Race and Class: Blacks Still Taking the Hit

Against the Current, No. 144, January/February 2010

Malik Miah

IT TOOK TEN months before the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) stood up and challenged President Barack Obama. In a surprise move, 10 CBC leaders refused to participate in a key House financial committee vote in December until some more relief is provided to Black businesses.

Black politicians and civil rights leaders have been understandably careful about criticizing the first Black president. Yet facts on the ground, especially the super high unemployment in the Black communities, forced their hand. While their challenge is mild, it is significant.

The impact of the Great Recession has been greatest on Blacks as well as on other ethnic minorities. Official unemployment is nearly 50% higher for African Americans than for whites. What’s most striking is that the Black middle class, including those with Ivy League educations, are having a hard time finding jobs.

The issue of “race” once again is becoming a hot topic in the Black community as qualified professionals and skilled workers with equal or better résumés than whites are being turned down for jobs — going instead to whites with lesser qualifications. It is a reminder of the pre-civil rights era.

At the same time, the gains of the civil rights revolution make it possible for Obama to be president and the Black elite to still hold some major jobs in big business. But there are clear signs of erosion.

One example reported in a front page story in The New York Times entitled, “In Job Hunt, even a college degree can’t close racist gap (December 1, 2009),” notes that many Blacks are altering their names to sound more “white” to get interviews.

A study published in the American Economic Review reports that applicants with Black-sounding names received 50% fewer callbacks than those with white-sounding names.

Getting the interview, of course, doesn’t mean you will be accepted in a tight private sector job market where most interviewers are generally white. (Government jobs are different where enforcement of anti-discrimination policies is stronger and more minorities are employed.) Even if you can get into the door for an interview, it doesn’t mean the most qualified person gets the job. There is little talk about “reverse discrimination” in this environment with double-digit unemployment. For the most part affirmative action in hiring is nonexistent.

One University of Chicago graduate applying for a business money management position in Dallas told the Times of how one hiring manager became excited while talking to him over the phone about how lucky the company was to hear from someone with a top business school education.

But once the company representatives met him and saw that he was Black, “Their eyes kind of hit the ceiling a bit. It was kind of quiet for 45 seconds.” The company’s interest in him quickly cooled.

A Yale University graduate commented, “It does weigh on you in the search because you’re wondering how much is race playing a factor in whether I’m even getting a first call or whether I’m even getting an in-person interview once they hear my voice and they know I’m probably African American?”

De facto Discrimination Lives

As the Dallas example shows, while it is illegal to discriminate, employers know how to avoid hiring Blacks without blatantly or overtly violating the law. Articles are now appearing in major papers and websites about white and Black professionals seeking identical jobs where the more qualified Blacks don’t even get return calls from recruiters. The old maxim, “last hired, first fired” is not applicable since these qualified Blacks can’t even get in the door.

On top of this, the bailout of Wall Street provided few funds for small businesses. Loans and lines of credit are nearly impossible to find. This is doubly true for Black businesses — this is credit redlining.

Some 14 years ago the government began tracking the number of hungry Americans facing what it euphemistically calls “food insecurity.” Today the Department of Agriculture calculates that there are some 49 million Americans — 26% of Black households, 14.6% of white — without enough food. Millions of adults only eat one meal per day and a record number of families rely on food stamps.

The oldest and most respected civil rights group, the NAACP, is now calling on President Obama to take firmer action on the jobs front and the economic recession’s disproportionate impact on Black Americans.

Other Black leaders are also criticizing Obama’s decision to spend billions more for the war in Afghanistan (up to $40 billion per year) while few dollars are going to help the poorest communities save their homes and get jobs. Obama never mentions the special problems facing Black working people.

Racial Reality of Joblessness

The data make clear that race does matter when it comes to joblessness. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in November 2009 unemployment for whites was 9.3%, but 15.6% for Blacks. Overall the unemployment rate was 10% (much higher when those who have given up and the underemployed are added). Long-term unemployment (those persons jobless for 27 weeks or more) continues to increase. It is twice as high for African Americans.

A second statistic also shows the color divide. Black men working at full-time jobs make $622 per week, which is 74.5% of the $835 median for white men.

The unemployment rate among men with college degrees in 2009 is 4.4% for whites, and 8.4% for Blacks. For those with high school diplomas, unemployment is 10% for white men, and 15.9% for Black men. For those with less than a high school degree, it is 13.9% for white and 24.2% for Black men.

The BLS statistics among women are similar — 4% for white women with a college degree compared to 6.9% for Black women. For those with a high school diploma, 7.4% for white women, compared to 11.4% for Black women; and 13% for white women with less than a high school degree compared to 18.3% for Black women.

The BLS statistics are raw data compiled from across the country. The fact that the racial gap is consistent for all social categories indicates that race and racism is structural in society. Accordingly, special measures (enforced by the federal government) are required to help African Americans overcome structural discrimination. These must include affirmative action programs and push back against employers who will find ways to interview but not hire African Americans.

Many Black elected officials in Washington are beginning to see that uncritical support to Obama is not a smart policy. Anger is growing in the Black community. Unemployed African Americans will not get jobs or be trained by “waiting” for the first president who happens to be Black to help them.

Civil rights leaders have been less forceful in these efforts, however, because of a reality that concerns them — the increase in right-wing and racist smears and threats against Obama.

Rise of Hate Groups

There has been a qualitative increase of hate mail and threats directed at President Obama since he took office. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) based in Alabama has reported on the significant rise of the militia movement that is infused with racist ideology. Its report, “The Second Wave: Return of the Militias,” cites the following evidence:

• Fifty new militia training groups, including one composed of current and former police officer and soldiers.

• The convening of so-called “citizen courts” and “grand juries” that have issued indictments against President Obama for treason and fraud.

• “Sovereign citizens” who subscribe to the ideology that whites have a higher citizenship status than others and do not have to pay taxes or obey other laws. They engage in “paper terrorism” such as filing bogus property liens against enemies.

• The introduction of states’ rights resolutions in the legislatures of about three dozen states. The governor of Texas has gone so far to talk about “secession.”

According to its founder Morris Dees, as of the end of 2008 the SPLC documented 926 hate groups in America — a record number and an increase of more than 50% since 2000.

While many of these rightist efforts and militias have existed in the past, what’s new is the reality of the first Black president. Coupled with their hostility to immigrants  — legal and undocumented — the smear campaigns of Fox News and the energized extreme right with its racist and other neo-fascist language, create a climate that enables blatant discrimination.

These elements were on vivid display at the well-organized intervention by the conservative base of the Republican Party at the town hall meetings on health care last summer. Many opponents of Obama brought weapons and displays of Nazi and racist images to intimidate officials and those with genuine concerns. On her book tour Sarah Palin’s demagogy, with her direct appeals to not-so-subtle white nationalism, “Obama is not like us,” could not be clearer.

Glenn Beck of Fox News summarized the views of the racist fringe and mainstream neoconservative movement when he said President Obama “has exposed himself over and over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred of white people or the white culture.” (July 28, 2009)

What Needs to Happen?

The rise of overt racist talk, militia groups and more “confident” bigots attacking Obama requires a response. The response should be more than to simply protest the racism of the right. It must center its demands on the government to act on issues of urgent need for society. This includes taking up traditional civil rights issues like jobs, affirmative action and health care for all. It means opposing Obama’s push for a deeper war in Afghanistan and toward implementing the Bush agenda abroad.

Ultimately the only way to reinforce civil rights laws, push again for affirmative action in employment and take on de facto discrimination in hiring requires public protests and action. The concern that the “Black” president cannot be openly criticized, since the racist right is after him, is a mistake.

The small steps taken by the Black Caucus in Congress, the NAACP and others to demand a change are openings to do more. What’s needed are marches for jobs, health care, defense of women’s rights and other issues that were won by the civil rights and other social movements. Without public protests and counter mobilizations, the airwaves and streets will continue to be dominated by the ultra right and the neoconservative forces.

There are many white working people sucked in by the energized anti-Obama, government-is-bad-at-everything campaign as symbolized by the Palin book signings and town hall protests. They still can be neutralized or even won over to the antiracist and progressive side if a revitalized left movement emerges. White people’s social consciousness, along with the struggles of all working people in this country, rose in the 1960s when a minority Black community led the civil rights revolution that transformed the country.

ATC 144, January-February 2010


  1. .
    Please feel free to work to inform Americans that ….
    the ETHNIC term of “African-American” (AA) is NOT
    a ‘Synonym’ for the RACIAL term of ‘Black American’
    (BA) — the two (2) terms are actually referring to two
    (2) entirely DIFFERENT GROUPS of people — AND that
    many of the true AAs find it to be very offensive that
    our society works to force them to “carry the statistics”
    (particularly the ‘negative’ ones — ex. AIDS / HIV Rates,
    STD Rates; Crime Rates; Out-Of-Wedlock Birthrates;
    Higher-Education Drop-Out Rates, STD Rate; etc.) —
    for all of the many, many, many diverse BA groups
    and communities that are currently living in the U.S.

  2. Certain jobs are being reserved for White applicants. I was working a contract position and once it came out that I was making more than my white co-worker, they ended my contract and hired a white girl. We are being penalized for voting for Obama. Most Blacks voted for Obama. If that’s not true than why is it that I get more interviews using my middle name than my ethnic first name. And why do I pass phone interviews 100% of the time yet I pass face to face interviews only 25% of the time or less!

    I’m a very bubbly person. I have a very friendly personality and I’ve done excellent in sales positions throughout my career. That doesn’t stop my White interviewer from asking me if I am confrontational and do I get along with my co-workers. I find these questions stereotypical and I am certain that those questions aren’t asked to Whites.

  3. Black professionals are fighting tooth and nail for a seat at the table these days. I never wanted to confront the notion that we are fighting so hard because our president is black.

    We are applying for all kinds of jobs that require advanced degrees or certain technical training. Some people have worked fulltime jobs while pursing their education in the evenings. Not a easy feat to accomplish!…

    This employment scene is scary and treacherous.

  4. I’m really starting to see the effect of racism. On more than on occasion prospective employers really like my resume, really like me on the phone, but seem to cool off in person. I’m starting to get really frustrated.

  5. Although sad. Its is true.
    I worked for a supermarket company as a AP clerk then a Dept Specialist 1987-2007. I resigned in 2007 to take care of my daughter and find a job closer to home. The long work hours and extensive traveling two and a half hours on public transportaion interfeared with her care. My oldest daughter was caring for her while I was at work but at this time she was entering college.
    I experienced a great deal of racism while working at this place because I was the only black in the department. I was told by the HR manager that if I experience any problems to contact her. Two weeks later she was gone. I endured the racism from white managers and black one that were hired just to get rid of me. I tried leaving but the black manager gave a bad reference to a position that I applied for and I didn’t get it. I needed the job so I stayed.
    In 2011 after not securing any full time work I wrote this company and asked them if they needed any help. They did someone was going out on leave and I filled in for her. It was a temp job but I was happy to be working. I prayed for another job to open (perm) It did a long time co worker was retiring.
    I applied for the position and was confident that I would get it because I had performed a simliar job for 15 years.
    I didn’t get the job the black hr manager claimed that I was an outsider and was unqualified. The job went to the friend of the hiring manager.
    The person who got the job wasn’t nearly qualified and if she had a diploma I would have been surprised. She was a part time clerk at store level. The hiring manager has hooked up all of her friends from the stores to work at jobs that are way over their heads. These same store clerk are totally unaware of the many facets of their position. I found that the women on maternity leave failed to perform all the many facets of the position because she had no experience and core abilities. She worked previously with another manager who had to get rid of her because of her failure to grasp the work. This was known throughout the office. It was also known that she didn’t have a diploma. Yet they found a reason not to give me the job. The black HR was hired to deflect talk and lawsuit of racial bias & discrimination.

  6. I’m glad you have said this I have truly been experiencing the same damn thing.

  7. To the commenter above, I’d say the reason so many folks of color don’t finish high school isn’t because they “did not bother,” but because they faced the same kinds of racist, systemic obstacles that you have. Poverty, a racist criminal “justice” system, systematic discrimination, etc. prevent people from even getting started on the “right path” just as similar obstacles prevent those who’ve taken that path and got degrees and so on from getting or maintaining jobs afterward.

  8. It’s getting worse and worse with passing time; it’s as if, these days, brown skin (of any ethnicity) and a college degree or two or three, especially from “good” universities, ensure that you will NEVER WORK AGAIN and will wind up on welfare right alongside those who did not bother to finish high school. That’s who we wind up sitting next to in the Food Stamp office – those who dropped out of high school and had babies out of wedlock and who are thus getting AFDC or TANF (whatever they’re calling it now) while we who “bothered” going to college and trying to rise ABOVE that lifestyle are winding up schlepped right into it anyway – and all we have in common is skin pigmentation. I’m not knocking them – I’m just saying that I didn’t go to Yale and get a Math teaching license to be collecting Food Stamps ANYWAY because no one wants a Yalie Math teacher who even “looks” Black.

  9. I am in mangement, A boss who is black and gives directives to white people.Some whites did not like it so I was let go… twice. Now what am I supposed to do.

  10. Then after all the school you can’t get a job and your credit gets ruined because you cannot payback your student loan. Then you cannot qualify for a business loan to try and start your own business because your credit is ruined due to a student loan being in default.

    I am stuck- we all are stuck.

    It makes me very angry.

  11. I work in IT and I don’t think there is a field where there is more racism. I got out of college in 1986 and since then it has been a constant uphill struggle. You would think that after working in IT for more than 20 years I would be riding a Rolls-Royce by now, but nothing could be further from the truth. In the late 1990’s IT managers began recruiting workers from India because there was a shortage and the Y2K problem , but the flow of workers from that country never stopped. As a matter of fact 25-30% of IT jobs are outsourced to that country. The Indians knew that they had to hit the weakest point in the link and that was Black IT workers. Therefore they became more racist than the whites. Currently the Indians have taken over about 80% of IT jobs. This works fine for whites because they never wanted to see black in those positions. In my opinion, RACISM plays a HUGE part in the outsourcing of IT jobs more that any other industry. It is one thing to be a racist, but it is another thing when you try to hold people back regardless of their credentials.

  12. Too many people of color are taking the hit for the first non all white president. It’s a shame how business and contractors have shed a huge number of minorities with little press from media outlets. Govt/private agencies which suppose to protect these groups should be dissolved for sitting on the sidelines and watching. Yes eeoc, ig, ombuds, congress, arbitrators and etc…..

    I’m a vet and have been gainfully employed for over 25 years and still experience racism and poor managers in 2014.

  13. I’m white and am always asked about my ability to get along with team members. I take that as an opportunity to show that I recognize disputes occur and am able to work with team members to resolve those conflicts. Those are standard questions in the interview process.

  14. I think the plan is that white people have for black people is to keep us broke and in debt so we could be nothing more than an a Economical slave. Even if we do get a job (that’s all it is a job)they pay us just enough to get back and forth to work. I don’t want to sound racist or anything but I have to say that these so-called undocumented people who are illegally entering this country has to go. After reading the top part of this website Race and Class: Blacks Still Taking the Hit by Malik Miah, I don’t think he realize how right he is. But I will say an even bigger truth. White people will always HATE black people, and until we fight them and fight for our rights to have equal everything they will continue to play god with our lives and the lives of others who they feel are beneath them. As much as respect Obama I feel he like most politicians has let us down. The reason being, why would send troops to go another country when we have all the problems here in america? Just as they have hungry people over there, we have the same problem over here etc.

  15. I agree with most of what you have to say but want to challenge the comment on undocumented people: immigrants, and especially undocumented immigrants, are exploited by the political and economic system in much the same way that Black people are. They are equally victims of the prison-industrial complex, they are equally victims of low-paying jobs, assaults on political rights, etc. It’s the same system oppressing everyone–the enemies are the rich and their politicians, not immigrants.

  16. This country will never be a color blind society. It just won’t happen. So don’t expect anything from that. Whites will always prefer their own (which is true for everybody but since whites are in power this makes it bad for everyone else). Do not expect this to change.

    My advice to African Americans? You have to set up your own country within a country. That’s the only way you’ll achieve equality–because it sure as hell will never to given to you in a white society.

  17. I agree with this. Majority of White employers want ‘sameness’ and just don’t want to deal with Blacks. They’ll hire their friends or relatives with little experience and won’t consider an educated Black applicant. Yet, many Whites will deny discrimination.

    White privilege is protected under laws/policies in which they benefit from. These laws/policies aim to maintain disenfranchised Black ppl. That’s why highly educated Blacks aren’t promoted because it’s a way of keeping us subservient; and with no authority. Whites don’t want Blacks in any position of power. Hense, this is all under the umbrella of Racism. It won’t change because this doesn’t affect White ppl.

  18. Your advice is similar to Marcus Garvey’s, to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s, and many others that for some reason became the enemy of the white U.S. Gov’t in America , in South Africa, in Australia, in Israel, in the Vatican in Rome, in Great Britain( what you would call a world wide cullusion) and we can’t leave out the Arabs that still to this day will not allow the actual facts about who were the Kemetic people (Egyptian)with schools of higher learning that is undeniable,
    in it’s African source.

  19. Living in a swing state like Columbus,Ohio where right wing policies and agendas prevail despite voting left wing. African Americans that were employed with the Veterans Affairs were systematically dismissed even after filing claims of abuse and intimidation with the American Federation of Federal Employee Union. Claims disappeared union representatives replaced and upper maagement just simply refused,ducked, dodged proper arbitration policies. In the case of myself a seven year employee at a rating of GS-7 as a certified medical supply technican and procurement clerk. I have seen an unusual amount of African Americans walked out the door on bogus dismissal with the VAOPC Columbus, Ohio every since President Obama took office. It took that clinic almost 6 months to replace the picture of old commander in chief. It happened to me in May of 2011 with my case mysteriously abated and by the standard of Ohio Unemployment Bureau ruling my discharge was unjust.

  20. I have a Pharm.D. from a top 10 Pharmacy school, as well as 3 other degrees. I worked full time while in school, often 2 jobs at a time, and still graduated in the top 50% of my class. I have been employed since I was 15 years old, nonstop…UNTIL NOW. I graduated 6 months ago and still can’t find a job. I have been applying for non pharmacy jobs based on other skills, training, and degrees I posses…250+ job applications and 4 phone interviews later, still nothing. I wholeheartedly believe Obama is the CAUSE of all this. I was more employed before he came into office than after. White people are not hiring us because of Obama, and we were foolish enough to give up business ownership in the Black Community in order to assimilate. This is a trap, we are the mice, and education was the cheese.

  21. Wow!!!! I live in the south in Texas as a matter of fact and am experiencing the same thing I currently hold a Bachelor’s and will be completing my Master’s. And I find this VERY interesting to say the least. Is this just a coincidence…I THINK NOT!!!! I WANT TO POSE A QUESTION…so how do we COLLECTIVELY break this evil,vicious,and treacherous curse of a system that only seems to want to hire only whites?!?!?!?

  22. After reading quite a few on the comments on this and I have to admit I am new to this site I will have to say I read quite a few of very interesting comments, my being 65 years of age and retired and yes I experienced the things that Martin Luther King and many other did and went through to get us too were we are now. I have also notice that a lot of our people have become very complicant in the success that was achieved via the methods Martin and again other did to achieve that success.

    Talk is cheap, talking about the problems Blacks/African Americans are experiencing will not solve the problem, we that have been given the success that we have experience needs to be paid forward and talking about it is not going to get it. Yes there are people, organization, even political actions that are trying to take that back we can’t allow that, we as a people have to organize and March on the White House I don’t care if President Obama is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, still march anyways, view vocal about the employment problems, living situations etc that are effecting our Race once again. I have 3 grandsons and a Great Granddaughter that I want to be successful in life they speak about going to college and there success in life and I want that for them because my working and my husband working everyday to afford our children to succeed and they did.

    As far as the Senate and Congress I see them as a bunch of losers, all they do is bicker and spew threats about what they are going to do if the President does this they are all worthless, but we as a race should not let that stop us from paying forward and make sure our children succeed in there life. So talk is cheap, these black organization etc need to get off of there butts and not be afraid to confront the President even if he is Black/African American, we need to contact this organization and brainstorm on how we are going to MARCH on Washington and change what is happening to our people let the world know expose these Politicians including the President if need be so that we can continue to be successful as well as to assure our children are successful because there is more than enough to go around, if the Hispanic/Latino Population can march on the White House/Capital Hill and demand Full Rights for over 600,000 illegals in this country then we can do the same thing because we are not Illegals we are 100% American Citizens demand that they TAKE CARE OF HOMEFRONT FIRST!!!.

    Discussing this situation is great thing, but Organizing as well as being very vocal and mobil on the situation as far as jobs, etc speaks volumes and it will also tell the World exactly what is going on right here on the HOMEFRONT.

  23. I totally agree! I am African American and I live outside the United States and I am just American. When I fist said African American people were confused. The questions began “Are you from Africa?” So I stuck with American. When you leave the United States your just American no matter shade you are! I feel like it give racist a chance to define and separate us from the world. The treatment really disenfranchise men and women of color around the world. Before I finished college I applied to over 1800 jobs and only one reply during 2012. I gave up and moved over seas. My family thought I was not trying. I would even go up to locations for positions with hiring signs and their excuse was the position was filled. I have done stake outs to see and see several applicants go in and out the store. Once I come up I the famous line. I gave up on American jobs. I honestly sometimes believe that since Obama’s in office I have less chance of getting hired because it’s the way of ( Black Men and Women) from success and to crush dreams. I know it may sound far fetched but is it? Being discouraged in America’s job racism;moreover,I left to find employment and to grow! I find America still needs to sort out its’ racism and their problem with educated ( Americans with darker shade). It still amazes that after spending 10 years in school and gathering great desirable skills. A white middle or high school drop out can get employed faster than I can.

  24. I’m African American, and supervise an office with two other workers, who happen to be white. One worker is fine, and has no problem working under me. The other was transferred to my office after his position was eliminated. He didn’t know the job, and it was necessary to train him. Now, here’s the catch: even though he was transferred into my office, through a technicality, I’m not considered his supervisor. This was brought up during a meeting, and has caused nothing but problems since. BUT: Their solution was to bring up one of their own people, (white) who would train him according to the instructions I would write. This was necessary because the person sent up knew absolutely nothing of what our office did! In other words, the person was willing to do the job, as long as he didn’t have to be trained by me. It’s a strange situation to be in, and I’ve tried to find research that offers a solution to the problem, but seeing the way upper management has handled the situation so far, I’m not holding out much hope….

  25. By reading everyone’s post I have to say that it is incredibly sad. I too hold college degrees and have been experiencing the same racist discrimination as every one else on this post. It is hard for me to even find a full time position and I have to rely on substitute teaching. You are correct when you state that us as African Americans were foolish enough to want to integrate with White America. The great and late Malcolm X even mentioned this in one of his speeches. I am not prejudice against white people, but their identity automatically makes them privilege from birth.Before integration us African Americans had our own businesses, schools, banks, teachers, business people, etc. We as Black America made this mistake of thinking that if we integrate into white mainstream American they will be more accepting of us and we will have the same opportunities and/or privileges that they have, WE WERE WRONG. Unfortunately maybe us African Americans should go back to separation so that we can control and determine our own success, fate and destiny. I also do not believe that President Obama is the cause of all of this,but I do understand your frustration. President Obama is the prodigy of years of our ancestors blood, sweat, tears, struggle and tragedy. However, Obama needs to step up and properly address the many concerns pertaining to the Black community. Thus, we still live in a white supremacist society were structural and institutionalized racism still resides.

  26. Pamela!!!! What a powerful message you wrote as I have been saying the same damn thing… We keep talking and talking and not taking action or matters into our own hands. We as blacks are now living for all the wrong reasons and without a purpose other then what’s on TV or what new music is coming out. SMH!!!

    Often times I feel like packing my bags and leaving this country but the problem is that all other countries have taken on the same ideologies as America. Hence there is no running from racism…

  27. I absolutely agree in Dallas at a major prestige company a great amount of us black qualified employees are being rejected, denied, turned away. While non blacks, less qualified are getting put in the higher positions. Very very sad I am considering filing a complaint with the EEOC.

  28. I am currently faced with opposition repeatedly every time I submit my application and portfolio. There are four major hospitals where I live. I passed the boards 5 months ago and I have only received two interviews, with no job offer. However, 6 classmates that live 1 hour or more from these hospitals are currently working at these same area hospitals I applied and they were interviewed within 3 months. I live 20 minutes away and did not receive a phone call. On one of my interviews the nurse manager told me, her selected applicants for hire did not pass the board and my qualifications were outstanding, yet I did not get the job. I try to remain positive and tell myself that Caucasians are facing the same adveyrsity in the job market like myself, but when I hear and see different, this belief remains untrue. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!! I am considering applying for jobs out of state. By the way, did I mention I was a disabled vet with several years of healthcare experience as a nursing assistant.

  29. I want to say this truly is a double edged sword. We are considered lazy and incompetent and many states like Michigan have overturned affirmative action. I feel that the result brought to light that companies will not hire based on best qualified for the job. Thanks Ward Connerly. I repeat they will not. As a black female in IT it is really really tough. I do see when I am employed they are more afraid of black males coming to interview even more. Let me be clear, whites do not like black people in IT positions. Its okay for sports, driving jobs and other service jobs but we need to address this. Science based careers should be encouraged for all people of color so that maybe in another decade they will get use to seeing us and maybe calm down.

    My spirit is almost broken over what I speak of and I’m angry when I see our community lift up and idolize black athletes and rappers but make no mention of our people in science, biology and or computer science.

    I am in Michigan and the situation is unbelievable.

  30. Angie, from Michigan, what you’ve shared I’m also experiencing here in Massachusetts. I’ve tried to somehow make sense of this situation and to keep positive outlook on what I see in IT, but the situation speaks for itself. It could be that my spirit too is almost broken too, but what I’m seeing and experiencing is just unfair. And, why? As a Black man I see all these jobs supposedly available but yet I can’t find work. I’ve never experienced a situation where I’ve failed at any assignment that’s been presented to me in my years of being in IT. But, if people aren’t willing to give you an opportunity then what can you do. It’s interesting to me how these companies operate. Surely, they are able to look around and easily see how their IT pool of employees is void of minority (Black men and women) not (foreigners calling themselves minorities). I ask myself why.
    Not only are companies and their management able to see the fabric of there pool of employees ( they are calling it “Culture fit” these days), but so does our elected government. In my opinion we are excellent employees (surely not the worst), but no one will hire us. Before reading your response I was thinking ( being embarrassed at the same time ) that is was just me.
    I’m in Massachusetts and I agree with you, it’s unbelievable!

  31. My experience in the job market is quite similar. I am a blue collar worker but have heard, seen/experienced it all!! From blatant refusal by an interviewer via his poor receptionist relaying a msg with constant apologies – and the awareness that he could see me in the lobby as the bldg. was all glass!) I sat there for over an hour awaiting my meeting with the potential employer…to no avail. This guy was called over the loud speaker numerous times! Although a phone conversation and my resume were said to be quite impressive over the phone, sadly, in person, my brown skin trumped any opportunity. I am sick of it but don’t see it going away. Sadly, the BEST job I had that paid me commensurate with my experience and protected me as an employee rather than as a black man was a company that had a Union! We even had a prayer group. Thanks to Clinton (known as the first black president) TYCO outsourced these manufacturing jobs to foreign countries! This less than qualified whites in jobs they are in many cases not qualified to have…and after working with them or listening to them, find many hired due to nepotism and bias…or because not comfortable with blacks…or don’t feel you’ll fit in with the ‘good ol’ boys’ at the job/dept folks you’d have to work with, work in. I encourage young men to not only get an education but have the mindset to think about starting their own business. They will remind you that they are the supervisor…no matter how blatant, disrespectful, hateful, ignorant, biased, the comments or insinuations may be in word, thought or action (due to their momentary insanity) we are and will always be reminded we are not equal. Sad but a movement is necessary. I am 55, tired, frustrated, restless and fed up…but feeling helpless and more uncertain of my future let alone our children. They Must become independent and make every effort to have their own…! it’s tough but the reality. I play the game well, but am weary. Cops intimidated…whites in charge; blacks never given oppty and the list goes on. I can’t watch Roots, 12 Yrs a Slave, or other movies such as these more than once. Many heroes and the reminders necessary for our future generations and to rekindle our fire but it is at home when I cross my threshold I feel I have welcoming peace, love, and surety as a man by my loved ones and family. Signed a black man with many encounters that I wish were not so negative in this journey. Pls read article by The Atlantic’s author Coates; The Case of Reparations.

  32. I wholeheartedly agree with you! We will definitely get the same treatment.

    Just as the devil does not use new tricks. The mainstream society does not either. We must not let the Willie Lynch syndrome continue to permeate our people. We must be cognizant of the schemes used against us. It is not our President’s fault that we are not getting hired. I too have a couple of degrees, experience in a few fields and work as an adjunct. Cannot not get full time, at least not yet.

    I will never give up or give in. God does see it all.

    Peace and Blessings.

  33. I completely agree, even in our country (South Africa) things have gone out of proportion, i now see how we black people can turn against each and not blame even one individual of the other race. It’s easy for us to kill one another in the name of money but will never lay a finger on a white man.

  34. I see the Willie Lynch Syndrome in full effect. Obama has nothing to do with your employment status. I can almost promise that you will still receive this treatment after he is long gone from office. This treatment was here way before he was ever considered one of the only three black senators in office. So don’t conform to what they want us to do by going against our very own. If you do then they have won based on the illustrious speech given by the infamous Willie Lynch to keep us in our place by being against each other..

  35. I have a 4 year degree in graphic design and a vocational nurse license I am unemployed not because I want to be I am eating from food banks to keep from starving I have applied for work throughout california no one will give me work my husband has a job he can not read or white and he is not black american like myself

  36. As a black man in America I understand that we all live in a racist society. It may not be as overt as jim crow era racism but it’s subconcious and exist within the minds and souls of people. It gives them an excuse to look down on someone else, but not see the fault in their own lives. Historically speaking blacks have contributed so much to advance this country and the world, but we are still seen as below humans in certain circles.
    Without black/african contribution to this world with our resources and abilities this Earth would still exist in a dark age. The reason other races hate blacks is because they are afraid of a black take over. They are afraid that blacks in control would mean an end to their reign. So they will fight tooth and nail to ensure their dominance even if that means sacrificing their own for this evil agenda.
    What we are dealing with is not human. No decent human with Christ in their heart would ever want to look at someone any differently other than a brother trying to live our lives on this planet. Because when you look at the grand scheme we are no more than specks of dust floating in eternity trying to find our way back to God.

  37. On a positive note: As a women of color, intelligence, skills, and experience, I have experienced much of what is stated in the previous comments. But surprisingly, my situations occurred from 1991-2002. Because in 2003, I consistently was hired for work, BY WHITES. Whenever I was unemployed, I was diligent, driven, determined, and maintained a positive outlook for myself. I projected so much light, strength and confidence, those are the qualities that whites saw and always hired me, many times on the day of the interview. Those qualities, whites find attractive and THAT is what they see that is LIKE them, that ambition. It never stopped me and I ALWAYS believed in my abilities. I learned resume writing techniques AND I always had 2-3 interviews per week and always landed a job in less than 30 days. I WAS ALWAYS EXHAUSTED WITH MULTIPLE INTERVIEWS. The most time I was out of work was 8 weeks, and I was about to die. I taught myself the versatility of the job search such as faxing, emailing mailing resumes. Then I’d take the yellow pages which are full of jobs and just call and ask if they needed help? I got hired this way TWICE. I also would park my car and knock on doors, dressed in my best. A company with white staff saw me and offered me a job. It’s all in your presentation and attitude. Confidence is sexy. If you look for the negative you will find it. Now granted I have had interviews where on paper, the company wanted me and when I got there, they started choking asking for water. One had the nerve to say when I asked what’s wrong? “Oh, I was expecting someone else”. Now how can that be possible? Most of my interviews end up being more conversational because I’ve worked in so many fields and positions. They find that I have a lot in common with them and we end up reminiscing about the way things were in the corporate world of the past or just life in general. But one problem I have faced, is not being able to move up. I can get in, but once there, I’m stuck. But not with my new job of 2 months, they have a lot of growth and promoting within. In fact, people of color have high positions here and it is encouraging. So yes I’ve experienced the clowns who did not want me because of my color, but most of the time, those white employers were breaking their necks to hire me. IT’S ALL IN PRESENTATION. Don’t give up.

  38. I agree completely. We are being “punished” because we got uppity and voted for Obama. I have worked in IT for a long time and have seen the racism very clearly. People did not want to acknowledge my work and instructions, even though I have a degree and speak other languages the users (mostly white) would only listen to a White IT tech with no college or formal training. I could feel they were threatened by my education. I say we build, own and do business with our own people or those who will do business with us just like Asians and Jews, controlling our money and our fate. I am tired of this, it’s 2015 and we’re still dealing with and talking about this. Black people have about 60 Trillion dollars on the table to spend. Divest your dollars and the white man will fold. Forget black friday, make everyday black for us!

  39. I am black, born and raised in a latin american contry and I am experiencing the same as you guys in the states, i am qualified, speak 4 languages and was not able to find a job untill 2 months ago, I concluded it was because i am black, why do I think that? well, my last name is in english and it is known that black people here have english last names, therefore although I do not inlcude my picture in my resume they by my last name know that I am black.

    I have talked to people that wondered why it was so difficult for me to get a job because they themselves admit that I have everything to be hired however when i tell them it is because I am black they do not believe me.

    I think I will have to move to the nextdoor country beause there is a little more black there and less racism(they said so.

  40. I also live in the South and I am experiencing racism in engineering here. I am now unemployed with a student loan debt and no job. Like you said, you sound great on the phone but when you show up for the interview,surprise! I will not blame it on having the first black president because I feel like it has ALWAYS been there but electing a black president just bought the evil straight on out of these white folks! Yes, something must be done about this indirect racism in professional hiring. I would not trust the EEOC in the South because they are pro-business and most companies do not have unions here.

  41. I’ve sent out 1,000 resumes in one year and I received 10 interviews. When I arrive at the interview with a $1,200.00 BOSS suit in to look my best, then they (all white interviewers) really become annoyed, plus with me “always” being more educated than them. I’ve never been allowed to interview for Director of Marketing jobs at hospitals, pharmaceutical, medical device companies or related industries, they will not put a black person in those roles. I’m smarter than THEM?? On a few of the jobs I’ve held, white women have “bullied” me and arranged for me to get fired due to THEIR jealous and hatred tactics. It appears to be worse since Obama is in office. I’ve done flu clinics at Fortune 500 companies, only to see 2 blacks for every 300 people who came for the flu shots!!! They were all white, living in fancy homes, kids going to good skills, you name it!! There’s educated BLACKS and they won’t allow us to get hired. NO ONE is doing anything, we’re back in the 1960’s!! WAKE UP EVERYONE!!!

  42. I’m a black woman and I must tell you that I totally agree when you speak about How government jobs are bad jobs for us to have in American. Being a victim of workplace sexual orientation and sexual harassment and no one ever taking my case seriously but instead making me out to be the culprit and hacking in to my phones as well as my email and other accounts has really put things in perspective for me as a black woman working for the government. Though this maybe a power trip for all who were involved and may have nothing to do with race directly it does have something to do with it indirectly. You see if I was white my phone wouldn’t have been hacked nor my accounts and my case would have been looked at firstly and handled right then and there. Now because of them I have to start all over, but sadly I have to strike that job from my resume or I will always be deemed as the angry black woman who worked for the census and who got investigated herself. I will never trust the government or get another government job ever again. They’ve lost an excellent advocate.

  43. Hi all,

    I totally agree with most of you in saying that employment for black folks with degrees has been hard since Obama took office. I have one in science and I’m 3/4 through another in engineering with a 3.8 overall gpa, yet, I am unemployed and unable to get a a job in my field. Despite several years of relevant work experience and 100+ applications, I have only had three face-to-face interviews in my field yet no offers. Like you all have said, the mood is greatly receptive in emails and phone screens but things cool off when face-to-face.

    I think the “roonie” rule for football applies to all blacks looking to find work these days. They call you in just to show they tried to meet racial quotas but they ‘aint never planning on hiring you.

    This is soo frustrating. I’ve had to live at a shelter and take an $8.00 an hour job working at a warehouse just to survive til the next insult. I got more than the prerequisite education and still no one wanted to give me a try.


  44. Well my manage do not, repeat do not interview AA people, only latino’s and white. She said because she need bio-lango people, but the whites we interview do not speak spanish.
    My half sister looks white, and while attending JR. college she took a business class, and recieved a hand-out-sheet that read ” AA women and men are the worse people to hire. Also metion in the hand-out-sheet are ways to make them quick, and how to fire the AA worker. Did I mention that this was a public college. So if they are teaching young business hopefuls not to hire blacks in pubic schools, my question is how can they get away with this kind of propaganda?

  45. I’ve been unemployed for nearly 7 months and have went on at least 25 interviews. I feel like I have been treated unfairly. I rarely get a call back regarding the outcome of the interview and sometimes get rude emails back until I realized my pic was linked to email. Now when I speak on the phone with them I get “we will call you back with a interview time” and the call never comes. I’m behind on my mortgage and it just seems the whole world is against us because of a black president. Someone really needs to look into this. It’s jysr wrong and I’m at the verge of losing everything.

  46. It blows my mind that it is 2016 and some company Presidents, CEO and members of the general public still have the mindset of the 1950’s. I currently work for a company who hires Hispanics but not for any type of management position. I have worked for this company for 6 years and in that time frame there was one African American/Caucasian individual who worked for the company but has since left. During my employment we have had young African American high school students come to the door and ask for an application for summer positions and even though they are given an application, there is absolutely no chance in hell upper management will hire these young men for the summer. All management in this company are Caucasian – there are two Hispanics who run the floor but who answer to a white worker.

    When there are job openings, the preference is Caucasian. I have yet to see the management team even interview an African American – it is not for the lack of African Americans having the know how, talent, education or skill set of how to do the job, it is the President and the mindset he has created within his company.

    I have started looking for another company to work for because I can no longer take the blanket statements, lack of diversity and just overall feeling of being less than the Caucasian employees. Don’t misunderstand this post, it is not every employee at this particular company, most employees that I work with are open-minded and have noticed and made comments to the lack of diversity. The president of this company actually believes since he has hired Hispanics then there is no issue – but where are the opportunities for these employees (there are none)? Why in such a big city are there no African Americans working for this company?

  47. I am black and from a (West Indian Carribean background)and I am finding it difficult to find a job as well, despite having a degree. I really don’t know what to do as I send application after application to employers and do not get a response, if I do get a response it is to tell me that I was “unsuccessful”. I am also trying to get an apprenticeship and apparently I cannot apply for any vacancies, because I have a degree and I am too old (I am 36 by the way).

    I am really sick of this, because I have a life to live and bills to pay. When you tell some people about this, they have the CHEEK to suggest voluntary work, I do not want voluntary work! I want to be paid a salary just like everyone else. Racism is definately a factor, because most of the agencies(who have mainly white staff)that I have sent my CV to, have little to no qualifications yet have jobs.

    A guy that lives next door to me, who is white and has never even been to school is employed and has been employed for a long time, while I always struggle to find work and have to make do with living on welfare (Jobseekers allowance in the UK). I also live near a big shopping mall and I have handed my CV in many times to stores and get zero response.

    This is why I feel affirmative action should be implemented, I have never understood why people have campaigned to get rid of it in the USA, as it is designed to give black people a fair chance of landing employment. In the UK it has never been undertaken, because they have a large white working class population and you cannot as a black person be seen to be doing better than a white working class or even middle class person.

    That is also why slavery repatriations should be pursued, because some white people don’t want to employ us, they don’t want us to claim welfare, nor do they want us benefit from affirmative action, so what the f**k do they expect us do? Is this soft genocide, for some of us blacks? starve us to death. At least if they paid us repatriation money, we could at least go somewhere else and start again!

  48. So you agree also that we are not getting jobs because we have a black president. Whites are afraid President Obama may open some doors for us to advance in this society. So they won’t hire us, and police shoot and kill us. White America is really showing there true colors since Obama has been in office.

  49. I am Latino And Dark skinned (like Indian), and I have experienced the same problems because both my skin color and my origin. I have a strong accent that is clear by phone, so I don’t get interviews at all.

    living in this country I realize why, immigrants are the most successful entrepreneurs they don’t rely in the job market because they know will be rejected. Check the Asian community for example, or first Italians, Russians, Africans or Latinos.

    So what I think?, unfortunately we can’t break the system, is their system created to benefit their equals, so why not start doing the same, creating our own business, trying to be more entrepreneurs using ours skills and knowledge and forget about jobs, where always we will be discriminated.

    Creating our own strong economy so we don’t have to beg for a pity employment. I have my own business since I arrived here in 2008, I have an MBA from my country and another here, and nothing!!! so I gave up, they can eat their jobs. I think is the only way the system can be broken a little,they can’t stop my own community uses my services and even them use them many times.

  50. This is very true. I have gotten a lot of calls for an interview for jobs but once I get to the face to face interview the hiring manager’s enthusiasm is not the same when they realize I am black. I was even asked why did i get a Master’s Degree in the interview. But, we should pledge allegiance to the American Flag? I don’t think so

  51. At times I feel defeated, occasionally I feel as though the fight is to difficult, I’m drained!!!!!!. Their governmental propaganda is just that, they rule against us even when we are right,because I’m indigent, a member of the inferior group…. they penalize us repeatedly Our Constitution,it don’t exist does not apply to us. President Obama did the best he could, they made the decisions to veto every proposal, they won’t tell you that though. Thus what their plan is to weaken, destroy, break us, divide and conquer, and their doing a hell of a job at it.

  52. I am currently faced with opposition repeatedly every time I submit my application and portfolio. There are four major hospitals where I live. I passed the boards 5 months ago and I have only received two interviews, with no job offer. However, 6 classmates that live 1 hour or more from these hospitals are currently working at these same area hospitals I applied and they were interviewed within 3 months. I live 20 minutes

  53. Dear friend,
    Get a hold of that discriminatory documentation, make several copies and send them to Al Jazeera, BBC, Tom Joyner, and other media outlets.

  54. Hi Nisa-(Not sure if my post will come through as I’ve posted twice unsuccessfully now)

    Nisa, i can totally relate being Pakistani British born. I have encountered so much racism from these agencies. I live in Newcastle and as you well know, the working class in the UK have huge racial issues with non whites and are quite nasty with it. They make up a huge population in the UK, so people like you an dme have to put up with it. The south is better than the north, where it is mostly working class. I am at the end of my tether like you. White people with hardly any qualifications get jobs time and time again in the UK.

    I can really relate and sympathize with you.

    British born and educated Pakistan’s suffer awful racial barriers in the UK as do some other ethnic minorities.

    They have done undercover research in UK and discovered that agency staff would bin ethnic sounding names, especially Pakistanis and African sounding names.

    I have applied to many jobs that i am qualified for and similar to the American minorities experience i have had the employers highly enthusiastic assuming i am white over the phone as i am very well spoken. Once i say my name they go quite and make some excuse up and i never hear from them again. I have got my friend Anna to ring for positions that I’ve been rejected for but where i’m a lot more qualified than her. As we suspected, they have been desperate to call her in for registration or interviews etc.

    I now feel de motivated to apply as i always have this in my mind. It’s like trying 20 times harder than a white person and still not getting anywhere.

    It’s only getting worse in the UK.


  55. I am a white person who is a teacher at a school with mostly hispanic, black and muslim students. Before this job I worked in an urban school that was 97% black. I have two masters degrees and I am working on a doctorate. I was unemployed here and there throughout the Obama presidency. Anyways, I am here to share my experiences as a white educated woman at face value: My current salary is $39,000 a year and thank God my husband makes more.

    1) My father was a white male (single father) who worked as a supervisor to support us in a furniture factory. He worked there 25 years at $30,000 a year. We never asked for public assistance and lived on the basics as far as food and shelter.

    2) I was the first person in my home to go to college. I worked three jobs while in school. I had coworkers from all races and there was always respect. In addition, i graduated from college with several multicultural classmates, some of which got better jobs than me and some who did not.

    3) I have been highly abused by hispanic, white, and black supervisors. The best supervisor happened to be a white male. The worst supervisor I ever had was a white female and a cuban female. My black supervisor hated me but she wasnt as abusive as the other female bosses that I had. My current supervisor is a cuban female who is actually very nice. I decided not to hold my past experiences with this gender and race against her. Its not easy holding back my past pain.

    So this is it for now. I hope this adds to our insight.

  56. I think employers are told not to hire black people to keep them down! It’s a disgrace. Although you shouldn’t be discriminated, indirectly you are. Who is trying to keep black people down and not achieving their goals, dreams or even getting a decent job to bring food to the table and support a family? Is it the government? Is it society? Are white people scared that black people will take over and have the tables turned? In the meantime, all you hear is the negativity about black people. “Black man with a hoodie-robbed a lady or even a bank” listen a desperate man who has a family and needs to feed his kids will go postal and do whatever it takes to feed his family! We can’t judge a black man for doing this!!!! I know it’s wrong but someone has to have a voice and unfortunately the black community is not supported.
    There are a lot of things that we don’t know and will be kept in the dark. People please do your research and find a way to come up and rise from all this. MINORITY SHOULD SUPPORT YOUR OWN!!! Help each other!!! Let’s start here!!! Start today & spread the word!!! Look around you, don’t support an establishment that has no one that looks like you!!!
    Keep positive and always keep your head UP!
    Peace to the God!

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