by Christopher Kendalls
In “How to Reduce Black Unemployment”, John McWhorter tells us about some interesting plans that are in place to bring Black ex convicts back into the workplace. There are almost twice as many Blacks on unemployment as there are Whites. But our prisons are full of African-Americans. Why would a society that is so quick to lock up a Black Man hire a Black Man just because he has served his time?
The chances of a White ex-con getting hired and assimilated back into the workplace is almost twice as much of that of someone who is African-American. That shouldn’t surprise me considering the ease of which African-Americans are ushered into the prison system to begin with. What saddens me is that getting Black ex-cons back to work should not have any effect on the overall number of Blacks that are unemployed because there should not be that many of us behind bars in the first place. But there are, for reasons too numerous to mention in this article.
It isn’t that I am not happy that organizations such as Options Addressing Re-Entry in New Jersey are helping to get some of us back to work. But these are situations that we should not be in. A Black person should not have a difficult time finding a job because they should have the skills that are necessary to obtain employment to begin with. When you do not have those skills, you tend to do the dumb things that those prisons have done and will continue to pay for.
A Black man with a record shouldn’t beg anyone for a job, he should be in the position of creating one for someone else, a position he could have been in before he found himself out in the streets. Is Options Addressing Re-Entry sending participants to Black companies? Are there Black professionals mentoring these individuals? I like John McWhorter, and he makes interesting points that most people are afraid to make, but criticizing the President for not specifically addressing a situation that begins at home sounds good on paper but doesn’t fly at the end of the day …