Meizhu Lui took the mantra “Educate, Agitate, Organize!” as the theme for her life’s work. As a hospital food service worker and union activist, she organized to demand that “women’s work” not be undervalued and underpaid, and to challenge occupational segregation. Later, as a community organizer for Health Care for All Massachusetts, then as Executive Director of United for a Fair Economy, and finally as Director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative, she became known for her outspoken activism in ending race and gender inequities.
What’s a person? It seems like it should be obvious who is a person and who is not. Show a five year old some pictures: a white baby, an African American woman, a document of incorporation, a couple of magnified cells, a dog - and ask her to identify the people among them. She’d probably pick the baby and the woman.
But our nation doesn’t have the sense of a five year old. It never has. And today, who/what it deems to be a “person” is “curiouser and curiouser,” as Alice said in Wonderland.
Asian Americans are seemingly well positioned these days, having surpassed white households in income and wealth levels. At least that’s the current story, repeatedly presented in the media. But is it true? Is yellow really the new “in” color, the race most likely to succeed?
During this Christmas season, I thought about debt. No, I’m not talking about lay-aways (but will get to it). I’m talking about the Lord’s Prayer.
President Obama and Congressional Democrats want to extend the payroll tax “holiday” for another year, which would allow workers at all income levels to continue to pay the 4.2 percent rate instead of the 6.2 percent payroll tax they paid before 2011.