Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar got it right. Commenting on the recent military repression of peaceful protests in Ferguson, M0., by the local police, he noted this incident provides a glimpse of the real race and class war that daily exists throughout the United States.
The war against the poor that can be seen by the absence of jobs and opportunities not only for Afro Americans but for many white people -- while the rich grow richer -- should not be forgotten, Jabbar has courageously observed. (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, "The Coming Race War Won't Be About Race," Time Magazine, Aug. 17, 2014)
The chant "No Justice, No Peace" that can be heard at protest demonstrations refers to economic as well as racial justice.
Currently just six Walmart heirs have more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of all Americans, up from 30 percent in 2007, economist Robert Reich has observed.
Another noted economist, Emanual Saez, finds that the top decile (10 percent) income bracket now usurps 50.4 of all income, the highest since 1917 when the series started.
All this is a poignant confirmation of financial mogul Warren Buffet's observation "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."
Defeat of right-wing Republicans on election day is an important first step in turning this situation around.
The 1 percent whose influence dominates both political parties (but more so the Republicans than the Democrats) opposes any meaningful public job programs and other social welfare spending that can significantly improve the lives of the 99 percent, or that curb the corrupting influence of money in politics.
The nationwide resurgence of the civil rights movement in the wake of the police violence in Ferguson is a welcome development. No Justice, No Peace.