In addition to the upcoming general election, Tuesday is a big day for New York Congressional hopeful Jamaal Bowman. After beating a 16-term Democratic incumbent for the state’s 16th congressional district, Bowman seeks to win a seat on a platform of democratic socialism. In an interview for High Snobiety with the legendary RZA, Bowman explained what that means, how he got into politics, and more.
When discussing the minimum wage — Bowman wants to raise federal wages to $25 an hour — RZA noted that Republicans argue that these ideas socialist.
“The Republicans and the wealthy are cool with socialism when it works in their favor,” Bowman explained. “When there was a financial crash in 2008 and banks needed to be bailed out, we gave two separate checks of $700 billion to bail them out…it’s not about money–this is about values. Do we care about Black and brown and poor people enough to uplift them and give them the reparations they deserve because we’ve had a system that has historically neglected them?”
Bowman spoke on his 20-year career in education, and the trends he saw that led him to run for office.
“The tipping point happened in 2017-2018,” he said. “34 kids died within the K-12 school system in the Bronx. 17 died via suicide. My doctoral research is on the impact of trauma on all of our communities, but particularly communities of color, and I know that these numbers [are] connected to trauma. We’re a spiritually sick society, and we’re a morally empty nation if we allow this stuff to continue. The short answer is, I’m tired of our communities suffering–children are literally dying. And if I could be part of changing that, I wanna do everything I can to be a part of that.”
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