RE: Brown Is The New White by Steve Phillips (This is my kind of book. Filled with quantitative and qualitative details, and progressive policies for the mind, and, more importantly, backed up and supported by progressive values for the soul.)
Hope your Memorial Day weekend included remembering a loved one who served our country.
Phillips’ new book, in addition to quantifying NAM, also includes two chapters on planning and policy. I thought it would be worth sharing highlights from the policy chapter and a couple of related figures.
Policy Priorities for the New American Majority:
Chapter 7 of Phillips’ new book, referenced above, recommends ideas for reaching out to the New American Majority. Here are some excerpts on the economic injustices of America and recommended policies to rectify them:
“Today’s racial wealth gap is a modern-day manifestation of the fact that America was built on land stolen from Native Americans and Mexicans, and developed by the backbreaking labor of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans.”
“Economic inequality is the defining issue of our time.”
“Beyond the morality of the matter as motivation to act, there are also significant strategic reasons to pursue an economic agenda.”
“Accepting the premise that Whites are in a privileged position because they have been favored as a group throughout our history while others have been held back as a group is the first step toward thinking about sweeping public policy solutions to address our racial wealth gap.”
“I don’t expect these things — returning of land and reparations — to happen anytime soon, but if they sound outrageous, then by comparison, other policy proposals to correct injustice —
making massive investments in education,
enacting comprehensive immigration reform,
establishing universal voter registration,
ending mass incarceration,
adopting ‘Polluter Pays’ taxes nationwide, and
imposing a wealth tax on the richest 1 percent — should seem modest ….”
Phillips then details each of these policy proposals, which I won’t go into here, and closes with “the way to win.”
“A bold social just agenda is the key to bringing forward and bringing out the best in progressive Whites. Progressive people are not simply motivated by material self-interest; there is a value and benefit to living in a more just and equal society and having a sense of meaning and purpose in one’s life. Given this moment in time, a strong social justice agenda could help progressive Whites who often find themselves asking ‘What is justice?’ to answer the question with decisive, nondefensive, bold action.”
“Championing economic justice is more than moral and just. It’s also the way to win elections.”
“People of color vote in lower numbers because many of them feel that most of the U.S. public policy agenda has little relevance to their lives.”
“The political power of fighting for economic justice and its potential became clear in Obama’s 2008 campaign when he specifically addressed ‘the wealth and income gap’ in his campaign speeches, grabbing the attention of voters everywhere.”
“Attacking and forcibly removing Native Americans from America’s fertile fields, enslaving and economically exploiting Africans in America, launching a war against Mexico so Texas could continue to practice slavery, encouraging Chinese immigration to build an economically valuable railroad but then explicitly excluding Chinese from becoming citizens, and racially restricting access to mortgage loans in economically expanding neighborhoods were not unfortunate aberrations carried out by a few rogue officials and bad actors, the likes of which we don’t see any more. These were official policies of the Unites States of American”
“Although justice has long been delayed, those who bore the brunt of those attacks now have the numbers to serve as the cornerstone of a New American Majority. With those numbers, with that majority, we have the opportunity — indeed the obligation — to make new public policies. Policies rooted in justice and dedicated to the proposition that all people are indeed created equal.”
In chapter 8, Phillips warns us that Republicans also know the demographic change is coming and they have been working on their outreach programs since 2012. Just look back at the mix of candidates they had during the debates. The book was completed before Trump won all the primaries, but Phillips did mention Trump as a complicating factor.