In a blog entry at Your Black World, Dr. Boyce Watkins says that blacks have been hit hardest by the economic downturn, with unemployment and poverty rates at their highest levels in recent history. That is why more African Americans should march at the front lines of Occupy Wall Street alongside white protesters.
I am honored to be an American when I see that thousands of us have simply taken our country back from those who've denied their responsibility to properly regulate the power of capitalism in our society. Free enterprise can be a wonderful thing, but when capitalism is not properly controlled, it can become as deadly as an economic forest fire.
The African American community has every reason to be on the front lines in this battle for our nation's economic soul. Black unemployment has skyrocketed to levels that haven't been seen since Michael Jackson released Thriller. Nearly half (40%) of all black children are living below the poverty line. Black wealth has continued to shrink, as the burst of the real estate bubble left many African Americans either homeless or upside down in their mortgages. Black families have been destroyed by the prison industrial complex, where Wall Street firms earn billions each year from slave labor. Also, several Wall Street banks deliberately targeted black and brown communities for predatory loans that put grandma out of the house she'd lived in since Malcolm X was alive.
Yes, we have reason to be very, very upset. It is in part because my grandmother was one of the people who lost her home due to predatory lending that I plan to join my brothers and sisters (of all races) in their decision to occupy Wall Street. This is our chance to confront the economic bullies who've worked to politically castrate nearly every politician in Washington, and also those unpatriotic enough to allow the country to sink into the financial abyss.
Read Dr. Boyce Watkins' entire blog entry at Your Black World.