Regardless of the ascension of Barack Obama to the office of President of the United States, racism remains the greatest threat to our efforts toward peace and unity. Far too often, politicians, journalists and so-called leaders lack ideas as to how to inspire people and often resort to the lowest common denominator to mobilize support on the basis of racial and cultural differences. “Us against them” is the political mantra of the ideologically lazy.
While racism is our country’s original sin, another reality has recently insinuated itself on the edges of our national consciousness in the midst of what has been called the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, social and economic inequality. America is one of the most unequal countries in the world where it has been estimated that the top 2% of the population control close to 80% of the country’s wealth while the bottom 10% control less than 1%. This inequality of opportunities has placed near-permanent barriers that lock large sections of our population in an inescapable poverty trap – the poor get poorer while the rich get richer. Too many cannot properly feed their children or afford quality education for them, which locks them out of the job market and confines them to lowly paid jobs and the cycle continues. Read the rest of this entry »