Arguing that people of color will remain a part of the American fabric long after President Barack Obama leaves office, Jonathan P. Hicks says at BET that it would be wise for Republican lawmakers to set aside their ideological differences with his administration and adopt long-term solutions to address the staggering black unemployment rate. It rose again in August to 13 percent, after having fallen slightly in July to 12.6, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is time to do precisely what the conveners of the 50th anniversary March on Washington called for so forcefully. It’s time for Congress to take on legislation that will address the situation of jobless in the country and, more specifically, for African-American workers.

Of course, the Republican-led House of Representatives, in its current makeup, seem to have but one significant agenda: to oppose tooth and nail any initiative, bill or idea that springs from the Obama administration. 

But at some point even these Tea Party infused politicians will have to recognize that, in a nation undergoing dramatic demographic shifts, bolstered employment prospects for non-white Americans will only help the overall economic picture for the nation as a whole. 

Despite their antipathy toward the nation’s first African-American president, they must be made to understand that the plight of unemployed Black and brown Americans will remain part of the nation’s legacy long after the Obama administration is relegated to the history books.


Read Jonathan P. Hicks' entire piece at BET.

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.

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