Michael Eric Dyson: Class and the Mortgage Crisis

Question: What is the best way to deal with the mortgage crisis?

Michael Eric Dyson:  The point is that if you bailed out the lenders because you want to make sure that they can continue in the future to give people money, you’re not dealing with the fundamental issue. The reason:  They took advantage of the people that ostensibly they should help, number one. Number two, we bear out- we bail out Bear and Stearns but we sternly bear down on poor people whose backs are against the wall and the people least likely to need the help get the most help and the folk crying out for even the smallest gesture of help are denied any sign of it. And then furthermore, to bail out the lenders so to speak and to bail out these big capitalized entities misses the fact that in American culture the democratic distribution of wealth and resources should be dictated by the largesse of the collective American will and the taxes of American workers paid for that bailing out. That didn’t come from out of the sky. That means that the very people who have been exploited in the process are now dependent upon to bail out some of these major lenders, if you will, while not pointing to how they’ve exploited American workers. And when we look at the racial aspect of this, these lenders have nefariously exploited working class and poor black people and sometimes even middle class black people by giving them loan rates that need not have been as steep as they were only because black people have been segregated, red-lined, steered and other forms of chicanery in terms of the housing market and in terms of loans that they should be able to have capitalized or extended to them. And as a result of that the very institutions that are being bailed out don’t bail out the people that they should ostensibly help, and I think the taxpaying moneys of those poor people should at least … to them positively and be able--  Why shouldn’t we bail out the people who have been victimized by these lenders?  Why shouldn’t we bail out?  And it’s not about going to one village and getting each village as opposed to saving the entire. The point is how do we identify almost exclusively the self-interest economically of the American populace with lenders who especially when it came to black people had nothing to do with helping them but everything to do with exploiting them?  That’s the kind of logic that I think needs to be addressed and dealt with in a very serious and severe fashion.


Recorded on: May 16 2008 


Why bailing out lenders was wrong.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
Keep reading Show less