A Note from Únete956
Updated: Feb 20, 2019
Logo by Erika Briones
We would like to express many thanks to those who’ve read our work and liked our Facebook page. Thanks as well to the movements who are building a more progressive Rio Grande Valley at a time of global instability. It’s these movements and this historical moment that mobilized us to create a platform of discussion, as a united community, over what a progressive RGV can and will look like.
Our first week we featured dispatches from the No Border Wall Coalition, Poets Against Walls and some investigative journalism on our higher ed institutions where new movements are beginning to take form. Similarly, these sections are, in their own way, movements against the militarization of our region and communities. What has become increasingly clear to many is that these policies go back to the ballot box at a national and local level, as we find ourselves in election season.
But the manifold issues faced by the RGV working and middle class, which includes intersections of immigrants, students and queer-folk, are all part of a larger, global phenomenon of capitalism in crisis. From Turkey to Honduras, Iran to Poland, Egypt to Russia, China to the U.S., one can find the consequences of a global economy which allows the eight richest people in the world to own as much wealth as the world’s poorest 50% (some say it is actually five).
On a national level, the “3 Richest Americans Hold More Wealth Than Bottom 50% Of The Country.” Approximately 28 million people are medically uninsured. Over 120 DREAMers lose protections every day. A federal budget proposed by the White House calls for cuts to already-insufficient social programs, and increases to military spending. And due to a broken campaign finance system, corporate-owned media, the Democratic Party’s inability to address working class issues, and an information warfare campaign from a foreign intelligence service, the U.S. finds itself resisting a sexist, xenophobic, neo-fascist administration.
Locally, unemployment rates in the Valley are significantly higher than the national average. Hidalgo County has among the highest rates of medically uninsured in the country, while it is also one of the most expensive medical markets in the U.S., with its privately-owned hospitals who make up the bulk of campaign contributions to local candidates and foundations that are supposed to represent the interests of “the people.”
Religious fundamentalism is alive and well, not just among some of our friends and families, but such language has crept its way into the mouths of elected leaders who employ it in order to justify their policies, without due consideration to the First Amendment. If one were to dissent from a blessed or revealed policy, would doing so be blasphemous? In tandem, unemployment and an economy that primarily serves economic developers, attorneys, construction companies, and other private interests, leads to depression and anxiety among working people, which in turn creates a steady flow of ‘clients’ for religious ‘counselors.’ Attacks on reproductive justice, trans women and families are persistent, but being resisted. The continued violations to the sovereignty and wholesale disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples likewise continue with resistance.
You can expect continued coverage on all these things (in English and Spanish) as well as how to get involved with the organizations doing transformative work on the ground in our region.
As we can see, brothers and sisters, our work is still ahead of us. But there are movements of working people from across the Valley with the conviction to refuse just sitting idly-by while these injustices perpetuate. It is for these movements and their voices that this site is a platform, not just so we can “make our voices heard,” as said by condescending politicians, but to discuss how we, as a community, can take action--the necessary element of change.
Please support Únete’s work by donating to our fundraiser.