Let Us Rise Up Against Deeply Rooted Racism!

Debby Szeredy

July 1, 2020

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(This article first appeared in the July/August 2020 issue of the American Postal Worker magazine)

Our fights against COVID-19, deeply rooted racism in our institutions, organizations, and communities, and our fight to save the USPS as a public service are all struggles to be built upon. Our economy is about production for the sake of profit. Our American Dream can only happen if we vote on November 3.

COVID-19 is decimating Black, Native American, immigrant, essential worker, poor, homeless, and prisoner populations, as well as those with disabilities and seniors in nursing homes. The rich and privileged are safe and sound, dictators with cash and ownership.

Police budgets are bloated and racist police officers historically get away with their murderous actions. Neighborhoods and workplaces are still segregated, job discrimination still abounds, and we have underresourced school opportunities for our children.

Four out of five Americans that have jobs – including those with two or three jobs – live paycheck to paycheck and do not have the ability to cover a $400 emergency expense. We have over forty million really poor people. Millionaires stash their wealth by buying up empty apartments, yet our homeless and mentally disabled sleep on the streets. Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters, including 2019’s Hurricane Maria, revealed America’s lack of care for its people most in need. Native Americans live with oil pipelines on desolate reservations left to fend for themselves. Immigrant children are caged and separated from family. Prisons are death traps for minorities and our youth. This is not the American Dream!

The Postal Service is mandated by the constitution as a service for the people. Postal unions fought and won the contracts that make it a model government employer: hiring veterans, minorities, women and people with disabilities. There are now 600,000 employees in the workplace with living wage jobs (mostly full-time), no-layoff protections, benefits, a pension and continued minority hiring practices.

Since 1970, the Postal Service has provided good paying jobs for veterans, the poor, minorities, immigrants, and those with disabilities – 4 in 10 are minority employees. There are almost 100,000 veterans employed by the Postal Service. Could you imagine if every corporation, small and large businesses did the same kind of hiring? Destroying the Postal Service would deny the opportunity for many minority workers to have a chance for a living wage union job. The rich have control, and continue to push racist, anti-union policies. The large companies pay low wages, bust unions, provide unsafe working conditions and environmentally pollute our country. They will continue as long as they can get away with it.

We can rise up against this. We can vote by mail to safely secure our paper ballots and make sure they are counted and tracked. We can vote for likeminded people that are dedicated to making the American Dream real. We must become active and involved with our unions, our communities, and make the American Dream real for all people. We must grow the labor movement so all employees have a contract that provides rights by law and gives workers a voice and power at the workplace.

Take action now to remake our society. We are looking for postal workers that want to help encourage voters to request and obtain absentee mail ballots for the November 3 General Election. You can help make a difference by taking part in the “Democracy Champions Training” program of the Democracy Initiative. Contact me if interested. We need you now, Rise Up!

Enter Your Information and click to Call Your Senators Now

The Postal Service is in a crisis, caused by the Coronavirus, and Congress needs to act, urgently.

The Coronavirus shutdown is plummeting postal revenues while increasing costs. The Postal Service could run out of money soon and the new Postmaster General is already using the crisis to slow down mail/package sorting and delivery. Rather than allowing our Postal Service to slow as service is cut service, Congress must provide support.

Call your Senators urgently. Tell them to support at least $25 billion in stimulus funding for our public Postal Service. Dial (844) 402-1001 or use this form.


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