Black Unemployment: “I Have Mine and You Have Yours to Get”

“I Have Mine and You Have Yours to Get.” This is the mentality of many Americans, but I find it significant among black Americans. Excluding the black upperclass, I notice a difference in the recruiting, networking and effort of minorities to help one another. This is likely due to several factors: 1) as in previous posts, “Blacks” have been disproportionately excluded from advancement in this country: municipal slavery, Black Codes, Jim Crow, institutionalized racism, ebbs and flow in the overall economy, difficulty in assimilating despite education advancement; 2) Blacks are reluctant to help one another, many are of the persuasion that they worked so hard to advance that if they recommend the wrong black person their job/job prospects will be damaged 3) Wealth: Those blacks who are wealthy see no purpose in helping middle class blacks, as it is ‘not their problem,’ so long as they can attend their 100 Black Men Meetings, Links Club meetings, send their children to ‘Jack and Jill’ and boat the existence of their fellow human beings suffering is of no consequence. As many of these wealthy blacks embody this mentality, on the rare, such as the former owner Bob Johnson who sold BET several years ago as he was satiated with the stereotype and redundancy of the music business. He started BJI Industries with the portfolio of seeking highly skilled black businessmen and women.

As various persons (Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers) mail the U.S. President for resolution to the hardest hit population of the current economic crisis-Black Americans, it is a mystery whether an answer will be in the affirmative. The following are more stories concerning black unemployment:

Obama lobbied on black unemployment, immigration, March 11, 2010, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62A5OO20100311

DR. BOYCE: Obama Needs To Fix The Black Jobs Situation,  April 5, 2010, News One http://newsone.com/nation/boycewatkins/dr-boyce-obama-needs-to-fix-the-black-jobs-situation/

Obama ignores black joblessness at his own peril, April 06, 2010, http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/4004812
White Unemployment Goes Down as Black Unemployment Goes Up: Experts Explain Why, April 7, 2010, The Seattle Medium: http://www.seattlemedium.com/news/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=102405&sID=3&ItemSource=L
Was the recession more difficult for state’s people of color?, April 7, 2010, http://www.clarionledger.com/article/20100407/COL0412/4070313/1171/OPINION
This may be an opportunity for professional blacks to do what working class blacks did in the early 1900s when shut out of the greater society, create one’s one opportunities and reciprocate for the fellow man who suffers from the same trial.
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5 Comments »

  1. MM Said:

    Y’all’s observations are ON TIME! I can’t say how many occasions I have discussed this exact same issue: the lack of black cohesiveness in this country, with those in my family.
    Most notable in our discussions, what you all have also mentioned, are the fissures within the black community – mostly between immigrant blacks from the west indies, and blacks who are descended from slaves here (to which I proudly belong). I can’t tell you how many times I have heard West Indians and Africans proclaim that their very existence on America’s shores has nothing to do with the struggles and sacrifices of Black Americans here. They somehow believe the opportunities afforded them came because they were hard workers who epitomized and exemplified American core values. BS!! And I have to call them on it every time, when I hear that crap. Anyway, could write a book on this sub-topic alone… I also find that they tend to bring with them very anti-American notions of race based classification – ie., “Light skin is right skin and you’re in” mentality with them. Pitiful. All one needs to do is look at the raggedy conditions of their home countries whose shores they fled. Again, I digress.

    Thanks for this blog. Just discovered it today. As a disenchanted lawyer I will be regular follower of what you’ve got to say.

  2. A Law School Victim Said:

    I agree with all of these comments. Some West Indians are told to stay away from ‘Blacks’ because they have no money and can’t help you with anything. All along we believed the propaganda about education and upward mobility, the reality is that nothing has really changed. Although we may be able to purchase (consume) some clothes or even a car that we MAY not have without an education, it has not given most the ability to be debt-free and create wealth. Nothing but economic shackles.

  3. thelawwon Said:

    Agree 100%–indeed every immigrant to these shores benefitted from the hard fought battles (and deaths) of many African-Americans (and not just your average Uncle Tom West Indian. Many a European benefitted as well.) Most of them have a self-hate that is really simply unexplainable.

  4. Nando Said:

    I agree that the media has helped put the clamps on minority networking – by marginalizing these groups. I have also noticed certain black groups, i.e. Nigerian immigrants and those from the Caribbean, are very reluctant to help out other blacks. Those from Jamaica and the Virgin Islands (the West Indies) are particularly hostile to this concept.

    By the same token, a lot of these immigrants have a kiss up mentality when it comes to those in power; and they also tend to hold those below them in contempt. Just look at your classic sellouts like Colin Luther Powell and Eric Holder. Both men would step on their own mother, if they thought it would put another dollar in their pocket or provide them with more “prestige”.

    I mention this phenomenon, because these recent immigrants have CERTAINLY benefitted from the Civil Rights struggles – that were fought by American black men and women (as well as other groups) – but yet they do not identify with their American counterparts. They seem to think that U.S. blacks are lazy and un-motivated – and hence, deserve their (overal) low social status.

  5. Kertyor Said:

    It’s prevalent with all minorities actually. The media has done a great job of stamping out minority networking and unity by considering everything “Affirmative action” while totally ignoring a White person’s use of their network. Minorities won’t help each other because they’ve been conditioned against it, and think they are discriminating against Whites if they hire a minority. Minorities actually, statistically, hire less minorities than their white counterparts.


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