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"I do not expect the white media to create a positive black-male image." -
Huey P. Newton
The NorthStar News & Analysis -
January 24, 2010
Black Unemployment Projected To Exceed 17%
Black unemployment is projected to reach 17.2% in 2010's third quarter if the federal government does not target job creation efforts in states with the highest unemployment rates, argues a Washington, D.C., think tank.
Black unemployment is projected to exceed 27% in Michigan--higher than the Great Depression--and more than 20% in Alabama, Illinois, Ohio and South Carolina, according to Economic Policy Institute, which analyzed Moody's Economy.com data. The jobless rate for African Americans in Washington D.C. is projected to exceed 11% in the third quarter, the institute says.
North Dakota, which had a 4.2% unemployment rate in 2009's third quarter, the nation's lowest, should not be treated the same way as Alabama, Michigan and South Carolina, writes Kai Filion, analyst and author of
Downcast Unemployment Forecast: Targeted Job Creation Policies Necessary To Offset Grim 2010 Projections.
"These states urgently need federal assistance to create jobs in the right places," Filion says.
Before the recession, which began in December 2007, the black unemployment rate was 8.6%. By 2010's third quarter, the unemployment rate for blacks is expected to increase an additional 8.6%, Filion said. In contrast, the unemployment rate among whites, which was 4% before the recession began, is expected to grow an additional 5% to 9% by 2010's third quarter.
The greatest spread in the black/white unemployment gap will occur in Alabama, Filion predicts. Before the recession began, white unemployment was 3%, and it is expected to peak at 9.1% by 2010's third quarter, a six percentage-point increase.
Before the recession, Alabama's black unemployment rate was 5.3%; it is projected to peak at 20.4% by 2010's third quarter, a 15.2 percentage-point increase since the recession began.
The implications of a higher unemployment rate are many and concerning. More than 50% of black children will live in poverty. And in some regions, jobless workers cannot sell their homes because of the weak-housing market, preventing them from moving to other parts of the country where prospects for finding work are brighter.
Filion's study addresses the projected overall unemployment rate in the black community, but the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black men hit 17% in August 2009 and October 2009, according to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. In December 2009, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for black men was 16.6%. More than 1.3 million black men 20 years old and older were unemployed in December.
Filion's study does not address the reasons behind the predicted surge in black unemployment. There is also a larger issue that receives scant attention. The issue is whether civil rights leaders made a strategic error when they pushed for integration at the expense of black-owned businesses that provided jobs.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
Coakley's Election Loss Could Affect Gov. Patrick's Re-election Bid
Democrat Martha Coakley's loss Tuesday in Massachusetts United States Senate race will affect Deval Patrick, the state's governor's bid for re-election, but it is still too early to say how much.
Patrick, who is running for a second term in November, currently leads the polls in a four-way race, David Bositis, political director for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington-based think tank for black elected officials, tells
The NorthStar News & Analysis.
"He is leading in one or two polls now, and none of his opponents plan to drop out," Bositis says.
Patrick, however, has a low job-approval rating of 41%, according to a
poll taken this month. Bositis says low-job approval numbers are typical for many governors now because of the national economy and because Massachusetts' voters rarely develop a strong affinity for their governors.
Patrick is expected to face State Treasurer Timothy Cahill, who left the Democratic Party, in July to run as an independent candidate. Patrick also is expected to face Republican Charles D. Baker, health care executive, and Christy Mihos, also a Republican, and a former Massachusetts Turnpike Authority board member. Patrick's best hope is that Cahill and Baker remain in the race and split the conservative Democratic vote and the Republican vote.
Massachusetts' Republicans are emboldened by Scott Brown's victory in the state's U.S. Senate race and have set their sights on Patrick, one of the nation's two black governors. The commonwealth's voters elected Patrick in 2006. David Paterson of New York is the country's other black governor, but Paterson assumed the office, following the March 17, 2008, resignation of Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Patrick's re-election team addressed Patrick's chances for re-election following Coakley's loss.
"We know the voters sent a message yesterday and that there is obvious frustration with the status quo," Doug Rubin, senior strategist for Deval Patrick for Governor 2010, wrote in a news release. "They are demanding more from their elected officials. Governor Patrick understands that because as you know he has been talking to people in town halls and grassroots events every day."
Former U.S. Senator Edward Brooke
Before Scott Brown, Edward Brooke Was The Last Republican U.S. Senator From Massachusetts
Scott Brown's election Tuesday makes him the first Republican from Massachusetts to serve in the United States Senate since voters elected Edward W. Brooke III 44 years earlier.
Massachusetts voters elected Brooke in 1966, handing him an easy victory over Democrat Endicott Peabody. Brooke captured 60.7% of the vote to Peabody's 38.7%.
Brooke was the first African American elected by popular vote to the U.S. Senate since the 19th century, and he would remain the only black person in the Senate in the 20th century until the 1993 election of Carol Moseley Braun, an Illinois Democrat.
Voters re-elected Brooke in 1972, but he lost his bid for a third term in 1978 to Democrat Paul Tsongas. Brooke's re-election campaign was overshadowed by a nasty divorce from his first wife.
Before running for the Senate, Brooke served two terms as Massachusetts Attorney General. He coordinated the police investigation, leading to the 1964 arrest of Alberto DeSalvo, who was known as the Boston Strangler. Brooke was portrayed in a feature film about DeSalvo's investigation and arrest. The best known movie about the Boston strangler was the 1968 film "The Boston Strangler," starring Tony Curtis.
While in the Senate, Brooke was a progressive Republican. He co-authored the 1968 Fair Housing Act, signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1974, Brooke led the fight to retain Title IX of the 1972 Education Act guaranteeing equal education opportunity for girls and women. Brooke also championed abortion rights for women. In 2002, physicians diagnosed Brooke with breast cancer, and he assumed a leadership role in raising breast cancer awareness among men.
He encouraged blacks to start and own businesses to create jobs and alleviate unemployment. At an economic development conference more than 30 years ago in Gary, Ind., hosted by Mayor Richard Hatcher, Brooke told attendees that blacks should control a major industry, like preparing and selling fried chicken, as a basis of building wealth.
A heavyset black woman laughed loudly at the suggestion and other women joined in. But Brooke was right. The fried chicken industry is easily a multi-billion a year industry and has evolved into healthier alternatives, such as roasted chicken.
Other ethnic and racial groups have employed a strategy of controlling an industry or industries. Koreans control the dry cleaning industry; Vietnamese control nail salons and the Chinese, Greeks and Mexicans control many of the nation's restaurants. Indians control the nation's Dunkin' Donuts and Subway-franchise sandwich shops.
Despite his accomplishments, many in the media were more interested in his 1970s affair with news woman Barbara Walters. Walters wrote about their relationship in her 2008 memoir
In October 2009, President Barack Obama awarded Brooke the Congressional Gold Medal for service to his country. Brooke also wrote his autobiography
Bridging the Divide: My Life
in 2007. The 92-year-old Brooke lives in Miami and the island of Saint. Martin.
Thompson Becomes A Big Mac At McDonald's
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, named Don Thompson president and chief operating officer, putting him in line to become the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company's chief executive officer.
The fast-food behemoth's board of directors promoted Thompson from president of McDonald's USA January 12. With his promotion, Thompson will have overall responsibility for the company's 32,000 restaurants worldwide.
Thompson replaces Ralph Alvarez, 55, who is resigning at the end of January, citing chronic pain from two knee operations.
The 46-year-old Thompson joined McDonald's in 1990 as an engineer in the restaurant systems group. McDonald's promoted him to a succession of positions of increasing responsibility. In 2006, he was named president of McDonald's USA.
"Don Thompson has done an outstanding job leading our U.S. business, and I am confident he will bring the same energy and innovative thinking to his new global role as president and chief operating officer," Jim Skinner, McDonald's CEO, said in a statement.
American Express Reports Fourth-Quarter Profit
American Express Co.Wednesday reported a fourth-quarter profit for the three-month period ending Dec. 31, 2009.
The New York-based credit and charge card issuer, led by Kenneth I. Chenault, reported a net income from continuing operations of $710 million, up 132% compared with same three-month period in 2008.
American Express reported fourth-quarter revenue of $6.48 billion, down 2.6% compared with $6.50 billion for the same period in 2008.
"We ended the year on a positive note with card member spending up 8% and credit indicators, showing further signs of improvement, Chenault, American Express' chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
American Express' U.S. card services reported a fourth-quarter net income of $365 million compared with $64 million for the same three-month period in 2008.
International card services reported a fourth-quarter net income of $73 million compared with $36 million in 2008's fourth quarter.
Pendergrass Dies From A Treatable Form Of Cancer
Teddy Pendergass, the greatest of the bedroom ballad singers, died of colon cancer, a form of the disease treatable with early detection.
The 59-year-old Pendergrass died Jan. 13 in Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pa.,where he had been treated for colon cancer since August 2009.
The American Cancer Society's 2009 Surveillance Research report predicted 3,460 black men would die from colon and rectum cancer last year.
Colon and rectum cancer was the third-leading cause of cancer deaths among black men last year behind prostrate cancer, which was expected to claim the lives of 3,690 black men and lung and bronchus cancer, which was expected to claim the lives of 9,820 black men, the American Cancer Society reports.
Although death rates from lung and prostate cancer in recent years have decreased among black men much more rapidly than among white men, more black men than white men die from colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society attributes the higher death rate from colon cancer among black men to late-stage diagnosis and lack of access to appropriate and timely treatment.
The American Cancer Society recommends that beginning at age 50, men should have a colonoscopy every 10 years and a double-contrast barium enema every five years to detect the disease.
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