Posts tagged “Howard Zinn”

The bigger the crime, the less time

In 1969, there were 502 convictions for tax fraud. Such cases, called “white-collar crimes,” usually involve people with a good deal of money. Of those convicted, 20 percent ended up in jail. The fraud averaged $190,000 per case; the sentences averaged seven months. That same year, for burglary and auto theft (crimes of the poor) […]

Everyone but the rich white dudes knows what’s up

In May 1967, the Pentagon historians write: “McNaughton was also very deeply concerned about the breadth and intensity of public unrest and dissatisfaction with the [Vietnam] war … especially with young people, the underprivileged, the intelligentsia and the women.” 1967.  From Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States

Divide and conquor

Racism, always a national fact, not just a southern one, emerged in northern cities, as the federal government made concessions to poor blacks in a way that pitted them against poor whites for resources made scarce by the system. Blacks, freed from slavery to take their place under capitalism, had long been forced into conflict […]

Lessons Sheryl Sandberg hasn’t learned

Another black woman, Margaret Wright, said she was not fighting for equality with men if it meant equality in the world of killing, the world of competition. “I don’t want to compete on no damned exploitative level. I don’t want to exploit nobody. . . . I want the right to be black and me. […]

Political engagement isn’t just voting

In the spring of 1963, the rate of unemployment for whites was 4.8 percent. For nonwhites it was 12.1 percent. According to government estimates, one-fifth of the white population was below the poverty line, and one-half the black population was below that line. The civil rights bills emphasized voting, but voting was not a fundamental […]

It’s history, but it’s not irrelevant

REGISTRAR: What do you want? CRAWFORD: I brought this lady down to register REGISTRAR: (after giving the woman a card to fill out and sending her outside in the hall) Why did you bring this lady down here? CRAWFORD: Because she wants to be a first class citizen like ya’ll. REGISTRAR: Who are you to […]

Still want to cut food stamps?

Desperate people were not waiting for the government to help them; they were helping themselves, acting directly. Aunt Molly Jackson, a woman who later became active in labor struggles in Appalachia, recalled how she walked into the local store, asked for a 24-pound sack of flour, gave it to her little boy to take it […]