WILLIAM.REED -Guest Columnist-
They say: The historic election of President Barack Obama “has changed what it means to be Black in America.”
The people talking that smack of America entering into “a post-racial society” are engaged in much more fantasy than fact. The facts: In June 2009 unemployment rates reported were: adult men (10 percent), adult women (7.6 percent), teenagers (24.0 percent), Whites (8.7 percent), Asians (8.2 percent), Hispanics (12.2 percent), and Blacks (14.7 percent).
Post-Racial people ignore the soaring unemployment among Black Americans and speak little of it. The Post-Racial president’s administration expects the nation’s jobless rate to continue going up. Reports indicate Black America’s official jobless rate will hit 20 percent by year end. When American Urban Radio’s White House Correspondent April Ryan asked him what he would do to stop Black unemployment from hitting 20 percent, Brother Barack’s response sounded like one coming from either of the Bush presidents: “We know that the African American unemployment rate, the Latino unemployment rates are consistently higher than the national average. If the economy as a whole is doing poorly then you know that the African American community is doing poorly and they are going to be hit even harder … The best thing that I can do for the African American community, or the Latino community, or the Asian community–whatever community–is to get the economy as a whole moving. If I don’t do that then I am not going to be able to help anybody.”
The Post-Racial paradigm is a fraud and engages in the type of thinking that’s made the plight of a disenfranchised class of Blacks invisible in America. A catastrophe is currently in progress for Black men at the time they should be starting careers, a fact that nobody wants to talk about. The unemployment rate for Black male workers over 20 years-of-age increased to 17.2 percent between March 2009 and April 2009.It’s interesting to note that in the middle of the recession in Spring 2009, college-educated White workers still had a relatively low unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. Black Americans with four-year degrees had a March 2009 unemployment rate at 7.2 percent–almost twice as high as the White rate. While in the most formative and productive days of their lives, 1 in 9 Black men was behind bars March 2009.
Obama and his cadre of Post-Racials represent one of the two different and distinct populations in America, one prosperous and politically engaged and another beset by social problems and inequities–high incarceration, foreclosure, drop out, and unemployment rates. The truth Post-Racials ignore–June 2009 rates of unemployment for African Americans that were much higher than any other major ethnic group. Instead of applying reasonable remedies, Post-Racials ignore America’s history. Throughout history, especially during economically troubled times, Blacks endured disparate treatment and were incarcerated and executed in disproportionate numbers. Prisons served to siphon off the most superfluous segment of the labor pool. Black imprisonment has had a devastating effect on the Black family, marginalizing males and increasing their chances of further unemployment and criminal activity.
The average Black American lives separate and apart from the National Melting Pot and has little to no political clout. Robert Taylor, of the National Black News, said President Obama should make jobs among Blacks a priority: “Black America, starting with inner-city areas, needs an economic stimulus program: At least $50 billion a year for the next 10 years.”
To avoid the status quo ante, the Post-Racial president, and his people, must admit racial inequities exist. Instead of dealing with the systemic inequities, Obama’s routine is to falsely use the right-wing theme of “personal responsibility” in his justification for abdication of government’s obligation to ensure equal access and opportunity to a segment of society that has long been, and continues to be, denied. Blacks need economic stimulus help in critical areas and the president needs to send $50 billion directly to Black American agencies to build commercial corridors and housing, open new businesses, thereby creating jobs in the ‘hoods and high-rises for years to come.