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Marcela’s Weekly Digest: 27th September 2022

This week we saw Republicans wanting more 'Christian' ideals, Puerto Ricans still not having electricity, Levi’s being pressured by garment workers, and protests in Iran.

Hi, I’m Marcela: I’m a comedian, I live Brooklyn, and I really like to tell people how to feel about the news. After wowing zoomers all over on TikTok by giving them news with a sense of humour and anarchy, I decided to start a weekly Sunday newsletter to share my feelings about more news. 

My weekly newsletter has evolved into this beautiful Tuesday weekly news column for shado which also covers international news. I hope the newsletter keeps you informed and makes you laugh a little. We live in hell and I believe humour helps keep this place a little bit cooler. 

Last week I went to the Crown Heights Care Collective free store in Brooklyn and I’m still holding on to that joy of being with comrades taking care of each other as I share my feelings of this week in news.  

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on a majority of Republicans wanting the US to be declared a Christian state, Puerto Ricans still not having electricity, Levi’s being pressured by garment workers to sign a paper that improves workers conditions, and protests in Iran triggered by the murder of Mahsa Amini. 

News that made me almost say… dear white people

This week it was reported that 61% of republicans want the “USA to be a Christian nation”. To which I say, Ummm, isn’t that already happening? 

“In God we Trust” is the USA’s motto. So it’s obvious to me that we already live in a Christian nation. So now,  these republicans just want to make it more Christiany? I don’t think “Christiany” is a word, yet.  

I’m sure the god they are talking about is white Jesus and not the Black Jesus my mother worshipped. I’m also assuming when they think Christian nation they are not thinking about Jesus sharing the loaves of bread and fish with people. 

What they are really thinking is that a drag queen reading books to children is un-Christian, so they’ll crash reading time at a public library to stop that. I don’t recall reading books to children at a library while looking fabulous being against one of the ten commandments. Even if it was, that’s a commandment that you should skip. You skip the other ones all the time. Especially the one about loving your neighbours. Oh, I forgot, that was Black Jesus.

I wish I could reason with the 61% and tell them that racism is bad for you. Unfortunately I can’t, because these people are white and white racists generally don’t take life changing advice from Black people.

I know what you are thinking. How did this become about race all of a sudden, Marcela? This is just about Rebecca wanting a Christian nation because Rebecca thinks they’ll look cute in a puritan bonnet. 

To which I say, first of all, 89% of the Republican party is white and when white people who have a history of being hateful come together and say they want something, it is about race. 

Second of all, white people in this country and Clarence Thomas (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court) have used Christianity to justify racism, homophobia, misogyny, and all other terrible things. 

So when they say they want a Christian nation, they say that because they want all these things. They just don’t want to come out and say it because it makes them look bad.  

Since I can’t talk to the 61%, I need you other white people who don’t want to go into the deeper depths of hell to talk to your family members. I’ve heard that white people don’t like calling out their family members because it ruins Thanksgiving. Newsflash: Thanksgiving was already ruined by the fact that it is a lie to hide genocide. 

All those times you were watching The Handmaid’s Tale around your Republican family members instead of reading the history of how Black and brown women have been treated in society to understand how awful things can be for women, your family was like… that’s cool, we want that.  

So it’s time to make Thanksgiving – and all dinners with racist family members – uncomfortable. Don’t ever let your racist uncle enjoy another cheesy bread until they denounce racism. 

News that made me remind you that I’m not an engineer

As I’m writing this on Saturday evening, nearly 50% of people living in Puerto Rico don’t have power after Hurricane Fiona (no relation to Fiona Apple) made landfall almost a week ago. 

Not having electricity is not just an inconvenience that means you can’t have ice cream in the middle of night. It’s life threatening. You know what needs electricity to keep people alive? Hospitals!  

This is an emergency and should be resolved immediately. This is not a brunch where you can be late and the worst thing that will happen is that your friends finish the pitcher of mimosa. This is people’s lives!  

However, Luma, the private power company which distributes power in the island, does think that this is brunch. Luma hasn’t even “released” information on how the power grid was affected according to PBS. I’m not an engineer, I’m just a comedian. 

However, I’m assuming that if you can’t even tell the people where the damage is, that’s because you don’t know what the problem is and you can’t solve it. After days without electricity, it also means that you don’t care. 

Why would Luma, a private Canadian-American company, care about Puerto Rico when the United States of America uses Puerto Rico as a place to harvest wealth? What’s the word for that again when you harvest a place’s resources without their permission and at their detriment again? Colony! 

Yes, Luma doesn’t care about Puerto Rico because it’s a colony of the United States and colonies are there to serve colonisers, not the other way around. Just ask a coloniser.

Luma took over as the national distributor for electricity in June 2021 and Puerto Ricans have not been fans and rightfully so! Since Luma took over electricity distribution, prices have gone up and quality has gone down.

I thought this was the type of thing that capitalism is supposed to prevent. Lol. I know capitalism is here to make sure that’s exactly what happens. I got you, right? 

Puerto Ricans have protested multiple times to get rid of Luma and revert the distribution of energy to Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority, the public company. These protests have been met with silence and exacerbated by police brutality (ACAB). 

But of course they have. Luma views Puerto Rico the exact same way the United States views Puerto Rico. A piggy bank that they can break whenever they want to get money out of it, but never have to put any money in. 

News that made me misquote Rihanna

An alliance of workers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Europe, and the United States are pushing Levi’s, the jean company, to sign an international accord that secure’s workers’ rights

Honestly, if you want to ensure workers’ rights, the only solution is to get rid of capitalism. I’m assuming that Levi’s would never agree to sign a paper that says abolish capitalism given they won’t even agree to sign a paper that says people should have a bathroom break at work. Levi and Bezos have been talking, I guess?

The accord does more than give workers’ permission to go to the bathroom at work. It was signed by a number of fashion brands to keep workers from dying after, in 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed and killed over 1,000 people.

However, the fact that going to the bathroom is listed as a ‘right’ on the accord shows you the cruelty of capitalists to squeeze every ounce of profit from people’s bodies, especially if those people are not white.  

Imperialism means that it has to be explicitly laid out that people in Bangladesh shouldn’t have to die for someone in Manhattan to wear skinny jeans. Jeans that they will toss out tomorrow after they watch a teen on TikTok make fun of them for wearing. 

I’ll say it again: the accord is a good stepping stone but the goal should always be to end capitalism which fuels imperialism. Sorry for being redundant. Just think of me as a Rihanna song except for saying work work work, I say anti-work anti-work anti-work. It doesn’t sound as cool, but it’s better. 

Now Levi’s says it will not sign the accord because doing so is not the only way to ensure the workers’ rights. 

But that’s another capitalist lie. Levi’s will not sign the accord because it doesn’t want to pay for safer work environments. Levi is a traditional “American” company which embraces two important American values; imperialism and lying.

Lying is an important part of being an imperialist because you can’t just say people should die for people to buy clothes they don’t need. I mean you can, and they do, but it’s highly frowned upon. Not frowned upon enough to end capitalism, but frowned upon enough to garner bad publicity. 

So as long as you can keep lying to prevent bad publicity, keep the exploitation going. Right, Levi’s?

News that made me realise what my #squadgoals are

Last week, 22 year old Mahsa Amini was murdered by the Iranian morality police because her headscarf was out of place.

Her death has  triggered a wave of anti-government protests where women have burned their hijabs and protestors have flipped police cars. Honestly, this is the only appropriate reaction to the state murdering a citizen. I’m incredibly proud and I’m in complete solidarity with the protestors of Iran. 

Unlike me however, the Iranian government is not a fan of the protesting and has since launched a series of tactics to prevent the protests from growing into an even larger rebellion. 

The government has shut off the internet to prevent footage and images of protests from spreading because nothing empowers other people to rebel than watching a group of their comrades flip a police car #squadgoals. The government has also murdered protestors and referred to the protestors as outside agitators. 

These actions from the Iranian government are common tactics used by the state to stifle rebellion across the globe. 

We saw the US government use the exact same tactics during the George Floyd rebellions. This is because states are going to state. What do I mean by that? I mean that states are an oppressive force that seek to control people in their country, using them as l foot soldiers for the elites 

People generally enjoy their freedom so states have to employ different tools to control people; religion, racism, misogyny. 

States like to mix different tools of oppression to create the perfect cocktail of oppression. When these tools fail and it becomes very clear to the people that their state is an oppressive force, people rebel. When people rebel, the state sends in the police. Whether it’s Iran or the United States of America or any state, the police don’t exist to protect, they exist to oppress. 

That’s why I try to boo at least one cop a day.

That’s also why it makes me really happy to see footage of Iranians battling the police. Watching our comrades rebel in the face of oppression sends a message to states everywhere that we will not stand for their oppression. Yes, I consider everyone who sees a cop car and has an urge to flip it a comrade.

A rap video about Puerto Rico that made me sad

My comedian friend who is also Puerto Rican rapped in a video about the exploitation of Puerto Rico and I almost cried listening to it. You should listen too. 

@comedyforthepeople Canalizando la rabia 😤 Aqui un video con imagenes que resumen lo que está pasando Puerto Rico ahora mismo ✊🏽🇵🇷 U.S. friends and allies, pause to read every.single.image. 🙇🏽‍♀️ Share, Speak Up!!! Colonialism is well and alive 🤬 . Beat by @jpatzmusic 🔥 . @myartisnotpolitical @biancagraulau . #fyp #parati #PuertoRico #PuertoRicans #Fiona #hurricane #Pierluisi #Luma #Fema #Promesa #disastercapitalism #act60 #colonialism #bars ♬ original sound – she/her

That’s it for the news, see ya next week,

Marcela 

What can you do?

  • If you want to learn more about how the United State has been terrible to Puerto Rico, read War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson Deni
  • If you want to understand another anarchist’s perspective of the rebellion in Iran, please read this interview of anarchists living in Iran.
  • Lastly, if you enjoy my writing and you’d like to support my labour and help me make Feel the News into a late night show, become a paying Feel the News subscriber
Design by Naomi Gennery @nn.aa.ii
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