Video

Never Made Sense / No Sense to Make

Neoliberalism has, by many accounts, come home to shit on the eggs. We’ve lived with it for decades now, and “things getting better” only deepens the fecund pile as the years drivel on. You are out of your job, future, house, sense-of-self because of it.

The fitzy little idea that countries can be run like corporations and presidents or prime ministers should act like — or better, by replaced by — CEOs is a central tenet of neoliberalism. Somehow, if we run government like business, all our woes will be kissed well.

I am not the only writer to point out that this, this is some buzzard shit. Here’s why, in an eggshell.

Corporations don’t participate in history.
Governments are only history.

What I mean by this is: corporations don’t deal much with the consequences of their actions for their employees, or the people who live around them, or the people their frequent malfeasance destroys. They might be forced to rectify a bad act by a lawsuit, but that happens almost never. They exist to profit. They pursue efficiency, and that’s why the replace US workers with cheaper foreign ones or (more often and even better) robots which don’t eat, sleep, get sick or old, or have children to worry about. Robots are efficient, and they make oodles of the profits.

Governments, of the sort we imagine we have in the US, are humongous non-profit organizations, primarily concerned with people and their well-being and the consequences of many actions, and are therefore wholly embedded in history. Governments don’t profit. Everything about governing from its supply to its demand is inefficient and cannot become efficient in the way the corporations imagine they are.

CEOs would make, and may make for real if we commit the self-immolation presented to us by a Trump presidency, horrible and destructive presidents because the whole set of assumptions, goals, and processes of corporations are just about the opposite of those of governments. Their philosophies don’t jibe.

Don’t get me wrong. Corporations to things that affect history, but they are not in the history business — they are not nations, or peoples, or even decently loyal clubs. They are profit making machines that make profit out of the planet’s resources and many of the years of many human lives. They are not concerned with anything like well-being, literacy rates, national health and contentment levels, cultural literacies, life-spans, or even defense (not even defense corporations are particularly interested in OUR defence).

We live in the fragile and uncertain consequences of 40 years of neoliberalism. A tiny group of friends and acquaintances own nearly everything (and most of us with it), and a few of us are still eking by on the skills the current economy hungers for, and the vast rest of us are tired and hungry and totally fucked.

History demands a stronger nation of us.
History will not reward a more businessy nation.

 

#nevertrump  #neoliberalism  #fakeeconomy  #americandream  #thegreatturning  #peaceeconomy #governmentisnotbusiness  #cantcheathistory  #goodluckwiththat

 

Is It So Hard to Mourn Black Women? And To Praise Them?

This will not be the first time this question is asked. But, it must be asked again, and again, as necessary — which is always.

For some different and some similar reasons to James Baldwin’s, Henry Miller also left America for mostly-good. Of the Americans he left — white, corporate, male, ambitious, good at looking honest on camera — he said this in America: The Airconditioned Nightmare:

Inside every smiling American beats the heart of a killer.

He meant the kind of American who isn’t much bothered by the river of blood that is our history, and our present. The kind that intentionally or blithely lets others suffer and die as along as the broadband stays up, the kind who would rather be “nice people” than good people.

These women are dead:

Take Aiyana Jones, 7, who was killed by a Detroit police officer as she slept on her father’s couch. Or Rekia Boyd, 22, whose life ended in Chicago when she was killed by a police officer. Or Yvette Smith, 48, who was unarmed when she was killed by a police officer in Texas. Or Pearlie Smith, 93, who was fatally shot in her home. Or Tarika Wilson, 26, whose one-year-old son was also injured when she was killed by a Ohio police officer. Or Tyisha Miller, 19, who was killed by a police officer in Los Angeles. Or Kathryn Johnson, 92, who was killed by a police officer in Atlanta. Or Gabriella Nevarez, 22, who was killed by a Sacramento police officer. Or Eleanor Bumpurs, 66, who was killed by a police officer in the Bronx.

(Read Evette Dione’s excellent piece in Bustle. It’s powerful writing.)

Their hands will never be mothered, or mother, or grandmother, or hold the shoulders of their sisters, or brush the lips of their lovers again. We have all been robbed of the chance ever to meet them, befriend them, share a joke during our morning commute or at the cafe or the corner store.

The same state sponsored (no metaphor) violence that took more famous men from us, that thinks for-profit prisons were ever compatible with human rights and community safety took these women from us. In my own comfortable county of Fairfax, Virginia, Natasha McKenna was tazed 4 times, while shackled, and it killed her. I’m sure that her resistance to being removed from her cell angered deputies charged with her care. So? Dealing with people disinclined to cooperate is The Job of Deputies.

Don’t want people mad at you on the daily?
Don’t be a cop.

There are no major protests in Fairfax County. One reason for this is that it’s a big place, and mostly very, very well-off if racially and culturally very, very mixed. But, more and more, people pushed out of DC by gentrification are finding themselves in a kind of diaspora along the bus and metro lines, and what was their community is gone from their lives — which means that our cops, who are used to trying to arrest diplomats for keeping trafficked house servants in their basements — are encountering new stresses on their beats. Still, Natasha McKenna was a woman. And we do not do big protests for dead black women.And by we, I mean all of us.

And by we, I mean America.

natasha-mckenna

McKenna, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when she was 12 years old, died Feb. 8 after a lieutenant at the Fairfax County, Va., Sheriff’s Department delivered four 50,000-volt shocks with a Taser to restrain her while she was having a psychotic episode in custody on Feb. 3. Why she was there in the first place reveals how ill-equipped law-enforcement officers are to effectively interact with and restrain people who have severe mental illness.

(from “When Will We Demand Justice for Natasha McKenna?” by Kristen West Savali, at TheRoot.com, 4 May 2015 — it’s a great report, read it.)

Here’s a thing that all police need to know:
How to deal with people who
are not on their meds.
It’s not hard, and violence is not
on the list of best practices.

I like her face, her smile. I’m convinced I would have enjoyed knowing her, if I had the good luck to do so. Schizophrenia, at 12. All this young woman deserved was our collective love and support. She never, it seems, got it.

Aren’t we all tired of finding that we
miss people that we never met
because they ended at wrong
end of the law’s flailing arm?

Along with the men we are mourning so publically, along with that ideal of America whose never-being we continually mourn, in whose name we block traffic and shout poems and link arms, and sometimes set the world on fire, can we not also so publically mourn black women? Can we not say to our black sisters at least that your deaths matter to us, that we do not want to miss you, and that you are worth fire and rage?

Beyonce-Knowles-Met-Gala-2015No. We probably cannot do that.

And here’s why.

As a culture, even as black and white and feminist sub-cultures, we can’t make up our minds to just Jump For Joy that this kind of smart-talented-brave-strong-beauty exists. If the Met Gala red carpet is for any other purpose, I can’t imagine what it would be.

Beyonce’s public persona is a work of art. Her very body is a deliberate work of art. This dress is a work of such mindblowing art and physical discipline that most of the people freaking out about it could never, not even, imagine or create such a thing.

Read the comments on any article about this fancy dress for a fancy party for rich people, for instance, this one from which I lifted the picture. I even read one on Janet Mock’s Facebook page in which some yahoo claimed that Beyonce herself is the reason men can’t take women seriously — they too sexualites, he wrote. You can’t help Stupid, but Stupid here is making my point. We can’t praise black women, or mourn

You can’t help Stupid, but Stupid here is making my point. We can’t praise black women, or mourn them, because we can’t see them as people. Which, by the way, is entirely our own damn fault. Yes, WE, I say because we are way more interested in getting our judge on for Bey’s dress then in getting our justice on for Natasha.

I’m not even a Beyonce fan. I own not one of her songs, though I like them — just not as much as I like Green Day and Florence and the Machine — but I can say this: She is one of the most perfectly beautiful people ever to grace the surface of the Earth, and Givenchy decided to honor that beauty with a dress the lace of which was died to match her skin tone exactly. No one else can wear this thing. Her diet, her workout, her presence, her dress — all that made a real walking, talking, loving, momming, signing better than you ever work of art for one night (of what my inner socialist is mad was a 1% blowout of insulting proportions.)

I hope she takes That Dress and hangs out in the back yard with her daughter blowing bubbles and says to her, “Yes, baby, you can sit on my lap,” because that is the kind of Whole Woman Beyonce is trying to show us, in ways that will not and should not please everyone, is possible.

Black women. Praise them. Mourn them. Stop pretending they are not people. Right? Got it? Okay then.

Split This Rock’s Poem of the Week: Ross Gay

 
A Small Needful Fact
Is that Eric Garner worked
for some time for the Parks and Rec.
Horticultural Department, which means,
perhaps, that with his very large hands,
perhaps, in all likelihood,
he put gently into the earth
some plants which, most likely,
some of them, in all likelihood,
continue to grow, continue
to do what such plants do, like house
and feed small and necessary creatures,
like being pleasant to touch and smell,
like converting sunlight
into food, like making it easier
for us to breathe.
***
Used with permission.
***
Ross Gay is a gardener and teacher living in Bloomington, Indiana. His book, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, is available from University of Pittsburgh Press, 2015.
***
Please feel free to share the Split This Rock Poem of the Week widely. We just ask you to include all of the information in this post, including this request. Thanks! If you are interested in reading past poems of the week, feel free to visit the blog archive.

Split This Rock’s Two Weeks of — FY Poetry!!!

We have the goods,
and we’re sharing.

Tonight

FREE: The intense and brilliant Sholeh Wolpé reads at Upshur Street Books at 7pm. Iranian-American poet, translator, and generous soul. The workshop she led at Split This Rock last night was a real eye-opener for the poets present. Details on tonight’s reader here (click).

Next Week

FREE: Tim Seibles is in the District!! He’ll lead a workshop on writing through the lens of race at the Tacoma Park Busboys & Poets, all are welcome. (click) And then give a reading (also $Free.99) at Upshur Street Books. (click) His visit is part of a series of readings and workshops in the Clarice Smith Center for the Performing Arts series At War With Ourselves, which culminates in a huge program in September this year marking the beginning of the Civil War.

Freedom Plow Award for Poetry and Activism: Mark Nowak

April 2, 6-9 pm, at the Arts Club of Washington

Get Your Tickets Early
Poetry, Performance, Video, Music, Nosh
& Delightful Company to Refresh You
for the Great Work

What did Mark Nowak do to earn this tremendous honor? He rocks.

Mark Nowak’s work brings creative writing workshops to worker communities. He helps establish “poetry dialogues” among workers around the world, fostering free and open communication across nations. Most recently, he has led workshops for caregivers, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance. In this way, he unites workers around the world, supporting them as they resist global resistance to worker rights and dignity.

From the press release:

Split This Rock, the DC-based national organization dedicated to poetry of provocation and witness, is pleased to announce that Mark Nowak will receive the 2nd Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism on April 2, 6-9 pm, at the Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I Street, NW, Washington, DC. Tickets to the reception and award ceremony are $30 for general admission, $10 for students, and can be purchased via Split this Rock’s website. Light refreshments will be served. Made possible through the generosity of the CrossCurrents Foundation, the award recognizes and honors a poet who is doing innovative and transformative work at the intersection of poetry and social change. The event is co-sponsored by the Arts Club of Washington and FOLIO Magazine.

The Freedom Plow Award, judged this year by Sheila Black, Martha Collins, and E. Ethelbert Miller, carries a cash prize of $3,500. The judges were impressed with Mark Nowak’s work bringing creative writing workshops to worker communities. For many years, he has facilitated “poetry dialogues” among workers around the world, fostering free and open communication across nations. Most recently, he has led workshops for caregivers, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

Finalists for the 2015 award are Black Poets Speak Out/Amanda Johnston, Mahogany Brown, Jonterri Gadson; Bob Holman; and John Lee Clark.

We are featuring work by the finalists at our blog. First up: here’s an interview with John Lee Clark. (click)

I adore working with these folks. Adore it. You’ll love the vibe here too, just come on out!! You don’t want to miss these world-moving poets.

Virginia Delegates, Tell Me Where You Stand on the ERA. Hmmm?

Dear Virginia,

I don’t know if all the members of the General Assembly believe everything they vote for and against on social policy and civil rights. I can’t. Often enough, they don’t get to vote on these issues to show us what they believe.

Take Delegate Cole for example, and the low-down, dirty story. We can be certain of his stance, but not his reasons. He refused to docket the ERA in the House P&E Committee, so that pretty well means one, maybe two things.

  • he’s against it
  • maybe he was also protecting other members from having to state their positions with votes
    • to be fair, past experience has shown most of the 2015 members of the P&E to be against ratification, so he could have just been saving time on the docket in our eye-blink short legislative session.

Reasons matter however. Reasons are policy. So why is Del. Cole so cool on the full civil and legal personhood of women?

We know his colleague on the P&E, Del. Steve Martin, publicly refers to pregnant women as “hosts,” so he’s willing to forego the idea that women are people at all once they’re pregnant. Sperm really is magical stuff. Combine just one of them with a female ovum, and *bibbity-bobbity-boo* you’re no longer a human with qualities like empathy or free will. After all, this comment is one he made aboutcontraception, not abortion.

If you wrote to Cole during our little campaign this winter, you know one answer. He thinks it would be illegal for the state to act to ratify. He thinks the amendment must resubmitted in Congress, and ratification to begin again from the start. He sent an email to that effect to me, and the whole House P&E (see below).

But, if you challenge that policy with additional, and very strong facts, he backs up very quickly to another reason/policy: Religion.

Eileen Davis of Women Matter pointed out to Cole in conversation that: His constitutional argument is incorrect. Both he and the 1992 Virginia Attorney Generall he cites as authority think that “moot” before the court means moot, period. This is not the case. NOW v. Idaho clearly established that given it was Congress attached the deadline to the amendment (it was not part of the amendment’s own language), then Congress can lift that deadline any time it takes a notion. So, while the AG thought any action to ratify would be a “nullity” (legally, an action that never happened), that’s just an interpretation, and one challenged publicly by equal or stronger authority. (More on this below.)

Also, they don’t have to believe it. They just have to know which position will work to keep their supporters and constituents with with them. For instance, none of our politicians has to believe that the ERA is or could be a stealth legalization of all abortion on demand. All they have to know is that people with money (the Eagle Forum, the Family Foundation) believe it–bunk though the notion may be. Then, all they need a is decent deflection argument that sounds smartish, and they’re good as re-elected.

You see, it’s been explained to Cole that his reading of the law is flatly wrong. I supplied to the WEC this article from William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, which clearly explains the decision in NOW v. Idaho and similar cases. States can ratify and prompt Congress to lift the deadline, or Congress and lift the deadline and let states finish ratification. Davis of Women Matter found and sent to Cole and the P&E Committee the Congressional Research Service report on the ERA and deadlines, which agrees with both the William and Mary paper, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Argument by authority has a lot to do with the status of your authority. You see, the when the Virginia Attorney General in 1992 said that Virginia could not ratify, that was just his feeling on the matter and not a statement with any legal weight or force. If it legal force, all these very intelligent and energetic feminists would be taking another approach. Equally, that the GA has failed/refused to ratify in the past is meaningless in any present effort, other than to say it’s an uphill climb and Cole is unwilling to flatten any of that slope.

When Davis challenged him on these points, he flustered and backed up to muttering something about religious reasons. Let’s take a moment to look at what’s called Natural Law Doctrine. First, it’s not at all what religious conservatives think it is. It’s not God’s law, or common law, but the foundation of the rights we claimed in our Revolution. Unless you are Catholic (or a contemporary conservative), in which case it does refer to a kind of universal divine moral code as described by Thomas Aquinas (who was trying to rectify Catholic theology with the rational philosophies of the Greeks), from whom the latter Enlightenment idea of innately given and inalienable rights evolved, for which we spilled a very great deal of blood but have not yet extended to American women. Still, choosing between these two versions of natural law is a choice, and one based in your own personal weighting of religious and civil social values. In other words, not at all a final authority universally recognized by our nation’s laws or citizens — and more, it doesn’t say much at all about women’s constitutional equality. Indeed, “natural law” is often code for a religious doctrine of the subservience of women and a greater right to life for a fetus than for a woman. To which we have only one thing to say: The Establishment Clause. The 1st Amendment means that I don’t have to live according another’s religious code of conduct. The Founders were deeply familiar with the meaning/s of natural law, so they made that pointed point very clear indeed.

Some will wave the 14th Amendment at us. Of course if you read the text of that amendment, you see that it goes to lengths to emphasize the maleness of those who enjoy its protection. Exclusion of women was archly deliberate. Feminists of the time argued for women’s inclusion and were soundly rebuffed. See the text in Section 2, specifically. It’s the one thing Justices Scalia and Ginsberg agree on.

Are these educated men, and some women, really willing to walk about with these completely wrong ideas in their heads and use them to govern? It would seem so. And that, we know, make no sense. So why would they do it? Either they believe this things, which makes their qualifications questionable. Or, they hold these positions for politically strategic reasons, which makes them deeply cynical characters who are clearly willing to disadvantage more than half the US population for political advantage.

But, we don’t know which bad reason it could be because Del. Cole won’t let them tell us to our faces that we are, and should remain second class citizens with very alienable rights. We are left to hypothesize, and with my full Constitutional equality on the line, I am not inclined to be generous in my imagination. It’s been nearly 100 years, this ratification work. Why should I be generous? At this point, I think the burden is on them to show that and how far our legislators support women.

Most of our delegates don’t state a position on the ERA on their websites, which means either they are against our full incorporation as citizens, or they simply can’t be bothered to care enough to mention the issue. Again, I’m guessing, but I have no other option.

The only logical conclusion is that all the delegates who never had a chance to vote on SJ 216 to Ratify the Equal Right Amendment in 2015, or who can’t be bothered to mention it, are against women’s equality by default. It’s smart for us to assume that. It means we try to put pressure everywhere and see who comes out FOR us, clearly, proudly. Cole has a woman friendly challenger this fall, who’s a woman, and very clearly a supporter of Equal Rights for Women. Kandy Hilliard, VA NOW’s members, y’all shake hands and say hi.

This fall, all of our senators and delegates are up for re-election. We can’t run a new candidate against every conservative in that in that time, and many districts simply aren’t ready to consider an alternative.

But we can insist that they state their position on the issue so the women and friends of women will know, clearly, where their representatives stand. Then we can continue to educate voters until that stand is either a benefit or a liability to the candidate.

So, in emails to our General Assembly members, and letters to the editor in our local papers, let’s make it clear that silence on the matter of women’s full civil equality will no longer be a safe political strategy. If secrecy and political passive aggression are your tools for staying in power, you don’t deserve that power!! Make them tell you who they are to you, to your face. Say it! Say YES ERA!!! #VAYesERA

We will assume that silence and passivity mean politically the same thing as their effect practically: opposition to women’s civil and legal equality to men. That is opposition to:

  • Constitutionally guaranteed, inalienable civil rights as individuals;
  • Full equality in employment, employment benefits, and salary, Equal Pay;
  • Powerful support for Title IX, and stronger mechanisms for addressing campus rape culture;
  • Equal coverage in health care without extra costs for “female complaints” like pregnancy and breast cancer screening;
  • Strict scrutiny of the accused in sex discrimination cases, which means that employers, schools, states, the police, and the federal government would do well to avoid such discrimination in the first place.

These conditions mean fewer women and children in poverty, fewer elderly women in poverty, better educational outcomes for everyone and their kids, and many studies show a stabilization in family life with fewer divorces and less domestic violence and abuse. Why? Less insecurity in general. The ERA is one of the most pro-family, long-term economic stability laws ever proposed.

Here’s the deal. The rights enjoyed by women now are based in a collection of legal loose change. Four Equal Pay acts that have no real enforcement. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which conservatives have already begun to weaken now they are in power. Title IX of that act, which was a huge gain for women, now needs new strength in light of various social changes (increased incidence of rape on campus, for example). Title VII of that act forbids sexual harassment in the work place. (Remember all that flap in the 1980s about of sexual harassment? That was about getting law to even be enforced. Not new law, just enforcement of a 20-something year old law.) And it’s the 1974  Equal Credit Opportunity Act that allows women to own their own money, open bank accounts and lines of credit. Again, just a regular law that can be changed or repealed. In all these cases, it’s on the individual woman to sue — because her rights are of limited standing. The Affordable Care Act assures women, for the first time, fairness in premium charges for health insurance, and free preventative screening, etc. But, it was the health care lobby that supported the Eagle Forum and Phyllis Schlafley back in the day, and they’re not delighted about women’s lower premiums now, believe you me.

All these rights are alienable (can be taken from you), and many are being challenged now. An Equal Rights Amendment puts an end to all that legal and civil insecurity. Forever.

96% of Americans believe that  men and women are equal.

72% believe that equality is already guaranteed by the Constitution.

They are wrong. But …

Lastly, in the Good News Department, we expect some movement on the congressional deadline on ERA ratification in the near future. Stay tuned!!

(sources under the cut)



Sources:

 

Delegate Cole, email dated Jan 28, 2015, to Me and the members of the P&E,

from: Mark Cole<DelMCole@house.virginia.gov>
to: Simone Roberts <my private email>,Dave Albo <DelDAlbo@house.virginia.gov>,

“Bob Brink” <DelRBrink@house.virginia.gov>,

Hyland F Fowler <DelBFowler@house.virginia.gov>,

Michael T Futrell <DelMFutrell@house.virginia.gov>,

“Algie Howell” <DelAHowell@house.virginia.gov>,

Tim Hugo <DelTHugo@house.virginia.gov>,

Riley Ingram <DelRIngram@house.virginia.gov>,

Chris Jones <DelCJones@house.virginia.gov>,

K Robert Krupicka <DelRKrupicka@house.virginia.gov>,

Steve Landes <DelSLandes@house.virginia.gov>,

Jackson H Miller <DelJMiller@house.virginia.gov>,

J Randall Minchew <DelRMinchew@house.virginia.gov>,

Israel O’Quinn <DelIOQuinn@house.virginia.gov>,

John O’Bannon <DelJOBannon@house.virginia.gov>,

David I Ramadan <DelDRamadan@house.virginia.gov>,

Margaret Ransone <DelMRansone@house.virginia.gov>,

Sam Rasoul <DelSRasoul@house.virginia.gov>,

L Nick Rush <DelNRush@house.virginia.gov>,

Mark Sickles <DelMSickles@house.virginia.gov>,

Joseph R Yost <DelJYost@house.virginia.gov>

date: Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 3:15 PM
subject: RE: Bring HJ495 to the Floor for a Vote

 

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution.  While I certainly support equal rights for all, the ratification period for the current ERA expired in 1982 and the proposed amendment can no longer be lawfully considered by the Virginia General Assembly.

I know there are cases where amendments were ratified long after they were submitted to the states for ratification, however, the ERA is the only proposed amendment that Congress set a deadline for ratification.  The original deadline was 1979 which was extended by Congress to 1982.  When the second deadline passed, Congress declined to extend it again, thereby killing the amendment.

The passing of the deadline has been recognized by the US Supreme Court.  On October 4, 1982, in NOW v. Idaho, 459 U.S. 809 (1982), the U.S. Supreme Court declared the matter moot on the grounds that the ERA had expired.

Additionally, on February 3, 1994, the Virginia Attorney General issued a formal opinion stating as follows: “Because the Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified within the original or the extended time limit established by Congress for its ratification, it is no longer before the states for ratification, and any action by the General Assembly to ratify it now would be a nullity”.

I would like to note that the Virginia General Assembly has declined to ratify the ERA on the grounds that it has expired numerous times in recent years, including the 2014 session when the House P & E Elections subcommittee tabled Senate Joint Resolution 78 and the year before when similar measures were defeated by the House Rules Committee.

During last year’s Subcommittee hearing, we received testimony concerning a novel legal theory, called the “Three-State Theory”, suggesting that three more states could validly ratify the now null and void 1972 ERA and that then Congress could by fiat revive the proposed amendment.  After consulting with council [sic], we could not find any of this theory sustainable as a matter of law. When it comes to amending the greatest source of secular law in the history of the World, our Subcommittee felt it had to demand legal precision.  Additionally, this theory ignores the fact that five states that had ratified ERA later rescinded their ratification.

The Subcommittee was urged to set aside legal analysis and adherence to law and “just do what’s right”, however we do not have the lawful authority to do so.

In order for the General Assembly to be able to consider the ERA, the US Congress needs to resubmit the amendment to the states for ratification.  I recommend you contact your congressional representatives and encourage them to resubmit the amendment to the states.

Again, thank you for contacting me.

Mark L. Cole

Delegate, 88th District

Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Fauquier

Eileen Davis, Email dated FEb. 24, 2015.

The anti ERA folks are dusting off the ineffective Equal Pay act of 1964 as reason that a constitutional ERA is “not needed” A limited law, (as evidenced by the 40 years well documented pay disparity), it remains a “nail without  a hammer” like all the other incremental laws regarding women’s equality. The equal pay actually affirms the need for an equal rights amendment b/c it shows how much a constitutional amendment is needed to provide constitutional support and render them enforceable. In addition the equal pay act was never sold as a fix, but rather a first step:

in 1963  Pres.Kennedy called the legislation a “first step” and stressed that “much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity…” Kennedy said, “[O]ur journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.”

2015 we’re still at it…

 

Women Matter, Press Release, Feb. 20, 2015.

Del. Cole denies motion to docket Women’s Equality bill SJ 216 and spurns democratic duty

Feb. 20 Richmond, VA – Delegate Johnny S. Joannou made a motion in Friday’s Privileges and Election Committee to docket SJ 216. The motion was seconded by Delegate Sam Rasoul. Dozens of ERA supporters who had lined the hallway with constitutions in their hands hoped SJ 216 would finally be heard.

The Chair of the committee Delegate Mark Cole refused to entertain the motion and continues to refuse to docket SJ 216.

Freeda Cathcart, Legislative Chair of the GFWC Va. Blue Ridge Region, said, “Women are getting the message that Delegate Cole doesn’t care about them or our democracy.”

Candy Graham co-founder, Women-Matter.org said, “Mark Cole is a one-man roadblock to democracy.”

Eileen Davis is asking Delegate Cole and Speaker Howell “to give women the dignity of debate” by allowing SJ 216 a hearing in the House during the 2015 General Assembly session which ends on February 28.

Senate Joint Resolution 216 that passed out of the Senate with bi-partisan support last week. Seven of the Virginia Senators who voted for the bill are lawyers. Two of the Virginia Senators are women and lawyers, one a Republican and one a Democrat.

Last year Delegate Cole assigned the ERA bill that passed out of the Senate to a House sub-committee. Supporters for women’s equality wonder why Cole is refusing to docket the bill this year.

The Illipsis, at Fusion, Jay Smooth & All the Truth

Goodness is a practice, a craft, a work, an art of the soul. It is not just what we are. What we just are is the product of the not-good-enough world we live in. We want a better world. We have to consciously, lovingly, be better at being people.

Jay Smooth, you are IT, sir!