obama illustration

One nation divided by race

AS I WATCHED President Obama deliver his State of the Union address, I was drawn to the irony of the moment. Here was the man whose ascension to the White House revealed the true state of our union, and yet he mentioned only in passing our ongoing racial divisions.

Yes, I listened carefully as the president spoke of  helping black boys to overcome the odds they face. I also heard the president speak of addressing income inequality and upward mobility. I only wish the president would have mentioned that income is too often tied to race.

Over the past three decades, for example, average family wealth for whites has been six times that of blacks. And today, despite Obama’s presence in the White House, more than a quarter of African Americans remain in poverty. Obama’s presence, while inspirational, has not changed the fact that the black unemployment rate is twice that of whites. And sadly, Obama himself has faced the kind of vitriol that African Americans recognize all too well.

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(Featured photo © Canstockphoto. Photoillustration by Solomon Jones)

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