Rhetoric or Reality: Civil Rights Under Siege
Dr. Julianne Malveaux, PhD '80, Economist, author
Description: In this keynote address, Julianne Malveaux takes deadly aim at the hypocrisy she finds in many sectors of American society including exploitation of low wage workers and legacy admissions policies. She states: "Dr. King has become such a hero that Walmart takes out full page ads claiming that, 'We too have a dream.' A corporation that doesn't pay people€reasonable wages, locks people up in a building all night€What dream?" "When Mr. Bush went to Yale and said, "You, too, can be president with a C average"...yeah, only if you have no melanin in your skin."
Malveaux sees the U.S. virtually inhaling the rest of the world's resources, treating other cultures with arrogance, and then wondering why we're the targets of terrorism. She links our nation's contempt for other countries and our historic neglect of the poor at home: "Have we learned from September 11th? 'We came together as a nation but now we're back to the old ways'. We have 10 million Americans who earn less than $5.15 an hour, who haven't had a raise since 1996". What Dr. King was really after, insists Malveaux, was a full-fledged, "in your face" war on poverty and racism. Today, she wonders, "Who here has the audacity to change things?"
About the Speaker(s): Dr. Julianne Malveaux is an economist, author and commentator. Her work appears regularly in USA Today, Black Issues in Higher Education, Ms., Essence, and The Progressive. Her weekly columns appear in numerous newspapers across the country including The Los Angeles Times, and The Detroit Free Press. She is a frequent commentator on television programs such as PBS's "To The Contrary", and ABC's "Politically Incorrect". She is the editor of Voices of Vision: African American Women on the Issues (1996); the co-editor of Slipping Through the Cracks: The Status of Black Women (1986), and of The Paradox of Loyalty: An African American Response to the War on Terrorism (Third World Press, 2002). ). She is most recently the co-author of Unfinished Business: A Democrat and A Republican Take On the 10 Most Important Issues Women Face (Perigee Trade, 2002.) Dr. Malveaux received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from Boston College, and earned a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1980. She taught at San Francisco University from 1981 to 1985 and served as visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1985 to 1992.
Host(s): Office of the President, MIT Annual Breakfast Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Tape #: T18161
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