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Entries tagged "Race"
August 8, 2012 · By Salvatore Babones
The recession has been hard on everyone. Tens of millions of people lost their jobs. Many of those who didn't lose their jobs suffered salary cuts. Retirement savings and home values have plummeted.
Even people who have kept their jobs and homes have had to worry about the possibility of losing them.
But the recession is officially over. In fact, it has officially been over since June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Last month, we entered the fourth year of recovery.
The reality, though, is that in America there are two of everything. There are white and black schools. There are white and black stores. There are even white and black rappers.
And of course there have been two recessions: a White Recession and a Black Recession.
The White Recession was sharp and painful, but soon over. White America is slowly returning to normal. It's a shade poorer normal to be sure, but normal all the same.
For white men, October 2009 brought the highest unemployment rate of the past sixty years. White male unemployment maxed out at 9.7 percent. It's now stable at 6.9 percent.
This rate is still too high, but it's not catastrophic - unless you're one of the 6.9 percent.
The white female unemployment rate is now even lower: just 6.8 percent. Throughout the recession, it never rose above 7.3 percent.
The White Economy is weak, but it's been weak for a long time. It's been dragged down by long-term wage stagnation, cuts in government professional employment and declining union membership.
The Black Economy, on the other hand, is still in full-blown recession.
The Black Recession has now dragged on for four years, if not forty. Black male unemployment is 14.8 percent, and the current trend is up.
The unemployment rate for black men maxed out at 18.0 percent in August 2011, but even that wasn't a record. In the early 1980s recession, the black male unemployment rate went over 20 percent.
The black male unemployment rate has now been over 10 percent for 49 consecutive months. But that's normal. It's been over 10 percent in more than half of all months on record since measurement began in 1972.
That 10 percent figure is for men who are in the labor market and actively seeking work. It doesn't include, for example, the 5 percent of black men who are currently in jail.
Black women also face serious challenges in the job market. The black female unemployment rate is 11.5 percent, down from a recession high of 13.9 percent in December 2011.
The unemployment rate for black women has now been over 10 percent for 42 consecutive months. Like the black male unemployment rate, it's been over 10.5 percent for over half of all months on record since 1972.
The Black Recession is the proverbial elephant in the room. No one talks about it, but it's there. It's been there for four years, or forty years, if it's been there a day.
In America's cultural and racial climate, it's understandable that President Obama prefers to avoid the subject of the Black Recession. But as he is fond of pointing out, he is the president of all Americans, and that includes black Americans.
Mr. President, the elephant in the room is not a Republican. It's long past time to put an end to the Black Recession. Above all, that means jobs. If the private sector won't provide them, the government should. That means you.
We can't have a jobs program that's just for blacks. But we can have a jobs programs that provides work with dignity to all Americans and that includes black Americans. Roosevelt did it. Johnson did it. Obama can do it.
Mr. President, put America back to work.
November 9, 2010 · By Dedrick Muhammad
July 6, 2010 · By Jennifer Doak
The DOJ finally files suit to block Arizona's immigration law.
Oil threatens Louisiana tribal life. “If we have to leave, we’ll be spread out and no longer be a community,” she explains. “We don’t know where we’d go. BP should try to keep this community together because it’s their oil that’ll cause us to separate. Our attachment to our land is everything to us. We live off the land, so when you take us away, it won’t be the same. It’s like taking a fish out of water and seeing how long it will live.” (Eurasia Review)
New York Times columnist David Brooks wrote in his most recent column that additional stimulus spending would "risk national insolvency on the basis of a model." CEPR's Dean Baker demonstrates how very, very wrong he is.
OpenLeft's Chris Bowers has an extensive roundup of what we won, lost, and compromised in the financial reform bill. The passage of the bill looks likely as Scott Brown (R-MA) appears to have signed on. While a few IPSers were looking specifically at tax reform and CEO compensation, both of which received tepid reform measures, the bill does not close this case. As Bowers put it, "no one I know in the Wall Street reform community thinks this bill ends the overall fight."
May 19, 2010 · By Dedrick Muhammad
Today in honor of the 85th birthday of Malcolm X, I'm participating in an hour long discussion on the living legacy of Malcolm X and what Malcolm means in Obama's America.
This discussion will occur on the Marc Steiner show 5pm to 6pm on 88.9FM for those in the Baltimore area. For those not in the Baltimore area, go to Marc Steiner's website tomorrow and catch the podcast.
Also participating in the show will be:
- Minister Akbar Muhammad, who was in the Nation of Islam under Malcolm X;
- Omar Musa a Washington DC community activist, and
- Lalit Clarkson from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
In honor of this birthday the lost chapters of the Autobiography of Malcolm X are to be revealed in New York City. These chapters are said to highlight Malcolm’s view of the means to overcome the racial divide in the United States. During this time of America’s war against Islamic terrorism, I believe further discussion on one of the country’s most well known radical, anti-Western Muslims will be quite enlightening.
May 18, 2010 · By Jennifer Doak
The bill for Afghanistan could run into the trillions, as another suicide bomber hits another U.S. convoy. IPS fellow Miriam Pemberton, who studies the military budget, wrote that the era of Bush-style spending isn't quite over.
Noam Chomsky has to settle for talking to Birzeit University by teleconference in Amman, after he's denied entry into Israel.
The racial wealth gap has "more than quadrupled over the course of a generation," according to a new study. Dedrick Muhammad has been studying this for awhile and has said that we need a huge shift in focus if we're going to narrow this gap.
Undocumented students stage a sit-in at John McCain's office, calling on him to support the DREAM Act so they can obtain scholarships and work their way through college while going through the process of legal residency.
The Dept. of the Interior, despite the BP oil mess, still continues to approve offshore drilling plans in the Gulf of Mexico without environmental review. The Center for Biological Diversity is suing Sec. Salazar to stop this.
CBPP says that the growing budget shouldn't be an obstacle to passing the jobs bill: "Most of the provisions in this bill, which is now in the final stages of development, are strictly temporary measures that will stimulate additional demand for goods and services and create jobs while the recovery is still struggling to gain traction; they are not permanent measures that add to the long-term budget deficit."