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The Rev. Megan Castellan on inequality in contemporary America

Headshot of Megan Castellan

The Rev. Megan Castellan on inequality in contemporary America

The Rev. Megan Castellan contrasts our modern economic inequality with historic injustice in an article for the Kansas City Star. In particular, she focuses on one of the final speeches of Martin Luther King, where he decried the high unemployment rate and low wages for black workers.

From the Star article:

In 1968, King was decrying an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in the black community, which he considered unconscionably high. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report, as of 2013, black unemployment was 13.1 percent. (Meanwhile, white unemployment in 2013 was 6.5 percent.) Clearly, the recession is not over for everyone. Some people are still excluded from the fruits of this economic turnaround.

Isabel Wilkerson, writing for the New York Times’s Sunday Review, notes that racism and inequality is present through the entire nation, although she suggests the South is starting to face injustice head on, while the North still maintains a false innocence.

Wilkerson writes about two recent cases of injustice in the South in which police officers are facing charges and indictments for shooting unarmed black men, expressing hope that this marks a positive change in the South, and a possible future of greater equality for the North as well.

From the New York Times article:

The nation still has far to go, but this, at least, seems cause for hope. It suggests that the South, after decades of wrestling with its history, is now willing to face injustice head on. And it suggests that the North, after decades of insisting that it was fairer and more free, could eventually do the same.

Wilkerson ties the issue of inequality to the Great Migration, which she has covered in depth in her bestseller, “The Warmth of Other Suns”.

Do you see the inequality in your own communities? How do you engage and talk about it?

 

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Mark Ash

We remain very much in denial on this issue. Perhaps we are too preoccupied with bread and circuses to notice. Feeding keyboard addiction, from which I too suffer, keeps us from physically standing in a picket line on a rainy day like today. Beside, someone else will do it. Now where did I leave that on line petition I was gonna sign to ease my annoyed mind?

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