It’s been roughly four years since the economic recession first hit the United States, leaving a majority of the population with economic hardship and financial insecurity. Unbeknownst to most, people of color as well as other racial minorities have been hit the hardest during this four year recession, creating depression-like circumstances for most Blacks, Latinos, Latinas, and Native Americans.
A recent story written by Susan Williams of the Freedom Socialist Party, put’s the incredible struggle of minorities during the country’s latest recession in perspective; “For all people of color, the racial job gap is widening. Ten years ago, as the country recovered from the last recession, 64.9 percent of adult white men were employed compared to 60.5 percent of Blacks… Now the number of whites with jobs is higher at 68.8 percent, but Black men have fallen to only 57 percent.” Last August, Black men were faced with 17.3 percent unemployment while Black youth was at a staggering 47.2 percent unemployment.
Latino unemployment has also increased dramatically since 2007; Latinos and Latinas have lost over 600,000 jobs during that span, leaving those who are undocumented and uninsured in an even more dangerous situation. “Employment of foreign-born men dropped by nearly a third from 2007 to 2010…” mentions Williams in her article, “compared with “only” 21.6 percent of men born here. Immigrants who do have work are in lower-end jobs. While others got a modest gain in wages, theirs fell.”
Public service jobs have been under the most severe attacks, leaving Williams to believe that the employment divide will continue to get worse, as Blacks and Latinos make up most of these service jobs.
With the corporate elite twisting the typical role of Robin Hood, the rich seem to be taking from the poor as the wealthiest people continue to get richer, and the most impoverished people seemed to get poorer… “During these years, the ultra-rich — 74 people whose average income started at $91.2 million — jumped more than five times to an unspeakably obscene $518.8 million. In fact, the minuscule fraction of the wealthiest within each racial group got richer, while millions sank.”
Large corporations have been swiftly laying-off employees and dodging taxes during our latest “recovery period”, so it didn’t surprise many when the Washington Post revealed that the 25 highest-paid CEOs were paid more in salary than their entire companies, including Verizon and Boeing, paid in taxes.
Title: The Color of an Unequal Recession
Publication: Freedom Socialist Party
Author: Susan Williams, M.D.
Faculty Instructor: Peter Phillips, Sonoma State University
Student Researcher: Taylor Falbisaner, Sonoma State University