Race or Wealth? How About Both?

The evidence shows we all lose when society’s overwhelmed by white resentment and win when we organize across our differences. An excerpt from Heather C. McGhee’s The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together. Read the excerpt here.

Studies Show Covid Deaths Know No Color

Confirming our studies earlier this year of Covid-19 deaths in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, big new studies use different methods to demonstrate that deaths are the result of exposure rather than race. To quote the article: “The new findings do not contradict an enormous body of research showing that Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to be affected by the pandemic, compared with white people. The coronavirus is more prevalent in minority communities, and infections, illnesses, and deaths have occurred in these groups in disproportionate numbers. “But the new studies do suggest that there is no innate …

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The NY Times, Covid, and race. Plus, lately, income.

We’re collecting New York Times articles on COVID-19, race, and class to better understand how the media is accounting for the spread of the virus. We’ve noticed that some of these accounts leave out any mention of income or occupation, while others tend to conflate poverty with people of color. Our research suggests that occupation and income are major factors in determining who is getting sick and who is dying. Race, clearly, is a critical factor, even more so when combined with lower-income occupations deemed “essential.”  Being a recent immigrant from Latin America, especially an undocumented one, also is a …

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Les Leopold’s August 2, 2020 Talk

Les has developed a new talk that looks at the runaway inequality roots of the pandemic response and police brutality. Here’s the recording of the August 2, 2020 version. He’ll be doing more live events, which will be announced here. Click through for the video.

Covid 19 Death Data

On July 28, 2020, The American Prospect published Les Leopold’s analysis of Covid-19 deaths in New York City during the first month’s of the pandemic. You can read the story by clicking here. This page is the repository for data supporting Les’s research into Covid deaths. You may download the spreadsheet with the NYC Department of Health Covid-19 statistics and US Census information that Les used to do his analysis by clicking here. Here are the Technical Notes that go with the story. The New York City Department of Health tracks the number of deaths (and cases) by zip codes …

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Jeff Bezos is a Whole Lotta Rich. How Rich?

Amazon proudly claims that from 2010 to 2018 it contributed $168B to the US domestic gross product. Amazon, as we all know, is a big company owned by Jeff Bezos (he actually owns 12 percent of Amazon’s stock, the controlling interest). So a $168B contribution to the GDP sounds like a lot. According to Forbes magazine, however, in 2010 Jeff Bezos was worth $12.3B. By July 16, 2018, not coincidentally Amazon Prime Day, his fortune had increased to $151.4B. So, while Amazon (by its own account) was boosting the US GDP by $168B, it was also boosting Jeff Bezos’s personal …

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A Talk About Reversing Runaway Inequality at Western Michigan University on Martin Luther King Day

Bill Farmer, an RRI trainer, a member of the Southwest Michigan SDA and Labor for Bernie, will give a talk to students in honor of Martin Luther King on January 20. The 12:30 PM event is part of a program put together by WMU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, featuring a number of speakers all day at the university’s Bernhard Center. You can learn more here.