Elizabeth Warren just delivered the defense of Black Lives Matter other …

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Elizabeth Warren endorses Black Lives Matter. Why does that matter?.

Speaking at the Edward M. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a speech on Sunday in which she drew a direct parallel between the current Black Lives Matter movement and the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, and called for comprehensive reform on every major issue directly affecting the black community: voting rights, the wage gap, policing, predatory lending, and the systemic violence against the black community. Kennedy Institute for the US Senate, Warren, the senior senator from Massachusetts, said violence against blacks has drawn new national attention with the deaths of people at the hands of police, and other incidents such as the Charleston church shootings. Warren proudly announced that she would be an ally to the movement. “I speak today with the full knowledge that I have not personally experienced and can never truly understand the fear, the oppression, and the pain that confronts African Americans every day,” she said. “But none of us can ignore what is happening in this country.

Kennedy Institute. “To fight for their lives.” Warren’s remarks went further than the disparities in the criminal justice system, speaking to voting rights, economic inequality, housing discrimination, and predatory banking practices: Fifty years after John Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke out, violence against African Americans has not disappeared. But she did not mince words in describing the police brutality that has become a national topic of conversation. “We have seen sickening videos of unarmed, black Americans cut down by bullets, choked to death while gasping for air — their lives ended by those who are sworn to protect them,” she said. “Peaceful, unarmed protesters have been beaten.

Not when our black friends, family, neighbors literally fear dying in the streets.” Listen to the brave, powerful voices of today’s new generation of civil-rights leaders. She pointed to prominent police violence against black citizens, the gutting of the Voting Rights Act and voter ID laws, and the disparate impact of the housing crisis on African-Americans. “We have made important strides forward.

And, in some cities, white vigilantes with weapons freely walk the streets.” The speech, a high-profile endorsement of the anti-police-brutality movement by one of the nation’s most prominent politicians, combined Warren’s signature concern with economic inequality with a treatise on the damaging effects of racism. “Economic justice has not ever been sufficient to ensure racial justice,” she said. “Owning a home won’t stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. The tools have changed, but black voters are still deliberately cut out of the political process. … Today, 90 percent of Americans see no real wage growth.

Half a century later, we have made real progress, but we have not made enough progress.” Warren organized her speech around three key issues on race: police brutality, voting rights, and economic equality. And, after beginning to make progress during the civil rights era to close the wealth gap between black and white families, in the 1980s the wealth gap exploded, so that from 1984 to 2009, the wealth gap between black and white families tripled.

Ultimately, Warren called for various policies to help bring down these disparities — from police-worn body cameras that would help hold officers accountable to steps that would make voting simpler and easier, such as automatic voter registration and making Election Day a holiday. O’Malley, he released a new criminal justice policy calling for fixes to “our broken criminal justice system,” including ensuring “that justice is delivered for all Americans – regardless of race, class, or place,” The Christian Science Monitor previously reported. He told me that more than 50 years earlier — in May of 1961 — he had spent 11 hours in that same basement, along with hundreds of people, while a mob outside threatened to burn down the church because it was a sanctuary for civil rights workers.

Sanders, who gave up his rally stage in Seattle to BLM protesters, subsequently hired Symone Sanders – a young black criminal justice advocate – as his national press secretary. If his life and death had a meaning, it was that we should not hate but love one another; we should use our powers not to create conditions of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace. “We should use our powers not to create conditions of oppression that lead to violence, but conditions of freedom that lead to peace.” That’s what I’d like to talk about today.

When Alabama Governor George Wallace stood before the nation and declared during his 1963 inaugural address that he would defend “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever,” he made clear that the state would stand with those who used violence. While median family income in America was growing – for both white and African-American families – African-American incomes were only a fraction of white incomes. It’s a way to help the kids get through college, a safety net if someone gets really sick, and, if all goes well and Grandma and Grandpa can hang on to the house until they die, it’s a way to give the next generation a boost—extra money to move the family up the ladder.

The government enforced discrimination in public accommodations, discrimination in schools, discrimination in credit—it was a long and spiteful list. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson all called out the National Guard, and, in doing so, declared that everyone had a right to equal protection under the law, guaranteed by the Constitution. In the same way that the tools of oppression were woven together, a package of civil rights laws came together to protect black people from violence, to ensure access to the ballot box, and to build economic opportunity. Just as this country was taking the first steps toward economic justice, the Republicans pushed a theory that meant helping the richest people and the most powerful corporations get richer and more powerful. I’ll just do one statistic on this: From 1980 to 2012, GDP continued to rise, but how much of the income growth went to the 90% of America – everyone outside the top 10% – black, white, Latino?

Because middle class black families’ wealth was disproportionately tied up in homeownership and not other forms of savings, these families were hit harder by the housing collapse. Recently several big banks and other mortgage lenders paid hundreds of millions in fines, admitting that they illegally steered black and Latino borrowers into more expensive mortgages than white borrowers who had similar credit. We honor the bravery and sacrifice that our law enforcement officers show every day on the job – and the noble intentions of the vast majority of those who take up the difficult job of keeping us safe. The right to vote remains essential to protect all other rights, and no candidate for president or for any other elected office – Republican or Democrat – should be elected if they will not pledge to support full, meaningful voting rights. Our task will not be complete until we ensure that every family—regardless of race—has a fighting chance to build an economic future for themselves and their families.

And one more issue, dear to my heart: It’s time to come down hard on predatory practices that allow financial institutions to systematically strip wealth out of communities of color. Now we have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and we need to make sure it stays strong and independent so that it can do its job and make credit markets work for black families, Latino families, white families – all families.

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