Bryan Stevenson, America, Bryan discussed on The Ezra Klein Show


Here is Bryan Stevenson, give us one time. You will not regret it. Bryan. Stevenson, welcome to the show. Thank you. It's good to be with you. I wanted to begin by asking you about something that you say often and every time I've heard it. I've thought that's interesting. But I'm not sure I quite understand it, which is the opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is Justice. What do you mean by that? America's credibly wealthy country. But we've always had enormous stratification the wealth of the colonies was built on ah genocide of removing native Americans from lands that they occupied we kept their names, but we made them leave. There were millions of native people on this continent before white settlers came and we killed them through famine Warren disease, and we didn't really knowledge the injustice of that the unfairness of that. Because we were persuaded that our economic security and our political development required. The acquisition of these lands. And it began this way of thinking about wealth that is disconnected from the inequality injustice, the abuse the oppression that is sometimes used to create that wealth, and that that habit was reinforced through slavery and. And we created great wealth in new territories and the south and the colonies by relying on enslaved people and the labor and the benefits that that created without any real thinking about how that wealth was sustained by abuse and oppression and inequality and injustice, and even after slavery. I don't think we ever really dealt with the unfairness of exploiting people for decades centuries. And then doing nothing to help make them whole. And it wasn't just formerly enslaved people. It was poor white that came to this country as immigrants who were also often abused in working places in minds. And this idea has emerged in America. That wealth is created by people with great talent in great ability. And we value wealth, we respect wealth, we admire wealth and. We disdain the poor. We blame the poor. We fought the poor for not achieving more economic security, and we have a I think really unevolved attitude about about how to address poverty when I look at our history of using power and abuse to sustain and creates structural, poverty and institutionalize it without any Shane. It makes me question with we truly understand what poverty represents there are a lot of countries across the world that are poor. But in most of the developing more ninety percent of the people eighty percent of the people are poor..

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