THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

The disproportionate impact of the economy on African Americans …

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on September 16, 2008

Recent economic turmoil will bring to light the disproportionate impact negative economic indicators typically have on African Americans.  2 million African Americans are out of work, losing 55,000 jobs alone since December 2007. And while the national unemployment rate is 6.1%, the Black unemployment rate is 11%, up from 9% in 2000.  That’s more than twice the unemployment rate of Whites (5%) and higher than Latinos (8%).  Black wages are at a standstill, only growing at an annual rate of 0.2% since 2000.

Based on these indicators disproportionately impacting African-Americans, there is more evidence as to the very high stakes nature of this election. Clearly, this election is not a laughing matter (despite the incessant chuckling of former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani on a recent installment of Meet the Press). It is not an election to be toyed with, and the domestic and global ramifications are very real.

That’s why the recent tone of the campaign is very disconcerting and irresponsible. The silver lining in the data is that, perhaps, as it circulates, it will wake us up. The larger American electorate and media must really stop the focus on irrelevant campaign gossip, innuendo and cheeky personality tests.

We need a frank discussion on those essential “bread and butter” topics.” And, contrary to the bigoted notions of pollsters and pundits, African-Americans have those discussions everyday — long before this election started — since the reality of the data is a constant in our lives.

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