by Yvette Carnell
One of the problems with assimilation is that it caused black people to discuss life’s events, and stumbles, in concert with white people. The assimilated narrative is that there is no white or black, only – American. In that sense, we were led to believe, wrongly, that we are one people. President Obama even advanced this hollow idea with the analogy that one wave lifts all boats, not allowing for the truism that life’s circumstances are not nature’s waves, but man’s creations. They can be uncreated just as easily as they were created.
When people, like Obama, evoke this sense of sameness, what they’re really saying is that black people must mute their added burdens in order to exalt a false notion of patriotism. American patriotism proclaims that you should substitute discussions of degrees of impact for platitudes about how we are “all in this together.” Shocker: We’re not. We never were. We’re in this recession, this fight for our lives, alone. Obama isn’t here with us, and neither are any of the economists you see muttering on about how a course correction is due just around the corner.
The White Recession was sharp and painful, but soon over. White America is slowly returning to normal. It’s a shade poorer normal to be sure, but normal all the same.
For white men, October 2009 brought the highest unemployment rate of the past sixty years. White male unemployment maxed out at 9.7 percent. It’s now stable at 6.9 percent.
This rate is still too high, but it’s not catastrophic – unless you’re one of the 6.9 percent.
The white female unemployment rate is now even lower: just 6.8 percent. Throughout the recession, it never rose above 7.3 percent.
The White Economy is weak, but it’s been weak for a long time. It’s been dragged down by long-term wage stagnation, cuts in government professional employment and declining union membership.
The Black Economy, on the other hand, is still in full-blown recession.
The Black Recession has now dragged on for four years, if not forty. Black male unemployment is 14.8 percent, and the current trend is up.
The Black Recession isn’t going anywhere, and President Obama has already made his position crystal clear:
“I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.”
We’re at double the unemployment rate of whites, so obviously, these programs (remind me, what are they again?) that Obama has put in place have failed – at least for us. Although most of us are too sheepish to say it, Obama’s track record, in terms of helping black people wade through this recession, is shitty. So how do we come out of it?
As with any addiction, the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Once black America accepts its addiction to everything Obama, then we can see clearly that today looks a lot more like the day before the election of 2008 than the change Obama promised. Only then can we truly grapple with the Black Recession, its impact, and its potential solutions. Right now, however, we’re like cracksheads on the floor scrambling for that last rock that fell under the rug. We’re still deep in the throws of our addiction.
If you want to recover you can, but emotional addictions are the worst, so it’s gonna be an itchy weekend…