The politics of moving on
David L. Horne, PhD ow contributor | 1/11/2018, midnight
One thing is abundantly clear. Whether we think things are beautiful, strange or just bad, life always moves on. We adjust, or we don’t. Either way, life keeps it moving.
A few days ago, in a strong real-life argument that climate change (aka, global warming) is already upon us, it snowed in the Sahara, the world’s hottest desert. The Algerian town of Ain Sefra, a gateway into the desert, got 15 inches of snow. It was the second time in nearly 40 years that this happened, the last time being February,1979, and this time it was not a mere snow dusting. In fact, children got a brief chance to sled up and down the sand dunes this time, and hundreds of travelers were stranded in Ain Sefra as iced roads caused buses to slip and slide dangerously.
The scientific reason given for this shock to the senses was that sustained high pressure had pushed some of the bitter cold from Europe and the American East Coast into North Africa. Certainly, this phenomenon didn’t last longer than a day or two, but it left its mark.
Back on the home front, the Heritage Foundation, the highly conservative Washington, D.C.—based think tank that has produced some of the strongest arguments for how to suppress the Black vote and other policy papers anathema to the interests of Black people, just elected a very skilled and qualified African American woman to be its new president—Kay Coles James. For some, that is reminiscent of former Executive Secretary of the N.A.A.C.P., Walter White, being invited to become a Grand Wizard of the Georgia K.K.K. in the 1930s. The Heritage Foundation has not been a friend to Black folk, so why would a strong, highly qualified Black woman choose to become the head of such an organization? Mrs. James says she is doing it to make a difference. We’ll see.
Meanwhile, our constantly entertaining POTUS, Mr. Trump, never one to shy away from claiming credit for work mainly done by others, just recently touted the new Department of Labor statistics that showed the lowest ever unemployment rate for African Americans—6.8%--as proof that he was the best choice for president. He explained on camera that through his economic policies, unlike those of previous presidents, he had been able to actually move the needle downwards concerning the rate of Black unemployment in the USA. Of course, real facts show a different picture, but “facts” never seem to get in the way of Mr. Trump claiming a victory party. In 2010, the Black unemployment rate was 16.8%, the highest of any group in the country during the Great Recession. Today’s 6.8%, certainly a dramatic drop, is still far higher than other groups. White unemployment was 3.7% in December; Asian unemployment was 2.5% and Hispanic joblessness was 4.9%. according to the same Labor Department figures. The overall U.S. national unemployment rate was 4.1% in December, matching the lowest level recorded in 17 years. This is all a part of an 8-year decline in joblessness started during President Obama’s first term.. According to the new statistics, approximately 480,000 black Americans got a new job in 2017, which marked the eighth straight year of such job gains.
In reality, all Mr. Trump can really claim is that he did not stop the train that was already moving when he came aboard. He did not monkey-up the works.
But, then again, good or bad, foolish or decent, life moves on. Things get better, things get worse. All we know is that it will keep moving. Many of us wish the impeachment portion would just hurry on up.
Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Fri