Tag Archives: Blacks

Doing the math at Walmart

By Treamell Lawrence

walmart-subsidy-1Tim Wise, an anti-racism activist and writer who spoke at CCSU’s Bridging the Gap: A Dream Deferred event on Dec. 10, mentioned that every incident has a predicate.

Income inequality affects more  minorities because the ugly truth is the dominant whites always have  benefits.  Powerful conservative forces are the protectors of the status quo and insist that wealth stays in the hands of the private sector and wealthy class.  They oppose government policies and programs that hint at the redistribution of public and private resources to benefit Blacks.

Wise argued that we are living in a Snapchat nation because most whites want to forget about slavery and other harmful things done to minorities.  Wise illustrated the world we live by comparing it to the movie The Matrix based on Neo’s decision to take the blue pill which represented a simulated comfortable world or the red pill which represented the real world of physical and emotional abuse based on their uniqueness.

Wise explained that the mainstream media is sometimes part of the simulated world when they misrepresent those who combat income inequality, Black poverty or police brutality.  For example, in my previous blog I mentioned Bishop John Selders, Jr. who is a part of Black Lives Matter.  Fox News may label Bishop John Selders  a bigot and frame Black Lives Matter as an unstable, dangerous group when they are an activist group protesting against the mistreatment of Black Americans and police brutality.

Wise he informed his fellow Wwite Americans that the reason  Black Americans are afraid of the police is because in America’s early days police were the slave patrols.  They would lynch African Americans during picnics and sold their body parts as trophies.  Within my generation, minorities are not in tune with politics, which allows whites to use this to their advantage to vote for someone who represents their interest.

This furthers widens the gap between the rich and the poor.  It is amazing how evident this is as  Wise pointed out that six heirs of Walmart have a combined wealth of 127 million African Americans in our country.  We have Walmart, the wealthiest corporation pay their employees non-livable wages.  Those same employees take advantage of Walmart’s Snap Benefits or Food Stamps.

I feel that the legal system further enhanced income inequality.   African American’s built this country with their blood, sweat and tears, but some white Americans want to label them  lazy.  A good example would be the famous 1857 Dred Scott case, which stated that Blacks had no rights.  According to the Pew Research Center, “In 2010, Black men were six times as likely as  white men to be incarcerated in federal, state or local jails.”

Wise said that for the past 10 years, about 1.6 million Black people are walking around with criminal records because of the disproportional application of laws against Blacks and other minorities.  Blacks with criminal records cannot get good jobs with  livable wages or  a better education, which keeps benefits, wealth and resources flowing toward the  dominant group.  When you get a chance please read Tim Wise book, Dear White People.

We choose not to give up

By Krystal Copeland

It’s the responsibility of those who know the truth to educate and teach those that don’t. If it wasn’t for Tim Wise, how engaged would everyone from all backgrounds be to listen to someone speak about racism? It’s fascinating to hear a white man be an advocate for minorities. Not only is he a great speaker but he offers something out of the ordinary that grabs folks attention.

We see how history repeats itself, so it’s really hard to expect change. And  Wise touched on how we could expect change, but it must involve the assistance of those who are privileged and those of European descent known as white folks.

There are white people who are programed to think a certain way. And they come from decent living conditions and nonetheless grow up being a member of the dominant group. So as a result, they don’t have to think about or even be aware of some important stuff.

So if growth involves change and change involves letting go, then how can we build off that? As we’ve been taught throughout this whole semester and have heard Wise discuss, growth can be messy. Changing people’s viewpoints and getting folks out of their comfort zone can be extremely hard.

As with the Black Lives Matter movement, the fact that you have white people out there protesting with blacks proves  we can unite as one. We all are human beings and race is what disconnects us and wealth is what classifies us. We can’t afford to waste any more time being a divided nation.

The bigger problem is wealth and income inequality. Allowing companies like Walmart to pay workers pocket change while the Walton family makes infinity times their workers is just plain disrespectful. As Wise said “the economy is predicated on low wages.” The problem is not the Mexicans or blacks are taking  jobs; it’s the greed of these CEOs.

We have to challenge these people in power. 

We’ve learned that there’s a balance when people earn low incomes because those are the ones who help support the economy. Just think if we all were wealthy there’s the possibility of an unbalanced economy. But my question is why should people have to live in poverty and why can’t we all be equally educated. I believe the fair thing to do is to give everyone equal opportunity and not to be judged based on your skin color or lack of education.

We can’t keep allowing racism to continue. And we can’t allow those in power to keep manipulating are minds. We will continue to be a “Snap Chat” nation as  Wise calls it if we don’t put an end to what’s holding us back. Poverty doesn’t have to exist. That’s why it’s up to us come together as one and fight for change. And we can’t give up.