"Economic justice is not - and has never been - sufficient to ensure racial justice. Owning a home won't stop someone from burning a cross on the front lawn. Admission to a school won't prevent a beating on the sidewalk outside. But when Dr. King led hundreds of thousands of people to march on Washington, he talked about an end to violence, access to voting AND economic opportunity. As Dr. King once wrote, "the inseparable twin of racial injustice was economic injustice.
These remarks underscored Warren’s comprehensive speech tying together economic and racial justice. It was a tribute to the power built by Black Lives Matter organizers across the country, and a call for justice that addresses the complex challenges faced by communities of color.
Her voice comes at a crucial time as the campaigns of the 2016 presidential campaigns pick up speed. When presidential candidates like Donald Trump and Ben Carson make racist comments towards Mexicans and Muslims respectively, it becomes our job to counter these narratives that dehumanize people of color.
Present-day America can’t forget a history that didn’t give everyone a chance at success. From the genocide of Native Americans and the theft of indigenous land, to the dehumanization of slaves over hundreds of years, much of the wealth that is controlled by the US has roots in colonization. That’s why today, 240 years after the signing of Declaration of Independence, for every dollar of wealth a white family has, a black family has less than a dime.
Martin Luther King Jr once said, “What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?” At United for a Fair Economy, our job is to make sure everyone is allowed to sit at that lunch counter, and can afford to break bread together. We’ll continue to support the movements that push politicians to take this kind of bold and refreshing stand.
You can watch the rest of her speech here.