Marshall Frank, community columnist12:05 a.m. EDT September 18, 2016
I’m one American citizen who’s heard enough of the rhetoric about black oppression and white supremacy. Race baiters continue to stoke the flames of hatred because it intimidates and garners attention.
Fact: Race relations in this country have taken a nose dive since the inauguration of Barack Obama. And that’s not because more people have become racist.
Despite being led by a first-black president, little has improved for poor blacks in America today, than in 2009. Obama has made some black appointments in high places, hosted lots of rich celebrities in the White House and made lots of speeches, but the fact remains, black unemployment remains dismal today and the plight of violent, inner-city criminal activity among black youths has soared.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rate for young blacks up to age 24 stands at 20.6 percent, more than double that of white males in the same age bracket. According to the Pew Research Center, the rate of blacks living in poverty is 27.2 percent, higher than in 2009 when the rate stood at 25.8 percent.
The Department of Commerce reports that in 2012, 13 percent of recipients of federal aid such as Medicaid and housing assistance are white, 23 percent are Hispanic and 41.6 percent are black. The median income among black households has declined 1.5 percent in the seven years President Obama has been in office.
So, what has Obama accomplished for people of color?
The National Review published an article on March 24 that cited the backslide of black people under the first black president. Pandering for votes, Donald Trump has asked the black community, “What have you got to lose?”
A question worth pondering. Conditions certainly haven’t improved under this president.
Oppression and discrimination against blacks is a shameful part of American history, no one can dispute that.
However, the racial disparities of the mid-20th century have been vigorously addressed by government and educational institutions and for the most part, are eliminated. The Black Lives Matter movement was born of a sham, an absolute lie from which the anarchists have capitalized, making things worse, not better, in police/community relations.
I personally witnessed the arc of change from my early days as a police rookie in Miami-Dade in the 1960s to modern times. Black oppression and white privilege absolutely existed.
But big changes started in the 1970s through the turn of the century. School busing programs were enacted. Blacks have been awarded special consideration for college scholarship programs. Revised hiring and promotion systems within public and private sector organizations were instituted to ensure opportunities to blacks, Hispanics and women.
Many civil service jobs once had a strict process for promotions, which included testing and performance. They were amended to allow appointments up the ladder based on color, sex and ethnicity, not just performance. I know. I was there. I watched when minority officers were catapulted to top-level commanders in order to equalize disparities there. Cops, in general, accepted the new thinking as part of the evolution. Some resented having followed the rules for years only to find themselves working under people who did not.
Today, blacks have made enormous progress. Besides a black president, and many blacks heading government departments, minorities successfully lead in a wide range of work places including big business, politics, media, sports and entertainment, banking, military and more.
But that has not elevated millions of other blacks out of the morass of welfare dependency, nor has it improved family environments for kids, where 75 percent of infants are born out of wedlock, leaving mothers to find low-level jobs, glean what they can from welfare, and leave their teenage kids to be raised and influenced by others in the ‘hood. The beat goes on.
We need to end the guilt trips and the blame game, and start creating more opportunity for everyone.