James Raines

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James Raines

James Raines is a former high school teacher and college English instructor who" saw the everyday effect of economic inequality in the lives of many of his students. These days, James makes his home in Memphis, Tenn., with his wife Wendy, a doctoral student in the oboe. As a writer for the Communist Party USA's People's World, "James focuses on issues important to the working class and disenfranchised people of the Mid-South."[1]

Marxist Student Union

Jarvis Tyner, executive vice chair of the Communist Party USA, spoke to students in the Mitchell Hall auditorium October 25, 2012, on the topic, “We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest: The Great Challenge of the 2012 Elections.”

The event was hosted by the Marxist Student Union, the Graduate Association for African American History, the University of Memphis chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Student Event Allocation Committee.

Raines, Marxist Student Union, Aug. 2011

James Raines, former student and vice president of the Marxist Student Union at the U of M, helped plan the event.

“I think this is important because of the challenges that we’re facing in these upcoming elections. There has been a lot of noise from the right wing,” he said. “A lot of the attacks on President Obama have been racist. A lot of noise we hear out of the Romney camp has been sexist and homophobic.”

Raines said Tyner will present an alternative vision to the right wing noise.

“I think he’s going to highlight the fact that the struggle for equality and civil rights is still going on in America,” Raines said.

He said students should pay attention to the election because of the overwhelming debt some students will face when they graduate and because who is elected will affect the laws in their work place and personal lives.

“The overall message I think that’s going to be presented is also of putting people before profits. I think that’s what’s really at stake here,” he said. “As Americans, which do we think is more important — that some multi-billion corporations make 10 percent more or people have jobs where they can earn a living wage and that they can work with dignity?” [2]

Tennessee Equality Project

Glenn Ramsey and Jim Maynard, photo James Raines

Supporters of the Tennessee Equality Project rallied outside of the federal courthouse in Memphis Dec. 9.2012. All across the state, similar rallies took place to petition President Barack Obama to sign an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting jobs.

Communist Party USA sepporter Glenn Ramsey, an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis, encouraged the crowd to "extend the struggle" and "build on the recent victory [in the Memphis City Council]." Ramsey said they should secure "the real right to work... for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender" people across Tennessee.

While his partner, Jim Maynard, from Democratic Socialists of America held an umbrella over his head, Ramsey put the purpose of the rally into perspective, saying, "We know, as America's working people, that policies like these [right to work] and longstanding employment discrimination against LGBT people, only serve the aims of America's corporate elite to divide and conquer our national workforce."

James Raines, attended, and photographed the pair.[3]

References