Back in April, a 19-year-old Black college student bought a $350 designer belt at Barneys New York. And while I'd never buy such a thing, I also wouldn't swarm on him after he bought the belt, cuff him, arrest him, lock him up, and ask him where he got his money, like the NYPD did. It looks an awful lot like the NYPD just gets suspicious when Black folks buy something expensive, and it also looks an awful lot like Barneys gets antsy whenever Black folks shop there. And now, as we learn that the NYPD has made a disproportionate number of arrests outside of Barneys, others have stepped forward to tell tales of NYPD harassment for Shopping While Black. Hence Color of Change helps you demand that the NYPD fully investigate arrests made outside of Barneys, and disclose how many people of color get arrested and charged, as well as Barneys' role in the arrests. Remember that this is the same NYPD that stops-and-frisks Blacks and Hispanics at a rate well above Black and Hispanic crime rates.
Meanwhile, Public Citizen helps you tell the EPA to enact vigorous limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. The EPA has already issued standards for new power plants, but by the middle of next year they'll propose standards for the power plants we've already got. And the corporations that own and run those power plants stand at the ready to tell us that our fossil fuel activities don't exacerbate climate change (a statement endorsed by approximately zero percent of the world's scientists), and, when that doesn't work, they'll tell us that REGULASHUNZ KILLZ TEH JOBZ!!!!, which also isn't true, since regulations require workers who can refit the plants to comply with them, and those workers will have, er, jobs doing that work. But Public Citizen reminds us that climate change cuts a wide swatch of damage: it hikes health care costs, hurts family farms, and even raises the cost of maintaining our infrastructure. That's besides, you know, eventually making the planet unlivable for most of us.
Finally, you've petitioned Sen. Durbin (D?-IL) about his clumsy statement on Fox News Sunday that Democrats will "have" to give on entitlements -- meaning any "grand bargain" with Republicans would have to include Social Security and Medicare cuts. Now CREDO helps you call Mr. Durbin and tell him to stop using Social Security and Medicare as bargaining chips -- or, as he might call them, grand bargaining chips. I bet Mr. Durbin isn't expecting people to call him in addition to writing him, so this might be a good opportunity to send a powerful message. And sure, I've also thought Mr. Durbin isn't really serious about his offer -- perhaps he thinks he can say whatever he thinks our elites want to hear, because Republicans are too stupid to take the cuts. But aren't we sick of politicians who don't say what they mean or mean what they say? And don't Democrats understand that when they "offer" up these cuts, Republicans hang it around their neck on Election Day?