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Black Females Crushed by Unemployment

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

July 2010 unemployment numbers show a distressing fact: unemployment among African American women increased to a staggering 12.9%, a statistic which bodes ill for the African American family since females are the primary  breadwinners in the African American community.  52% of primary wage earners in the African American community are women (compared with a national average of 39% ), so the effects of unemployment are crushing.

The July unemployment numbers for all categories of African Americans are dangerously high with  16% unemployment overall, and 41% among African American teens.  The unemployment rates, for African American women, which last month had seemed to be improving, increased in July.

The great strides made during the Clinton and Bush Administrations, both for reduced unemployment among African Americans and increased African American small business ownership are being eroded.   Various reports show African American families becoming increasingly dependent upon government assistance. 

Increased dependence upon government subsidies by African Americans has  dire, long-term, unintended consequences for all Americans.  Congress and Obama seem oblivious to the implications that as large numbers of African Americans remain unemployed in such large numbers, for so long, that they may be creating a new category and class of individuals who are permanently unemployed and permanently in need of government assistance.

Department of Labor Secretary, Hilda Solis, has been making the media rounds trying to put a positive spin on July's unemployment numbers, a clear indication that Obama Administration officials have yet to acknowledge that their various job creation policies have failed spectacularly in the African American community.  President Obama delivered a lackluster speech at a Washington, DC sign maker's facility, ignoring the dismal jobs report and, instead, painting a rosy picture of his Administration's job creation efforts.

Obama and the 111th congress promised change.  They promised that passing a $787 billion dollar economic stimulus bill would create jobs and  reduce unemployment.  They promised that voting in an extension of unemployment benefits was a one-time emergency measure that would not need to be repeated.  But, African Americans averaging 16% unemployment--is this the change that Obama promised?   

What is perhaps even more disturbing than Obama's attempts to put a positive spin on a disastrous unemployment report is that there does not seem to be any realization that Obama's policies are failing and that a new kind of thinking is required to solve these massive unemployment problems.

Obama continues to advance corrosive and confiscatory policies that crush small businesses.  These anti-small business policies also affect African American women since, over the past twenty years, African American Women start businesses at three to five times the rate of any other group.

Furthermore, the African American community is hurt by the silence their current African American leadership regarding these issues.  But, don't expect Democrat Black leaders to speak out against the harm caused by Obama Administration policies.  The euphoria from the election still lingers even though African Americans are the hardest hit by Obama's misguided policies.

Why don't we hear protests from Democrat Black leaders about Obama Administration policies that are pummeling the African American community?  One possibility is that many Black leaders, from the Congressional Black Caucus to the NAAP to the National Urban League to the cult personalities that seem to serve as Democrat spokespeople on African American issues, benefit from Obama's policies.  These leaders grow more powerful as African Americans become increasingly dependent on government assistance.  Their role as intermediary and advocate to secure increased government entitlements becomes increasingly important as they increase their power base and fiscal authority.  Second, and sadly, perhaps blind adherence to Democrat dogma may be all they know.

Come 2012, it is likely that African American entrepreneurs and  women may abandon Obama and those members of congress who persist in implementing anti-business, anti-women policies.  Will the rest of the African American community follow suit?  Not necessarily.  But, if the Obama Administration and members of congress continue to implement policies that increase unemployment, increase taxes and fees, and force reliance on government services, it is possible that  many African Americans who have traditionally voted Democrat may throw in the towel and finally say: enough is enough.

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