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Camden NJ and the Democratic Convention

Future orproat watfront, amnden NJ

Future corporate waterfront, Camden NJ

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Fore we see it, you take it
Oh, make you wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
This ain’t livin’, This ain’t livin’
No, no baby, this ain’t livin’ ~~~ “Inner City Blues” Marvin Gaye

Mike Kelly at the Bergen Record has a superb story today, read the whole thing:

Across river from Dems’ convention, Camden feels forgotten

As he listened, Gary Frazier, 40, who grew up in Camden and is the East Coast coordinator of a group called Black Men for Bernie, shook his head.

“Maybe this will spark something in Camden. I don’t know,” said Frazier, who is running for Camden City Council as a Green Party candidate. “You have to understand the dire straits our residents are in. They don’t see hope. We are tired of the status quo.”

Philadelphia DNC Bernie March (7/24/16)

Black Men for Bernie – Philadelphia DNC, rally before Bernie March (7/24/16)

Mr. Frazier perfectly makes the point I was driving at in yesterday’s post about communities that were betrayed by corporate Clinton Democrats and destroyed by policies that promoted deindustrialization and financialization of a global economy.

How has it come about that so many US cities, with majority black populations, led by black mayors, city councils, State legislators and Congressional representatives have come to this state of affairs?

Black Agenda Report editor Glenn Ford calls that the result of a “black mis-leadership class”.

US cities and black neighborhoods have been deindustrialized, hollowed out, neglected and starved of investment. At the same time, some neighborhoods are gentrified and segregated, while public schools are closed or privatized, and public housing is demolished without replacement. Black communities have been decimated by a sham Jim Crow war on drugs, police repression and an unjust criminal justice system, including jail time for parking tickets, i.e. if you really want to get sick to your stomach, read this outrageous Harvard Law Review article “Policing and Profit”.

At the same time, Neoliberal “individual responsibility” (AKA “blame the victim”) austerity policies slash the social safety net – and we have not forgotten that Bill Clinton – after the crime bill –  “ended welfare as we know it” and the federal guarantee to millions of poor black women and children, with the support of his wife, the “children’s advocate” (for that story, read Peter Edelman’s book – for the cliff notes version, New York Times story:

Writer Chris Hedges called these places “sacrifice zones” – and there is no real discussion of either poverty, race, or urban policy being discussed by the Democrats (not even Bernie could say “Black Lives Matter” during his speech last night – but it was mentioned – once by another speaker I can’t recall right now).

We are not writing just for the Democratic convention and have not forgotten our friends in Camden or their problems or the policies that we work on and know could improve their daily lives, see:

Update: 8/4/16 – Just came across this, certainly of interest:

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