by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World- Scholarship in Action
One has to ask whether or not it’s coincidence that the NYPD receives its largest donation ever from a Wall Street firm and later arrests 700 Wall Street protesters at one time. It turns out that the NYPD "just happened" to receive a massive $4.6 million dollar donation from JP Morgan Chase this year. The funds were used to buy new police laptops, as well as security-monitoring software for the NYPD data center.
So, it looks like the NYPD is under the same pressure as Washington politicians, who’ve sat silent as the people have risen up to deal with the companies that they have come to fear. As a Finance Professor myself, I’ve seen up close how financial incentives can keep many of us from doing the right thing when necessary. In the case of Wall Street, you have a situation in which the individuals who caused the economic downturn were also the first to be bailed out. As a result of being bailed out first, Wall Street was the first place to experience an economic recovery.
But while we have billionaires getting even richer in New York, joblessness has continued to sicken the economy. Over 40% of all black children are in poverty, and millions of Americans are losing their homes. Labor unions are being undermined left and right, and the Right Wing is pushing for further cuts to programs that help poor and middle class Americans, as well as senior citizens. But even while the Republicans push for unhealthy slices to the federal budget, they are incredibly protective of tax cuts for America’s millionaires.
Our country has become a very sick and disgusting place.
Personally, I plan to join the protesters on Wall Street when I go to New York next week. I’ll also be stopping by the Circle of Sisters Event on October 8, and then participating in the "Less Talk, More Action Empowerment Tour" with Ryan Mack. This kind of financial sickness should not be allowed to continue, for it may serve to destroy our country. Anyone who cares about the future of America will help to confront the capitalist aristocracy that our nation has become and realign our country with the values that we claim to embrace. If Dr. Martin Luther King were alive today, he’d likely be standing with us.
Capitalism is powerful, like fire or a gun. If used in a controlled setting for productive purposes, it can be a wonderful thing. But if it is not properly regulated and instilled with adequate legal and ethical boundaries, it can become our worst nightmare. American capitalism has certainly become a nightmare, so perhaps it’s time for the people to wake up.