In this video, Senator Elizabeth Warren rips Wall Street for their generations-long predatory exploitation of minority communities and the systematic financial repression that has resulted in some of the most astonishing income inequality in the world.
Warren opens up with this shocking statement. “Know that the recent events in Baltimore are not part of a single tragedy. These events are about millions of people, young and old, here and across the country, find themselves struggling to make a future in a system that is increasingly rigged against them. This struggle to build a financial future is especially difficult for communities of color. In 2013, the median wealth for white families was $142,000…median wealth for African-American families was $11,000. This startling difference is not just the short-term impact of economic blows but the impact of blows that reach across generations, when white families accumulated just a little more here and there.”
She details how the housing market has ripped off African-Americans over the decades- restrictive deed covenants, redlining, deceptive land contacts, leaving them with less and less money. After black families had been put in a vulnerable position, Wall Street stepped in to take it a step further, targeting African-American communities with the very worst of the sub-prime mortgages.
It is not only exploitation but racially driven as well- in 2012, Wells Fargo paid the Justice Department $175 million to avoid prosecution for charging higher fees and rates to more than 30,000 minority borrowers than they did to white borrowers with exactly the same risks and for steering over 4,000 minority borrowers into costlier subprime mortgages when white borrowers received safer, cheaper loans. The Justice Department called it a “racial surtax”.
It is astonishing how much damage that Wall Street has done to our nation and our communities, and it is far beyond time we took action to break up the big banks and stop the constant exploitation of our citizens. This new information is just insult to injury, and African-Americans deserve so much better.
Watch it here:
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.