More on Organizing the Poor
From a reader:
I would point out that the Center for Community Change attempts to actually mobilize grassroots groups of low-income people. (They don’t have the influence of, say, CBPP but perhaps that’s a tough standard to meet.) When I’ve talked to them lately they’ve been focused on immigration reform. Which brings up another angle that you don’t really cover – race. Policies that advance the needs of those in poverty are often conflated in the political process with those that help people of color. Heck, welfare is still probably code for “black” after all these years and demographic changes. Serious immigration reform would make a big difference for a lot of people at the margins – but it’s a “Latino issue."
My sense of this situation is that it goes far beyond immigration reform: illegal immigrants are the new inner-city blacks, at least so far as demagoguery goes. If you look at health care, the more racially charged attacks don't imply that the plan is a giveaway to poor African-Americans, but to illegal immigrants. Indeed, my understanding is that no matter what social program you're talking about, the single surefire method to create majority opposition out of popular support is to say that the program will help illegal immigrants.
Original post on the subject here.
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