State of the Dream 2010 in The New York Times

"In some poor neighborhoods, a man or woman with a traditional full-time job is the exception, not the rule. In five Midwestern states — Nebraska, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Oklahoma — the jobless rate for blacks is at least three times as high as that for whites.

Some decades ago, you would have heard a sustained outcry against such dire conditions among blacks, and there would have been loud demands for policy changes designed to bring more black Americans into the economic mainstream. You don’t hear much of that now. Too many so-called black leaders are much more interested in invitations to the White House and positive profiles in mainstream publications than in raising any kind of ruckus that might benefit people in real trouble.

What the politicians and today’s civil rights types won’t tell you is that we’re looking ahead to many long decades of grief and strife in America’s black communities because of our failure to respond effectively to the horrendous impact of the Great Recession and the policies that led up to it. Black Americans are going backward economically, and right now no one is stepping up to stop the retreat.

United for a Fair Economy, in its latest “State of the Dream” report, which is released annually around the time of Dr. King’s birthday, is urging Congress and the president to identify communities with the highest unemployment rates and develop specific job-creation initiatives for them."

Read the full article by Bob Herbert in The New York Times.


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