Happy New Year from National Public Radio. Well, it’s not actually happy, according to host Michele Norris, who was a guest on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on New Year’s Day. She also functioned as a harbinger of gloom, lamenting that Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is code for sending blacks and other people of color to the back of the line.
The clear implication — that Barack Obama was good for black America — is belied by the numbers. Consider:
- During the Obama years, median family income for black Americans declined 10.9%.
- From June 2007 to August 2012, the black workforce decreased from 58.6% in to 52.8%.
- The black labor force participation rate, which rose throughout the 1980s and 1990s, declined sharply under Obama and now stands at 61.4%.
- Black home ownership fell from 46.1% in 2009 to 43.3% in 2014.
- The percentage of black Americans living in poverty expanded from 25.8 to 27.2%.
- In 2009, white households were 7 times richer than black households. Today, white households are 8 times richer.
Yet, in spite of these bleak statistics, Norris worries aloud that the nation is “going back to a time that was not very comfortable for people of color,” when “they were relegated to the back of the line.”
Here’s a video of her comments, a transcript of which follows:
In the phrase ‘Make America Great Again’ there’s one word that if you are a person of color, that you sort of stumble over, and it’s the word ‘again’. Because you’re talking about going back to a time that was not very comfortable for people of color. They did not have opportunities, they were relegated to the back of the line.
And this was a country that — to be honest — was built on the promise of white prosperity above everything else. And for a lot of people, when they hear that message, ‘Make America Great Again,’ deeply encoded in that message is a return to a time where white Americans can assume a certain amount of prosperity.
After eight years of some of the most intensely bitter racial division the nation has known, it is grossly irresponsible for a black commentator like Norris to paint a falsely optimistic picture of the outgoing administration and an even more pessimistic view of the next before the new president is even sworn in.
(h/t Raw Story)