In the video the two address the lasting effects of disenfranchisement on black America’s current economic conditions. They also each provide solutions that they believe could lead toward movement that forces us to see the gravity of race and wealth in America.
Moore’s Huffington Post Piece “Rise of Legacy” states
Legacy’s power in the U.S. is interesting in that it is remembered for when it carries the gifts of wealth & security, but much more often it bears the unforgiving pain of poverty. It becomes hyper-exaggerated in both directions when laws and policy are designed to expand the gaps between the two groups. I believe that when laws that favor groups create unequal opportunity, it becomes a direct clog in the engine of Capitalism. Free enterprise cannot be free when it is burdened with the weight of a yesteryear, which created mass inequity, so directly by law. Slavery and Jim Crow as legal institutions have legacies that not only clogged American Capitalism from being a truly fair opportunity for all, it has burdened Black America particularly with heavy social cost and chained them as a mass group to lives of struggle. As stated by an opinion article in the Grio “Reagan revisionism can’t whitewash his history with blacks,” this became exaggerated in an era during which Ronald Reagan and his policies from Trickle Down to the Crack laws turned up that impact exponentially by changing the black families trajectory for the worse. People revise America’s history to recreate figures into heroes, repainting their actions with each brush stroke of slanted memory.
I will state undoubtedly many more Americans are affected than just blacks by poverty, but because of the history of this nation and its unwillingness to confront that history, poverty has laid ravage to Black America at a wholly different rate than any other subgroup. Black America today in mass is impoverished, over 10 million of the 40 million self identified African Americans live below the poverty line making less than $11,000 a year, and another large mass of African Americans are classified as “near poor” by new census calculations. A group that played a major role in building the wealthiest country the world has known as free labor, kneels at this country’s back porch in poverty. To give a more specific example of context to the statement of what Black America has lost out on with their unpaid labor investment in the U.S., in chapter 2 of his Best Selling book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell listed the 75 wealthiest people in global economic history. An astounding 45 were American born, an additional 4 men on the list while not born in America made their wealth here. A country that is a mere 237 years old, created 65% of the wealthiest men the world has known. 14 of the group were all born in a single nine-year span, all preceding the industrial revolution. Focusing in specifically on the top of the list, as an example Andrew Carnegie became the second wealthiest man in the history of the world by investing in the steel business ending up as the head of U.S. Steel. Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry, controlling the most extensive integrated iron and steel operations ever owned by an individual in the United States. According to Forbes he amassed a wealth holding equivalent to nearly 300 billion dollars, adjusting for inflation.