CUSLAR endorses Poor People’s Campaign

William-Barber

Photo: pachurchesadvocacy.org

The Ithaca, New York-based Committee on U.S.-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR) is proud to endorse the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

As we learn from and unite with the struggles of our sisters and brothers in Latin America, CUSLAR acknowledges that perhaps our greatest act of solidarity is to get our own collective house in order.

The Poor People’s Campaign makes it plain that in this country there exist two Americas: the America of the wealthy; and the America of those dying for lack of healthcare or a roof over their heads; those criminalized for being black, brown or poor; those who suffer worst after environmental disasters; and those whose bodies are broken in war.

While the stock market has recovered from the 2008 crisis, millions of families have not. More than half of the jobs added to the economy since 2010 are low-wage or temporary, and one out of every two people living in the U.S. today is poor or low-income.

The poor in the U.S. are of all races, genders and ages, and they come from all over. African-American, indigenous, Latino and other people of color are disproportionately poor and criminalized. Yet the majority of the people living in poverty in the U.S. are white.

At home in New York State, the 2015 gross state product was $1.44 trillion, enough to put our state among the highest producing 13 countries in the world. Yet New York has the highest rate of income inequality in the U.S. In fact, more than one in eight New Yorkers struggles with hunger.

In 1967, months before he was assassinated, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. argued, “Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table, when we have the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all humankind with the basic necessities of life? … The time has come for an all-out war against poverty.”

Fifty years later, we have the resources, technology and human creativity to make our country what it has never yet been: a home for liberty and justice for all.

CUSLAR stands with the people of Puerto Rico. The island’s 3.5 million U.S. citizens, devastated by a natural disaster, Hurricane Maria, now face more prolonged suffering by the man-made disasters of neglect, racism and debt. We demand the forgiveness of all Puerto Rican debt and that the island be allowed to rebuild according to the will of Puerto Ricans, not Wall Street.

CUSLAR stands with immigrant families, many of whom are in danger of being separated by changing immigration policy decisions. We stand with undocumented parents who fear deportation, and we stand with children of immigrants who refuse to let their parents be demonized for leaving their homes and trying to make a better life.

At CUSLAR, we see the call of the Poor People’s Campaign to challenge the root causes of poverty, racism, militarism, and climate change as central to our vision of promoting peace and justice in the hemisphere. Adelante! Forward together!

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