I am troubled. I could not sleep having read the numbers and thought of the implications they held. The severity of them stands out, with a stark foreboding nature. And I think you will agree.
The numbers I speak of come from USAToday, and the Pew Research Center. Simply stated, African American kids are more likely to make less than their parents. Specifically this is what was found for middle-class Blacks, a group of individuals that is incredibly small and decreasing every day. In that group 70% of the children made less money than their parents, while virtually 70% of White children of middle-class parents made more. And if you are wondering, this is from October 2007 hardly ancient times.
What this implies is very straight forward. Life as an African American is about to get much more difficult rather than better. And this is the situation when there are more Blacks involved with government, business, and entertainment than perhaps ever in the history of the United States. Is it any surprise that when asked 56% of Blacks see things getting worse, or that Whites asked the same question had the same percentage (56%) saw the future for Blacks improving.
I can hardly imagine a more problematic situation for the nation. On one end we have the very real perception that fewer are doing better held by African Americans, and the other is a cheerful belief that life is getting better held by Whites. Is there any wonder that so many question why there is such an uproar when events like Genarlow Wilson, Megan Williams, or the Jena 6 occur? Blacks see things becoming more like the 1950’s and Whites see a hoped for future envisioned in the late 1960’s.
The window dressing looks fantastic. Figureheads like Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Denzel Washington, Bill Cosby and Senator Barack Obama are making strides that my grand-parents could only dream of. Yet, fewer children stand a chance of gaining even a portion of such success in their adulthood. And that means strife. And strife inevitably equates to violence.
The question arises why this is happening. Some will say it’s the fact that Blacks fail to be involved in their community. Others claim it’s a lack of education. There is the question of the loss of the 2 parent family, and the impact of major media promoting base, generally illegal, violent aspects of culture. I believe they are all factors to different degrees.
Given that, why would Whites have an entirely opposite belief of what the current status is? Thinking about it, and speaking with a friend that is in a mixed marriage, I would say that it’s because of the figureheads they see. Because Senator Obama is running for President, and Condoleezza Rice is Secretary of State, and the apparent opulence of a few, very visible entertainers (mostly rappers in this case) the impression is that things must be better in general as 20 or 30 years ago you did not see this. That of course is the assumption of thinking what you see in one is common for all.
While there are dramatically more African Americans in politics today (elected office or in the executive branch) there is no difference in injustices in the legal system (as I am aware). 30 years ago a Black man would get sentenced harsher than a White for the same crime, and violence against a White virtually guaranteed a life sentence or the death penalty. That has not changed. In the 1990’s Rodney King was viciously beaten by cops that were acquitted, last year Sean Bell and 3 Black men were shot (he was killed) multiple times by 5 police officers without cause (no viable proof was ever provided to my knowledge). There is no difference.
Yet many might point to the success of OJ Simpson as an example of the correction in the balance of the law. And I would have to counter that for over a decade he has been hounded by the media with the carefully worded accusation of guilty ever since. And there are the examples I cited earlier, which are a mere handful of cases that show a consistent trend in the media and legal system.
Continued in part 2…