Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 22 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 7/13/19

The Straightest Path to Racial Equality Is Through the One Percent

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   5 comments
Author 7111
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bernie Sanders
Become a Fan
  (130 fans)

From Reader Supported News

Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Americans owe many of our freedoms to those who put their lives on the line for racial equality: people like Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers and Daisy Bates. But a racial wealth gap of 10 to 1 exists between white and black Americans, and that gap, along with the effects of racism, fuels disparities in areas ranging from health care to housing and from college debt to criminal sentencing.

Many black Americans are disillusioned about politicians who champion the organizing power of black women when it's time to turn out the vote but neglect their needs between election cycles. They are tired of politicians offering meaningful yet inadequate reforms, kicking the can of progress down the road instead of using their political capital to fight for reforms that current generations desperately need.

They're tired of coming in second to groups that hold the power of the purse or the might of demographic majority. And they've said enough is enough: The status quo is simply insufficient.

- Advertisement -

I couldn't agree more.

Structural problems require structural solutions, and promises of mere "access" have never guaranteed black Americans equality in this country. Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, education has remained separate and unequal. "Access" to health care is an empty promise when you can't afford high premiums, co-pays or deductibles. And an "opportunity" for an equal education is an opportunity in name only when you can't afford to live in a good school district or to pay college tuition.

Jobs, health care, criminal justice and education are linked, and progress will not be made unless we address the economic systems that oppress Americans at their root. As Princeton's Keeanga Yamahtta-Taylor recently argued, "There is no race without class in this country." Yet most politicians won't acknowledge the role that our economic system plays in maintaining racial inequality.

- Advertisement -

Example after example shows that corporate exploitation disproportionately affects black people. Black Americans lost 40 percent of their wealth in the 2009 housing crisis, and were the target of predatory lenders. Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to be paid a minimum wage salary, and black Americans stand to benefit disproportionately from a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.

Walmart is the largest private employer of African Americans in the country -- 42 percent of its associates are black. And it pays its employees below a living wage even while the Walton family owns more wealth than the bottom 40 percent of Americans. Former vice president Joe Biden recently said, "I don't think 500 billionaires are the reason why we're in trouble." I respectfully disagree. It is my view that any presidential candidate who claims to believe that black lives matter has to take on the institutions that have continually exploited black lives.

The racial wealth gap lingers in part because the politicians who could close it are funded by the very corporate donors who continue to benefit from it. Gross inequality persists largely unchallenged despite the United States' massive wealth, because myths about racial inferiority and the "undeserving poor" justify the worst effects of unfettered capitalism. As long as corporations can rely on the indifference to black lives as a cover for their exploitation, they will continue to do so.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, argues powerfully that corporations play a central role in "sustaining, or worsening, the forces of racism in America," whether by advancing racist stereotypes, sponsoring voter suppression or exploiting low-wage workers who are disproportionately black and brown. And he's right.

The unfortunate truth is that politicians who take checks from millionaires and billionaires owe their corporate constituents first, and everyday Americans last. The black-white wealth gap could be closed by targeting the extreme wealth at the very top. Instead, politicians beholden to the one percent ask the black middle class and the white middle class to fight over scraps.

I'm proud that our campaign is fueled by more small-dollar donations than any other -- more of our donors work at Walmart than any other company. Our willingness to take on powerful special interests as we fight for universal health care and a living wage instead of the private prison industry and tax breaks for the rich is a direct consequence of my campaign's financial independence.

- Advertisement -

The straightest path to racial equality is through the one percent. A system where we don't address both racial and economic disparity is a system in which some people, especially African Americans, are going to be left behind. We should not be swayed by those who would try to force us to choose one over the other.

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 4   Must Read 3   Supported 2  
Rate It | View Ratings

Bernie Sanders Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Bernie Sanders is the independent U.S. Senator from Vermont. He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. He is a member of the Senate's Budget, Veterans, Environment, Energy, and H.E.L.P. (Health, Education, (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sanders Response to Clinton's Speech on Jobs

Saving Our Democracy

Vermont Senate Votes to Overturn Citizens United

Why Do Republicans Hate Social Security?

I Support Hillary Clinton. So Should Everyone Who Voted for Me.

Saving American Democracy

Comments Image Post Article Comment and Rate This Article

These discussions are not moderated. We rely on users to police themselves, and flag inappropriate comments and behavior. In accordance with our Guidelines and Policies, we reserve the right to remove any post at any time for any reason, and will restrict access of registered users who repeatedly violate our terms.

  • OpEdNews welcomes lively, CIVIL discourse. Personal attacks and/or hate speech are not tolerated and may result in banning.
  • Comments should relate to the content above. Irrelevant, off-topic comments are a distraction, and will be removed.
  • By submitting this comment, you agree to all OpEdNews rules, guidelines and policies.
          

Comment Here:   



You can enter 2000 characters. To remove limit, please click here.
Please login or register. Afterwards, your comment will be published.
 
Username
Password

Forgot your password? Click here and we will send an email to the address you used when you registered.
First Name
Last Name

I am at least 16 years of age
(make sure username & password are filled in. Note that username must be an email address.)

5 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments  Post Comment


Lance Ciepiela

Become a Fan
Author 14196
Follow Me on Twitter
(Member since Apr 4, 2008), 52 fans, 58 articles, 97 quicklinks, 4292 comments, 214 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Our system has been designed to funnel as much wealth as possible to the very top of the financial pyramid and that means that most of the rest of us are deeply struggling. And when you are just barely getting by from month to month all it takes is one bad break to knock you completely out of the middle class and into poverty.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 8:04:22 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

Jerry Kelley

Become a Fan
Author 29093

(Member since Jan 16, 2009), 1 fan, 365 comments
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Bernie I completely agree with you. I wish there were more people on OpEd News that did too.

Submitted on Saturday, Jul 13, 2019 at 8:11:26 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (2+)
Help
 

feliznavidad

Become a Fan
Author 92886

(Member since Mar 26, 2014), 3 fans, 201 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

This should be must reading for anybody who cares about making life better for Americans. We can't stay in denial either about racism or the classism which keeps the whole country from moving forward. Thanks, Bernie for a thoughtful piece on this core issue.


Submitted on Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 12:21:02 AM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

b. sadie bailey

Become a Fan
Author 56818

(Member since Dec 5, 2010), 14 fans, 5 articles, 24 quicklinks, 1121 comments, 4 diaries
Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

Good to see Mr. Sanders getting more active; I hope he can raise a grassroots following again and beat Joe Biden AND but I have no illusions to the fact that it's the system who runs the country; not the president. He's right about racial inequality and how the 1% are the drivers of that; it's they who put out the propaganda and teach us to hate each other.

Sure, it'd be great to have someone of intelligence, reason, and maturity - UNlike the Tantrum-tweeting Toddler we have now; he may blow us all up before anyone gets a chance in 2020. But we can't hang our "hopes" on any one person; we're corporate-owned and owned by the 1% and it's worldwide now.

How many of us have the courage and conviction to face these oppressors, get arrested, maybe tortured, maybe even be murdered? I'm not sure I do, but talk to most Central American refugees or refugees fleeing almost any violent regime. It's a path no one would choose (crossing a border or an ocean) unless it's live or die.

No one is really addressing climate change. That should be the number one topic.

The U.S. is the only country that starts elections 1 1/2 years before the actual election! So I guess Bernie still has time for miracles - especially if he picks the right running mate like Tulsi or Marianne Williamson.

Apologies for these fragmented thoughts. I wish I had hope but I don't; not for any of it. I'm in perpetual grief about what mankind is doing to this planet.

Submitted on Sunday, Jul 14, 2019 at 7:02:51 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

K.H. Williams

Become a Fan
Author 42921

(Member since Dec 28, 2009), 23 comments
Not paid member and Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in Not paid member and Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in


Add this Page to Facebook! Submit to Twitter Share on LinkedIn Submit to Reddit


  New Content

It's no panacea, but all citizens--black, brown, white, old, young--would benefit from a structural change to the corrupted economic system. This structural change is a public bank in every state. Please see:

https://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/



Submitted on Monday, Jul 15, 2019 at 10:25:36 PM

Author 0
Add New Comment
Share Comment
Reply To This   Recommend  (0+)
Help
 

 
Want to post your own comment on this Article? Post Comment