If I were Trump, in my first 100 days, I would tell Jeff Sessions to go after the Sanctuary Cities, those 39 communities that have banned city employees and agencies from inquiring about people’s immigration status. And I would start with the larger cities with large Black populations: Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Newark, Oakland. I would freeze funding for the programs that disproportionately affect Black people: Food stamps, Section 8 housing, welfare, child care. What a terrific way to divide the urban liberal coalitions!
IMHO, the only way to fight this is by organizing and educating all groups on precisely how racial divisions are used in this country to oppress everyone. We organize around unifying campaigns: jobs, affordable housing, schools that treat children and teachers right, release non-violent drug offenders from prisons. Black and Brown and Muslim lives matter. We make our demands on our City Councils and allegedly progressive state legislatures. Banks. Let’s not leave out criminal Wells Fargo, now the second largest bank.
Sometimes our weakness is our strength. The fact that so many of us progressives are huddled along the coasts isolates us from the rest of the country. We, many of us, did this. Instead of struggling with the less enlightened attitudes of our families and neighbors in what we snootishly call fly-over country, we left to huddle with our own kind.
But the fact that we have huge concentration of progressive ideas can be useful. Take California. Serious progressives are strong in most of our cities. The state can initiate infrastructure projects to create jobs. The feds cut our money? Let’s tax the banks. We could do that. They’re not leaving. Think of it as an old fashioned territorial war, just like Syria. Many of us live in Liberated Areas, or areas with just a bit of vigorous organizing could be liberated.
I’m not talking secession, although we shouldn’t close any options. There’s precedent for legal independence: the marijuana laws. The legalization of medical or recreational marijuana was blatantly unconstitutional and illegal. But the sentiment toward legalization has just been so strong that it trumps the law.
I’m thinking I will expend some energy organizing my city. I’ll start with parents because that’s what I’ve been doing for many years, building a parent teacher alliance. We need to organize the nonprofits that do most of the heavy lifting at the fringes of society and are exploited up the ying-yang. Churches. Artists who live in fire traps. Housing projects – fighting federal cuts to housing as retaliation for sanctuary city status. What can you organize?
That picture? The Paris Commune of 1871