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Gender: Male
Hometown: Maryland
Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2003, 11:39 PM
Number of posts: 68,237

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When black death goes viral, it can trigger PTSD-like trauma

Zerlina Maxwell ‏@ZerlinaMaxwell 19h19 hours ago
When black death goes viral, it can trigger PTSD-like trauma http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/black-pain-gone-viral-racism-graphic-videos-can-create-ptsd-like-trauma/#.V5ZDvzmfOGA.twitter

____Escaping the imagery can be nearly impossible, especially as online users post commentary and news updates. For some, it can merely be a nuisance. But research suggests that for people of color, frequent exposure to the shootings of black people can have long-term mental health effects. According to Monnica Williams, clinical psychologist and director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities at the University of Louisville, graphic videos (which she calls vicarious trauma) combined with lived experiences of racism, can create severe psychological problems reminiscent of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

“There’s a heightened sense of fear and anxiety when you feel like you can’t trust the people who’ve been put in charge to keep you safe. Instead, you see them killing people who look like you,” she says. “Combined with the everyday instances of racism, like microaggressions and discrimination, that contributes to a sense of alienation and isolation. It’s race-based trauma.”

A 2012 study found that black Americans reported experiencing discrimination at significantly higher rates than any other ethnic minority. The study, which surveyed thousands of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans, also found that blacks who perceived discrimination the most, were more likely to report symptoms of PTSD. Although African-Americans have a lower risk for many anxiety disorders, the study reported a PTSD prevalence rate of 9.1 percent in blacks, compared to 6.8 percent in whites, 5.9 percent in Hispanics, and 1.8 percent in Asians.

Social media and viral videos can worsen the effects. During the week of Sterling’s and Castile’s deaths, a scroll through timelines of black social media users could uncover subtle expressions of mental and psychological anguish, from pleas for others not the share these videos, to declarations of a social media hiatus. Williams says that’s not unusual. These expressions of anger, sadness and grief can hint at something much more serious.

“It’s upsetting and stressful for people of color to see these events unfolding,” she says. “It can lead to depression, substance abuse and, in some cases, psychosis. Very often, it can contribute to health problems that are already common among African-Americans such as high blood pressure.”

read more: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/black-pain-gone-viral-racism-graphic-videos-can-create-ptsd-like-trauma/#.V5ZDvzmfOGA.twitter

...found this to be disturbingly true a few years back which led me to seek help and completely remove myself from contact with the media (including DU) in order to recover. I couldn't understand what was happening, at first, but it became disturbingly clear that my nearly daily focus on issues relating to black killings were leading me into a declining mental state; things like weeping uncontrollably and uncharacteristically quick to anger.

It was weird to me, at the time, never having experienced anything of the sort, but more understandable now that I've been more self-protective when accessing and viewing media on the net.

Michelle: "We lean on each other...we are always stronger together."

...just got home from work and listened to Michelle's speech again.

I'd highly recommend giving her speech a listen (or two, or three). I daresay, it will be some time (hopefully not another eternity) before we find such important truths spoken from that elevation; truths spoken from a perspective of a newly realized, newly actualized personal empowerment which will undoubtedly resonate throughout generations to come.

I don't think it's an accident that the revival of black political power the Obama presidency has ushered in has been met by a concerted and desperate campaign by the right-wing to demonize, denigrate, and disenfranchise black Americans who may now recognize a personal stake in our democracy, energized and inspired by Michelle's husband's historic achievement.

The unity of purpose which put Barack Obama in the position of power and influence is still alive in Hillary's historic campaign, buttressed by her own brand of inspiration, which will undoubtedly influence and inspire millions more to believe in the power of our democracy to advance their own ideals and ambitions into action.

Our primary and this nomination is an affirmation of the message the Obama coalition of voters brought to our nation that we are stronger when we act together, both politically and socially. All of the attempts to divide us can be effectively brushed aside if we can remember where we stood eight years ago; where we stand right now; together.

Thank you Michelle, for reminding us. May we never forget these inspirational days as we work to build on this dynamic presidency, together.


Trust and Accountability

I've read several articles and posts asking for 'solutions' and suggestions on ways to address the issue of 'white privilege' in America. These are certainly important questions worthy of consideration and debate. I hesitate to express even small criticisms of characterizations of what white privilege means - most often with these definitions coming from white individuals, which isn't something I feel is damning or seriously inappropriate.

That said, I do feel it's much more important to listen to the expressions of non-white individuals who feel subject to negative aspects and consequences of disparities in treatment, opportunity, or other realities of our existence in society.

Of course, while correctly pointing to the sometimes condescending or subjugating attitudes of some white people toward black individuals, it should be remembered that there are also stereotypes made and perpetuated against white Americans. The difference, of course, is the consequences in a majority white society in which black people are regularly discriminated against, judged, repressed, or attacked in a disproportionate measure by many in that white majority. Still, we should refrain from assuming these patronizing and subservient attitudes are universal and inherent in all white individuals; just as it's imperative to refrain from stereotyping black individuals.

Many black Americans, myself included, grapple with the way racism is so ingrained in all of our everyday insecurities about ourselves and others; and how its almost impossible for black Americans today to put aside those insecurities when so many perceptions of us and so many actions and attitudes of us are still so negatively skewed in ways which allow whites opportunities to define black lives outside of the boundaries of opportunity, acceptance, and understanding that they afford their own.

I had the opportunity to illustrate this to a former white soldier who had experienced verbal abuse upon his return home. He regularly characterized blacks who had run afoul of the law as 'thugs' and 'criminals' and I asked him to put himself in their place by questioning whether he thought he had served honorably and was a good soldier.
When he replied in the affirmative, I pointed out that he was able to remove his uniform and avoid the stereotyping that had motivated the people castigating him for his service; but that blacks had no way of removing their 'uniform' or changing the color of their skin which compels so many to associate them with the worst our society has historically labeled our race with.

Point is, we need to avoid entering into interactions with each other assuming the worst of what we believe or assume about each other. It's, perhaps, naive and disarming, but that's the only way we'll be able to move beyond these barriers of perception; on either side of the racial divide. Easier said, then done, I know - but, we can all do our part to push past these artificial and contrived images of ourselves. Our national history has affirmed this possibility. There's no reason at all to second-guess ourselves or become overly cynical about our respective intentions now.

What I'd really like to express here is that it's not reasonable to expect black Americans to respond to acts of racism directed toward them - or to racism directed toward other black Americans which has been highlighted recently with the increased profile of disproportionate killings of black individuals at the hands of white law enforcement officers - solely with an analytical focus on solutions; solutions like engendering trust between police and our community. It just seems, to me, strange to expect that black Americans would be able to generate attitudes like trust, acceptance, understanding, or respect in white individuals harboring the worst of instincts, beliefs, or fears toward their black counterparts.

We are, after all, imbued with as much personal pride and self-respect as the next person. We don't necessarily regard ourselves as subservient to anyone else's prerogative or initiative in every interaction. We should expect that we would be treated equitably in our interactions with others, in our interactions with authorities. It's perfectly understandable that we would act defensively when we are not, and we all know that defensiveness isn't always rational or accommodating.

I watched and listened a good while back as the highest official in the country, a black man, responded to the Eric Garner decision against prosecution of the officer involved by raising concerns over 'trust.' Trust in our justice system; trust in police practices; is such a remote and unlikely possibility to me right now that I'm almost ready to just tune the those sentiments out from any public official or officer who purports to speak down to me about trust from their positions of authority and influence.

Yet, there was something refreshingly direct in President Obama's statement which, perhaps, wasn't made as clear in the snippets offered along with news reports of the non-indictment of the cop filmed committing what was ruled a homicide, a murder of Eric Garner, by the city coroner. There was something in his statement which finally connected with my own thoughts and determination. The president used the word, "accountability," to buttress his concern about Americans "being treated equally under the law."

"I'm absolutely committed as president of the United States to making sure that we have a country in which everyone believes in the core principle that we are equal under the law," President Obama said at the White House Tribal Nations Conference.

"We are not going to let up until we see a strengthening of the trust and a strengthening of the accountability that exists between our communities and our law enforcement," he continued.

"When anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law, that's a problem. It's incumbent on all of us as Americans ...that we recognize that this is an American problem and not just a black problem. It is an American problem when anybody in this country is not being treated equally under the law."

That sentiment, so eloquently expressed, I believe, is directly on point. To me, there is nothing short of accountability from these police officers and police departments which will assuage my concern and commitment. I don't see any way that 'trust' will ever be achieved without a clear avenue for accountability, both within the institutions and from our courts. Standards, training, and even cameras on officers are essentially meaningless without accountability for the actions of these officers and officials of the law. In the case of Eric Garner, for instance, strangleholds were already against police policy, and it's clear that filming the killing did little to effect accountability and justice for the assailant.

Moreover, there really isn't any provision of law which mandates 'trust' - or even understanding, or respect for each other - as a condition of our rights to equal treatment under the law. Those are certainly fine aspirations, but our rights are inherent in the Constitution which (improbably, at the time of its inception) asserts that we are all created equal. That's where our rights are drawn from, not from any expectation that we love or respect each other before they are administered fairly.

The only way to ensure proper management of departments and policy is for individuals employed to 'protect and serve' to fear for their own liberty or job security if they violate provisions or laws in their duties. There's far too much comfort in these police departments and impunity in the actions of their officers, creating an authoritarian atmosphere where officers feel safe in using excessive force without repercussions or serious rebuke.

That effort is going to require individuals in positions of power who respect those rights and who are committed to enforcing them. There's really nothing less which will bring about the changes many want to see in the disposition of these rights. The law is where our protests and demands originate and reside; the rest of those aspirations should flow from that demonstrated understanding of equal treatment in any legal reprimand from police or adjudication in court. We begin with our demands and exercise every instigation of democracy (and civil disobedience) to achieve them.

I also believe we're long past the point where blacks need to prove their worth to anyone to expect equal justice under the law. We need to force the system to adhere to justice, to respect our rights, no quarter. That effort isn't always going to be rational, accommodating, or solution based. We're only human, and there are consequences which can arise from angering a people or backing them into a corner. I don't expect the black community to stand still or just genuflect in the face of oppression. If the white community is uncomfortable with that, perhaps it's time to consider how they're going to modify the ways they interact with the black community. If not, perhaps they'd better buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

Parade in a Small Town

I put together a small gif slideshow of 5 pics from a homecoming parade in a sleepy Charleston, W.Va. that my father participated in sometime at the later end of the 40's. It's a 'snapshot' in time, a window into a not-so-distant past. I think the mix of races in the crowd is fascinating.

My father's in one of the closer pics grinning at the camera. He retired from the Army when he got back from New Guinea after WW2 ended. He told me that on the way home after being shipped back to the base out West, he had to change train cars on the rest of the way back home to Pennsylvania from the integrated train to the 'colored' rail line when they reached the segregated towns.

This parade and the obviously interested crowd is also notable for the young folks who witnessed this fascinating and pretty unique (for the time) unit of black soldiers. I've always named the one photo with the single soldier strutting out in front 'Proud Soldier' for the one fellow's sense of pride and the apparent appreciation shown by the mix of residents of the town looking on . . .

We have a Fourth of July parade down our circular street every year. It's a bit of hometown magic - not large by any standard, but probably the nicest thing about this town.

Most of the adults start drinking first thing in the morning and there's a softball game later on in the afternoon with the two adjoining streets competing against each other.

Here's two short vids on facebook of the parade from a couple years back (I swear it looked just the same today, except for the clouds and impending rain) :



Happy July 4th, everyone!

Oh, Wobegone

Well, that was it for Garrison Keillor as host of Prairie Home Companion. He had his last show yesterday, but I waited for the Sunday morning rebroadcast so I could sit outside one last time and listen to the sounds of his hometown chatter and song mingle once again with nature. I got lost one last time, drifting deep into my own thoughts, recalling narratives from my own life as I listened to Garrison's storytelling.

I guess I'm past the denial stage... I'll download the all-too-brief last telling of the News from Lake Wobegon later, I suppose, and listen to it with my wife at some quiet time. Maybe even play a couple of the sad goodbye songs from songstress Heather Massey, before and after.

But, man, what a bittersweet show. President Obama actually phoned in, to my delight, recalling how the show kept him company on long drives around the country. I suspect that was the case for many of us. Garrison's show was a fantastic companion, wherever you happened to be at the time.

"How does it feel?" fellow cast member Tim Russell asked Keillor.

"Well, it's the first last show I've ever done, so I don't know how it's supposed to feel," Keillor answered.

"Radio was an accident. It was never my ambition. My ambition was the circus. And that's what I'm going to be doing starting Monday."

"How does it feel?"

Garrison suffered another seizure this year, so I am certainly wishing him well and hoping he can find some healing time away from work and closer to his family. I wrote about this moment a while back. Like the hopelessly vain, hopefully read writer that I am, I'm sharing it out again, one last time...

Wobegone Is Me

IT'S entirely possible I'll never recover from this. My world just cracked wide open and it's guts are oozing out into the universe, never to be repaired; never to be put back together again.

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating (maybe not). I just now gathered up the strength to read the details behind the impending, announced exit from the stage of my wizard of the weekend; my Saturday evening/Sunday morning sage and muse; Garrison Keillor. It looks like he really means to retire this time and I'm just not ready for this. Wobegon is me.

Like everything good under the sun in my life which has faded out of being just as I come to it - things which existed for eons and eons and enjoyed by millions before I happened upon them, and then folded before I got my fair share - Prairie Home Companion will now go the way of the dodo; relegated to an archive or a crackly old recording someplace where sad, aging hipsters like me go to relive the glory days of our relative youth.

I'm 54 now, fast approaching 55. I'm just starting to feel old, mainly when I wake up and catch a glimpse of my gray, balding image in the bathroom mirror and glance downward to the sagging and wrinkled frame that still carries on like it's made of steel. I officially reached the outer limit of middle-age this week after an hour-long discussion over the phone with a childhood friend about his surgery for diverticulitis and the travails of his struggles and bout with his colostomy bag. That's it, it's all downhill from here.

I didn't catch up with Garrison Keillor until the late-eighties, well into his career. I was hiking around the woods, looking for a perfect spot to sit and smoke a bit of weed. I found a place by an opportunistic pond created by a rain-swollen little creek and pulled out my trusty transistor radio (yes, transistor radio), turned it on and scouted the stations toward the far left side of the FM dial which promised some natural musicality to mingle with the ambiance of my woodland refuge. I wasn't disappointed.

I came upon a faint, lilting country ballad of the likes I'd listened to the public radio DJ, Lee Michael Demsey, play for years on WAMU as I rode the world around noon atop Sugarloaf Mountain on the outskirts of my D.C. suburban town. I dutifully lit up a bowl and settled back to watch a frog unimpressed by my presence there hop around on the mucky bank, and stretched my gaze upward to gauge the reaction of the birds listening in the trees to the mandolin, banjo, and guitar compete with their orchestrated cacophony in the canopy above.

The music ended and a there came voice from the radio as familiar as it was unknown to me plying itself against the gentle applause from the live audience. The music, the audience, and then the gentle, but deep, baritone of Keillor was an instant source of joy to me which has never waned or grown stale. I listened to the rest of the show, ensconced there, crouched down in the trusty woods and was treated to my first introduction to Lake Wobegon; a magical, farcical town where the 'women were strong, the men good-looking, and the children were above average.'

An instant convert; a self-appointed resident; I never really left that mythical town of his. Through season after season; through repeats waiting it out with extreme anxiety through the days of his stroke in 2009; through every description of the changing seasons in that little town he narrated faithfully to us every weekend; I've wandered through the literary recesses of my own storied mind as I related every humorous and touching tale of the imaginary residents of Wobegone to the ideal of my life and times.

I can be found outside watching the sun set in the summer, listening in on my new transistor radio; watching the plants emerge in the spring; by the window in the glowing light of fall; or on a snowy winter's morning well before any of the sleepy household relinquishes their slumber; listening to the quiet, engaging sounds of Garrison Keillor's gift of a show and measuring my days until the next weekend's getaway into his familiar, comforting repertoire.

On one memorable show, he spoke at length about the day Buddy Holly and other musical greats went down in the plane crash and his spontaneous road-trip that day, after hearing the news, to the site of the plane crash. Interspersed with his singing a few verses of Holly's, he told of reaching the crash site and scouting through the woods and finding a broken piece of a guitar sticking up in the snow. It was an improbable tale (almost certainly a fantastical one) which ended in Keillor leading his audience in softly singing the refrain from American Pie...

They were singin'

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
Them good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey 'n' rye
Singin' this will be the day that I die.

That's Keillor - a compelling mix of the improbable and the believable - not to mention his faithfulness to the Democratic liberal ideal expressed with his wry outlook on the political scene and his faithful reinforcement of our progressive values of community and humanity as he gently prods the demagogues with his own tongue-in-cheek commentary; sometimes brutally direct, sometimes tellingly obtuse.

I have another year, I know. In July 2016, he will host his last show. I'll have one more Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer to measure my aging life against his aged radio show. So, good times...and then life carries on in its own interminable way.

Old Year! upon the Stage of Time
You stand to bow your last adieu;
A moment, and the prompter’s chime
Will ring the curtain down on you.
Your mien is sad, your step is slow;
You falter as a Sage in pain;
Yet turn, Old Year, before you go,
And face your audience again.

(-Robert W. Service, 1874 - 1958)


Sanders' hypocrisy wanting establishment to choose him over the candidate w/more votes & delegates

...is absolutely stunning. The illogic just berns.

Here, he's railing against the fact that the majority of supers have lined up behind Hillary. Sanders first admits he's behind in earned delegates, the appears to argue for some sort of proportional allocation of superdelegates...

Sanders Sunday w/Jake Tapper:

“If I have 46 percent, she has 54 percent. The point that I was making is there’s something absurd when I get 46 percent of the delegates that come from real contests — real elections, and 7 percent of the super delegates.”

Is he arguing for proportional representation of supers, or not? Tapper tries to pin him down:

“Should we assume that means that you believe the candidate who has the majority of pledged delegates by the end of this process should be the nominee?” the CNN host wondered.

No way Sanders was going for that, after all, what he just argued for basically conceded the primary to Hillary. Instead, he shifted to his amazingly hypocritical argument that the establishment supers he's all but called corrupt should back his candidacy, even though he's certain to trail Hillary in earned delegates and votes...

“I understand that it’s an uphill fight to go from 46 percent where we are today to 50 percent in the nine remaining contests, I got that,” Sanders admitted, adding that super delegates should take an “objective look at which candidate is stronger.”

Tapper, however, explained that Clinton “has more votes than you and she has more pledged delegates than you.”

“The question is just a simple, yes or no,” Tapper said. “Should the person with the most pledged delegates be the Democratic nominee?”

“I’m not a fan of super delegates, but their job is to take an objective look at reality,” Sanders opined. “So, we’ll see what happens.”

Here's the thing, expecting party pols, basically the folks he's spent this campaign attacking as establishment insiders, to overturn the will of voters in our primary, isn't revolutionary, progressive, or any other heroic label he and his supporters choose for their campaign. It is an anathema to democracy, it's a kick in the teeth to the people his 'people's revolution' claims to represent and support.

It's based, unbelievably, on the view that polling should take precedence over actual votes. It's stunning in its cynical expectation that there's some sizable contingent of superdelegates willing to leapfrog democracy and advance the losing candidate.

I can't help think about what reaction the Sanders campaign would have if the results of the primary had been reversed. Not just things like their reaction if the more diverse regions and states had supported him over Hillary, but their reaction if Hillary had made a public campaign out of seeking party insiders to overturn those results.

You don't get a pass for an anti-democratic campaign just because you label yourselves as a movement. The only movement which should be given precedence is the movement of those who actually show up at the voting booth. That's where Sanders' revolution against our party has been tested, and that's where it's failed.

Not at rallies with Sanders preaching from the podium; not outside campaign events where partisans shout obscenities at rivals for supporting a different Democrat in this race; not on the internet where invectives and strident rhetoric is substituted for substantive debate; not out of hate and threats made over the phone; but in the voting booth.

I don't think it's too much to expect Sanders and his supporters to know the difference.

Why a 'revolution' against the Democratic 'establishment' is abhorrent to me

I'm in what I think is a unique position in my life (to many other younger folks), where I've been subject to a government which did not fully recognize or defend my rights or my citizenship as a black American.

Moreover, I've lived through a time where there was scant representation in our national government of black legislators, and the product of our government reflected that dearth of diversity. I still recall the mere handful of blacks I found in Congress when I first explored the Capitol as a young adult. I remember seeing the tall head of Rep. Ron Dellums, ever present on the House floor, and imagining that there were many more like him in the wings. It wasn't until 1990, though, that we actually saw a significant influx of minorities elected to Congress, enabled by the 1990 census Democrats fought to reform and manage (along with their fight for an extension of the Voting Rights Act which Bush I vetoed five times before trading his signature for votes for Clarance Thomas) which allowed court-ordered redistricting to double the number of districts with black majorities.

Now, in my 50's, I'm living through a time where there is not only a steady influx of blacks elected to the House, but also a smattering of legislators elected to the Senate. Of course, there's the two-term presidency of Barack Obama to measure the distance our nation has traveled from the passage of the Voting Rights Act, to the nomination and election of our first black occupant of the White House.

I raise these points to try and get folks to understand how much effort and struggle it took to get the leaders of our black constituencies in place in government - in positions where they could actually make a difference in the debates and deliberations which, only a few decades ago, excluded them from even being considered in allocations, benefits, protections, assistance, opportunity, and other vestiges of citizenship which had been denied to individuals in our communities.

If you could only see through my eyes just how absurd the notion of a political revolution against the Democratic establishment looks in the wake of a largely successful presidency which has only been limited in it's progressive accomplishments by an entrenched and obstructive republican majority.

I'm not a big fan of the process of government in our national legislature. It's an institutionally cumbersome process which too often dwells on the lowest common denominator. Still, you have to understand, I'm not feeling the glory and liberation of unsettling legislators who have overcome historical obstacles, as well as institutional ones (such as redistricting and gerrymandering) to gain a seat at the political table. From my perspective, we've barely just arrived, and some who profess to having 'progressive' interests want to show them the door.

I get that I'm exaggerating, but who has the luxury to be sanguine about supposed 'movements' which not only threaten legislators over daring to support another candidate for president, but denigrate the voters (South) who enable them into office with their votes? I don't have that luxury, and I reason that others in my community do not, either.

I know there are people who will come back to me about the primacy of issues over the color of a legislator. Sanders, himself, said pretty much that in an early interview. Although, he declared in another contradictory instance, that our party's problem was it's inability to appeal to white men. 'Wooing white males,' it was called in my day.

Moreover, Sanders has argued throughout the primary that progressive economics is a panacea for what ails the black community which is disproportionately disadvantaged by poverty, unemployment, and a crumbling infrastructure. Yet, there is much for our community to be wary of in that assessment of his. A rising economic tide certainly raises many boats, but it can just as certainly drown those unable to float on their own.

Democratic socialism isn't something which provides consideration for the unique problems faced by black Americans, many of which can be laid at the doorstep of discrimination. A higher minimum wage, for instance, is no good to someone denied employment or advancement.

Much has been written about Sanders' economics and its parallel to FDR's New Deal. Sen. Sanders and his supporters can confidently point to the legacy of Roosevelt in establishing a social safety net as they promote their candidate's own populist agenda - clearly influenced by a proud and thoughtful Socialist legacy - many facets of which, as he noted in a speech explaining his invented political moniker, are currently being practiced by successful, progressive economies around the world.

Yet, it should be remembered that FDR left a whole host of productive and worthy Americans out of his grand bargain... from wiki:

The New Deal programs put millions of Americans immediately back to work or at least helped them to survive. The programs were not specifically targeted to alleviate the much higher unemployment rate of blacks. Some aspects of the programs were even unfavorable to blacks. The Agricultural Adjustment Acts for example helped farmers which were predominantly white but reduced the need of farmers to hire tenant farmers or sharecroppers which were predominantely black... Some New Deal measures inadvertently discriminated against harmed blacks. Thousands of blacks were thrown out of work and replaced by whites on jobs where they were paid less than the NRA's wage minimums because some white employers considered the NRA's minimum wage "too much money for Negroes." By August 1933, blacks called the NRA the "Negro Removal Act."An NRA study found that the NIRA put 500,000 African Americans out of work...

And women were initially left out of the bargain as well...

At first the New Deal created programs primarily for men. It was assumed that the husband was the "breadwinner" (the provider) and if they had jobs, whole families would benefit. It was the social norm for women to give up jobs when they married; in many states there were laws that prevented both husband and wife holding regular jobs with the government. So too in the relief world, it was rare for both husband and wife to have a relief job on FERA or the WPA.[209] This prevailing social norm of the breadwinner failed to take into account the numerous households headed by women, but it soon became clear that the government needed to help women as well.

FDR's Social Security Act had similar exclusivity for white men... from wiki:

____ Most women and minorities were excluded from its benefits of unemployment insurance and old age pensions. Employment definitions reflected typical white male categories and patterns.

Job categories that were not covered by the act included workers in agricultural labor, domestic service, government employees, and many teachers, nurses, hospital employees, librarians, and social workers. The act also denied coverage to individuals who worked intermittently.

These jobs were dominated by women and minorities. For example, women made up 90% of domestic labor in 1940 and two-thirds of all employed black women were in domestic service. Exclusions exempted nearly half the working population.

Nearly two-thirds of all African Americans in the labor force, 70 to 80% in some areas in the South, and just over half of all women employed were not covered by Social Security. At the time, the NAACP protested the Social Security Act, describing it as “a sieve with holes just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through.”

It bears reminding that most legislative progress has been historically incremental (and progressively evolving), even with passage of sweeping initiatives. There's certainly much to be desired and demanded from our political process, but progressive change requires coalition-building, not tearing at the fabric of our party that many vulnerable and politically precarious Democratic communities are counting on to represent them. For many of these legislators (most minority legislators are in the House), they are, essentially, the voices of their communities or districts - voices unique to these communities and desperately needed.

We wage revolution against enemies, not allies. If we are to be successful in effecting progressive change, we'll need to build and repair bridges of support within our party as we continue to press for action. That's how change happens. There's no shortcut to be found by dividing our ranks. Let's make it happen.

Where's the Revolution?

Zeke Miller @ZekeJMiller
Tad Devine on the Democratic race:
"It is not a matter of delegate arithmetic"

Only4RM ‏@Only4RM
#Recap It's NOT:
1) States
2) Pledged delegates
3) Superdelegates
4) Popular vote
#WTF is it then, @BernieSanders?

"WTF is it then?" indeed. More precisely, where's the revolution?

Of course, there never really was a real people's revolution, and, maybe labeling the Sanders campaign as one is a bit of opportunistic politics on either side. The entire notion of a decades-long D.C political figure waging a broad brush revolution against the political establishment he's still part and parcel of is an absurdity in the still-ebbing wake of a successful, two-term Democratic presidency.

In fact, the campaign of this newly declared Democrat - who kept the party at arms length throughout his legislative career until he decided he needed our coalition for 'media coverage' for his presidential run - has focused his revolution almost exclusively in this primary against any Democratic figure or institution who dares associate themselves with his rival. The entire campaign has devolved into an anti-Hillary endeavor which appears to be more about electing him at this stage than anything substantive.

What are we to make of the mere handful of Sen. Sanders' peers who have stepped forward to endorse his candidacy? The dearth in support from Congress is amplified by the spectacle of all but a couple of members of the 'Progressive Caucus' he founded when he was a congressman backing his opponent.

What are the American people to make of a campaign which promised a revolution of support, yet, halfway through the primary have seen a sizable majority of the voters who are a legacy of the Obama coalition rally to his rival? How does a campaign which is so far behind in votes and delegates earned get to claim that it's a 'movement?'

With a lot of damn hubris, is how. Here in this forum, the Sanders campaign is presented as some heroic deed; the final chance to save our party from itself. Yet, Sanders campaign and supporters have far overestimated the appetite of Democrats to eat their own in an aftermath of their divide and conquer campaign which has left an astounding number of Democratic and progressive icons by the wayside.

As the campaign, and eventually the candidate himself, put aside Sanders' expressed objections to personal attacks against his Democratic rival, they are left with very little comity available for a rival who's seen republican smears co-opted by Sanders defenders to suit their increasingly cynical campaign.

What a rising majority of our party's voters are actually saying by choosing Hillary Clinton, is they don't see a need to tear down the structure of our Democratic coalition, but have expressed their desire to continue and build upon the gains made in the past 7 years under Barack Obama.

The candidate who emerges victorious at the end of our primary is the person with the legitimate claim to any 'movement' of voters. No amount of the projection that's occurring here and elsewhere from Sanders supporters toward Hillary can diminish the hopes and desires of those who've rallied to her campaign.

The values and principles they hold are not defined by whatever the opposition is projecting on their rival. They are no less 'heroic' than anyone else investing their resources and dreams into this campaign which presents an especially historic prospect in the election of the first-ever woman nominee for president, as well as the potential advancement of the maverick candidate from Vermont. Supporters of Hillary should be proud of their candidate, and themselves, as well, for committing to the election of this historic choice.

Black and Latino voters should also take pride in their efforts in providing wide majorities of votes in several states which have buoyed Hillary's delegate and popular vote to over THREE times Barack Obama's biggest lead at this point in 2008. That's a 2.5 million + vote lead, so far, over Sanders.

Instead of just talking about a revolution, these voters are creating a movement of their own. It's no coincidence that these folks are under direct attack from the republican opposition. They also deserve more recognition than intended by the Sanders' camp's 'low information voter' slurs and the crushed meme of some regional difference in knowledge or support between voters in the North and South.

At some point, the party will need to respond to these voters' interests and concerns, rather than just process angry rhetoric from someone tilting against them who can't rally enough actual voters to his cause to even defeat his Democratic rival.

Anyone concerned about a republican victory has a responsibility to join our Democratic coalition

...when we eventually choose a nominee.

It's not a negotiation, it's a personal responsibility which I'd expect supporters of either candidate to live up to. You're either going to coalesce in the end with your rivals in this primary to defeat the republican nominee, or render yourself irrelevant (or an impediment) to that fight.

Just as importantly, the losers of our primary aren't in much of a position to make the demands I see popping up on this site in exchange for their votes. You don't get to demand fealty to a 'movement' which has failed to gain the support of the majority of voters in our Democratic primary.

In this primary election, Hillary Clinton is racking up a majority of votes from a good representation of the Obama coalition, which, itself represented the closest thing we've experienced in decades to a revolution of voters. The voters who achieve a majority in our primary election deserve to have see their interests take precedence as we move forward to the general election.

For everyone else, their participation will be a compromise, similar to countless of other primary elections where Democrats put aside their differences and united to defeat the republican challenge to all of our ambitions and goals. No one should need to bend over backwards persuade those who actually care about the issues they represent to join in that effort after we deliberate and produce a nominee.

I don't see the Sanders' campaign as 'historic' but it's not because of some difference in values

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people." ― John F. Kennedy

One of the misimpressions of the contest between these two decades-long D.C. political fixtures, expressed by some Sanders supporters, is the characterization of their campaign which has consistently trailed in voter support (both in the polls and at the polls) as a 'movement,' and the Clinton campaign as something inferior, or 'establishment politics.'

The one thing which distinguishes the Clinton support is it's broad base of Democrats, most notably in its attraction to black voters, and Latino voters, as well, in record numbers sometimes exceeding the share Barack Obama received in many contests in 2008.

In fact, the Clinton support is a mirror of the Obama coalition; more exactly, a legacy of those historic candidacies which, by any measure, was the largest 'movement' of motivated, new voters our party has ever experienced. It's no wonder that these same voters are under direct and daily assault by the leading republican contenders.

I raise that point, because the turnout at the polls hasn't measured up to the standard Bernie Sanders, himself, has set for his definition of a political revolution. Not only is there less of a diverse coalition of support for Sanders than Clinton, there's no evidence of any legislative candidate movement to buttress his expectations of some watershed event in American politics...that is, outside of his election.

That's what the Sanders candidacy represents to me, a 'movement' to elect him. Moreover, it has regressed, in my opinion, into an anti-Hillary campaign, with any and all political figures and institutions associating themselves with her candidacy labeled as 'establishment' and targeted as the embodiment of all political evil; never mind that the Sanders campaign would welcome their endorsement in a heartbeat.

The absurdity is that a President Sanders is running to head the 'establishment,' and is more than probably going to recruit most of the political class from previous administrations to manage government. It's just not that apparent to me that this decades-long national legislator has any more clue how to enact his proposals from outside the dreaded Democratic establishment he's running against, than he did as a Senator.

He's opportunistically kept the party at an arms-length when it suited him politically; and embraced our Democratic mantle when it suited his political ambition to be president; essentially an Opportunistic Democrat without any dependable allegiance to judge where he'll set his political sails in the presidency.

Unless I'm missing something, other candidates have run this close to their rival in a Democratic primary before. The campaign is reduced recently to declaring a 2% point win in MI as 'historic' when Sanders merely achieved 4 more delegates than Clinton in that race.

Meanwhile, down South, Hillary was racking up a whopping 66% point win in MS, driven in large part by Obama 'movement' voters. Tell them someone says their aspirations in this election are somehow different from the Sanders folks. Someone should have the audacity to tell them directly they think these voters' 'values' are somehow less than 'revolutionary' in working to advance this accomplished and dedicated woman to a potentially historic presidency.

I think they'd say that someone has forgotten who we're really fighting against in this election.
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