Episode

6/19 Keeping Juneteenth Radical; The Law Will Not Save Workers w/ Dr. Robert Greene, Jaz Brisack

June 19, 2024

It’s Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with Dr. Robert Greene, assistant professor of history at Claflin University in South Carolina & president of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) , to discuss his writing on Juneteenth. Then, they speak with Jaz Brisack, co-founder of Starbucks Workers United and resident at the Berkeley Labor Center working on developing the Inside Organizer School, to discuss the recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of Starbucks. First, Sam and Emma run through updates on Netanyahu’s continued cucking of Biden, the US’ crumbling pier in Gaza, yesterday’s GOP primaries, Matt Gaetz’s lack of ethics Boris Epshteyn’s fake electors, Donald Trump’s faith advisor, the Amazon Labor Union, the NLRB, and NYC politics, before parsing through Bibi’s continuing performance to undermine the Biden Administration. Dr. Robert Greene then joins, diving right into the roots of Juneteenth in the arrival of federal troops to Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, celebrating both the ultimate freeing of the slaves to the end of the slavers empire writ large. Expanding on this, Dr. Greene unpacks the promise that was held in the freeing of the slaves and the start of the Reconstruction era – one of true freedom and equality – and the necessary role that the failure (and hope) of this era plays in the story of Juneteenth. Moving into the 20th Century, Dr. Green reflects on the relationship between Juneteenth’s celebration of emancipation, and the original holiday of Emancipation Day, emphasizing the importance of a stand-alone fixed-date holiday to mark the United States’ second revolution, as we have with July 4th, also touching on the major players in African American History that made the official establishment of Juneteenth as a Federal Holiday, before wrapping up by tackling the need to think carefully and holistically about this moment in American history when celebrating Juneteenth. Jaz Brisack then joins, first talking Sam and Emma through the Supreme Court’s recent attempts to undermine the NLRB’s enforcement power, before turning more specifically to Starbucks’ method of expansive and overwhelming union-busting tactics to stunt the Board’s enforcement power in its own right, and why it was ultimately public pressure (and boycott) that drove the company to back down and work with the union. Expanding on this, Brisack walks through the major role that non-legal points of leverage play in labor organizing efforts, with public and worker power often much stronger than the NLRB, and what changes to US labor law can be made to buff up the board (as we’ve seen with CEMEX). Wrapping up, Jaz explores the recent launch of the Inside Organizing School, before the MR Team shines a light on some fantastic designs for Martha Alito’s anti-pride “Vergogna” (Italian: “Shame”) flag.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma watch Lauren Windsor get the silver serpent Roger Stone to give away the game Trump’s 2024 plans, from the gutless GOP governors standing in the way of an electors scheme to Trump’s various legal battles. They also tackle Trump’s attempt to cover up his “shithole country” comments about Wisconsin, his odd lie about Joan Rivers (d. 2014) voting for him, and Bowman continues to nail Latimer’s obvious and despicable smears over his opposition to Israeli Apartheid. They also dive into some bipartisan fan fiction about replacing Biden, and listen to Biden’s recent comments on new immigration policy, plus, your calls and IMs!

Follow Dr. Greene on Twitter here: https://x.com/robgreeneII

Check out Dr. Greene’s writing on Juneteenth here: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/juneteenth-history-holiday/

https://www.currentaffairs.org/news/2020/06/why-juneteenth-matters

Check out AAIHS here: https://www.aaihs.org/

Check out Jaz’s recent Op-Ed in the New York Times here: https://www.nytimes.com/2024/06/15/opinion/starbucks-nlrb-striking-workers.html

Find out more about the Inside Organizer School here: https://www.insideorganizerschool.com/

Follow Jaz on Twitter here: https://x.com/jazbrisack

Find out more about Starbucks Workers United Here: https://sbworkersunited.org/

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