A radical Democrat from Massachusetts called everyone who opposes canceling student loans prejudiced against people belonging to another race.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley suggested every American, who believes students should be responsible for meeting their financial obligations, is racist.
The “Squad” member also claimed nobody should consider themselves a supporter of multiculturalism if they refuse to let students accumulate large debts without having to repay what is owed.
“You cannot be anti-racist if you are anti student debt cancellation,” she said on Twitter.
Pressley made the remarks after reading a Washington Post article that revealed nearly 45 million Americans borrowed a combined $1.7 trillion to pay for educational expenses.
“Among the fastest growing categories of student loan borrowers over the last two decades are black students and people age 50 and over, according to the latest Federal Reserve data,” national higher education reporter Danielle Douglas-Gabriel and metro data reporter John Harden said in the article. “For some repayment of the debt is an inconvenience, for others it is a burden.”
Douglas-Gabriel and Harden also claimed there were “public misconceptions” about exactly how much each demographic borrows for study purposes.
“Black and African American college graduates owe an average of $25,000 more in student loan debt than white college graduates,” they said.
They gave several examples of borrowers aged between 28 and 73 who admitted they still owed between $38,000 and $330,360 in outstanding repayments.
Their areas of study included relatively low-paid professions like illustration, creative writing, and education. The rest of them worked in community engagement, press operation, and clinical psychology.
Educator Erin Corbett complained about borrowing large amounts of money and then struggling to repay it later.
“The first time it really hit me how much I owed was right before I graduated in 2017,” she told the paper. “There’s the exit interview where they were like, ‘Hello, welcome to all of the money that you owe, here it is. Would you like to pay $5,000 a month?’ I placed the loans in forbearance.”
Creative writer Stephanie Vanderslice admitted she was completely unprepared for the cost of putting her children through higher education.
“I graduated with $8,000 in student loans in the 1990s, it was not hard to pay that off … [and] we were lucky, we were clear of our own college debt,” she told the paper. “When the boys were growing up, we did not really have much to save … and then, when we finally got to stick our heads above water, college was like–wham!”
Clinical psychologist Catherine McDermott-Coffin is drowning in debt because she changed careers in her 50s and cannot afford to retire, even though she is now in her early 70s.
“I had been working in hospital administration for 25 years, and was getting frustrated by everything being about the bottom line,” she told the paper. “I wanted to go back to school to become a clinical psychologist [and] everyone in my family thought I was crazy, it is a six-year process.”
“I am still able to pay as long as my husband and I continue to work,” she added. “We would like to eventually retire, my husband is 77 and I am going to be 74—that $621 a month would be significant in retirement.”