Blacks Suffer Most When Uncle Sam Lays Off
(Huffington Post) — Kenneth Mathis is the kind of man who values stability. More than three decades ago, when he was 19, Mathis was hired by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, a government position that seemed to confer assurance of middle class comforts. As an African American, he figured a job with a government agency would be a way around “the good old boy networks” that seemed to preclude his employment at many private businesses. He reckoned that a government job would spare him from the volatility faced by private companies, meaning his paycheck would continue through good times and bad. Mathis later took a job that kept him at home in Houston, joining the city’s Housing and Community Development Department, a position that he figured would last until retirement. But his vision of a steady career culminating in a farewell cake and a pension came to an abrupt end last August, when his boss summoned him into his office, closed the door and told him that his job was being eliminated.