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Obama's "Redistributive Justice:" 2001 NPR interview

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Uploaded on Oct 27, 2008

1. The Supreme Court never considered "redistribution of wealth" or "economic justice" among the guarantees provided to citizens.

2. Even the Warren Court was not "radical" enough to do so -- to impose real change on the nation.

3. The courts have generally provided negative constraints on the government rather than positive obligations the government owes to its citizens (specifically, here, such as economic justice and redistribution of wealth).

4. Therefore, it is a "tragedy" that the civil rights movement became so courts-focused, because it limited what redress they could actually obtain -- and it took attention away from the "community organizing" efforts which could assemble "coalitions of power" (political power, that is) to actually achieve "redistributive change." Such change simply could not be had in the courts, still laboring under the "constraints" imposed by the Founding Fathers.

5. "And in some ways we still suffer from that."

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