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July 24th, 2008
09:41 AM ET

Recessions and black America

Program Note: In the next installment of CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch encore presentation Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET


We devote several days on the blog to smart insight and commentary related to the special.

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CNN's Stephanie Elam examines the impact of a recession on blacks in the U.S.
CNN's Stephanie Elam examines the impact of a recession on blacks in the U.S.
Stephanie Elam
CNN Business News Correspondent

When I set out to do a story on the effect recessions have on black Americans, I was prepared for some dire statistics. I wasn’t pleasantly surprised. Here’s my biggest takeaway: as the unemployment rate increases for the population overall in a recession, the increase among blacks is roughly double. And when a recession hits, blacks take longer to regain employment after the economy recovers.

As if that isn’t bad enough, it was what I learned about younger black Americans that really left an impact. According to John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the unemployment rate for black teens is about twice that of white teens. In the recession that lasted from 1980 into 1982 – the black teen unemployment rate skyrocketed to 50 percent.

If young people can’t get a job, their future prospects are greatly limited. As Schmitt put it, people in this situation can languish in unemployment or low-wage jobs that don’t help build a foundation for future wage increases or better opportunities. The teenage unemployment rate for blacks is a huge indicator of the future.

No doubt there are several reasons for the disparity. For one thing, while the number of college-educated blacks continues to grow there is still a larger group that has a high school diploma or less. That’s the demographic that tends to suffer the most during a recession. Another problem is a decline in manufacturing jobs. In fact, most of the black American middle-class built its wealth through manufacturing and union jobs held in the fifties, sixties and seventies. At the end of the seventies, a quarter of black workers had manufacturing jobs. Today, that statistic is down to 10 percent.

A lot of the headlines at CNN are about Issue #1 – the economy – but it seems for many blacks in America the headline is even more specific: Jobs Wanted.


Filed under: Black in America • Economy • Stephanie Elam
soundoff (322 Responses)
  1. Craig

    I do agree with Cindy from GA, the economic situation is affecting everyone in the US. I myself am struggling to make ends meat. It sickens me to hear black people complain and whine about their lives, when they do nothing about it or don't even try to better themselves. Stop whining and do something to better yourself.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Billy

    Ulysses Tendell.....

    Thats not racisim. You drive a red porshe 944 twinturbo which just screams pull me over. Same for me and I'm white, I drive a highly modified red sports car and I get pulled over on a daily bases by all different sorts of cops. And because I'm young I get asked time and time again how did I afford the car...I don't consider that racism. Face it, you drive a sports car you're gonna get harashed no matter what color you are.

    -Billy

    July 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Mike

    CNN is really trying to stir up the racism in America, it seems that most of their recent stories are about "black america"... screw that – As far as I'm concerned, you're either AMERICAN or NOT AMERICAN... stop trying to create a seperation in our nation, CNN. Stop.. It's pathetic.

    July 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  4. Kip

    Next on CNN White in America what it's like to have it ALL and not be affected buy Hurricanes,Recessions or any Disaster how do they do it?

    STOP WITH Black in America How About ... AMERICAN in AMERICA

    July 24, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  5. Matt

    Why are there so many articles on CNN about blacks in america?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  6. americalost

    Loretta from California,

    Maybe it's because they can't spell 'corporate'.

    Education helps.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:59 pm |
  7. Michelle

    Hello,
    This issue rings true...I am an educated black woman and it is harder for blacks. I know I have to be ten times better than my white counter part in order to get or keep a job and even then It doesn't mean it's secure.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  8. Tom H

    Calvin – I go to a college that has a very large percentage of black students. I rarely see them enter the library to study, but that doesn't mean they aren't there.

    CNN – I should have guessed you wouldn't allow my last post since I busted you out about picking and choosing statistics and warping them to say what you want them to instead of what the facts actually point to. You probably didn't like me mentioning affirmative(discriminatory) action and how it makes certain that a specific number of black applicants will receive jobs even if a better qualified white candidate applies.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  9. George

    Why is everything about race. Look maybe more people of color happen to have jobs that are hit harder by recession, like construction, jobs in labor sector, etc. Also communities of color also have to take some responsibilities as well. Don't act like all of the young black men out there are striving for something better only hoping for a break...some are, but other are trying to get it by dealing drugs, gangs, or other thugish behavior. That goes for other groups also to include whites, but you have to admit the fast cash MO' Money attitude of flash before substance is rampid in black communities. I'm tired of the "Oh we blacks have it so hard..." Look put some effort into something and make better decisions in your life. There are so many black men and women in sports, Hollywood, music, military, media, government...are you saying they are all Uncle Tom's? Come on... Stop looking for excuses as to why you are not getting the breaks, and go out there and make some through hard work and ethical behavior. That goes for black, white, brown, or purple polka-dotted.
    BTW, I'm a 34 MWM, soldier, recent college graduate 2008, IT professional.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  10. Ichigo

    OMG. Racist.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:58 pm |
  11. A. From Orlando

    Everybody is struggling and loosing their homes. Gas is high for everyone not just Black Americans. When we go to the store, I have yet to see a sign that reads Black America, you pay this much everyone else pays a lower cost. Give me a break. I live in a gated community with a Range Rover and Mercedes parked outside. My neighbor who lives to the right of me and across the street is in foreclosure. By the way, they are a White Family and I'm Black. My mortgage is paid and on time. Please stop trying to encapsulate us as the under achievers in America.

    I am a 3rd generation college graduate and my birth canal was open to education, family values and progressiveness. The African Americans that I know are just like me normal tax paying citizens. So where is our story? Why does Black in America portray such a struggle for Black families such as gang activity, drug dealers and broken homes and recession crisis? I have never mirrored your depiction of us as a group of people. Could the answer be there is no sensationalism in showing progressive forward thinking family oriented African Americans, who share and have attained the same dream as White America? Why aren’t we discussing the white woman and her divorce rate? Or white men and their taste for pedophilia behavior? Why aren’t we discussing the domination of white America on welfare and the white girl and her high abortion rate? Why is it that Is your plight not worth noting?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:57 pm |
  12. Christina Jorgensen

    I am so sick of the blacks getting everything for free and they still want more, like getting paid to do school work while the white kids don't if it was the other way around it would be racism they get to go to college free white people have to pay there is allot of white people having problems why not have a show about that? Oh wait a minute you can't for fear of getting sued by the blacks that want everything and more. Well if you are not going to pay me to learn in school I guess I will not learn. Since you are going to pay me then I will learn. It is not fair to the white people. If I get pulled over by a white cop the it is racism I have to only talk to a black officer because I am black but if a white person did that then it would be racism not right. There are alot of black in goverment jobs who can not talk right and they get all these jobs for example go to the VA Hospital 90% are black no white people hardly so don't try and hand me this line of bull that blacks have it worse then whites. Blacks have more rights the white anymore.
    I am sick of this.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  13. Bill

    it does not change the facts or statistics???

    Please, any fact can be twisted or taken out of context. The percentage of "hurt" blacks is not the only stat we should worry about.

    Why not get to the root of the problem, if they don't finish school. Or if they don't get the support of their families to perform. And they don't get "home training", how are they going to become solid earners? How many of those unemployeable numbers wore cloths that reflected the "gangsta" values that NO employee would want in their business? How many of those that did, even realized that was not the way to present an employable image?

    Please, just measure presentage of "low income" regardless of race or as a function of persentage of race in relation to income level. If 50% of blacks are low income and 20% of white are low income, then if 50% of that 50% and 50% of the 20% are having problems, we can see how you can manage the stupid numbers to give what ever you want it to say.

    I say, quit allowing jobs to flow OUT of the US, raise the import taxes and forget the other countries level playing field .. We are US and they are THEM. Take care of US.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  14. Good Article

    The recession has impacted a lot of Americans, regardless of color.

    Racism sill exist, but there are more AA millionaires than ever in the US.

    Not all black dads are dead beats (pay $7k a month in child support and alimony for my 4 kids and to support a stay at home mom) and participate in all of my kids activities).

    Someday we need to focus on our real enemy/competitioon – China, socialism, too much TV, fixing our family law legal system, and our poor education system.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  15. Drew

    In my own opinion blacks have always suffered even in a stable economy so of course when a reccession comes along BLACKS WILL SUFFER MORE THEN OTHERS. That was the point in gathering up all those statistics. The main reasons for the sufferation in black America is education is not pursued as it should be leading to poor jobs then leading to frustration and those that cannot handle the woes of almost working for nothing will then turn to crime which leads to incarceration. Its all a cycle in Black America when you are born into that environment where all you see is drugs and violence it takes self-motivation and slef-responsibility to overcome your circumstances to reach for a higher education and career. Therefore the black youths will be in a better postion when they are born. Plain and Simple!

    July 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  16. Michael K

    The headline and topic would actually be relevant if it were "Recession hits poor people hardest".

    Putting the focus on race obscures the fact that many people suffer (and suffer unfairly) that are not black. Making this about all the people affected by the recession helps us measure the real impact as well as develop real solutions that help everybody.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:56 pm |
  17. Chris

    And for the ignorant people who are bashing blacks for having children out of wed-lock, here on the east caost there are just as many white people having kids that they cant afford. so please stop it.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  18. CEC

    Hello everyone – what it really means is that we are not investing in our workforce to meet the needs of the current or changing economy. Many African-Americans who live below the poverty level, as well as everyone else in the same income level, do not have access to the same information, education and resources as others more fortunate – many working poor are without knowledge of where jobs and career ladders are that will help them. The traditional manufacturing jobs that once existed for blue collar folks of all race, colors and creed are gone. So, the larger question is where will be the next equivalent of those jobs, what are the skills in demand (more than a GED or HS diploma?) and how do we connect the working poor to those jobs and the opportunities to obtain those skills. Bear in mind again, that many poor are isolated from resources and opportunities – which includes a very large number of African Americans (one only has to look at public housing locations, transportation and other community ammenities in poor neighborhoods or the lack thereof). This is not an issue of race this is a crisis that unfortunately is hurting many poor African "Americans" most – we should all be concerned.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  19. Alan

    As long as your talking about white, black, and hispanic americans separately, you'll never be free of the racial bigotry and divisions in America.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  20. Buck Freed

    Have any of you heard Bill Cosby's take on "black America" and why the pity is cast on this group of people by the liberal media more often than not. Come people; wake up, put your boots on and go to work. You will not only feel like a better person at the end of the day but you will also receive a real paycheck at the end of the week and then you can tand back and breath a little. Enjoy what you have earned and mabey even help other less fortunate people see the light as well. It's called resposibility, unfortunately a large percentage of the American population has forgotten what that is is and is expecting a handout from those of us that actually work. So long...

    July 24, 2008 at 12:55 pm |
  21. Granville Ivey

    Recessions affect everyone. The key is Education. Recessions affect the un-educated at a higher rate. So for all people the key is education.
    If a country allows its un-educated class to grow to large numbers without investing in them then it will lose it competiveness against the rest of the world. It is also the responsibility of the individual.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  22. Whitney

    The article is called 'recessions AND black america', and is meant to shine light on the disproportionately unemployed blacks in this country. It does not say that recessions only affect black people. Recession is not an isolated event; by definition it represents the state of a country's finances. Of course we are all affected, but the statistics are so startling to me because we are talking about numbers. In a country that is predominately white, a minority race has higher unemployment rates, higher teen unemployment rates. How can this be attributed to anything but a societal issue?

    Whit
    Texas

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  23. Larry WI

    I guess this is true because the blacks still aren't edgemcated, right? After all how come impotant blacks continually talk about educating the blacks? Must be because they still need it. Bill Cosby, Jessie J, Obama and evn MLK, talk about the lack of education of the blacks, so whose to blame here, ah let's see, the blacks?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  24. sanjay

    I know the bad economy hurts everyone, but saying that the BLACK are suffering more is not right. If blacks want to sell the drugs only and dont want to go to school and want to live like those Rappers, then its their problem. Society cant do anything to support them.

    I am also sick of these black women and black teen girls, they know only one thing; how to have sex when they are 10 years old or so. They can have as many children as they want, but then dont ask us to support them....................

    Sanjay
    Detroit, MI

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  25. Jackie

    TC, you talk about the adverse effects that slavery still has on the blacks of today. Wonder what kind of effects Jesus Christ stil endures? That is the silliest thing I have ever heard. Think about all the gangs and killings and the effects this has on the families of the victims. Most of these gangs are either blacks or hispanics and the victims are white. You are ridiculous!!!

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  26. Mel

    Any way you slice it, White people are privileged over black people. As a White person I have to work hard to stand up for the fact that most White people have a limited view of Black's as a whole. I live in a mostly Black community and it is harder for lower educated Black people to find decent paying jobs. It is not as hard for White people with the same education to find decent paying jobs. Being in education, I see that the scales tip toward making sure our White middle class and Upper class are better educated in American. So while racism does not exist anymore in some people's eyes, it is still alive and in effect in many of the educational policies in American. Would you send your child to a public school with limited resources, bad facilities and poor funding. No, of course you would strive not to, but unfortunately most poor Black people have no choice and no knowledge that there is a choice. I am taking a human stance not a racial stance. White people have privilege over the Blacks and once again it is our responsibility to make sure we are not abusing this and fighting to make it more balanced in politics and education.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:54 pm |
  27. Keli

    Also, this isn"t 1980-1982. The Country has greatly improved since then. And it takes everyone time to recover from the recession. It takes others even longer depending on how bad they were hit, but just by having black skin doesn't mean it takes even longer. That's a case by case and you should do a more thorough, fair study.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  28. Amy - CT

    We do not have to see the actual statistics in order to see the big picture here. As Cindy and many others state so, we are ALL struggling. Maybe if we stop collecting statistics on all things black and dangle the results in everyone's face, people will stop being so damn angry on the issues and we can all just GET ALONG. It's just time to stop collecting this typically inaccurate data, stop crying and just keep truckin' along. The stats are only there to stir things up. The fact of the matter here is that AMERICA is in serious economic crisis. I'm an educated white female in her 30's who can't even get a job at Barnes & Noble at this point. I live in my parent's basement and I job search as if it's my actual job. The last thing I need right now is to hear that some "black" person has it worse than me. We ALL have it bad. I'm actually quite lucky to even have a place to stay during this bad time in my life. So whatever your color may be, please stop looking at this as an issue of color and realize that we are ALL in very deep trouble.

    Good luck to ANYONE AND EVERYONE who may be out of work right now. It is pure daily torture... even for those around us with jobs.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  29. Josh

    Could not have said it better Melissa. Excuses Excuses Excuses for not going out there and getting an education

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  30. Jason

    I think there's a terrible lack in black leadership in this country. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Farrakhan are all opportunistic snake oil salesmen. Only what they're selling isn't tonic, it's entitlement. An attitude that garners no respect whatsoever from the larger white population. Instead of focusing on blacks taking some responsibility for education pulling themselves up through adversity and bias, they lean on it as a crutch and an excuse for failure.

    I went to a predominantly blue collar white college northeast of Pittsburgh. Because my school was didn't have the "correct mix" racially they were at risk of not qualifying for federal/state funds. They literally sent buses to inner city philly and pittsburgh and brought black kids to school *for free*.

    A black friend who lived on my floor in my major had literally a .7 for his first year (schools policy on grades was anything under 2.0 probation for a semester kicked out the next if it didn't come up). Two years later he was still getting a free ride (changed major to the easiest thing he could find) and had a cumulative 1.3 gpa after three years.

    So yeah, there's a lot of bias in the world, and it doesn't all go against blacks... where are the CNN news articles about those?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  31. bl

    tc,
    Remember you can't say anything about slavery due to the fact that Blacks were also selling thier own to whites to come to America. The fact is that hystory was what happened in the past and we as Americans must learn from that and move on to improve matters in our country. Obama was wrong to single out Black men as not being good fathers. next time he needs to gather all men; black, white, brown, yellow, and green. and tell them to be a man you need to take care of your kids. THAT MAKES A MAN........

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  32. John

    For the most part, jobs are created by the mainstream white corporate culture (even low-skill jobs). Higher education for blacks helps but there is a real bias against blacks because of their 'hip-hop' culture or peculiar mannerisms which does not mesh well with the corporate white culture. It seems that college educated professional blacks that I work with have adopted behavior/mannerisms that do mesh with the mainstream corporate culture. Education/experience and behavior exhibited during the interview process does make a difference.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:52 pm |
  33. Chris

    I think you guys are al morons... Please stop playing the race game. I am a 23 year black male, with a degree in biology from a private university, and currently in the last year of my legal studies. I have a job at a firm lined up, and am currently a director for a non-profit organization, as well as a myriad of other credentials which I need not get into now

    Having said that, I think my resume, would well exceed may of you idiots who are making ignorant comments here. prior to entering law school, I had a tough time finding a job. Was it because of my race? (Maybe) Was it because of my youth? (maybe) I can list a number of other potential elements that would have contributed to the fact that I had a difficult time finding a job. Point being that there are too many factors to consider for one to specifically identify race as the end-all-be-all cause of the problems. I think further research is necessary.
    Although I have suffered covert racism on may different levels, all of us need to stop bickering over race, learn persaverance, and push through the rough time.
    Americans in general are soft. Always looking for an excuse, or a magic pill. Sop being lazy, and create your own destiny, black, white, rich, poor, educated, or ill-educated.

    Chris from philly

    July 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  34. Niki

    Wow. White people really don't get it. I thought that perhaps CNN,'s focus on some of our issues would help White America to actually start to understand there IS a difference. But the attitutes displayed by most of the commentors show that the reason why Blacks still are affected by racism is that people are still not willing to look at their own prejudices and attitudes. The same attitudes you take to the workplace, schools and streets. Someone actually said if we stoped having all these kids, we would not be affected by the recession. Nice.

    I hope you all start to read analytically. When someone presents facts, it is menat for you to learn something.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  35. DJ

    My first comment is to TC – Were you ever a slave?

    Secondly, I would like to see the statistics to show the number of black teens to white teens that apply for jobs. When you look at all of the statistics you can get a better picture.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:51 pm |
  36. Steve

    Why make it about race? People with fewer financial reserves are hit harder by recessions. It may be the case many black people have few financial reserves, but it is an economic issue not a race issue.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  37. demin magdalen

    Whinners.
    black in america are being hit harder. its true.
    but immigrants are being hit the hardest.
    not to be rude to the african american, but being african american is a walk in the park compared to be illegal immigrant. immigrants are people too, they suffer this economic downfall worst than anyone else.
    the difference...?
    illegal immigrants cant complaint.
    they have families just like african americans, but they dont exist.
    is it black todays color to aknowledge?
    i say, some attention should be put on brown.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  38. Q

    I'm a black woman and this article is stupid... sorry... but it is... if there was no recession they would be in the same predicament... seriously can we stop this unnecessary rhetoric already?

    July 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  39. H. Charles

    Josh, I just want to touch on what you wrote. I don't feel that anyone should lose their job or be hired for a job because of their race. I also don't necessarily agree with affirmative action because although it creates opportunity, it also creates animosity. But you have to look at the reason why affirmative action was put into place. A lot of white americans blame blacks for affirmative action and for how it has affected them. It's not our fault. But whether we like it or not, racism will always exist, especially in the workplace. Some people call affirmative action reverse racism. There can be no reverse without a source. I'm all for getting rid of affirmative action once the source of racism has decided that it is immoral and dehumanizing. I feel for you though, man. I hope things get better for you.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  40. T. Nock

    The dominant culture had 200 year headstart in building their wealth off the backs of slaved African Americans, free labor for 200 years. We will never be equally proportioned to the dominant culture. Recession, unemployment and all of those thing s will have a different effect on this group altogether. with the push back on Affirmative action programs things thing will only get worst for young African Americans, there is no such thing as equal opportunity, not in America, jobs are more readily available to young whites than young blacks. If you don't believe that then you are living on another planet.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:50 pm |
  41. Keli

    So did you bother to even look at how the Whites, Hispanics, Asians and everybody else has been affected? Maybe they are affected even more. Do you even care to find out? And I don't mean go pick people from affluent neighborhoods either, pick people from the same level you are choosing to pick the blacks from. This is the very reason why there is so much hatred and discrimination. Your focus is only on blacks and nobody else in this Country. Everyone of all races his hurting from this recession, particularly the poor. All of the poor, poor whites, poor asians, poor hispanics, poor blacks. Recessions don't discriminate, only the liberal media does.

    Why don't you try highlighting positive things about Blacks? There are plenty of success stories out there, try doing something positive for a changes rather than inciting more hatred.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  42. mn

    I think a better article would be to research % of black and white Americans with high school degrees who get laid off during recession. The article does mention that more blacks loose jobs because of their education. However after the title of the article makes it appear that Cindy is trying to portray that there is a bias in hiring. I don't think there is any bias in hiring. Sometimes I have seen bias in hiring blacks because the companies are eager to show that they have significant portion of black employees.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm |
  43. Mike

    It is unfortunate that we continue to be shocked by the results of the inadequacies in the American system, yet do nothing to address the root problems. We racialize things that aren't color related at all. The recession will hurt those without adequate education and wealth the most regardless of skin color. Poor whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, et.al, will all suffer. Affluent whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians, et.al, will not feel the pinch as much. To make black people seem more dysfunctional than others speaks to the inherent racism of the "Black in America" series. It makes it seems as though blacks are outliers and so different than others that it perplexes us as to why issues exist.

    I am a 27 year old black male teacher who has taught in all black schools, rural white schools, overseas, and now in a major urban area. The issues do not change due to race. People have issues. PEOPLE. Black people need to stop using the crutch of "The Man" and understand that different obstacles will arise that must be overcome, but obstacles arrive in everyone's life. Just because the obstacles aren't the same doesn't mean that there aren't challenges for others as well.

    I'm not saying racism doesn't exist. It would be naive to believe so. However it cannot be used as an excuse for one to continue to realize one's potential.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  44. Robert Morales

    I do not doubt that Blacks, based on percentage points, have a more difficult time during a recession than Whites. However, I am curious on how the raw numbers play out. It is unfortuante that a large percentage of poor people are Black, but that does not mean Blacks are the only racial group that is poor. Where, Hispanics included in the Black racial category? Either way, the real problem is that POOR people, as a whole, are suffering. It shouldn't matter what race they are because the solutions for alleviating their suffering are the same as any other race. We do not need a "Black in America" or "Latino in America" or "Asian in America" or "Persian in American" or "Indian in America" or even "White in America." How about "Suffering in America."

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  45. Dan

    July 24th, 2008 11:34 am ET

    1% of black males have successfully obtained a place in cooperate America and 60% of white Americans believe that this is a great improvement since the 1960’s.

    Did I hear you correctly, Soledad? I caught a little of your report a few minutes ago while watching CNN. I’m watching now, can you repeat your poll numbers please?

    Thank you for your wonderful reporting.
    +++++++++++++++++++++=

    It is tough to obtain a place in corporate America when you don't have 2 parents taking care of you as a family. The truth of the matter is that their is competition for these jobs, and an individual who has two parents making sure that they are doing their hw is going to have an advantage over someone whose family is not encouraging them. If blacks do not want a family that is their own choice, but please do not act like the repurcussions are due to racism or descrimination.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  46. bill

    Blacks are always the victims. Bla bla bla..... Same old stuff over and over and over. How about taking responsibility for yourselves and your families and quit blaming everyone else.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  47. MS

    I would just like to know when the middle class is going to get some help! We are a financially responsible family of four (two children, two parents) who bust our butts to pay our bills...(just regular monthly bills, we cut cable, cut our phone and have zero credit card debt because we want to be debt free and work very hard at it. If we can't pay cash, we either don't need it or can't afford it.) Yet we make way too much to get help from State or Federal but we may way too little to easily make ends meet.

    Also, we bust our butt to pay our mortgage and now there's all this help for people in foreclosure?? How about living in your means and purchasing homes you can afford and then lets see if we need to help people out of their stupid and foolish financial decisions!

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  48. Paul

    One of the poorest things I've ever read. The author implies that race is the reason for disparities then goes on to explain why disparities exist reguardless of race. For race to be the reason for you must eliminate as many other variables including education and local job markets. This isn't rocket science.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:48 pm |
  49. Jason

    How about people just work hard and get a job that will pay your bills instead if looking for that prefect job. People should learn to live below their means instead of buying everything they see on payday.

    It was funny to see, but black people have suffered for years and have been able to survive but as soon as a white person has the same issues, there is a problem. As Claire Huxable said one day on the Cosby Show, MISERY DOES NOT LIKE COMPANY.

    July 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
  50. KLR

    I am white and middle class. My family is suffering from the recession but I do not hear about "being white in America".

    July 24, 2008 at 12:47 pm |
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