It’s another EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Blair LM Kelley, director of The Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina, to discuss her recent book Black Folk: The Roots of the Black Working Class. First, Emma runs through updates on Biden’s call for a humanitarian pause in Gaza, Dick Durbin’s call for a ceasefire, the death toll in Gaza, the split between House and Senate GOP, the failure of both censure votes in the House, Oregon’s teachers strike, and legal battles involving Trump and trans rights, before parsing through Lindsay Graham’s despicable response to Israel’s bombing of Palestinians civilians. Blair LM Kelley then joins, jumping right into the absurd presentation of the working class in US politics, with a consistent focus on rural and suburban white populations despite the long and intricate history of a Black and POC working class in the US. First, Kelley steps back and parses through her own family’s history as members of the Black working class in the US, exploring how they were barred from working the jobs that they were skilled in or that allowed them any economic or social freedom – a practice deeply embedded in the US’ history well after the Civil War – before stepping back to analyze how this systemic deskilling of African Americans alongside the social segregation worked to shape the stereotypes of Black Americans as dependent on the government, despite the constant reality of Black Americans paying the same taxes and receiving drastically fewer benefits. Skipping a couple of centuries forward, Kelley then walks Emma through the role of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the designation of “essential” workers, in bringing the problem of proper compensation and fair working conditions for Black and POC Americans back to the fore. Next, Kelley looks at the industry of domestic labor as a central institution in the stunting of labor rights and conditions for Black and POC Americans – particularly women – before wrapping up with the myth of the “Working Class Trump Voter” and the intense intersection between labor and citizenship in the topic at hand. Emma also touches on the recent raid of a top Eric Adams fundraiser by the FBI and NYPD.
And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they parse Bernice King’s response to Amy Schumer’s use of MLK to justify the bombing of Gaza, and watch Ilan Pappe examine the long history of Israeli propaganda attempting to instil fear in Jews everywhere. Phillip from St. Louis gives some updates on the ongoing pharmacist strikes, and Will from Virginia discusses Israel’s role as a specifically European settler colonial project, as exemplified by Israel’s oppression of various non-zionist Jewish communities. Tim Pool looks stupid and knows nothing, and Rand Paul takes a stand on Gaza further to the left of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, plus, your calls and IMs!
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