The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that nearly 140,000 low-income families could lose rental assistance and “thousands of other low-income families using vouchers could face sharp rent increases because of sequestration.”
Frederick Douglass’ words – “Power concedes nothing without a demand” – have been haunting me lately, because of the pressing issues we face in today’s political world, the dire economic straits in which many of our families find themselves, and the ever-present social problems Black people deal with every day. The key word in that admonishment is demand.
It will strike many of you as counter-intuitive, but there has been a rising phenomenon of unemployed workers suffering discrimination when they have sought work because…they have been unemployed. This is not an exaggeration.
When a Baltimore grocery store employee fingered 26-year-old Michael Austin for the murder of a security guard in the spring of 1974, Austin didn’t even match the police sketch. The wanted suspect was less than 6 feet tall and Austin was the size of a small forward in the NBA. The only other evidence linking him to the crime was a business card with the name of an alleged accomplice, a man who was never found.
Anyone despairing that Congress can’t get anything done should note last week’s swift vote to get furloughed air traffic controllers back to work. Congress can move very quickly and efficiently when it wants to and when its own comfort and that of constituents well-off enough to fly was affected.
Although the dictionary calls it archaic, the “management of a household” is one of the definitions listed for the word “economy.” Another definition is “a saving or attempt to reduce expenditures.” Yet another is “a system of interacting elements, especially when seen as being harmonious.” And still another definition for economy has to do with “the production and consumption of goods and services of a community regarded as a whole.” As I look at those descriptions of an economy, only the last one partially applies to Black Americans collectively, and that’s the “consumption” part.
The United States Senate’s failure to pass common sense gun safety measures – the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to expand background checks to keep guns away from underage or dangerous people, and amendments to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines designed only to kill as many human beings as possible — is a moral failure of great magnitude.