March Madness: Black Jobless Continues to Rise

While the media will have us focus on the madness of the NCCA basketball tournament, the real insanity is the rising unemployment among blacks and the toll it will take on black families, especially those headed by females. The irony  of “March Madness” is that young black males will dominate play on the basketball court, racking in millions of dollars for universities and corporations, but few if any of these funds will reach the black community or  mitigate black joblessness. Dollars & Sense reports that the unemployment rate for black male workers over 20 years of age in the United States increased from 15.8 percent to 16.1 percent between January 2009 and February 2009.

Undoubtedly, the rise in black unemployment  will portend increased numbers of black males entering the juvenile and criminal justice systems as more of them turn to crime, drugs and other illegal activities in the absence of a job. The larger crime, however, will be the lost of hope that will grip young black males, diminishing the hope which the election of Barack Obama brought to so many of them. We would do well turn our attention and conversation to addressing this madness, rather than the circus which will enthrall so many Americans at the expense of their fellow citizens.

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