“There’s an old saying among black activists in terms of unemployment, ‘When the nation catches a cold, we (blacks) get pneumonia,'” said David Bositis, a senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
Blacks and Hispanics have been hit the hardest by the economic recession. Since Sept. 11, President George W. Bush has done well in reassuring the nation that all will be well, against terrorism that is. However, that does not extinguish the fact that the United States’ economy is in the worst slump it’s seen in almost a decade.
According to blackamericaweb.com, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in December was 7.9 percent, the highest it’s been since July 1997. The unemployment rate for blacks was 10.2 percent – twice that of whites. Also, there are many undocumented minority workers, which means that the unemployment rates could be even higher.
Minorities occupy most of the jobs in manufacturing, air transportation, hotels and temporary employment services. These industries have been hit the hardest by the recession. Also, now that the economy’s downturn is official, economists are leaning on the motto that minorities will be the “last hired and first fired.”
When the economy is booming, minorities are the last ones hired because most are believed to be younger, have lower levels of education and less experience.
Political analysts expect the nation to bounce back from the recession later this year, but the bounce will probably have a late reaction when it comes to minorities.
“Latinos and African-Americans are usually the last to benefit from the recovery,” said Charles Kamasaki, a senior vice president at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group.
History has proven that after the U.S. has been through a war, the economy starts booming again. Large corporations are laying off workers by the thousands, but Congress has spent $60 billion since September 2001 on anti-terrorism practices. The U.S. has not spent that much on anti-terrorism in the last five years combined.
The media puts forth the image that this war on terrorism is one-sided in the United States’ favor. So, it’s futile to spend so much unnecessary money on terrorism when there are 120 men in San Francisco who are applying for only 11 job openings.
-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board.