Saturday, September 03, 2011

On Race, the Silence Is Bipartisan

On Race, the Silence Is Bipartisan:

THE economic crisis in the United States is also a racial crisis. White Americans are hurting, but nonwhite Americans are hurting even more.

Yet leaders in both political parties — for different reasons — continue to act as though race were anachronistic and irrelevant in a country where an African-American is the president.

In July, the unemployment rate was 8.2 percent for whites, but 16.8 percent for blacks and 11.3 percent for Latinos. The Pew Research Center estimates that in 2009, the median household net worth was $5,677 for blacks, $6,325 for Hispanics and $113,149 for whites — down from $12,124, $18,539 and $134,992, respectively, in 2005.

All groups have suffered from high unemployment, the mortgage meltdown and soaring health care costs, but African-Americans and Hispanics started far behind and continue to fall behind. In 2009, 35 percent of black households and 31 percent of Latino households had zero or negative wealth, compared with 15 percent of white households. . .

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