Another night of insomnia. I can’t complain because I slept for several hours earlier. Doing that always messes up my fragile sleep cycle.
I slept earlier because I was so relieved to hear about the verdict in the Chauvin murder trial. I had feared yet another tragic miscarriage of justice, as we have seen far too often in this country. As Hal (person) and I sat watching the verdict being read, I wept. I’ve never fully comprehended what black Americans have to endure simply because I was born with white skin.
I’ve learned through the years that my privilege was built on the exploitation of others and that I have to do something to help change the structural racism and injustice that we see every day. That’s a tall order, but a necessary one. We are all responsible for exposing injustice whenever and wherever we find it. Only then will we see actual progress in this country.
The second danger that we are facing now is Racism. I have been with my partner Hal, who is black, for more than 20 years, and in that time, I have learned a lot about how he sees the world as a black man. The things that he has seen in his life are frightening to think about for me. As a white man, I grew up with privilege that I never realized I had. To me, the local police were people I could put my trust in, especially in a small townh. I never thought that the black children I grew up with could have such a completely different view of the world, but after being with Hal, and then talking to some of the people I grew up with, I now know that the feelings of fear and distrust did exist even when I was a child.
Those fears and feelings were never shared with me growing up because those feelings are deeply held in the black community. The common perception is that no white outsider can ever appreciate those feelings, that they would be called irrational or ridiculous. I never knowingly felt that way towards my friends, but I never realized that those feelings were being hidden from me either. My parents taught me as best they could to respect everyone, and to never look down on anyone. I am glad that those friends I had growing up never associated me personally with any of the problems that they encountered, but I wish that I had known about those problems so I could have helped to overcome them.
As the number of murders committed by the police continue to grow, it becomes apparent that the real problem is ignorance. Pretending that this is a recent phenomenon completely proves the very point that my childhood friends, and Hal, have taught me. The problem has been around for over 400 years and is deeply rooted in our society. Slavery might have been outlawed, but the repercussions remain to this very day. White society has the remarkable ability to filter out unpleasant things and pretend that things are completely fine, unless the problems affect white society. This willful choice to be ignorant is a huge part of the problem.
I am proud to be part of the #BLM movement, but I can never speak for those directly affected. I can only speak from the perspective of a white man who is woke and proud of it. I choose to not be ignorant, because ignorance is killing us, all of us. To be silent is to be complicit.
I want Trump defeated so much that I’m willing to vote for the human equivalent of a baloney sandwich to get rid of trump. The question of mine that no one can answer is “Is this the best we can do?”
I have nothing against Biden other than the sad truth that he cannot inspire me at all. When the Democrats seem intent on using the campaign platform consisting solely of “Biden is better than trump.” Of course Biden is better than trump. The only people I can think of who are worse than trump would be Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, and Pol Pot. Not to mention Jim Jones and David Koresh.
I’ve given up ever seeing a Democrat who truly inspires me, one who brings energy and vision to a campaign. When someone as bland as Biden isn’t leading by 20-25 points in the polls over trump, I consider my point has been made.
I suppose that I’ll have to wait for a Democratic candidate with a big set, I don’t see any right now. But I’ll still vote for Biden over trump.
Names capitalized or not indicate my personal level of enthusiasm. That level is extremely low.
POLITICS 03/11/2020 01:34PM EDT
Senate GOP Blocks Emergency Paid Sick Leave Bill From Moving Forward
The legislation put forth by Democrats would guarantee 14 days of paid leave for workers affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
Democrats hoping to pass an emergency paid sick leave bill to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus were stymied by Senate Republicans on Wednesday.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) tried to speed the measure up for a vote on the Senate floor through a procedural maneuver, but an objection from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) prevented the bill from bypassing the Republican-controlled health committee.
Murray noted that many people who don’t have paid leave through their jobs will inevitably miss work due to being sick or quarantined in the coming weeks. She argued that guaranteed paid leave was important both for public health and the good of the broader economy.
“For many of our workers ― restaurant workers, truck drivers, service industry workers ― they may not have an option to take a day off without losing their pay or losing their job,” Murray said. “That’s not a choice we should be asking anyone to make in the United States in the 21st century.”
Alexander said that paid sick leave is a “good idea.” But if lawmakers want to require employers to provide it, then the federal government should have to foot the bill, he argued.
“Employees are struggling, our employers are struggling, and it’s not a cure for the coronavirus to put a big new expensive federal mandate on employers who are struggling in the middle of this matter,” Alexander said.
Although the bill is bottled up for now, Democrats could try to attach the measure to another legislative package aimed at dealing with the virus.
Democrats proposed the emergency legislation in both chambers last week. The bill sponsored by Murray in the Senate and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in the House would immediately guarantee workers 14 days of paid sick leave in the event of a public health emergency like the current one. Workers would separately accrue up to seven sick days over the course of a year under the bill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised people stay home from work if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Under the Democratic bill, workers could use the 14 emergency sick days if their workplace or their child’s school is closed, or if they or a family member ends up quarantined.
Many states already have sick leave mandates on the books, including California and Murray’s home state of Washington, both of which have been hit hard by the novel coronavirus. But unlike in most other developed countries, there is no federal law requiring employers to give workers paid time off when they’re sick.
The outbreak has brought unprecedented public attention to the lack of a mandate in the U.S. Seventy-three percent of private sector workers have paid sick leave, according to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of the remaining 27% who don’t have it, many are concentrated in lower-wage service jobs like retail and fast food.
– Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
Some companies have moved to institute more generous policies amid the criticism stirred up by the coronavirus emergency. Darden Restaurants, which owns the Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse chains, recently announced that all its hourly employees would now start accruing sick leave. The company has previously opposed legislative mandates on sick days.
Democrats have been trying to pass sick leave measures for years and have succeeded in the House. But the GOP majority in the Senate has prevented such bills from coming up for a vote, arguing that small businesses cannot withstand the cost increases of sick leave.
Murray’s emergency bill was all but certain to die in the Senate, but the measure still afforded Democrats an opportunity to put Republicans on the record in opposing it. Polling shows that the idea of a sick leave mandate tends to be extremely popular, with even a strong majority of Republican voters supporting it.
This post has been updated with Alexander’s remarks.
Want more stories
I’ve seen all of this before. The same shitty plot line and the same shitty attack scenarios. The same anointing of the corporate candidate who simply cannot lose.
I’ve seen all of this before. The undying attacks to keep the candidate that the people care about and want. The constant attacks against those who support this candidate. The tragedy is that all of this is coming from the same side. The Orange Nazi and his Christi-Fascists don’t have to worry about destroying their opposition because the corporate democrats are all too happy to do it for them.
I’ve seen all of this before. The corporate media will follow the dictates of their corporate masters and participate in the attacks and attempts to destroy the candidate they cannot control. The voice of the people will be drowned out by the deafening noise to promote the lame ass corporate candidate. Interestingly, without that industrial corporate noise machine, their candidate is usually greeted with a wall of silence.
I’ve seen all of this before. The candidate of the people will be pushed away. The voice of the people will be ignored. And yet, the corporate masters will still flood us with requests for money. This business model is straight out of “Goodfellas“. When the corporate candidate cannot deliver the election, we all know that the people’s candidate and his supporters will be blamed. I’ve seen all of this before.