March 23, 2006

If you think you're having a rough time in Dubya's U.S. ...

... try being an African American man.

While the rest of the country — even those at the bottom — was getting ahead during the 1990s, the educational, income, and employment status of black men was getting worse. And, if you were a young black man, your situtation was the worst of anyone's in the country.

The US is now almost halfway through Dubya's second term and, to no one's surprise, the prez's 'ownership society' hasn't done anything to change the 1990s situtation. In fact, a bunch of new studies show that the possibilities for African American men are far worse than they were a decade ago.

Here's some of what the newest studies have found:

  • The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990's. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20's were jobless — that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20's were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

  • Incarceration rates climbed in the 1990's and reached historic highs in the past few years. In 1995, 16 percent of black men in their 20's who did not attend college were in jail or prison; by 2004, 21 percent were incarcerated. By their mid-30's, 6 in 10 black men who had dropped out of school had spent time in prison.

  • In the inner cities, more than half of all black men do not finish high school.

Of course, since Dubya's administration doesn't care what happens to any person of color anywhere, it's not surprising that the feds aren't doing anything about the problems faced by black men.

But what I find particularly disturbing is that this topic has apparently become so passť that the US press isn't finding these new studies on black men worth reporting. This magpie just googled both the first sentence in the NY Times story cited in this post and the search term 'black men' and found only two dozen hits. Hopefully this story will get more exposure, but I'm not holding my breath waiting.

Posted by Magpie at March 23, 2006 03:10 PM | Race | Technorati links |