Lesson 4: Capitalism & Racial Equity

The theme of our fourth session was Capitalism & Racial Equity.

“If our economic system is to survive, there has to be a better distribution of wealth … we can’t have a system where some people live in superfluous, inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

We watched this video by Matthew Cooke:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WHPGL_wBaM

And talked about how the racial hierarchy in this country traps us all, regardless of identity, in an unstable, damaging system, one in which we are all vulnerable. When we are working towards justice, we are working toward a more prosperous, safer world for ourselves. For me, social engagement isn’t about charity, but about transforming the systems that harm us all.

If you’d like to explore this topic from a few different angles, here are some other resources:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM

http://apps.npr.org/tshirt/#/title

https://www.wnyc.org/story/on-our-minds-slavery-and-capitalism/

https://www.raceforward.org/videos/systemic-racism

http://projects.seattletimes.com/2016/under-our-skin/#

An exercise you could perhaps discuss with your partner is: what parts of your daily life are enabled by the poverty and disadvantage of others? Is it the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the clean spaces you frequent? What can you do to decrease your reliance on these things, and support your entire community equitably? What would have to change to make that possible?

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