Nat Turner’s Revenge comments on the Washington Post cover story yesterday. What’s great about the story — it proves that we’re not lazy nor shiftless, but that America ain’t quite post-racial yet, naw mean? 34.5% of younger African-Americans are out of work and the reason isn’t that they’re not eager and looking for jobs. Note that during the Great Depression (the 1st one) note that only 25% of Americans as a whole were jobless — so what we’re seeing for young blacks is worse than that.
If you’ve got a job this Thanksgiving, well, give thanks…
From Christopher Chambers of NTR who pinches Obama on his silence:
The Washington Post has ressurrected this monster and put it on the front page. Uncaged, here it is: per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, joblessness for 16-to-24-year-old black men has reached Great Depression proportions, 34.5 percent in October, more than three times the rate for the general U.S. population, The Washington Post reports Young black women have an unemployment rate of 26.5 percent, while the rate for all 16-to-24-year-old women is 15.4 percent. If you’ve listened to NPR today, you see things are horrific for Latinos as well–the folk who supposedly will take jobs blacks won’t. There’s another myth, broken.
Of course there is a broader problem of under-employment, dependence on part-time or temp work. That’s not counted in unemployment figures even for white males–our prize and solely competent demographic, correct? Feed that into the formula and the numbers are more frightening than “2012.”
To paraphrase the Post’s sources: For young blacks, race statistically appears to be a bigger factor in their unemployment than age, income or even education. Lower-income white teens were more likely to find work than upper-income black teens. Even blacks who graduate from college suffer from joblessness at twice the rate of their white peers. Some studies examining how employers review black and white job applicants suggest that discrimination may be at play.
Does this absolve the legions of young men we see loitering around, getting into trouble, bartering in an undeground or criminal economy that only discriminates against the weak, the unarmed, the upright and moral? No. But nor does it absolve the hypocritical, even nonsensical view–now even feeding stereotypes of others around the world (see the Chinese reaction to Obama and black folks)–that there are always bootstraps to pull up. And when even the best of us are sneered upon, feared, pushed aside for Joe the Plumber or (or a Sarah Palinesque lamebrain) then why should the least of us even try?
I don’t hear our supposed FDR in this Great Depression Redux, Mr. Obama, even mulling over the answers to those questions, not to mention parsing brave and creative answers. Rather than battle these economic Grendels, Beowulf style, he’s gone and created even more bugbears with the healthcare fight. People need jobs, hope, channel to work toward engineering a future…then when can talk about free/public or affordable and common sense health options. The Great Depression almost destroyed us. Then again, so did the end of Reconstruction. How many body blows can we take? Oh I forgot…it’s supposed to make us stronger, less indolent, less violent, less bawdy and pumping out kids (but no birth control or abortions, please), fewer demands of civil rights special preferences, less “handouts.” All that evil crap they say we demand. My bad. Then it’s “Happy Days are Here Again.” Nothing to fear but fear itself…