June 03, 2020

Is 2020 over yet?

As the country reels from the events of the last several days, I thought I'd share a few items. First,
here's a statement from the board of the WV Center on Budget and Policy, a group AFSC helped to found more than 10 years ago and one of our closest partners. I'm proud to have been a board member off and on from the beginning:
In Solidarity for Racial Justice
Dear friends,
Like all of you, our staff and board at the WV Center on Budget and Policy have been horrified by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black men and women. These events, occurring against the backdrop of a pandemic that disproportionately impacts Black people and other communities of color, are not an accident. They are embedded in a system of social and economic policies designed to deny freedom and equality to all. It is up to all of us to confront these injustices and build a future where everyone can thrive.
We stand in solidarity and support of those raising their voices and protesting across the country against police and state violence.
Racism is not only individual acts of bigotry and violence. It isn’t just one bad apple here and there. It is rooted in our structures of government and society. Its effects can be seen in racial disparities in policing and incarceration rates, the racial wealth gap, and increased rates of coronavirus infection and hospitalization among communities of color. For those reasons, it won’t be enough to win hearts and minds. We need meaningful, structural policy change. As we rebuild post-COVID 19, we must do so intentionally with an equitable, anti-racist response that is proportionate to the scale of the problem.
We stand in solidarity with Black-led organizations across our state including Our Future WV, CARE, NAACP, Black Lives Matter WV, and the Partnership for African American Churches. We will continue to follow the leadership of these groups to guide our research and policy agenda in this space and reaffirm our commitment to serve as allies in the fight for racial equity and justice alongside them.
Black lives matter.
The Board of Directors and Staff of the WV Center on Budget and Policy
I thought this was a particularly good time to share it in light of the idiotic and racist remarks made today by WV Governor Jim Justice, who said today that any president would be welcome in West Virginia but "maybe not Barack Obama." The governor attempted to hide his racism by referring to the myth of "Obama's war on coal," which was in fact mostly driven by market forces.

I find it interesting that he didn't call out other presidents whose administration witnessed a decline of coal jobs. That list would include Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Trump.

Finally, in case you missed it, here's a link to an op-ed of mine on white supremacy by way of Moby-Dick.

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