All through historical past and throughout continents, wealth and energy have typically been concentrated within the palms of only a few folks and organizations. That’s whereas the remaining are left to contend for scraps, and the USA isn’t any totally different.
The ultra-wealthy are a particularly small a part of the inhabitants, in order that they work to carry onto their affect and protect the established order through the use of cash to create insurance policies that work of their favor and propaganda designed to divide us. Our well-being depends upon us sticking collectively towards well-funded makes an attempt to drive wedges between us.
Take, for instance, the so-called Proper to Work legislation Democratic lawmakers have labored to repeal in Michigan, which was created by company pursuits just like the DeVos household to defund and undermine unions and hamper our capacity to advocate for staff.
To promote this regressive, anti-worker coverage to the general public, companies and lawmakers used intelligent branding and deceptive speaking factors to pit non-union staff towards the labor motion, when in truth unions are confirmed to enhance work circumstances for members and non-members alike.
On the identical time, the DeVos household and different company pursuits have continued their efforts to demonize and defund public training, largely as a result of an equitable public faculty system paves the best way for all children, no who they’re or the place they dwell, to be taught, thrive and construct higher lives for themselves.
The techniques Republican lawmakers and their company backers have used to assault the labor motion and public training are strikingly just like these used to push by means of anti-voter legal guidelines throughout the nation — which isn’t stunning, as a result of each strains of assault are perpetrated by the identical unhealthy actors.
As is the case with anti-union legal guidelines, the aim of voter suppression is to decrease the folks’s energy to create change, with a specific deal with essentially the most marginalized — they usually’ve bought it to their base by propagating lies and myths to stoke false fears of fraud.
This sample has repeated itself throughout numerous subject areas — it’s why right-wing media and elected officers have labored so exhausting to pit low-income staff towards undocumented immigrants, to distract from the exploitative companies actually answerable for mistreating them.
It’s why they repeatedly assault the LGBTQ+ neighborhood and use disinformation to take advantage of folks’s worry of what they don’t know. And it’s why we’re seeing so many efforts to censor Black and indigenous historical past within the classroom and forestall children from studying about how marginalized folks have fought towards oppression all through historical past.
At a look, these varied right-wing efforts might sound absolutely separate from one another — however the reality is that they’re all techniques employed by a predominantly straight, white and rich group of lawmakers, companies, and people to protect their very own energy.
So, how will we battle again? With solidarity, throughout race, gender, revenue degree, and ZIP code. Proper-wing leaders work so exhausting to divide us with hate and worry as a result of they know that once we stand and battle collectively, we are able to upend the established order and use our votes, voices and collective energy to create a extra equitable, inclusive America.
AFT Michigan is an educators’ union, and we have now lengthy fought for high quality public training for all college students and justice for varsity staff, however that aim doesn’t exist in a vacuum. We can’t actually fulfill the mission of our group with out additionally combating for voting rights, racial justice, LGBTQ inclusion, and the protected, inclusive communities all Michiganders deserve.
So, as we have a good time this month’s progress on labor rights and the historic growth of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, I urge all working Michiganders who’ve spoken out and brought motion on these vital insurance policies to do not forget that our work is simply starting. As we proceed to battle for the financial justice working folks deserve, we should additionally defend our voting rights and work towards justice and equality for all folks.
As union members and leaders, we all know that when working folks stand collectively, we win, and we can’t lose sight of that message. We is not going to be divided and we is not going to be conquered.