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On MLK Day, Janet Yellen Says U.S. Economy Is Unfair To Black People

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ATLANTA (AP) — The U.S. economic system “has never worked fairly for Black Americans — or, really, for any American of color,” Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen mentioned in a speech delivered Monday, one among many by nationwide leaders acknowledging unmet wants for racial equality on Martin Luther King Day.

Major occasions for the vacation additionally included the annual Martin Luther King Jr. service on the slain civil rights chief’s Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, whose senior pastor, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, was internet hosting Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and different politicians.

Monday would have been the 93rd birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who was simply 39 when he was assassinated in 1968 whereas serving to sanitation staff strike for higher pay and office security in Memphis, Tennessee.

King, who delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech whereas main the 1963 March on Washington and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, stays one of many world’s most beloved figures. He thought-about racial equality inseparable from assuaging poverty and stopping struggle. His insistence on nonviolent protest continues to affect activists pushing for civil rights and social change.

Yellen referred to King’s well-known speech in remarks she recorded for supply on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network breakfast in Washington, noting the monetary metaphor he used when describing the founding fathers’ guarantees of equality.

King mentioned on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that “America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned.” He referred to as it ”a nasty test, a test which has come again marked inadequate funds. But we refuse to consider the financial institution of justice is bankrupt!”

“It is compelling rhetoric, but I also think Dr. King knew it was a more than a metaphor. He knew that economic injustice was bound up in the larger injustice he fought against. From Reconstruction, to Jim Crow, to the present day, our economy has never worked fairly for Black Americans – or, really, for any American of color,” Yellen mentioned.

She mentioned the administration of President Joe Biden has sought to make sure that no financial establishment fails to work for folks of coloration. Equity was constructed into the American Rescue Plan in order that communities of coloration would get pandemic reduction, and Treasury is injecting $9 billion into Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions historically poorly served by the monetary sector.

“There is still much more work Treasury needs to do to narrow the racial wealth divide,” she mentioned.

The King Center mentioned the 10 a.m. service, that includes a keynote by the Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church, could be broadcast reside on Atlanta’s Fox TV affiliate and on Facebook, YouTube and thekingcenter.org. Atlanta’s deliberate occasions additionally included a march, a rally and a voter registration drive by the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and Youth Service America.

“On this King Holiday, I call us up to shift our priorities to reflect a commitment to true peace and an awareness of our interconnectedness, interdependence, and interrelatedness,” King Center CEO Bernice King mentioned in a press release. “This will lead us to a greater understanding of our responsibilities to and for each other, which is crucial for learning to live together, achieving ‘true peace,’ and creating the Beloved Community.”

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