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Why Universal Health Care, Higher Wages, and Free Public Education Are Crucial Issues for Black Women

Why Universal Health Care, Higher Wages, and Free Public Education Are Crucial Issues for Black Women

Nina Turner

I was born to teenage parents who got married young and divorced early. My mother raised me herself, along with my six younger siblings, in Cleveland, and life wasn’t easy even in the best of times. At age 42, she died, and it fell on me, then aged 22 and working minimum wage, to take care of all of us. At the time, I was newly married with a baby son. And I was deeply afraid for our future.

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All un-greedy African Americans must vote for Bernie. It is your only possible salvation, other than the presently un-electable third parties.

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Thanks Nina,
For that reality check on the state of those who live on minimum or less than $15.00/hr. wages. Yes, that was the answer Bernie could have given at that young black women’s forum a few weeks ago: free college tuition, medicare for all and a $15.00 hr. wage minimum! The items Bernie backs, and will fight for during the 2020 campaign. He is the forerunner, we can trust him, and if he gets enough support, we might, at last, have a wonderful, hard-working leader to help us all achieve them.

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A lot of African Americans will vote for Biden due to his participation in the Obama administration.

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Your comment concerns me a bit. Republicans have five reliable hard-right Supreme Court justices now, and will possibly hold the Senate until 2024. Sanders, or any other potential nominee for that matter, is going be limited on what they are able to do if they are fortunate to beat a well-monied Trump. That’s reality. We have to face it. Vote for who you want in the primary—my bet is most here, including myself, ain’t Biden voters—but the general is another thing, much less what happens after. Who do you want to replace Ginsburg? Who do you want to staff the civil rights division of the DOJ? Those are the concrete questions we ought to be asking ourselves.

I also can’t help noting, Turner lost her statewide campaign in 2014—she doesn’t mention that in the article—and Ohio has gone rightward since. One progressive knows how to run statewide there, Sherrod Brown. It’s possible he’s got it figured out, not her, right?

The way you frame the race makes your point sound practical but I believe that ultimately the Sherrod Browns and the Betos etc will capitulate in large part to the power elite similar to Obama which set up the conditions for Trump to get in. Obama worked for the empire. Brown does the same by pushing around the edges but staying away from the sacred issues: Israel, health care, endles war, etc.
There is always a chance that Brown or others would follow a path similar to Kennedy who was mainstream at first but he is the only president I can think of who “betrayed” the bosses.
Nina sounds like she’s fed up with the mainstream dems. She certainly has the “street cred” to be mad. I continue to admire her. If Bernie or Tulsi become president she will be in their administration. If not she will keep fighting.

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I hope you are wrong about the direction Ohio seems to be trending with the vote. Turner reminds me of how Wisconsin began it’s right-turn with the election of Ron Johnson. Neither state is too far gone, but the struggle to inch over to the more liberal state of Minnesotan and it’s political agendas has been just that, a struggle.

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Trump and Mitch McConnell run things along with Trump’s new court appointments. There’s no “edge” except for what default governance by them looks like.

Turner got beat pretty badly so it’s tough for me to pretend she’s got some special knowledge of what people want. She seems to be telling fans what they want to believe without acknowledging that her message as articulated in this article certainly didn’t sell. On the other hand, Brown just won re-election in the same state, which is completely controlled by Republicans, on his “dignity of work” message.

Sen. Brown seems to me to be a measured response type. Taking things like healthcare reform one step at a time as you suggested social security and medicare where acted upon.
I’m not at all sure that the progressive voters are willing to take baby steps to solve problems. There is an impatience in the wind that we can’t just ignore.

The thing is it’s not all up to progressives, not by a long shot. Just look:

That’s who is calling shots at the Labor Department now, not progressives, not centrists, just the hard anti-labor right. There’s one way to change the dynamic and impatience isn’t it. But of course, we’ll get a revolution after helping the hard right get more power, or some such is what I expect to hear as 2020 rolls on while the SCOTUS and its lower level Trumpist jurists wraps up its new term.

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African Americans will never get what they want from the Democratic party. They should know that by now.


“In a democracy, people always get the government they deserve.”

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Well, the Democratic Party nominated and put in office the first African American president who fully staffed the DOJ’s civil rights division. Said DOJ fought against states that sought to undermine enfranchisement, but no more under Trump. That’s pretty meaningful if you are trying to vote in a state that doesn’t want you to. But yes, African Americans should ignore those things because surely it’s not worth half measures like defending enfranchisement in the face of disenfranchisement, the whole purpose of which is to lock in hard right power.

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And what have they gotten from voting Democratic?

Millions more people have health insurance, right? That is something pretty important, people turned over the House in 2018 partly out of fear of losing it, even if it’s not enough. Democrats aren’t actually working to disenfranchise voters, quite the opposite. You don’t have progressive revolutions, or even incremental moves in progressive directions, if you can’t vote. Republicans understand this, by the way.

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Maybe Ohio still has a significant number of voters who are racist. Maybe there are other factors. I’m not going to discount what she says based on her failure to win secretary of state.

She was very well spoken when defending Sanders on a Joy Reid clip I saw. It’s true we don’t know exactly what anyone would get passed if they won given we don’t know what the 2021 or 2023 House or Senate are going to look like, but backing Sanders ideas for Medicare for All, free public college tuition, support for Green jobs, and an actual labor and environmental critique of trade deals would make a lot more sense than backing someone who happened to serve as VP for Obama. I’m hoping all voters including whatever demographic like black women will get a lot more educated before next year. Also, I’m solidly in favor of what I interpret as Bernie’s strategy: for sure be well educated on special issues that affect different minorities to a greater degree such as African Americans and policing, but push primarily for policies that help everyone (even rich people - we all breathe air and in many places it could be a lot better).

You said you didn’t want Democrats to spend a lot of time on a prisoner’s right to vote - I don’t want them to spend a lot of time on reparations for slavery which I see as completely unmanageable and an even bigger loser for the general than anything about prisoners voting. I’m not sure what Turner’s ideas are there but Sanders has said the right thing so far (which again is we push for the things that will help everyone and it will actually help African Americans more than any reparations bill that could ever get through Congress in 20 years).

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Agreed. This is a rather odd argument for @KC2669 to be making since Nina Turner ran for Secretary of State in 2014 - a year in which every statewide Democrat office seeker in Ohio got approximately the same low percentage of the vote regardless of whether they were a progressive Democrat like Nina Turner - a labor affiliated Democrat like Sherrod Brown - or a Corporate Democrat.

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Maybe it was race or maybe it was economic anxiety—I was told repeatedly 2016 was all about the latter not the former by some quarters here at CD. Whatever the case, I appreciate she ran, but she lost by huge margins, while Brown has won there several times. Doesn’t mean what she says isn’t important, but Brown offers a continual lesson of success in a red state.

One place you might look is to the fact that Black women in particular have benefitted a good deal from the increase in minimum wage laws in different localities and a few states - where Democrats are in control. When you look at wage growth over the last few years among the bottom 10% of earners, there has been essentially no growth (beyond inflation) in areas where the minimum wage has not changed but has grown at double that rate in areas where the minimum wage was increased.

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Just to add, California has a real transportation infrastructure investment program (SB 1), cap and trade policy, and it raised the minimum wage. None of this would have happened had Tom McClintock (R-Teaparty) won the governorship when he ran a decade ago. It’s not a perfect state, but it has actuated key planks of the progressive agenda.

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