A View From The Handbasket

Sunday, March 26, 2006
Shhh. It's a secret.
Posted by Tyrone at 8:54 PM
It may as well be a secret given the scant press given to Black joblessness. Notable in this New York Times piece are the new eye-popping jobless statistics that, unlike official unemployment rates, include those Blacks either no longer seeking employment or incarcerated. Here's a taste:

  • By 2004, 50 percent of black men in their 20's who lacked a college education were jobless [unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated], as were 72 percent of high school dropouts.
  • By their mid-30's, 30 percent of black men with no more than a high school education have served time in prison, and 60 percent of dropouts have.
  • Among black dropouts in their late 20's, more are in prison on a given day — 34 percent — than are working — 30 percent.
  • In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high school.

Did I say eye-popping?

There can be no doubt that America has failed these people. Damned near doomed at birth, what chance do these men have? And there but for the grace of God go you or I.

So what gives? Articles like this recent Times piece, much like those dealing with inner-city schools, are almost nowhere to be found, and other than Bob Somerby’s Daily Howler, the liberal blogosphere can’t be said to champion these issues either. Republicans, of course, are big on self-reliance and “you choose, you lose” rhetoric. And Democrats have distanced themselves from their roots. Not to mention the problematic nature of spending huge sums of money on a non-voting segment of the population who, in the minds of most, are nothing but a bunch of coke-snorting gangsta rappers. But I think there’s something more at play here.

"I don't understand," said William Baker, 47. "If a man wants to change, why won't society give him a chance to prove he's a changed person?" Mr. Baker has a lot of record to overcome, he admits, not least his recent 15-year stay in the state penitentiary for armed robbery.

Mr. Baker certainly asks a reasonable question: Why not give him a second chance to prove he's changed? After all, who among us hasn't been granted more than a few second chances? But unless Mr. Baker stuck his finger in his coat pocket and politely asked for that money, he more than likely used a gun and was granted a 15-year stint.

So what accounts for the Left's apathy here? Is the Left saying: Stick a gun in my face and I no longer care about your inability to read at other than a fourth-grade level, your shit environment and all the other disadvantages you endured while growing up?

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