Sam Smith – Obsessed with race as a topic, even progressive Americans fail to deal with numbers that could bring fair minded ethnic groups far closer together, namely the number of those in poverty.
Interestingly, 14.2 million of these folks are white as opposed to 8.1. black and 9.5 latino yet one seldom hears discussion of the common ground this could create.
Sadly, there’s nothing new in this. In the days of Jim Crow, racism was used as a powerful tool by the southern white elite to convince lower income whites that the problem was not those at the top but but poor blacks. Population stats show that there aren’t enough blacks or latinos to fix things alone. They need to create alliances with progressive whites and there’s no better place to do it then around economic issues.
Imagine, for examples, if blacks and latinos took the lead in reviving the labor union movement. Or fighting for a higher minimum wage. It may seem strange, but there were plenty of civil rights leaders in the past who correctly saw that change required coalitions that didn’t exist yet but were waiting to be created. And it’s still true today.