There is a major disparity in the black unemployment rate when you compare it to the white unemployment rate. The official national unemployment rate is 7.6 percent but the white rate in May was 6.7 percent and the black rate was 13.5 percent. In some states such as Michigan, the black jobless rate is even higher, at 18.7 percent.
So the job recovery that we hear every day from the media appears to have missed our community, where 50 percent of males are unemployed.
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, which helps to co-produce a jobs report said, “The softer job market this spring is largely due to significant fiscal drag from tax increases and government spending cuts. Government spending cuts are impacting African Americans in various ways, from jobs, including furloughs enforced due to the sequester, to safety-net and educational programs. As a result, the black unemployment rate continues to be nearly twice as high as the overall rate.”
So there is still a recession in the black community and President Barack Obama must be asked by our lawmakers and leaders, “What is your plan to improve the condition of our community?” Since he took office, black America has taken an economic beating and has been swindled out of two generations of wealth.
Some 40 percent of black children live in poverty and the incarceration rate for black men is so high that it is a national disgrace.
Blacks are aware that the squeaky wheel gets the oil but we tend to stay quiet and not upset the apple cart and, up to this point, President Barack Obama has gotten a free ride from the black community, who are proud of the first black president.
He appears to be sitting on the sidelines and he knows that he has our community in his back pocket.
Many blacks feel that they cannot question or disagree with the president’s policies and, as a result, there is no national Black Agenda or plan for the black community coming from the White House. But there is no way that the majority of blacks can be satisfied with the state of Black America in 2013.
It is time to upset the apple cart and let the president know we want action from him and the federal government to help us recover from the recession and provide jobs in our community.
It is important to challenge the president and put pressure on him to develop policies and problems that address the black community.
Meanwhile, since the current recovery is not designed to stop the economic free-fall of Black America, so we must also take matters into our own hands and become self-reliant and patronize one another. We must develop our own comprehensive Black Agenda that addresses several fundamental problems in our community. I would assume that jobs would be at the top of the list.
For us to start recovering from the recession, it is essential that we take control of our own economic destiny. We must begin to partner and collaborate with one another and think globally and internationally.
*Roger Caldwell is an Orlando-based journalist, radio host, CEO of On Point Media Group and an author who has written the book The Inspiring Journey of a Stroke Survivor that details his recovery from a massive stroke. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org