By Sean Campbell, Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 813 in New York City
In a few short months, black workers have gone from being called heroes for doing essential jobs while exposing ourselves to coronavirus to being arrested for doing those same jobs during curfew, or joining peaceful protests. There’s nothing like a pandemic and police billy clubs to remind a black man where he stands in America.
I grew up in the Red Hook projects in the 1980s. Police harassment felt normal. At 19, I got a job as a sanitation worker, which was my ticket to the middle class and a lifetime in the labor movement.