In 2008, buoyed by promises of hope and change, 95% of African-American voters cast a ballot for then-Presidential candidate Obama.
Nearly three years later, they have been rewarded with plenty of change, but with more hopelessness than hope.
In an article he published earlier this month, Walter Russell Mead has argued that “the future…may remember [the Obama administration] as a giant step back for Black America during a period of deepening alienation, anger and despair in America’s inner cities.”
The statistics he cites are both eye-opening and alarming:
African-American unemployment is nearly double the rate of white unemployment (16% vs. 8.7%)
African-American unemployment seems to be lowest in low tax, conservative states with Hawaii being the only noteworthy exception. These states include Alaska (5.4% African-American unemployment), Wyoming (6.2%), Idaho (8.0%), Hawaii (9.6%), and New Hampshire (9.6%)
African-American unemployment seems to be highest in strongly Democratic states like Wisconsin (25% African-American unemployment), Michigan (23.9%), Minnesota (22%), Maine (21.4%), and Washington (21.4%)
The recession has hit African American’s particularly hard because they are over-represented in public sector employment, with almost 20% of employed African-Americans working for the government vs. 15% of whites and 11% of Hispanics
While it would be unfair to blame President Obama entirely for this state of affairs, the numbers do tell a sadly ironic tale: namely that states favoring bigger government and having greater entitlements seem to be failing the populations they purport to serve.
The truth seems to be that despite their good intentions, these policies continue to fail and perversely seem to worsen the racial disparities they presume to reverse.