The Rundown

Punk-Rock Icon Henry Rollins Explains America’s Issue With Poor People

Your daily guide to what’s working, what’s not and what you can do about it.
July 10, 2017, 2:01pm
Photo via Wikimedia Commons user

Money talks: Henry Rollins is best known for being the frontman of punk rock band Black Flag in the '80s. Rollins is vocal about his politics and isn't one of those celebrities who shies away from controversial topics. In a recent LA Weekly op-ed, he dropped some knowledge about how America has historically shitted on poor people all the while promising them an intangible American Dream.

Rollins' words ring especially true given both GOP-controlled houses of Congress have attempted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a watered-down version that leaves low-income communities without any safety net. At one point he writes, "The plea for equality is a hoarse cry in a country that was birthed in and operates on inequality." Punk rock mic drop.


About that sweet American innovation: President Trump keeps promising to bring jobs back to America, but he might be shooting himself in the foot with this latest move. The Trump Administration is planning to rollback an Obama-Era legislation, the International Entrepreneur Rule, that lets foreign business owners into the US to start companies. The rule is supposed to kick off July 17, but the White House is doing everything in their power to delay it from going into effect in an effort to promote American industries.

Despite bragging about his success as a business owner, the president hasn't done much in terms of job creation. In fact, Trump's repeal of this rule may be disastrous for the economy and shows how blindly anti-immigrant this administration is, no matter the person's skill level, worker value, or likely contribution to the country.

Well, this is awkward: Leaders from 20 countries around the globe gathered for the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany to talk about trade, climate change and what's poppin' in current affairs. But since pulling out of the Paris climate deal and giving off loner vibes the US and by extension President Trump was the undeniable man out. The only person Trump seemed to click at the summit with was Russian President Vladimir Putin because misery loves company. In light the President's nationalistic policies, other countries are giving America the side-eye for not being a team player, but can you blame them? The other 19 countries made it clear that climate change must be addressed right now, and that the commitments made in the Paris climate agreement are "irreversible."

Watch some more video from VICE Impact:

We are a nation of immigrants: 43-Year-old Andres Magana Ortiz, a coffee farmer in Hawaii, was brought into the US as an undocumented immigrant at age 15 and is now being deported after the Department of Homeland Security rejected his petition for legal status. Despite his marriage to a US citizen, having American-born kids and trying to legally obtain citizenship, Ortiz was not protected as an undocumented immigrant regardless of his unblemished record.

The judge in Ortiz's case disagreed with the immigration policy going so far to call the Trump administration's decision "inhumane." Ultimately, the judge didn't have the authority to overturn Ortiz's deportation and the father of three will have to return to Mexico where has no relatives. Apparently, being both a loving father and a hard worker qualifies as a "bad hombre."

Black men keep getting shot: Racially motivated police brutality is nothing new in communities of color, particularly against black men. An officer in Mamou, LA fatally shot Dejuan Guillory in the back on July 6. An audio interview with an eyewitness now confirms that Guillory complied with the officer's orders and was lying face down on the ground, not resisting when he was murdered. Guillory's case mirrors that of Alton Sterling who was killed in Baton Rouge on July 5, 2016. Sterling's family is suing the city on racism and excessive force for his death, which may end in a settlement like in the cases of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice.Healthcare Repeal back on the table this week: Congress returns to business today in DC and contrary to consistent news reports President Trump has expressed confidence that the much aligned ACA repeal effort is on track. Over the 4th of July recesses, legislators heard an earful from constituents that taking away healthcare from millions of people is not cool, and right now the bill lacks necessary votes to pass. The next three weeks will be crucial to next steps on this, and whether you oppose the bill or not, now is the time to make your voice heard.

Oh, Helllllll no: The removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, VA has the old south thinking it can rise. On Saturday nearly 50 KKK members showed up for a rally, some in full hooded garb and Confederate flags, chanting "white power" in disapproval of taking down the offensive monument. In response, more than 1000 counter-protesters came out and threw trash and insults. The police shut down the counter-protest with teargas in an attempt to protect the safety of Klan supporters whose message of hate was clearly outnumbered. In a bizarre twist of events, the police arrested 22 counter-protesters while all the Klansmen got off scot free.

Equality at any cost: Lambda Legal is an LGBTQ advocacy group and they're representing the case of Jameka Evans, who claims that she was forced out of her job as a security guard at a hospital because she's a lesbian. Protections for LGBTQ employees vary state by state, and President Trump has made it easier for employers to discriminate against gender and sexual minorities. Lambda Legal says they're willing to take Evans' case all the way to the Supreme Court, and the bench has a history of ruling favorably on pro-LGBTQ matters.