A Dream Denied

Dear MLK Jr.,

This may come as a surprise, but almost one hundred and fifty years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Negro still is not free. One hundred and fifty years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred and fifty years later, African Americans wander lost on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of intangible futures, and commodity derivatives. One hundred and fifty years later, the Negro still languishes in the corners of American society and finds himself a second class exile in his own land. [1]
On 10/16/2011 there will be a formal commemoration of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington DC , with a keynote address by President Barack  Obama…. (ok so the Dream isn’t totally lost!)

The Quote : “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal,’”[2] seems less than accurate considering the Annual Unemployment Rates between whites and blacks from 2001 to 2010.

”]What is particularly ironic, actually bordering on the ridiculous, is the hue and cry raised throughout the majority when faced with the same level of unemployment that Blacks have faced from the start of the 21st century.

A year into the recession, the Black unemployment rate increased by almost 4 percentage points while the rate for Whites increased by just over 2 percentage points.

In 2009 the Annual Unemployment rate for Blacks was 14.5% versus 8.5% for Whites, a difference of 7 percentage points.

In 2010 the Annual Unemployment rate for Blacks was 16.0% versus 8.7% for Whites, a difference of 7.3 percentage points.

In September 2011 the Black Unemployment Rate was 15.9% while the White rate was 7.6%, a difference of 8.3 percentage points.

What is clear is that in the bad times the Black unemployment rate increases faster than the White rate, and as the economy improves the Black unemployment rate decreases slower than the White rate. What may not be as clear is the lower standard of living, the lower standard of education, and health care represented by  each percentage point on the Unemployment charts.

[1] adapted from the “I have a Dream Speech” http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

[2] http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0874987.html

[E1] http://www.bls.gov/webapps/legacy/cpsatab2.htm

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