Recognizing Working Class Pain ‘That Doesn’t Make CNN,’ Sanders and Rev. Barber Call for Building Truly Moral Economy

by May 3, 2018

“A moral economy is one that says, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, all of our people should be able to live with dignity and security.”

“Every night on CNN they’re talking about Stormy. The most pornographic thing that’s happened in this country is the illicit relationship between the Supreme Court and big business that created Citizen’s United,” said Rev. William Barber. (Photo: Mary Helen Wood/The Duke Chronicle)

Coinciding with the launch of a new Poor People’s Campaign that plans to bring mass action and a radical anti-poverty agenda to over 40 states in the coming weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joined Rev. William Barber at Duke University Thursday night to discuss the deep inequality and working class pain “that doesn’t make CNN” and how to confront these crises on the way to building a truly moral economic system.

“Every progressive policy today that we hold dear was seen as impossible 100 years ago. And then a few people said, we’re gonna believe, and we’re gonna fight for what we believe.” — Rev. William Barber

“When we talk about a moral economy, we talk about justice and we talk about the gross immorality of three people in this country owning more wealth than the bottom half of the American people,” Sanders told the audience gathered inside Duke’s Chapel. “A moral economy is one that says, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, all of our people should be able to live with dignity and security.”

Titled “The Enduring Challenge of a Moral Economy: 50 Years After Dr. King Challenged Racism, Poverty, and Militarism,” the discussion featured a wide range of topics, from the struggle for a living wage to voting rights to big money’s influence on the Supreme Court—issues that Barber and Sanders argued are almost entirely ignored by the corporate media.

“Every night on CNN they’re talking about Stormy,” Barber, a leader of the new Poor People’s campaign, said Thursday night. “The most pornographic thing that’s happened in this country is the illicit relationship between the Supreme Court and big business that created Citizen’s United.”

“Every progressive policy today that we hold dear was seen as impossible 100 years ago,” Barber added. “And then a few people said, we’re gonna believe, and we’re gonna fight for what we believe.”

Highlighting Martin Luther King Jr.’s insistence that militarism is deeply connected to the crises of racism and poverty, Sanders and Barber also pointed to endless U.S. led wars overseas that have cost trillions of dollars as the poor in America lack healthcare and other basic necessities.

While much of the discussion Thursday night was centered on the systemic racial and economic inequities that continue to oppress vast swaths of the world’s wealthiest nation, Sanders concluded his remarks at the event on an optimistic note, arguing that “when we stand together, we can do beautiful things for our country and for the world.”

“Every progressive policy today that we hold dear was seen as impossible 100 years ago,” Barber added. “And then a few people said, we’re gonna believe, and we’re gonna fight for what we believe.”

Watch the full event:

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