Their unemployment rate went way up, and despite occasional hints of improvement stayed up. The African-American jobless rate finally maxed out at 16.7% just seven months ago, a full two years and two months after the recession’s end. The rate fell to 13.6% in January, but jumped to 14.1% in February, a movement that the government’s March 9 employment report oddly characterized as showing “little or no change.”
That 0.5% increase was indeed small relative to another change in African-American unemployment: The jobless rate for men 20 and older spiked to 14.3% in February from 12.7% the previous month. While the “mancession” element of the recession’s impact has ended for the workforce as a whole (the overall unemployment rates for men and women 20 and older were identical in February), the jobless rate for African-American women was still 1.9 points lower than that of African-American men.
By contrast, the seasonally adjusted Hispanic unemployment rate peaked (though at a much higher rate) in December 1982, the first month after the official end of the deep recession of the early 1980s; the African-American jobless rate peaked the very next month. Both rates headed steadily downward for the rest of that decade.
Readers may have noticed that a certain Professor Derrick Bell has been in the news since Thursday, March 8. That’s when the late Andrew Breitbart’s associates released a video of some guy introducing and hugging Bell, who died in October 2011, at a 1990s Harvard rally. This guy told those assembled: “Open up your hearts and your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell.” The video involving Bell, “a man who posited that the civil rights movement was too moderate because it accepted the status quo, and believed that the entire legal and constitutional system had to be transformed in radical fashion,” proves that this guy “not only associated with radicals, he was their advocate.”
While this guy, Barack Obama, has presided over the United States of America, the plight of blacks and Hispanics has worsened significantly, and to a much greater degree than it has for whites (for whom the past three years also haven’t exactly been easy), pleasing the imaginary group I described earlier.
Amazingly, at least at first glance, Obama’s economic failures haven’t visibly infuriated those his misguided policies have hurt the most. His defenders and his party have gone out of their way to excuse his mistakes and are working feverishly on behalf of his reelection. The reason for this should now be obvious: They subscribe to what Bell believed.
Despite what they say, the economy is important to them, and to Obama, only to the extent that its favorable portrayal regardless of the underlying reality facilitates victory in November. The fundamental transformation of America as we have known it is what really matters to them. They must be stopped, or we will see suffering that makes what we’re enduring today seem like a picnic.