Our VoiceImmigration

U.S. Economic Crisis Highlights Attack on American Identity

Eric Ward • Oct 08, 2008

If you’re like me and millions of working people in the United States you’re pissed off and rightly so. For decades we’ve worked hard, raised our children and tried to leave our country a little better for the next generation. We have juggled the multiple responsibilities of paying rent, buying gasoline, putting clothes on our backs and food on the table. We have made sacrifices for our children in hope for a better life.

When times were economically tough and media pundits told us we simply weren’t taking enough personal responsibility we doubled both our efforts and our sacrifices. What we were not told was that our leaders supposedly looking out for our best interests were instead letting other folks play under a different rule – the rule of greed.

This week we found out the price of greed. It is approximately Seven Hundred Billion Dollars and change. At a time when each of us has been instructed by elected officials that retirement, health care, education for our children and housing are our individual personal responsibility no one should be surprised that we are angry that our hard earned money must now go to footing the bill of those financial institutions that show not one ounce of the responsibility that has been asked of each of us.

We feel betrayed and rightfully so. Now to add insult to injury these same supporters of greed are attempting to convince us to sell out our American identity by blaming the most vulnerable amongst us. Poor working families, Latinos, Jews and African Americans (sound familiar?). The hope is that by pointing towards others they can escape further scrutiny by the American public. In short, divide the American public and perhaps we’ll forget who is actually responsible.

Michelle Malkin who couldn’t wait to be a mouthpiece on behalf of the greedy jumped into the fray with her September 24th editorial attacking “illegal” immigration for the mess. Malkin launches into a tirade, embracing a level of bigotry that would impress former Klansmen David Duke, falsely claiming that all immigrants are Latino and that all Latinos are immigrants. Because personal responsibility is not an important trait to Malkin she chooses to ignore that over 60% of sub-prime borrowers should have been offered fixed rate prime loans because of their superb credit many of them Latinos who have been here for generations (Wall Street Journal).

Malkin is not alone. Pundit after pundit has taken to the airwaves attacking our historic struggle against racism by targeting the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). CRA was established to remove racial barriers and to stop the forced segregation of American neighborhoods. I guess since financial leaders have destroyed the economy they now feel embolden to destroy the American values of fairness and opportunity as well.

The white nationalists movement can’t wait to bring anti-Semitism to the mix by targeting the Jewish community and even the Republican Party has chosen to get on the growing “let’s destroy American identity” bandwagon. In Michigan, the Macomb County Republican Party is engaging in voter suppression. How? By arguing that if you live in a home that is in foreclosure that you don’t have a local residence and shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Interestingly enough (but not surprising) they are only tracking in black neighborhoods. You can sum this tactic up in six words “lose your home, lose your vote” or “just how low can you go?”

According to the Kirwan Institute, “home ownership is one of the primary ways American families amass wealth.” I’d like to add that another way that we add wealth is by not allowing our diverse communities to be targeted during times of crisis. Sure sub-prime lenders are stealing from the wallets and pocketbooks of the American family, but let’s make sure they don’t steal our identity, one nation and indivisible as well.

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