Centering Racial Justice in the Antimonopoly Fight — Episode 128 of Building Local Power

Date: 10 Jun 2021 | posted in: Building Local Power, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In this episode of Building Local Power, host Jess Del Fiacco and ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell are joined by Solana Rice and Jeremie Greer of Liberation in a Generation, an organization dedicated to achieving economic liberation for people of color. They discuss their recent publication Anti-Monopoly Activism: Reclaiming Power through Racial Justice, which argues that the fight against monopoly is intertwined with the fight for racial justice, and that organizers of color must be centered in the antimonopoly movement.

Their conversation touches on:

  • The harms communities of color experience due to extreme corporate concentration.
  • How Jeremie and Solana came to realize that corporate concentration and racial inequality needed to be more explicitly connected.
  • The impact of this report in the activist community.
  • The vision of a liberation economy, and what it will take to get there.

 

“When Amazon buys Ring and has this tool for surveillance, and police use it in Black communities to surveil Black people and arrest Black people, that is not accidental, that is not a disparate impact. That is an intentional action that has been taken. […] So my struggle with stating it as a disparate impact makes it seem as if this thing that kind of happens on accident. When what we know, and what we talk a bit of a lot about in the report, is that there are historic underpinnings for the type of racism that we see in our economy. And that what is being produced is being produced by a system that has intentionally put structures and systems in place to oppress Black and Brown communities and Black and Brown people.”

 

Jess Del Fiacco: Hello, and welcome to Building Local Power. A podcast dedicated to thought provoking conversations about how we can challenge corporate monopolies and expand the power of people to shape their own future.
Jess Del Fiacco: I’m Jess Del Fiacco, the host of Building Local Power, and communications manager here at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. For more than 45 years, ILSR has worked to build thriving, equitable communities where power, wealth, and accountability remain in local hands. Today I’m with Stacy Mitchell, who’s the co-director of ILSR, and we are very excited to be joined by Jeremie Greer and Solana Rice. They are the co-founders and directors of an organization called Liberation in a Generation, which is normalization dedicated to dismantling the current oppression economy and in its place building a liberation economy where all people of color have their needs met, are safe from harm and are valued and belong.
Jess Del Fiacco: So Jeremie and Solana, welcome to the show.
Solana Rice: Thank you.
Jeremie Greer: Hello. Thanks for having us.
Jess Del Fiacco: Yeah. And so what we’re going to dig into today is a report that you recently released called anti monopoly activism, reclaiming power through racial justice. And it’s fantastic. And it’s so vitally important in this space right now. Stacy, I’m actually curious what your initial thoughts were when you read the report. And then maybe you can kick us off with the question for Jeremie or Solana.
Stacy Mitchell: It’s a really great addition to the conversation about monopoly power and about racial justice, and really begins to aluminate the intersection between those two things. And I think the question that I’m curious about is to just learn more about the path that you took to examining the intersection of monopoly power and racial justice, and what it is that led you to feel like those two issues needed to be explored in conjunction and put out in a report like this.
Jeremie Greer: Yeah, I’ll start. And I, for me, it’s something that, it’s one of those things that’s kind of always been a reoccurring theme for me, but though I didn’t know it that way all the time as I was going through my career. And I started off doing my work around racial justice, working as a community organizer in Columbia Heights. And that’s North of downtown Washington, DC. And I was doing that in early two thousands in a community that was traditional Black, Salvadorian community. Not a lot of investments. Most of the businesses were local, not a lot of big chains, things like that. And then overnight that all changed. And all of a sudden there was big box stores, like Target moved in and Best Buy moved in. And then there are all these buildings going up with like Wells Fargo on the marquee of the building, of the construction project. Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, all these big banks.
Jeremie Greer: And it was just a head-scratcher to me because when I started working in Columbia Heights there was one small credit union in the neighborhood, right? I was like, what is happening? And what happened was that community was gentrified. It was most of the people that lived there, a lot of people that lived there were displaced and pushed out into the suburbs or into other neighborhoods. And all of a sudden it was creating space for new entrance into the community that otherwise in the community that exists before wouldn’t even have walked through, let alone buy a condo in that community. So it was like, for me, it was this moment of like, wow, what is happening here? How is it that these big corporations are taking part in completely transforming a community, in what felt like overnight?
Jeremie Greer: And it was having these really detrimental impacts on the people of color that lived there. And that was kind of my first introduction to it. And so what that got me into is like, through the rest of my career, started doing work around really digging into the financial service industry, and really realizing how concentrated it is. And it really hit a head of course in 2008 with the stock market crash, and then all of the devastation that that brought on communities.
Jeremie Greer: And understanding that like, we’ll talk about this in a bit, but as we operate in this economy that is been set up and constructed to really harm Black and Brown communities and not allow Black and Brown communities to thrive. It is these mega corporations that are driving the ship. And for me, my introduction was into the financial service industry, and the consolidated kind of a companies that are operating in that industry and really bringing huge downstream harm to Black and Brown communities. So that’s what really kind of got me into this and really was the impetus for my experience in writing the report.
Solana Rice: And I’ll just pick up in current day, just recently, when Jeremie and I were convening conversations about the policies that liberation in a generation should be working on. And we have been doing a series of round table conversations with a small group of folks. And we realized, when we got to the corporate power plank of our policies, we talked to folks at Community Change, we talked to folks at Color of Change, we talked to folks at Economic Security Project, and it started to become clear that the tools of anti-monopoly and antitrust that are typically meant to reign in corporate power, we’re not necessarily reaching into racial equity issues. And they weren’t being framed in a way that, I don’t know, as a Black person, I understood what my benefit would be if we really pursued antitrust and anti-monopoly tools. And so we felt like there might be a role in conversation and in cooperation and collaboration with groups like ILSR and the like, to figure this out. Like, what are the intersections? And it’s really just the first foray.
Stacy Mitchell: Can you talk some about, we often hear this phrase, disparate impacts. That Black and Brown communities suffer more from the trends that we’ve seen in terms of consolidation of corporate power and inequality in terms of wages and income, that the effects are worse. But can you tease out a little bit more? Like, what is going on at that intersection? Did you find, or do you see, that in some ways monopoly power is actually being fueled by racial oppression? That it goes in both directions?
Solana Rice: Yeah. I’ll just say that part of the thing that we found in the actual report was that there isn’t a lot of research on the direct correlation between disparate impact and corporate concentration. And so that was actually one of the recommendations that we have in the report, is that we know that there have been some studies about wage disparities for Black and Brown workers as a result of corporate concentration, but there’s so much more. Like, corporate concentration in housing markets. How does that affect renters and homeowners? Right? Corporate concentration in the financial sector. We know that if you only have a choice of five different companies to get a home loan from you’re probably not going to be able to really shop around. I don’t know a lot of Black and Brown folks that shop around for their home mortgage, right?
Solana Rice: You get what you can, you try to get what you can. So we sort of think about corporate, when we thought about corporate concentration we really focused on the fact that there are multiple ways that people of color are impacted as consumers, as workers, as homeowners, as just residents in a community that the corporations have their hand in municipal budgets and the like. And so what we tried to do was make that connection between not only the control that corporations have, but the oppression that they’re able to wield. And I’ll stop there, I’ll turn it to Jeremie to say more about that.
Jeremie Greer: Yeah. What bothers me the most about this, like talk about these things, is disparate impacts. I read research so I understand what it’s meant, but it makes it seem this stuff is accidental. Like there’s a crack in the sidewalk, I trip and fall and break my arm. What we know of this is that the way our economy is structures is that these outcomes are intentional and they’re by design. And that our racial caste system that we live with in this country was built and created at the same time that our economy was being built. And that they reinforce one another and operate in tandem in a sort of racial capitalism that produces the outcomes that we see. And they do so intentionally. So when Amazon buys Ring and has this tool for surveillance, and police use it in Black communities to surveil Black people and arrest Black people, that is not accidental, that is not a disparate impact.
Jeremie Greer: That is an intentional action that has been taken. That this company that can accumulate the facial recognition data and all of that is facilitating. When you see the kind of stuff that we’ve seen on Facebook, around misinformation and using information to suppress Black voters, that is not by accident. It is an intentional design within our political system in tandem with a company like Facebook to suppress the Black vote. So my struggle with stating it as a disparate impact makes it seem as if this thing that kind of happens on accident. When what we know, and what we talk a bit of a lot about in the report, is that there are historic underpinnings for the type of racism that we see in our economy. And that what is being produced is being produced by a system that has intentionally put structures and systems in place to oppress Black and Brown communities and Black and Brown people.
Jess Del Fiacco: In the report you used the phrase to describe all this, the oppression economy. I was wondering if you could talk a little bit more about that. And then I’d love to hear about your vision for a liberation economy.
Jeremie Greer: So, but what it is is a bit of what I was just talking about. That we are currently operating in an economy that is driven by a form of racial capitalism that is historic in its roots and its underpinnings, and is currently driving the outcomes that we see today for Black and Brown communities. And it starts with a very fundamental, and though very uncomfortable premise, which is that we have to recognize is that racism is profitable. That the existence of our unequal racial caste system drives profit to a very small group of very wealthy, mostly male, individuals in this country that run very large companies and corporations. And that this has been the case, the entire existence of our country.
Jeremie Greer: An example that we pull out in the report is before the civil war slaves were the largest asset class of any form of asset in our entire economy. So human beings who were in bondage were the largest asset class. And that the people that owned those slaves were the wealthiest individuals in the entire country. The per capita, the Mississippi Delta, had more millionaires, the equivalent of what we call billionaires today, per capita in the entire country. And that is the product of an intentionality around the racism baked into our economic system. Also, the accounting practices that they used on those slave plantations are still used today.
Jeremie Greer: A good example is how you value an hour of labor. That accounting practice was used frequently on slave plantations and goes into how a company calculates how much they’re going to pay their workers per hour, their hourly workers. So we have to understand that these things cut through time. And the oppression economy, as we’ve defined it, really drives off of four kind of fundamental principles that we have to counter, that we have to deal with in order to dismantle it.
Jeremie Greer: The first is that we have to end the criminalization of people of color. People of color are criminalized in this country so that they can be exploited. Exploited as workers. Exploited as consumers. And to drive and pull wealth out of their communities. We have to end the dual financial system. We have one financial system that builds wealth for people, another financial system that extracts wealth from people. And that we have to end that so that we’re all operating under a financial system that is helping us build wealth and be prosperous in our economy. If it’s not doing that, then what is it actually for? We have to curve corporate power. And this is where this conversation about monopoly comes in. And the way that we think about this, and we talk a bit about this in the report, is when you think about monopoly power it is really just corporate power magnified and maximized, right?
Jeremie Greer: It is our structures in which we govern corporations in this country that are not doing the job that allows companies like Amazon, Facebook, Purdue in the agricultural place, Verizon in telecom, to have such an outsized impact on the communities and the people that they encounter. And then finally, the way to address all this is that we have to put more political power in the hands of people of color so that they can influence the governmental structures that are going to oversee all of this stuff. Whether it’s the criminalization of people, all the way to the governance of corporations. So that dismantling is something that we have to do in order to get to a place where we can begin to envision and see a liberation economy.
Solana Rice: And what we’re seeing on the liberation economy side is really the conditions that we think have to exist in order for Black and Brown people to really live in economic liberation. And it starts, it’s also around for simple, but somehow really difficult to achieve thus far pillars, that all of our basic needs are met. And that we have things clean air and clean water and income. And I think in this sense, in this condition that we have our basic needs met, we see things, like corporations wielding their power around air, right, clean air. If a company has enough power locally, they can pollute as much as they want. I’m here in Northern California where there’s a whole bunch of wineries. Turns out that if these wineries are big enough they can be in the pockets of the local politicians, drain the water table for their lovely, lovely vineyards. Right?
Solana Rice: So we see this over and over again in the basic and just basic needs. The safety insecurity that everyone, all people of color will have their safety and security needs met. Jeremie alluded and talked about the connection between Amazon Ring services and policing, right? So again, we can trace back the connections of undue corporate power in undermining our safety and security overall.
Solana Rice: The third pillar is that we are all compensated and valued. We don’t have to say a ton here because we know over and over again that monopolies have undue power in setting wages, especially locally. If you live in a place where you have to work for Walmart, where have to work for Amazon, like my cousins do in Cleveland, Ohio, right? You are subject to whatever wages those companies are going to set.
Solana Rice: And lastly that we have a principle and the condition that all people of color belong. And it is actually just the opposite of what Jeremie has stated. That we do not have theft exclusion and therefore exploitation in our economy. And that we’re looking at all of the ways that our identities intersect and we’re still upholding and holding on to oppressive regimes, thinking behaviors and policies. So it’s our way of thinking about, okay, in this new vision, are we still dragging with us any of these old systems of repression that we just need to get rid of? Because they could easily just creep in because it’s the water that we swim in.
Stacy Mitchell: There’s so many things I want to ask right now. That was all really great. Let me start with this one. You all are thinking about anti-monopoly in a broad way as we at ILSR do as well. The notion that there are lots of different policies that structure how power operates in the economy and who has it. And that we need to look those policies from this lens of concentration versus democracy, equality versus concentration and so on. I’m curious within that, how much thinking you have done about antitrust, particularly as a part of that policy field, but just a part? But also, have a body of law that is particularly focused on competition and consolidation. Do you think that there are ways in which, as we’re moving towards antitrust reform legislation, that antitrust policy and enforcement needs to have a race lens brought into it, and what does that look like?
Jeremie Greer: Yeah, I think we absolutely do, but you’re right. Like, so in the report, we really argue for broadening the definition of anti-monopoly. And we do so because it’s our belief that the reason it’s so narrowly focused, and we don’t need to get into the consumer standards, I’m sure your listeners are well versed in that. But the reason why it’s been narrowed in that way is intention. And it is purposeful. It is to protect the firms. Not to actually, in our belief, to protect all of the people that are impacted by monopoly. It also means that we can’t use antitrust as a tool to address workers fully. Like in the impact that monopoly power has on workers. We can’t use it as a tool to address the awful problems that happen in communities where companies pollute neighborhoods, and then they don’t have any recourse, at least to antitrust to remedy that.
Jeremie Greer: It doesn’t talk about the way that corporations avoid taxes and don’t pay their fair share around what they pull out of communities. Companies drive trucks on roads that they’re basically not paying for, and get to use free of charge, and aren’t even paying for it through the taxes that they pay. So the definition as it’s defined is far too narrow for us to be able to have full accounting for the ways in which these large corporations, this corporate consolidation, is impacting communities of color. And I think one of the ways to get there is through a racial equity lens, and focusing on a racial equity lens. And that is one method of which to get there. And because people of color are all of these things. They are consumers. They are workers. They are people that live in communities. They are all of these things and we have to account for all of the ways in which companies are having disparate impact as we talked about are people of color.
Jeremie Greer: The other thing that I think is important as it relates to people of color is that the impact that they, that these corporations have on them is not the same. So we pulled, in an example that you find in the book, in the paper, is around Cots foods or Cote foods. And it’s a chicken. So fifth largest chicken company distributor in the country. And they get their chickens from small farmers, some of which are Black farmers. And they have essentially replicated a sharecropping system with these Black farmers in which they are basically in control of all of the ways in which they do business. From how they treat their chickens, to what they feed their chickens, to the type of land that they grow their chickens on. All of that is controlled by this company, and in many cases have put these black farmers out of business.
Jeremie Greer: Now that isn’t the same way that they deal with larger producers of chickens, right? So it’s important to note that there’s a different way in which these companies are interacting with people of color, and they’re using the existence of racial capitalism in order to extract as much profit out of folks in these systems. And there are examples across the board. For the way Amazon treats black businesses on its platform, to a whole lot of other spaces. So I think through a racial lens you can find a way to use antitrust as a much more powerful tool than it currently is being used.
Solana Rice: And I’ll just add that I think that we should take this moment and the interest from the current acting chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Becca Slaughter, at her word that she’s pretty serious about an anti-racist antitrust. And is really open and interested in hearing from folks about what that looks like and what that looks for people of color in particular. Whether it’s what they’re taking on as cases, et cetera. But I do think that now is a great time to start engaging and getting our vision of what our remodeled antitrust looks like.
Jeremie Greer: Solana I’m so glad you raised that because a great example is the way the FTC has partnered with the CFPB, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, around enforcing the eviction moratorium around the COVID-19 crisis that’s in place. And making sure that corporate, large corporate landlords, there are literally a hand full of these around the country, are giving tenants information about the eviction moratorium so that they know what their rights are in this time. So I think that’s an example of the way the FTC can play a more activist role in protecting, their in charge of protecting consumers.
Jess Del Fiacco: We’ll go to the next question in just a moment, but first, we’re going to take a short break to thank you for listening to the show. If you’re enjoying the conversation I hope you’ll consider heading over to ilsr.org/donate to help support our work. Your donation directly supports this podcast and helps us get great guests like Jeremie and Solana. You can visit ilsr.org/donate to make a contribution today. Any amount is sincerely appreciated. Now, we’ll continue on with our conversation with Jeremie Greer and Solana Rice of Liberation in a Generation.
Stacy Mitchell: I think that’s absolutely right. And for listeners who don’t know, Commissioner Becca Kelly Slaughter did a tweet thread about how antitrust enforcement decisions needed to have a racial justice lens in terms of how they look at questions around mergers, how they look at other questions around anti-competitive violations and the behavior of these big companies. And she subsequently, I think, talked about it some in a speech and has in a few other places, but it’s an idea that she’s been moving and she is currently the acting chair of the FTC as we await Biden’s additional appointment into those other seats.
Stacy Mitchell: I wanted to ask you about the role of small business in Black communities in particular, both economically, but also in the life of communities and as well, I think, the importance of locally owned, Black owned institutions, businesses in terms of being a site for social justice movements throughout history, civil rights movements. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Jeremie Greer: So the black business and one of the things about remembering the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa, and us looking back at that awful massacre that took place in Tulsa, Oklahoma over a hundred years ago, one of the things that we have to remember is that there was a thriving Black community with strong institutions. And some of the strongest institutions in that community were those businesses. Were black owned businesses that were not just barely rough for the people that own them, which they were, but there were also becoming the foundational base of institutions that really made that a thriving center of commerce, of community, of culture, of politics in that community. And during segregation across the country there was a lot of that in a lot of communities across the country, because capital from mainstream institutions wouldn’t go in so Black people had to create their own centers in which to basically govern and run their communities.
Jeremie Greer: And we saw that across the country. And they became these institutions for these communities to help these communities thrive. And there are a lot of Black businesses like that today. We highlighted Loyalty Books in our paper, which is a bookstore in the Washington, DC area in Maryland. And that is exactly what they exist to do. Now, of course, the owner of Loyalty Books wants to make a profit. She wants to keep her business running. She wants to be a way to generate wealth for herself, but she also wants to be an institution where dialogue amongst black people. Where people can come and talk about books or talk about literature and talk about ideas in a space. And there are a lot of businesses that are that. There’s a lot of talk about the Black barbershop is that, right? People come together, they talk, they interact, it becomes a social hub for the community. Or the hair salon.
Jeremie Greer: A lot of places like that. But when you are pushing down on Black businesses in the way that these mega corporations do, and become competition. You know, Black businesses start at a deficit, right? It’s hard to get capital out of mainstream businesses. And this has been documented more times than I can count, the difficulty of a Black businesses accessing capital. And when you’re climbing uphill against that, and at the same time you’re being consistently undercut by large corporations on price and competition for workers and competition for space in the community, it really can become an uphill climb that can’t be overcome.
Jeremie Greer: And then in this new e-commerce space you have companies like Facebook with their marketplace. You have Amazon with their platform consistently, actively undermining those businesses by throwing out competitive products, by undercutting them on price. And they have all the data that allows them to do this. And it becomes, just for a lot of businesses, something that can’t be overcome. And when you lose that you’re a Black business, you’re losing an institution in the Black community that is helping to really create the power and strength that communities need to thrive.
Stacy Mitchell: How has, you wrote this report, I think one of the things I really liked about it is it’s written for an activist community, for activists in particular, and for just the general public who are interested in these issues. It’s a very accessible report. But I’m curious how folks who’ve been working on, organizations who’ve been working on racial equity but maybe hadn’t been thinking about monopoly power in their work. I’m curious about the reaction that you’ve had from them to do the report and to the arguments that you’re making.
Solana Rice: We’re seeing early glimmers of the ahas about the way, especially the way that we’re describing the barriers. I think folks are starting to see like, oh yeah, that is part of the reason why I can’t advance affordable housing. Or, I can’t make sure that small business owners in my community have access to capital. But this is just the beginning. The report is the first foray into this conversation. And I think that what we want to make sure is that the organizers, the folks that are building power and community, are actually starting to not only make the connections across their topics about corporate power and corporate concentration, but also being in community to develop the solutions that actually address that corporate power. And so what we hope to do is continue the conversation from the report to really launch thinking around a policy agenda, a research agenda, and also just collaboration in thought partnership so that we’re telling the story in a compelling way.
Solana Rice: I think the folks at Athena, for example, have been doing a great job of that kind of work focusing on Amazon. And now I think there’s just really a broader field of folks that are like, yes, Amazon and all these other tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, all these other corporations. And we know how to take on individual corporations. And how do we take on the regulations and the rules that actually govern those corporations. And defining a new role for corporations. I think for a while, well, I think it’s a question for organizers. What I’ve heard frequently is that there’s no rule for corporations. Corporations are terrible, right? We need to take down corporations. I don’t think corporations are going away soon. And so if we are to redefine the role of corporations in our democracy and our economy, what role do we want and how do we measure that we’re moving it towards some kind of balance of power in the short term?
Jeremie Greer: That was right on. Particularly that last point. And here’s the thing, antitrust activity in its historic roots were about that. Like, what is the role of corporations in our society, and how do we as the government and the people govern that? Corporations used to have to demonstrate that they were going to create some public good out of their existence. There’s no responsibility of that right now. It’s basically, can you make profits, is the ultimate question that’s asked. And the government says, well, if you’re going to make profits, you must be doing something good.
Jeremie Greer: And then they back off, and they don’t have to answer these questions about what value they’re bringing. And they actually, in many of them as we talk about in the report, are extracting value out of communities and aren’t being held accountable for it. And that’s the stuff that I think community folks really want to get at. Like, how can we stop them from pulling this stuff out of communities and actually being of some use in our communities. And use to us, not to some shareholder living on the Upper East Side of New York.
Jess Del Fiacco: Related to all that is, I guess, how do you see the future of the anti-monopoly movement? The movement itself, how should it evolve in order to build this kind of future?
Solana Rice: The first point is really centering folks that are building power in communities that can actually organize, that can mobilize, that are directly impacted by the outflow in the existence of monopolies. And arming those organizers with the tools and the analysis that can clearly state why and how monopoly power is impacting their everyday lives. I personally, starting to get into this work, have read a lot about anti-monopoly and antitrust.
Solana Rice: And honestly, I’m like, it’s really bureaucratic and it’s really jargony. And I think one of the first things is just, which is also what we’re trying to do with the report, is just help people navigate who’s making decisions about what, and what are the terms and language that folks use. Because we, at Liberation in a Generation fully agree and believe that the economy is not a mystery. That everybody operates in it and that we make it. And that the wonkiness, if you will, and the bureaucratic nature of things is really just to make things abstract and to hold close power. And that we just don’t have the liberty of maintaining that sort of exclusionary posture anymore. Especially as more people on the streets are recognizing the role of monopolies and corporate concentration in their communities, and will be demanding and are demanding new alternatives.
Jeremie Greer: Yeah. I love all of that. And I just think that we’ve let the monopolists set the terms of the debate. And we’re arguing on a debate stage around questions that they’ve written and about it through a frame that they’ve created. And it is around these questions around why does the corporation exist in the first place? If it would exist to create shareholder returns, which is what we’ve come to understand is the role of business, then we know that that means that the corporation is there to benefit a shareholder community that is 90% white.
Jeremie Greer: But like, that is what it is if we’re allowing it to be on those terms. What if we’re actually saying that the corporation needs to exist to okay, provide returns to your shareholders, but also to strengthen communities. To ensure that workers have a livable wage and a lifestyle that allows them to be a complete human being when they come to work. Meaning they get to have a bathroom break to go to the bathroom, right?
Jeremie Greer: That basic level. All the way to have health benefits and paid time off and are earning a wage that allows them to live in the city of their choice, in the community of their choice. Right? Allows them to know that they’re not feeding the company unnecessarily through exploitation of the data that we provide as consumers. Right? There’s so much that if we redefine the bounds in which a corporation is supposed to serve the public good, then we’re getting to a place in now we can have a conversation about how are we, how a corporation is being actually advancing racial equity rather than being a forced to fight against racial equity.
Jeremie Greer: I think that’s the confines of what I’d like to see the debate to go. Because if we stay where we are in the current debate as they defined it, there’s no room. There’s no way to expect that we will see racial equity. Because again, if they’re only accountable to a set of human beings that are 90% white, we’re never, never going to get there. And by the way, I didn’t make that number up it’s in the report. That’s not just me being flippant with the data it’s literally 90% of shareholders are white. So, no.
Stacy Mitchell: Yeah. It’s one of the great, it’s one of the great tax. You have a number of illustrations too that like are, it’s just a really, it’s a really great report that kind of crystallizes a lot of those things in really clear terms. I really appreciated that. And I couldn’t agree more with both of the points you just made about how, it is how the conversation is framed, who’s framing it and what the boundaries of it are and what it’s oriented around that’s so crucial.
Stacy Mitchell: And then also this point that Solana made about antitrust monopoly has been really turned into this highly technical conversation that only elite lawyers and economists working for corporations basically are allowed to have. And the doors by our enforcement agencies, they have shut their doors to the public. And I feel like that’s a big part of what has gone wrong. And I’m so appreciative of your work because it is really about widening that conversation and bringing everyone into it in a completely different way. So thanks so much for everything you do.
Jeremie Greer: Well, thanks for having me. Thank you for what you do and for having this discussion because it’s so important to give this discussion space and platform. So thank you for that.
Solana Rice: Yeah, thanks for this conversation.
Jess Del Fiacco: Thank you guys. I just want to remind listeners that we’ll have that report, which is anti-monopoly activism, listed in the notes for this episode. So if you go to ilsr.org you can read it there and you should check it out. With that, thank you guys so much.
Jeremie Greer: Thanks for having us.
Stacy Mitchell: It was great.
Jess Del Fiacco: Thank you for tuning into this episode of the Building Local Power podcast from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. You can find links to what we discussed today by going to ilsr.org and clicking on the show page for this episode. That’s ilsr.org. While you’re there you can sign up for one of our many newsletters and connect with us on social media.
Jess Del Fiacco: We hope you also take the opportunity to help us out with a gift that helps produce this very podcast and supports the research and resources and made available for free on our website. Finally, we ask that you let us know how we’re doing with a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you find your podcasts. This show is produced by me, Jess Del Fiacco, and edited by Drew Birchbach. Our theme music is Funk Interlude by Dysfunctional. For the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, I’m Jess Del Fiacco and hope you join us again in two weeks for the next episode of Building Local Power.

 

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Audio Credit: Funk Interlude by Dysfunction_AL Ft: Fourstones – Scomber (Bonus Track). Copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license.

Photo Credit: Sarah Deragon

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Jess Del Fiacco

Jess Del Fiacco is ILSR’s Communications Manager. In this role, she works closely with program staff to develop and implement communications strategy that supports ILSR’s mission. She promotes ILSR’s work through the organization’s newsletters, website, social media, events, and more. Jess also hosts the Building Local Power podcast. Contact Jess for media inquiries.