When President Obama visited the slave fort
Many seem to think that racism is now a closed chapter in the book of
But the effects of 250 years of slavery and a century of Jim Crow are not so easily overcome.
Look at the numbers. Before the economy tanked, the country’s overall poverty rate was 12.5%. For African Americans, the rate was 24.5%. Unemployment stands now at 9.4%. Among blacks, the jobless rate is 15%. For every dollar of net wealth owned by white families, blacks own just one thin dime. What this means is that in the race of life, children of color are far more likely than whites to hobble forward from the starting gate with a severe disadvantage.
That disadvantage shows up in educational test scores, in higher incarceration rates for African Americans, in larger numbers of single parent households, and more.
In a speech on race a year ago, candidate Obama proclaimed (paraphrasing William Faulkner) that “the past isn’t dead and buried. It’s not even the past.” Unless Americans work harder to guarantee every child an equal start in life,