I was listening to Radio 1, station 95.9 in Baltimore, Maryland this morning (i.e., November 5, 2018) and a commentator was giving Tom Joyner and staff some information regarding the current state of the country. Judging from the somber responses/tones of Tom and staff, I thought I they were responding to news of another mass shooting. The commentator was stating how strong the economy was and how good Americans felt about the way things are going. Unemployment at record lows, consumer confidence up, etc., etc. I didn’t hear all of the commentator’s references but I’m sure the state of Black America must have been discussed prior to me tuning in. For your information, the following is a quote from a Bloomberg article titled: Black Unemployment Is at an All-Time Low, But ..- By Justin Fox, May 4, 2018.
“The unemployment rate among Black Americans fell to 6.6 percent in April, according to today’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — the lowest such rate on record. The record in this case only goes back to 1972, and the overall unemployment rate (available back to 1948) was lower in the late 1960s and early 1950s than it is now. But the gap between the Black unemployment rate and the overall rate has been shrinking, so 6.6 percent may well be the lowest rate ever for Black people.”
Because this is being accomplished during the presidency of that “hated Donald Trump”, our Black leadership and those who have access to the bully pulpit will not recognize nor for the most part speak of the good that is occurring within large segments of our Black community. And that is pathetic and just plain self-serving.
At a time like this, those within our vulnerable community who are benefiting from a strong economy need all of the support and encouragement that can be provided. Many of our folks, who have not had a job in years, are now working, providing for their families and feeling good about themselves. This support and encouragement I refer too can spark a feeling of hope for those who not too long ago believed there was no hope and can change mind sets and provide visions of a bright future.
In the last year with my own eyes I have seen African Americans again working on State government crews repairing roads and doing other tasks. Not too long ago, this was not the case. In my travels, I am again seeing Black folks working in the hotel industry. Until recently, those jobs had been taken from them and given to others who do not look like us. I am now seeing more and more of our folks working in Walmart and some of the fast food chains. This is a time of rejoicing for not only the workers but their families and the country. Do you recall the phrase: Idle time is the devil’s workshop? I will coin this phrase: Enterprising time leaves no room for the destructive interference of others.
With being in a position of leadership and having access to the bully pulpit comes responsibility. And that responsibility should supersede Party loyalty and ego. Throwing negativity into the mist of positivity only dilutes the positive. And because we’ve had so much negativity in the past, let our folks enjoy the moment of something good and positive.
“Together we stand as one united people of African ancestry”
Larry C. Smith, President
Look Forward My Brother