Rhetoric or Reality- Civil Rights Under Siege – MIT Video
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In this keynote address, Julianne Malveaux takes deadly aim at the hypocrisy she finds in many sectors of American society including exploitation of low wage workers and legacy admissions policies. She states: “Dr. King has become such a hero that Walmart takes out full page ads claiming that, ‘We too have a dream.’ A corporation that doesn’t pay people…reasonable wages, locks people up in a building all night…What dream?” “When Mr. Bush went to Yale and said, “You, too, can be president with a C average”…yeah, only if you have no melanin in your skin.”
Malveaux sees the U.S. virtually inhaling the rest of the world’s resources, treating other cultures with arrogance, and then wondering why we’re the targets of terrorism. She links our nation’s contempt for other countries and our historic neglect of the poor at home: “Have we learned from September 11th? …We came together as a nation but now we’re back to the old ways…. We have 10 million Americans who earn less than $5.15 an hour, who haven’t had a raise since 1996”. What Dr. King was really after, insists Malveaux, was a full-fledged, “in your face” war on poverty and racism. Today, she wonders, “Who here has the audacity to change things?”