Black People : An Analysis of the State of Black America 2010

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    National News
    Tough year ends, tougher times ahead?
    By Charlene Muhammad, Askia Muhammad and Starla Muhammad -Staff Writers-
    Updated Dec 29, 2010 - 4:58:30 PM

    ( - Blacks in America entered 2010 with a sense of promise and hope that going into his second year in office; the country's first Black president might address more of their issues, such as chronic unemployment, nagging racism, and police brutality.

    But hope turned to despair as unemployment rates and home foreclosures continued to rise, the country fell deeper into recession, and right wing conservatives attempted to block just about any effort pushed by the president to correct problems.

    Challenges Blacks faced in 2010 were similar to other Americans but as usually happens Blacks were harder hit by job losses, home losses, and other problems.

    “The Black community continues to have unemployment and poverty rates two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half times the rates for White folks in the midst of a recession that's hitting everybody very hard. Folks of color, and particularly Black folks, are being hit the hardest and that's not all that unusual,” said anti-racism activist and author Tim Wise., who is based in Nashville, Tenn.

    “But what makes it more complicated is that in this particular situation with a Black president, there's a real question as to whether or not he feels politically as though he can do anything about that.It's almost as if the problem of Black unemployment and Black economic depression is more off the table than ever,” added Mr. Wise, who is Caucasian.

    The Black unemployment rate was 16 percent in November 2010, despite a national average of 9.8 percent, and in 2009 the Black poverty rate was 25.8 percent, compared to the 14.3 percent national rate. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, between 2009 and 2012, 1.3 million Latinos and 1.1 million Blacks will lose their homes, and the indirect loss in wealth attributed for neighborhoods with vacant homes will be $194 billion and $177 billion respectively from Black and Latino communities.

    But how do you raise the profile of Black America's economic depression when the political climate has pushed discussingBlack issues almost completely off the table? asked Mr. Wise.

    “The danger is that if President Obama is unable or unwilling to address these issues, whoever comes next, whether it's a Democrat or a Republican—whoever the next president is—is going to have an easier time ignoring those issues. ... Generally people won't be thinking about it and the attitude will be ‘if the Black guy didn't talk about it, why should we'. ... If the president of color is not going to address the issue of racism, it almost makes it seem as though racism can't really be a problem,” Mr. Wise told The Final Call.