Posted on January 18, 2022

Janet Yellen Says US Economy Is Unfair to Black Americans in MLK Day Speech

Edward Helmore, The Guardian, January 17, 2022

The treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, marked Martin Luther King Day with a speech acknowledging that the US economy “has never worked fairly for Black Americans or, really, for any American of color”.

Interpreting the late civil rights leader’s I Have a Dream speech, Yellen said: “Dr King knew that economic injustice was bound up in the larger injustice he fought against.”


King, Yellen noted, had referred to the guarantees in the Declaration of Independence as “a promise that all men, yes, Black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

“It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned,” King said. {snip}


Yellen added that the Biden administration was working to change that, “to ensure that neither the figurative bank of justice, nor any literal economic, institution, fails to work for people of color”.