Friday, August 26, 2016

Movement for Black Lives Releases Policy Agenda -- Bravo !!!

In a move surprising critics, The Movement for Black Lives released a detailed policy proposal. The proposal was the work of 67 groups and organizations according to the website. The proposal extends the work of the Black Lives Matter movement to economics, social justice and political participation in the US.

You can read the proposals here...
A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice

The Policy demands are split into six areas: Criminal Justice Reform, Reparations, Investment Priorities, Economic Justice, Community Involvement, and Politically Related matters including other.

Each sections starts with the policy recommendations followed by the description of the problem and then how the recommendations form a solution. .  Next, come proposed changes at the federal, state and local level. Finally, each section ends with how the policy would affect Black people who have the worst-off.

We are going to look only at the economic related issues in all six areas, but we encourage you to read the full document.

Section #1: Criminal Justice Reform.

In the criminal justice section there are three economic proposals: End "defendant" funding of the criminal justice system, end bail and end the privatization of the criminal justice system.


The failings of the criminal justice system are well known. There are many cases across the US where poor defendants to extract court fees and penalties. Privatization in the the criminal justice system has resulted in any improvements only profits and worse prison conditions. And bail keeps "low-risk" suspects locked up because they are poor.

This section also includes a long section on educational changes. It also proposed to limited the use of past criminal records in employment, licensing, housing and financial transactions.

Section #2: Reparations

The Reparations section calls for free college education, support for HBCUs and universal basic income.

Section #3: Invest - Divest

The investment section suggests better uses for funds spent in the US and "spent" on Black People. The money would come from reduce military and criminal justice spending. It should be redirected toward education and employment programs and universal healthcare.

Section #4: Economic Justice

The Economic Justice platform calls for making the tax code more progressive, creating a jobs program, reforming banks to support small and Black banks, supporting workers right to for unions, ending the TPP, support for Black Co-ops and improving worker protections


Many of the proposals have been circulating on the left for years.  We have long supported government jobs programs, universal income, free college education and police and military cuts, But never specifically for Black people. Maybe that approach is all wrong.  Maybe, in this country, with the long and deep history of racism, you need you specifically label something as Black to cut through the noise and get people to pay attention.

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