The Tale of Two America: Black and White

America is falling apart and is reverting to what it always was: two nations inside of one. A frightening prospective but not unexpected given the lack of leadership in Washington; both party’s included as well as each branch of government. Maybe unbeknownst to the President also, given that he is asking people to fight on his behalf yet forgetting that it is hard for people to fight when they are hungry or homeless.

Once the call of this nation was separate but equal, a statement that cannot be validated even by simple algebra. Unfortunately in today’s parlance, all indicators reveal the overt reality that as a nation, america is separate and unequal – a lucid fact visible in black and white. If this divide is not mended, there will be hell on the avenues across this great nation.

Although they excel in some things, as a people, African Americans comprise 13% of Americans but only 4% of U.S. physicians, 3.2% of Lawyers, and less than 1% of architects but 69% of NFL, 80% of NBA and 98% of all rappers. The infant mortality rate of African Americans is 13.4 deaths per 1,000 live births compared to 5.5 and 5.7 for Hispanics and whites accordingly. Just 12 % of AA fourth-grade boys are proficient in reading, compared with 38 percent of white boys, and only 12 % of black eighth-grade boys are proficient in math, compared with 44 percent of white boys.

What is real is that we are our worse enemy and that the American oligarchical powers have used this to their advantage. A new report has just been released confirming that as Africa Americans we watch more TV than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. according to figures released on March 30, 2011. Moreover, Based on data collected in November 2010, African Americans used their TVs an average of 7 hours, 12 minutes each day — above the U.S. average of 5 hours, 11 minutes. Yet still, the disparities across the board are due to systemic practices of racism that elected leaders, regardless of race and political affiliation ignore as well.

Between 2003 and 2007, African American mothers had infant mortality rates at least twice as high as white mothers and AA children ages 17 and under were nearly 50 percent more likely to be without private or government health insurance than white children and that AA children ages 18 and under were three times more likely to live in single-parent households than white children. Nearly two-thirds of all AA children lived in a single–parent household and were twice as likely as white children to live in a household where no parent had full-time or year-round employment. Just one-third of AA children had a parent with a high school diploma, 24 % had a parent with at least some college experience, and less than 15 % had a parent who held a bachelor’s degree. These figures are not from the Ante-bellum south or during Jim Crow, but from the past few years and are just some of the reasons why one out of every three AA children lives in poverty compared with one out of every ten white children.

We are poor, jobless and in pain yet the nation’s first African American President and his political party ignore our desperate pleas as equally as the Republicans. Although Obama has proposed a job plan, it is difficult to see, unless targeted in urban areas and toward African American businesses, how this will aid in reducing the massive rate of unemployment we face.

For example, the dramatic difference with respect to access to capital. According to 2005 U.S. Census Bureau data, the median level of net worth among blacks is $6,200, eleven times lower than whites. Evidence shows that at startup, black entrepreneurs experience higher loan denial and tend to pay higher interest rates than white-owned businesses. Moreover, white-owned businesses have more than $80,000 of initial capital on average compared to black-owned businesses have less than $30,000 startup capital.

Regardless of the systemic constraints, we also must face the truth of aiding in our own demise and allowing these two nations within one to exist. From education to the correctional system this is observable. More than two-thirds of African American male dropouts are expected to serve time in state or federal prison. It would be idiotic to overlook the impact that arrests and incarceration have on African American families and communities. Since the 1990s, nearly one in three African-American men aged 20-29 were under criminal justice supervision, while more than two out of five had been incarcerated. Making African American males being incarcerated (4,618 per 100,000) 6 times more likely to be held in custody than white males: resulting in an estimated 1,559,200 children had a father in prison at midyear 2007; almost half (46%) were children of black fathers. Something is wrong with this America, the segment that has basically forgotten the sacrifices others made decades before them in order for them to be complacent, for they believe that they have theirs and that is all that matters.

But this is not reality. Today’s African American youth watch TV around 6 hours a day compared to 3 hours to whites and are exposed 6 hours more in total to all media when compared to white youth Even worse is that reading newspapers or books is basically none existence for African American youth, with whites and Asians reading way more each day, especially books, which if data is accurate, African American read on average 11 minutes a day and 33 minutes in total in terms of all print media.

If they do reach the point of completing High school and attending college, the nationwide graduation rate for African Americans is 42 %, most of which are females. As of five years ago, fewer than 8 % of young African American males graduated from college compared to 17% of white males in the same age group. What does this mean? It means that “The 4.5 million African American men ages 15 to 29 represent 14% of the U.S. male population of that age and 12% of all African Americans in the U.S. Their high rates of death, incarceration, and unemployment, and relatively low levels of college graduation rates raise concerns for African American families and the nation’s economy.”

Yes America used to be a tale of two nations, black and white and separate but equal. Now this has returned however this time these two places are substantially unequal. Yes Obama wants us to get to marching, but he is missing the big social picture. People cannot march when sick and hungry. And they will not if the president is not open equally to hearing their pain. Instead they will be stealing copper from air conditioners and telephone poles, forming flash mobs and robbing stores and driving truck through beauty supply stores and stealing natural Indian hair. This is the new America and once people really get hungry, there will be hell to pay.