Last week I couldn't help but watch with sadness the National Urban League's annual "State of Black America" report being released at a press conference. This was their 39th annual report. According to their press release, "it has become the most highly anticipated benchmarks and sources for thought leadership around racial equality in America across economics (including employment, income and housing), education, health, social justice and civic engagement. Each edition of the State of Black America contains thoughtful commentary and insightful analysis from leading figures and thought leaders in politics, the corporate arena, NGOs, academia and popular culture.
The theme of the 2015 State of Black America, "Save Our Cities: Education, Jobs + Justice," conveys the urgency of focus around each of these areas and their interconnectedness in our ongoing quest for full equality in America.
So, what is the state of black America in 2015? In short, on many fronts, black America remains in crisis—and we see justice challenged at every turn."
As you might guess, I have a different point of view.
The state of black America in 2015 is not in crisis; but rather the state of the "media-appointed black leadership" is in crisis. This includes organizations and people like the National Urban League (headed by Marc Morial), National Action Network (headed by Al Sharpton), the NAACP (headed by Cornell Brooks) and the Congressional Black Caucus (headed by Democratic Congressman G.K Butterfield of North Carolina).
All of the above groups and their "media-appointed leaders" have one thing in common: They all are vestiges of the Democratic Party. They are all card-carrying members of the Democratic Party and all of their proposed solutions to what ails the black community come straight out of Democratic talking points.
The interesting thing is that these groups and their leadership are totally out of step with the grassroots within the black community.
Blacks consistently support marriage between a man and a woman; and school choice and vouchers more than any other group. But this group's "leadership" has been willingly hijacked by the fringe left at the expense of the very people they claim to represent.
The saddest part of watching Morial's press conference last week was that he refused to state the obvious—that the past six years under Obama, America's first black president, has been an unmitigated disaster for blacks.
Mr. Obama's campaign theme in 2008 was "Hope and Change." Now, after six years, people, especially blacks, are saying they have no hope that he changes. Mr. Obama is the first president in the history of the U.S. to deliberately ignore his largest voting bloc—the black community.
We are 13 percent of the population and gave Mr. Obama 96 percent and 94 percent of our vote in 2008 and 2012, respectively. In 2012, the black voter participation rate (66.2 percent) was higher than overall turnout (58 percent) and, for the first time in the history of the U.S., higher than the white rate (64.1 percent). So, where is the "voter suppression" that liberals keep talking about?
If Mr. Obama was a corporation, his largest shareholders would be: blacks, whites, Latinos and Asians. In capital markets, dividend payouts are distributed according to percentage of ownership, from the highest to the lowest. On this principle, blacks should be the largest recipient of Mr. Obama's largesse. But in typical Democratic fashion, blacks don't even get crumbs from the table.
The biggest beneficiaries of Mr. Obama's presidency are: homosexuals (an estimated 2 percent of the population), illegal immigrants, Hispanics and whites. I challenge my readers to name one thing Mr. Obama has done "specifically" to benefit the black community—the largest shareholder in "Obama Inc." If black voters were shareholders in "Obama Inc.," they could have gone to court and sued for fraud and breach of contract—and prevailed.
The black community had every expectation that Mr. Obama would provide "targeted" remedies to address seemingly intractably high unemployment within our community. Instead, the black unemployment rate rose from 10.3 percent in January of this year to 10.4 percent last month; yet the national rate fell from 5.7 percent to 5.5 percent during the same period—and not a word from this president.
Blacks had every right to expect Mr. Obama to be supportive of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Instead, the HBCU community and its students have been devastated under this president; but yet they continue to swear their allegiance to Obama's presidency.
According to the Urban League's own numbers, "the median African-American household income was $34,815, or only 60 percent of the $57,684 for white households. Blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to live in poverty.
The median black wealth is $6,314 compared with $110,500 for whites, meaning the median black household has only 6 cents for every dollar the median white household possesses."
These negative indices didn't begin under Obama, but there is no denying that they have accelerated during the past six years. If we had a white president presiding over these types of economic numbers, Democrat or Republican, blacks would be screaming to the high heavens about the state of the black community.
The first thing blacks must do is to accept the fact that Obama is the problem, but we all know that will not happen. The state of black America is denial.
Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs and PR firm based in Washington, D.C. Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has coined the phrase "straticist." As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations. Call RJA to discuss how they can get you to the next level of your career.
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