Socially Speaking's Blog
The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

Who’s Adversely Affected By The Unemployment Crisis?

I am out of work.  A rhetorical statement?  Hardly.  The fact is, there are more men, who look (walk, think, live) like me, that can make that same claim than any other race class in this fair city of my birth.  I am alarmed.  Men and women, who look like me, should be.  Men and women, who don’t look like me, should be as well.  For when one sector of the American fabric is unproductive, then we all suffer.

            My friend, I’m suffering.

            It appears to me that this extraordinary social condition—unemployment—has no real substance in the minds of those that have the means to solve an epidemic such as unemployment.  Our duly elected mayor is on the cusp of eliminating well over 2,500 jobs under the guise of “budget restraints”.

D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced back on September 16th  that the District’s financial problems will force the school system to cut spending by as [1:00] much as $40 million, prompting an unspecified number of layoffs.  The announcement came three weeks after the school year began and almost seven weeks after the D.C. Council sliced $20.7 million from the public school budget for fiscal 2010, which began October 1st.  It followed a spring and summer during which about 900 teachers were hired.

The majority of us are not teachers.  If they’re struggling, then what about the tens of thousands of us who aren’t “skilled laborers”?  [1:30] Those of us who are merely high school graduates; those of us who are the non-certified under-employed.  The former Circuit City cashier, the laid-off grocery store clerk, the convicted felon, the welfare-to-work mother are all in the ranks of the unemployed.  I don’t hear those numbers on MSNBC, on CNN, and they have no chance on being on FOX.  The unemployment rate for blacks is 6.4% higher than that of whites.  When you say 9% for one class, and 15.4% for another, you know something strange is afoot…

It is our responsibility to tell “them”—those who screw up our economy and make us unmentionable (‘cause they always seem to fail to mention us) that their decisions create crisis.  Firing the child care workers at Parks and Recreation only weakens our city—and more importantly, an entire class of people.  The question is, which people?

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