Posted in Black Lives Matter Columns Community Neighborhoods Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Statues be gone

by Wade Rathke New Orleans  Statues and memorials of various stripes are getting a good hard look after decades where they received a pass from the public and politicians no matter how obnoxious their content and…

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Posted in Columns Coronavirus Education Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Hyper Education

by Wade Rathke Pearl River   The President says, open the schools. Actually, he doesn’t have any power over opening the schools, so it’s more bully-boy posturing and threatening backed up by Betsey DeVos prattling along…

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Posted in Columns Health Care Rathke: Chief Organizer Report SCOTUS

The Rules of Law

by Wade Rathke New Orleans  The rule of law has been getting a rough ride during Trump time. Now with Supreme Court decisions dropping like flies all around us with one mixed message after another, many…

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Hooks Institute for Social Change Looks at Memphis as a Tale of Two Nations: Rich & Poor

Memphis       The Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change was established in 1996 by the University of Memphis and the late Benjamin Hooks, former president of the NAACP, originally from the city.  The Hooks Institute has…

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Posted in Columns Community Coronavirus Culture Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Disappearance of third spaces

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   Third spaces received a fair amount of attention not so long ago. These were the places between work and play where community could be built. How will they survive the…

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Rathke: Pulling CRA’s teeth when it needs to bite harder

New Orleans  Dine’ Butler and I had just finished our presentation about the impact of predatory land installment contracts and hedge funds in the Memphis real estate market at the Hooks Institute event at the University…

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Sunset before Earthquake off the coast of Ponce.

Puerto Rican earthquakes

Ponce We hadn’t been to Puerto Rico over the last fifteen years. Tickets were too pricey to Mexico and Columbia, so why not see how they have come through the recovery from Hurricane Maria, touch base…

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Rathke: Plundering Black Wealth with Predatory Land Installment Contracts

Columbus        An analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis on a panel with us at the Benjamin Hooks Institute at the University of Memphis listened to our remarks about the devastating impact of hedge…

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Surprising UK election outcome – people want to organize

Fort Lauderdale         The voters came out from under the rocks and jumped over the hedgerows to vote for the Conservatives behind weird and wacky Boris Johnson in the recent snap election in Britain.  Labour took a…

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Rathke: Protest by the powerless…congressmen

“The cap is off of that bottle! We’re now in the land of “no limits,” even in the halls of Congress. Everybody is ready to throw it up against the wall!”

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Rathke: Lessons from the South for 2020

New Orleans      It may be too early to make a definitive list of lessons learned from the off-year elections in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Kentucky, but the one thing that seems crystal clear is that the…

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Rathke: Leaving Honduras the hard way

San Pedro Sula      We had weathered another difficult annual general meeting of Honduras ACORN midway between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula.  It was a difficult three-hour session as the leadership tried to navigate the legal requirements…

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Rathke: Are single use plastics getting a bad rap?

New York City      Once the breeze picks up between the canyons formed by New York City skyscrapers, the most common local bird that seems to be floating in the sky when you see something flutter…

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Rathke: Community reinvestment still matters, why gut it more?

New Orleans       Newsday, the big Long Island, New York newspaper, reported on a three-year investigation of real estate practices in this suburb that is well-known as one of the whitest suburbs in America.   Using a…

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Rathke: “The Organizer” Comes to Ole Miss

Oxford   Having breakfast at the University of Memphis before leaving for Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi, we were in a good mood after the Hooks Institute event the previous evening.  We laughed…

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Rathke: College Student GOTV Could be Key in Fight against Suppression

New Orleans      The persistent political canard has been that, sure, you can register young people, but most of them are not going to vote.  The Trump turmoil and the urgency of climate change is overturning…

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The tragedy of the UAW: When boss culture replaces member culture

Ponce, Puerto Rico     At the end of every year we are inundated with the best of this and the top ten of that in music, movies, books, sports, tech, politics, and, well, I guess, almost everywhere. …

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Rathke: Politicizing the military is dangerous

New Orleans       The role of the military in governments of any stripe can be a powerful thing, though rarely is this good news. In Asia, the military junta’s role in Myanmar has led to genocide…

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Rathke: The NFL is Out of Control and Football is Failing

New Orleans       There is no danger whatsoever that anyone will start calling American football the “beautiful game,” which is sometimes the expression used internationally for what the world sees as football, which we call soccer. …

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Posted in Columns Credit Income Equality Rathke: Chief Organizer Report

Trump team greenlights predatory payday lending

by Wade Rathke New Orleans   We can count the days until we pray that’s it is over, but until then the drumbeat of woe is bound to continue. The gutted Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proved…

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Rathke: If there isn’t a housing crisis, why does it feel like one?

New Orleans       Not only have I believed there is a housing crisis, but I’ve said so repeatedly and at every opportunity I’ve been given.  I’ve also argued that rents and evictions are rising at record…

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Rathke: Come on up, Mississippi – time for a new constitution!

Little Rock      On the Peoples’ Daily News that I do for the Affiliated Media Foundation Movement (AM/FM) and all of our stations, I scrounge the daily papers for factoids and news bits that might interest our…

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Rathke: warehouse and distribution work, tough times at the choke points

New Orleans        In the modern economy, warehouse, distribution, and logistical work has become critical for both big box stores, e-commerce, and transportation systems moving goods between all of these nodes and customers.  Some 1.2 million…

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Rathke: Surging voter registration in the United Kingdom

New Orleans      Here’s an interesting voter registration story, but it’s not in the United States, but the United Kingdom.  I had been hearing about this phenomenon for weeks whenever I spoke with our organizers in…

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