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Friday
Sep292017

REDEYE 10/11/17

Who wrote U.S. national anthem? A pro-slavery white supremacist
NYT, 9/25 — …The anthem was authored by a white supremacist, Francis Scott Key,…a proponent of African colonization — exporting free blacks back to Africa — and an opponent of the anti-slavery movement….
…The Colonial Marines, a mostly black unit composed primarily of runaway slaves who fought for the British during the War of 1812, on the promise of attaining their freedom….humiliated Key’s own unit in battle. Jason Johnson, a professor of political science at Morgan State University…wrote:…Key “was about as pro-slavery, anti-black and anti-abolitionist as you could get at the time.”
Bosses’ laws excluded Black, Latin workers from government benefits
NYT, 8/13 — …Today’s socio-economic order — the minimum wage…Social Security and even the G.I. Bill — created during and just after the Great Depression conferred enormous benefits on whites while excluding most Southern blacks….
…In the waning days of Jim Crow…public policy….practiced legal segregation….Social Security…excluded maids and farmworkers, the two dominant job categories for Southern blacks and Southwestern Latinos, from the program. This denied benefits to 66 percent of African-Americans across the country, and as much as 89 percent of Southern blacks. It also disproportionately hurt Mexican-Americans….Other New Deal laws…that mandated a 40-hour workweek and a minimum wage…explicitly left out agricultural and domestic workers.
The 1944 G.I. Bill helped white veterans buy homes, attend college, get job training [but] blacks were left out….The law accommodated segregation in higher education….
The National Housing Act of 1934, which insured private mortgages…supported racist covenants and typically denied mortgages to blacks.
This legacy persists. The median household wealth for white families, which consists primarily of equity in housing stands today at $134,230….but for African-American families it is just $11,030.
The [latest] Justice Department’s memo…would once again deploy the power of government and the majesty of law to fortify…the effects of the country’s long history of racial oppression.
College degrees don’t overcome racism & sexism
NYT, 9/20 — Education is supposed to be the…great socioeconomic leveler….[but] Pay gaps between white and black workers have grown since 1979, even after controlling for education….Discrimination is a leading cause. Last year, black college graduates earned about 21 percent less per hour on average than white college graduates; in 1979, the gap was 13 percent….
Last year, white college-educated women made 31 percent less than white college-educated men, while black college-educated women made 38 percent less than white college-educated men….In black families whose head of household had a college degree, median net worth was recently one-eighth that of comparable white families — $23,400 versus $185,500.
U.S.’s toxic Agent Orange shattered lives of thousands of Vietnamese
NYT, 9/18 — Phan Than Hung Duc, 20, lies immobile and silent….his mouth agape and his chest thrust upward, his hands and feet locked in gnarled deformity. He appears to be frozen in agony. He is one of the thousands of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange…. A victim of…the United States military effort during the Vietnam War to deprive the “enemy” of cover and food by spraying defoliants….
…Fifty years ago, in 1967, the United States sprayed 5.1 million gallons of herbicides with toxic chemical dioxin across Vietnam, a single-year record for the decade-long campaign to defoliate the countryside. It was done without regard to dioxin’s effect on human beings or its virulent and long afterlife…American soldiers were among the unintended victims of this decision. Unwarned, they used the empty 55-gallon drums for makeshift showers….
…Records…indicate that both the military and the chemical companies involved were well aware, early on, of the dangers of dioxin….Unconscionable…is the American government’s refusal to acknowledge that Agent Orange has caused the same damage to the Vietnamese as it has to Americans….Only $20 million has been allotted for victims. The…American…excuse is that a definitive connection between Agent Orange and the illnesses has not yet been made. But the evidence is overwhelming: Vietnamese soldiers…with perfectly health children before going to the fight, came home and sired offspring with deformities and horrific illnesses: villages repeatedly sprayed have exceptionally high birth-deformity rates….Given a Vietnamese Red Cross estimate of three million victims, the amount of aid is approximately $12 a year per victim….an inconsequential amount compared to what it cost to produce, transport and deploy the herbicide in the first place. But the legacy of Agent Orange is…about human decency. America created Agent here in a laboratory, shipped it overseas and dumped it with abandon, where it continues to shatter thousands of people’s lives.

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