So….why were we fighting the Germans in World War II?

It is common knowledge that the Germans under Nazi rule had racist and anti-Semitic policies that resulted in the deaths of millions. We fought a long and destructive war to overthrow that government. And yet….

https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/05/europe/gi-babies-britain-dday-gbr-intl

Britain’s mixed-race GI babies want to know why they were given away

(CNN)A wedding ring and a photograph are all Leon Lomax has left of his mother, a woman he has longed to know his whole life.

 

Leon’s white British mother met his African-American GI father during World War II, when he was stationed at RAF Birch, an airbase in Essex, southeast England.
When Leon was born in December 1945, his mother, who was unmarried, left him in a children’s home. He has a “distant memory” of what he thinks was the last time he saw her — remembers “standing in the corner of a crib and crying real hard.”
Leon, now 73, is still haunted by the choice his mother made. For decades, he has wondered: Did she want to give him up, or was she forced to?
“I just want to know what conditions she was under,” he tells CNN, from his home in Ohio. “I always thought about trying to find her.”
Leon is not alone.

Social stigma

Historian Lucy Bland estimates that around 2,000 mixed-race children were born in the UK to British women and African-American servicemen between 1943 and 1946.
The US Army refused permission for black GIs to marry their pregnant white girlfriends and so the babies they gave birth to were branded “illegitimate.”
The social stigma of having a mixed-race child out of wedlock was too much for many mothers to cope with, and so many of the children were given up.
Between a third and half of the babies are thought to have been placed in children’s homes, according to Bland, who told some of their stories in her book, “Britain’s Brown Babies.” (The term was coined by the US press in the 1940s).
Of the 45 former GI babies Bland interviewed, Leon was the only one later adopted by his father.
Corporal Oscar Lomax was already married when he met Leon’s mother Maud, but after returning to the US at the end of the war, he tracked Leon down and had the-then three-year-old flown to the US in January 1949.
“My heart did a complete flip-flop,” Leon’s stepmother Betty told the Pittsburgh Chronicle in an article celebrating his arrival. “I took him and his little hands were so soft. He asked my name. I told him ‘Mommie’ and the man’s name was ‘Daddy.'”
But there was to be no happy ending for Leon — his stepmother died suddenly when he was eight years old, and his father sent him to live with a succession of aunts and uncles.
There was always someone missing, “kind of like a void,” he says.
Leon did eventually trace his mother, but it was too late. Maud had died two years previously — all he got to visit was her gravestone. That “kinda broke my heart,” he says.

Search for identity

When African-American GIs, many of whom came from the Deep South, served in Britain the US Army forced them to abide by the “Jim Crow” racial segregation laws.
But many white British women paid no attention to such rules and attended “black-only” dances and pubs, where relationships were formed.
“When the black GIs wanted to marry some of the white women and asked the officers — who were all white — they invariably refused,” says Bland, professor of social and cultural history at Anglia Ruskin University. “It wasn’t a legal thing but this is what they did, which is outrageous.”
Lucy found one case in which a black GI who said he wanted to marry his pregnant girlfriend was told by his commanding officer “if you do that you will be charged with rape, and the penalty for rape is death.”
Such attitudes mean that many of the “brown babies” — now in their early 70s — have spent a lifetime searching for their identities after being separated from their parents.
Around 20 of the so-called “brown babies” were placed in a nursery at Holnicote House near Minehead in Somerset, southwestern England, where they were raised until they turned five. Once they reached this milestone they were fostered, adopted or sent to homes for older children.
Deborah Prior and Carol Edwards, both 74, were given up by their mothers and sent to Holnicote House in 1945. Their best childhood memories are from the five years they spent growing up amongst nature and other mixed-race children in the beautiful home.
“Every day was a summer’s day,” recalls Carol. “We were just like one big happy family.”
“They never knew what to do with our hair though,” laughs Deborah.

‘All white faces’

It wasn’t until they were packed off at the age of five, far away from everything they’d ever known and other children who looked like them, that Deborah and Carol say their struggles with their identity began.
Deborah was adopted by a childless couple named Sid and Queenie who lived on the other side of the country. “It was my first memory of feeling really scared. I had no idea where I was going or what I was doing.”.
“I was the only black kid in the community — it was horrifying and there was no preparation,” she says.
Carol was never adopted; instead, from the age of five she was moved from one children’s home to the next. “It was all white faces,” she says. “I found that strange.”
After decades of searching, Deborah managed to find her mother, but only got to meet her once, briefly, on the condition — set by her half-sister — that she didn’t reveal who she was.
A war-widowed teacher, who already had two children when she fell pregnant, Deborah’s mother told her: “You look familiar.” Three little words, but enough for Deborah to believe that her mother knew her real identity.
“I have no idea who my father is to this day… that name died with my mother,” she says.
Carol tracked down her father, but theirs wasn’t the reunion she’d hoped for. Instead it was an awkward meeting, surrounded by extended family.
“I felt really uncomfortable… there were questions I wanted to ask but I didn’t want to do it in front of other people,” Carol says. Her father died two years later.

Lifelong love story

In contrast to Leon, Deborah and Carol, Dave Greene, 74, grew up knowing exactly who — and how loved — he was.
His mother Joan Bagwell was just 18 years old when she met his father, Corporal David Greene, a photographer in the US Army, in Yeovil, southwestern England. He invited her to a dance and a lifelong love — albeit one separated by the Atlantic Ocean — began.
“It was a very strong relationship despite all the opposition,” Dave explains, detailing the racism and abuse the couple faced at the hands of white US servicemen and locals alike, simply walking down the street together.
Corporal Greene, from North Carolina, wooed Joan’s family with homemade peach cobblers and was well received by her parents — but they drew the line at letting their daughter move to the US.
“She told me she would have loved to have gone to the States because he always kept in touch,” said Dave. “But I understood, when I was a little bit older, that she didn’t get all the letters — my gran kept them aside, she didn’t want her going off and marrying this black guy.”
By the time Dave was born in August 1945, his father had left the UK, but he sent money to help Joan raise his child, and continued to urge her to join him in America.
Joan refused to give in to pressure and give Dave up — despite facing the joint stigmas of illegitimacy and racism.
“She was a very strong woman, she would not have anything bad said about me,” Dave says.
Eventually, Joan married a local man who brought Dave up as if he was his own son, and stood up for him in the face of racist abuse.
But Dave says she continued to hold a torch for his father. “My mum could always remember his Army number,” he says, adding that she was “obviously totally smitten.”

Missing puzzle piece

When he was 12, Dave and his mother received Valentine’s cards from his father.
Dave and his father wrote to each for a couple of years until a change of address meant that they lost contact for decades.
Then, when he was 53, Dave managed to track down a phone number for his father, and called him up, asking the man at the other end of the line if he had been in England during the war? When he replied: “Yes, Yeovil,” The missing piece of the puzzle fell into place.
Dave and his father spent the next two hours talking. “It was like we’d never been apart. It was closure and it was emotional,” Dave says.
A month later, in July 1999, Dave flew to New York to meet his father for the first time.
“I don’t think there was a lot said,” he remembers. “It was a physical embrace. I did ask if it was okay to call him ‘Dad,’ and he said, ‘Of course it is, you are my son.'”
Dave’s father died in 2009, his mother a year later. “I don’t think she ever got over him,” he says.
Dave was lucky enough to know both his parents, but for hundreds of Britain’s other mixed-race GI babies, the search for answers about their identity continues.

I want to focus on two particularly disgusting passages in that story.

{{{The US Army refused permission for black GIs to marry their pregnant white girlfriends and so the babies they gave birth to were branded “illegitimate.”}}}

{{{“When the black GIs wanted to marry some of the white women and asked the officers — who were all white — they invariably refused,” says Bland, professor of social and cultural history at Anglia Ruskin University. “It wasn’t a legal thing but this is what they did, which is outrageous.”
Lucy found one case in which a black GI who said he wanted to marry his pregnant girlfriend was told by his commanding officer “if you do that you will be charged with rape, and the penalty for rape is death.”}}}

You’d think that the black GIs would be commended for wanting to take responsibility for the women they impregnated. Instead, they, and their children, were condemned regardless of what they did or intended to do.

That and the fact that these men risked their lives for a country that treated them and their children with such utter contempt.

The Jim Crow policies and laws were evil, just as the Nazi ones were. And there are people in their 70s still living with the stigma of what was done to them through no fault of their own. We Americans were a nation of HYPOCRITES!

Comicsgate

Take a look at this story:
https://www.bleedingcool.com/2019/05/07/transphobic-attacks-comicsgate-label-transphobic/

The Latest Transphobic Attacks From Comicsgate Falsely Label Others As Transphobic

Posted by May 7, 2019

Comicsgate, the comics activist group that’s recently promoted a number of crowdfunded comic books, had an early history in making transphobic comments against creators like Mags Visaggio, Tamra Bonvillain, Lilah Sturges and Michelle Perez. The motivation seemed to come from the idea that some people weren’t getting jobs in comics while these people were, and that they were only getting those jobs because they’re trans. Added to this was the allegation that certain creators weren’t ‘really’ trans, and it was all just an act to get work from a comics industry that was so politically correct it would hire people without talent as ‘token’ hires, or supporting liberal, left-wing, even socialist comic book storylines, while denying work to straight, white, cis, conservative men. Richard Meyer‘s ‘Dark Roast‘ concentrated a lot of that sentiment, it gained momentum with a very vocal group and never really went away.

<snip>

So what have a number of Comicsgaters done? Some have systematically removed any previous transphobic comments they may have posted, editing their profiles so that they now appear to identify as non-binary, changing their pronoun preference to they/them or similar – and then reporting any anti-Comicsgater who has referred to them as he or him (and it usually is he or him) for hate speech. And getting them suspended or banned off Twitter. It’s a deliberate misunderstanding and mocking of the common trans refrain of “to be trans you only have to say you’re trans,” which is meant to encourage people who don’t have the access or desire to medically or physically transition and reassure them that their gender is still valid and self-identification is more than enough.

One commenter spoke out on this issue in a truly brilliant way.

You’re sick. You and your CG buddies are repellent human beings who openly mock transgendered people and then try to gaslight people into thinking you’re the victims. Just because you personally don’t like someone’s work doesn’t mean that they’re “untalented” or “undeserving.” No one without talent gets work in comics just because of their gender identity. No one. That’s not how businesses run. That’s not how publishing works. People are hired, and books sell copies, based on talent first and foremost. In an earlier time, you and your ilk would have been complaining about “all them women who are taking men’s jobs” or before that, “all them black folk stealin’ the jobs of whites.” This bullshit tin-hat conspiracy theory that somehow terrifically talented artists and writers are being shut out by no-talents hired purely because they’re SJWs or from the LGBTQ+ community is absolutely nothing but sick jealousy on the parts of the never-will-bes. Take your rationalization and shove it up your ass.

2015_03_24_d7_07.05e6c

Who was Joseph Smith?

Joseph Smith…..
……was born on December 23, 1805, in the town of Sharon, Vermont.

…..lived as a teenager in the “burned-over district” of upstate New York.

……was originally known as a treasure seeker and a teller of tall tales among his friends.

……married Emma Hale on January 18, 1827, despite the objections of her father.

……had a total of nine children with his wife, only four of whom lived to adulthood.

……claimed to have been visited by an angel named Moroni who instructed him to found a new Christian church and locate golden plates.

……..allegedly used the golden plates to write the Book of Mormon.

……named his new religious movement the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and its members “Mormons”.

…….founded the Mormon Church on April 6, 1830 with five other men.

……moved to Kirtland, Ohio, then to Jackson County, Missouri and finally to Nauvoo, Illinois to build up his religous community.

……..claimed that God now permitted polygamy in the Mormon church.

………faced bitter opposition from non-Mormons almost everywhere he and the Mormons settled.

……….was arrested for ordering the destruction of a printing press called the Nauvoo Expositor that had published criticism of Mormonism.

……….was killed on June 27, 1844 with his brother Hyrum in a gun battle against a lynch mob at the local jail of Carthage, Illinois.

A Critical Mistake in the UU World

The UU World is the official magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the religious organization I belong to. About two years ago, a controversy erupted over the embarrassing fact that despite its stated commitment to racial diversity, the UUA was far too white dominated and people of color were being passed over for positions in it that they were indeed qualified for. When this became too obvious to ignore, it forced President Peter Morales to resign.

Now, two years after that blew over, another problem has emerged: the disrespecting of transgender people by the magazine itself!

It started with this article published in it:

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/after-l-g-b

From a mainstream American point of view, it seems like a progressive article about advocating for the rights and dignity of transgender people. But from the point of view of transgender people themselves, it was a complete FAILURE! Reason: the article was written from a strictly cisgender perspective, which is as pointless as writing an article about blacks only from a white person’s point of view, instead of allowing the blacks to speak for themselves.

https://transuu.org/2019/03/06/putting-the-t-first/

Putting the “T” First: Public Statement on This Week’s UU World Article

Nothing We Do Will Be Perfect. The irony of the cover of the print issue of the spring 2019 UU World has not been lost on the membership of TRUUsT and our greater trans* community.

The UU World’s article titled “After L, G, and B” frames the trans experience by centering a white, heterosexual, cisgender woman’s experience. By doing so, it reduces trans people to objects—something that happens far too often in society and in our UU communities. The use of harmful slurs, the conflation of intersex and trans experience, and a repeated focus on surgery, hormones, and pronouns perpetuates stereotypes around trans experiences that devalues the gifts we have to bring to the world and Unitarian Universalism.

The impact of this article will have long-lasting effects. While the UU World has a vital role in communicating issues of importance to Unitarian Universalists around the world, often representing the leading edge and the best in our UU faith, it is that trust and faith in this magazine which makes this article all the more harmful. Well-meaning people who have no other known relationship to or interaction with trans lives will now believe that these words and actions are acceptable. They are not!

Soon after that was published, the UU World editors themselves admitted their mistake.

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/apology-spring-2019

Our story hurt people

Acknowledging that we have fallen short, UU World is committed to sharing in appropriate and respectful ways the inspiring and powerful stories of trans and gender nonbinary people within our faith community.

Christopher L. Walton | 3/6/2019 | Spring 2019
The “Progress Pride Flag” by Daniel Quasar adds new stripes to acknowledge the push for full inclusion by transgender people (with the white, pink, and light blue stripes) and people of color (with brown and black stripes).

Transgender and gender nonbinary leaders in the Unitarian Universalist movement, along with their allies and other UUs, are expressing alarm and sharing their pain at reading an essay in the Spring 2019 issue of UU World, “After L, G, and B” by contributing editor Kimberly French. I am profoundly saddened and deeply sorry to have caused pain to people who matter to me and whose dignity and worth I had thought we were promoting with the piece. As the magazine’s editor, I was wrong to decide to publish this essay and I apologize for the pain it has caused.

In consultation with the steering committee of TRUUsT (Transgender Religious professional UUs Together, an organization of trans leaders), we are keeping the essay on our website rather than taking it down, but are adding a preface that points to and quotes from this apology. My apology will appear in the original essay’s place in the online Table of Contents.

Many have asked why we published this article. My intent was to model, through a personal essay about one family’s experience, ways for the majority of our readers to engage respectfully with trans and nonbinary people; the impact, however, was to hurt and alienate trans and nonbinary people. I can point to three editorial mistakes: I planned an approach to the important topic of trans and gender nonbinary experiences within Unitarian Universalism without enough input from people who identify as nonbinary or trans. We did not model respectful engagement. Additionally, it was hurtful to put a straight, cisgender person’s experience in the foreground, especially as one of the first major articles in the magazine on this topic. We should have developed another kind of story in such a prominent spot that centered trans and nonbinary voices. Finally, when we reached out to Alex Kapitan, a leader in the trans and gender nonbinary community, while researching the story and ze urged us against the approach I had picked, I erred in failing to grasp the important cautions ze offered: a story told from a cisgender perspective would cause harm. I believed, falsely, that we could address the concerns within the framework of the story I had commissioned. It was a mistake to disregard this caution, and I apologize.

Several readers have also pointed to specific language in the article that is painful if not traumatic to encounter in the magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association. These include a reference to jokes at a high school in the 1970s that involved a homophobic slur, a reference to “so-called corrective surgery,” and alarming statistics about violence against transgender people that one colleague told me felt “grim without hope.” As editors, we did not have enough experience with trans issues to notice the microaggressions throughout the essay that our trans readers are calling to our attention. These specific editorial choices added pain to injury, and for that I apologize.

If you can’t hire an actual transgender person to write about their own experiences, don’t bother with the topic at all. Seriously!

I can say that with conviction because the UU World already had a great article about the transgender experience back in 2017. It didn’t need that bogus article that came out with the current issue!

https://www.uuworld.org/articles/emptying-my-shoe

People are far more comfortable allowing the messy business of a gender transition if it is presented by storytellers as a foregone conclusion from the start.

But reality is nowhere near that neat. I spent the first fifty years of my life with no earthly clue I might be transgender. An observer might have found my teenage preference for female friends unusual, but I did not. Teenage gender norms and those of the liberated era in which I was raised allowed anyone to be friends with anyone else, and I put together a rich social life.

Things changed after graduation. People began pairing off, and social overtures toward single women were generally interpreted as romantic. Finding friendship among females became more challenging. However, I made the best of my opportunities, getting married and raising two children. I was mildly uncomfortable with my role as husband and father, but since I had never really felt like I fit in anywhere, that seemed unsurprising and certainly not an indication of anything unusual about my relationship with gender.

As a married man, I found that developing friendships with women was nearly impossible. I couldn’t come up with any way of approaching women socially without looking like I was interested in an affair. Luckily, my wife and I were great friends, keeping the loneliness of my married years partially at bay. I had family and career to keep me busy, so it was not until age fifty that I turned my focus toward the gaping holes in my social life.

<snip>

My wife supported my explorations until the clues began to suggest I might be transgender. “If you transitioned, I’d probably leave you,” she told me one night, and I did not object. I certainly would have been upset to find myself suddenly married to a man, and I understood why remaining in a marriage with a woman would not be her choice.

So I was cautious. I tested the waters, first presenting as a woman in public and then joining a transgender-friendly women’s reading group. A realization took shape: I was far more comfortable as my female self. Female social interactions seemed “right” in a way that male interactions never had. I began to see my female life as the “real me,” while the prospect of spending the rest of my days as a male looked unbearably dreary. I was conscious of a part of my being that demanded I be true to it by living as a female. I could no more change it through an effort of will than I could my height or eye color.

However, many whom I took into my confidence urged me to save my marriage by remaining in my male life and avoiding disrupting my family. I had survived a half-century as a male, surely I could survive the rest of the way.

After much soul searching, I still couldn’t agree. Imagine you are on a long hike, feet throbbing with discomfort. You soldier on, because everyone on the hike is complaining. But then you all take a break, and you find that your shoe is full of pebbles, while everyone else’s shoes are clear. You realize that, though no one’s feet feel fine, it’s been far worse for you than for others. A simple solution exists—remove your shoe and empty out the pebbles.

What would you say to those who remind you that you’ve hiked this far, surely you could hike just a little farther? That the hike is more than half done, and you’d inconvenience everyone else, who would have to wait for you to untie your shoe and then lace it back up again? What would you do? Would you just finish the hike, knowing that every step will hurt, or would you beg their indulgence while you emptied your shoe?

In the end, I reluctantly and with much trepidation decided that, while I wished I could have remained as I was for the sake of my marriage, it was asking too much of me to insist that I spend the rest of my life pretending I was someone I’m not. I needed to change, and if my wife left me because of it, I couldn’t control that and shouldn’t try.

That decision shattered our marriage. After months of vitriolic wrangling we decided she would buy my half of the house. My daughter, then a junior in high school, remained living with her. I moved into my own place, my wife furious that I’d chosen transition over her. My son was away at college by then, so for the first time since getting married I was living alone.

<snip>

Fast-forward to the present, and nearly every friend I have I met at UUCC. I never miss a chance to hear Getty preach if I can help it, and I look forward all week to the lazy lunches after services, discussing the sermon, current events, and what’s going on in our lives, or just kicking back and enjoying our food. I teach religious education classes every week, have helped lead services, and have participated in reflection groups, fun feasts, game nights, and other events too numerous to name. When I had gender-confirming surgery, I came out as transgender to the entire congregation during the sharing of joys and sorrows. I spoke of my excitement and fear, and I was met by an outpouring of support and a promise from a lay member of the Pastoral Care Committee to call me frequently during my recovery period. 

As I write this, I have just returned from three days at a spiritual center after participating in the annual UUCC women’s retreat. During one of the fascinating workshops there, it occurred to me how amazing it was to bask in the love and support that warmed that all-female space. And how unremarkable it felt that no one had ever questioned whether, as a transgender woman, I belonged there. The subject simply hadn’t come up.

I can’t imagine where I’d be had I not found UUCC. My life would certainly lack much of its richness. The dark, lonely period after my separation now seems a distant memory.

That is what we should have stuck with, and it will always be what we need, now and forever.

UPDATE: I found this comic that spells out the problem with that first UU World Article I linked to, but refused to copy any part of here:Image may contain: text

Bigotry Against a Muslim Member of Congress

Read this disturbing story.

https://start.att.net/news/read/category/news/article/cnn-house_democrats_to_bring_resolution_condemning_ant-cnn2

House Democrats to bring resolution condemning anti-Semitism to the floor Wednesday

House Democratic leaders will bring to the floor Wednesday a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, a senior Democratic aide tells CNN, following outrage over comments made by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar last week that insinuated pro-Israel groups are pushing “allegiance to a foreign country.”

This will be the second time this year the House votes on a resolution condemning anti-Semitism. Last month, Republicans were able to get similar language added to a resolution after Omar linked US support for Israel to money and lobbying.

The latest resolution was worked on over the weekend by staff from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel of New York and House Ethics Committee Ted Deutch of Florida. The text is still not final, per the aide.

At a Washington bookstore event last Thursday, Omar argued that critics labeling her as an anti-Semite looked to silence a necessary conversation.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” said the Minnesota Democrat, according to The New York Times.

In a fiery statement Friday night, Engel called on Omar, who is a member of his committee, to apologize and to her to task for yet another controversial comment over the political influence of pro-Israel groups on politicians.

“I welcome debate in Congress based on the merits of policy, but it’s unacceptable and deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens because of their political views, including support for the US-Israel relationship,” Engel said in the statement. “We all take the same oath. Worse, Representative Omar’s comments leveled that charge by invoking a vile anti-Semitic slur.”

Omar’s office did not respond directly to a request for comment on Engel’s statement, though she tweeted about the issue several times this weekend, including responding to fellow Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, who called on her to retract her comments.

“Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman! I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee. The people of the 5th elected me to serve their interest. I am sure we agree on that!” Omar tweeted.

Omar has previously apologized after she faced backlash for tweets condemned by both sides of the aisle as anti-Semitic, after suggesting Republican support of Israel is fueled by donations from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent pro-Israel group.

The parts of the article in red are the ones that concern me most.

First, the other members of Congress seem to be questioning the loyalty of this MUSLIM because she does not follow the pro-Israel line. But since she is neither Jewish nor Christian, it is actually an insult to her religion to demand she support a Jewish state.

Second, she clearly told the truth about Israel and its warped relationship to the United States. If she lied, her critics should be able to prove it with evidence and reasoned argument, neither of  which they presented.

Third, demanding she apologize for telling the truth is a violation of her First Amendment right to free speech.

Fourth, and most damning of all……why is PRO-Jewish bigotry more acceptable to Americans than anti-Semitism? Either oppose all manifestations of bigotry, or admit you are a bigoted hypocrite.

Stay strong, Rep. Omar. Someday the rest of Congress will have to admit you were right.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is kicking @$$ in Washington D. C.

For most of American history, the federal government in the USA, including its Congress, has been a haven for elitist jerks with no interest in relating to the average American. Most members of Congress are millionaires, after all.

Enter Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young New York woman who was a waitress only a year ago, but who this year upset all expectations by overthrowing a member of the Democratic establishment in the primaries and then went on to win a seat in the House of Representatives. And what is she doing now to change things?

New Congresswoman Will Pay Her Interns $15 An Hour. Is That A Big Deal?

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez takes office next month, representing New York’s 14th District, she will be a part of the “blue wave” of new Democrats in the House. But the 29-year-old may end up being a part of a different kind of wave, too: a bipartisan effort for members of Congress to pay the interns they employ.

“Time to walk the walk,” she tweeted on Tuesday. “Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them.” And she pledged more than just a stipend: Her interns will make $15 an hour.

Last year, two former unpaid House interns, Carlos Mark Vera and Guillermo Creamer, founded an organization called Pay Our Interns. They collected data about who pays what on Capitol Hill, and they found that about 90 percent of House offices don’t pay their interns at all — a figure that Creamer called “abysmal.”

The numbers are a bit better on the Senate side: Half of Senate Democrats pay their interns at least a stipend, while 55 percent of Senate Republicans do.

As for the $15 hourly wage, only three members of Congress currently pay their interns so well, Creamer tells NPR: Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Doug Jones, D-Ala., and Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington state.

In the for-profit world, the Department of Labor’s rules on paying interns have been clarified in recent years to state that that an intern must be the “primary beneficiary” of the internship, rather than the company. If the company is the primary beneficiary, then that intern is really an employee, and employees are entitled to minimum wage and overtime.

But those laws exempt internships at nonprofits and in the public sector. Thus congressional offices are not obligated to pay interns, and often, they don’t.

The House and Senate both passed bills earlier this year appropriating money for intern pay. The House approved $8.8 million, giving each member’s office $20,000 per year to pay interns. The Senate version includes $5 million, to be allocated according to a state’s population, providing an average of $50,000 per office.

Despite those new pools of money, most members haven’t started to advertise paid internships, Creamer says, because they’re waiting for new guidelines about using the funds. And that’s an issue, because the congressional offices are accepting applications for the January class of interns right now.

He points out that Ocasio-Cortez isn’t waiting for guidelines: “Her intention was to pretty much pay her interns regardless, and that’s because they allocated that in their budget.”

Whether an internship pays has a profound effect on who is able to apply for and accept it. Young people without wealthy parents or a university footing their expenses may find themselves juggling second or third jobs in the evenings after their internship.

But a congressional internship can be an important step toward future opportunities in government or elsewhere. If such positions are open only to children of the wealthy, then the wealthy will very likely continue to be overrepresented as public officeholders.

As Congress prepares for the next session, Creamer urged its members to start making plans for paying their interns — something his organization is more than happy to assist with.

“They know the money’s there; they know the money is coming,” he said. “Why not try and start structuring it now?”

You’d think with slavery having been abolished after the American Civil War, unpaid interns would already have been illegal, and in any case, it should be.

Ocasio-Cortez should be only the beginning. Over the next few decades, more and more young people need to vote out the establishment members of Congress of both the Democratic and Republican parties and replace them with members of the working class that are like themselves. Then we will truly have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. And NO ONE should be in Congress for several decades anymore! Such power entrenchment is a disgrace!