African Americans suffering under Obama
17 Jan, 2011 22:13
As African-American unemployment remains at over 15 percent, the Black community questions whether placing hopes on Obama was a mistake.
While the US marks Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the African-American community is knee-deep in an economic nightmare. “There is no question that black America is worse off than it has been in at least the last 30 years,” said Glen Ford, the executive editor of the Black Agenda Report.The official unemployment rate for African-Americans has been hovering at around 16 percent for the last year.“Number one in high unemployment, number one in home foreclosures and number one in populating the prisons of our country,” explained renowned civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson.Many say, if these numbers represented any other minority group, the US would be in a state of emergency.Has it long been high time for a rescue operation for African-Americans?A particularly poignant question now with a black president in the White House.New York’s Harlem neighborhood is one of the places that celebrated the most, when Barack Obama stepped into the White House. But two years into the presidency, the cracks in the dream for a better life have become too wide to hide.Extreme unemployment with resulting poverty has created a pandemic of millions who need to be helped within black America.“It has been a nightmare looking for work,” an unemployed African-American woman commented.Studies showed a year ago that one in six African-Americans were without jobs.Many say racial profiling continues to be a major obstacle to winning in the job market.“Literally hundreds of studies have shown without doubt, repeatedly, that, for example, a white man with a prison record, who applies for a job is more likely to get a call back for that job, an interview, than a black man with a college education,” explained Ford.Experts believe that’s exactly why Obama should be putting in place specifically targeted policies. So why isn’t he?“It’s just a community of people that he probably believes that belong to him, will vote for him, will support him. If he is going to spend political capital, he is not going to spend it on black folk,” said New York Pastor James David Manning.“You can say that Obama destroyed more blacks housing than the KKK would have been able to,” remarked economist Michael Hudson.Spending money and effort on everything from saving Wall Street to endless warfare takes a lot of time.But that’s largely been the priority during the first half of Obama’s first term.But the clock is ticking, days and months passing. African-Americans, as well as the rest of the 40 million battling poverty across the US, remain rejected.“If there are not more jobs made available, than he will lose a significant base of support in the African-American community, and the general community, because people will be disappointed,” said former advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Clarence B. Jones.So the broke, disappointed and forgotten could well end up rejecting in return.