Harriet Tubman Photo Auction

This undated file photo provided by Swan Auction Galleries shows a photograph of 19th century abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Swann Galleries is offering the circa late 1860s image for sale in New York during their auction of books, other printed material and photos from the slavery and abolition eras on Thursday, March 30, 2017. (Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries via AP, File) ORG XMIT: NYR105

Several articles have been published by this paper extolling capitalism and excoriating socialism. Well, pardon me that as an African American, I’m not a big fan of capitalism. This "let the market decide" notion initiated and sustained chattel slavery for a couple hundred years in this hemisphere.

Apologists for slavery and the excesses of capitalism have posited that it is much reformed from those days and that modern capitalism is a fantastic system.

Let’s indulge them for a moment on the past and look at today’s capitalism. Can we look past the anti-environmentalism of the profit motive; the egregiously inequitable distribution of the wealth, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of homeless, millions with no health care coverage and millions saddled with college loan debt well into middle age?

This is not to mention the world’s highest incarceration rate due to widespread poverty and misery.

These are damning indictments against the current form of capitalism that no reasonable person can insouciantly dismiss.

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But the simplest proof for the average person is that marketers cheat their way to profit every day. I recently accepted a $1 online offer from a well-respected publication to subscribe for a month. When I checked my bank account, $40 had to be debited because I failed to read the fine print that I needed to cancel if I did not want to continue at the standard rate. I just wanted to finish reading that particular article which I figured was worth a dollar. This fine print and fast talk is standard operating procedure.

All of us have been tricked in measures large and small by such practice. Cars, homes and fortunes have been lost by these deceitful measures, which amounts to no less than theft.

Someone please explain to me why the purported “greatest economic system in the world” has to trick and cheat people to in order function!

Muhammad Yungai

writer and activist

New Orleans