We All Belong
With Greisa Martínez Rosas of United We Dream, we explore the ever-changing definition of citizenship.
Episode 4: We All Belong
References and resources
- When Immigrants to America Were White
- Amend: The Fight for America documentary
- Washington Covid-19 Immigrant Relief Fund
- “Noncitizens’ Right to Vote Becomes Law in New York City,” New York Times
- The full South Park clip
ORGANIZATIONS TO FOLLOW: United We Dream, United We Dream Action.
Kendra Bozarth 0:09
You’re listening to Raci$m Is Profitable, a podcast by and for people of color that aims to dismantle the assumptions that fuel the oppression economy. Your hosts are Jeremie Greer and Solana Rice, the co-founders and co-executive directors of Liberation in Generation Action. Let’s get it.
Solana Rice 0:25
For this episode of Raci$m Is Profitable, we’re going to talk about citizenship. From the constant colonization of undocumented people to the misguided belief that we have to earn our civil, political and economic rights, the idea of citizenship comes down to who belongs and who doesn’t. While people of color are still buying our freedom with our labor, white people get it from birth — and they get to redefine it and take it from us. We might dig into some legalities here but we’re really trying to lift the curtain on why US citizenship is denied to so many and why it has yet to be fully realized for most Americans. People of color aspire to be part of this country, and we hold our democracy accountable to its promise. But we know that we don’t have democratic citizenship, and we damn sure don’t have economic emancipation either. Greisa Martínez Rosas of United We Dream joins us to call out the lies and speak all truth.
South Park 1:28
Still, more immigrants from the future arrived at the time border today. Some even bringing their entire families. The purplish goo that they have on their bodies when they arrive is an ectoplasmic side effect of the time travel process. This is all giving scientists a great opportunity to learn even more about American life in the future. Chris Hall joins us now. Chris? Yes, there are incredible things we’re learning about Americans in the future air and it appears that in the future, Americans have evolved into a hairless uniform mix of all races. They are all one color, which is a yellowy light, brownish whitish color. It seems race is no longer an issue in the future because all ethnicities have mixed into one.
[Additional South Park clips]
Solana Rice 2:05
This was South Park. And there are obvious parallels to our current reality from this clip. What are you?
Jeremie Greer 2:14
Are you a South Park person? I’m not a South Park person. So I haven’t really so big ups to Kendra Bozarth for finding this clip. Because I would have never stumbled upon it. Yeah, but you know, it is great. It isn’t it is great with the weird aliens. Because to better you white folks, I think we are weird aliens. You know, I…
Solana Rice 2:39
And there’s definitely a fear of becoming one goo population.
Jeremie Greer 2:45
And I think sometimes they don’t really know what we’re what we’re saying even though we’re speaking English, right, like, but. But what this clip does so great, um, is it it creates that that it frames that US them, right? And there’s just flakes to our economy. There’s like an us there’s them. There’s scarcity, like there’s not enough jobs. And there’s inequality. And it creates the social order that we have to live in. And in our society, the US is white people, and them is the rest of us: Black folks, Indigenous folks, Latin X folks, Asian American folks, immigrants. And there’s a them because we’re them, there’s a justification for them to do whatever they want to us.
Solana Rice 3:39
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s important to say that the definition of white people, the definition of who belongs in this nation, has continuously changed throughout the history. Not everyone who was who we deem white today was deemed as a citizen was deemed as a person with full rights. And I also think why we’re talking about citizenship and belonging today is that so many of our rights, so many of the things that we say like you’re an American, and you get these things depends on our economic position. It depends on how much we’re contributing to the economy. The idea that we have to just we can only get certain citizenship, if we if our employer vouches for us, and we’ve been here a certain number of years, you know, the idea that if we’re here, and we were born here, but our parents weren’t, then we don’t have full citizenship necessarily, right. This is the it’s, it’s who gets to decide like, what it means to be an American
Jeremie Greer 5:00
Well, here’s the size. So just decide everything right? It’s the wealthy elites, it’s people that are better benefiting and profiting off of this. Yeah, not all white people are profiting from this situation, but they do have something that has a value in its currency, and that’s their whiteness. And there’s a reason why they don’t want to give that up. Because they know that there’s value in that in having that whiteness, because that US them dynamic is not just about like us, but it’s about them, but not just them, but them as the enemies. They’re the people coming to take our stuff, they’re the ones coming to take the preferred status that we have as being a part of the us. Well, you know, when Trump goes on a rant about, you know, those people are coming to the suburbs, or there’s caravans of folks coming from South America. They’re not saying that to trigger your fear, because like, oh, like, people from Guatemala are scary, just generally, no, those people from Guatemala come to take something from you, that you have to protect. And that is what that’s about. When Black people are coming to the suburbs, oh, they’re coming to take something from you, they’re coming to take something that is rightfully yours, and that is what is going on in our in our country. So there’s us them dynamically, this concept of citizenship is really, really, at the core of this our economic situation.
Solana Rice 6:20
I just really wonder, like, when did we see democracy as a finite good? Like, when it when did we see like citizenship as like, not everyone can have it? Is it because? Yeah, but the idea that, that if you have a say, then I inherently have less of a say.
Jeremie Greer 6:48
OH I have less of a say? Well, is because the SAY is given, right, it’s it’s controlled. There’s a mess of the courts, there’s a bit of social control that happens here with the elite, where it’s like, we get to determine who gets to say, who has power democracy. And the way that they create coalition is to keep that that really small, keep that really tight. And that the, the, the what’s unique about that here in the United States is it relates to maybe other ways of, of that social order has been created is that the marker is biological. It’s like the pigment in our skin, rather than like, you know, something arbitrary, like it could be you and see in America, like, stars on the shoulders, like worn in the Warsaw Ghetto, but the people walking around with physical features that trigger this kind of social order and this decision making around who was in and who was out?
Solana Rice 7:42
Yeah, yeah. And I think we saw that clearly right, with, you know, the Irish weren’t always white. But when we needed to build a railroad across the nation All right, come on, let’s go build this let’s go build this railroad. Oh, Chinese folks. You need to you’re coming over to build this railroad fantastic. Oh wait Chinese folks, you’re actually starting to gain some kind of economic status. We need an exclusion act, and we need to like make clear that you all are not going to get full citizenship. You your contribution to the economy? Fantastic. But don’t don’t don’t get it twisted.
Jeremie Greer 8:22
Right. But the exclusion act wouldn’t of worked if the Irish built the railroad, because they couldn’t create an Irish exclusion act, because how the fuck would you know who’s right? But you can identify like, Oh, those are Chinese people get rid of them. It doesn’t matter if they’re Chinese, as long as they look Chinese, Japanese, Korean. For the matter, like just you. Asian people out. You know, same thing. Same thing with Black folks. It’s like even today, it’s like you Black because like you have dark skin. Like, give a fuck if you from Haiti. You, you still don’t get this stuff, you know?
Solana Rice 8:57
Yeah. Well, I I really look forward to talking with Greisa about how we redefine as a as an people as people of color who feel like we’re constantly trying to actually make sure that everyone is included. That’s a blanket statement. There are definitely Black people who are who buy into the scarcity, like don’t take my job conversation. But I you know, I think we really have to talk about what does it mean to be an American and who gets to define that? Right?
Jeremie Greer 9:32
Because if there’s no collective us, that really is collective, it’s all of us, then there’s no way that that we ever get to be a part of that us. Right. We’re always going to be them as long as someone else’s is controlling that.
Solana Rice 9:45
defining it. Yeah.
Jeremie Greer 9:50
Hi, so we are here with our friend Greisa Martínez [Rosas]. She is in the house. She’s executive director of United We Dream, a member of LibGen’s Governing Council, and a bold, badass advocate for liberation. What’s up Greisa?
Greisa Martínez Rosas 10:04
I’m gonna need to take you everywhere I go Jeremie. That was a great introduction. Thank you for that, that was really generous.
Jeremie Greer 10:20
Yeah, yeah. Thanks for joining us. And we’re just gonna dive right in. And you know, this, this, this podcast, Raci$m Is Profitable, we’re honing in on the idea of citizenship as a piece of our economic structure, our economic system, our political system. And we want to start off like, like, what does a citz what is citizenship to you? And like, what rights or like what does that mean to be a citizen? What rights does it confer? Like? What what does it mean to be a citizen?
Greisa Martínez Rosas 10:51
Wow, you going in like straight to the good one. I did not expect anything less from the two of you. You know, what I just want to say how excited I am to to join you. I am, as you know, super fans of the both of you of the work that you’re doing with LibGen and excited to be in this conversation. Um, citizenship. You know, I’ll say that it’s been maybe in the last 10 years that I’ve, like, actively been thinking about, like, what, what does that mean for my life. But, you know, as I was growing up, citizenship always felt like this. fairy land made with unicorns; it meant having like health care, like, a stable job, and immense, you know, like a better life. It was sold to us in that way. And, you know, growing up undocumented, I always felt like, I grew up in this mixed status households, my two of my sisters are US citizens, myself and my younger sister are undocumented. And we saw what it meant like they got to get the the shots and go to the doctors and my little sister and I stayed home. They got to go to Mexico and meet our grandmother and my little sister and I stayed home. So it was for us growing up citizenship meant like, access to something and connection to something. I still remember when we first came to the US, I was seven and my youngest sister and I we crossed the the Rio Grande with my parents and my other two sisters that were US citizens they rode through through the, through the checkpoint, the border, and it meant like very different experiences on how we came to the US. So I think that was sort of like my configuration was like something that I deeply yearn for that it meant safety meant. But now that I have come of age in this nation, it’s meant like the precious thing of it has has clarified that it’s actually it is a form of political oppression for a lot of us and it is also a big is used as in Spanish we say this word like I say “espejismo” like this mirage of everyone that has this is the same it has access to the same people but we know that that’s not true that like for even children of immigrants that are US citizens, Black people, like citizenship for women; it’s this elusive thing. Yeah, so I think for me now, I don’t want it to be a distract– like the the progress towards it, like the yearning of citizenship is still there. I’m not gonna lie like I still want to be able to go back and visit my father I want to have access to health care and all of those things. And the beauty of this moment is like I I also know that it’s not it’s not an end all be all, and it is that is part of my job to make sure that that it’s not used as a dividing line between between people that are could very well be connected in the shared struggle.
Solana Rice 14:35
It It actually reminds me that I so I have started watching this Netflix episode series called Amend. Will Smith is the host. [Muddled conversation between the three.] I saw little photo. So of course, it’s an it’s episodes, right. And the first episode is obviously about Black people and, and slavery, and how the 14th amendment was created to create rights, voting rights and citizenship for Black people. And since then, we have all been constantly trying to make sure that we’re actually including everyone in this definition of all persons born or naturalized in the United States. Everyone having citizenship, everyone having civil and legal rights, right. So just like you said, like, soon it was like, Well, women have all rights, and we have people who are gay and want to be married, they have rights, and people who are immigrating from another place to this country have rights, and in the last episode is about immigration. And they, of course, talk about DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. So we’re not using a ton of acronyms. And they feature of course, this photo of I’m pretty sure it was United We Dream folks in front of the hill, I’m pretty sure you were in that photo. And I was like, yes this is it! But I’m really curious, like, from your perspective, like, what was that fight like? Are we still broadening the definition? Like, I’m finding it hard to believe that we’re still we’re still trying to define the 14th amendment. And we’re still trying to define, define citizenship and like, make it real. So like, from your, from your work and your experience? How do we broaden this definition of who, who belongs in this nation?
Greisa Martínez Rosas 16:49
I love that you the last part of that sentence, because there’s this, it really has become this question about like belonging, like, who is— and also worthiness, like, who is worthy of belonging, and who was like, welcomed into this space? You know, when I when I think about the work that that we’ve done, in the last 10 years, you know, oftentimes people people think about victories or breakthroughs as like these, like, big moments at the Supreme Court, like the ones that we had, and those are cool; like, obviously, I’m not gonna say we don’t want them. But the but but really the conversation about like, the expansion, the 14th Amendment, who is really a citizen, and it happens in like these minuscule moments, every single day, like it happens when, you know, we saw the the death of Brianna Taylor and George Floyd and the way in which the system failed them even even though they had like that, you know, for us social security numbers, like sort of like the equation of citizens and security number, they were not protected by their citizenry. We all saw that, that video of like, even that, it was like a Black military guy that was pulled over by police. And, and assaulted, and he was like, I never thought it was gonna be me. So when I think about that, I, I feel that though citizenship will continue to be a goal for us, we have to be able to think about ways in which it’s not only defined within the confines of the law, or like the law, I think about the work that organizers up in New York did just this year, where they opened up voting for non citizens and like, and in New York City, or I think about the work that was done in Washington State to ensure that like, there was COVID relief for all undocumented people within the state; they put like a $10 million fund there. So I just, for me, it means like being able to care for one another, being able to have a voice in like civic life and like have an ability to self determine, like, really, that’s what we’re talking about, like, the ability to self determine people’s ability to have dignity in their work, dignity in their everyday lives. And that, in some ways, has been, like, sort of summarized by like, Are you a US DHS? Department of Homeland Security, did they determine that you belong and you’re here and if so, then you get all these things? If they don’t, then you don’t. And I just, I, I, when I think about, about this, this project that we’re in into belonging, I, I’m excited by it because it just feels like we can stretch it for far beyond our borders. Far beyond geographic sort of specifications?
Jeremie Greer 20:05
Yeah. Before we hopped on with you, Solana and I were talking about how this “us them” kind of dynamic is created in our country in its politics in its economy. And that is race based, right? There’s like the US who are, you know, white people, and there’s the them, which are all the non white people. And it’s it is done because it’s like, biologically we carry markers that allow them to other us. And what we’ve talked about, and I’d love to get your reaction to is that people talk about like, white folks, and they say, Well, you know, like, like, if they’re, like, ill informed or, like, don’t they see that their issues are tied to their issues? And our thought it was like, No, there’s like material value in whiteness, and that they hold to that. So and that when people like Trump use rhetoric, that’s like, you know, people are coming in caravans, they’re basically saying to signal those people are coming for your ship. And they should fight it. And I just wonder like, someone from the front lines, like, what is it? Like? How do you? What is experienced navigating that terrain where there’s this us them dynamic? And can we get to a place of this, like, inclusive citizenship? How does what’s the path to this kind of thing, navigating through this kind of, like, us them dynamic that is out there?
Greisa Martínez Rosas 21:33
Well, I mean, you know, when I think about when people talk about caravans, you know, the often comes up with like, these images of like, a lot of people walking and walking towards the southern border, and I’m sorry, I just, I just think about, like, really, we’re talking about, like, 20,000 people that are like, out this country has way more than way more space than necessary, but there is a scapegoating and of elimination of folks that are really like their migrants that are responding to the climate change that this country itself is responsible for, all across the all across the globe. And I feel that actually, those moments have been surprising in some ways, where, you know, there was some people in currently undocumented people that had the question like, like, they’re coming, like, like, maybe they shouldn’t, because they’re making things harder for us that are here. And, you know, it’s, it’s tough stuff to talk about, because it’s not like a clean story that we would want to tell ourselves. So I say that because there is like a human, a human nature part of like, feeling like there’s not enough that like scarcity, like I, even though I know the pain, and I live the pain of those migrants that are coming and like maybe I there won’t be enough for me in this country that’s already, like, oppressing me this much. But that is a lie. Like, I guess that’s the clarity of it. It is a lie that we’ve all been fed, and everything around us is structured, because that lie upholds white supremacy and white nationalism and the keeps the Bezos nd all those people gave in the billions of dollars like every single year. So I just, I think that there’s like, when I think about white poor people that I grew up in, in Texas, and like, they buy into this lie as well, but good, you’re gonna replace us like, that’s no, you do jobs that like we would never do for that amount of money. And so, you know, all of those, this conversation that, you know, if you’re just talking to a person one by one, like I could, I could, I could understand how they’ve bought into that big lie when it comes to scarcity. But I just feel like that’s why this conversation about what a united front means to be like a new framework of operation for our movement that does not rely on this lie that there’s only so much political will within one presidential election and like you can only get one issue done this year or only so much like percentage of poll of likely voters are care about your issue like there’s big like we ourselves are sometimes buy into this like even in like movement building work. And I that’s the challenge of this moment that it is undeniable to see sort of like the rise of, of white nationalism and this belief in a white state or a white nation that aims to exclude control or eradicate communities of color. I want us to be honest about this, like, we calling for violence against against people of color, and that the country’s immigration system was founded in response to that, you know, and, and so it’s not like a disconnected from all these other issues that were, that we’re facing every day. So, you know, I think that it does require for us to think about it from from a different perspective, and it feels almost impossible, but there’s no other way but to move through it. Like, that’s gonna be the breakthrough for us.
Solana Rice 25:38
I’m really curious, I was reading a tweet that you had today about Democrats and Republicans, right and delivering on this this promise. And I think it’s clear that like, this is not about political parties delivering or not delivering, this is like a long term, whatever you will, however, you want to call like the old Democrats, the New Democrats, the old Republicans, whatever, people are always like, Oh, but the party’s changed. Don’t you remember that? Yeah, I remember. And turns out…
Jeremie Greer 26:14
Obama, y’all. Obama!
Solana Rice 26:18
…turns out, it doesn’t didn’t matter. And so I’m curious about where you feel like, like, honestly, I feel like coming into 2022 it’s been rough, like rough all around. How are you feeling about our path towards expanding what it means to be to belong? Like, politically, where are we at? Are there any bright spots?
Greisa Martínez Rosas 26:46
Yes, yes. I think that, um, you know, I think it’s important that we’re honest about what you just laid out that it is, it is difficult, but difficult time that that we can sort of like wish away the impact of the pandemic and the the grief that people are holding. And, you know, I think that in those times, the in these times, I feel like the, there’s also a lot of opportunity, because I think it was James Baldwin that said something like, the most dangerous creation of a society is a man who has nothing to lose. And as we think about this moment, for working class people, people that are like, facing this same feeling of like, what do I have to lose like, the, it opens up abilities to walk through a portal of something different and, you know, allows for, like, new ideas that may have been considered crazy times before to be adopted and embraced in a way that’s like, Okay, well, we got to try something because what we’ve tried so far is not working. But I think that it’s it’s also an important moment for organizers like us to recognize our own responsibility and, and, and autonomy or responsibility to self determine the future, like I think sometimes we overcorrect or we over rely on a critique of a politician or a Democrat or Republican. And, you know, I think that it is going to be upon us to be able to articulate what does real governing mean and look like and that’s why, you know, I’m so bought into, like, the work that you all are doing at LibGen, because it’s taking responsibility to articulate something new rather than just live in a critique. And we’ve always been we’ve always been the protagonist, like Black people in particular, like, of electing whoever’s like the right person, like putting people in seats, but we’re not the people like we’re not some like, helpless sort of groups of folks that like are needing guidance or liberation from these politicians. We have time and time again proven that we got ourselves. Like you saw the ways that communities are sponsored, responded to COVID the ways that some local governments are shifting in response to the demand of defense for Black lives and divesting from from police. We’re seeing pockets of that across the country. And so now it’s gonna be up to us to define what what it is but I don’t know as I feel like I’ll tell you, I’ll be real with you all that I felt like last October was really hard for me in terms of like seeing a pathway forward, and particularly as we were leading the national immigration fight and seeing the continued, like, violence hailed for on, on Haitian migrants at the border and the continued like, violence against women in detention. And it’s easy, it’s easy to go down on any street, like, say, like, here’s the, here’s how messed up this whole thing is. And yet, I think that the beauty of us is this idea of the discipline of hope, which is why I know that it’s like it lives within you, Jeremie and Solana, and myself and many others that, you know, we decide to, like, do something about it. Yeah. But yeah, it’s part of it is to recognize that it sucks.
Solana Rice 30:58
But I really appreciate, I just really appreciate that phrase of the discipline of hope, because it is a, it is a discipline, it does feel like almost like a reserve and a reservoir that we have to keep pulling from it, we have to keep spilling in some way. Because it’s about hope it is about faith. It’s about actually believing in a different future, which is really challenging as people of color in this nation, but it’s also really challenging in a pandemic, where things keep shifting and plans are hard.
Jeremie Greer 31:34
Yeah, yeah. And in that there’s this idea of expanding citizenship, in this way, requires that all of us who are currently being othered [inaudible] belong, that like some of us can belong, if not all of us belong. And that’s the kind of hope that I think we have to we have to hold. Because that means that at that point in time we’ve truly taken down white supremacy at that point. Because if some of us get it’s because white supremacy said it was alright to give it to this group, but not that group. Yeah. Right. But, so thanks. Thanks so much for joining us, Greisa. So before we go, though, there’s big things happening at United We Dream. So we you want to share with the with the folks anything you want to about what y’all are up to and what your what y’all are doing.
Greisa Martínez Rosas 32:22
Yeah. So there’s always lots of great stuff happening at UWD. I’ll say that we are building a broad multiracial movement of young people that are fighting for the rights of everyone to live free and be able to thrive. And so what that looks like in this coming year is defining what our united front looks like, who are our allies that will walk hand in hand and understand not only by putting it in their tweets and in their like statements, but actually walking the talk of like how these, how all of these things are interconnected. So we’re excited this year, we’re doing like a story circles with the, with Indigenous young people all across the country and like, with Indigenous undocumented people about what are the connections that ground us in this work. We’re also looking forward to the midterms, because we do believe that we cannot let ourselves be guided by, by the politics of now. And we have to create the politics of tomorrow, which means that we have to intervene right now. So young people are getting ready to elect the people that they’re that they truly believe will represent them. And then finally, where we’re going, and this is more of like my geeky organizational part, but like we’re going through a strategic plan. I share that because I think that as organizers, I actually think that organizing is both a skill and an art. And as artists, we reflect the times. And so I think taking responsibility, taking responsibility to enable others to achieve purpose in this face of uncertainty is what United We Dream does. And we want to do that in a large scale. We want to articulate a 10 year vision for ourselves. And so anyway, I share that because I know that we can’t heal individually like organizations. And we have to do a lot of healing in the coming months and years and learning together about what this moment is teaching us. So I invite you two and like any other folks who like to be in study this year to like lean into the learning with community and to also develop shared plans for the future because it’s, it’s what’s going to get us to the other side of this suck. This moment sucks.
Jeremie Greer 35:00
Yeah, well we’re there. You let us know when.
Solana Rice 35:05
Yes, thank you. Great. Thanks for having me. Yeah, of course,
What’s the message for voters of color who are concerned that without the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, they’re not going to be able to vote in the midterm.
Mitch McConnell 35:18
Well, the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, African American voters are voting in just as high percentage as Americans. Arecent survey 94% of Americans thought it was easy to vote. This is not a problem.
Solana Rice 35:37
Well, he said the concern is misplaced. But I can tell you what was not misplaced: that use of African American versus American.
Jeremie Greer 35:48
I think he just said we weren’t Americans. I think that’s what he just said.
Solana Rice 35:53
I think that’s what I heard, despite having American and African American. Yeah, yeah. So I think he said everything that he Yeah, I think that was…
Jeremie Greer 36:07
He meant that. So so the media is gonna cover this as Oh, he slipped up. It was a slip of the tongue. It was a gaffe. Remember to get you know, the gaffes, right? And I’ll tell you something about Mitch McConnell: that dude doesn’t gaffe. He doesn’t make mistakes at the microphone. He meant that shit. And he was sending a signal. And when he says that shit, he’s sending a signal to a certain group of people to enflame this us them that we’ve been talking about. And what he’s saying is like, you know, look, we let your vote what do you fucking crying about? We let your vote, stop fucking crying. Like that’s what he’s saying. And that’s the signal he’s sending to his peeps. Is like we gave it, they’re just not happy.
Solana Rice 36:54
Yeah, also, like the excuses change from year to year? I’m pretty sure it’s like, no. It’s like, I’m pretty sure this is like the same thing that we’ve been talking about since the 14th Amendment. Now what has changed is the tactics to suppress folks and oppress folks. We have more of them now. But the claim has been the same.
Jeremie Greer 37:24
Been the same. And what we have is one, one party. So this is this, this voting rights debate that’s happening today — and it doesn’t matter when you listen to this podcast, we’re probably still going to be having it — and it’s that basically, the right to vote is for us but not for them. The inherent right is for us, but not for them. And that is what this debate is about. And it is it is how this is playing out and it is how they control this economy. It is it is what happens when Donald Trump says that half the votes and a whole set of votes in Wisconsin shouldn’t count is because Black people voted those Black people who voted, those immigrants that voted, those people who legally cast their votes that voted should not count. And that’s the rationale that they’re using.
Solana Rice 38:13
And I think it’s important also to note that not only are white people protecting whiteness, they are protecting their economic interests. And this is this is because we have a citizenship and a citizenry that is contingent upon our economic position in this world. And we can conflate the two. Demos calls it an economic democracy, right, this is what we have. We have this idea that if you work, then you get health care. If you have a job where your job will vouch for you as a citizen, then maybe you’ll get citizenship. If you came over here with illegal quote unquote, illegally air quotes, then you don’t have a due process in our legal system. These are all things that that mean that we have to be doing some kind of economic output in order to belong. And I think what was so beautiful about what Greisa shared, is that we have all kinds of ways to demonstrate to one another that we belong here it is not only through a social security number, we can take care of one another today, and one on one real, you know, relationship, but we can also take care of each other at a national level because we have the resources to do so. Um, and I think what was so striking and I think you’ve said this before, too, is that as long as there are people being detained at the border, as long as there are, as Greisa said, you know, women being abused in, in detention, as long as there are Black people being shot by police, like none of us are full citizens.
Jeremie Greer 40:07
And we and let’s not mince words, though this, what you just said right there, there is a single political party, the Republican Party of the Republican Party, elements of the Democratic Party, but mostly, almost mostly entirely nearly one political party that has ground themselves in the ground to sustain this system that we have. They’re the ones that are fighting the expansion of voting access. They’re the ones fighting the redefinition of citizen, so that people who have lived in this country for decades cannot become US citizens. It is a it is a singular political party that is doing that. Well, the problem we have with the Democrats is that they’re not willing to fight, at the level that they should, against that party, to create this this kind of inclusive and [sic] system of belonging that we need, but let’s not make mistake, it is the Republican Party and they use those that racist rhetoric that we heard from the majority leader to sustain that system.
Solana Rice 41:25
What do we do?
Jeremie Greer 41:26
So. I mean, it’s simple, right? Like this is, the fight is that we’ve have to acknowledge that, like, we can’t like what, like the media needs to stop letting people like Mitch McConnell off the hook with this, like, oh, he gaffed, oh, he made a mistake. No, Mitch McConnell is not letting Black, does not want Black people to vote. He does not want immigrant people to become a part of this country. And he’s doing it to sustain the social control over the economy they need because they can keep delivering for their wealthy white donors. And that story, that is the one that we need to tell, so that we know where we need to organize and the type of policies that we need to have to move forward. You know, the Voting Rights Act is is has been in place forever. It is it has done the job it does, but it needs to be expanded. And the way it gets expanded is by calling out these people and what their real intentions are for doing it. And I don’t see any like, yeah, it’s not nice, but it’s what needs to be done.
Solana Rice 42:27
And that is the circle of racism being profitable.
Kendra Bozarth 42:34
Thanks for listening. For more information, check out our list of episode resources and visit us at liberationinagenerationaction.org. Shout out to our producer, Jacob Bronstein; audio editor, Nino Fernandez; communications director, me, Kendra Bozarth; the design team at TrimTab; and the whole squad at LibGen Action. Like what you heard? Help us make some noise by telling two friends about the Racism Is Profitable podcast. Until next time, y’all. Peace!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai