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(Issued in Miami, Florida on January 6, 2009)

“Racism and economic injustice is apparent in the disproportionate number of minorities among the poor, the victims of violent crime, and those in prison. Racism is also apparent in the actions and attitudes of some judicial, legislative and law enforcement officials as well as in the unequal access to legal assistance and counsel. But where it is clearly visible is in the denial of access to capital and contracts, both in private industry and in government, to minorities.”

Racism is the implicit or explicit belief that a particular racial or ethnic group is inherently superior to others and is therefore entitled to greater benefits, rights or privileges than everyone else. Racism can take many forms, ranging from openly engaging in ridicule, discrimination and hate towards racial or ethnic groups considered inferior; to brazenly marginalizing, denigrating, or silencing those who expose racism in the disproportionate presence of a particular racial or ethnic group in academia, banking, government or the media.

Despite advances and significant changes in the last half century, the persistent presence of racism and economic oppression in the United States continues to be a brutal reality. Yet, racism is not merely one social wrong among many; it is a radical evil that divides the human family through unjust discrimination and disrespect of the equality, humanity and dignity of our fellowman. The denial of access to capital as well as employment opportunities has dealt a crushing blow to minority families. In turn, this has worsened the harmful relationship between poverty and family instability. Even worse is the fact that the gap between the rich and the poor is widening, not decreasing.

Racism is also evident whenever one racial or ethnic group rises disproportionately in society while other groups are excluded or pushed to the margins. As economic pressures tighten, those excluded, invariably black, Hispanic, or Native American — and always poor — slip further into the unending cycle of poverty, deprivation, ignorance, disease, and crime. Racial or ethnic identity is for them an iron curtain barring the way to a decent life and livelihood. These pressures, in turn, exacerbate racism, particularly where poor white people are competing with minorities for limited or nonexistent job opportunities.


The men and women of the Florida Democratic League (FDL) support decisive actions to eradicate racism and economic injustice from society. The League recognizes and applauds the readiness of many Floridians to reject prejudice and hate towards members of racial and ethnic minorities, and urges working to abolish racially discriminatory laws and public policies that have marred our country’s past.

We must resist the temptation to forget our responsibilities, abandon the struggle and accept the status quo. The challenges of our times require a new vision, a renewed courage, and bold efforts to transform our society and achieve justice for all. The FDL will continue to oppose the evils of racism and oppression with determination and creativity until the dual goals of racial equality and economic justice are a reality for all Americans.

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POB 350751 / Jose Marti Station / Miami, FL 33135

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