Posts Tagged ‘black’

The Current Recession: Newsweek: The Race Gap in the Economic Recovery

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On June 15, 2010, I posted concerning continuous coverage of U.S. Black unemployment across all sectors. [See June 15, 2010: 

Unemployment Programs; Black Unemployment… «].  Here, the Economic Policy Institute provided statistics on black unemployment.  On June 18, 2010, Newsweek referencesInstitute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP): A Research Institute of the Heller School which conducted its own numerical study regarding wealth gap that Blacks and Hispanics confront with regards to the general economy.

Although it may be argued that these blogs are always attacking statistics of law schools and their alumn employment rates; these polls and statistics are different. One they involved different institutes and federal government agencies analyzing the financial data with personal/identifying information that must be including when filing for unemployment benefits. These institutes and agencies have no apparent financial benefit by boosting the numbers, it actually makes America and the system by which it operates by look pretty awful.

The gap between the accumulated wealth of white and black Americans (excluding home equity) stood at $20,000 in 1984; by 2007 it had grown to $95,000. “The growth of the racial wealth gap significantly affects the economic future of American families.  For example, the racial wealth gap in 1984 amounted to  less  than  three  years  tuition  payment  for  one  child  at  a  public  university.  By 2007, the dollar amount of the gap is enough to pay full tuition at a four year public university for two children, plus tuition at a public medical school,” the researchers wrote.

For Shapiro, such findings raise the question of whether America’s racial progress will collapse under the weight of financial insecurity.  It also makes him question whether public policy has been effectively employed.  In the aftermath of Katrina, he argues, there was an opportunity to undo the effect of generations of extreme residential segregation.  That opportunity, he says, was lost, as New Orleans recreated the segregation the hurricane had destroyed.  Now, he believes, we have another opportunity: to use tax and fiscal policy to create a more egalitarian society.” [emphasis mine] Umm I think we can conclude by various empirical evidence that it already has.

“The wrinkle, I point out, during our conversation, is that many Americans don’t see economic egalitarianism as a particular priority—or even as a desirable goal.At a time when so many are struggling, the idea of targeting minorities for special help seems a difficult notion to sell.” I’ll just insert a quote from John Howard Griffin’s book Black Like Me (p.44) : They put us low, and then blame us for being down there and say that since we are low, we can’t deserve our rights.”

You mean the average American citizen does not believe in equality or being treated fairly–doesn’t surprise me at all. Why does it have to be special help, just provide retroactive compensation for damages to those affected by discriminatory practices and ensure objective regulatory agencies that have experience and foresight in monitoring these occurrences. That’s the problem, the system creates the circumstances which causes certain target populations to be in situations that somehow have to be “resolved” instead of prevention or actual enforcement of laws that would protect them and treat them like the American they are. Instead, certain persons desire to carve out ‘special’ programs which implies these populations are defective and generally are unable to thrive, providing imagery to broader civic society that these populations are ‘a problem.’ Sounds like a set up. No, change the environment of racism by enforcement of the laws and you wouldn’t need special programs. It’ll probably save taxpayers money too.

With higher rates of undergraduate education, continued discrimination in both employment and lending practices, it makes sense for Black Americans to not attend law school. You’re worthy enough to contract debt such as mortgages with subprime rates though you had equal or better credit than your white counterpart (yes, there are published studies from the Federal Reserve and OPI regarding the mortgages issued to blacks, whites and hispanics stemming from the 1990’s which evidences this) for homes built with cheap Chinese materials,* and student loans for an education that gets you a door slammed in the face, but as far as the system is concerned you are not worthy to be treated equitably. I will provide an altered quote (my alteration in yellow) from John Howard Griffin’s book again:

 We’ll do business with you people. We’ll sure as hell screw your people over in nearly every facet of your life so you will not be able to achieve the American dream. Other than that, you’re just completely off the record as far as we’re concerned.

I could care less if someone called me bitter, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you spew names. Though a great sense of pride existed when teaching a Black man, woman, child how to read, and finally gaining access to institutions of learning, a shadow system was prepared to knocked down any progress that minorities built. It’s a disgrace.

*most new homes were built with these construction materials, though my primary point was regarding criminal lending practices.

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Crabs in a Barrel Syndrome: Attorneys and “Office” Politics

Although ‘Crabs in a Barrel” is a phrase most often associated with Blacks, the concept can be applied to human beings in general, blacks for the purpose of this post and its historical connotations but definitely lawyers. So when you add this historical, psychological scheme to the legal field, you have some pretty transparent and disturbed black attorneys.

My Synopsis: Crabs are scavengers who eat whatever they can get access to. When one puts many in a barrel and as one opens the lid, one will notice crabs climbing on top of each other to get to the top to exit. Now logically this is a methodical way for ALL crabs to leave, standing on the “shoulders” rather shells of the others, then the next then the next. However, characteristic of this syndrome is that each crab only desires ITSELF to exit, so  it uses the others as a stepping stool to do so no matter what the cost. In the end the stupid crab doesn’t realize that as a loner he is susceptible to the one(s) who put him in the barrel with the others in the first place, it eventually will be cajoled, seasoned only to be steamed for someone’s palette. Get it?

This syndrome is everywhere but the acute nature of it when trying to “arrive” in America is peculiar among black Americans. I noticed that Africans and West Indian attorneys usually sit together, arrive together and even eat together on document reviews.  Then again there aren’t many black American attorneys (especially women) to begin with.

Yes, there is an ethnic and cultural distinction among these groups though they MAY have a historical common tie. If anyone knows about black history, divide and conquer and “breaking a person” then you can understand how this is more prevalent among black Americans. Even as of 2010 one will see on network television a sassy black assistant who is smart but for some reason is the servant of the white person whose life isn’t together (I’ve even read this about movies, i.e. Morgan Freeman-no I don’t detract from what he accomplished but still); the black males who focuses on a short-term scheme bound to fail but with a false hope it will grant a windfall, etc.  The African migrant who became a citizen or who is on a work visa, usually grew up in an enviroment surrounded by people who look like them, share all of the same culture, understands their struggles within their original homeland. In America, blacks are frowned upon, janitorial staff who is of Latino descent, or the Indian or Ethiopian guy who may work at a convenience store or the parking garage. No matter how much one reminds ALL Americans and immigrants of the contributions and foundation that blacks and Native Americans have made, in 2010 most of the time a Black will be the butt of a joke before a South Asian, Asian or an African.

In document review land, one does not work to gain experience, one works for survival. As the economy steadily worsens (and even before), this becomes the bottom-of-the-barrel way to live until the following week. Thus, the goal is to stay on the job as long as possible no matter what. Knowing that most likely Black Americans (sometimes it will be an African who does it, but from what I observed this is rare) won’t have any alliances to conspire to get “others” fired, he or she becomes confident that at least they can assail another Black, because the reality is that no one cares what happens to a Black and if someone who appears to look like them are at the helm of subjecting the target to an earlier exit, by all means.

It begins with an overzealous black attorney (for purposes of this post). The one who is all too friendly, smiles just a little too much and one wonders what types of “special” brownies she ate. If one is normal, one cringes at the fangs bared as it reminds you of Jack London’s novel ‘The Call of the Wild.’ She will be the one who arrived on site only five minutes before you but is an expert of where everything is and who are the correct points of contact. All the while she acts like she’s 007 asking people around you about you, whether or not you worked with the other before, make subtle comments at the “standoffish” behavior one appears to demonstrate. While this is happening she is counting how many people, regardless of race or gender, that she has summoned unto her mental prowess to bring more attention to this other person. 

The next step is to become friends with the team lead or project manager. If this person is Black, you may really be in trouble because likely this person also never really had any “power” in the legal field as they were usually not left in a position of supervision of others.  Then if accessible, the same person will attempt to reach the senior associate (who will likely be white) on the case, but knows this is not likely as she has not been admitted to the socially accepted notion of speaking to a peer–but she is not considered one. At this point the attorney has brought out the plastic stacking cups of illusion with gossip, make-believe and conspiracy. Like some document reviewers the target may not care as she does not desire to be there in the first place, but I doubt anyone isn’t scuffed by false pretenses, false accusation and conspiracies. The real question to ask is why, I assume for the temporary euphoria that someone thought she was important enough to influence the decisions of others. Little does she understands that she is even less respected for betraying one of her own. She probably thought she was a puppetier, yet was only the string and wood for the unseen hands you will never be. The reality is that everyone will be “released” when the contract ends anyway, as you stood on the others’ shells you will be consumed just like the rest.

Reasons Why You Should Not Go to Law School

Top 10

10) Money Money, Money or the lack thereof you will be mortgaging your future.

9) People assume that an attorney = prestige, lexus, bmw and a nice condo or home, you will be left with the damaging reality of scraping up money to make your monthly bills and pondering how many years of happiness you wasted

8) Unless you attend a top 10 school in top tier your prospects will diminish upon graduation with polite rebuffs of why you weren’t hired (that might’ve been repetitive too).

7) The legal profession is being outsourced, you will likely not have a job in the legal profession when you graduate.

6) What they call the ‘Socratic method’ is nothing more than hazing and to see if they can plummet your self-esteem while laughing on the way to the bank to deposit their gradiose paycheck.

5) As a person of color, you are not wanted there, no matter how hard you work, if your ideas aren’t conformist, no matter how plausible or right, you will become that professor’s target.

4) Did I mention student loans?

3) There are other options than law school, such as trade, culinary schools and other graduate programs such as engineering and medical school that are more cost-investment-worthy than law school.

2) You will be told that it is a sacrifice during your first year of law school, that your family, spouses, etc will understand the “pay-off” only to realize the only pay-off you’ll be doing is on those student loans.

1) As things are generally harder for the majority of blacks– you know discrimination in employment, housing and education, criminal justice system (don’t challenge me–I have reports and statistics), laidening yourself with debt is pushing yourself  further into a form of servitude to a system that doesn’t respect you in the first place.