#NJRR Live: What do workers at USPS need to serve the country?
Welcome to #NJRR Live!
Welcome, one and all, to NJRR Live! For tonight’s episode, we are joined by co-host Daryle Lamont Jenkins and special guest Nora Taggart. Daryle joins us in improving health from his home after having a medical scare and we are delighted to have him co-hosting the show tonight. He tells us that since returning from the hospital, he has been paying close attention to activist issues as well as monitoring the ongoing Republican National Convention.
Daryle highlights how it is important to monitor mainstream politics because of rampant corruption that easily spirals out of control if left unchecked. Although it is key to keep an eye on the RNC, NJRR is all about keeping discussions at the grassroots level. In his podcasts and interviews, Brian finds that his conversations with these members of the working class are more fruitful than those that he has with politicians and other members of the bourgeois.
What is QAnon?
As Daryle has been keeping track of dangerous right wing ideas, he stumbled upon the QAnon conspiracy theory. QAnon, as Daryle puts it, is a thing that recently came up out of nowhere. We are, sadly, used to the ramblings of Alex Jones and other internet knuckleheads, but this is something new. The claim is that there is an elite, Satan-worshipping, child-eating group of pedophiles that runs an international child sex trafficking ring. According to this conspiracy theory, there is an anonymous figure that goes by “Q” who is fighting the pedophiles, and Q claims that Donald Trump is working in secret to eradicate the sex trafficking ring. We know it’s a lot to take in.
When one takes a close look at what is being claimed here, it becomes undeniable that there is anti-semitism at play. QAnon, Daryle points out, has incredibly unnerving similarities to deeply rooted antisemitic conspiracies. One particularly alarming example is the idea that the ring of child sex traffickers also drink the blood of the children. It is strikingly similar, one might even say practically the same, as the blood libel, which accuses Jews of killing Christian children to use their blood as part of religious rituals. These kinds of blatantly ridiculous claims that somehow gain traction are extremely dangerous for a plethora of reasons.
It would be an understatement to say that Facebook groups are alarming. There are groups of people that genuinely believe the QAnon conspiracy theory and those who think Donald Trump isn’t doing enough for the right. Facebook is a place where these types of people get together to disseminate and perpetuate their ideas.
There have been a series of assaults and murders committed by these pseudo-patriots across the country and the police are not doing enough to investigate them. Oftentimes, law enforcement will turn a blind eye to these horrific incidents. We must start holding the perpetrators as well as the police accountable. Daryle spoke to an attorney and he was told that it is very difficult to convince a court to compel police to handle situations appropriately.
A Few Plugs
Daryle’s organization, One People’s Project, is a resource for people who are trying to get a handle on the unfortunate situation of white power ideas groups. You can find One People’s Project on their website, on Twitter, or on Facebook. They also have a newsline, Idavox. Daryle is a coalition member of the International Anarchist Unity Coalition. The AUC is in the process of setting up a food drive. You can donate or learn more at their website, daysofunity.org. Daryle is on Twitter @DLamontJenkins.
Don’t forget that NJRR Live offers sponsorships! For a very reasonable fee, we will display your organization or whatever it is you want to plug during the ad break on NJRR Live. You can contact us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on any of our social media pages. We would love to hear from you!
NJRR Live Welcomes Nora Taggart From The Postal Service!
Nora joins us tonight to discuss the United States Postal Service. Nora works in a postal union and Brian met her through activism while she was the political and legislative director of The New York-New Jersey Metro Postal Union. She has been active in unions and grassroots groups and she is passionate about her workplace. The postal service employs 630,000 people, making them one of the biggest employers in the county. They support their community in ways such as paying all of their employees a living wage, unlike companies like Walmart and Amazon.
Hard Times For The USPS
The USPS is the largest employer of veterans. They also hire people who did not attend college, providing a chance to earn a living wage. 40 percent of the postal workforce are women, and they make the same money as men, which is unheard of in the private industry. Nora is part of a diverse workforce that provides an indispensable service to the countries. Nora is proud to be a postal worker but what some people do not know is that she is a badass who regularly drives a forklift at her job.
The Postal Union was the backbone of the American Revolution. It was instrumental in communication between revolutionaries as they defeated Britain. Since the 1970s, there has been an alarming bipartisan movement to privatize the postal service. When the pandemic hit, Nora was working in New Jersey at the largest package processing and sorting facility in the world. She recalls that the workers were all scared, but they continued to work as in-person businesses closed and deliveries increased in volume.
Some coworkers passed away while others were quarantined. At one point, 66 percent of the force was absent for COVID-related reasons. The remaining workers pushed on because they knew that it was crucial to transport supplies such as life-saving medical and protective equipment. It was disheartening when Donald Trump denounced the Postal Service even though it is the lifeline of the American people. Despite working tirelessly to transport mail to and from every address in the country, The USPS has not received a penny of COVID-19 federal relief funds. Meanwhile, FedEx and the UPS have received millions of dollars of grants in response to the pandemic.
An Agenda Against The Post Office
There is an agenda behind this. Trump has been moving to privatize the postal service since he got into office. It’s been in his budget since 2017. Privatization efforts on the hand of both parties have been going on for decades. The establishment has been putting puppets in positions that control the Postal Service. This results in the passage of legislation that intentionally harms the post office.
For example, the Postal Accountability Enhancement Act, which forces the USPS to pre-fund future retiree’s health benefits 75 years into the future. This means that the Postal Service is legally required to set aside dozens of billions of dollars in funds for people who haven’t been born yet. In addition, the USPS is not allowed to generate additional revenue.
If the postal service stops, the economy stops. The USPS handles half of the world’s mail. They deliver to every rural home in America. This is a unique service. For example, Nora’s parents live on a mountain. FedEx and the UPS will not deliver to them because it is not profitable.
Listen to the Young Greens and Local Hip-Hop!
Growing up his nickname was just “Q” but he created his name so you can call him out with an emphasis on YO! This artist did not let cancellations and hardships from COVID keep him from working on his music. Hard work paid off, we watch his YouTube hit “I Do This” adding a little commentary. We also discuss police and prison violence in his community. Plus Justin Roig from YGUS!
Snail mail, am I right? Have you noticed that lately? All of our mail is being delayed intentionally in order to make the postal service look bad. Public pressure is being put on Democrats to pass legislation that protects the USPS because the people genuinely want to keep this service. The postal service was ranked at 91 percent favorability, making it America’s most favorable agency. A study also found the USPS to be the American people’s most trusted brand. In trying to eliminate this service, The US government is abandoning morality and the interest of the American people.
The government has pursued profitability and privatization at all costs. This is because a very small group of bad people want to make a lot of money. Meanwhile, the Postal Workers Union has done everything they can to draw people in to support their cause. They are the largest unionized workforce in the country. They understand that grieving will not save the post office. The only way to win this war is through the support of the American people who rely on the mail.
We need to support the postal service in this trying time. The US Mail Not for Sale is a worker-led campaign sponsored by the American Postal Workers Union and the National Association of Letter Carriers. You can visit their website to find information as well as ways to get involved.
See You Next Week!
Brian bought a new bong! This is no small moment. Want to be a part of it? You can take a shot at naming this stunning new piece! Contact us through any of our social media outlets! Do you want your suggestion to count extra? There’s an easy way to achieve this! Just head over to our donations page and make a contribution to independent media if you haven’t already. Thank you so much, as always, for being here. We’ll be coming at you with another episode of NJRR Live next Wednesday at 8PM EST!
-Leah Giannantonio, for New Jersey Revolution Radio