|A government dedicated to advancing, and a media dedicated to censoring this concept is doomed|
And as far as trying to “inculcate fear and apprehension” goes, these street mobs are doing a bloody good job of it. Even prior to Barack Obama’s election, there was some concern that if he didn’t win, blacks across America would riot. Perched high in their glass cages, the left may be turning a blind eye to this sort of bloody racial street theater—or even winking approvingly at it—because a National Black Flash Mob in 2012 if Obama isn’t reelected might scare the living freaking sweating bleeding shit out of white voters.
These digitally orchestrated and monolithically black mob attacks only seemed to start after Obama was elected. And they seem devoid of any political message beyond brute, ugly, triumphal racial intimidation through group power and group force. America’s black Attorney General refers to other blacks as “my people” and refuses to prosecute slam-dunk cases of voter intimidation when his peeps are the perps. And all these events are passively enabled by a media that largely sticks its own head up its ass and pretends that everything smells peachy. If anyone complains, even while their teeth are being kicked out of their mouth, they’ll get called the worst word in the world.
I read some of these comments and have to ask, how's the weather in the 19th century?
Such a sentiment has echoed throughout the nation, as the red ink left in the wake of the Great Recession prompts federal, state and local government agencies to pare down payrolls and eliminate positions that have sustained middle class dreams for decades. Since the beginning of 2008, some 375,000 government jobs have been eliminated, according to the Labor Department.
The cuts fall with marked impact on African Americans such as Mathis. Nearly 21 percent of the nation’s working black adults hold government jobs, as compared to some 17 percent of white workers and 15 percent of Latinos. Public agencies are the single largest employer for black men, and the second most common for black women.
The disproportionate vulnerability of African American employees to the impacts of government budget cuts helps explain why black workers have fared so much worse than other slices of the population since the recession’s end. In May, the unemployment rate among black Americans reached 16.2 percent, up from 15.5 percent a year earlier. By contrast, white unemployment was eight percent, an improvement from the 8.8 percent level of a year earlier.
The loss of government paychecks erodes one of the great equalizing forces at play in the American economy for more than a century. A government job has long offered a pathway for American Americans to sidestep discrimination that has impeded progress in the private sector, where social networks often determine who has a shot at the best jobs, say experts.
The 1987 film Hollywood Shuffle embodies the crucial importance of government work for black families. In one scene, a struggling black actor is reminded by his grandmother that he can always get work at the post office.
"Something similar but maybe less pronounced can be said about a lot of government agencies," said Philip Rubio, a labor historian at the University of North Carolina A&T State University, who took that movie scene as the title for an academic book on the subject, "There’s Always Work at the Post Office."
African Americans first gained employment in the postal service in the 1860s, in the wake of the Civil War. Two decades later, the post office began hiring through the civil service exam, creating equal access to jobs and equal pay regardless of race or gender. And civil service protections allowed postal workers to get involved in controversial issues such as the earliest stages of the Civil Rights Movement without risking their jobs.
By 1940, 14 percent of the black middle class worked for the postal service, according to Rubio. In the decades since, other government departments, from housing to public works to sanitation, became major employers.
But now, with the broader economy stuck in a deep rut and working opportunities chronically lean, those government jobs are diminishing, too.
"Many of the black people you don’t hear about on the news, the black people who own homes, who can afford to send their children to college and have modest savings, many of them worked for some branch of government before the recession began," said Steven Pitts, a labor economist at the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education. "There is good reason to be very concerned about what will happen when this work disappears."
Houston does not, at first glance, seem like the sort of place where workers would be suffering. A sprawling metropolis defined by big oil, big malls and big freeways, the Texas city seemed impervious to the forces of decline that have beset so much of the country in recent years.
"To explain that I just need one word: oil," said Mike Valant, survey chairman with the Houston branch of the Institute for Supply Chain Management, who issues a monthly report on Houston’s economy monitored closely by the Federal Reserve. "Oil hasn’t taken much of a hit. Also the health care industry just kept growing."
The Houston area’s roughly two million residents –- about 23 percent of them black –- work largely in three industries: oil, health care and government.
But like every major American metropolitan area, Houston suffered the end of the speculative frenzy in real estate. By the end of 2010, some 12 percent of the city’s housing sat vacant, according to Census data. With so many houses empty and real estate transactions stagnant, the city saw its revenues decline as development fees fell off, along with sales and property taxes.
By March it became clear. The city faced a budget shortfall of $130 million, and given that Houston is legally required to balance its budget, cuts became virtually unavoidable. The majority of Houston’s government workers are black, so those cuts would almost certainly fall heavily on the African American community.
Mathis was among 60 city government workers who lost their jobs in the course of department consolidations during 2010. A similar fate now confronts 750 additional municipal employees who will be laid off on July 1.
Most major American cities have been eliminating government jobs. Local governments have shed 446,000 employees since employment in the sector hit its peak in September 2008. They plan to cut nearly 500,000 more over the next two years, according to a national survey of governments.
The impact of those cuts seems certain to fall disproportionately on African Americans, exacerbating already extreme rates of joblessness. It's no coincidence, some black union activists say. Many think the preponderance of African Americans in the government workforce makes them a useful target for some politicians –- particularly Republicans, cognizant that the black vote trends overwhelmingly Democratic.
"In some states I think it’s a power play, pure and simple," said Lee Saunders, secretary treasurer of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, a public sector union, and the son of a union bus driver. "In some sort of sick way, some of these ultra conservatives think that if you hurt African Americans and they are laid off and can't find work that there may be negative implications for the 2012 presidential election. If you have a lot of people who are frustrated, maybe it is going to be very hard to get your base out to vote."