EXCERPT FROM DR. BOYCE WATKINS OPEN LETTER to PRESIDENT OBAMA:
While the black community remains inspired by your achievements and overwhelmingly sympathetic to your challenges from conservatives, there are concerns that the economic plight of black Americans has not been a priority for the Obama Administration. To be sure, opinions on this matter are far from unanimous. But the numbers tell a story that needs to be heard.
As of last month, black unemployment rose to an astonishing 16.3 percent. This was 0.7 percent higher than the previous month, with the increase being 700 percent higher than the rise in unemployment for white Americans. Additionally, black teen unemployment is now over 45 percent, compared to just 23 percent for white teens. In addition to massive unemployment, wealth inequality in America remains a persistent problem, causing African Americans to bear the brunt of this economic crisis in ways that are unimaginable to other Americans. Our homes are facing foreclosure more often and we are less able to rely on a source of background wealth to help us get through the toughest times. Yet, while we are the least prepared for the recession, we are being hit with a downturn that is twice as forceful as that being experienced by the rest of America.
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