New ‘Squad’ member Jamaal Bowman calls American capitalism ‘slavery by another name’

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Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., said in an interview published Monday that he believes the U.S.' current system of capitalism is a form of slavery.

"I believe our current system of capitalism is slavery by another name," said Bowman, a new member of the progressive "Squad."

He told The Root that "[w]e’ve moved from physical chattel enslavement and physical racial segregation to a plantation economic system. One that keeps the majority of Americans unemployed, or underemployed and struggling just to survive, while the power elite continues to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few, and allow large corporations to pretty much run the world as multinational corporations."

"The pandemic has revealed it. With almost 300,000 dead from the pandemic, disproportionately Black and brown, and Jeff Bezos is the first $200 billionaire. In the next six years, he might become the first trillionaire. That’s slavery by another name. It’s a system that’s not working, so we need a new system."

His comments came amid a broader discussion about inequality as his progressive "Squad"-mates like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., demanded bigger stimulus checks during the pandemic.

The party seemed to intensify its public soul searching after the election when it had a disappointing showing in the House. Some specifically pushed back against advocating for socialism.

Bowman, meanwhile, has touted controversial policies like the "Green New Deal," which is often associated with socialism, and "defund the police." 

"Defund the police does not mean abolish the police," Bowman said earlier this month. "It means a dramatic reduction in the number of police in our poor communities and particularly our poor Black and Brown communities."

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