Newt Gingrich Blames Obama For Black Unemployment

June 27, 2011  |  

By J. Smith

Though obscenely high, chronic unemployment in the black community is anything but new. Even during President Clinton’s wonder years when there were few mainstream complaints about the economy, the unemployment rate for young black males was double and sometimes triple that of white males, The Huffington Post reports. And during President Obama’s first term in office, he got into a spat with the Congressional Black Caucus and other advocacy organizations over the low black jobs figure. Instead of pushing projects to address the specific need in the black community, his official policy would say that growing the economy using the stimulus money is the best way to lower African-American unemployment.

But the problem must really be bad now if Newt Gingrich has taken notice. He and rival presidential contender Michele Bachmann spoke at the Republican Leadership Conference and vehemently blamed the years of black unemployment on the president. “Gingrich got so carried away with his absurd notion that Obama is to blame for the crisis he went completely off the deep end and claimed that this virtually ensures that blacks will turn off to Obama in his reelection bid,” The Huffington Post reports.

Not only is the accusation false — researchers conclude that discrimination is the largest reason for black joblessness — it successfully turns the black community and its struggle into a political toy for Newt Gingrich to use at his leisure. I do not intend to defend President Obama’s war on jobs in the black community, because I don’t feel like he deserves defending just yet, but deflecting the real reasons why blacks are unemployed and turning them to the president is insulting.

“The high number of miserably failing inner-city schools also fuels the unemployment crisis. They have turned thousands of blacks into educational cripples,” The Huffington Post reports. “These students are desperately unequipped to handle the rapidly evolving and demanding technical and professional skills in the public sector and the business world of the 21st century. The educational meltdown has seeped into the colleges. According to an American Council of Education report, in the pase decade Latino, Asian and black female enrollment has soared while black male enrollment has slowed down.”

Mr. Gingrich, Mrs. Bachmann — we appreciate the (false) concern, but if you are really interested in seeing the black community excel, you’ve got to look at the institutions that breed failure, not at President Obama.

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