Violence is deeply rooted in American culture. We all know how this country began... forcibly taking land from Native Americans, dragging Africans over here in chains, building a country on the back of the poor and the unprotected. But where are we headed? That’s the question. After the death of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy, the United States passed reforms on the sale of guns. Yet after 26 children and teachers were gunned down in Newton, Connecticut, Congress failed to enact a single additional regulation on high-powered weaponry.
Sankofa.org is committed to creative, diligent, effective work to root out systemic violence and help build a culture that supports a more humane and decent world.
Many Americans believe they live in a country built on fairness and equality. Yet we incarcerate more of our citizens than China. This reflects back on who we are as a nation. Mass incarceration in this country is not only unsustainable but insures that we will increase, not diminish, the social alienation that leads young people into the criminal justice system.
America spends $70 billion annually to imprison, detain and parole its citizens while our school budgets are being cut.
The United States is the only country in the world where children as young as thirteen years old have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
Dr. King once said “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and that includes economic injustice.
At Sankofa.org, we believe that meaningful reforms like a livable minimum wage, policies that restore the ability of workers to bargain collectively and a tax code that no longer offers obscene benefits to the incalculably rich are a basic start.
In America, the rich are getting richer, while the middle class and poor struggle. The top 20% of the world’s population has more than 80% of the world’s income, while the poorest 20% have less than 1% of the global income.
Why does this matter? Isabel Ortiz, Associate Director of Policy and Practice at UNICEF, said “there is a strong link between high income inequality and social unrest and economic instability.”
Immigration reform means that people who are already working and contributing here are allowed to do so legally. It means humanity takes precedence over ideology, suspicion and fear.
Most Americans favor immigration reform. Despite what anti-immigration activists say, undocumented workers contribute more to the economy than they cost.
Immigration reform is a civil rights issue. There are currently more than ten million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Where are they? They’re living in the shadows – vulnerable to labor exploitation, deportation and family separation.