African Americans and Latinos have suffered the most in the Great Recession. They were the first to lose jobs, and the last to find new jobs. They struggle with the highest unemployment, the greatest loss of personal wealth, the highest percentage of families losing their homes.
When young Americans come alive, they transform the possible. We saw that in 2008 when young Americans — the millennial generation of 18- to 29-year-olds — voted in large numbers (larger than the aging baby boomers), and overwhelmingly for Barack Obama.
We shouldn’t trade in the legacy of the New Deal and Fair Deal for a Raw Deal. It follows from the Declaration of Independence that declared that “all men are created equal,” expanded over time to include all men and women. It follows from the Pledge of Allegiance that promises “liberty and justice for all.” Not for a few. Not for most. For all.
This economy is in trouble. The jobs picture is getting worse, not better. Europe is headed into recession. China, India and Brazil are slowing. And here, even with record corporate profits, soaring CEO salaries and big banks back to making big bets, most Americans haven’t shared in the “recovery.”
The story of American democracy has been the expansion of voting rights to more and more citizens. Yet now, conservatives linked to the Republican Party are systematically seeking to constrict the vote.
We can’t let them get away with this.
Chicago is girding for the opening of the NATO Summit on May 20. The ministers and heads of state will be greeted by a rich array of protests, marches, events and counter-summits. Security is already tight near the conference center, and tensions are building.
The defeat of French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Sunday’s French elections provides a clear lesson to America. So does the fall of the conservative Dutch government, the rebuke of the British conservative government in local elections, the defeat of the establishment parties in Greece and the turmoil in Spain.