Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Are We Talking About Race or Economics?

Last night, I watched a discussion on the Chris Matthews show about a recent quote from Jim Webb in the Wall Street Journal:
Those who came to this country in recent decades from Asia, Latin America
and Africa do not suffer discrimination from our government, and in fact have been frequently the beneficiaries of special government programs.  The same cannot be said of many hard-working white Americans-- including those whose roots in American go back more than 200 years.   Beyond our continuing obligation to assist those African Americans still in need, government-directed diversity programs should end.

On the heels of that reporting, comes a piece from the Wapo, which very now and then stumbles onto something-- although this time, the revelation comes from a financial reporter-- "Color of Money" columnist Michelle Singletary:
Sherrod said that while working with the white farmer, she realized that the social war we’ve been having isn’t about race but economic inequity.

“Y’all, it’s about poor versus those who have,” Sherrod said in her speech. “It’s really about those who have versus those who don’t, you know. And they could be black; and they could be white; they could be Hispanic. And it made me realize then that I needed to work to help poor people — those who don’t have access the way others have.”

John Aravosis from Americablog recently blogged  these stunning facts about the vanishing middle class:
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• 83 percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of 1 percent of the people.
• 61 percent of Americans "always or usually" live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 66 percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top 1% of all Americans.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don't contribute anything to retirement savings.
• A staggering 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.    
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.

It seems that we have a "new" form of "racism" in this country-- the treatment of the have-nots by those who do have.

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