ColorLines' Kai Wright is wondering aloud if and when America's youth revolution will come about. The uprisings in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen all have two things in common: youth and joblessness. Wright states:
If demographics matter, America's future will be defined by the fates of Latino and African American young people. Young Latinos are the fastest growing population in the fastest growing states, while young black folks are increasingly crucial to electoral calculations, if nothing else. Yet, our political leaders continue to accept an economy that structurally excludes these young people."
Last July, unemployment was 33 percent among blacks under 24 years old and 22 percent among both Latinos and Asian Americans. Meanwhile, states across the country are closing off public higher education to undocumented immigrants, many of whom have spent their entire lives here. Black youth who graduate college are far more likely to do so with crippling amounts of debt — particularly as for-profit universities continue to pull them and churn them out with piles of debt and no jobs. Unemployment among black college graduates under 25 years old is more than 15 percent, twice that of their white peers.
Wright raises a real issue. If the factors that are causing young people across the world to rise up against governments are present here in the United States, how long will it be before we have our own youth uprising? While we're looking at Tunisia and Egypt and pointing fingers in awe, perhaps we should be looking at ourselves?
Read more at ColorLines.