I am a 69-year-old African American who grew up in Georgia during the days of racial segregation. In 1974, I moved to Oregon where I had the honor of serving 10 years in the Oregon legislature. In 1992, I was elected State Treasurer of Oregon becoming the first person of color to be elected to statewide office. After serving as Treasurer for the eight years allowed by the Oregon Constitution, I ran twice unsuccessfully for Governor. I considered my political career to be over.
Then the financial crisis occurred. Because of my financial background I clearly understood how incredibly irresponsible the big banks had acted. However, what was worse is that they did so much damage to so many people’s lives and got away with it. That is when I realized what a plutocracy our government had become. I had to speak out in some way, so I wrote a book. It is titled, “Wake Up White People, You’re Getting Screwed Too!” In it I attempt to raise awareness by drawing parallels between how the white middle class is now being discriminated against, especially economically, in a similar manner to that experienced by black people in the racially segregated south.