by Patricia Guadalupe | November 29, 2011
This is what happens when nothing gets done on legislation designed to get Americans back to work: The working class gets hurt, especially African Americans and Latinos. Both groups have been disproportionately affected by the current economic downturn. Their unemployment rate is already above the national average, 16.7 percent for African Americans – the highest level since 1984 – and 11.4 percent for Latinos.
A recent report by the Economic Policy Institute finds that the recession has hit all cities nationwide, including Sunbelt cities that were once considered safe havens for African Americans and Latinos leaving high unemployment in the traditional Rustbelt.
As we know all too well, right-wing, anti-union groups have been blaming hard-working Americans for a mess that corporate greed created. Look what they tried to do in Ohio.
That threat is especially acute to workers in the public sector, as AFSCME Secretary-Treasurer Lee Saunders wrote earlier this year in The Root, a national news website focusing on issues of interest to the African American community.
“If you believe the radical governors and legislators in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and other states,” Saunders said, “many of these jobs are unnecessary, and the workers who provide them are ‘coddled’ because they have the right to a voice on the job.” This tactic, he added, imperils the economic security of many African Americans and Latinos.
The answer is a strong federal jobs program, not constant attacks against the solid middle class and those who represent the backbone of our country.