By Emma Whitaker | Broadcast Reporter
Recently, I sat through a talk given by millionaire Grant Cardone for my marketing class. My friend and I sat in our aisle, surrounded by hundreds of business students as the man in front of us went on and on about wealth. His charm was inexpiable, his moxie contagious. Yet, what was his message? Regardless of what you believe, money is simply the best. Chasing money and gaining money will stand the test of time.
Instead of people questioning him, he was met with absolute awe. Business students’ eyes were glued to him in adoration and devotion. A boy even shushed my friend and I as we whispered momentarily behind him. I left campus that day feeling confused and even a little angry.
After a few days, I sat through my sociology class as my professor showed us a video. Apparently, 1 percent of America has 40 percent of the wealth in America. The top 1 percent owns 50 percent of America’s stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The CEOs of this nation are making 380 times the average worker’s pay.
The video’s message and the millionaire’s speech both replayed within my mind for the next week, and I started looking elsewhere to discover reasons why income inequality could be so high. While the issue was clearly multifaceted and hairy, still I desired to understand why some people rise so quickly while others never do.
Then I watched the Netflix documentary 13TH. One out of four people in the world behind bars are here in the United States, in the supposed land of the free. There are nearly 4 million black people in this country that cannot vote due to felony charges, much less obtain a successful job. If you have not seen this documentary, please do. It will change your life.
It made me start wondering: is Grant Cardone really working 380 times the amount the average black male is? Could we consider the possibility that maybe the black community is being unfairly treated?
Instead of teaching Baylor students how to love money, why are we not teaching them love for people? Let us tell them why black children are growing up without parents. Let us teach them that the prison system is unfairly targeting the black community. Let us teach them justice. Let us teach them truth. Let us break off ignorance.
I have a lot of friends, and roommates, that are social work majors. They often talk of their rich class discussions on topics of social injustices. Collegiate discussion about injustice should not stop in the social work or sociology department, however. Baylor business school should be the first place racial injustices are recognized and vocalized. Mass incarceration and unhealthy income inequality passes by unseen unless we decide to notice.
On Oct. 3 in freshman chapel, Shane Claiborne spoke up about protecting life by bringing up the idea of gun control. Why is a elderly chapel speaker who speaks about gun violence and control booed and mocked relentlessly, while a prideful, youthful millionaire is cheered in glorious, resounding applause?
You may not know much about mass incarceration, and you may not even know what the word means, but I invite you to look it up. You may be the best business student, the best businessman or the best intern. Yet without love, it is all nothing. For one day, all your money will be gone, all your hair will be gray, and all that remains is the question of love.