Obama’s “Economic Race Legacy”

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Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

Obama’s “Economic Race Legacy”

WASHINGTON -

The New York Times reports in “Wealth Gap Among Races Widened Since Recession” that: “Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between non-Hispanic white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

‘”It was already dismal,’ Darrick Hamilton, a professor at the New School in New York, said of the wealth gap between black and white households. ‘It got even worse.’”

KEVIN GRAY, kevinagray57 at gmail.com
Author of The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama, Gray just wrote the piece “Obama’s Economic Race Legacy,” which states: “From the start, President Barack Obama has shown little interest or loyalty in the issues that affect the poor, working class and people of color in the United States. For almost his entire first term he didn’t utter the words poor or poverty. Early on he reminded African Americans: ‘I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America…’

“So it’s not so surprising that Obama hasn’t done much of substance or impact to ease, let alone end, the depression in the black community. He’s been on the side of the banks and Wall Street since co-signing George Bush’s and Hank Paulsen’s TARP ‘too big to fail’ bank bailout at the expense of underwater homeowners and middle-class taxpayers. …

“As his economic race legacy unfolds, Obama’s recovery is worse than the George W. Bush recession for blacks. Overall median household income has fallen over $4,000 since he took office but black Americans have had a decrease in real income of over 11 percent. Unemployment is officially at 14-plus percent for blacks, nearly double that of the overall economy. When Obama entered the White House in January 2009, black unemployment was 12.7 percent. The highest black unemployment rate during Obama’s time in office was 16.7 percent in August 2011. During the eight years of Bush black unemployment didn’t rise above 13 percent. The rate reached its highest point of the Bush presidency, 12.1 percent, in December 2008.

“Black youth unemployment is more than likely above 50 percent with entry level drugs sales as their seemingly only viable employment option. …

“At this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, comedian Conan O’Brien joked: ‘Mr. President, your hair is so white, it could be a member of your cabinet.’ Black exclusion and disparities under Obama are now reduced to a joke. And Obama walks to the podium to rap music and makes Jay-Z jokes. And those in the bubble at the top laugh. As Bruce Dixon of the Black Agenda Report wrote: ‘When Barack Obama leaves the White House in January 2017, what will black America, his earliest and most consistent supporters, have to show for making his political career possible. We’ll have the T-shirts and buttons and posters, the souvenirs. That will be the good news. The bad news is what else we’ll have … and not.’

“At the very least, African Americans should mobilize to head off the erosion of their wealth invested in social security. They should demand that those that they send to the House and Senate protect that interest even in the face of a president all too willing to sell them out. He may be limited to two terms. They are not.”

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A nationwide consortium, the Institute for Public Accuracy (IPA) represents an unprecedented effort to bring other voices to the mass-media table often dominated by a few major think tanks. IPA works to broaden public discourse in mainstream media, while building communication with alternative media outlets and grassroots activists.

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