Budget poses bias to blacks

t still seems that we as blacks in America are treating racism as if it is a mirage.

U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, joined several Democratic lawmakers March 24 to criticize President George W. Bush’s 2005 budget for “shortchanging” blacks.

“It’s all about priorities and President Bush’s priorities are misplaced,” Ross said during a news conference held at the U.S. Capitol to introduce a report: “The Bush Budget Shortchanges African Americans.”

No, Bush’s priorities are not misplaced. To say something is “misplaced” is to say that it has the propensity to be in a proper place. And when lawmakers and blacks in America alike realize that Bush, or almost any Caucasian president for that matter, will never put our issues anywhere near the forefront of his agenda, we as a people will be that much better off.

Our needs will always be toward the back of the house of requests – near the garbage can or fireplace. The only time Bush will do something to help us is when it directly or indirectly helps him or when we leave him no choice.

Thus, it comes as no surprise to me that Bush’s proposed budget cuts $79 million in funding to the Small Business Administration, according to the report. This organization helps more than 800,000 black-owned businesses, most of which take money out of the pocket of huge Caucasian-owned corporations.

The budget proposal also slices money away from other federal programs such as education and health care that benefit us.

This impending mismanagement of federal funds is nothing new, which is part of the reason why a report also released on March 24th by the National Urban League, “The State of Black America 2004,” showed the disparities that exist in economics, housing, education, health, social justice and civic engagement.

And for you black people with white collars around your necks hoping for these people to take you somewhere, I’m sorry to inform you that we as blacks in America will need to narrow these disparities ourselves. Trust me, Bush won’t do it.

Ibram Rogers is senior newspaper journalism and African-American studies student from Manassas, Va. Contact him at ibramrogers@aol.com.