Just because we’re all affected by the pandemic doesn’t mean that we’ve all been affected equally. Women accounted for all 140,000 jobs cut last December. Black and Latina women in particular lost jobs, since employment for white women actually rose that month (CNN). The data is clear: Black and Latina women were the worst-impacted by layoffs, white men the least (Bloomberg).
In April, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to make amends for a massive land grab rooted in white supremacy, though this remedy came almost a century too late (MSN). In the early twentieth century, Charles and Willa Bruce opened a Manhattan Beach resort that offered other Black families the opportunity to vacation under the Southern California sun. The white residents of Manhattan Beach were not pleased.
The Freedom Georgia Initiative springs from a “desire to create generational wealth for our families” in a place where “restoration, recreation, and reformation” are possible. The ability to conserve family resources and enjoy ample rest and recreation has been denied to generations of Black families. As an explicitly pro-Black city in an anti-Black nation, Freedom, Georgia hopes to be a new start (Complex).
Citizen is a privately-owned “public safety” app that reports neighborhood crime to residents. It has 5 million active users, more App Store downloads than Twitter (Forbes), and is backed by venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, which is also investing in heavyweights like Cisco, Instagram, and YouTube (Sequoia). It’s a rebrand of an app called Vigilante, which actually encouraged users to go after suspected criminals (Tech Crunch). After the Pacific Palisades fire last month, Citizen sent the full name and photo of a suspected arsonist to 860,000 users. Citizen put a $30,000 bounty on this man, who was unhoused (Oaklandside), and, as in its days as Vigilante, encouraged its users to “get out there and bring this guy to justice” (Vox). As it turns out, he was innocent.
Aristotle said, “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime” (Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality). But in the wake of violence in impoverished Black communities, we often only hear the same refrain: “Why is no one doing anything about this?” The idea that nobody in Black communities works to stop community violence is racist, classist, and false.
Neighborhoods of color affected by redlining, historic bank and government-sponsored housing discrimination, are five degrees hotter than non-redlined neighborhoods since they have dramatically less tree cover. In Portland, OR, they’re a shocking 13 degrees warmer (NPR). Communities of color are where state and business elites dump toxic chemicals, coal-fired power plants, and chemical factories across the country. “The climate emergency will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities” (Guardian) since “the lack of equitable investment in low-income communities leaves people even more at risk for climate change impacts” (NRDC).