Ellison: Stop blaming poor blacks for the economic crisis
It's the blame game and Minneapolis Rep. Keith Ellison isn't happy about where some are pointing their fingers. Ellison says conservatives are taking shots at the African American community in an effort to get the focus off of other issues on Wall Street. Politicians like to play this fun sport where they take what's actually happening and flip it upside down. How clever!
According to Doug Grow's MinnPost article, Ellison is pretty fed up:
"Poor blacks caused this,'' said Ellison scornfully. "That's what we're supposed to believe. Little ACORN caused this. The mighty captains of Wall Street got taken down by little ACORN and poor black people. That's what you're hearing on the right. The gall and audacity of this is beyond imagination.''
The statement of the day from the right is that all of this can be traced back to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977, Grow says, which had the support of the nonprofit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
That's right. In the eyes of some, today's problems aren't a product of greed, or lack of regulation, but instead can be traced to the Jimmy Carter era. That's when Congress passed CRA, an act that encouraged commercial banks to invest in housing in cities that were facing both redlining and major decline. The idea was simple: Stabilizing neighborhoods, through home ownership, would stabilize cities.
So Ellison, what's your conclusion?
"To suggest that the greatest financial crisis we have faced since the Great Depression was caused by legislation that was created to help prevent low-income individuals from assuming high-cost, subprime loans that have caused the crisis today is absurd. To suggest that struggling families trying to keep their home brought down the Titans of Commerce, the Masters of the Universe on Wall Street, is ludicrous. To suggest someone who is raising three children while holding down two minimum wage jobs on a high school education was able to stall one of the greatest economic engines on Earth needs their head examined.''
Those are fighting words. Let the knee kicks and hair pulling begin!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.