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A Facebook friend posted a link to this article, which was basically a piece that was addressed to racists who complain about all the Black people on welfare. I started reading the article with high hopes. But they were quickly deflated. The statistics in the article really didn't seem to support the point (i.e. that students at HBCUs participate in community service at a higher rate than their non-HBCU peers). Then as I read the comments to the article, I saw that I was not the only one with misgivings about the statistics in the piece...and that perhaps the statistics were all together wrong.

The article starts out ok; that there are more Whites and Hispanics (combined) on welfare than there are Black people on welfare. This statistic is well-known and cannot really be twisted in a way that states the contrary. But there is more to that statistic than meets the eye. You see, Black Americans make up 32% of welfare recipients, even though they comprise a mere 12% of the US population. So the demographics of welfare recipients are not comparable to the overall demographics of the US. Even more concerning, Black Americans are more than twice as likely to have been on welfare than White Americans.

Don't Worry, I Am Not Trying to Promote the Myth of the Black Welfare Queen!

Before I go on any further, I should explain that my goal here is not to say that conservatives are correct in denigrating Black Americans as lazy moochers who needlessly take advantage of welfare benefits. Quite contrary. I know of many people on welfare. I myself am in the process of applying for food stamps. The vast majority of people really and truly need these benefits in order to secure food, shelter and living necessities for themselves and for their families. So let's clear the air on that. But what bothers me is the inability for people to accurately articulate why welfare is such a hotbed issue in the Black American community. To throw up meaningless arguments and statistics that do nothing to expose the real issue, only sets us up to look like bumbling idiots who are apathetic and will agree with whatever out there makes us look good.

It is nothing but a distraction away from the real issue. And that issue is the handicapped economy of the Black American community.

So let's go back to this article and some of the strange statistics it talked about:

More College Graduates Than Ever. The article says that there are 5 times as many Black college graduates today than there were 40 years ago. This is impressive. However the overall number of college graduates as a percentage of the population have increased over that time frame as well; from less than 13% to 34%. While that jump is not as dramatic, coupled with the following statistic, it may catch your eye. Back in 1965, the difference in the annual median income of a high school graduate and a college graduate was $7,449; in 2013, that difference was $17,500.

So in a nutshell, Black Americans, who have always had a lesser amount of wealth overall as a whole, did not have the strong compulsion to go to college in order to rise out of poverty. Whereas today the story is very different.

Getting That Diploma. The article again focuses on education, and states that 84% of African-Americans have a high school diploma today, compared to only 31% in 1970. Again, this isn't really a statistic that gives any strength to the argument that Black people are not welfare kings and queens. Curiously, there is no mention of the fact that the average annual income of a high school graduate is a measly $25,900. At that income level, if you are a single income household with 2 children, that qualifies you for welfare.

There are three more statistics listed, but I'm not even going to bother and waste my time going through them. But I'll give you the titles, which are: Let Me See Your Homework, Pitching In (which is about the community service at HBCUs), and Number of Black NFL Players with Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalties. Yeah. I'm serious. REALLY!?

We need to wake up and grow up here. This is a welfare problem in the Black community. But that problem is not simply the fact that we accept it. The problem is that we still need it; in spite of living in one of the most prosperous countries on the planet. 27% of Black Americans live in poverty compared to only 10% of non-Hispanic White Americans. And that's a more telling statistic. If Black Americans have a 'in the ballpark range' regarding the percentage of college graduates to White Americans (18% vs. 32%), then how come our poverty rates are still significantly higher?

As I job search, with my years of experience and my Master's degree in hand, I still am faced with offers of positions that pay $12, $11, sometimes $10/hr. That's fine. I'll take that if that's all I can get. But don't disparage me for needing food stamps to help make ends meet. The fact that I'm a Black woman probably trumps my education and employment efforts anyway. It would be very easy for a conservative to throw me into the "welfare queen" category, with no apologies or explanations needed.

Originally posted to Signed Shona on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 01:58 PM PST.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Blacks lack access to capital... (38+ / 0-)

    ...whether it's a decent mortgage rate, a business loan, personal and car loans are given at predatory, usurious rates.

    There's a good-ole-boy network out there that enables this type of 'hidden discrimination.'

    Post-racial America my ass....

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 02:14:54 PM PST

    •  Very perceptive comment, thanks. (12+ / 0-)

      A big part of the reason for blight in inner-city neighborhoods these days is bankers' discrimination against nonwhites after WWII. They didn't extend mortgages to African Americans who wanted to buy homes, and until the Civil Rights era, they could discriminate both openly and legally.

      The descendants of the people who were denied mortgages in the 1940s and 1950s? They're loitering on street corners today, in those very neighborhoods where there ancestors once hoped to gain a toehold, all those decades ago.

      Hey, maybe they'll come bust your window this weekend, or spray some graffiti on a wall near you :)

      Generally, the most radical thing we can do is link causes and effects. For another example, there are people who want to name increasingly ferocious hurricanes and weather events after those idiot politicians who deny global warming. ("When 'Michelle Bachmann' makes landfall later today, she's expected to be a Cat 4...")

      This is nitty-gritty cause-and-effect stuff. It's little-discussed. Let's put it out there.

      Thanks for the diary.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:26:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There also needs to be awareness... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      ....that you can borrow money outside the good-old-boy network - that it's possible for someone with a job to get a car loan or mortgage from a credit union instead of Redline Mortgage or the Buy Here Pay Here car dealer.

      We need to get financial information out to people to starve the predatory lenders.

      You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

      by varro on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:19:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Generational Wealth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      There's a reason why the estate tax is a good idea. The wealth from the top 1% is passed from one generation to the next. Most poor families (and a disproportionate number of families of color) do not have access to sudden huge cash infusions when family members die.

      This isn't just a wealth issue, either. Upper class families can afford things like big life insurance policies, which ensure the next generation gets a big boost even if the family's overall situation isn't that good at the moment.

  •  Access to capital is key (10+ / 0-)

    There are obvious systemic structural constraints when African Americans want to get loans for housing or business.

    In MAJORITY "BLACK" neighborhoods NEARLY ALL MOM AND POP SMALL BUSINESSES are owned by folks of NON AFRICAN backgrounds - small grocery stores that take food stamps, gas stations, eateries etc. The only thing I see run by African  American  folks are Churches, bars, a BBQ joints and Barbershops here and there and maybe a mortician business if it has not been bought out. But these are few and far between. I would be interested to see actual stats on this.

    This is sad. It lends  fuel to the pervading sentiment that Black folks dont have a business touch or acumen or savvy or are lazy unlike fellow Hispanics or Asians or Arabs.

    What I have noticed via close friends in college and elsewhere is that there are some communities that are very tightly woven and they have financial 'merry go round' councils that give informal interest free loans to their fellow members to start businesses. That doesnt happen in the African American community.

    •  You are right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kathy Scheidel

      Now that you mention it most of the gas stations, dry cleaners, etc. that I see in almost any area even where I live are owned by Asians.

      It's the policy stupid

      by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:42:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  friends of mine were Moroccan ex pats (9+ / 0-)

      living in the US. This group of young men and their associates thought nothing of loaning one of them-even someone they barely knew but who was known by others-thousands of dollars at a time.

      I learned good lessons about money and its purpose from them. In my European-American middle middle class but college educated circle, you didn't really loan people money (at least women didn't) and to ask would offend. I'm not talking about money for life saving things, but for business and quality of life changes--a trip, downpayment on a house, or first/last months rent, say.

      I learned that money sitting in a savings account oftentimes might as well be doing good work for someone else. (it's not as if much interest is earned nowadays anyway). Subsequently and counter to my upbringing I have loaned $500 to two different people (one person didn't pay me back) and for a very short term loan my entire savings at that time of 10K.

      I guess everyone knows eachother in that community and some know eachother's families back home. Not paying back would bring shame and humiliation.

      It's ironic in a way because I'm in a very different financial situation right now. Sure could use that $500 dollars I never got back. That one, though, was to a closer friend who probably was/is acting a bit entitled to it even though it was spelled out loud and clear that it was a loan.

      So anyway, I guess it is fear of a damaged reputation and shame if you don't pay back that keeps these things working in communities. If the community is a bunch of strangers with very permeable borders for example no one will be embarrassed or humiliated or ridiculed for not paying back money so it won't work. Has to be a close knit group separate somewhat from the outside culture in order for it to work.

      •  First lesson my parents ever taught me about $ (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LucyTooners, Debby, Whatithink, MGross

        Don't loan what you can't afford to lose.  Loaning to a friend is almost guaranteed to lose you a friendship so it's better to just give it to them and maybe say "someday I hope I can count on your for the same", but let it go.

        ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

        by Arianna Editrix on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:40:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I learned that same lesson, but by myself (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsShona, NoMoreLies, fumie, FindingMyVoice

          I gave/loaned the first 500 to someone who was in a position like mine --both of us youngish,without family and with both parents already dead (unlike everyone else we knew), and ill so unable to work enough. The difference is, I'd sold my parents house and still had some money, and she was born into poverty so did not have that legacy. I was acutely aware that I was making it a loan but it was out of gratitude "but for the grace of god go I" sort of thing. I didn't fully expect to ever see it back from her. I didn't know her as well as this friend of mine who I discuss.

          I am a lot less bitter than I think many people would be and it wasn't the loan that busted the friendship, it was other things and it was about a two years later. At the time she couldn't afford any new school clothes for her three kids who were starting a new school, so I loaned her that  money just so they'd have SOME new things. Her middle child was being teased because of the old clothes and that was on top of already having a disfigured face (blind in one eye). She deserved some new clothes so I understood why her mom was so distraught she didn't have the money. I told her it was a loan, and she should pay me back when things were less tight.

          Then a month suddenly a huge flat screen TV her husband buys appears...back in that day they must have been well over $500. I admit, every time I'd walk by it I'd ironically (but not too bitterly, more resignedly) wave to it and say "hello" to my 500 bucks.

          Turns out they were partly keeping their money separate and she didn't apparently feel empowered enough (or whatever) to get money from her husband to buy the  kids clothes.

          So anyway, I wasn't an example of what your parents taught you, because to this moment I dont regret loaning her that money so those kids had brand new school clothes. It is hard enough to be the new kid with the accent (and one with a facial deformity) without having old hand me downs making up your entire wardrobe.

          I don't regret, rather I find IRONY in the situation that I could so use that $500 right now.

          Two of those three kids are happy successful young adults right now because of me, I was very close  to them.So I feel smug a bit about that money anyway.

          •  Good for you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fumie, swampyankee

            One thing that stuck with me from my penurious childhood was the lack of new clothes and shoes that fit.  We got one pair a school year...Full STOP!  Outgrew them, the heels or toes got slit and you kept them on.  So, when I had my kids, I swore up and down that, while they might not always be "new", they'd have shoes that looked decent and fit and at least one new outfit for the first day of school.  Amazingly, neither of them turned into an Imelda Marcos type! Though both seem to have inherited the ability to decide on a "new style for them", find the clothes etc. and, bang....about 18months later, that "style" is all the rage! ;)  I too could use the $ I've cast on the waters over the years......maybe the tide will turn for both of us.

            ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

            by Arianna Editrix on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 10:59:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, let it flow back to us! (0+ / 0-)

              It sounds like you did a good job not overcompensating and innadvertently "spoiling" your kids. I know parents who didn't have a lot when young who gave their kids too much or without a context. Kids can grow up entitled and snobbish.

               That's why the youth of nouveau riche families are more often snooty, materialistic, and entitled compared to many of the youth born into old money families. THe latter can be entitled of course, too. But in college kids from long time wealthy families seemed more palatable and "normal" than the others.

              Romney is a good example of this. Not an old money family, his dad scraped his way up to success and was seemingly grateful to the opportunities this country gave him. He was a staunch supporter of the underclass and working people. Apparently this did not rub off on his very privileged and seemingly pampered (trust fund, private schools) son who took a lesson from his upbringing that he was superior in intrinsic worth compared to people who struggled more. Remember how Romney tried to compare himself as "dirt poor"in order to "show" he understood their plight? Hahaha what a joke. As a married student eating canned tuna for dinner, he still did not have to work. Daddy's trust fund money paid living expenses. ANd the newly-married couples first house? That was bought outright (no morgage!) as a gift from his parents. Think about how much easier it is to get a good start toward success in adult life not having to worry about paying for school or taking out loans, or later buying and paying a morgage on the place you are raising your young family. Romney was free of those energy sapping worries and concerns and could concentrate better on the actions that help one climb the ladder. Romney thinks he got where he got solely by his own hard work and discounts the big boosts he got because of family money. I don't even have to mention the connections that got him into his first jobs since his dad had been Governor.

              makes me sick, that guy.

              •  You'd love my kids (0+ / 0-)

                Though I caught flak from both them and, believe it or not, other parents for my attitude towards "entitlements" that kids today seem to have. Ex: Want a cell phone?  For what?  You're in 8th grade! You can't have it at school. You don't have a job and you aren't going anywhere I don't know about.  Oh, still want a phone?  Get a job and buy one.  But I'll take it away if you don't keep your grades up.  He did just that.  I was griped at by the kids (normal) but by Other kids parents?  "You're awfully mean, making them get a job to pay for their own phones!"  "How come you're so strict?"  Strict???????  Me????  Omfg Roflmao!  They get away with murder compared to what my parents expected of us.

                ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

                by Arianna Editrix on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 04:19:54 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Prosperous immigrant communities do this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical, Wednesday Bizzare

        and it was due to the fact that they did not trust the American system of banking and financing. Much of that distrust was valid but a great deal of it was language barrier, lack of familiarity and hard earned lessons from the corrupt banking systems of their home countries. Jewish communities, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc., all maintain their own enclosed, informal system of financing their own stores and restaurants where their community shops and continues to recirculate the money. The insular nature of these communities was critical to the success of these systems.

        I think there are many reasons both external and internal as to why the black community has not been more successful in doing this. The external reasons are obvious and include racist reactions from the small to the all out destruction of the community. But the internal reasons are the ones that intrigue me the most. We are currently in a moment in American history with the largest AA middle class and largest number of AA millionaires. One would think that this would lead to better outcomes for the community as a whole - and perhaps the increases mentioned in the diary are those results. But the lack of a cohesive community, IMHO, is one of the critical reasons for the lack of greater success. Africa is a big place and even if there was a single point of origin the memory of it was stripped away by generations of enslavement.

        But let me be clear of one thing: what I am describing is discrimination. When a Jew says, "Well, if it will help a Jew..." then he is saying that he will apply different standards to one group than another. Biblically, Jews are not supposed to charge interest on loans made to other Jews (and Christians are not supposed to charge interest to anybody). Perhaps the greatest victory for the AA community is that they have made their gains by opening and improving the American system - for themselves and everybody else.

        Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

        by Terrapin on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:48:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not aware that the Jewish community does (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, Terrapin

          this any longer, though I am sure they once did. Perhaps aspects of it do but not all of us are plugged into that. I'm not. Maybe it is only for the affluent, say a group of Jews in a particular town who all go to the same synagogue.

          Maybe you are thinking of the ultra Orthodox Jews who life in insular communities?

          I can't imagine any Jew I know saying that line "well if it would help a Jew..." I'm almost fifty and have lived in a suburban and later, in a city area with a decent percentage of Jews.

          Most people are very assimilated now.IT would feel odd to us to put a stranger who is a Jew ahead of a stranger who is not. Maybe you are talking about the past. Maybe the oldest generation of Jews still does this but I don't ever encounter it.

          •  Yes, I was speaking about communities of (0+ / 0-)

            recent immigrants or other non-assimilated groups. After all, traditional banking is going to be loathe to risk lending to people who have recently arrived and have zero credit rating.

            I did not mean to give the impression that I was singling out any particular group and probably should have kept my descriptions more general.

            Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

            by Terrapin on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 05:01:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  or more precise...you said Jews (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Terrapin

              iirc, not Jews in the past or Orthodox Jews.

              See, I would love to (have) benefitted from the tight knitted community my parent's grew up in...a blue collar Jewish neighborhood, not particularly religious, of first and second generation immigrants who looked out for each other...almost like an extended family.

      •  That's why I draw up a paper for friend-loans. (3+ / 0-)

        It's not fancy - handwriting on a plain piece of paper - but it clearly states both our names, the amount, and the date at which it is to be paid in full (I generally allow a year per every $200). Both of us sign it, and the loan recipient gets a Xerox of the agreement. As payments come in, I note them on my copy of the agreement w/ the date.

        I've extended a couple of loans that way - but since I save like a demented squirrel I don't need that money for myself. (As the person above states, don't loan what you can't afford to lose.)

        Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

        by gardnerhill on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:35:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've heard that's the best idea (0+ / 0-)

          and if done right, even if it is handwritten and seemingly informal, is legally binding.

          Thing is, I wonder if someone is reluctant to pay you back how helpful would it be to wave the loan paper in front of their face as they are already being slippery--they know they owe you money so how does the paper help them overcome their slippery-ness?. Sure you could threaten to take them to (small claims) court but that hurts the relationship most likely the same.

          I am sure somehow it does work for you I just can imagine how it wouldn't.

          •  So far I've been lucky - trustworthy friends. (0+ / 0-)

            The one who wasn't trustworthy (and turned out not to be my friend) was the ex-roommate from hell who took me for a ride without benefit of paper. Fortunately she still owes me that lump of cash, which will keep her psychotic ass far far away from me (she assumed I'm as malicious and vindictive as she is, and she knows my brother's a lawyer). I consider that lost money a) a cheap insurance policy and b) a valuable lesson.

            And if nothing else? If the friend reneges on the loan (never has enough to pay you back, but always has enough for a new expensive acquisition cough*myex-roommate*cough), that piece of paper is concrete evidence to wave at someone to explain why that person is no longer your friend.

            Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

            by gardnerhill on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:56:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  $7449 in 1965 is worth about $55,000 today. (39+ / 0-)

    So it is actually far LESS worthwhile to get a college degree today, if you look only at the income potential.

    However, it is a lot harder to get a job without a college degree now than it was in 1965, when a high school degree was sufficient for most jobs. So that balances it out - you pretty much have to get a degree to get than job.

    Meaning you now have to pay for college to get a job that pays only a littler more than a high school graduate would get - if the high school graduate could get a job, that is.

    So you have to go into debt, then spend the extra you earn for a decade to pay it off. If you can get a job, of course. The system is rigged.

    •  THIS!!!! ^^^^ (9+ / 0-)

      Wish I could rec 100 times.

      If I have any spit left after I've licked my own wounds, I'll be glad to consider licking yours. Peace.

      by nancyjones on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:01:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoMoreLies, ypochris, mamamorgaine

      for pointing out the difference regarding inflation.  That stat was about to drive me batty.

      I was born in 1975.  The Inflation Calculator informed me that, in the year of my birth, one cent equaled what today would be four cents.  I keep this information at the ready when I read stats from mid- to late-20th century America.

    •  I thought something like that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LucyTooners, ypochris, rhauenstein

      $7500 was a LOT of money in 1965.  You could buy a new car for half that amount.  Having a college degree was a really big deal.  Now it's a requirement for most jobs.  I remember hiring someone back in the 80's who had stopped a few credits short of a college degree.  My boss said it was a bad move to hire him.  He was right.  The guy could never finish anything.  I think that's a big reason why college is important: it proves you can start something, stick with it, and finish it.  Everything you learn will be obsolete in a few years anyway, so it's not what you learn, it's what you learn to do.

      I'm still mad about Nixon.

      by J Orygun on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 11:25:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        Everything you learn will be obsolete in a few years anyway, so it's not what you learn, it's what you learn to do.

        Not everything becomes obsolete--math is math, for example.  But in general, I agree with you.  To me, what college does is teach students how to think:  it bestows a system of thought, so that pupils can take a framework of logic & inquiry into just about any arena & apply it to a variety of issues.

    •  I found this to be the case even for my generation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ypochris, MsShona, fumie, rhauenstein

      which is the baby boomer generation. I graduated from college in 1984 with a degree in business admin. I have worked for Fortune 500 companies all the way down to small business. Regardless of whether I have a job as an office manager, accountant, bookkeeper or office person I still have not ever made more than $50k per year with 30 yrs experience.

      The system is rigged as you say because unless you are well connected, get advanced degrees (sometimes) and a good ass kisser you are only going to go so far before you hit the ceiling. At my age I am not interested in an advanced career even if it were possible. Some of my contemporaries from past jobs have been able to make it into the more professional ranks but the majority of us -no. Which is why that argument posed by conservatives that if you work hard enough you can be rich and successful is a load of crap. There are only so many slots to move into and usually it is the no talent, lying, backstabbing, ass kissers that get noticed. Not us hard working, nose to the ground workers.

    •  That number is in constant 2012 dollars (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical

      Read the link in the diary:
      http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/...
      You can see from the graph that college grads' earning rose, while high school grads' earnings declined from 1964 to now.

  •  Not enough jobs. (14+ / 0-)

    There simply not enough jobs, and there are especially not enough middle class jobs.

    There also has to be jobs in the areas where black people are located. Otherwise we need to have a massive socialist program of relocating inner city residents in the areas where there are jobs. I don't think that will go over well.

    This is one reason I'm such a fanatic about small scale, (rooftop) solar power. That would create thousands if not millions of jobs, they would be unexportable, and they would exist in the urban centers.

    This problem of "not enough jobs" is something that urban dwellers have been experiencing for 40 years, especially since Reagan. It has hit the black urban poor the hardest.

    Since Bush, and esp. since the Great Recession, this is finally being noticed across the board.
    This is a good "teaching moment".
    We need more jobs, overall, as a country.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:21:20 PM PST

    •  When US Steel closed its plant in NW Indiana (10+ / 0-)

      that provided jobs for many blacks in nearby south Chicago, I understand 122,000 jobs disappeared.  Many other large employers also departed the Chicago area:  Western Electric, Admiral, Swift and Motorola, to name a few.

    •  Middle class jobs are simply a matter of pay (5+ / 0-)

      working an assembly line used to pay middle class wages and it certainly took less skill than many jobs that pay much less today. We as a country decided to pay less.

      “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

      by ban nock on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:50:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's true but the excuse was that we had to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie

        compete globally. Now we know that in reality people like Romney game that system and extract far more money than is necessary by laws of supply and demand. Another factor (excuse) is automation.

        Even by the standards of the 1%, (more profit), the current status quo is crazy, because the system is so dysfunctional that Wall Street (and private equity, I'm using WS metaphorically) has become a massive tumor on the economy that is killing the "free enterprise" system.
        By destroying the middle class, they're also destroying demand, which is what created the middle class and all the wonderful profits in the first place.

        We have to save them from themselves.

        We have to have a national priority of enough middle class and working class jobs to give people the opportunity to rise out of poverty. That's why the public sector should have been increasing jobs in the last 6 years (indeed, last 14 years) instead of decreasing.
        It will also create more opportunities for venture capital and entrepeneurialism for more people, rather than more excessive profits by a shrinking percentage.  

        Rooftop solar will create unexportable, sustainable working class jobs in the areas where people live. That's why it should be prioritized , even though it's not the only answer to our energy need.

        Health care expansion will also create unexportable jobs. We need to finish what the ACA started.

        I agree with your comment. The primary method of brainwashing people into accepting a declining standard of living was to blame the poor (especially innercity poor) and make excuses for the decline in jobs.
        Now we know better.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:18:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Need a way to move people to jobs (0+ / 0-)

      It is a given that there aren't enough jobs in Detroit or Oakland.  But there are a decent number of jobs in places like North Dakota. There was a time when people migrated en masse to work in the factories in Chicago and Detroit. Now those factories are gone. People need to migrate out of them.

  •  Like the above poster (6+ / 0-)

    said the crux of the problem is not enough jobs. This is a problem in all the communities but I'm sure it's magnified in the African American community. And then if you find a job it's almost guaranteed to be low paying these days.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:45:28 PM PST

  •  Statistics, damn statistics (4+ / 0-)

    Can you please tell me how 18% is "in the ballpark" of 32%?  From my view, that's a little, very little, more than half as many blacks as whites have college degrees?  Are we talking all kinds of degrees?  In any discipline?  From any kind of "institution of higher learning"?  That alone encompasses some strange bedfellows. Also, in employment circles, it still does matter where that degree is from.

    I'm not arguing just trying to drill down on what they are using as statistics.

    ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

    by Arianna Editrix on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 03:59:52 PM PST

    •  Good point, I should have explained that better... (5+ / 0-)

      This was my logic (and others are free to disagree). Round 18% up to 20%; round 32% down to 30%. There is a 10% difference in the college attainment rates of Blacks and Whites. Yet they are almost 3 times as likely (27% vs. 10%) to live in poverty.

      Let's look at it another way. 70% of White Americans do not have a college degree; 80% of Black Americans do not have a college degree. Overall, the majority of Americans, regardless of race, are not college graduates. So college really can't be the "great equalizer" when only a minority of the population actually goes that route...

      •  you still have the math wrong (0+ / 0-)

        32% of whites with college degrees is 78% greater than the 18% of blacks with college degrees (32-18)/18.  In other words, whites are 78% more likely than blacks to have a college degree.  And that's a big difference.

        As noted in the previous comment, you also need to take into account the type of degree, as science and engineering degrees pay much better than social science or arts degrees.

        •  Thank you both (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NoMoreLies

          I was also trying, ever so delicately, to expose the "tech colleges", "vocational training colleges" etc. that, from what I've seen are places that will take anyone, run up their debt and dump them out, degree or no.  Also, those folks target poorer communities as a whole with promises of "you don't have to take "extra junk" that won't get you a job" etc.  Some people use those to show "upward mobility" when the truth is that, once upon a time, a university degree was the ticket to the middle class.  Now, it's a ticket to debt and a bad job market.  

          ~Arianna_Editrix-- I willingly accept Cassandra’s fate, To speak the truth, altho’ believ’d too late

          by Arianna Editrix on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 09:35:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  78%? (0+ / 0-)

          That 78% figure is relative to the portion of the whole (the 18%). It's noteworthy...depending on the conversation. But I personally feel it's more beneficial to look at the whole population. And that reveals:

          The majority of White Americans do not have a college degree; yet are able to escape poverty at a higher rate (90% vs. our 70%). With our education levels, we "should" be at 80%. This difference isn't so significant. Until you revisit the welfare statistics...where 37% of all welfare recipients are Black; in spite of being a much smaller share of the overall population. So small gains in Black Americans rising out of the poverty area results in big gains in decreasing our share of the US welfare pie.

          This sort of dips into another subject (higher education), but the choice of a college major/degree program should not really be an issue when talking about poverty levels. The current federal poverty level for a family of 3 is $19,790. You can increase that figure by 25% to get the general cutoff maximum income level for food stamps (varies from area to area). That's about $12/hr of full-time work. Most college graduates, including liberal/fine arts and social science grads who work full-time make at least that much.

          •  I agree with your point, but 78% higher is correct (0+ / 0-)

            when you look at the relative proportions of whites vs blacks that have college degrees.

            I was responding to this:

            Black Americans have a 'in the ballpark range' regarding the percentage of college graduates to White Americans (18% vs. 32%),
            and then this
            Round 18% up to 20%; round 32% down to 30%. There is a 10% difference in the college attainment rates of Blacks and Whites. Yet they are almost 3 times as likely (27% vs. 10%) to live in poverty.
            In the latter case you recognize that 27% is nearly three times more than 10% (that is, nearly 200% greater), not 17% more.  Do you see that 32% = 1.78 times 18% ?  That is 77% more.

            If you now instead want to contrast the proportion without college degrees, then the proportion of blacks without college degrees exceeds that of whites by 20.6%

            Anyhow, I wholeheartedly agree with the content of your diary.  Thanks for raising these issues and providing those links.  I'm just a stickler for getting the numbers right.

  •  A comment from an old-timer. After LBJ signed (11+ / 0-)

    the Civil Rights Act, white employers in racially-biased areas were still trying to stonewall.  A white friend worked for the Publlic Utilities Commission in a deep-South state. They had an opening for an assistant to the commissioners.  My friend introduced an African-American acquaintance: she was super smart and well-educated. They interviewed her (because they figured they had to) but, of course didn't hire her.

    Then they felt pressure from the Feds checking out civil rights violations and hired the first female African-American applicant who came in the door.  (This was when it was still ok to have "male only" jobs and "female only" jobs.)  The new hire did not have the skills for the job.  This reinforced the racist white Commissioner guys' opinion that " 'Negroes' can't handle the complicated stuff."

    If they had hired my friend's candidate they would have gained an excellent employee, maybe gained some enlightenment, and kept out of trouble with the law.

    "Stand your ground" laws promote aggression rather than discretion."

    by Mayfly on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:14:33 PM PST

  •  I think the stats come from a new book (2+ / 0-)

    "Black Stats: African-Americans By the Numbers in the 21st Century" by Dr. Monique W. Morris. I either heard a report on the radio or saw something written about this book recently and recognized some of the categories cited in the diary.

    http://www.amazon.com/...

  •  The realities of Urban Low Income Black Americans (11+ / 0-)

    are too often evaluated through single cause lenses.

    Single parent households/breakdown of the family unit. Lower quality educational opportunities. Cultural de-prioritization of education. Lack of financial opportunity. Dependence on Welfare. Poor health care. Poor nutrition. Exposure to lead paint. Mental Illness. Drug and alcohol abuse. Concerns about safety. Gangs. Law enforcement. Housing. Racism. Jobs.

    Pick the one you think is the cause and try to change it. Pick the one you're sure isn't the cause and discount it.

    Doesn't change much, does it?

    "You don't have to be smart to laugh at fart jokes, but you have to be stupid not to." - Louis CK

    by New Jersey Boy on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 04:47:12 PM PST

  •  Still, a good many businesses won't hire. . . (3+ / 0-)

    . . .a black candidate. They may even feel they are forward thinking, but when it comes down to it, they exercise their deep rooted misgivings. And, once they have that position, they still must face, on a daily basis, the racism of the general public.

    My wifes business serves the public. Recently she hired a wonderful young black woman. Despite her competency, the people she serves still find issues with her and almost certainly due to her race. Fortunately for the woman, my wife stands steadfastedly by her, which makes me proud, even though there is a financial disincentive in doing so.

    Things have improved but we still have a long way to go.

    •  A TV investigative report (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MsShona

      did a show on how candidates with "ethnic sounding" names often were rejected right off the starting line. Their jeopardy increased if their non-ethnic name made it past the application review but the person's speech sounded to a phone interviewer as though it belonged to an African-American.

      •  Well. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        18038

        . . .there are times when part of the blame may fall on the candidate too. I once called a client and the sweet young black girl on the other end said "she's in the Baffroom". I shit you not. And, I know white rednecks that make no effort to speak a concise English sentence. It really doesn't take that much to make an effort. That being said, I am certain that the issue goes far further than just pronunciation or, in the example I mentioned, providing information that isn't necessary. It
        s a problem that is going to take some time to correct. We've come a long way. There is just far more to be done and some of it must be born by the candidates for the job themselves.

        •  What an odd response. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsShona

          You seem to be saying that you made an assumption about the fitness of the parent as a job candidate based on the phone etiquette (or lack thereof) of the woman's child. That pretty well makes my point above.

        •  Holy shit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsShona

          You are judging a woman as unfit for a job based on the way her child talks?

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 05:50:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  When you have a hundred applications (0+ / 0-)

            It can boil down to that.

            http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/

            by DAISHI on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:35:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Where did you get that idea? (0+ / 0-)

            First of all, I never said it was the womans child. The person was an intern. I never mentioned I thought she was unqualified, only that her phone response and pronunciation were very poor. As a high school graduate and part of a program to place those individuals, someone did not do a very good job of training this young woman and she did not take it upon herself to become trained.

            Had my business associate known that the young lady told that "she was in the Baffroom", my associate would have been mortified, not so much for the pronunciation but for the information shared. I knew my associate well enough to know this but I kept it my secret. The young lady was, after all, doing the best she could.

            How in the hell do you consider that "judging"? That's not judging but merely pointing out what "is". These young people need to understand that, in the business community, there are certain things that just "are" and they need to learn to adjust their way of thinking in order to succeed. And yeah, like it or not, pronunciation is part of that mix.

            Those young people entering those positions have a duty to themselves and to all the other interns that come after them. Now, I am certain that I will be a target for criticism for voicing that view but so be it. It happens to be the truth.

            •  She was an intern! (0+ / 0-)

              And you do realize this puts an extra burden on the poor, and especially people of color, right? Because we are a very segregated society. Black people especially developed their own speech patterns in certain regions specifically because of institutionalized segregation. I am white and my mom was raised middle class so I was raised to speak like I was a white middle class person. Many Americans do not have that advantage. Not only that, but for many Americans, there are clear cultural differences between what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

              So you can speak whatever truth you want, but the fact is, all you want is employees who talk and act like traditional middle class white people.

              Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

              by moviemeister76 on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 01:50:56 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You seriously need reading comprehension (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Be Skeptical, MsShona

                I never said I wanted employees that act like traditional middle class white people. I never said nor even implied anything of the sort. I remarked about a certain reality within the business (largely white) community. I never said it was correct or not.

                But to throw these young kids into that environment without preparing them properly into the realities of the situation is vary bad for all involved and almost certainly spells out disaster, whether it be small or great, and quite probably heartache for the young person, thrown into the situation completely innocent.

                I am sick of being attacked for merely voicing what is obvious and the truth. stop it.

  •  I'm shocked that (0+ / 0-)

    black folks only make up 12% of population. Are you sure?

    Knock twice, rap with your cane

    by plok on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:11:04 PM PST

    •  Latest US Census is 13.1% black for those (6+ / 0-)

      reporting only one race, however many who report to Census as only one race (black) are of mixed black and white race.
      See http://quickfacts.census.gov/...

      Judging this percentage by personal experience can be misleading.  Keep in mind that there is a high degree of geographic concentration at the state level, as well as in cities.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 07:13:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  very common for people to think there are more.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsShona

        black Americans than really exist.  

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:18:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've heard of psychology research (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MsShona

          that found if you put white Americans in a group that is 1/3 black, they think blacks are the majority of the group....and that if the group is half black, it's perceived as overwhelmingly black. Sorry I don't have the citation offhand, it was something my husband read somewhere.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:55:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Read a few years ago (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsShona

        that surveys show Americans think African Americans are 25% of the population and Jews are 10%.

        The reality (back then) was more like 11% AA and 3% Jewish.

        Kinda like how Americans think 25% of our federal budget goes to foreign aid. The reality is much, much less.

        Citing the Bible as proof of God is like citing comic books to prove the existence of Superman. (h/t to Stevie Ray Fromstein @ TheHolyAtheist.com)

        by rdbaker43 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:11:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Another important consideration is college major. (3+ / 0-)

    The variation in earning power differs more by degree than by college/no college.

    From my very anecdotal experience in STEM and business education.  I have seen far more Africans in these high paying fields than I have African Americans  

    •  College Major Is a Consideration... (9+ / 0-)

      I have a personal gripe with the all-around promotion of the STEM fields. I strongly agree that we need to see more minorities (women included) in STEM majors in college. However, it is a big mistake IMHO to 1) suggest that the majority of students take up study in these fields and 2) turn the traditional university into a vocational center.

      I fit the non-STEM statistic, trust me. I have a BA in Liberal Arts, I'm unemployed (although I do freelance work in web publishing...it's not a full-time income), and I have a pile of student loan debt. Even so, I do not for a second regret my college major. I did major in engineering for two years...and spent several years working in the technology industry. Here's what I found...over and over again. An inability to communicate effectively across various levels across the business. So basically you have engineers who can't communicate with salespeople; customer service professionals who can't communicate with managers. Oh, and writing skills have seemed to completely jump out the window in most cases...

      But even more unfortunate is how in general, how uninformed college graduates are about the world they live in. It used to surprise me....but now just causes me to throw up my hands, that people don't know basic history, geography, don't read the classics, etc. This limited education cuts off our ability to relate with those who are different than ourselves. Which actually helps to promote inequality, not work eradicate it.

      But getting back to this article...and looking at pay rates. I'm fine (and we all should be) with a communications professional making $40-$45K per year while an engineer makes twice as much money. Because even at $40K, you aren't rich...but you aren't living in poverty (well unless you're in NYC or something) either. So yeah, that's fine. What I'm not fine with is saying that liberal arts graduates, such as myself, are not employable. That's just hogwash. I've seen firsthand how businesses just tank because of inefficiency and bad communication. Oh and let's not forget that just because you are a scientist or engineer....doesn't mean you know how to manage people...

      •  OMG...you sound like me!! I have a BA in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MsShona

        Linguistics with a minor in Spanish and have held jobs as a Technical Writer and Business Analyst recently and the majority of folks in the technology arena couldn't communicate their way out of a paper bag! Don't even get me started on their writing skills (outside developing code)!

        An inability to communicate effectively across various levels across the business. So basically you have engineers who can't communicate with salespeople; customer service professionals who can't communicate with managers. Oh, and writing skills have seemed to completely jump out the window in most cases...
  •  You know what they say about statistics, right? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, nextstep

    However, I think that defenses in the NFL are vast majority black players, and that most penalties are committed by defenses. That's probably the more relevant stat in your link.

    Knock twice, rap with your cane

    by plok on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:13:58 PM PST

  •  I think a core point is that as income disparity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Thinking, Odysseus

    continues to increase those in the bottom stay in the bottom with more joining them from the middle.  Only very few with extraordinary skills can make it out of the bottom, no matter their education.  
    Racism exists, I truely believe, mostly in the lower middle classes. "mostly".  The higher in income/wealth you are the more classist you become.  Racist language at that level (IMHO and some personal experience) comes from:
    - elitism,
    - the fact that those beneath them can't look like them,
    - "minorities" are on average poorer, and
    - historical family table talk

    The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved. A.J. Ayer, Sir. "The Concept of Freedom "

    by Memory Corrupted on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 05:44:05 PM PST

  •  Great post Ms Shona (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, worldlotus, Kathy Scheidel

    There's a long way to go. A real good place to start would be to one way or another end every person in the US from living in poverty. Period.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Thu Feb 20, 2014 at 06:48:06 PM PST

    •  Thank you (4+ / 0-)

      Well, I don't know if the eradication of poverty is feasible in a capitalist society. I mean if someone does not have any skills or talents that others are willing to pay for, then they will remain poor. Sadly the elderly, physically and mentally handicapped, and those lacking basic education will always be on the out.

      However what is truly unfortunate is when you have educated, able-bodied people who are collecting welfare. And it is downright tragic that there are government leaders who promote the idea that it is somehow their fault and that they should feel bad about it.

  •  Sorry you haven't found a good job yet. (5+ / 0-)

    With your degree.

    I can remember graduating in 1983 during Reagan's Amerika and having 2 degrees and working for a year making donuts paying student loans.

    I'm white but from a really rural area and the problem you describe of no good jobs is same here. Even if they hire you for your degree they want to pay you substandard wages.

    I hope you find something good, and yeah agree 100% not only black people  but most people I know who are getting any form of help are working. But work doesn't pay anymore.

    •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, Arianna Editrix

      Your sentiments are too kind. Yeah, it is what it is. The job market is pretty lukewarm where I live, so I've accepted that. But I just put my situation out there to show that not everyone on welfare is uneducated, lazy and just looking for a handout. Many of us paid our dues...it just didn't work out for us.

      •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

        Because it was so hard to find not a good but a living wage job where I live when I got one I've kept it for 30 years.

        The really sad part is when I plug the starting salary I made in 1984 into an inflation calculator, the kids who I work with who started here recently make $3500 less in real terms than I did  30 years ago. Sad.

  •  We need to broaden the circle (5+ / 0-)

    Ever since Reagan, those who profit by keeping people poor have used the argument that giving people benefits for not working encourages people not to work. While there is a lot less to this argument than meets the eye, it's persuasive. (It even contains a small kernel of truth; economists will tell you that there are disincentives to work built into the system of assistance as it exists.) More recently, this trope has been enlarged so that conservatives think they're doing people a favor by denying them food and shelter.

    I think it is time to use a little jiujitsu. A logical response to conservatives who argue that benefits are a disincentive to work is to point out that wages--and more job availability--are incentives that promote work. So, if conservatives want to be consistent, they should promote a minimum wage and government spending to create useful jobs.  

    But of course it was never about that. Poverty has always been a way to keep people scared and divided. Threatening to fire people has always been a way to threaten them with homelessness and loss of medical care. A "reserve army of the unemployed," as one 19th century political philosopher put it, helps to keep wages low and profits high.  

    Capitalism should be a good system, one much more efficient at allocating resources than socialism, and hence more productive. But greed and a lack of democracy have ruined it, perhaps beyond repair. Unless we can restore democracy and the regulation necessary to keep capitalism from dissolving into an orgy of greed, we can expect that people will regard socialism as the only alternative.

    Please don't be discouraged by low wages, MsShona. What you are facing is a problem that many people, even high-tech professionals are facing, namely efforts to destroy the capacity of working people to bargain for their wages. We need to broaden the circle, unite everyone from welfare Moms to out-of-work software engineers to demand that capitalism reform itself.

  •  Welfare by other names (6+ / 0-)

    The problem here is that there are lots of government programs that help people disproportionately to what they pay in
    for example since we overspend probably by a factor of 10(conservatively) of what we actually need for defense,  Defense contracts are essentially welfare for the CEO's of the companies and their stockholders
    the fact that there is a conversation about blacks and welfare is in itself the conservative media race baiting- rarely do we hear- those white rich guys and their defense contracts, or those white rich guys and their bank bailouts, or those white rich guys   bankrupting companies and making the government pick up the pension liabilities- when will these rich white guys stop depending on the government ?
    the fact that we dont here that shows the inherent racism in the political system

  •  Thank you! DailyKos needs more of this, imho (0+ / 0-)

    More of Bill Cosby's "tough love," and less of the "Golem effect" of low-expectations. Portraying blacks (Hispanics, Indians, etc.) only as victims is demeaning.

    This is not to deny the structural racism that still runs deep in America -- especially in the geographic racism of public-school funding based on local property-values, imho. These issues will need to be addressed for the foreseeable future.

    But we also should help identify how people beat these odds. And the ways in which they might make the odds against themselves even worse.

  •  Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies

    This older book will give you a pretty good handle on the conservative strategies used to attempt to marginalize segments of the population not favorable to them.

  •  coming to a white suburb near (or far from) you (0+ / 0-)

    I would say the black community is in the vanguard of the active disenfranchisement of individual Americans, who at one time might have been considered citizens. The black community has been there longer, of course, essentially for all of American history. But as citizens of the favored racial class in America have handed over their birthright to corporations, disenfranchisement is spreading everywhere. The corporations have almost completed their takeover of America, having supplanted individual Americans of every color and creed (with a net worth of less than seven figures) as the new form of American citizen. Your proof is in the cynically named astroturf movements driving disastrous (and intentional) decidions by every branch of our government: 'Citizens United,' 'Citizens for the American Way,' 'Citizens for Anything'.... all fronts funded by, and representing, corporations.

    And the job creators? listen to the kristallnacht rantings from Silicon Valley... they aren't job creators: they see their own employees as welfare recipients and moochers.

    black Americans are 13% of the population? But the ruling class things 47% of Americans are moochers... so it clearly isn't about being black at all. It's about not being rich enough to pay the ante and get in the game.

  •  Post-Racial Era, My Ass! (0+ / 0-)

    Most welfare recipients are white children, but right-wing racist assholes don't let Facts or TRUTH mitigate their knee-jerk reactionary bigotry.

    EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY (42 USC sec. 2000(e)(2)) is the law because personnel bigots were extremely uncomfortable with people they never socialized with -- it's not a voluntary embrace of diversity.  
    (The job procurement process is NOT one where there is honesty and openness, and for good reason.)

  •  GOP lie the stat debunks & the problem it shows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsShona

    That stat debunks the GOP meme that black people are an unfair burden on soociety due to 'welfare hogging'.

    In fact the vast amount of money spent on programs for 'poor moochers' goes to white people. So since whites are making such a huge unfair burden on society... we should employ a conservative notion and ship them all back to Europe or put them in jail (or we could, you know, just start doing something about poverty). :P

    But then what the statistic also shows is that poverty is racist - its disproportionately hitting people of color. And if we then start to look at why; we uncover the entire engine of institutionalized racism that works to hold down people of color.

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:08:16 AM PST

  •  I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsShona

    ...a huge percentage of rhetoric on the left is about some sort of rah-rah consistency.  We're a racist society, there are huge structural impediments to equality,  and we treat people who lean on the commonweal (of any race) like crap.  Decent folks tend to think that we should take care of everybody, that we should not be arresting and jailing black America, and that opportunity should be managed in ways that give options to people who are on the margins.  But for some reason we can't just, y'know, say it...we go on making points for the sake of the article or blog post, and the deep truth -- which has a profoundly liberal bias, I think -- gets left on the floor.

    I suppose, when our opponents will grab at anything, doing the same from our side seems necessary and sensible.  I probably don't understand people well enough to know if that's true, but it sure feels wrong.  Even when the writer's heart is in the right place and they are trying to put a good light on things.

    The other thing that struck me reading your diary is that welfare, in the broad sense that republicans vilify and democrats defend, no longer exists (in no small part thanks to Clinton's triangulating and thoughtless legislation).  

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 11:25:42 AM PST

  •  Great Diary! My favorite of the week by far. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsShona

    When the Civil Rights Act passed, it was a good first step in establishing rights for blacks, but provided no means to pull blacks up from the depths of poverty they were in. It was like, "here you go, here are some rights, but you're on your own. Even though we created this mess you're in, enslaving you and all, treating you like animals, we are providing you no additional help, no other services. Again, you're on your own." Kinda like that. I freaking hate when people talk about blacks as welfare queens or lazy. People really choose not to critically think about our past, and how it relates to position blacks are in today.

    Why we'd be better off governed by sloths reason #8: evidence suggests that even the youngest of sloths understand compassion, a trait that escapes many human politicians. Follow me on Twitter @SacSloth

    by SacSloth on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:06:04 PM PST

  •  A more telling number is the double digit (0+ / 0-)

    unemployment among blacks. That shows that AAs are looking
    for jobs and having about half the success of finding them as white Americans.
       Once you grasp the lack of opportunity, you can put the welfare issue into perspective.

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