Senator Elizabeth Warren: "Persist."
While Combat Brown Roles Ashanti here the founder of the boundaries skype politics today as part of a series featuring the twenty twenty Democratic presidential candidates. We'll hear from Senator Elizabeth Warren Massachusetts for Being Public School teacher in Oklahoma to found in the consumer. Mr Financial Protection Bureau and now a US senator. Sooner Warren's path has helped shape the issues that she is fighting for on the campaign trail as able to catch up with senator right before she gave a signature speech at Clark Atlanta University a historically black college and university in Atlanta Senator Warren. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our listeners. How are you today onto a great? You know better to be in the fight than on the sideline into that so we are in Atlanta. Were coming off of the debate. You're about to do a big speech here at Clark Atlanta University. I'm asking all the candidates. What was is the moment you decided? I have to get into this fight. I have to run for president. Can I give a turning point all the way to president but boy was it a moment when Donald trump this is back in two thousand seventeen he just been president for very short time. And he's pushing jeff sessions to to be the attorney general and you know Jeff sessions history and particularly history on race and he had before you know served in Alabama Emma as a US attorney and so when he had come up for a judgeship many years earlier Coretta Scott King had written the letter. A bell no no no new. Do not confirm him and Ted Kennedy. Whose seat I now now have in the United States Senate had read that letter into the record about frankly just what a racist jeff sessions was and and that'd been back in the eighties so sessions's up the Republicans are going to do a vote on him? I went down to the Senate floor and I hi decide. I'm Marie Coretta Scott King's letter from all those years ago but it's about the same man and so I start reading reading letter. And of course this is when Mitch McConnell goes to the floor of the Senate and says That I have to stop I and I need to be thrown off the floor of the Senate. He says that I had been warned. I had been given an explanation. Nevertheless I had persisted and threw me off the floor of the Senate for reading. Coretta Scott King's letter and I appeal the ruling of the chair. It's called and made everybody come in. It's like eight thirty at night and every single Republican voted to throw Romi off the floor of the Senate for Reading Coretta. Scott King's letter and two things came of that the first one I went outside the Senate Chamber and I'll just read it on Youtube and the last time I looked it had something like ten million views. The second was I thought okay. That's what this fight is about. And I'm going to be in this fight. All the way that is powerful and for our listeners owners who have not washed it definitely go on watch it. I remember I was watching it. And that's where we got the nevertheless. She persisted which is a rallying cry for so many women and as I mentioned we had the debate last night. And there's one response that you gave that I really do want to hone in on. The candidates were answering questions about reproductive adaptive freedom and you said rich woman will always have the opportunity to get an abortion. You know something to that effect in that it would just really harm poor women and it was a predominantly black and brown audience and I heard lots of wind around me just going. Wow yes and then someone said. I've never heard heard a white woman talk like that. Why do you feel it's important for you to make those statements issues of racism cannot simply be issues for black and Brown women? This should be issues for all of us and we have to be willing to confront them head on. We've lived long enough pretending attending that everything is race neutral. It is not and so you can read these statutes that seemed to be on their face. Oh everybody can get a mortgage. Oh nobody can get access to an abortion right. Everybody can get a student loan and yet if you don't stop to look look at how that affects black and Brown women differently from how it affects white women then. What we'll do is just perpetuate one generation generation after another of black white wealth gap? A black white health gap. A black white entrepreneurship gap. A black white criminal adjust escape. We cannot continue to do that. In America it is time for tough conversations but honest conversations that that confront our history and confront the role. Our government officially played in that history and make changes your. We're speaking so much on these issues. You're one the candidates that always talks about it in over the past few months. We've seen you garner lots of support from women of Color Including Congressman Indep Holland. Who We have also had on the podcast that plug that? So of Ron Go. Listen to that episode. She's fabulous and you also have a very big endorsement from black women four and when I was reading their platform their endorsement of you one of the things that they said is she wants to hold her accountable. Actual always listen thin so to see this much support tell our listeners a little bit about your numerous plants and how they would impact black and Brown women so I think of everything that puts pressure on working families in America for example. Trying to send your kids off to school and and get a good education for college education and then I always stop to say and how does it affect black and brown families differently. Let's let's rework this question. How does it affect women of color differently? So here's an example right now. In America up people are struggling student. Loan debt is about a hundred about one point five trillion student dollars one point five trillion trillion dollars in student loan debt outstanding. And it's growing at a rate of about one hundred billion dollars a year so that starts the conversation and says we need to do something really big and I have a plan for that to sent wealth tax. We can cancel student. Loan debt for about ninety five percent of the folks who've got it but now let's look at it from the perspective of race turns out. African Americans are more likely to borrow money to go to school borrow more money while they're in school and have a harder time paying for off their debt after they're out of school in recent study shows out of the Department of Education Twenty years out that those who borrowed uh back in college ninety four percent of white people have paid off their debts. Ninety four percent good for them you WANNA guess percent for blacks five percent versus ninety four percent. Okay so that tells you wow. Let's take a deep breath and say the urgency of this is not only to deal with the crushing student loan debt burden. But look at what it's doing and to people of Color look how it's generation after generation crushing opportunity. So we're saying young people go get a Go to college. If you have have to borrow money it's okay. It'll pay off. WHOA so I don't WanNa tell him not to go to college? College opens a million doors. How I think of this is it means? We can't just do this blindly so let me take two things that I said I'm GONNA do differently. I've got a plan for student. Loan debt forgiveness but of carefully worked it so we're forgiving debt for about ninety five percent of students and the reason for that is. I found the place ace where we can do it. That will help. Close the black white wealth gap. If you're not careful in how you do this. You actually expand the black white wealth else gap because there are some people out at the far edge who are well to do doctors. For example have a whole lot of student debt could afford to pay it back and More likely white and they drive it up in the drive up the cost of the program so for me it was important to look at the race data in making making a decision on where to draw these lines. So I get to sign that into law. We will close the black white wealth gap for or people who borrow money to go to school by more than twenty points. This is historic but that doesn't get to the root of the problem. So here's here's the rest of what I wanted. I WANNA make it possible for everybody to go to college without having to borrow money. So I've got tuition wishing free college at technical school to Your College for Your College at all of our state universities. That's great I'm expanding. The Pell grants grants so they would apply families with a little higher income and also provide a little more money but to me. That's not enough. I want to invest in the next generation of black leaders. I want to invest in the next generation of black teachers. So part of my education plan is all the things I described. Plus plus a fifty billion dollar investment into historically black colleges and universities so you could go tuition-free three to an historically black college or university whether it's public or private and they would have a special fund just for them and for those universities universities to do what they need to do whether it's invest more in their buildings hire more teachers. They may want more counselors more support staff new dorms but the point is make that investment. And it's partly for historic reasons. You know over a hundred years ago. We invested public dollars in all the state universities then turned around and mostly said to black people. You not welcome here the HPC's as you know were largely built through charity through the black churches people who pitched it a few extra the box and God bless the HPC's but they've been doing the most with the least for the longest time so so partly. I see this historically as saying let's level the playing field from all that we were doing wrong for so long but I also so think that is the investment in the future. This is about how everybody everybody gets shot at an education. How black women and whether they grow up in well to do families or they grow up in really poor families got a chance to get out there to get an education not take on debt and do with their lives? What ever it is they WANNA do one last question that I ask all of the guests? What advice you have even though being a white woman for the Brown girls and we have knob round girls listening out there that say I want to be like her? I want to be a teacher from Oklahoma who's able to become a US senator who's now running for president. What advice you have for those people were saying? I know I can and want to do so much more. Persist persist it is. It's they're always plenty of guys. He'll we'll tell you to sit down. He'll tell you to be quiet. Don't tell you why that's not a good idea. Tell you why that's too hard. We'll tell you why not to fight for that and they mean it only in your your own best interests dear but just quit you get plenty of advice like that. Don't listen to get out there and persist in the the thing is it doesn't mean you have to persist in the same thing. I knew what I wanted to do. From the time I was in second grade I wanted to be a public schoolteacher and by the time I graduated from college. My family didn't have the money for college application much less than me off to four years of university so I have a story that has logged bumps twists and turns and got married at Nineteen. I had scholarship college but got married at Nineteen and dropped out. Thought I'd given up on this. I found a commuter college that cost fifty dollars a semester finished my diploma and became a special education teacher. That was my dream job job but by the end of the first year I was visibly pregnant. The principal did what principals did in those days. He wished me luck and hired. I heard someone else for the job so there I am at home. I got a baby. I can't get a job. I can't get back into teaching at that point so I thought well I will. I will go to law. School found a public law. School cost me four hundred and fifty dollars a semester baby on hip when off three years of law school graduated visibly pregnant. took the bar. Pass the bar. You'll love his part practice law for about forty five minutes. It turned out just one for me but I didn't give up. I went into teaching law. My First Love was was teaching so I traded the little kids that I'd had in special Ed for big kids in law school and just just kept building it. I feel feel so blessed in my life so grateful for the opportunities that or in front of me a college that cost fifty dollars a chance to do something but most of all it was whenever I hit hit a wall I just feel around and figure there's a door here somewhere. Amona find it in Amman. Kit Open Nets how I've spent most my life and still out there doing it. Thank you senator for your time and for persisting we appreciate it to learn more about sooner warn her policies visit her campaign website. Elizabeth Warren Dot Com. Stay up to date with us in between episodes so on the GD website www dot the BG guide dot Com and on our social media they stood in Sacramento at our at the grows into politics. PODCAST is produced by wonder me network. You find them on Instagram at Wfan dot media can on twitter at hat W._f._A._N.. Media until next time brown girls.