Race and poverty round-up: tribute to the Soul Train, presidential ignorance and Freddie Mac's conflict of interest

What's moving in the world of race and poverty, on Chicago Muckrakers weekly.

Don Cornelius, the smooth-voiced creator of the iconic Soul Train was found dead at his home on Wednesday, setting off a stream of rememberances and nostalgia. A group of Chicagoans remembered his legacy in Wicker Park by dancing the Soul Train.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he's "not concerned about the very poor" because they have "an ample safety net." His comment shows a lack of awareness about some of the issues afflicting the most low-income Americans, like how meager the safety net really is.

The taxpayer-funded mortgage giant Freddie Mac was caught making billion-dollar investments against struggling homeowners that would pay off if borrowers remained in their high-interest mortgages. Lawmakers and some senators are now calling for Congress and the White House to end this financial conflict of interest, reported Democracy Now!.

Indiana has picked up the dubious distinction of being the 23rd state to pass a right-to-work law that opponents say amounts to anti-union legislation. It is, however, the first legislation of its kind to be passed in the nation's manufacturing heartland, reported Reuters.

The Susan B. Komen breast cancer charity came under fire this week for defunding services at Planned Parenthood clinics throughout the country because the service provider is under investigation in Congress. But as AlterNet reports, critics say that the probe was launched by a conservative Republican backed by anti-abortion groups and is therefore politically motivated.

An undocumented youth writes in The New York Times op-ed pages about his broken family, who were forced to live on opposite sides of the border because of an increasingly punitive immigration system.

A new documentary looking at the economic and moral failure of the War on Drugs, The House I Live In, won the Grand Jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

© Community Renewal Society 2012

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