Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

A Half-Century after Selma

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

A Half-Century after Selma

Article excerpt

I liked the movie "Selma," though it could have done without the rap song during credits that referenced "hands up, don't shoot," a slogan that emerged from the shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose actions the Justice Department recently determined did not "constitute prosecutable violations" of federal civil rights law.

As President Obama marched last weekend in Selma, Ala., along with others commemorating that seminal civil rights demonstration, it became clear the time has come to stop focusing on marches and take a sober look at what really troubles the African-American community today and how to un-trouble it.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Friday that black unemployment stood at 10.4 percent in February, a slight increase from the 10.3 percent figure a month earlier.

White unemployment is just 4.7 percent.

There are too many single mothers, too many black men in jail or dead and too many black babies aborted. That's the negative and as long as politicians focus on negatives they are unlikely to generate positives.

Black Christian News Network 1 has compiled figures culled from the Pew Research Center, Census Bureau, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Kaiser Foundation and Nielsen. It calculates more than 10,500 elected black officials in America, 1.9 million black business owners, a record low 8 percent high school dropout rate. In 2013, it found, black buying power had reached $1 trillion.

BCNN1 also cites troubling trends: Median net wealth of black households fell from $16,600 in 2010 to $11,000 in 2013; only 14 percent of young black people between the ages of 18 to 24 were enrolled in college in 2012 and just 9 percent ages 25 to 29 held bachelor's degrees.

The disparity between reality and impression is most shocking and inhibits those African Americans locked in a prison of underachievement from breaking free. …

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