GOP Amnesia and the American Jobs Act

As Republicans bash Obama over June's employment report, they fail to mention that he has a plan.

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As such, stalling the recovery -- and even forcing the economy back into recession -- is now central to the GOP's strategy to win. It's an insidious plan, the evidence of which is clearly visible through the party's rejection of the AJA. 

So what do the American Jobs Act and Republican obstructionism have to do with black unemployment rates? The answer is simple: The economic recovery has largely benefited white Americans, leaving behind too many others.

Government jobs have historically been the pathway for African Americans to enter the middle class, beginning at the dawn of Jim Crow, when discrimination and segregation served as stark barriers to private-sector opportunities. Over the past decades, one in five blacks has been employed by state and federal government. But in the last three years the public sector has shed 700,000 jobs, and the vast majority of those have belonged to African Americans and women.

Republicans rejected President Obama's progressive plans Pathways Back to Work, which supports low-income jobs, and Project Rebuild, which rehabilitates communities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis. Their inaction left an additional 1 million jobs on the table. 

Using rhetoric to cloud honest debate, Republicans talked about the Keystone Pipeline, which most independent assessments say won't create more than 20,000 temporary jobs, but they reject Barack Obama's plan to employ millions. In addition, Romney's "59-Point Economic Plan" has been weighed in the balance and found wanting, with economists agreeing that it would weaken the economy and cost jobs. 

Meanwhile, American infrastructure is crumbling, our education system is falling steadily behind, and for a vast majority of black and brown citizens, the hope of an American dream is becoming increasingly elusive. What the GOP has bet on is that those people will be so broken, they won't bother to vote. 

It is incumbent upon you to prove them wrong.

Edward Wyckoff Williams is a contributing editor at The Root. He is a columnist and political analyst, appearing regularly on MSNBC, Al-Jazeera and national syndicated radio. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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