Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) spoke this week at an event hosted by the Young Democratic Socialists of America at Wayne State University.
According to the campus newspaper, Tlaib expressed her support for canceling all $1.6 trillion of student debt during Tuesday night’s panel discussion.
“I truly believe canceling student debt is a racial justice issue,” said Tlaib. “Even though some middle class and wealthier families have lots of student debt, lower-income earners, especially black and brown people have higher balances and are more likely to leave school because they can’t pay. Canceling all student debt would restore access to education as a right.”
Tlaib claimed that the majority of Americans support the idea and don’t “think it’s radical.”
“Don’t let the haters control the narrative,” she continued. “Government is supposed to be about the people. No matter much how much they say this is never going to happen, the majority of our neighbors, of people across the country don’t think it’s radical. They know it is the right thing to do.”
The freshman congresswoman said she supports Sen. Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act, which would cancel student debt, but she isn’t listed as a cosponsor of the companion legislation in the House. Tlaib endorsed Sanders in October in the Democratic presidential primary.
Tlaib wrote on Twitter after the event that “student debt disproportionately impacts black students and is tied to our history of racial discrimination.”
“Black students owe $7,400 more on average than other students. Eliminating college debt would address the racial wealth gap and more,” she said.
Did you know that student debt disproportionately impacts Black students & is tied to our history of racial discrimination? Black students owe $7,400 more on average than other students. Eliminating college debt wd address the racial wealth gap and more.https://t.co/BdFx74Pean
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) February 20, 2020
Wayne State – where Tuesday’s event was held – was in the news last year when it announced that it would begin awarding free tuition to all Detroit students who graduate from high school. The program sparked an internal controversy at the school and several members of the Board of Governors unsuccessfully voted to remove the university’s president because of his free tuition pledge.
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