Tag Archives: Race

How to Pay for a Free, Non-Racist Higher Education

How to Pay for a Free, Non-Racist Higher Education
Corinthian Colleges is going out of business, and other for-profit rip-offs will follow. However, “The very existence of Corinthian, Phoenix, Ashford and the other gangster institutions proves beyond doubt that the vast bulk of the existing U.S. educational establishment is not serving” Black and poor people. Yes, America needs free higher education, but the excluded classes also need a new system that is not hostile to their very presence. Read more

Income Inequity Is a Choice

Income Inequity Is a Choice
As the U.S. celebrates its 238th anniversary this week, during a year in which income inequality reached heights not seen in almost a century, now is as good a time as any to ask whether American democracy and its winner-take-all capitalistic system are compatible or need to part ways. It’s particularly important given the fact that people of color disproportionately suffer the negative consequences of the nation’s economic inequities even ... Read more

What’s the Role of Race in the New Economy Movement?

What’s the Role of Race in the New Economy Movement?
There has been a growing buzz about what kind of economy we need in order to address wealth inequality, environmental unsustainability and lack of democracy. Clearly, many desire something new and dramatically different. Perhaps this buzz around what many supporters call a “New Economy” will grow into a powerful social movement — one that we desperately need to transform the current economy. But whether it does so or not will depend ... Read more

Black Co-ops Were A Method of Economic Survival

Black Co-ops Were A Method of Economic Survival
I have been able to both compile and chronicle the major activities of African Americans in the United States who have been involved in some form of cooperative business development or collective economics. And, why is that important? Because when I first got interested in using cooperative models for community economic development, particularly in Black communities, everywhere I went people kept telling me that black people don’t do co-ops. Read more

No Shortcuts

No Shortcuts
We are living in dire times, and the need to develop a strategy to challenge capitalism, white supremacy, and heteropatriarchy is becoming more and more clear. We must nevertheless avoid the temptation to cobble together an incomplete strategy in a desperate attempt to match the urgency of the moment. The US Left has a unique opportunity to forge a strategy that coheres different parts of our movement and expands our capacities to match the ... Read more

The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics

The Underground Railroad Was One of America’s First Co-ops: A Black History Tour of Cooperative Economics
Cooperative economics and civil rights don't often appear together in history books, but they should. From the mutual aid societies that bought enslaved people's freedom to the underground railroad network that brought endangered blacks to the north, cooperative structures were key to evading white supremacy. And there was vicious backlash when black co-ops threatened the status quo. Read more

Housing and the Construction of the Racial Wealth Gap

Housing and the Construction of the Racial Wealth Gap
Yesterday, apropos of Paul Ryan’s remarks on “inner-city poverty” and a culture that “doesn’t value work,” I wrote about the policy that went into building our inner-cities and depriving whole communities of wealth and opportunity. Likewise, at MSNBC, Ned Resnikoff wrote an excellent piece on the wide income and wealth disparities between blacks and whites. “ In 1984,” he writes, “the white-to-black wealth ratio was 12-to–1…But over the next ... Read more

How Co-ops Helped Produce Foot Soldiers for Civil Rights

How Co-ops Helped Produce Foot Soldiers for Civil Rights
Southern pews and pulpits weren’t the only source of people power during the long civil rights movement. So, too, were cooperative economic enterprises. These worker or consumer-owned alternatives to U.S. capitalism helped train and produce civil rights leaders from A. Philip Randolph to Ella Baker and Fannie Lou Hamer to sitting congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.). That historical link, between the civil rights fight and alternative economic ... Read more