Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Name names and point fingers

A study by the Pew Center shows the racial wealth gap has been getting wider recently, with black and Hispanic Americans falling far behind white and Asian-Americans. This item popped up several times in my Facebook feed, posted by liberal friends with no comment or context as if it were a deplorable act of God. They somehow neglected to mention that this was occurring on the watch of America's first president of color.

Barack Obama was overwhelmingly supported at the polls by the very people who are being hit hardest by the current depression. Yet he has not lifted a finger in defense of their economic interests. Trillions are poured into Wall Street and wars, but nothing is being done for working people of any color --people who need homes that retain their value, a safe place to live and to do business, sane credit, jobs that pay a living wage, the means to stay healthy, support in their old age and a decent education for their kids. The Obama Administration has telegraphed its hostility to these needs in numerous ways: inaction in the face of the foreclosure crisis, advancing cuts in Social Security, prioritizing reduced spending over economic stimulus.

It is not the abstract concept of 'privilege' that is doing this. It is real, living people in positions of power, including the President of the United States, who are implementing privilege, if not oligarchy, by accelerating the flow of resources upwards. Privilege existed in the 1990s yet working- and middle-class Americans were better off. It is mendacious, insulting to the voters and condescending to the President of the United States to refuse to associate his name with the policies of his Administration and their consequences.

It's time to name some names and point some fingers.

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