Is Obama hurting the Black community?

Make it a priority of your second hundred days!

This is worthy of a real answer.
I think that we are seeing Americans talk about race, discrimination and social issue more than maybe any time since the 60’s. Obama’s presence has created dialog-dialog that should have been going on 30 years ago.

I see where the OP was going with his post, and it is a legitimate question. He simply asks why there is little media coverage of the plight of minorities now when they are apparently suffering as much or worse than they were during the last period of economic recession.

To be honest, I don’t think it’s any kind of plot to keep the information out of the news in order to not offend anyone or reflect poorly on the PResident or any such thing. I think it’s a simple matter of having so much going on now that wasn’t going on then that the numbers simply get lost in the shuffle. The sad fact has always been that minority unemployment rates run slightly higher than the average, and this is bearing out in a time when the average unemployment rate is through the roof. With all the bad economic, international and political news clogging the airways it would take a collosal spike in drug use or disease rates among any segment of the population to make headlines right now.

I think there is also still a sense of “give it time, see what happens” going on in this country. Most people are smart enough to understand that Obama has inherited a hornet’s nest of problems, while even more have cropped up in the months since he took office, and there’s only so many hours in a day. Social services reform was something his administration campaigned on, and people will hold him to that promise in the future, but there really is an overwhelming amount of work to be done to solve the urgent issues facing the entire nation right now, and fixing those issues will benefit everyone, regardless of race or socio-economic status.

I see a lot more black faces on tv, and not just in low end UPN style comedies. So, in a way, I think Obama’s election HAS accomplished a goal- getting people involved, people who otherwise would not have been invited to the party.

Does it mean people are ignoring the other problems still existing? I don’t think so, it’s just that the only time the plight of unemployed blacks is going to be a focus is if everyone else is enjoying high employment. Then you’d be right to ask “what’s wrong with this picture?”. Right now, everyone is suffering, so no one wants to hear any other group whine about how they have it worse.

But they DO have it worse. It’s not a whine, it’s a reality. Does anyone care? Probably not, but let’s face facts here.

I am glad to see that the knee-jerk posts to the OP did not fill up the entire first page before others were able to point out that he was asking an honest question.

Maybe this is only what I saw, but on a semi-related note, did any of you see newsbites and stories from the black community that thought things would all get better for those suffering once Obama got in office. I realize what I saw was not representative of the black community as a whole and probably was only a small percentage, but I do believe there was a sizeable portion of folks that thought the world was going to change.

You saw articles suggesting that black/white unemployment gap would shrink substantially within a bit over 4 months of Obama’s inauguration and/or other major measurable problems of blacks relative to whites would quickly and sharply decline?

Links please, because I’d be very interested in reading articles with claims along those lines…

Sorry, I was not clear, not studies or researched, published articles…anecdotal interviews and discussions with citizens on local and national news.

Hmm, even so, there’s a difference between a “man on the street” interview with a black person optimistically hoping that Obama’s election will mean better things for blacks as a whole, versus trying to argue that thoughtful commentators (or even typical jubilant, perhaps over-optimistic, black Obama supporters on election night) would expect substantial progress on wide disparities in a matter of months.

Agree wholeheartedly. My only question was as to how many men on the street were expecting substantial progress in a short period of time. Obviously, there is no research to support any hard figures. I just wonder how many people, in general, vote and through a change in parties and ideas in an election, expect the country to move quickly in a different direction.

More basically, I wonder how many voting citizens actually grasp the idea of how awfully long it takes to affect change.

I think it’s feasible that blacks hoped that the situation wouldn’t get worse, as it seemed to under Bush (Katrina is the defining moment here).

I think we can use the present tense for a bit longer, don’t you?

Is it really racism, now, today, or just inequal social status caused by previous racism? I take a lot of crap from my liberal “comrades” for this but I kinda think we do live in a country that is largely free of racism and the problem now facing us is that of solving poverty, irregardless of its color. Doing stuff like dealing with the financial crisis responsibly and reforming healthcare is probably the best place to start on that. I don’t think it’s really that bad to say that, yes, Obama being elected is a nice indicator of how far we’ve come on getting rid of racism.

Huh? I was speaking of blacks at the time of the election. So since it’s no longer election time, I believe the proper tense is the past. But maybe up in Northern Ca the election is still going on or something.

You should tell my neighbors that.

I was a little startled when their response to finding out we were having a kid was to thank us, because apparently white people need to start having more babies or black people will take over the country.

Except, uh, “black people” wasn’t exactly their choice of phrasing.

There was then a long rant about welfare queens which made me feel like I was back in the 80’s again. Kind of an uncomfortable moment there.


As I see it, the bottom line problem (with employment) is that 40% of jobs (that aren’t filled internally) are filled by referral. If the referring person is white and knows no blacks or other minorities (because of previous segregation/racist practices/whatever) then he or she will likely refer a white person. This person who also may be a product of a racist society also refers a white person, and the ‘whiteness’ issue is perpetuated. None of these people are racist themselves but they aren’t referring blacks, thereby not helping out the situation.

This article is interesting also. It’s a myth that middle class blacks are not suffering in proportion to blacks living below the poverty line. The article I linked to discusses that, as well as other articles that I’ve seen.

I absolutely believe that further integration of minorities in society will then result in better jobs for properly qualified people. Now that is colored by where I live. In LA, blacks are a blip on the landscape. Whites are much more concerned with whether or not Spanish will become the official language of California than anything about black people. I know in the South things are different there and there are still racist attitudes regarding blacks. I recall St. Gabe that you also live in Southern California. I don’t know if you’ve spent a lot of time in the South but things are much different there than here.

I’ve lived all over the world. My wife lived in Africa and visited all over, including South Africa just shortly after apartheid. I think this is part of why I feel that racism is overblown in the U.S. I’ve seen the real thing and I don’t think we have it nearly as bad as we think we do.

I think there’s still a gap and it’s worth looking at but I think we’re at the point that treating these problems, first and foremost, as problems of prejudice is going about things the wrong way. I don’t doubt that there is evidence that African Americans aren’t doing on par with other “racial” profiles. I just think this has more to do with the demographics of poverty than it has to do with active racism and prejudice.

I think it’s a problem where liberals frequently lose their way. Instead of harping about the last remnants of racism in a country that has largely overcome it I think we should be celebrating the great accomplishments thus far and using that to show off the triumph of liberalism as we move forward to tackling new, equally vexing problems.

I’m probably projecting here though and making my case more strongly than I need to. My wife has a lot of social worker friends who are very liberal and can’t stop talking about how horrible everything is today. It drives me nuts. I’ll ask them point blank if they think things are better today than 20, 30, 40 years ago and they’ll say “no” as though the civil rights movement never happened.

It’s a problem of race, but I don’t think it’s a problem of racism, at least not today. I’m too lazy to look up the actual statistics, but I don’t know if the situation is better today than it was 20 years ago, in terms of the differential between white and black unemployment.