Metrofocus: May 4, 2022

A draft opinion by the the Supreme Court was leaked Monday night, showing the high court may overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision that established a constitutional right to abortion. New York congressional representative Carolyn Maloney joins us with a look at the restrictive abortion laws set to go into effect should the reversal take place. And she discusses the impact the President warns a decision like this will have on a whole range of rights beyond abortion.

Before coronavirus, students across the country were making plans for summer internships and future jobs. But with the seismic impact of the pandemic on the economy, for students- getting a job seems as unattainable a goal as repaying the thousands of dollars in school loans. Many college students, both incoming and continuing students, are facing challenges paying for their educations. As part of our Chasing The Dream initiative examining poverty and opportunity in America, Michael Arceneaux, author of  the new book, “I Don’t Want To Die Poor” sheds light on not only the burden of debt, but the emotional issues that surface under its weight.

TRANSCRIPT

> TONIGHT, SUPREME COURT SHOWDOWN.

WHAT THE TOP COURT'S LEAKED DECISION COULD MEAN FOR THE FUTURE OF REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND OTHER KEY FREEDOMS.

FROM NEW YORK'S PROTEST MOVEMENT TO THE BATTLE BREWING IN CONGRESS.

WE'RE BREAKING THE HIGH STAKES FIGHT AHEAD AS 'METROFOCUS' STARTS RIGHT NOW.

♪♪

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS,' WITH RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

> RIGHT NOW, WE STAND AT A CRITICAL JUNCTURE.

WE STAND TOGETHER ON THE FRONT LINES OF ONE OF THE GREATEST FIGHTS THAT WE WILL EVER HAVE.

AND MY QUESTION TO ALL OF YOU IS, ARE YOU WITH ME?

IT'S A FIGHT THAT'S GOING TO TAKE ALL OF US TO WIN AND I'M HERE TO SAY, WE WILL NOT GO BACKWARDS.

THAT WAS NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL LETITIA JAMES SPEAKING OUT IN NEW YORK CITY LAST NIGHT.

JOINING THE THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS WHO RALLIED IN SUPPORT OF ABORTION RIGHTS.

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS,' I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.

TONIGHT, NEW YORK DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSWOMAN CAROLYN MALONEY IS HERE TO DISCUSS THAT SEISMIC DECISION THAT APPEARS TO BE ON THE WAY FROM THE SUPREME COURT.

A DECISION THAT WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE AND LEAVE MILLIONS OF WOMEN IN AMERICA WITHOUT ACCESS TO ABORTION CARE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DECADES.

MANY WOMEN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THEIR LIVES.

IT'S A DECISION THAT, IN EFFECT, WILL LEAVE THE ISSUE OF ABORTION UP TO THE STATES.

THIS IS A MOMENT THAT CONGRESSWOMAN MALONEY SAYS HAS BEEN COMING FOR YEARS.

SHE'S AN OUTSPOKEN SUPPORTER OF REPRODUCK KIF RIGHTS AND HAS PUSHED CONGRESS TO STRENGTHEN ROE V. WADE AS THE BALANCE OF THE SUPREME COURT HAS SHIFTED TO THE RIGHT.

CONGRESSWOMAN MALONEY ALSO WARNS THAT OTHER RIGHTS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED COULD BE NEXT TO GO.

AND SHE JOINS US NOW.

CONGRESSWOMAN MALONEY, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US FOR THIS DISCUSSION.

THANK YOU.

SO, FIRST, I JUST WANT TO START OFF AND STRESS, AGAIN, THAT THIS WAS A LEAKED DOCUMENT, THIS ISN'T THE FINAL DECISION, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I'M WONDERING, WHAT IS YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THIS LEAKED DOCUMENT, AGAIN, NOT AN OFFICIAL COURT DECISION, WHAT IS IT TELLING YOU ABOUT WHERE THE COURT STANDS WITH THIS DECISION?

WITH THIS ISSUE?

WELL, ALITO WAS STUNNING AND CRUEL AND IN STATEMENT HE SAID HE WAS OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE AND THE CASEY DECISION AND JENNA, IT'S VERY PERSONAL TO ME.

I GREW UP IN THE ABORTION BATTLES, I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SEE THIS DAY, AND IN FACT, ANNOUNCED FOR CONGRESS THE DAY THAT THE SUPREME COURT WEAKENED THE CASEY DECISION.

HE DOESN'T WEAKEN IT.

HE THROWS BOTH OF THEM OUT, RETURNS IT TO THE STATES.

IT IS A STUNNING, CRUEL ANNOUNCEMENT, BUT IT'S A WARNING THAT WE HAVE TO GO TO WORK AND NOT STOP WORKING UNTIL WE DO EVERYTHING THAT WE CAN TO OVERTURN IT.

IT WILL EFFECT MILLIONS OF WOMEN'S LIVES, HALF THE POPULATION WILL NO LONGER HAVE THE RIGHT TO MAKE THE MOST PERSONAL OF DECISIONS.

IT OVERTURNS 50 YEARS OF PRECEDENT AND IF THEY'RE THROWING OUT THE PRECEDENT, THEN I THINK WE SHOULD SERIOUSLY LOOK AT ENDING THE FILIBUSTER, PASSING IMMEDIATELY THE CODIFY CASE OF ROE V. WADE IN THE SENATE AND MAKE IT THE LAW OF THE LAND AND TAKE OTHER STEPS TO STRENGTHEN OURSELVES IN THE STATES.

APPARENTLY, THERE ARE 12 STATES THAT HAVE SO-CALLED TRIGGER LAWS THAT THEY WILL IMMEDIATELY BAN THE RIGHT TO ABORTION WITH SUCH A DECISION AND 28 STATES THAT WILL SEVERELY LIMIT IT.

WE'VE SEEN THE TEXAS DECISION, WE'VE SEEN THE MISSISSIPPI CASES AND THE EFFORTS TO ROLL BACK AND CHIP AWAY AT A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

THEY ARE NO LONGER CHIPPING AWAY, THEY'RE BULLDOZING OUR RIGHTS RIGHT INTO THE GROUND.

IT IS STUNNING, IT IS ALARMING, IT IS A WAKEUP CALL.

I WAS AT THAT RALLY YESTERDAY WITH TISH JAMES.

I WANT TO CIRCLE BACK TO THAT POINT ABOUT HOW WE GET TO WORK, BUT FIRST, I WANT TO START WITH, WE'RE IN NEW YORK STATE, AND I'M WONDERING WHAT THIS MEANS, AT LEAST FOR WOMEN IN NEW YORK.

WELL, WE, FORTUNATELY, HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE IN NEW YORK STATE AND WE WILL HAVE WOMEN AND FAMILIES COMING FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO NEW YORK FOR ABORTIONS, BUT MANY PEOPLE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO DO THAT.

PARTICULARLY LOW INCOME, SOMETIMES WOMEN OF COLOR AND CHALLENGED COMMUNITIES.

AND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO REALLY DON'T KNOW HOW TO HANDLE THE SITUATION WILL HAVE A VERY DIFFICULT TIME.

IT IS A STUNNING REVERSAL OF PRECEDENT AND IT'S ONE THAT WE HAVE TO OVERTURN.

ALL RIGHT, SO, NOW GETTING BACK TO THAT IMPORTANT POINT OF GET TO WORK, NOW, I UNDERSTAND THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'VE ALREADY HEARD FROM SENATOR WARREN WHO SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, WE DEFINITELY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS GOES TO THE BALLOT BOX WITH THE MIDTERMS, AND WE'VE HEARD FROM SEVERAL OTHER POLITICIANS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THERE ARE WOMEN WHO ARE SAYING, WAIT A SECOND, WE'VE MARCHED COUNTLESS TIMES, WE'VE VOTED COUNTLESS TIMES, WHY HASN'T THIS BEEN CODIFIED INTO LAW AND WHY -- WHY ARE WE STILL IN THIS PLACE?

WE'VE PUT IN SO MUCH WORK ALREADY.

WELL, I WILL TELL YOU, THE ENTIRE TIME THAT I HAVE BEEN IN CONGRESS, WE HAVE NOT HAD THE VOTES TO PASS ROE V. WADE, IT HAS BEEN A CONSTANT BATTLE, AS THEY TRIED TO CHIP AWAY.

I USED TO KEEP A SCORECARD ON IT, WHEN IT GOT OVER TO 350 VOTES THAT HAD SUCCEEDED AT CHIPPING AWAY AT A WOMAN'S RIGHT TO CHOOSE.

I JUST STOPPED IT.

WE WENT TO WORK AND WE ELECTED A PRO-CHOICE MAJORITY.

WE HAVE THE VOTES NOW IN THE HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME TO PASS ROE V. WADE, WHICH WE DID, AND THE SENATE DOES NOT HAVE THE VOTES WITH THE FILIBUSTER, WHICH REQUIRES 60 VOTES.

I -- MANY OF US ARE PUSHING THAT THE FILIBUSTER SHOULD HAVE A CARVEOUT FOR ABORTION RIGHTS OR JUST BE DISCARDED COMPLETELY, BUT ULTIMATELY, DECISIONS IN THIS COUNTRY GO TO THE BALLOT BOX.

WE DON'T HAVE REVOLUTIONS, WE SHOOT AT THE BALLOT BOX AND YOU HAVE SEEN SHIFTS IN OUR COUNTRY THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE BECAUSE OF THE BALLOT BOX.

WE HAVE TO HAVE A PRO-CHOICE FILIBUSTER-PROOF 60 VOTES IN THE SENATE IN ORDER TO CODIFY AND PASS ROE V. WADE IN THE SENATE.

AND CASEY.

HE NOT ONLY OVERTURNED ROE V.

WADE, HE OVERTURNED CASEY, WHICH IS RIGHT TO PRIVACY, WHICH GOES TO THE RIGHT TO CONTRACEPTION.

IT IS A -- WE HAVE OUR WORK CULT OUT FOR US, BUT WE ARE A DEMOCRACY, WE HAVE TO WIN AT THE -- AT THE BALLOT BOX.

WE HAVE TO ELECT A -- KEEP A PRO-CHOICE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND ELECT A PRO-CHOICE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE.

WELL, THEN SPEAKING OF ELECTIONS, I MEAN, WHAT YOU'RE SAYING NOW, SOME PEOPLE ARE QUESTIONING, IS THIS GOING TO ENERGIZE THE DEMOCRATIC BASE?

BECAUSE AS THE MAP STANDS, THE DEMOCRATS STAND TO LOSE SEATS DEFINITELY IN THE SENATE AND MOST LIKELY IN THE HOUSE, AS WELL.

WELL, WE DON'T KNOW THAT.

I'M PROUD OF THE RECORD OF THE DEMOCRATS IN PASSING THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN, HAD A PRESIDENTIAL BILL SIGNING ON MY POSTAL REFORM BILL THAT PUTS IT ON A FIRM FINANCIAL FOOTING FOR DECADES.

WE PASSED THE FIRST INFRASTRUCTURE BILL IN YEARS.

WE HAVE A RECORD THAT'S POSITIVE AND HELPFUL TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

I BELIEVE WE ARE GOING TO WIN.

WE HAVE THE MAJORITY.

WE'VE GOT TO START ACTING LIKE IT.

AND GET OUT THERE AND TELL THE POSITIVE THINGS WE'VE DONE AND FIGHT VERY, VERY HARD TO KEEP OUR MAJORITY AND TO EXPAND IT.

WE NEED MORE PRO-CHOICE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES IN THE HOUSE AND IN THE SENATE.

ANOTHER ISSUE WE NEED TO LOOK AT, JENNA, THAT I WANT TO RAISE, IS DOING A SERIES OF LETTERS TO THE FDA TO REMOVE THE RESTRICTIONS THAT THEY HAVE AND HURDLES THAT HAVE TO JUMP THROUGH IN ORDER TO GET -- PERSONALLY, I THINK IT SHOULD BE AVAILABLE OVER THE COUNTER, BECAUSE IF THEY'RE GOING TO CUT OFF THE RIGHT TO CHOICE FOR WOMEN TO MAKE THE MOST INTIMATE DECISIONS ABOUT THEIR OWN BODIES, AND I WANT TO MAKE CLEAR, THEY'RE NOT ENDING ABORTIONS, THEY'RE ENDING LEGAL, SAFE ABORTIONS.

WHAT WE WILL BE RETURNING TO IN THESE STATES THAT DO NOT ALLOW IT IS TO WHAT WE CALLED THE BACK ALLEY, UNSAFE, UNMEDICAL ABORTIONS, WHICH HAVE LED TO THE DEATHS OF MANY, MANY WOMEN.

SO, ABORTIONS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN.

THE QUESTION IS, ARE THEY GOING TO BE SAFE AND LEGAL?

ARE THEY GOING TO BE ILLEGAL AND NOT SAFE?

WE KNOW -- I LIVED THROUGH THAT PERIOD.

I HAD FRIENDS WHO DIED FROM UNSAFE, ILLEGAL ABORTIONS.

I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK THERE.

IT IS -- WE ARE HALFPOPULATION, WE ARE ENTITLED TO OUR RIGHTS.

WE NOT ONLY HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THIS, WE HAVE TO -- WE'RE NOT EVEN IN THE CONSTITUTION NOW.

ALITO SAID WE SHOULD STRIKE ABORTION RIGHTS BECAUSE IT'S NOT IN THE CONSTITUTION.

THERE'S SO MANY THINGS THAT WE HAVE ACCEPTED IN OUR SOCIETY THAT ARE NOT WRITTEN INTO THE CONSTITUTION.

IT MAKES ALL OTHER RIGHTS THAT WE HAVE FOUGHT FOR IN JEOPARDY.

THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS DECISION.

WE HAVE TO -- AND IT IS STARTLING IN ITS CRUELTY, IN ITS BLUNTNESS AND THIS IS WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO.

WE HAVE THE REPUBLIC VOTES TO DO IT AND WE NEED TO NOW REALLY FIGHT TO TRY TO CHANGE THAT OR EXPAND THE COURT.

SO, IT'S A FIGHT ON MANY LEVELS, PHEW AT THE SAME TIME, I WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITHIN HAVING THE DRUG AVAILABLE --

ACTUALLY, I WANTED TO CIRCLE BACK TO THAT.

FOR PEOPLE THAT DON'T KNOW WHAT IS THE MEDICATION THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

IT'S AN ABORTION MEDICATION.

IT'S A PILL, THEY CALL IT THE MORNING AFTER PILL, IT'S A -- IT'S AN ABORTION PILL.

OKAY.

BUT I WANT TO CIRCLE BACK, BECAUSE YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CASEY, WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO PERSONAL CHOICES, YOU SAID, THERE'S SO MANY ISSUES THAT COULD EFFECT.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ERE ISSUES YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO SAFETY?

WELL, I WOULD SAY, CASEY ALSO COVERED THE RIGHT TO CONTRACEPTION.

I'M AFRAID THE REPUBLIC MAJORITY THEN WILL TRY TO TAKE AWAY THE RIGHT TO CONTRACEPTION.

THE RIGHT TO GAY MARRIAGE.

THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN GENERAL.

IT IS A TREMENDOUS PROBLEM.

THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE DRUG, IT IS A MEDICATED ABORTION, IT'S -- AND IT -- IT WILL RESULT IN ABORTION, SO, IF YOU'RE GOING TO CUT OFF LEGAL ABORTIONS, THIS DRUG IS AN ALTERNATIVE THAT WILL BECOME MORE IMPORTANT IN THIS CRISIS TIME.

I WOULD LIKE TO, RIGHT NOW, YOU HAVE TO HAVE A DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTION TO GET IT, I WOULD LIKE TO REMOVE THAT REQUIREMENT AND ALLOW WOMEN TO BUY IT OVER THE COUNTER, AS MEN ARE ABLE TO BUY MOST OF ALL OF THEIR MEDICINES OVER THE COUNTER.

OF COURSE.

OF COURSE.

LASTLY, ARE THERE ANY OTHER ISSUES, AGAIN, SPEAKING OF THE CONSTITUTION, WITH ABOUT A FEW SECONDS LEFT, BUT ANY OTHER ISSUES THAT YOU SAID, WE ACCEPT AS NORMAL NOW, THAT COULD ALSO BE LOST WITH THE PRECEDENT THAT THIS POTENTIAL DECISION CREATES?

RIGHT NOW, IT'S IMPORTANT TO FOCUS ON THE CHALLENGE RIGHT IN FRONT OF US, AND THAT IS THE RIGHT TO ABORTION, THE RIGHT TO CHOICE.

THE RIGHT TO -- FOR WOMEN TO MAKE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSONAL DECISION IN THEIR LIVES.

AND OFTEN THE MOST JOYFUL DECISION IN THEIR LIVES, THE DECISION TO BECOME A MOTHER AND TO MAKE THAT DEDICATION AND COMMITMENT.

IT'S A VERY PROBLEMATIC FOR -- MANY CHALLENGED PEOPLE ECONOMICALLY OR PEOPLE OF COLOR, IT'S A HUGE, TERRIBLE DISCRIMINATION AND A STEALING OF THE RIGHTS OF HALF THE POPULATION, SO IT'S -- WE HAVE TO FOCUS ON WHAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF US.

IN THE WORLDS OF ALITO, HE SAID, 'WE HOLD ROE AND CASEY MUST BE OVERTURNED.'

IT COULDN'T BE MORE CLEAR THAT THAT IS THEIR GOAL AND THAT IS OUR GOAL TO STOP IT.

> HI, I'M JENNA FLANAGAN OF 'METROFOCUS.'

THE SEISMIC IMPACT OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC HAS COMPLETELY ABSORBED EVERYONE'S ATTENTION, TO THE VIRTUAL DETRIMENT OF ANYTHING ELSE.

FOR EXAMPLE, DID YOU REMEMBER TO FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS FORM?

AND THEN THERE IS THAT ELECTION WE HAVE COMING UP.

BEFORE WE STARTED TALKING ALL CORONAVIRUS ALL THE TIME, THERE WERE OTHER ISSUES TAKING PRECEDENT IN OUR NATIONAL DISCOURSE.

ISSUES LIKE INCOME INEQUALITY AND DEBT, PARTICULARLY STUDENT LOAN DEBT.

AND IN HIS SECOND BOOK 'I DON'T WANT TO DIE POOR,' WRITER MICHAEL ARCENO USES STUDENT LOAN DEBT TO SHED LIGHT ON THE -- NOT ONLY THE BURDEN OF DEBT BUT THE ISSUES THAT CAN SURFACE UNDER ITS WEIGHT.

AND AS PART OF OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE EXAMINING POVERTY AND OPPORTUNITY IN AMERICA, I'M GLAD TO WELCOME WRITER MICHAEL ARCENO TO THE PROGRAM.

WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME, ESPECIALLY DURING A NIGHTMARE.

OF COURSE.

OF COURSE.

WELL, FIRST, I JUST WANT TO GIVE PEOPLE SORT OF AN UNDERSTANDING, BECAUSE YOU DO DIVE INTO IT A LITTLE BIT, WHAT WERE THE ISSUES THAT -- OR, WHAT WAS IT THAT LEAD YOU TO TAKE ON, OR TAKE OUT THE LOANS THAT CREATED THIS CLOUD OF DEBT THAT JUST FOLLOWED YOU EVERYWHERE?

I KIND OF START OFF IN THE FIRST DHAPTER TO BASICALLY WRITE ABOUT AN EXPERIENCE WITH A VERY ATTRACTIVE RECRUITER AT A RIVAL COLLEGE THAT PUT IT INTO THE IDEA THAT I COULD ACTUALLY LEAVE COLLEGE AND THAT I COULD BASICALLY DREAM A LITTLE BIT BIGGER THAN MY ALREADY BIG DREAMS AT THE TIME.

IT'S JUST FOR ME, HOWARD UNIVERSITY, WHILE IT WAS A GREAT SCHOOL, IT WAS ONE THAT WAS NOT WITHIN MY MEANS, SO, WHILE I WON 17 SCHOLARSHIPS DIRECT LITTLE AFTER BEING INSPIRED BY THAT PERSON, JUST REALISTICALLY, I DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH MONEY.

SO, WE WENT THROUGH PRIVATE LOANS.

THOSE WERE THE BEST AVAILABLE OPTIONS AT THE TIME AND WE DIDN'T KNOW AS MUCH OR, AT LEAST I DIDN'T KNOW AS MUCH AND THAT'S THE OPTION THAT WE TOOK.

OF COURSE.

AND THAT HAPPENS, WE HEAR SO MANY VERSIONS OF THAT STORY HAPPENING OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

SO, I'M ALSO WONDERING NOW, WHAT WAS IT, ONCE YOU TOOK OUT THOSE LOANS AND REALIZED THE FULL TOTALITY OF THE COST THAT THEY WOULD REQUIRE YOU TO PAY BACK, BUT ALSO HOW MUCH THEY WOULD FOLLOW YOU INTO DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE.

HOW DID YOU BEGIN TO PROCESS THAT?

WELL, I WILL SAY, WHY I DEFINITELY HOLD MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE FOR MY CHOICES, I DIDN'T ENTER THE SITUATION WITH NAIVETY, I KNEW IT WASN'T THE BEST OPTION, BUT IT WITH WAS THE ONE THAT WAS BEST AVAILABLE.

AND OF THE TRILLION DOLLARS THAT THE STUDENT LOAN DEBT, $100 BILLION OF THAT IS PRIVATE LOAN DEBT.

BUT TO DIRECTLY ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I KNEW THAT IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT, BUT WHAT I ALSO DIDN'T KNOW IS THAT, IN MY INSTANCE, TRADITIONAL MEDIA IMPLODED, THERE WERE NO JOBS AVAILABLE, AND ALSO WE HAD THE GREAT RECESSION WITH GEORGE W.

BUSH.

SO, A LOT OF JOBS WERE NOT THERE.

I THINK WHAT HAPPENED IS, A LOT OF GRADUATES ARE UNFORTUNATELY FINDING THE SAME THING THAT I'M DISCOVERING, THAT YOU ARE NOT AS IN COMPLETE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AS YOU WOULD LIKE TO THINK.

IN MY PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCE, I THINK WITH STUDENT LOANS, GOVERNMENT LOANS, PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT THEM, DEBT IS DEBT, IT'S BAD.

THE GOVERNMENT AT LEAST WORKS WITH YOU.

PRIVATE CORPORATIONS ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO WORK WITH YOU IN THE SAME CAPACITY.

SO, I'VE BEEN ON A 12-YEAR PLAN TO PAY OFF A VERY SIZABLE LOAN WITH VERY LITTLE OPTIONS TO DO ANYTHING.

THAT'S THE GREATER BURDEN.

AND ALSO, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE -- I FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY.

I WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO DISCHARGE THAT DEBT.

A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT DON'T KNOW ABOUT PRIVATE LOANS AND HOW THEY EFFECT PEOPLE LIKE ME AND I THINK THAT'S THE BIGGER ISSUE.

SO, DO I WISH I HAD NOT TAKEN OUT THE LOAN, ABSOLUTELY.

BUT I KIND OF DON'T -- I DON'T FEEL LIKE I HAD MUCH OF A CHOICE.

I WAS GOING TO BE IN DEBT NO MATTER WHAT AND I MADE A DECISION THAT WE FELT WAS THE BEST AT TIMES FOR ME, IT'S JUST UNFORTUNATE THAT I WASN'T BORN WITH THE MONEY THAT MOST PEOPLE HAVE OR AT LEAST THE ACCESS AND PRIVILEGES.

AND THAT ACTUALLY IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU ALSO TALK ABOUT IN ONE OF YOUR ESSAYS.

SPECIFICALLY, YOU WRITE, IT'S ADORABLE TO BELIEVE THAT WE LIVE IN A MERITOCRACY, BUT SO MUCH SUCCESS IS DICTATED BY EVERYTHING ELSE BESIDES PERCEIVED SPECIAL TALENTS AND ABILITIES.

IT'S AFTER PRIVILEGE AND HOW THAT PRIVILEGE GIVES WAY TO GREATER ACCESS AND LARGER MEANS THAT ARE AFORDED TO THOSE WHO LACK IT.

SO, WHAT WAS IT THAT LED YOU TO THAT REALIZATION, IF YOU WILL?

I ACTUALLY NEVER REALLY BELIEVED IN A MERITOCRACY, I DON'T WANT TO PLUG BOTH BOOKS, BUT I HAD A VERY CHAOTIC CHILDHOOD, VERY VIOLENT ON A LOT OF EARN ISSUES AND SO I DON'T, AGAIN, DIDN'T REALLY HAVE A LOT OF BLINDERS.

I GUESS WHAT I THOUGHT WAS IT WOULDN'T BE AS DIFFICULT TO JUST KIND OF KEEP GETTING OVER THE HUMP.

I THINK SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS THAT I HAD SPECIFICALLY ARE RELATED TO MEDIA, BUT ANYBODY THAT HAPPENS TO BE BLACK OR JUST ANY TYPE OF OTHER.

AND A LOT OF THE THINGS THAT KIND OF IMPACT ME ARE BEYOND MY CONTROL.

IT'S NOT MY FAULT THAT BECAUSE OF THE WAY I MAY SOUND, HOW I CARRY MYSELF, SOME PEOPLE SAY, OH, BLACK, QUEER, LIMITED, HE CAN'T DO ANYTHING.

IT'S NOT MY FAULT THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE THESE IDEAS ON MY EARNING POTENTIAL, BUT THAT DOES IMPACT MY BOTTOM LINE.

THERE'S A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT I WAS PAID FOR MY FIRST BOOK AND THIS SECOND ONE.

NOT JUST BECAUSE I WAS A FIRST-TIME AUTHOR, BECAUSE OF THE ASSUMPTION OF WHO I AM, WHAT STORIES I TELL, THAT THERE'S NO VALUE IN THAT.

THAT IMPACTS SO MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PEOPLE.

WOMEN, OTHERS, OTHERS, OTHERS, AND SO THOSE ARE THINGS THAT ARE NOT BEYOND OUR CONTROL.

SO, AGAIN, I DO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO SAY, I SHOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN THOSE LOANS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I COULD HAVE DID EVERYTHING PERFECTLY, NOT HAD ANY DEBT AND STILL COULD ALSO BE IN DEBT FOR NO OTHER REASON THAT I CAN'T CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE'S PREJUDICES.

SO, A LOT OF THIS BOOK IS ABOUT LOANS, BUT IT'S ABOUT INEQUALITY AND THE MYTH OF THE SOCIAL MOBILITY IN THIS COUNTRY THAT IT'S JUST NOT AS EASY AS PEOPLE MAKE IT SEEM.

I'M SPEAKING WITH WRITER MICHAEL ARCENO ABOUT HIS SECOND BOOK, A COLLECTION OF ESSAYS, 'I DON'T WANT TO DIE POOR.'

AND YOU TOUCH ON ISSUES THAT I FEEL, ESPECIALLY WITH OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE, THAT WE TRY TO LOOK AT, BUT I'M WONDERING FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, FOR, LET'S SAY WORKING POOR, WORKING CLASS, MIDDLE CLASS BLACK AND BROWN STUDENTS, BECAUSE THERE IS THAT STARTING AT A DISADVANTAGE, IS THERE AN ADDITIONAL PRICE THAT COMES WITH CHASING YOUR DREAMS, IF THOSE DREAMS DON'T IMMEDIATELY COME WITH A BIG PAYCHECK?

YEAH, I MEAN, IT'S CHASING THE DREAM, IT'S TRYING TO LIVE, WE UNFORTUNATELY -- A LOT OF US JUST DON'T HAVE IT AS EASY AS WHITE FOLKS.

I DON'T KNOW HOW ELSE TO SAY IT.

I TALK REALLY -- EVERYTHING THAT I DO, I REALLY DO TRY TO HAVE A WORKING CLASS PERSPECTIVE, BECAUSE THAT'S WHO I AM AND I THINK THAT'S OFTEN MISSING.

A BLACK WORKING CLASS PERSPECTIVE.

BECAUSE LAST I HEARD, ECONOMIC ANXIETY WAS A POPULAR CONVERSATION, YET WE DON'T HEAR ABOUT ECONOMIC ANXIETY FROM PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE US.

I TALK ABOUT STRUGGLE, BUT I REALLY DO WANT THE CHASING THE DREAMERS TO UNDERSTAND, LIKE, YOU KNOW, IT CAN BE HARD, IT CAN BE DIFFICULT, WE CAN'T HELP WHAT WE'RE NOT BORN WITH, BUT YOU CAN KEEP GOING, YOU CAN FIND JOY IN THESE HARD TIMES, YOU CAN FIND EVEN TO LAUGH AT YOURSELF.

I TOOK OUT SO MUCH ON MYSELF, BECAUSE OF THINGS THAT WERE YONLD MY CONTROL AND I TOOK THE SHAME OF DEALT AND NOT PERFORMING WHAT I THOUGHT I SHOULD BE, BUT IN REALITY -- I FORGAVE MYSELF FOR THINGS THAT I NEEDED FORGIVENESS FOR.

AND PEOPLE THAT HAVE A DREAM, WHATEVER IT IS, TO NOT FEEL GUILTY, PARTICULARLY IN THIS CONTEXT.

A LOT OF PEOPLE JUST GRADUATED, THEY'RE LOOKING AROUND AND THEY HAVE NOTHING TO -- THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.

AND THAT'S SCARY.

OF COURSE, THE SECOND CRISIS IS ONLY EXACERBATING THAT.

RIGHT.

AND IT'S JUST -- I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN TOMORROW, THE NEXT FEW DAYS, BUT I THINK WHEN YOU TAKE FROM MY LIFE AND PARTICULARLY 'I DON'T WANT TO DIE POOR' IS THAT -- I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE DOOMSDAY PLOT ASPECT, BUT I DO KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO GRADUATE INTO A NIGHTMARE AND NOT JUST HAVE THE OPTIONS YOU THOUGHT WERE THERE.

IT'S PAINFUL AND IT'S HURTFUL.

YOU KIND OF GO A LITTLE STIR CRAZY, BUT I DO THINK YOU CAN FIGURE IT OUT.

YOU JUST HAVE TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND JUST -- FOR ME, IT'S LITTLE THINGS ABOUT WRITING IT DOWN, STEP-BY-STEP, EVEN NOW.

I'M MUCH MORE FORTUNATE THAN I WAS EVEN A YEAR AGO, BUT THAT CHANGED ON A WHIM BECAUSE SO MUCH OF OUR FATE RIGHT NOW IS IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE ELSE THAT DOESN'T GIVE ME A LOT OF FAITH, BUT I'M LEARNING TO CONTROL WHAT I CAN CONTROL AND THAT'S HOW I REACT TO BASICALLY INJUSTICE, UNFAIRNESS.

BUT I JUST WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE WHO DO DREAM TAKE THAT AND I WANT PEOPLE TO FEEL BETTER ABOUT WHAT THEY CAN CONTROL IN IT.

WELL, OF COURSE, AND SPEAKING OF THE WAY THAT YOU TALK TO PERSONALLY ABOUT IT, I MEAN, YOUR BOOK DOES HAVE A VERY INTIMATE FEEL TO IT.

IT ALMOST FEELS AS THOUGH, WELL, YOU'RE TALKING TO THE READER, YOU WERE TALKING TO ME, IS WHAT I FELT LIKE.

AND SO IT MAKES DIGESTING A LOT OF YOUR ESSAYS SO MUCH -- IT'S LIKE WATER, ALMOST.

THANK YOU, I WROTE ABOUT SOME REALLY PAINFUL THINGS, SOME STUFF THAT I DIDN'T NECESSARILY THINK THAT I WOULD BE TALKING ABOUT, BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T REALLY TIE IT TO YOUR DEBT.

BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT, BECAUSE -- I DON'T KNOW, IN THE BOOK, YOU COULD TELL WE'RE KEEPING SECRETS ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE HOME.

A LOT OF US KEEP SECRETS ABOUT OUR MONEY, THE PRESSURES OF PERFORMING, PARTICULARLY IN THIS, AND EVEN BEFORE THIS, IT WAS JUST REALLY HARD.

I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO BE A LOT MORE HONEST.

I DIDN'T GLEEFULLY RIGHT THIS BOOK.

IT WITH US A MISERABLE EXPERIENCE WRITING IT, PARTICULARLY AS I WAS FACING THE STRUGGLES I THOUGHT I WAS DONE WITH BY THEN, BUT EVEN NOW -- IT REALLY DO -- I MAY BE GETTING OLDER, BUT I REALLY DO THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO TELL OUR STORIES, TO FACE OUR SHAME, IN ORDER TO JUST KIND OF ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER, BECAUSE I JUST DON'T THINK ANY OF US SHOULD BE CARRYING SO MUCH OF THIS INSIDE AND I DO THINK A LOT OF MILLENNIALS CARRY THIS INSIDE AND I DON'T WANT PEOPLE BEHIND US TO KIND OF CARRY THAT SHAME.

WE REALLY NEED TO BREAK THESE CYCLES.

WE'RE ALL KIND OF TRAPPED AND MIGHT BE TRAPPED IN OUR HOMES EVEN LONGER BECAUSE OF THE UNJUST SOCIETY.

WE NEED TO KIND OF EXAMINE THOSE THINGS.

WELL, YOU SPEAK TO ELOQUENTLY ABOUT ADDRESSING, ACKNOWLEDGING, AND RELEASING SHAME AND, AGAIN, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO MILLENNIALS, GEN-Z, THE KIDS WHO JUST GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL AND ARE NOW TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF THEY'RE GOING TO HAVE A SOCIALLY DISTANCED FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE COMING UP, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE TO THOSE PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE CARRYING A SHAME THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY THEIR BURDEN TO BEAR?

FIRST OF ALL, I'M REALLY SORRY ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING, BECAUSE THOSE ARE MEMORIES THAT YOU CAN'T RECREATE.

BUT I CAN SAY, DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF.

IT SOUNDS SO MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE, BELIEVE ME, I KNOW, BUT I DO THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO, YOU KNOW, YOU MIGHT HAVE TO MATURE A LITTLE BIT FASTER THAN YOU WOULD LIKE.

I DON'T SAY THAT INSULTINGLY.

YOU COULD LITERALLY BECOME 50 AND STILL BE STUCK IN A PLACE AND A LOT OF MY BOOK IS, LIKE, DON'T BE A FOOL LIKE ME, DON'T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF.

REALLY ASSESS THAT A LOT OF THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT AND TAKE CONTROL OF WHAT YOU CAN.

I WILL SAY TO CERTAIN COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO MIGHT BE TAKING ON A REALLY SIZABLE DEBT, THIS IDEA OF WHAT THEY THOUGHT COULD BE AND MIGHT NOT BE GETTING THE EXPERIENCE THEY, TO ME, WERE ALREADY BEEN OVERCHARGED FOR, REALLY TAKE THIS, ASSESS HOW MUCH THE DEBT IS WORTH.

I'M NOT GOING TO PRETEND THAT YOU CAN'T, YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE TO TAKE OUT ANY KIND OF DEBT, BUT YOU PROBABLY WILL, YOU SHOULD REALLY VALUE OF MUCH OF IT YOU ARE WILLING TO TAKE.

DON'T BE THE FOOL LIKE ME.

I DON'T REGRET WHAT I DID, BUT I WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY SLIGHTLY.

WELL, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAVE IT THERE.

MICHAEL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE SECOND BOOK, 'I DON'T WANT TO DIE POOR.'

AND THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON THE PROGRAM.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING ME.

I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

> 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE PETER G. PETERSON AND JOAN GANZ COONEY FUND, BERNARD AND DENISE SCHWARTZ, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, THE AMBROSE MONELL FOUNDATION.

AND BY --

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