The costs of the climate crisis are as threatening as a war. Communities across this country have faced forest fires that felt like bombings.
By Benji Hart
When Cornel West called out Ta-Nehisi Coates for representing the “neoliberal wing” of the black freedom struggle “that sounds militant about white supremacy but renders black fightback invisible” in The Guardian at the end of 2017, his essay received a fair amount of backlash. While some called his actions divisive, still others claimed the crux of his argument—that Coates “narrow racial tribalism and myopic political neoliberalism has no place for keeping track of Wall street greed, US imperial crimes or black elite indifference to poverty” —was flat-out wrong. West claims that Coates benefited from “a black neoliberal president” whose black respectability “‘opened a market’ for a new wave of black pundits, intellectuals, writers and journalists.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a millionaire privatizer, made her name in Michigan with for-profit charter schools and a preference for private Christian schools. Her vision is to gut public education and teacher unions and replace public schools with vouchers. But to be clear, the ground for De Vos’ frontal assault on public education was prepared by the neoliberal policies of previous administrations. Neoliberal restructuring of public education has been a bi-partisan agenda in the U.S., going back to Ronald Reagan, so the challenges we face today are, in some ways, not new.
Praxis Center is pleased to collaborate with the African American Intellectual History Society to present featured blog posts from their “#ScholarsRespond to a Vision for Black Lives” online forum. Organized by AAIHS Editors Keisha N. Blain and Ibram Kendi, other participating scholars include Gerald Horne, Duchess Harris, Peniel Joseph, Clarence Lang, Trimiko Melancon, Megan Ming Francis, Hasan Jeffries, and Matthew Delmont. These leading national scholars offer their compelling insights in response to the Movement for Black Lives’ (M4BL) vision statement released on August 1, 2016. Together, these essays provide a platform for serious engagement with the six policy demands presented in M4BL’s vision statement: 1) end the war on black people; 2) reparations; 3) invest-divest; 4)economic justice; 5) community control; and 6) political power.
In June 2015, a coalition of six Pan-African activist networks launched #StoptheBleeding Africa in Nairobi, Kenya to curb the hemorrhage of resources from the African continent. As the #BlackLivesMatter movement continues to gain strength in the United States, this Pan-African coalition came together to expose and mobilize global support to end illicit financial flows – money that is illegally earned, transferred or used. Estimates of illegal transactions in Africa show a loss of at least $50 billion to $80 billion in wealth every year, a figure that would be incalculably more if transfers made legal by loopholes and unfair treaties were included. Some flows are only seen as “legal” because the laws are written and interpreted by those profiting from the system. Nevertheless, the outflow of clearly illegal funds is far greater than the estimated $40 billion a year that Africa receives in official development assistance.