1 Selma 1

1 Selma 2

^ marching to Selma, Alabama, in 1963 — a Civil Rights battle that we thought we had won…

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As Robert Reich recently pointed out on his daily blog, schools in America now show greater racial segregation than at any time since the historic Brown v. Board of Education decision was enforced back in the 1950s.

And as we all recently saw fully displayed in Ferguson, Missouri, many police departments view people of color, who they are supposed to protect, as a threat and treat them as such. e have seen elsewhere too that some police and some communities feel that killing a Black person is OK.

Now comes news, via the New York times, that the State of New York will likelyu bsue evans bank of Buffalo for violating the Fair housing Law by “red-lining” — denying mortgagte loans to — neighborhoods of Buffalo in which more than three quarters of that city’s people of color live. A link to the Times story follows:


These were fights which my generation gave time, passiona nd, in some cases, life to ight and win. Now we find, as we age into our 60s and approach being 70 and more, that our life’s work did not succeed; that we won only a temporary reprieve’; that racism continues to hold sway and even increases; that the disease of racism has, like bacteria, developed immunity to the remedies we had devised to attack and kill it.

I admit to feeling very sad to know that my part in this fight has failed; that instead of bequeathing a more just America to my children and grandchildren, i am bequeathing the very same fight that i had hoped to tell them, proudly, that i had helped to win.

I am bequeathing them protest and the need to protest, angrily and passionately because they are protesting things that are wrong and can never be right.

So now, in order that their protests may result in victories more lasting than the ones i thought I had won, I must tell my grandchildren — and you must tell yours — that there is much work to be done, done all over again, work that experience tells us will never be done, work that every generation needs to do and redo because racism in America has not gone away, not at all.

I must tell my grandchildren — and you must tyell yours — that laws may abate racism f0ora time, hut as life changes, so those laws loset their grip and new laws to curb racism must follow.

I must tell my grandchildren — and you must tell yours — that

1. it is NOT OK for banks to treat customers differently becsuse of the color of their skin or their country of origin.

2.it is NOT OK for schools in neighborhoods or communitioes inhabited mosrly by people of color to do with less funding, decrepit school buildiongds,l inexperienced and second-choice teachers.

3.it is NOT OK for police departments to disrespect people of color in the communoties they policve; NOT OK for it to be a crime to be black, to drive while Back, to walk while Black, to enter an ipscale store while black, to cross the street while Black.

I must tell my grandchildren — and you must tell yours — that eveery person who lives in any part of this nation is entitled to respect; to be treated with dognity and courtesy; to prosper and work; to go about his or her daily affairs; to be educated; to borrow money and to openh a business. And I must tell my grandcholdren — and you must tell yours — that they must work to assure that this happens in every corber of our natioon; must pass laws to ensure it; must enforce thosde laws; must teach their children that racism is NOT OK, no part of it; that the bigotry must be eradicated ass surely as smallpox, polio, or bubonic plague have been eradicated from human history.

This is the mission that all of us who fought for justice 50 years ago must recommit to. the fight is not over, not at all; and it MUSt be fought.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


1 Market Basket

^ workers and customers of Market Basket, united for a cause that is all of us

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Today we pay our respects to those who work for wages, doing jobs for a boss, by a schedule set by the boss, under rules established by the boss, day after day and, hopefully, year after year.

We honor those who take pride in their work even though many a boss takes no pride in thrm.

Little do we realize the boredom lived by those who work at jobs to provide us goods and services. We take the courtesies of sales staff for granted, as if no effort were out into being gracious to a hundred strangers every day, many of these strangers quite rude. We do not see, in the lightbulbs we buy, or the touys, or the clothing, or the laptop accessories and auto parts, the tired hands, bleary eyes, exhausted legs of those who assemble these things we buy without thinking.

We honor those who work and also who spend; becayse it is the paychecks of workers, mostly, that make up the “consumer spending” that provides s of oyr ENTIRE national economy.

Were it not for the unions that workers have formed — to unify each with each, that;s what “union” means — most such workers would live at the utter mercy of employers, many of them completely indifferent to their employees’ lives. Unions have won significant wages for workers, benefits, some job security, some dignity, some peace of mind. Unions have allowed workers to become discretionary spenders; to buy the goods and services which they make as employees and thus to provide us with jobs too.

Thus we see that by honoring workers and their unions, we are honoring waht they give to us as well as what they gain for themselves. Becaue we are all in this together — in this grand expeeiment in social progress and bettering of life that is the American dream. United we may not all be, or always. but even when we differ, we owe our ability to differ without disastrous life consequences to those who work and unify for the sake of a fair workplace and a better life.

And this year, how can we not honor the workers and customers of Market Basket who have stood strong and proudly for the loyalty shown by boss to workers and workers to boss ? For the partnership in success that Arthur T gives to his workers / for the low prices he accords the community ? Sometimes the ideal does work : fair excahnge between boss and workers. It works at Market basket, and we honor it by writing of it — and by shopping at the Market Basket store.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere