humanity is the next step of freedom we need to work for, and it’s the next step of peace that we need to create.” – Vandana Shiva