The data from the Depressed States [PDF] analysis shows starkly different experiences for white and black D.C. The unemployment rates for whites only show a slight indication of declining economic conditions over the Great Recession. The D.C. white unemployment rate peaked at 5.2% in 2009, significantly below the white rate nationally. The black rate has risen steadily from 2008 and peaked at nearly 19% in the end of 2010, higher than the black rate nationally.
In D.C., many people were surprised that blacks and whites had different assessments of the recently departed mayor Adrian Fenty. But if the only adage is true that "It's the Economy Stupid" then we should not be surprised.
Black D.C. is experiencing the full and brutal force of the Great Recession and probably will not recover for another two years. White D.C. experienced a very mild economic downturn that ended last year.