Blacks make gains but still lag behind the white man

By Nobel Johns

While Blacks have made some gains in this racist country, the white man still got his foot up these nigger ass, we still got an over representation of our Black men in every jail in every coner of this country.

In areas ranging from jobs to home ownership to politics, Blacks continue to make gains, but equality with whites remains a far-off goal, the National Urban League says in its annual report on the state of Black America.

Howerver, in areas ranging from criminal justice, oppression and the incarceration of Black men, the report makes no mention about the “Great Outrage.” The outrage is that Black men make up 70% of the prison population while they less than 7% of the U.S. population. Is that racism or what?

``When you look at the data, yes, we have made substantial headway, but there are still — without a shadow of a doubt — substantial gaps in every category, every vital sign,'' said Urban League President Hugh Price. ``We're making steady progress but we're not in the end zone yet.''

Even with AIDS, Black in this country are getting a flat deal. The vocal gay community, led mainly by white males, responded to the early threat of AIDS by using political muscle to marshal federal, state and local resources. But Blacks were slower to organize, Rockeymoore says in her essay, ``African Americans Confront a Pandemic: Assessing Community Impact, Organization and Advocacy in the Second Decade of AIDS.''

That lack of a coordinated, early mobilization, combined with ``poverty, substance abuse problems and exclusion from social insurance programs'' has placed Black and Hispanic communities ``at a distinct disadvantage in their efforts to ward off the spread of AIDS,'' Rockeymoore writes.

The report, a collection of eight essays written by experts in fields such as labor, home ownership and civil rights, is intended to capture an annual snapshot of Blacks in America. The first one was published in 1976.

The authors highlight several areas where Blacks have made gains yet disparity persists. Among them:

—During the 1990s, Black unemployment fell to its lowest level in 30 years. The rate of poverty among Black families fell to 26 percent, the lowest ever recorded, Bernard Anderson, a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, says in the essay ``The Black Worker: Continuing Quest for Economic Parity.''

Yet Black workers have been hit harder by the recession than others. In June, the unemployment rate for whites was 5.2 percent; for Blacks it was more than twice that, 10.7 percent.

—In the workplace, Blacks are about twice as likely to hold lower-paying, less-prestigious service jobs. About 20 percent of Blacks hold professional or managerial jobs, while more than 30 percent of whites do. Less than 1 percent of certified public accountants, for example, are Black, Theresa Young, associate professor of accounting at Boston College says in the essay ``Holding the Accountants Accountable: Why are there so few African-American CPAs?''

—Compared to whites and the rest of the nation, blacks are still stuck in the pre-civil rights era when it comes to owning their homes. For whites, the homeownership rate is 74 percent. For blacks, it is 48 percent — the national rate in the 1940s.

—There were more than 9,000 Black elected officials in the year 2000 — more than at any other time in the nation's history, the report says, drawing on data from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

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