I was gonna leave the Velma Hart situation alone, because I just thought it was obvious that she was a plant.

Her segment on Hardball:

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There is a reason why Black folks are going—‘ woman, please’.

A two income household with TWO INCOMES coming in.

Children in PRIVATE school?

And her pain is not being able to have a new car?

When Black unemployment is double that of the rest of the nation, and everybody knows somebody who is un – or UNDER – employed……

if you were trying to find someone Black…

this woman shouldn’t be your posterchild for

‘what has happened to the Black community during this recession.’

Black folks listen to her and go ‘ what recession for VELMA’?

I not ‘ hating’ on Velma and her family.

I’m glad she and her husband were gainfully employed.

but, if you want to face of this recession..

Look no further than our own CPL, who is a highly educated Black woman seeking employment, and has written extensively about it for JJP in wonderful, thoughtful columns.

I don’t usually go personal here, but I will on this occasion.

If you want to see the face of Black unemployment, you can look at me.

I was fired from a job where I had nothing but excellent reviews. Call it downsizing, but it meant that I was out of a job.

I also know that I am blessed, and though it hurt, I’ve come upon luck that others have not.

The exact week that I was fired from my job, I got a call for a Supervisor’s position in a local Census Bureau office. I had applied for a weekend position, and this came up, and though the hours were ‘non-traditional’, I gratefully took it. The pay wasn’t what I was making, but it was enough to cover my cost of living, because I had long since turned into a ‘ cash is king’ household, cutting out frivolities. I spent 8 months employed by the U.S. Census, and I want to thank the U.S. Constitution for mandating that it be done every 10 years.

Working at the Census, I saw a slice of the face of unemployment in this country. From our office, I got to interact with a nice diverse set of people. The bosses above me, save one, were all Black men. Highly educated Black men who had spent many years in Corporate America before being downsized. I worked with a number of people who were self-employed until the recession hit, and the businesses that had sustained them for years, but this economy was just THAT BAD.

Of all the ethnic groups, I’d say that the Latinos were by far the youngest people working in the office. The Blacks and Whites that worked for, pretty much without exception, were people with experience in the working world. By virtue of seeing their work ethic up close and personal, I can’t believe that they were fired for being unproductive – it’s just that bad of a market out there. Got to know many folks who were bitten by the downturn in real estate- genuine investors that had been bitten hard by the market, and the ramifications of folks skipping out because they just couldn’t pay rent.

I’ll never forget sitting at lunch one day with one of my colleagues – a 20+ year veteran of ad sales, said that she felt the Census was a sort of ‘ Main Street’ bailout of sorts. That for many folks, it helped them just in time, gave them a sense of purpose, and stopped the pounding of the spirit that unemployment can cause. I had to agree with her.

One of the best things about the Census was working with so many veterans, from different wars, and to meet the younger people who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hearing their opinions about what was going on there was interesting. And, they were another reason why Ms. Hart irked me. The veterans I spoke with at the Census had nothing but positive things to say about this President. They see the changes in how veterans are treated and appreciated that it was trickling down to the ground level with the soldiers.

Even as the Census wound down, another blessing came my way, and a random resume I sent out half-heartedly came through with an interview, and a new position. I’m not making what I was making before I got fired, but, it’s pretty close, and I feel fortunate to have found it. Remember to always count your blessings.

Listening to Mrs. Hart, I just didn’t see how she missed all the blessings she has.

She’s a CFO, talking about private school and bummed about a new car. Does she not realize how many folks would love to have her ‘ issues’?

Has the recession skipped her family?

I ask this, because there was a new report out about successful Black people and philanthropy.

In Affluent Blacks More Charitable, Feel Greater Responsibility to Provide Financial Support to Family Than Non-Blacks

Affluent Black Americans are more likely to give to charitable causes and feel responsible for providing financial support to adult family members than affluent non-Blacks, according to a Northern Trust survey of “Wealth in Black America.”

Significant differences in charitable giving between affluent Blacks and non-Blacks

Affluent Blacks feel greater responsibility to provide financially for adult family members than non-Blacks.
Affluent Blacks, more than non-Blacks, feel responsible for family members and expect to provide them with consistent financial support over the next ten years, according to the survey.

Currently, 50 percent of affluent Blacks said they provide financial support to adult children; 32 percent to siblings; 21 percent to nieces or nephews; and 18 percent to cousins. In particular, financial support of adult children has risen dramatically in the financial crisis, up from 24 percent in 2008.

When asked what needs would be met by their financial support of those family members, general living expenses was the No. 1 response, displacing long-term care and disability, which was the top response in 2008. This year, 59 percent cited general living expenses compared with only 42 percent in 2008.

Maybe Mrs. Hart just doesn’t have this experience. Could be, but then nearly everyone I know can’t do six degrees of separation between themselves and someone who has been affected by this recession that’s family. We aren’t talking about Pookey and Ray-Ray, but the family that never thought they’d be in this position, that this recession has put in this position.

You want to beat up the President about the ‘ Black face’ of this recession, with unemployment double the national rate,

Take a trip up to Detroit and talk to some former GM workers, who were good workers, and lost their jobs because of the bankruptcy and rebuilding the company.

Why don’t you go find some of those highly educated Black teachers summarily dismissed by Rhee in DC. sure, some of them might have been bad teachers, but I’m going to lay money not all of them were.

I don’t hate on Velma because she’s successful…that’s fine.

But, don’t put this woman up as representative of the true Black middle class in America. And definitely don’t have her lying on national tv.

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