Tags: jobs | economy | workers | race

Let's Turn the Discussion Back to Jobs

By    |   Friday, 26 June 2015 08:03 PM

There are some ugly things happening in this country revolving around race. But among the ugliest, which receives scant attention, is that the unemployment rate for blacks in May was 10.2 percent. It is estimated that 2 million African-Americans in the U.S. are currently unemployed and looking for work.

African-Americans has endured an unemployment rate double the rate for whites.

Aaron Morrison, writing for the International Business Times, noted that a 2014 study by the Young Invincibles, a nonpartisan education and economic opportunity advocacy group, “found an African-American college graduate has the same job prospects as a white high-school dropout or a white person with a prison record. The study attributed the gap to racial discrimination.”

A study by the Economic Policy Institute, found that on an hourly basis during the past 15 years, black workers’ wages have fallen by 44 cents, while Hispanic and white workers’ wages have risen by 48 cents and 45 cents, respectively. Black wealth has also shrunk, while Hispanic and white wealth has stabilized.

This data is so disheartening. Not only does it rob people of dignity, but the black unemployment crisis has been ignored for far too long. I understand that the display of the confederate flag is an important issue which has gotten our presidential candidates embroiled in this emotionally charged debate, but wouldn’t it be refreshing for them to spend as much political equity rallying against the forces that keep black unemployment numbers so high?

Remember the Civil Rights Act of 1991 that made changes to a law passed in the 1960s that protected workers from intentional employment discrimination based on race, sex, religion and national origin? There is ample evidence that this is being ignored by many employers.

There has been a glimmer of good news about black unemployment. But the Washington Post took a closer look at the “good news,” and found some disturbing patterns.

The Economic Policy Institute has discovered that those states with some of the highest black unemployment during the first quarter of this year: Connecticut, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee, also had employment numbers at or below its pre-recession level. But the rates in those states were also among the highest in the country before the recession. So the “improvement” was deceiving.

Writing for the Young Conservative, Derryck Green made the fascinating point that “To be black and liberal… this has afforded President Obama the kind of political shield his white predecessors and ultimately, successors, could only dream about. If a white Republican president was in charge of an economy where millions of blacks were unemployed like they are now, black grievance groups like the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus and the Urban League, enthusiastically lead by Democrats, would’ve engaged in the ritualistic chants of “racism” in regards to the economic policies negatively affecting black Americans.”

So does it look like Hillary Clinton will be the savior? The general consensus is Clinton will have a much harder time turning out the African-American vote, and will need a solid 90 percent-plus share to win. President Obama received 95 percent of it in 2008, 93 percent in 2012. But he has taken this important constituency for granted while not delivering on jobs and opportunity.

That’s it in a nutshell. We have black president that has done almost nothing to help blacks get good paying jobs. Instead, he’s in the back pocket of unions like the SEIU while helping them acquire new members in the fast food industry by advocating for a minimum wage that’s supposed to allow a family of four to live on fast food wages.

This is nonsense, of course, since these jobs were never intended to support a family. They were intended for our young people to begin to develop good work skills and discipline before moving on to more important opportunities.

Black voters can no longer accept the status quo when it comes to their high unemployment. Clinton shouldn’t get a pass the way Obama did.

Black voters need to look at all the candidates and vote for the one that gives voice to their employment numbers and standard of living by producing opportunities, not handouts.

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There are some ugly things happening in this country revolving around race. But among the ugliest, which receives scant attention, is that the unemployment rate for blacks in May was 10.2 percent.
jobs, economy, workers, race
Friday, 26 June 2015 08:03 PM
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