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Tidbits - Apr. 9, 2020 - Reader Comments: Right to Vote or Die; COVID Makes Clear, Healthcare is Human Right; Coronavirus and African Americans, Attacks on Asian Americans, New York City, Farmworkers, Climate Crisis; Paul Robeson; Resources, more...

Reader Comments: The Right to Vote...or Die; COVID Makes Clear, Healthcare is Human Right; Coronavirus and African Americans, Attacks on Asian Americans, York City, Farmworkers, Climate Crisis; Paul Robeson; Immigration; Resources; and more....

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Tidbits - Reader Comments, Resources, Announcements AND cartoons - Apr. 9, 2020, Portside

Re: 'A Day That Will Live in Infamy': This Is What It Looked Like When Wisconsin Forced In-Person Voting During a Pandemic (Sue Yellin)
Re: Coronavirus Makes It More Clear Than Ever: Health Care Is a Human Right (Joe Gannon; William Lee; Gilberto de Leon Jeeeeeez)
I'm Number One  -- cartoon by Michael de Adder
Re: Rep. Judy Chu Says Attacks on Asian Americans at About 100 per Day Due to Coronavirus Fear (Judith Halprin; Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon; Tom Conroy; William Cutlip; Paul Burke; Jackie Alfaro; Nitza Berkowitz; Daryl Smith; Stacey Spagon Golden; Angela Flynn; Brenda Thomas; Frank Regnier;Angelle Beard Regnier; John Youngblodd)
Re: Early Data Show African Americans Dying of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate (Linda Loew; Guy Miller; Lucy Lewis; Jose D Sambolin)
Hurricane COVID-19 Relief  --  carton by RJ Matson
Re: New York City Has Done Almost Nothing to Protect 70,000 People in its Homeless Shelters from Coronavirus Spread (Justine Medina; Emma Melendez)
Virus Kong  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
Re: When the Invisible Hand Gives You the Finger (Rosemary A. Barbera; Stephanie Luce; Hoanh Phan)
I Don't Want to Brag, but....
Re: America's Farmworkers - Now `Essential,' but Denied the Just-Enacted Benefits (Pat Byrne; Hilda Disla-Moya)
How to make a facemask with a bandana and rubber bands or hair ties (Steve Willett)
Re: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature's Response to Human Transgression? (Charles)
Re: New Pathogen, Old Politics (Russell Colon; Rick Smyth)
Re: Are We Really All `In This Together'? (Jim Price)
Re: "Stay Home and Have the Baby" (Felice Sage; Wendy R Wolf; Judith Berkan)
Experts Recommend Disinfecting Television After Trump Has Been On (Andy Borowitz in The New Yorker)
Re: Populism of the Left? (Edgar Aracena)
Re: Plots Against America?: Jim Crow Was Homegrown Fascism (John Dietzel)
Re: "Cuba's Cancer Hope": Cuba's Revolutionary Cancer Vaccine Builds Bridges Between the Island and the US (Galeria Nocturna; Manuel A. Oliver-Hernandez; Center for the Study of Political Graphics)
Re: More Democracy or Less? Elections in a Pandemic (Lennis Longo; Luis Ramos; Vivian Kreutzjans)
Re: Humanity's Origin Story Just Got More Complicated, and Fascinating (Stan Nadel)

Resources:

Which types of COVID-19 relief count as income for health insurance program eligibility? (UC Berkeley Labor Center)
"Pandemic Nation," a New Podcast About Coronavirus in America (Capital & Main)
Covid-19 Continues to Ravage the Health and Livelihoods of Garment Workers (Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum)

Announcements:

Rethinking Immigration - Webinar - May 1 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)

Today in History:

Paul Robeson was born April 9, 1898

 

Re: 'A Day That Will Live in Infamy': This Is What It Looked Like When Wisconsin Forced In-Person Voting During a Pandemic
 

The Supreme Court judges who made people go to the polls are complicit to murder

Sue Yellin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Coronavirus Makes It More Clear Than Ever: Health Care Is a Human Right
 

this is vitally important question: after Covid is gone the GOP will become deficit hawks again and crucify our social spending for decades to come, we will get screwed again as in 2008, as I wrote in this column: 

Unlike 2008, we won't get fooled again
March 19, 2020
Daily Hampshire Gazette

Joe Gannon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Wow, where did I hear that from? Oh yeah BERNIE SANDERS . Bernie has been saying that for years and we're finally catching on. Joe Biden said we don't have time for a revolution. I think we're having one right now . Seeing what the politicians, corporations are doing to this country. 

Wake up, people!

William Lee
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

... many lefties still don't get it... the "who's gonna pay for that" card is to limit social spending. The important expenditures are dealt with off the books by the Treasury Department & Federal Reserve...think war, corporate welfare, bankster biz. A government with a sovereign monetary system is not a household...No household creates it own funds.

Gilberto de Leon Jeeeeeez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

I'm Number One  -- cartoon by Michael de Adder
 

Michael de Adder
April 2, 2020
Twitter tweet by artist

 

Re: Rep. Judy Chu Says Attacks on Asian Americans at About 100 per Day Due to Coronavirus Fear
 

the monster riled the cretins yet again.

Judith Halprin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Enabled by you know who!

Jose Felipe Gonzalez Pabon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Words have consequences.

Tom Conroy
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I have no trouble blaming Trump for this.

William Cutlip
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Adding yet another level of tragedy to the already horrific pandemic. And somehow, at some level, it all seems related to the evil that is Trumpism.

Paul Burke
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Seriously all these hate crimes towards Asians is ridiculous! A little baby getting stabbed? Really? The only "virus" out here are human beings...

Jackie Alfaro
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

And we call ourselves a civilized nation.

Nitza Berkowitz
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Adding yet another level of tragedy to the already horrific pandemic. And somehow, at some level, it all seems related to the evil that is Trumpism.

Daryl Smith
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Not okay! We must call out this bigotry when it happens.

Stacey Spagon Golden
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

There is a spot in hell for our President. And this is a huge reason why.

Angela Flynn
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is what his Racist Remarks have caused to the Chinese Americans and to be honest anyone who looks Chinese

Brenda Thomas
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Thank you President Trump for dividing the country even more.. I am glad you are not deciding to wear a mask during this pandemic. I only hope the rest of your Republican administration will follow suit. Then,,,, let the "natural selection" takes it's course.

Frank Regnier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

If he Thinks this virus needs a label, I think it should be called trump's virus. He had warnings not only from what was going on in China but also what was going on in Italy. He chose to go down the arrogant path and ignore it. Golf was more important it always is! So, he is the sole reason that it exploded here in the US. trump's virus it has a nice ring. So from here on that it how I will refer to it and maybe it will catch. Of course after I say it I will end it with a stupid smug grin and an idiotic laugh.

Angelle Beard Regnier
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Oh the irony. Those same conservatives who blast FDR's internment of Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor (and rightly so) are awful quiet now when Asian-Americans are being ASSAULTED.

John Youngblodd
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Early Data Show African Americans Dying of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate
 

    "COVID is just unmasking the deep disinvestment in our communities, the historical injustices and the impact of residential segregation," said Jones, who spent 13 years at the CDC, focused on identifying, measuring and addressing racial bias within the medical system. "This is the time to name racism as the cause of all of those things. The overrepresentation of people of color in poverty and white people in wealth is not just a happenstance. . It's because we're not valued."

Linda Loew
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

"No, the coronavirus is not an "equalizer." Black people are being infected and dying at higher rates. Here's what Milwaukee is doing about it - and why governments need to start releasing data on the race of COVID-19 patients."

Guy Miller
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Although NC is one of the few states collecting data by race/ethnicity (link is in this story), there are more than 700 cases where this data has not been collected in our state. " 

"COVID is just unmasking the deep disinvestment in our communities, the historical injustices and the impact of residential segregation," said Jones, who spent 13 years at the CDC, focused on identifying, measuring and addressing racial bias within the medical system. "This is the time to name racism as the cause of all of those things. The overrepresentation of people of color in poverty and white people in wealth is not just a happenstance. . It's because we're not valued."

Lucy Lewis
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

For SURE Is NOT an equalizer. I bet any millionaire does NOT HAVE TO WAIT to be tested if he wants to. But if you are a JOHN DOE, they tell you. Don't come to get tested UNLESS you have symptoms

Jose D Sambolin
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Hurricane COVID-19 Relief  --  carton by RJ Matson
 

RJ Matson
April 3, 2020

 

Re: New York City Has Done Almost Nothing to Protect 70,000 People in its Homeless Shelters from Coronavirus Spread
 

"Along with incarcerated populations, people experiencing homelessness in the city are among those most susceptible to getting infected. In fact, as of Sunday, at least 99 people living in the city's shelters had tested positive for the virus, the New York Times reported. In other large cities, the number remains in the single digits. The city, however, has taken little meaningful action to protect the approximately 63,000 people living in shelters or the streets, a particularly crude reality as the homelessness crisis in the city is the result of years of poor policy decisions, including by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose handling of the pandemic has inspired nationwide adulation.

During his three terms as governor, which have overlapped with the tenures of mayors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio, homelessness in New York City skyrocketed. The mayors and governor failed to coordinate and fund policies to stem the rise and even actively worsened it. In 2011, Cuomo, who served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Bill Clinton, pulled state funding for Advantage, a rent subsidy program, prompting Bloomberg to abruptly end it. The move sent at least 8,500 families back into shelter.

The city's response to the particular needs of homeless populations during the pandemic has been feeble. The Department of Homeless Services website has the same generic advice as all city agencies, such as `stay home if sick.' For those forced to choose between staying at a homeless shelter or sleeping in the streets or on trains, staying `home' is not much of a choice, since the shelters make it virtually impossible to practice social distancing and quarantine...

Justine Medina
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Very sad.

It's a shame this happens in a first world country. Shame on the government, both federal and local.

Emma Melendez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Virus Kong  --  cartoon by Rob Rogers
 

Rob Rogers
April 3, 2020
robrogers.com

 

Re: When the Invisible Hand Gives You the Finger
 

"Yet none of the steady stream of articles from these outlets attesting to heartbreaking shortages of medical equipment in coronavirus-ravaged areas in the US . . .have stopped to ask why the laws of supply and demand have so catastrophically failed in this crisis."

Rosemary A. Barbera
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Another interesting piece on market failure and toilet paper:

The toilet paper shortage is more complicated than you think

Suppliers aren't sure when toilet paper will be readily available again.

By Terry Nguyen
April 3, 2020
Vox

Stephanie Luce

     ====

Hoanh Phan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

I Don't Want to Brag, but....

 

Re: America's Farmworkers - Now `Essential,' but Denied the Just-Enacted Benefits
 

Unforgivable.

Pat Byrne
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Praying for all them God bless

Hilda Disla-Moya
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

How to make a facemask with a bandana and rubber bands or hair ties
 

No Sew DIY Face Mask Made of Handkerchief and Rubber Bands

Watch here

No-Sew Pleated Face Mask with Handkerchief and Hair Tie

Details here.

As the demand for face masks has been going through the roof in Japan, DIY face masks are trending on social media with instagrammers and bloggers sharing ideas on how to make alternatives to surgical masks. 

After we introduced a template and tutorial on how to sew a face mask last week, the article has received a huge traffic with comments asking for advice. Most of our regulars were seasoned crafters to whom a little sewing project would be a breeze, but we came to realize that at times like these, we can help more people by sharing tutorials that anyone can easily take advantage of.

This week, we are sharing the simplest, easiest and useful mask tutorial. No cutting or sewing is required. (Yes, it's true!)

This mask is not meant to replace surgical face masks, but when you must go out, something to cover yourself is better than nothing, and at the very least, it will remind you to not touch your face.

Steve Willett

 

Re: Is the COVID-19 Pandemic Mother Nature's Response to Human Transgression?
 

Yes, that's exactly how I see this covid-19 incident.

These pandemics have been ongoing throughout all of history, more often than not functioning as a sort of system reset.

When an ecosystem is being damaged to the extent that the life support capacity is seriously threatened, a "correction" occurs.

Why would these hyper virulent viruses exist in the first place? My opinion is that they serve a purpose,  as we are witnessing now.

Charles
Sebastopol,  CA

 

Re: New Pathogen, Old Politics
 

What we can learn from Cholera: the nineteeenth century's most fearsome pandemic

Russell Colon
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

This is the final, unfinished act of the drama. Can human beings find a way to treat the pathogen not as an aberration, but as a reminder that we are fated to co-exist in an unstable Anthropocene? To expand on the words of Margaret Chan, WHO director at the time of SARS, "The virus writes the rules"-there is no singular set of rules. We have collectively changed the rules of our ecosystems, and pathogens have surprised us with their nimble adaptations to a world that we believed was ours.

Rick Smyth
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Are We Really All `In This Together'?
 

This piece is some background to what is currently happening locally at our three county prisons (Essex, Hudson and Bergen) and at the privately-run prison in Elizabeth (Union County). According to Monsy Alvarado in yesterday's north jersey.com, 78 prisoners at the Essex County jail have now been quarantined because they had contact in the jail with someone who has the virus. 

We understand that Essex County exec Joe D does not have the authority to release the ICE civil detainees. But if he cared about Essex County as much as he claims, he could publicly petition ICE for their release. Governor Murphy also seems to have a blind spot when it comes to the ICE detainees. Though he has moved to help free some hundreds of non-violent state-held prisoners, he has been silent about ICE's captives. When asked over a week ago about their status, he punted and said he would raise the issue with his AG. Since then, nothing. They both have FB pages, please comment. Or phone. Governor Murphy: 609 292-6000. Essex County Exec Joe DiVincenzo: 973 621-4400

The background to the background. The source of the problem is money and political alliances. In Essex, Joe D and the freeholders don't want to give up the 40+ million a year from DHS/ICE. Hudson and Bergen hold fewer detainees than Essex but the extra income still helps their bottom lines. And Murphy probably would prefer not to antagonize the 3 county chairs by using his office to publicly call for the release of the detainees which might threaten the counties income stream. The state legislature is completely Democratic but prone to extreme faction fights and Murphy can't afford to alienate the Dem leadership, even those who collaborate with Trump/ICE. Maybe in the multi-trillion dollar stimulus package, we could free the detainees and get ICE to keep up the payments. Just a suggestion.

Jim Price

 

Re: "Stay Home and Have the Baby"
 

Courts have disagreed.

Felice Sage
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Yup! They will politicize this.

Wendy R Wolf
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Disgusting. Using a crisis to suppress fundamental rights

Judith Berkan
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Experts Recommend Disinfecting Television After Trump Has Been On

 

By Andy Borowitz
April 7, 2020
The New Yorker

 

Re: Populism of the Left?

(posting on Portside Culture)
 

The difficulties experienced by national populists are unsurprising given they are no friends of the issues at the heart of this crisis: health, welfare and science. On the health front, the crisis reveals the folly of decades of under funding and privatization of the health system. Trump, Johnson and Salvini have embarrassing questions to answer in regard to their record as enemies of public healthcare. Furthermore, the crisis calls for a sea change in economic policy that is at odds with the ideological premises of national populism, which combines chauvinism on the cultural front and ultra-neoliberal policies on the economic front.

Edgar Aracena

 

Re: Plots Against America?: Jim Crow Was Homegrown Fascism
 

Fascism is the attempt, birthed in reactionary politics, to resolve the contradictions of democracy for purposes of preserving elite power against the demands of the masses.

John Dietzel
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: "Cuba's Cancer Hope": Cuba's Revolutionary Cancer Vaccine Builds Bridges Between the Island and the US
 

maybe Cuba will develop the covid19 vaccine.

Galeria Nocturna
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Good documentary. Wish they could join together to work many more things for the sake of global health.

Manuel A. Oliver-Hernandez
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

 


¡Salud! Health!  Sometimes Help Comes From Unexpected Places
Medical Education Cooperation; YES! Magazine
Offset, Circa 2006
Atlanta, GA 47725

 

Center for the Study of Political Graphics
3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Suite 103
Culver City, CA 90230

cspg@politicalgraphics.org

 

Re: More Democracy or Less? Elections in a Pandemic
 

Stealing elections is the only way they have to win

Lennis Longo
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

Is not a matter of more or less democracy is only to decide when . The best prevention we can do is to stay home . The elections could be later.

Luis Ramos
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

     =====

I can't believe the Supreme Court said Wisconsin voters must vote today! The ballot must have today's date on it! We are in a pandemic - should voters risk their lives. This is a corrupt and inhumane way to control a voting outcome!

Vivian Kreutzjans
Posted on Portside's Facebook page

 

Re: Humanity's Origin Story Just Got More Complicated, and Fascinating
 

The fundamental problem here is defining these interbreeding groups of hominids as different species.  Species by definition are closed genetic pools that can't interbreed with others to produce viable offspring, so these interbreeding groups are by definition members of the same species. Otherwise this is pretty good.

Stan Nadel

 

Which types of COVID-19 relief count as income for health insurance program eligibility? (UC Berkeley Labor Center)
 

 

UPDATED WITH INFORMATION FOR COVID-19 POLICIES

As millions of workers lose their job-based health coverage as a result of losing their jobs or working fewer hours during the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, many will be eligible for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage with financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act. 

Since 2013, the Labor Center has provided a tool to help people understand how income is defined for the purposes of determining eligibility for income-based Medicaid and subsidized insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplaces. 

This tool has been updated to provide information about which common benefits or sources of assistance provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as recovery rebates, unemployment insurance, and paid leave, are included when calculating income for purposes of determining health insurance program eligibility.

View the new MAGI fact sheet

UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment
2521 Channing Way # 5555
Berkeley, CA 94720

Phone: (510) 642-0323
Fax: (510) 642-6432
Email: laborcenter@berkeley.edu

 

"Pandemic Nation," a New Podcast About Coronavirus in America (Capital & Main)
 

Pandemic Nation,” a new podcast featuring interviews with frontline workers who are exposing themselves to a potentially fatal disease in order to serve and protect others. Produced by Capital & Main, the podcast will share the stories of everyone from nurses to home health care workers to janitors and supermarket clerks, and will also include a roundup of late-breaking news about COVID-19 and its effects on society’s most vulnerable populations.

Hosted by veteran health reporter and author Mark Kreidler, “Pandemic Nation” offers a podcast companion to Kreidler's Capital & Main column of the same name, which is co-published by Fast Company.

Today’s launch features an interview with Monique Hernandez, a charge nurse who discusses the shocking lack of personal protective equipment at her California hospital and how it undermines the work of doctors and nurses in caring for patients while endangering critical health workers and their families.

We hope you will listen and share.            

Steven Mikulan

Editor-in-Chief, Capital & Main

Capital & Main
1910 W Sunset Blvd.
Suite 740
Los Angeles, California 90026

 

Covid-19 Continues to Ravage the Health and Livelihoods of Garment Workers (Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum)
 


 

The global Covid-19 pandemic continues to grow and spread. Half of the world’s population is under some form of lock-down or movement restriction in order to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. Garment workers in global supply chains, who already grapple with poverty wages and precarious living situations, face increasing insecurity as factories close in response to steep drops in orders and as governments shut down manufacturing to protect public health.

Garment workers have been hit by each of the three waves of this pandemic. First, when China identified Covid-19 in its population, the country largely stopped exporting raw materials needed for garment production. As a result, many factories in South and Southeast Asia closed temporarily and sent workers home, often without notice or wages. The next wave hit as the virus arrived in Europe and the United States. Apparel companies cancelled in-progress orders without payment, and many stopped placing future orders. Supplier factories, which operate on thin margins due to the low prices paid by apparel brands, were forced once again to close and send workers home without pay. The latest wave is still crashing, as the novel coronavirus spreads in these countries. Some countries have closed garment production facilities as a precautionary measure – once again sending workers home without pay. Others have remained open, despite the significant health risk to workers in densely-packed factories.

Two recent papers by Worker Rights Consortium, the Penn State Center for Global Workers’ Rights and Clean Clothes Campaign, “Who will bail out the workers that make our clothes?” and “Abandoned? The Impact of Covid-19 on Workers and Businesses at the Bottom of Global Supply Chains,” highlighted the root causes behind the catastrophic effects of Covid-19 on supply chains. The extreme interconnection and unequal balance of power in supply chains caused brands and retailers to offload the consequences of declining demand for fashion on their suppliers. Apparel companies only pay upon delivery – with factories fronting costs for factories and labour – and have the power in the supply chain to enforce a decision not to pay if it means de facto breach of contract. This means factory owners around the world are left strapped for money to pay their workers’ wages, even for March and even less so for months to come in which no orders might come in at all. In the vast majority of garment producing countries, social protection mechanisms such as health insurance, unemployment insurance or guarantee funds in case of insolvency are absent or insufficient, partly due to decades of downward pressure on the prices paid for garments. Years of failure to take meaningful action on wages have left workers with no savings.

Continue reading here

International Labor Rights Forum
1634 I St NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006

Tel: (202) 347-4100
Fax: (202) 347-4885

The International Office of the Clean Clothes Campaign is based in the Netherlands.

Contact: info@cleanclothes.org

Postbus 11584
1001 GN Amsterdam
the Netherlands
Phone: +31-20-412-27-85
Fax: +31-20-412-27-86

 

Rethinking Immigration - Webinar - May 1 (CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies)
 

Please register for the live webcast of the RETHINKING IMMIGRATION conference, brought to you by the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies.  The event will be held exclusively ONLINE.  

U.S. immigration policy is a longstanding political flashpoint, one that may be further inflamed by the coronavirus crisis.  The RETHINKING IMMIGRATION web conference will feature movement leaders, academics, and policy experts who will discuss the roots of the crisis we face, progressive immigration policy goals, and strategies to achieve those goals.  

The live-streamed conference includes four plenary sessions.  The first three cover:

(a)  Historical perspectives on U.S. immigration, the economic impact of immigration, and the current nativist backlash.

(b)  Visions of a progressive immigration policy:  remediating the damage incurred under the Trump administration and looking forward to a path to legalization for the undocumented, as well as longer-term policies for border enforcement, family reunification, worker rights and future flow.

(c) Strategies for change, including organizing, coalition-building, framing and communicating progressive policy ideas to policymakers and the public.

These daytime plenary sessions are followed by a live webcast of a Town Hall with immigrant rights movement leaders in the evening.
 

Participating in the Conference:

ADVANCE REGISTRATION  

The live-streamed conference is free of charge and open to the public.  Please register here.
 

"Immigration Policy and Nativist Backlash, Past and Present"

Friday, May 1, 2020, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Speakers

"Visions of a Progressive Immigration Policy"

Friday, May 1, 2020, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Speakers

"Politics, Power and Strategy: The Path Forward"

Friday, May 1, 2020, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Speakers

"Town Hall with Immigrant Rights Movement Leaders"

Friday, May 1, 2020, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Speakers

 

 

Today in History  -  Paul Robeson was born April 9, 1898

Paul Robeson: the singer who fought for justice and paid with his life

By Nicole Steinke
June 7, 2013
ABC Radio National (Sydney, Australia)

The incredible story the legendary bass-baritone Paul Robeson begins with worldwide success, and a bold gambit to end racism in America and abroad. It ends with government persecution and, depending who you believe, depression triggered by drugs secretly administered under the CIA's MKUltra program. Nicole Steinke explores the life of an extraordinary entertainer, larger than life in size, voice and deeds.

He was the man the US government tried to erase from history. From the 1920s through the early 1960s legendary bass-baritone Paul Robeson was a musical giant on the world stage but from the late 1940s he was almost unknown within his own country. Part folk hero, part star of stage and screen, Big Paul became famous at a time when segregation was legal in the United States and black people couldn't get a meal in a New York cafe, let alone walk safely in the south, where lynching was not a crime.

Born in 1898, Robeson was a 6'3" black man in a world where most people were 5'4" and most white Americans were afraid of blacks. Despite the everyday racism of the society he lived in, he was renowned for his charismatic warmth, as well as the rare beauty of his voice. It was a voice that people could feel resonating inside them and the intensely personal connection that deep sound made with an audience allowed Robeson to cross racial boundaries and be both loved and respected as a performer.

He used his music to bring Negro spirituals to public attention and through them the traditional folk culture of his people. Big Paul’s father was an escaped slave who put himself through university and became a minister. By taking the spirituals to the concert stages of the world Big Paul was signalling that they were of equal value to any other musical form.

Read more here.
 


Paul Robeson leading shipyard workers in singing the Star Spangled Banner, Oakland, CA, September 1942
Credit: National Archives