It's what Black liberals refuse to acknowledge: voting for the '1st Black president' hasn't helped the state of Black America one iota:
The latest snapshot of the American job market, released by the Labor Department on Friday, confirms what most ordinary people already knew without need of a government report: Little is improving quickly or broadly enough to dislodge the anxiety that has taken up long-term residence in many communities.
The unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in December, from 9.8 percent the month prior. But that had little to do with people actually finding work, and much to do with the jobless simply giving up and halting their searches, dropping out of the statistical pool known as the labor force.
A deeper dive past the headline numbers reveals a reality that ought to trigger national alarm but hasn't for the simple reason that it is already embedded in the country we have unfortunately become: the Divided States of America.
Among white people, the unemployment rate dropped in December to 8.5 percent -- hardly acceptable, but manageable were the government spending more to expand a fraying social safety net and generate jobs. For black Americans, the unemployment rate was 15.8 percent.
Professional economists will not pause for an instant at those figures. It is a truism that the black unemployment rate generally runs double the white one, and yet when did that become acceptable? How can there be so little discussion about a full-blown epidemic of joblessness in the African-American community, as if the commonplace incidence of despair -- and, more recently, reversed progress -- somehow amounts to old news?
"Can you imagine any other group at that level of unemployment and the media dismissing it as not important?" the Rev. Jesse Jackson asked during an interview this week.