For Ethnic Communities, One Year of Stimulus Not Enough

Unemployment continues to rise for Black and Latino communities.

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The stimulus is kind of working if you're white. If you're not, it's kind of not working at all. From Loop 21

a year later, many Americans are still hurting. And while the Labor Department reports the unemployment rate for whites has begun to fall (to 8.4 percent in January), it continues to rise for ethnic minorities. For African Americans, it is 16.5 percent and for Latinos unemployment is 12.6 percent.

And the reasons for these disparities lie at least in part in the unfair and unjust way the stimulus package has been implemented.

A series of investigations coordinated by New America Media show that over the last year those dollars have systematically bypassed communities of color.

Consider the following: In the last year, 98 percent of stimulus contracts from the U.S Department of Transportation have gone to white-owned firms. Meantime, a new government-backed small business loan program created by the stimulus benefited white-owned businesses 91 percent of the time. These disparities run across almost every government agency that received money under the Recovery Act. Of the 630 grants given to arts organizations by the National Endowment for the Arts, for example, only 12 (less than 2 percent) went to Latino organizations .

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