There are nearly 150 million poor and near poor people in America who are not responsible for the damage done by the Great Recession. Yet they pay the price. The poor did not create the deindustrialization of America, unmatched corporate profiteering and greed, more than a decade of foreign wars, and unregulatedtax benefits for the wealthy. When the largest economic institutions in the world were brought to their collective knees, they went crawling to the government’s doorstep in search of salvation. The government obliged, allowing Wall Street to socialize its failure on the backs of Main Street Americans. The housing and jobs crisis they created fostered a poverty unseen in generations—not just in inner-city ghettos and barrios, but also in suburbs and rural areas crossing racial, age, and gender lines. Nearly one-third of the American middle class—mostly families with children—have fallen into poverty.”
—Tavis Smiley and Cornel West
“Class warfare” is the claim that Republican conservatives have spouted when the issue of economic inequality is brought by advocates like Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley. What does that mean? It means that when the truth about the rules and rights of the rich versus the poor is exposed, the argument is that these advocates are discriminating against people who are rich, creating a “war” against people who are wealthy.
Does that make sense?
This becomes an argument of between facts and impressions. People with facts tend to stand on more solid ground in this kind of argument. Why is that? Could it be because FACTS can’t be subjective?
The excerpt above is an example of using logic and facts to support the rationale behind financial and economic instability.
I am not a political debater. I actually get a little disinterested in the extended cable commentary that reiterates the same 5 minute soundbite over and over and over. I just want truth to be spoken to power in an authentic and genuine way.
People like Dr. West and Mr. Smiley tend to cut through the political, pontificating rhetoric to get at the truth of the matter. In this case, it’s dealing with why only a small amount people stay rich while the majority live in poverty. It mirrors the educational gap between majority students and minority students in varying communities. The frustrated adults and commentators question why the gap remains; the everyday victims of this crime sadly become immune to its destructive results.
How do we change this? How do you fix this problem? Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as taking a pill to take the pain away.
It requires community involvement on a local, state, and federal level. It requires pointed activism from the Occupy Wall Street movement. It requires re-calibrating the opportunity scales so that EVERYONE has a fair shake at the American Dream of getting a good education, getting a good job, buying a house, having a family, saving money for your own kids to go to college, etc.
What do you think about this “class warfare”? Is it really a battle or just one-sided argument?