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During the latest episode of MSNBC’s “The Cross Connection with Tiffany Cross,” the host expressed her frustrations with claims that the economy is doing better, insisting that it “ain’t doing better for us,” namely minority communities.
On Saturday, Cross spoke to guest panelists Georgetown Law professor Dorothy Brown and UCLA professor Desi Small-Rodriguez about the fact that the economy is hardest right now for the African American and indigenous communities, compared to how it is for White people.
Cross prompted the discussion with an NPR poll showing which demographic groups are feeling inflation the most. According to the poll, 69% of Native American families are facing “serious financial problems due to inflation,” as well as 58% of Black families, and 56% of Latino families.
44% of White families are facing serious problems due to inflation.
Brown provided her analysis of economic pressures facing African Americans, stating, “Well, some of it is supply chain issues. Some of it is corporate greed. We have seen rents go through the roof. We’ve seen landlords put onerous requirements on people getting apartments.”
Brown added, “Food has gone sky-high,” and that even though “we’ve seen gas prices have come down,” “for quite some time they were high.”
Small-Rodriguez spoke about the plight of the Native American community in the economy specifically, stating, “Now we are seeing just immense struggle, the amplification so much struggle.”
She continued, “Inflation is just one part of it. We are seeing, you know, we live in food deserts. We are struggling with just basic, just basic survival. And it is nothing new. But unfortunately, but we are seeing, you know, across the United States is amplified in our communities.”
“So we’re just seeing, just kind of a compounding impact of COVID, inflation and of just, you know more than 500 years of colonization to be honest with you,” the guest concluded, adding that imperialist oppression is one of the factors here.
Disheartened by both professors’ accounts, Cross actually slammed the media’s somewhat optimistic spin on the economy.
“A part of the challenges I have in the mainstream media, and you hear things like, ‘Oh the economy is doing better.’ And for many of us the economy is not the stock market. It ain’t doing better for us,” she declared.
Cross then claimed that the minority community is not included in these conversations about the economy. “And so when you have these conversations, it sometimes feels like such a disconnect between us and the community, we feel left out of the conversation,” she asserted.
Perhaps Cross’ frustrations stem from overly optimistic outlooks on the economy offered by the Biden administration which have been parroted by its media allies. Though inflation is still near a 40-year high in the U.S., Biden has claimed “zero percent” inflation for the month of July.
Columnists like New York Times’ Paul Krugman have defended the statement and claimed that the economy is getting better with the president overseeing a jobs boom. Though according to Cross’ panel they haven’t seen that quite yet.