Bella Robinson is the Executive Director of COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) Rhode Island. She was interviewed by Patsy Lewis.
Well, good morning, and thank you for having me.
My name is Bella Robinson, and I’m the executive director of Coyote Rhode Island, which stands for Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics. So we’re a sex worker rights organization, and Coyote was actually founded in the 70s from Margot St. James, who filed a case called Coyote versus Roberts. And she sued Providence Police and proved that women were not receiving equal protection under the law because when they arrested men for solicitation, they didn’t prosecute them if they testified against the women. And they documented that.
So the case was new, but it did change the law and it created from 1979 until 2009, indoor prostitution was decriminalized in Rhode Island. And of course, then they criminalized us.
But I’ve been a sex worker for 35 years and I’ve been studying governments narratives. Part of the work that I’m doing with the National Council is to understand how all of this started with slavery, which created capitalism, which then became part of the 13th Amendment and how we’ve whitewashed that history and public education and why I grew up thinking we were supposed colonization was a good thing, and our founding fathers were nice guys and all these lies that are ingrained into our lives.
But we also look at a lot of the political things and the policy things like the Koch brothers and how they can write their own legislation and hand it to someone and sometimes forget to take their logo off of it.
And how this aligns with sex workers is the sex traffic hysteria that—the government has created these narratives, and I’ll give an example. While I was in Atlanta at the airport, every 15 minutes I could hear an intercom saying “We need to fight human trafficking. If you see something suspicious, please dial 9-1-1.” And we know very little human trafficking ever takes place at an airport with all that security.
But we’ve seen many racist things happen, like John McCain’s wife calling the police because a woman’s child was a different race than her and then lying about it on Twitter like—”Oh yeah, if you see something started” even after they confirmed it was just a normal family.
We’ve seen Asian women drug off the airports. This has led to really racist raids on massage parlors by ICE and homeland. And basically, sex workers had something in common with undocumented people. We’re being hunted by ICE, the FBI, homeland, the DEA, all these government entities under the guise of saving victims.
And we’re not saying there aren’t victims, but there’s very few of them. And we know criminalization stops people from coming forward to report violence and exploitation because they’re going to be threatened with arrest.
So, whatever our reasons of joining the National Council is: we know there’s too many prisons, we understand that the system does not rehabilitate people. I’m formerly incarcerated. I did two prison terms in Florida at Locy I, which back then was the second biggest women’s prison in the country. And in December of 2020, DOJ wrote a report that they violated the women’s constitutional rights by allowing this sexual abuse to continue. And guess what? Nothing’s happened. It had happened to me when I was there in the 90s, so it took them 20 years to even investigate. And they write a report, and nothing happens.
We believe that the money being spent on prisons need to be reinvested in community, poor communities of color. So we’re starting to reimagine what our future can look like if we stop waiting for the government to do the right thing and we do it ourselves through mutual aid networks.
There are some things I’m still on the fence about. I say, “Well, what about serial killers?” I don’t want to punish them. I just want to stop them from doing it to somebody else.
So we don’t have all the solutions, but rather than focus on that, being a negative Nancy. I’m focusing on all the other things we can change because anything’s going to be better than what we have now.
Bella, can I ask you, how did the issues that you have mentioned—and you focus a lot on on human trafficking—but first, what are some of the other issues [your] group faces and how do they play out within the state of Rhode Island more specifically?
Well, we focus on that because it’s like the drug war, OK is think about Clinton and Biden got up and told everyone. The used language like super predators, we need to keep your family safe and guns and borders in gangs and all these labels that they use to dehumanize people and make make these populations something other than us. And of course, these things are usually placed in poor communities of color. Those are the first people to go down. We’re not saying it doesn’t affect white people. I’m white. I ended up in prison, but we know it affects them more. We’re also looking at a law they created after the crime war, which is called Hold Out. I want to get it right and tell you the right thing. It’s called ASFA, and it basically allows the state to terminate your parental rights if your child has not been in your custody 15 to 18 months. So when you go to prison, they give up your child. They adopted out. They pay someone money that is adopted your child, and this has created the foster care to prison pipeline. I think in the ’90s, 40 percent of the kids in foster care were kids of color. They they also target poor people. And I just read an article yesterday that these kids that were placed in care in Texas were being sexually abused and trafficked. And DCF knew about it for five weeks before they removed the children. So again, we’re, you know, before the 70s before seventy two people went to an asylum or orphanage. But we realized the family court and what they’re doing by kidnaping kids is that much different than the prison industrial complex. These systems were all based in racism and to oppress the masses. And I’ve got a little story that I can tell you that kind of really sunk in in the sixteen hundreds. And Virginia was one of the first colonization. We had slaves and we had servants, and they joined together to uprise against their masters and they had to call London, Hey, we need some soldiers over here. And then they thought the masses is always going to be more than the elite. So how are they going to control the masses? Well, they decided they needed to divide white black people, and they did that through segregation and redlining and, you know, dehumanizing people of color to make them less worthy and the drug war and all these narratives that come from the government. So some of the things that we’re working on and like I said, we focus on sex work is where sex work work. But our job become bigger because when you think about racism and poverty and systems of oppression and undocumented, all these dots connect and my job becomes much bigger. So we do things as far as mutual aid. We have a little project going call the coyote closet. We also do a lot of the legislation work. So it’s not just about Bikram and we do are getting a different bill this year. We only have one in the Senate. We know it’s not getting out of committee and we’re not going to win. But as a strategy, the more legislation hearings we have and the more they have to listen to us, it’s kind of like going on notice. It’s in public record that later. They can’t claim they didn’t know how they were harming us because yesterday you just didn’t care. Can you tell us what’s in the bill that you’re proposing? This is just a straight decriminalization bill for for prostitution. And keep in mind that exploiting people, using minors, forcing people, all those things will still be illegal and that I’m going to tell you why I believe they came up with the trafficking narrative. 1913 Holt versus the United States said the federal government could not regulate prostitution so long as you had it crossed. The state line, which is the Man Act, the Nineteen Ten White Slavery Act. The federal government shouldn’t be involved. It was left up to the states. And when I met Kaplan Chong, who runs Koala’s Project and that came out of Brown University, she stood up and as an American Asian woman and said, You know, these spa workers, this could have been me, and no one had trafficking laws till I was on the scene and our 32 states do. And I thought it was already illegal to kidnap people, rape people and force them into prostitution. All those things were already illegal, so it’d be like creating 100 new laws for murder and calling them all something different else. And this allowed the government to create federal laws. So federally trafficking is force, coercion, a fraud or a minor being involved? Well, all the states came up with their own trafficking laws in Alaska has the worst of them that any level of prostitution is considered trafficking and through public records request. Our research director Tara Brown’s, when she did her research in Alaska, found out they had actually charged the woman with trafficking herself. This idea, even when you look at their campaigns, they’re based in race. Them with the eight year old white girl in chains with the black or brown hand over their mouth as if you know, pimps always have to be brown and black, they have to be men. And I think we’re intelligent enough to know that women can exploit people do a gay guy. Anyone can do it because and in any population, we’re just people. So we also are looking at harm reduction. I came to the conclusion if we when decriminalization, they’re just going to try to take it away like they do abortion rights. So when’s the fight ever going to be over? So this year we’ve been doing it for three years. We’re still stuck in committee. We have a bill called it’s six three, three seven, and it basically says we used the word peace officers. This includes police officers, probation officers, correctional officers, fire marshal, a park ranger, anyone that has the power to threaten you with arrest that they can engage in sex with people detained or in custody. And we’re trying to get it amended to people under investigation. I think we can agree that when police officers lie to us using fraud to engage in sex with us, to arrest us and then steal our money and lock us up, it’s kind of state sponsored rape. We know that they’ve done this during the drug war. We’ve seen long term I read what recently. What about the UK, where it was one of the biggest climate people that this man had a two or three year affair with her and even lived with her? And meanwhile, was working for the government and another case even fathered a child with somebody. And again, when you’re thinking about they’re using force, coercion and fraud, which is the definition of trafficking. And somehow I know a lot of people are gullible. And I think if you ask them if they’re the police, they have to tell you entrapment is legal. And you know, I was focused on where these things are policed because, you know, I have a lot of in sex work. The average client is white males in their 50s. They have the disposable income. But when they do these things, they go to poor communities or they go to bars where there’s their customers can’t afford three four hundred dollars. They need to go to a spa, pay $60 because they’re poor people and they tend to be Latino or black. So when they do the news, that’s with the pictures that you see and they don’t get the nice doctors and lawyers and legislatures who are the majority of our clients. So we work on this with different levels as far as we consider these little things a harm reduction step. And when I started the process, you know, I have to say it was really intimidating. The only thing I knew about how the government works was that little cartoon about how to make a bill on Capitol Hill. That’s all we learned in school and I didn’t go to high school. I took my GED. But I think about even high school debate teams. They don’t even understand how our government is run or why we’ve had all these wars. So what are they really debating and the fact that you’re not allowed to have a different opinion until you’re in college, then your teacher or learn to think for yourself or let me study some things and get different perspectives and come up with my my own opinion. We’re not taught to do that. So I think some of the next steps is insisting that public schools not only teach critical race theory, but they teach how we’ve whitewashed history for the last several decades. And I’ll give you an example. So I was born in sixty four. Obviously, I missed the civil rights movement, but I lived in a little town called Gulfport and St. Petersburg, Florida, and did realize I lived on the edge of segregation. And what did they call it? A sundown town? Black kids were shipped in to school in sixth grade. We watched roots and as horrific as it was and you could remember, Roots was really like the romance part of the story. It wasn’t the, you know, the much different than going to the museums. I didn’t understand why people were so upset. Well, this was horrific. It happened so long ago because we spent months on the Civil War and memorizing all that, but we spent five minutes on segregation and they told us it was over that it tell us about redlining, that it tell us we kidnaped 100000 Native American kids and institutionalized and threw them out when they were 18, so they would know their people or their language. So we were lied about so much. You know, we had to get up and sing America the Beautiful. We still have parades for Columbus, who was one of the most horrific slave traders of all. And we’re still doing it. And I think that’s why we see in politics a lot of the racist Republicans not saying all of them are racist but know, obviously that’s what that movement’s about. It’s a little white supremacy. That’s why they’re so offended that we want to teach the next generation our real history. And I don’t know really what to do about that, but keep calling it out and keep educating people because things have to change and we can’t change anything unless we look at the truth, even as a feminist and I’m a real feminist. And what I mean by that is I support the choice of every individual woman, whether I agree with those choices or not. And what I see feminists say, we need equal rights to men. My first thought, Well, why would we need laws to do that? Why? Why do we need special laws to protect us if we’re equal to men? Men don’t have special laws to protect them from us. I also recognize I’m not an expert on feminism, but I do realize what they did to women in the 60s that abortion rights are important and we can’t help you with your civil rights and your issues women of color because this is going to benefit you. Of course, a lot of women of color wouldn’t have been able to afford an abortion. And why can’t we fight for both things? At the same time, it didn’t even make sense for them to be told you have to wait because this is more important, it will get to you later. So when I look at these things, I start to see how systemically women of color have been pushed out of organizing, pushed out of feminism. And again, you’ve got the prison, you’ve got the, you know, them stealing our children. You have them writing all these racist laws or all the laws they’ve done to try to gut the voting rights that were won in the 60s for people of color. And it all ties back to slavery and capitalism. So when I explain the trafficking narrative to people, I have to explain to them how it came about, like I told you about the laws. While also the fun fact that in 2015, we found out that Congress gave six hundred seventy six million dollars. To any nonprofit that would create awareness about trafficking, host public trainings on how to spot it. Encouraging the community to call the police on any sex worker, they say they can’t support decriminalization and they probably really shouldn’t engage with sex worker led organizations. And they dumped all this money out to these works for 20 years. And that’s why we saw these fake stats, like the average age of entry into prostitution, was just 13 or 14. And there’s 300000 children being exploited in America. Get paid with Save the Children who doesn’t want to save children, but it was just used. This is the next replacing the war on drugs, and they’re casting bigger and bigger nets. So while prostitution is a misdemeanor in most places other than Texas, if I have an adult child that lives what they make, they can be charged with living off the proceeds. That’s a felony. Some states now want to create laws that if you give or sell a sex worker, drugs that you will be a trafficker. So again, we’re doing like we did in the 90s with the drugs where we made all these laws that you got more time for crack than cocaine. It’s the same thing. I got caught up in that law. We’re going to start to dehumanize groups of people. Shame the women, shame the clients. And meanwhile, the government’s not going to throw anyone a boat or do anything about poverty or create jobs, provide resources. They’re just going to keep getting the systems and claiming their entitlement systems, which I feel we’re entitled to because they’re our tax dollars. But I think one of the most profound things that I sort of understand, and I’m not an expert on all these wars or what has happened is that Uncle Sam is the biggest pink ball. If you’re poor, you pay 10 to 15 percent income tax and seven cents on every dollar you spent. 22 to 25 percent of your labor is already taxed, and 52 percent of that money is going to go to the military to be war mongers and oppress other countries. And that’s being built off our backs, and I’m not in any way comparing that to slavery. But what I look at how they whitewash slavery, OK? Since things changed, we’re going to create all these systems to keep criminalizing and keep enslaving people. But we’re going to make it soft and pink and not so blatant. And it was brilliant because it got away with it for decades and decades, and that’s where we are now. And that’s a skill. You, you you mentioned that there’s a lot of intersectionality with the work you do and the kind of issues facing the groups of women that you work with. Can you say something about the relationships you have might have with other organizations to mobilize around some of these issues? Well, I’ll give you an example of stats. We surveyed 1500 people involved in the sex trade in 2017, and only 36 percent of them went ahead with sexual. So we have a huge amount of LGBT and trans women involved in sex work. It’s been really hard because because of the stigma attached to sex work and the trafficking narrative, a lot of organizations are like, for instance, LGBT. They do great work. They’re trying to protect their people, but maybe people won’t give them money donations if they stand up for sex workers, politicians until 2016. If you spoke on behalf of sex work, it was like political assassination to a campaign. And finally, in 2016, we became a topic entering the political arena. So it’s been really hard. I’ve seen some organizations that claim they’re working on undocumented people, but when they raided the spouse, they didn’t want to help. There are some people that want to shut ICE detention centers down, but they don’t care about the prisons because they say, well, they’re criminals. So we’re still dividing ourselves into all these boxes. And I’ve always said, Wow, what if all oppressed people just got together and stood up together? So the difference with the National Council is, that’s what they’re doing. They’re looking at what we have in common with people. Their main goal is no woman or girl should be in a cage and we start there. And if we have differences as we move out, that’s fine. But they recognize that the criminalization of prostitution puts women and kids in cages. It takes away our children. It also allow also allowed predators to walk among us because they get away and they do it over and over again because no one really cares. And the system we have who the bad people are, it’s about. And it’s not even a realistic goal to get rid of prostitution. I mean, think about it, you’re never going to get rid of it. I see it a lot like abortion. It’s still going to continue its under what conditions is it going to continue under? So, but they also have strategies, so I’ve learned that you have tools and you have strategies, so where rallies are a tool, a petitions, a tool, a piece of legislation as a tool, but when you start to put all these things together, you start to have strategies. I also realized this is a generational fight. We’re not going to solve it our or our lifetime. But if we don’t start the fight now, the next, you know, I’m doing this for the next generation to create these changes among so. But movement building with the National Council seems to be a lot easier. They have connections all over the state country. We heard from a panel and I can’t tell you the secrets of how they dedicate their strategy, but we heard from the five people that basically were responsible for stopping them from building a 500 500 million dollar mega prison in Alabama. And none of us ever thought that once they had, the plans drew up and they had got the money that these things could be stopped and they did stop it. And now they want to use covert money to do it again. So now their whole campaign in their fight has to start all over. Larry, can I ask? I. I like that you make the distinction between tools and strategy, and I wanted everyone to ask you to to just speak a little about the Black Life Black Life movement protests, especially in Rhode Island and with the. Well, what do you think that a lot of the issues there resonate with your group? And I think you probably have already partially addressed that. But also, why do you think that’s an effective tool that kind of mass demonstrations? And how do you move from there to strategy? What kinds of strategies do you think? That’s a great point, because first of all, we start a global movement globally. People came out even in other countries, right? So George Floyd, you know, and we know this has been going on for decades, but now that we have cameras, we can see it. And even though we see it, they still get away with it, right? Very rarely are they held accountable. I personally didn’t go to the Providence rally because we had COVID and I have COPD and but I remember the governor. And it was the biggest rally Rhode Island ever had. 10000 people came up and she stood up and said she was proud. Most people wear masks. People were respectful and then remembered. The next day they were supposed to reopen the mall after shelter in place. So you have one person, I believe, bad actors that are white supremacy. Throw a rock or create a scene and then we’re going to blame all the Black Lives matters for this. And I compare this to January six. Look at is how long it has taken Trump or no one’s going to be in trouble. But even the people that did this look how long they’re getting 30 days and forty five. We know if this was people of color doing this that had been in cages within 24 hours, doing 20 years to life. Immediately, SWAT teams would have been deployed across the country, right? So I noticed that is the difference. And again, I understand that we need the masses to come together to have enough power to shift the political laws and scenery. But they have to be organized and they need a strategy. And I’m going to give you an example. When I first started activism 10 12 years ago, my mentor says, you need to go to labor school and learn to organize. And I thought, Organize, it’s just me. What does she talk about organizing? Well, now I get it. And one of the whitewashed things we heard, like we spend in school five minutes on Rosa Park and we were told she was just tired one day and decided she wasn’t going to know she was it they had been organizing. They might have that, you know, they just decide this. These people did not take the bus for over a year. OK, so you have to organize, you have to come up with things that you think are effective. Rallies are further great for morale, but if that’s all you do. You know, I think there was rallies almost every Friday at the ECI or prison here in Rhode Island. And very rarely are the media there, even in Alabama. I only saw one news news camera. I didn’t see any news trucks, so we know the media likes to ignore us. Strategies have to be bigger. But I think the more people we bring into the movement and provide training for to teach them how to organize and pitch ideas the better we’re going to get. And that’s what I see the National Council doing. So they’re providing 30 of us in New England with six months of training. So we’re going to be a little good foot soldiers when we get done and we’re going to take that, we’re going to go train 30 more people. And again, I don’t have the solutions to what each strategy will be or each component, but I know we need the tools. And when they asked me why I wanted to join, they’re like Bellabeat, you’re already a leader. And I was like, But you people got skills ID, I need to learn from you. I didn’t figure this all out. So I think a combination of those things, and I’ll give another example when Trump took out, I forget the name, it was a military guy. In the Middle East, a million Muslims stood in the streets screaming Death to America, and I got why they did it. And part of me hoped I. I hope they realize we’re just the peasants. It’s just like the people in Iraq right now. They’re just the peasants. They have no control over either either government. And the United States has done a great job of hiding all of this in looking look like the good people to at least Americans. I think other people from other countries realize what we’ve done, but we grow up thinking that government is our friend and we’re all nice people. And I believe the government is a criminal enterprise. So I really don’t know the full strategy. I’m still in the learning process, but I know what we’re doing now. It has to be more feel hopeful after seeing. You know, the biggest, the biggest rally in Rhode Island on social justice issues, do you feel that this is a more hopeful movement for making change? And I think that’s what it did. Even if we don’t know what we’re doing quite yet, it’s bringing us hope that there can be change. There are people that care, that they’re willing to invest their time, their money, their labor into creating change. And I think before maybe some of that’s because I was incarcerated or have done sex work that I just kind of assume this is the way it was, and maybe I deserved this. And you think about how horrible that is, just even for your spirit? Or how how do you flourish? And even when we look at children that the term thriving child, you know, the doctors have all these things, whether this child is thriving well, who in society is thriving other than the elite or maybe the middle class that’s disappearing? I want us all to thrive. And again, I don’t have the exact solution that I can’t say, do Abbassian, you’re going to win, but I know this. We’re not going. This generation’s not going away. We’re not going to give up the fight. I feel really bad that I was so naive that civil rights stopped in the sixties, and it took this to bring it back to people’s attention. But part of me understands you can trick anyone if you isolate them in light of them long enough. And I even came here that there’s a movie on Netflix called One Child and it’s about China and their one child law. And it was so ingrained in their culture that by the next generation, if a woman looked at her mom and says, I want one more, her mother would look at her and say one child best for family because they really believed it, I said. So I think it’s a form of massive brainwashing and you know, things get hyped up, and I’ll give you an example with the trafficking narrative. We had two recent examples a man murdered a girl’s family in Florida because he thought God told them they were traffickers. He didn’t know these people. Another man shot his wife in the head three times it was allowed to plead guilty by reason of insanity because he went on, told him his wife worked for the CIA, right? OK, so and again, it’s like. And that’s when things start to you. Like, Oops, well, they let the cat out of the bag. And now we know something’s kind of sketchy here, and maybe we should believe all of this. But when governments promote narratives, you know, look at, look at the. Have you seen the warning about the the baby formula being recalled? And now there’s a lawsuit. If you there’s a disorder that you might have got that like ruined your intestines. And if you took this, well, these were the two biggest formulas that work for poor mothers provided women since the 90s. So where was the FDA? How did they not know? Over all these decades that this was a possibility that this product was hurting people or hurting babies. So, you know, almost every government entity, we saw this with Trump. He polluted every government institution by putting someone that didn’t know anything about transportation or anything about this in office. But they were already polluted, but under this soft pink guise that we couldn’t see through. Does the FDA really care that vitamin C is good for us? No, it’s just a supplement. We refuse to say it’s a medicine. But now it’s OK to pay $300 a month for insulin. And look how many things we see on TV that the recall and there’s a lawsuit and you know, the misinformation with COVID, all these things that keep dividing us and I consider it like a musician that while you’re squabbling and trying to figure this out, you’re not paying attention to what’s really going on over here. More subtly, more damaging, creating more layers of oppression and systematic. And this is one of the reasons why when Trump was running against Hillary, I voted for Bernie. I would not be shamed. And, you know, we knew he was a racist jerk. But I knew Hillary was dangerous. She could have done all kinds of stuff, and we would know five or 10 years later, look what she did to this country, or we would have never known about it. She was a lot smarter than him. I had no clue the damage he was going to do, and I have to admit, I do admit that I did vote for Biden because this time I was just too scared of Trump. But I also knew Biden would be back to business. Nothing has changed. Anything’s better than Trump. But we just went back on this on this. This line, nothing has changed. Yes. Do you think that do you see any difference in how the police and the state react to, you know, where the sex workers are? But I’m going to give you another example of that. If I sit there, make a statement that. A bunch of man or pedophiles or beat their wives. No one assumes I’m saying all men are bad, right? I’m talking about certain people. But for some reason, when you call out the bad apples in plays, they get so defensive and we’re not saying they’re all bad. But because of the system that won’t allow them to tell on each other, they are just as equally guilty, right? I don’t see the government giving that up even by like we need to give the police more money. The police also get to decide what they’re going to police. The mayor has a lot to do with this in cities when people call and complain about prostitution on the street. They got to go clean it up. Well, you know, it’s crazy because when they call about police abuse or complain about anything else, they don’t care about it then. So they’re going to pick and choose that. How do we know people are really even calling when they’re not just making this up? I also understand why they want to totally get rid of the place. I understand we need them for certain things, for violent crimes, OK? If someone trying to break in your house and murder you, we can’t go back to the Wild West. But we can’t keep policing poverty and petty ass [INAUDIBLE]. OK. And this is probably why they solved so few with a violent crimes. But we got a million people like, do you know it’s illegal to feed empty parking meters so people don’t get tickets? You could be arrested for it because they want to give people tickets so they can. They can resonate more money. And even when I look at legislation every year, there’s hundreds and hundreds of laws being introduced. And the ACLU did a thing a couple of years ago that they’ve only repealed a handful of laws in Rhode Island, and one of them went back to when we had horse and buggies and horses pulled in the street. So even when it’s down in Florida up until a couple of years ago, living together or not being married was still a crime because it admitted first in decades. But why are we adding more things on the books rather than getting rid of some of these things? And many of these laws are created and estaria or as a reaction to something that happened. So we had a Good Samaritan law of harm reduction for drugs that if I call an ambulance, I’m not going to be charged. And then some privileged lady daughter died Kristen over overdose. And now, if you give or sell someone drugs who dies, you’re going to be charged with first degree murder. Not even man. But I get my car and killed three people drunk, and that’s only manslaughter. And who’s going to call to save a life if there’s a chance they might go down? So we go backwards. And, you know, a lot of it is because of politicians and fundraising. When I’m allowed to give a politician, Big Oil gives you money and then you say, Oh, of all about the climate change. What would you take that that oil money? We know exactly which way you’re going to vote? And it was that one case they can’t remember the name citizens versus another that basically. Made it totally illegal for you to give any politician as much money as you want. They claimed it was freedom of speech. And I don’t even know how to undo all of this. I also realized while I want to see women at office and I want to see black and brown people in office that they have to be the right people. They can’t remember his name, but there is a black Republican guy on Fox who, you know, if you couldn’t see him, you would think he was a white guy. So we. And then you’ve got to also understand as people are climbing up the ladder to escape poverty. Who knows if if you’re hungry and your kids are hungry and someone says, but you can have this if you just ignore that, we don’t know if we would do that. I mean, I would hope I wouldn’t. But. So how do we get the right people, ed? One thing I do like about Bernie I know he’s a white male, but he’s had the same message for 30 years. He doesn’t change even when he knows he’s going to lose. He still keeps true. And if you remember? Some really big things happened suddenly that I picked up on. Congress didn’t want to give us unemployment and stimulus checks. Bernie wanted 15 and we know we need 25 now, but Bernie’s been at this for years. Bernie was the only one that says, I’m not voting on the defense budget. These people acted like we weren’t going to have bullets by morning. OK. What it means is Boeing is not going to get their billions for a few months, and they all said, Oh no, we can’t do it. So what do you know now that we had the great resignation? People want to give us $20 an hour, but the minimum wage is still seven. Twenty five. In Pennsylvania, minimum wage is seven point eighty five. We’ve seen housing doubled in price before the pandemic, and it’s gone up another 20 to 40 percent. The cost of everything has gone up. So what that showed me as Congress didn’t want us to have a little safety because once we accumulated not a great little wealth, I mean, we could pay your bills three to six months ahead. And you know, that’s the thing you’re supposed to do when you have a families. Make sure you can always pay your bills. And there is a cushion for your family. But when people actually had that, they weren’t willing to be exploited for minimum wage. They thought, Hey, maybe I should have bought a cleaning business or do they? They thought outside that box. And when people work 60 hours a week and are tired and have two or three kids, it’s really hard for them to have a lot of energy to come to an organizing meeting or to show up at a rally. And one thing they were getting ready to fight Rhode Island, which is really relevant, is they were allowing us to testify by bills on vote because they gave it well. They just announced that’s going to stop. And we said, You know what? We don’t like that when they they only give you 48 hour notice of the hearing. What if you need a babysitter? What if you don’t have transportation? The phone system allowed more people to participate in the process, so we’re actually having a meeting tomorrow night about how are we going to shut this down? Do we need a new law? We want it’s not taking them any more time or energy to allow this. So what they’re doing, it’s like the voting that we’re going to lock out as many people, and this will make the process of us not passing these laws easier. So who? It’s a lot, isn’t it? Thank you so much. Thank you so much for this really far ranging. It is. And like I said, it goes in so many directions. But when we look at it all started with racism and capitalism before then. And I think I remember they said when National Council, when they went to Vermont, almost everyone in prison up there is white. So and it’s hard, and they’re trying to explain where it started. But you know, there’s people. What about us? You know, we’re white. It happened to us. Well, you have to understand where it happened from. And I explain to these people, do you understand when most people came to America from Europe, most of them were poor peasants and starving from potato famines. And yeah, there were some elite. They actually didn’t want us to vote. They only wanted business people to vote property owners. OK, so we have to join the masses again. We’ve got to stop dividing people into boxes. And even as a sex worker, you know, I’m a white woman. I’m middle aged, I’m straight. I don’t fit into the appropriate boxes to gang a lot of support. And whether you on the left or the right. The one thing that’s publicly acceptable to hate on is sex workers that’s been ingrained in us from the time we can walk that these are bad women that get what they deserve. Ed, how do we start to unravel some of that? And again, disclaimer I don’t have all the solutions, but I’m sure are willing to listen to any idea. OK, my thank you. My toolbox. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. You’re welcome. You’re welcome.