The color of joblessness,
Thr color of unemployment,
The color of being out-of-work,
The color of being without a job.
Call not being able to support yourself by your own labor what you may. This is not the condition an adult desires and he will put forth considerable effort to be employed, sometimes risking his life, such as illegally crossing the Arizona border from Mexico to enter the United States in search of a job.
For many of the three score years of my adult life, especially during the last two score years, the rhetoric - somtimes in the form of demagoguery, I have heard ragarding unemployed black people, at times from people in high places, and some politicians, in particular - has been blacks are not employed because they don't want to work, they are lazy, they want handouts, welfare, and the litany in a similar vain ascribed to them goes on and on, even though during the seventies, eighties and nineties when there was a booming economy for whites black unemployment was twice that of whites. It was not because blacks didn't want to work. I recall in the eighties the organization that I served as director hired blacks at a rate of pay much less than they had received before losing their jobs.
Today, as we enter the second decade of the Twenty-first Century, many white people are unemployed, looking for work, (just as blacks did in the past and are doing today when unemployment is twice as high for them as for whites), receiving unemployment compensation, welfare, food stamps and asking, as never before, the Government to stop so-called illegal immigrants from taking jobs that Americans need. I have not heard anyone, not a single politcian, say "whites are not working are unemployed, don't want to work, are lazy, want a handout from the Government." I have heard some of them blame President Obama for being responsible for them not having a job. And some of them, including the "drill-baby-drill" oil exploiters, are saying the President is responsibe for the Bp oil spill, certainly for not stopping the oil spill. Again, I ask, what color is being unemployed?
It appears that it is legitmate and acceptable for some white people to be out of work and receive help from the Government, without being adjudged as being lazy and having the stigma of indolence assigned to them.
A corollary to the color of joblessness can be found in an incident that happened during the flood in the aftermath of Katrina. On Wednesday, three day after Katrina struct and the flood came to New Orleans thousands of people, at least 95% of them black, started to go across the bridge called the Crescent City Connection that links the City of New Orleans with the west bank of the Mississippi River and provides a route to the City of Gretna. The Gretna Police, Crescent City Connection Police and Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Deupties put in effect a blockade that remained in place into the Labor Day weekend that at gunpoint turned away thousands of desperate people without food, water and shelter who were trying to get out of the devastation of New Orleans from crossing the bridge. About 65 percent of the population of Gretna is white. More than 1,300 and 1,836 have been given as the numbers of people who died in the aftermath of Katrina.
The question may be asked, "Will those responsible for keeping blacks from crossing the bridge during the flooding in New Orleans be able to keep the Bp oil spill from reaching their cities and beaches?" The answer to that question is already obvious. There is a lesson that human beings will do well to learn and remember: be careful how you respond to the needs of desperate people, your turn for help in time of need may be just around the corner.
What is the color of being unemployed? There is nothing to suggest that people don't want to or will not work. Moeover, in order to make a living a person will take just about any job if he cannot find a better job or the job he desires. No race or ethnicity has a crush on this survival work ethics. People, especially those without wealth, work out of necessity and a desire to obtain that which is necessary for their survival and beyond that to find increased meaning, satisfaction that affords them with pleasure and a sense of security, more correctly, a false sense of security. There is no securtity. For a fuller understanding of this concept let me suggest that you read Alan Watt's book, "The Wisdom of Insecurity."
Now you know, if you didn't already know, "the color of being unemployed." Color me... .