How liberal organizations sell out
Recently, the president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Charles Steele Jr., penned an op-ed piece in the Washington Post, bemoaning the damaging effects of the credit crisis on minority homeowners. But, he didn't voice support of pending legislation that would create seriously overdue regulation of the credit industry - particularly the nasty and unethical practice of predatory lending involving sub-prime loans to persons whom it is obvious cannot afford them. (Just look around you. It's an ugly business model that saturates mostly low-income neighborhoods. It takes advantage of people in need and profits off of leaving them in financial devastation.)
No, Steele Jr. invoked the SCLC's founder, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., claiming that attempts to regulate the credit industry would cause minorities to be denied.
Strange bedfellows, right?
Not when you consider that late last year, subprime credit card and payday loan company CompuCredit formed a partnership agreement with the SCLC.
The news isn't all bad though -
Not everyone in the civil rights establishment has signed on with the payday lenders. The NAACP has been active in fighting the industry. In 2003, NAACP chairman Julian Bond told a Utah newspaper, "A drive through any low-income neighborhood clearly indicates people of color are a target market for legalized extortion. Visits to payday stores—which open their doors in low-income neighborhoods at a rate equal to Starbucks opening in affluent ones—are threatening the livelihoods of hardworking families and stripping equity from entire communities." But Corbett says that the industry has succeeded in diluting the black community's response to predatory lending. "Their strategy is to divide and conquer," he says. "If you've picked off Al Sharpton, you've won."
We are going to have to keep a closer eye on liberal institutions.