Showing posts with label Discrimination. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Discrimination. Show all posts

Monday, July 20, 2015

Why the #NoFlagginChallenge Is Actually Really Important

Since Bree Newsome's spiderwoman takedown of the South Carolina statehouse's confederate flag and its subsequent removal through official legislation, a wave of anti-flagging vigilantism has begun.

If you haven't yet seen the #NoFlagginChallenge, the videos below will get you up to speed.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Shallow Green Resistance

I never really got into the radical environmental movement. I'm sympathetic, but by the time I became any sort of radical leftist, the green scare was in full swing. As national law enforcement cracked down and with virtually all militant environmental activism labeled an act of terrorism, much of the core of the radical environmental movement either went to jail, went soft, or steered clear of the brand of heroics that had become a right of passage.

As corporations continued their push against any and all environmental conservation, advocacy for the environment was left to increasingly out-funded non-profits.

Additionally, a conspiratorial, post-9/11, post-crash political climate filled the environmental movement with entirely too many new age weirdos. This shift brought with it a distinct taming of the movement into a syncretic hodge-podge of lifestyle environmentalists.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sure #LoveWins. Now What?

Now that the institution of marriage -- though perhaps problematic in its own right -- has been successfully challenged on the basis of part of its exclusivity, perhaps now we can move on to issues that materially affect the queer community irrespective of their assimilation into heteromonogamous modes of romance and kinship. The next battles for queer rights will likely be against housing discrimination, healthcare access, and public services for homeless and low income folks. A while back I wrote about the perennial battle against job discrimination:

Even with their libertarian bent, mainstream economists have failed to pick up on studies showing that LGBT discrimination costs the US economy $64 billion each year in turnover costs. Additionally, skilled LGBT workers are being needlessly kept out of jobs that they would otherwise be highly qualified for. Economists refer to this as “opportunity cost.”

But they aren’t referring to it.

They aren’t referring to it despite the fact that the labor market is generally considered the economist’s domain. They aren’t referring to it despite the fact that LGBT workers make up about 8 million of the estimated 130 million US workers. They aren’t referring to it despite the fact that the President has made countless nods to the need to pass this piece of legislation. They aren’t referring to it, despite legal scholars asserting that the protections in place for sex discrimination are insufficient to protect LGBT workers.

Certainly, some commentators on the bill believe that it is once again destined to die in committee. There are certainly others who believe that the right to dignified employment free from harassment and bigotry is merely ideological. Further there are others who are concerned that ENDA will fail to protect those least likely to be given employment protection in the first place: those working for the military, religious institutions, and small businesses. Historically, landmark civil rights legislation has been anything but comprehensive or easy.

Regardless, there is absolutely no excuse for the failure of professional economists to say anything about what may be the first national labor rights victory for the trans* community in the United States.

Read the rest at the New School Economic Review

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Klansman in the Sheets, Lone Wolf in the Streets

Last Monday, in my "White Pride" Matters Reading List I mentioned that the term "Lone Wolf" did not originate with law enforcement or the media, but rather within the white nationalist movement itself. I was given the opportunity to elaborate on this point in Think Progress the following Wednesday.

The long version is tale of FBI infiltration, social progress, and legal action all bearing down on a violent movement of ideological hatred. The result is a chaotic strategy of coordinated violence in the hands of the most dangerous ideology the world has ever known. From the piece:

Coupled with the return of combat-trained veterans from Vietnam, COINTELPRO led to a qualitative split within white hate organizations. The formal organizations and alternative political parties such as the Klan, the National Socialist Movement, and the Aryan Nations pursued a nominally non-violent white nationalist line. Meanwhile, many members of these organizations began forming underground paramilitary organizations such as the White Patriot Party, Posse Comitatus, and The Order. While there was undeniably a large degree of cross-over between these two camps, both disavowed involvement in the activities of the other.

In the early 1990s, Tom Metzger thought up a new form of organized white nationalist violence. Metzger, who cut his teeth with various chapters of the Klan before dabbling in electoral politics, noticed that militant white nationalist organizations, including his own White Aryan Resistance (WAR), were being taken out through criminal conspiracy charges and civil lawsuits. Through WAR’s newspaper and later its website, he began to advocate for a strategy he called Lone Wolf.

Read the full article here

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

There Is No Law; There Is Only Enforcement

This past weekend, Rand Paul led a filibuster on the Senate floor to delay certain provisions of the Patriot Act. As of noon at night on Monday, the NSA "couldn't" collect massive amounts of domestic phone call metadata in three month intervals. Technically, they "couldn't" do that about a month before, but appeals courts?

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Friday, May 15, 2015

#WhiteChurchSex

For the past two days, the Twitter hashtag #BlackChurchSex has been the hub of a very deep and thoughtful conversation around sexual expectations within Black Christian communities. As a white Ashkenazi Jew, I have no place in this conversation, and do not intend to add to it. Rather, I believe that a similar conversation needs to happen about white Christian communities. Unlike the conversation among Black Christians, the white church has the political and financial capital to impose their regressive and oppressive sexual mores on the rest of us. Thus, this conversation must involve all of us.

So let's start:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kyle K. Moore on Racial Retirement Inequity

My friend and colleague Kyle Moore has been keeping busy producing some really jarring statistics about retirement inequality. Listen to Kyle talk about the facts and some possible remedies below the cut.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#BoycottIndiana? I Don't Buy It

By now, most major US corporations are fairly well-practiced in the art of Culture WarsTM PR. State-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which give businesses license to discriminate on the basis of the religious convictions of the owners, now exist in over 2/5ths of states. An additional 11 states have standing court decisions implementing similar provisions.

Now that Arkansas has passed an RFRA, large corporations are threatening...well not much yet. But they are writing sternly worded press releases and canceling meetings. Some Indiana-based businesses have discussed slowing expansion.

But let's pretend they go through with it. Angie's list actually does refuse to expand in Indiana. Is this altruism sincere, or just another cynical exercise in pinkwashing? Certainly, in the first instance, businesses will face lower overall profits. But will these lower profits persist? I'm not so sure.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spoke Too Soon

Last week, I wrote about how no economists seem to want to actually publicly write about queer economic issues. Rajiv Sethi at Barnard proved me wrong.

Rajiv notes that in the wake of the passage of RFRA, certain businesses have begun posting notices that they will serve everyone. Sethi reduces this scenario to a signaling game. He goes through some potential outcomes depending on political demographics of particular areas.

I'm skeptical, however, in the fidelity of this sticker as a signaling device. Sethi poses the mere existence of these stickers anywhere in the state as an impetus for every business to make an active decision as to whether they support or oppose serving queer folks.

While I tend to agree that the adoption of such a sticker sends a clear message, I would never underestimate the ability of conservatives to deny the bigotry that they harbor. To me, it seems unlikely that a refusal to post the sticker in itself will be taken by red-state liberal consumers as a clear rejection of equality.

It's yet to be seen whether any businesses will adopt "Breeders Only" signs. I really hope not.

Friday, March 27, 2015

"No Homo" Economicus

I wrote sometime last year about the blind spot on the part of most economists about queer issues. At the time, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was languishing in a House Committee.

Thus far, it seems the situation hasn't changed much. Yesterday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a "religious freedom" law allowing businesses to refuse service that violates their religious beliefs. It appears in the 21st century, businesses now have not only free speech, but also religious convictions.

Just like in the previous century, state religious freedom laws largely serve to supersede federal non-discrimination laws. Whereas with last century, these laws were largely directed at maintaining the system of racial segregation, nowadays religious freedom means discrimination against the queer community.

There are presently 19 states that have these laws on the books. Despite the fact that such discriminatory measures are almost always rebuked by economists decades after their repeal, economists with a public platform rarely take the opportunity to defend the "free market" so far as it pertains to actual freedom.

Who knows? Maybe they'll start paying attention next week.