The Gender Pay Gap

“A problem as long-standing and widespread as the pay gap, however, cannot be solved by the actions of individual women alone. Employers and the government have important roles to play.” [Read more]

If women have not achieved full equal opportunity, is it possible that blacks have not either? If the government has to step in to protect women, is it likely that we will need the government to step to ensure equal opportunity for blacks too?


Minneapolis Acts on Employment Equity

Minneapolis recently became the first city in the nation to adopt a resolution promoting racial equity in employment. The resolution declares that institutional racism "is a primary reason for unemployment disparities" and requires the city to take action to make sure that people of color have a fair shot at government jobs, promotions, and contracts.[Read more]


Summary Discussion: Transporting Black Men to Good Jobs

"Although African American men are underrepresented in the construction industry, they do hold jobs in construction and lost jobs when the industry took a hit during the recession. Roughly one-quarter of the decline in employment for black men from 2007 to 2011 was due to their loss of jobs in construction. Investing in transportation infrastructure is a good mechanism to improve labor market conditions for black male construction workers.

"EPI estimates that African Americans could obtain as much as 14 percent of all jobs created by large public transit investment projects.1 Blacks are only about 11 percent of the labor force, so these projects bring a slightly disproportionate benefit to black workers. About three-quarters of the jobs created from infrastructure investments go to males, and most of the jobs pay medium-to-high wages. Projects such as addressing the backlog of repair work in all of our public transit systems would bring a tremendous benefit to the nation as a whole and provide opportunities for blacks to obtain about 160,000 jobs.2

"African Americans could gain an even larger share of the jobs . . ." [Read more]

Moving Beyond Affirmative Action

"Race-based affirmative action has been a woefully inadequate weapon in the arsenal against inequality. It treats the symptoms but not the root causes of an underlying social problem. It is limited to the more selective private and public colleges (those that accept fewer than half of all applicants), which together account for about 20 percent of all freshmen. By my estimate, between 10,000 and 15,000 black and Hispanic students enroll in selective colleges every year through race-conscious policies. This is about 1 percent of the entering freshman class nationwide and just 1 percent of all black and Hispanic 18-year-olds" [Read more]


Racial Stereotypes and Social Media

From Colbert King's summary:

Baylor University assistant professor Mia Moody did a study of social media stereotyping of Barack and Michelle Obama; her findings appeared in the journal New Media & Culture.

Moody researched hundreds of Facebook groups and pages. She found numerous examples of the president and the first lady being targeted with racist and sexist rhetoric that, not surprisingly, also indirectly spread hatred toward women and blacks.

. . .

Moody observed that, while the group professed to dislike Obama not because of his race, most comments on the page attacked the president “personally with racial slurs.” Just one example: “Obama needs to step down and go back to Africa with the rest of the coons!! He’s nothing but a jigaboo and spear chucker!!”

The scholarly article:

New Media-Same Stereotypes: An Analysis of Social Media Depictions of President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama
Baylor University
To remain relevant, it is necessary for media scholars to test theories in new media environments. Building on feminist and critical race theory, this textual analysis investigates Facebook photos and pages targeting President Barack and Michelle Obama in 2011-12. Findings indicate Facebook fans build on historical stereotypes and cultural narratives to frame the two negatively. Representations often depict them as evil, animalistic and socially deviant. Study findings demonstrate that historical representations of Blacks are strong and have an impact on modern portrayals. This topic is particularly important today in this age dubbed “post-racial” to depict an era in which U.S. citizens elected the first black president. In addition to identifying the nuances of Facebook hate groups, this study explores historical representations of African Americans, discusses how they transcend to a new media platform and offers implications for future research. To navigate the rapidly changing media climate, students and media scholars must learn how to read and critically dissect Web content. This paper provides a good foundation upon which to build.

A Three-Pronged Approach to Jobs for African Americans

  1. Direct-Public Sector Employment:
    In the past 50 years, the private-sector has not been able to put sufficient numbers of blacks to work. It appears that the only way we will approach full-employment for black workers is by having the public-sector directly hire workers from high-unemployment communities.
  2. Job Training with Job Placement:
    Sectoral job training programs are good, but even after receiving sectoral job training, blacks may still be hired at lower rates than other groups. Because of the strength of the bias against black workers, organizations must be assessed on their ability to place black workers in jobs and not simply on their ability to train them.
  3. Wage Subsidies for Hiring Workers from High Unemployment Areas:
    Wage subsidies targeted to hiring workers from high-unemployment communities in businesses in high-unemployment communities are also likely to be an effective employment strategy for blacks and for the economic development of black communities.
[Read more]