Re-electing President Obama showed the power of African Americans in this country, but, writes MSNBC host and National Action Network head the Rev. Al Sharpton in the Huffington Post, there are still plenty of things that need the stamp of equality.
At this very moment, the lack of diversity in places like corporate America, in the medical and legal fields, in boardrooms and at entry-level positions in a multitude of industries are severely lacking, if not regressing backwards. Simultaneously, we see attempts at removing equalizers such as Affirmative Action, and attacks against the Voting Rights Act itself. If this tells us anything, it's that our work is just beginning.
Only a little more than 1 percent of the country's Fortune 500 companies have black chief executives, according to an alarming piece in the NY Times this week. As the article highlights, while about 12 percent of the nation's working-age population is black, about 5 percent of physicians and dentists in the U.S. are black — a share that has not grown since 1990. Only 3 percent of American architects are Black (that figure also has not grown in more than two decades), and the share of women and minority lawyers fell for the first time in 2010 since stats were first recorded in 1993. According to the Times, businesses have severely cut their diversity programs and diversity recruitment, while states like Arizona, Michigan, Oklahoma and New Hampshire have pushed to ban race-based affirmative action.
Read the Rev. Al Sharpton's entire piece at the Huffington Post.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.