North-Central WI: Low-income people, tell your story, be the leaders, make change happen

One lesson many low-income working (and not-working) people in North Central Wisconsin might have learned from nine months of the Covid pandemic is this: It’s not a good idea to have the employer class, the businessmen’s unions such as Wisc. Manufacturers and Commerce, be the spokespeople for our working class.

You end up with no means of protecting our public health, as the employer class takes over the governing of the state / county / municipalities in the domain of public health. You get a WI Supreme Court whose judges were well-funded into their positions by copious spending by the Wisc. Manufacturers and Commerce and other big business syndicates. That Court then invalidates a Governor’s “safer-at-home” order and then goes further, by fighting other mandates, such as face coverings or limiting number of customers in business establishments and so forth.

The aim of course in all this legal activity was to get businesses all fully open, and compel all their employees back to work so as to maintain the profits stream of the employer class. At the same time the employer class, led by syndicates (business unions) such as the Tavern League, were managing the propaganda war against our poor and low-income workers. In the absence of strong labor unions, the business unions took over the public discourse. So you see today even working people declaring Covid-19 is a hoax; mortality figures are made-up; doctors are declaring all deaths as Covid deaths; wearing masks won’t help; we’re all going to catch the virus, so get used to it; we’re all going to die from something, right?

Then there’s the “freedom-fighter” and “liberty-spreader” contingent, many of these even workers themselves, declaring an absolute, Constitutional right, to freely spread the virus anywhere they please. The employer class is ecstatic, to have their own volunteer propaganda team out spreading lies and false narratives. Saves them money. They don’t even have to pay these volunteer lobbyists.

Meanwhile… the pandemic recession motors on. Most recent Dept. of Labor report for Nov. 21, 2020 showed 778,000 new unemployment claims in the nation. North-Central Wisconsin has its share of these. So, even the best efforts of the employer class to keep the profits flowing, isn’t working quite as well as they had planned.

If you’re a low-income, out-of-work, disabled or elder person unable to live a first-world life in north-central Wisconsin on the income you have, maybe it’s time to become your own spokesperson and unite with thousands of other poor folks into a fighting political force to end this problem of peak inequality. Ditch the employer class as your spokesman, and become your own spokesperson.

First step in that is to get your story told. If you take part in any conversations about the economy and your own situation, in social media, or in the mass media pages which have comments section, you’ve found yourself stigmatized, right?

People will ridicule you for being poor.
“That’s your own fault.”
“You should have studied welding instead of sociology. Then you’d be making the big bucks, like I am.”
“You’re just lazy. There’s jobs all over the place. I saw a Help Wanted sign at Kwik-Trip just yesterday.”
“Maybe if you wouldn’t have had kids you wouldn’t have to worry about supporting them as a single mom.”
“If you ended up homeless, you’re just stupid.”
“I’m not letting YOU PEOPLE shut down my business again. I built this business, you didn’t.”
“You should be grateful your boss lets you keep working even when you’re sick. You need the income don’t you?”

And so on. If you want to get your story told, without being subject to the stigmatizing and ridicule that happens to poor folks in a small community where everyone seems to know your business, you can jot down your ideas in an email and use a pseudonym or (Anonymous) and we’ll put them up here on the blog. Be sure to explain how you think that your situation can be improved and what governments–your city, village, town, County, your State and Federal– should be doing to help elevate your status out of inequality. Tell your own story, UNstigmatize your own self.

Just shoot an email here:

Be your OWN “think-tank” thinker. Study complicated economics stories. Delve into case-studies where poorer communities are making their own change. And start organizing. We need all sorts of organizations that fight for the basic needs of people. Here’s a good how-to book from Labor Notes that will help get you started. It’s focused on labor union organizing but the same principles work in both community and labor organizing.

Available from Labor Notes, click link.

The Role of Black WW II Veterans in Launching the Freedom/Civil Rights Movement

In this video by Daymon J. Hartley, posted 13 years ago, Nelson Peery, founder of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America, speaks about his evolution from “second-class citizen to first-class soldier” during his time in World War II (the Pacific Theatre, including Burma).

“When I came home from that war, I had three campaign ribbons; I had four battle stars. And I was a first-class soldier. And like a million other African-Americans who were discharged at that period of time, I had no intention of going back and becoming a second-class citizen. Because the journey of the African-American soldier was from second-class citizen to first-class soldier; and then the question was: Were you going to go back to become second-class citizens, or were you going to become first-class citizens?”

“And the civil rights movement that exploded in 1945-1946 was precisely because the refusal of the veterans to go back to where they were in 1940, or 1941, when they went into the army. So the foundation of the freedom movement that developed in that period of time was precisely led by the veterans, fueled by the very local situations. And nobody, to my knowledge, has adequately chronicled, adequately described and discussed, that period of time.”