This is great, but I know how the system works: When they get the backpay, less than $1,000 after the lawyers take their cut for each of the 187,000 workers they robbed, they’ll be kicked off food stamps. When the backpay is all gone, probably to pay off a quarter of what they owe to pay-day “lenders” or cover penalties on a credit card, they’ll have to apply for food stamps again because the minimum wage still sucks, and the system will count their award as back wages and send them a bill for the food stamps they received while being robbed. Call it cynical, if you must. I’m just tired of neoliberal “fixes” that end up screwing the poor, yet again, while Walmart’s stock goes up, as it did after this announcement. smh
Naomi Murakawa of the Princeton African American Studies faculty explains why the new guidelines are no different than those that already exist. In a nutshell, the burden of proof sits with the victim to prove there is racism in the mind of the perpetrator, in this case, federal law enforcement including airport screeners and the Immigration border patrol agents. Why is this absurd? A perp can be coached to say all the right things. A perp can be “justified” based on statistics – if a neighborhood has a lot of crime reports – based on stops and curfews in communities that themselves are based on profiling. Here’s are MY examples (NOT Professor Murakawa’s examples) of how this fails:
In a lily white community where income is twice that of surrounding communities, policing is conducted much, much more “politely”. Why? Because people with money can afford good lawyers who will extract millions of dollars in damages from that community’s local government. There might be just as many burglaries committed by white people, just as many domestic violence cases, just as many driving while under the influence cases, just as many drug dealers. The difference? There are less convictions, more humane interventions, less publicity in rich communities. Why? It bears repeating: Because they can afford and WILL hire better lawyers who will focus on getting reparations for rich people, aka lawsuits for 7-figure settlements. So what will you find in those stats? Less reports of crime in rich communities. Cops will stop and warn, rather than stop, frisk and shoot.
Where will those stats that federal law enforcement agencies direct those law enforcement officers? To the same places they are concentrated now: to poor communities of people of color.
Also included in the ‘new’ federal guidelines: Profiling by nationality is fine. Why is this absurd, when the point is to catch undocumented immigrants and terrorists? Because to date, nationality is not the sole factor in undocumented immigration and terrorism. Again, why? Because, trust this, European undocumented immigrants are not reflected accurately in stats because, yet again, they are not RACIALLY profiled, as African immigrants are, as Arab immigrants are, as Latino and Asian immigrants are. Sames goes for terrorism. The stats quoted by Professor Murakawa will make your jaw drop! The forced registration of over 80,000 men from predominantly Muslim countries yielded ZERO associated with terrorism.
To summarize, the new guidelines say it’s fine to profile based on prior institutionalized profiling. The only law enforcement officials who can be brought up on charges are those stupidly declaring their racist beliefs in public and in social media. The guidelines actually coach racists on how to justify their inherent biases.
Seriously, did you think all the libertarians and anarchists are total idiots? Granted, some are, but pay attention. They’re against Big Government, but it’s the war profiteers who run our governments, and they don’t give a damn about our individual or civil rights, never mind human rights. We saw National Guard tanks all over major US city streets during the Civil Rights riots of the 60s and 70s. Why do you believe it won’t get worse, when major cities run out of fresh water thanks to major storms and droughts?
We keep forgetting we’re all living on an island, with more salty ocean water than land. And storms drive salt water into rivers, streams and fresh water reservoirs on islands. Often.
The droughts, the floods, the water wars are coming. And the Pentagon’s making sure it wins.
But hey, why worry? The Ewoks will save us, with stones tied to ropes, to tangle up the Empire’s war machines and save the day. Turn on a movie and get some popcorn. Nothing to see here.