Derecka Purnell Calls for Total Student Debt Cancellation

Derecka Purnell (’17), movement lawyer, author and Guardian US columnist, penned an opinion for The Guardian refuting the argument that middle- and upper-class borrowers would benefit most from student loan debt cancellation, calling attention to how student loan repayments compound social inequalities facing first generation, Black and people of color graduates (“Biden Must Cancel All Student Loan Debt, Including for Those with Graduate Degrees,” July 20). “I am not convinced that liberals who reject total student debt cancellation really care about focusing on programs that specifically cater to low-income, class-exploited, Black and brown people. If they did, they would champion reparations at the local, state and national level, instead of creating symbolic resolutions and cheap task forces. Democrats would expand universal pre-K, free daycare and free college programs to energize and encourage people of all ages to learn. . . . And, they would choose racial justice and cancel all student debt, instead of furthering racial exploitation and oppression.”