The recently released Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project report indicates during the slow recovery from the recession, black middle-class families suffered massive decreases in wealth and high rates of home foreclosures with an unemployment rate of 13.4 percent. The report projects that 68 percent of of black Americans reared in the middle of the wealth ladder will not do as well as the previous generation.
And yet, according to polls, 94 percent of African Americans plan to vote once again for the president. This is astonishing, given Barack Obama’s poor record managing the fiscal crisis. In addition, the degree of ugly rhetoric aimed at anyone of color who declines to vote the party line is shameful.
When actress Stacey Dash stated publicly her support for Mitt Romney, the vitriol erupted, not only from people of color but also members of the media. According to Jesse Washington of the Associated Press, “A black woman would have to be stupid, subservient or both to choose a white Republican over the first black president.” On Twitter, African-Americans called her a “traitor” and mocked her hair, her heritage and her intelligence.
This is hardly what Martin Luther King had in mind. Racial prejudice, on the part of many blacks, seems to have been transferred from the majority to the minority, ignoring the major gains that have been achieved with the help of many white folk in race relations and opportunities for minorities.