Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Anita Hill shares a vision of economic inequality in America

After delivering a speech at a conference marking the twentieth anniversary of the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, Brandeis University professor, Anita Hill, gives an interview on the topic of discrimination based on gender, at Georgetown University Law School on Capitol Hill Thursday, October 6, 2011. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Read a few of the excerpts of Anita Hill's subject remarks:
"Americans," says Professor Hill, "are in need of a 21st Century vision of our country."
It says something about us as a nation when we spend nearly a trillion dollars to save the hides of Wall Street bankers who made billions betting against the housing boom they themselves created. It says something about us when we allow predatory lenders to take advantage of the least of these -- the poor, elderly and disproportionately people of color. It says something about us when we keep sending people to Washington whose only agenda is keeping their jobs when the unemployment rate continues to soar.

Owning and keeping a home has become increasingly difficult for people of color and single women. Specifically, African-American wealth, driven mostly by the housing market crash and scourge of foreclosures, has all but evaporated. Today, the black middle class is all but non-existent. Most of our wealth was tied up in the homes sold on the courthouse steps.

To hear Mitt Romney tell it, we should simply let the housing market hit rock bottom. And if you aren't wealthy or don't have a job, blame yourself, says Herman Cain. The market crash was three years ago, he quipped.

Today's public discourse is a sad stage of affairs, inhabited by a bevy of bad actors who have never known a day without bread -- in their mouths or their pockets. None seem to know the reality of a pink slip or a foreclosure notice. Cutting Pell Grants, and other means of access to opportunity, seems right and reasonable because they've never had to apply for one. It's telling when we elect people who are so willing to demonize poor, working class people while celebrating the top one percent. I am a capitalist to my core, but as Elizabeth Warren said, "nobody got rich on their own."
Read the full text at the Grio.

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