Workers in contempt of social justice?

3 min readApr 27
Photo by Andrew Valdivia on Unsplash

Amazon decided in 2019 not to construct a second headquarters in New York. Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, stated that Amazon would have brought 25,000 to 40,000 well-paying jobs and nearly $30 billion in new revenue to finance transit improvements, new housing, schools, and numerous other quality-of-life improvements.

Cuomo attributed this lost economic opportunity to “a small group of politicians who prioritized their own narrow political interests over the community.”

The political opposition to Amazon believed that the world’s wealthiest company did not deserve the enormous tax breaks that New York offered to entice the company away from other communities that offered their own incentives. Cuomo argued that Amazon would have brought sufficient investment to New York to justify the tax breaks and establish New York as a tech center to rival San Francisco.

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the most vocal opponents of tax breaks for Amazon. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez celebrated when New York lost the Amazon contract, telling her supporters, “Today was the day a group of dedicated, everyday New Yorkers and their neighbors defeated Amazon’s corporate greed, its worker exploitation, and the richest man in the world.”

According to Ocasio-Cortez, their opposition to Amazon did not cost New York jobs; rather, it prevented “the richest man in the world” from exploiting workers in those positions. Ocasio-Cortez and her cohorts have demonstrated that their contempt for the rich exceeds their concern for the community.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s disdain is not solely directed at the wealthy. It also targets employees, whom the labor movement has recently deemed beneath contempt.

After the police killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in 2020, Democratic politicians began to take activists’ demand to defund police departments seriously. Despite Democratic politicians’ claims that defunding the police was merely a matter of reallocating funds from police departments to community services, it was ultimately a punitive measure.

More punitive measures were taken behind the scenes.

Frida Garza reported in The Guardian, as protests against police brutality continue across the United States, a…


J. Pharoah Doss is a columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier.