As I sit at the computer trying to complete my 2011 Federal Tax forms I find myself getting more and more angry. I realize that in order to limit the amount of taxes I owe in the future I will have to increase my withholding amount. As a sixty eight year old retired grandmother, raising two teenage grandchildren, I am outraged. How can it possibly be legal, appropriate, and fair for Hedge fund operators and financial speculators to pay only 15% on their earnings when I must pay a 30% rate on my fixed retirement income? I support myself and my grandchildren on my monthly income and rarely, if ever, have anything left at the end of the month.
The positive demonstrations of support for the family of Trayvon Martin following his tragic death, and the nationwide evidence of unified response (hoodies everywhere!) and the call for justice are inspiring signs of a renewed spirit among African Americans and others committed to correcting the obvious inequities exposed in the wake of this travesty. Clearly, nothing we encounter in the world of business can be equated to the senseless slaying of this young man. And as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “… injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…”
In the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, Congress enacted the federal Fair Housing Act on April 11, 1968. This historic federal act made it illegal to discriminate in housing and housing related-activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or sex. Further, the law applies to marketing and sales of homes, listings, appraisals and maintenance. Now 44 years later – and not for the first time –two of the nation’s largest banks - Wells Fargo and US Bank are accused of serious violations.