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Josh Healey
Josh Healey
Josh Healey is a writer, community organizer, and educator in Oakland, CA.

Keystone XL has a Job for You! (video satire)


by: on February 5th, 2014 | Comments Off

When Keystone XL’s top job recruiter comes to town, he reveals just what types of jobs the controversial oil pipeline would really create.

Oil executives like to claim that the Keystone XL would create thousands of jobs. But in a project fueling so many environmental and health risks, only one man is honest enough to say exactly what those jobs would be. Hint: they’re not in construction.

It’s true, Keystone XL has a job for you! But the question is: do you really want it?

[Note to readers: This is a satirical video. Please do not call Keystone XL about these job openings. Do not send in any applications or letters of recommendation. Instead, we recommend asking the good folks at Keystone XL one question. How's the wig business going?]

Jewish vs. Goyish! – Hilarious Video just in time for Hanukkah


by: on November 25th, 2013 | Comments Off

JvG Josh burger

As Hanukkah approaches this week, earlier and more turkey-filled than ever, it’s important to ask that age-old question: What’s really Jewish?

Rabbis and poets and the atheist uncles at my family’s Seder table have debated the question for generations. Forget the scholars and drunks, I say. The best answer I’ve ever heard came from a comedian. His name was Lenny Bruce.

Our greatest comic and patron saint of profanity, I remember the first time I heard Lenny Bruce’s classic take on the issue. Being Jewish, he taught us, simply meant being…not goyish. And if you didn’t know what goyish was, all that meant was…not Jewish. Pretty simple, right?

The difference between the two, however, can sometimes be very subtle. Lenny explained what it meant back in the 1960s, but I wondered: how can we explain this critical, vitally important issue to the Youtube generation?

So, with my friends over at 3200stories.org, I decided to make an updated version for 2013. I studied the ancient texts, examined every pop culture trend, and came up with some surprising results. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure. Buckle your online seat belts, this is a comedic trip from Mos Def to masturbation to God himself to see who comes out ahead in that age-old battle: Jewish vs. Goyish.

A Dream Detained


by: on August 22nd, 2013 | Comments Off

American Heroes: The #Dream9 activists (left) and the Dream Defenders (right)

A Dream Detained
(after Langston Hughes)

    For the Dream Defenders, occupying the Florida state capitol for Trayvon Martin and racial justice
    And the #Dream9 immigrant activists, who were detained at the border and won their freedom

what happens to a dream detained?

does it wilt like a rose
in the Arizona sun?

does it sink into the ocean
as water fills its lungs?

or does it fight to come home,
cross borders and spread hope
until it has won?


Holiday Present: Mom Has a Girlfriend


by: on December 30th, 2012 | 5 Comments »


Holiday Present

My mom told me she’s a lesbian
and it rained for a week,

not because she told me she’s a lesbian
but because sometimes it just rains like that

in December, when families get together
around nine shining candles or one electrified tree

or whatever they light at the ecstatic dance solstice celebration
at Muir Woods, because it’s holiday time in the Bay

and my mom gives me a present
wrapped in a question:

Do you want to meet her?


Mayans, McDonald’s, & The (Real) Apocalypse of 2012


by: on December 21st, 2012 | 3 Comments »


Do you think the world is going to end in 2012?

I look over at the young Italian woman who asked the question, thinking she’s joking. But by the look in her eyes, I know she’s dead serious. And I can’t say I blame her, given our surroundings.

It’s one thing to dismiss the Mayan apocalypse myth from the safety of a coffeeshop-and-laptop in Oakland, but it’s another thing to hear it standing here on top of the pyramids of Tikal, the heart of the ancient Mayan empire.

It’s December 2011 – exactly one year before my boy Ronnie keeps telling me the Mayan calendar is going to run out and life as we know it will cease to exist (Yo, that shit is real, son! I’m telling you!) - and I find myself deep in the jungle of northern Guatemala.


The Millionaire Tax Virgin: Spread the Love for Prop 30


by: on October 23rd, 2012 | Comments Off

Taxes are sexy.

Yeah, I said it. I know that most times you hear about taxes – from Obama to the latest Tea Party wingnut to your local city council bureaucrat – that conversation is boring, it’s policy-wonkish, and it’s usually pretty conservative. Well, it’s time to change the debate.

Meet the Millionaire Tax Virgin. This is a man who tells it like it is — taxing rich people to pay for public schools and services is necessary; it’s about justice; and yes, it can be quite the aphrodisiac.


The Tree Hugger


by: on October 1st, 2012 | 1 Comment »

This is a poem for Oakland, for the fallen brothers, for the fallen trees —
and for the good men in my life.

The Tree Hugger

his skin is brown
limbs long, he is lanky like me
but still: strong arms, thick spine

he is an oak
tree rooted in the Town
find him from Lower Bottoms
to top of the hills
from Berkeley border to Deep East

he is a tree and we
have never spoke,
clapped hands, dapped it up

i barely look him in the eye


White Terror in Wisconsin: Paul Ryan, Segregation, and the Sikh Temple Shooting


by: on August 15th, 2012 | 16 Comments »

I remember the first time I saw a Confederate flag in Wisconsin.

It was my sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I was driving with my friend Kevin to go see The Roots in Milwaukee. Complaining how we needed to drive an hour and a half just to see a decent hip-hop show, Kevin told me to speed it up. I moved into the fast lane, casually glancing at the truck ahead of us — and there it was. Blazing brightly at us from the bumper of an old Chevy pickup truck, there shined the Confederacy’s version of red, white, and blue.

I couldn’t believe it. I’d seen the Confederate flag before — growing up in DC, I played soccer in Virginia and saw the occasional diagonally-crossed banner on cars along the aptly-named Robert E. Lee Highway. As repulsive as they were, those Virginia flag-wavers could at least pretend to hide behind Southern pride as inspiration.

But this dude driving his pickup truck up here in Wisconsin, what pride was he claiming? Proud to be south of Canada?

A black guy and a Jew, Kevin and I weren’t going to honk and ask for clarification. Both of us already knew the answer. That flag meant – as it always means – white pride. The deadliest pride of them all.


Wisconsin after the Recall Beatdown: Down but Not Out


by: on June 13th, 2012 | 5 Comments »

It is election night in Madison, Wis., and I am standing where it all began, in front of the state Capitol here in the heart of America’s rebel dairyland.

Earlier today was the recall election against Gov. Scott Walker, the viciously right-wing governor whose legislative attacks on public workers and unions sparked a grassroots rebellion in early 2011 involving hundreds of thousands of angry Wisconsinites. The Wisconsin uprising, through its occupation of the Capitol and its sheer massive numbers, inspired people across America and beyond to fight for economic justice in bold new ways, paving the way for Occupy Wall Street in the fall.

For me, the movement was as beautiful as it was personal — I’d gone to college in Madison, taught in the Milwaukee public schools, and organized events in Green Bay. Scott Walker was attacking my old teachers, my students, and my friends. But they fought back, and hell, it looked like they – we! – might actually turn the tide against decades of corporate rule. Standing here outside the Capitol on election day, amidst the glorious Solidarity Singers leading 1,000 people in rousing versions of “Eyes on the Prize” and “Union Maid,” the smell of hope was strong in the summer air.

And then the results came in.


May Day in Oakland: Immigrant Rights, Occupy Agitation, and a Tank


by: on May 3rd, 2012 | Comments Off

I wake up to the sound of helicopters. Living in Oakland, the city of beautiful rebellion and tragic violence, I’ve long since learned to recognize the distant buzz of police choppers, but I usually don’t hear it before 8 am. Then I remember: Today is May Day! The revolution is starting early today!

Okay, maybe not the revolution, but like activists across the country, I looked forward to this May Day as a chance to re-energize and unite the diverse working-class movement now called the 99%.

I spend the day on the streets of Oakland, marching with over 5,000 people – from Salvadoran immigrants to striking nurses, from white-haired professors to black-clad anarchists, some of whom did attempt to storm the barricades and received a dose of tear gas in response. For the most part, though, May Day in Oakland is less an insurrection and more a festival of solidarity, full of music, street theater, and an immigrant-led march that reminded everyone that border walls and racial profiling have no place on International Workers Day — or any day.

Despite the hype promised by the helicopters, the events in Oakland get off to a quiet start. Occupy Oakland has put out a call for a general strike, but unlike the 30,000-person strike of last November that shut down much of the city, the early May Day crowd is noticeably smaller, as is its impact. Throughout the morning, several hundred masked activists march through downtown Oakland, at times blockading various banks and government agencies but mostly drifting around aimlessly, unsure where to direct their anger.

By noon, 500 demonstrators converge on Frank Ogawa / Oscar Grant plaza in front of City Hall. They soon move into the streets, where they are met by over 100 cops in full riot gear and – surprise, surprise – we have our first clash of the day. The cops attempt to clear the streets, using flash grenades and arresting the first of what will be 25 people throughout the day. Meanwhile, a group of militants throw paint and small objects at the police lines. As more cops storm in, an Occupy activist on a bullhorn gives loud, contradictory instructions to the crowd: “Stay calm! Fuck the police!”