America use to be defined by race and the color line, and race will always be an issue in our society that activists will have to continually battle. But the new battleground is no longer principally race and the color line, but more so class and poverty. Or put another way, the rich, and unfortunately everyone else.
"It's not about white, black, white, red or brown, but having some more green."
If you are poor in America you feel descriminated against. As I wrote recently in the Huffington Post, poverty is the new racism.
The fact is, there are more poor white people in America than poor anyone else. But here is also the interesting irony -- most people, given a choice, would also want to be wealthy too. So, being wealthy is far from a bad thing, but the love of money, or achieving riches at the risk of everything and everyone else, has got the world into the mess we find ourselves in today. And so, here is where we are today...
If you are making $50,000 or less annually in America (still the largest GDP country in the world), you feel poor. This means the working poor, the struggling class, and the struggling middle class too.
The third dimension of Dr. King's work was The Poor People's Campaign, which followed his focus on racism and war. Unfortunately, Dr. King (aided by my personal hero and mentor Ambassador Andrew Young) never got to finish this work. The work that Operation HOPE is preparing to embark upon with its Project 5117, from the Fall of 2013-2020, is focused on helping to advance the second phase (HOPE) of Dr. King's third dimension.
More to come. Everyone can contribute. Let's go..
John Hope Bryant is an entrepreneur, author, advisor, and one of the nation's most recognized empowerment leader. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, The Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass), the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S.