Eric Morgenson is a PhD candidate in history at the State University of New York at Albany. His research interests include the intersections of race and class in the United States, the relationship between liberalism and the left in the twentieth century, and American Jewish history. Eric’s dissertation, The Last Step to Whiteness: American Jews and the end of the Civil Rights Coalition argues that allegations of antisemitism made against Black Power groups in the 1960s were part of a larger effort to distance liberal American Jews from the cause of civil rights. The work explores Jewish assimilation in the twentieth century. It emphasizes the impact that Jews becoming “white” i.e. culturally accepted had on the relationship between American Jews and African Americans. He received an MA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, a BA from Concordia University-Nebraska, and an Associate of Arts from Southeast Community College in Lincoln, NE. Eric was born and raised in Bismarck North Dakota, but really hates cold weather. He currently lives in Connecticut where it is still too cold. He can be reached here.
The same companies that house prisoners are also paid by the government to house immigrants, creating a problem that sits at the intersection of race and capitalism. The logic behind this is simple. Private companies exist to make money. When you operate a prison, the best way to make money is to make sure that the prison is full.
While Democrats are, at best, a corporate-dominated center-left party with a history of attacking its left flank, they represent the only viable alternative to the far right Republican agenda. Supporting Democrats, given the alternative, is important. After all, Democrats are the only other political party with real power in a system designed to accommodate the existence of only two parties.
As one of the two viable political parties in a system designed to allow only a duopoly, the Democratic Party’s embrace of neoliberalism has been devastating long term. No longer the party of the working class, Democrats have embraced privatization, and taken steps to severely limit the rights of workers.
As progressives who believe in the power of unions and the necessity of unity against an exploitative capitalist class who treats workers as commodities, this situation forces us to ask an important question: what will the future of work look like?
The fact is that the struggle for equal rights will outlive all of us. Substantive and systemic changes are very slow to come, and they are made slower still by the reality of intersectional struggle. When you are struggling not only for your own freedom, but freedom for all oppressed peoples, you increase the chances of encountering opposition from erstwhile allies.
The social safety-net afforded white, middle class boomers access to relative comfort. However, by middle and old age, boomers began supporting hard right-wing politicians such as Ronald Reagan, who made it their goal to destroy the welfare system that had bolstered them to middle-class status.