Grim Life for African American Men!
Along with police harassment as reported today by Bob Herbert, African American men are facing a number of other deficits in our social justice system: unemployment, prison conditions, declining quality of U.S. education — in short racism is returning as manifested by the current election campaigning by the Tea Party Republicans who are appealing to whites who fear being outnumbered by minorities.
The selections posted below give some of the stats on African Americans in jail (and with prison records therefrom) and employment difficulties resulting both from a prison record and white Tea Party racism.
Having worked a good bit in Harlem I well remember the discrimination there in the past. I could get promising Africans into Yale who were being turned down by CCNY before CUNY opened its doors finally to minorities. I was proud of Yale for taking the initiatives in this direction which became a model for the other Ivies, etc. But where things will go with the imminent elections and suspiciously racist attitudes towards Obama, I cannot guess. The nation is in bad economic shape thanks to Bush/Cheney and our banks selling housing to people who could not afford increasing interest rates — many minorities, incidentally.
It is almost a badge of honor for African American men having served time in jail — and some of those have been innocents misidentified by whites who cannot distinguish one African American from another.
WASHINGTON – Come the new millennium, the number of African American adults behind bars will hit the million mark for the first time, according to an analysis of Justice Department statistics. That represents nearly an eightfold increase from three decades ago, when there were only 133,226 blacks in prison.
The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent, according to new figures released by the Labor Department Friday.
[â€œWeâ€™re seeing a whole set of things happening in the recession that are making the inequity worse,â€ said Seth Wessler, a researcher at the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank in Oakland. (AFP/Getty Images/File/Justin Sullivan) ]â€œWeâ€™re seeing a whole set of things happening in the recession that are making the inequity worse,â€ said Seth Wessler, a researcher at the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank in Oakland. (AFP/Getty Images/File/Justin Sullivan)
On the whole, the economic news was mixed, but for African Americans, it was particularly troubling. The unemployment rate for whites held steady at 8.8 percent compared to February and went down for Asians from 8.4 percent to 7.5 percent. But it rose to 16.5 percent for blacks from 15.8 percent. Hispanics showed a slight increase as well from 12.4 percent to 12.6 percent.
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed Kent [blind copies]