We’ve been hearing complaints from certain black leaders during the past couple of years that the Obama administration isn’t doing enough to help black Americans who in 2009 became the nation’s second-largest minority thanks to a “broken” immigration policy that the hypocrites in Washington now say they want to “fix.”
The most recent complaint comes from the NAACP’s President Ben Jealous:
“The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” said Jealous.“White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”
A more detailed picture of this problem can be seen here.
This should not come as a surpise to Mr. Jealous, who along with other black “leaders,” have chosen not to question an immigration policy that is pushing blacks back to the back of the political, economic and social bus.
Not one word of protest. Not from the Rev. Jesse Jackson. Not from the Rev. Al Sharpton. Not from the NAACP, the Congressional Black Caucus. Not from Julian Bond.
As a young Chicago reporter in the 1960s, I watched as the four major newspapers in that city at the time fell over themselves covering the civil rights issue. Today, one sees virtually nothing about the problems Blacks face in the present economy. Not even black columnists are willing to step up to address the immigration issue and how it affects the lives of native-born blacks. These “journalists” weren’t even able to muster the courage several years ago to condemn those illegal aliens who boarded buses headed for the nation’s capitol and arrogantly compared themselves to the “Freedom Riders” of the early 1960s.
About 10 years ago I met with Black radio personality Tony Brown over dinner in Chicago because I wanted his take on how immigration is impacting Blacks. Very simply, he said, “It’s all over for blacks in this country.”
If Brown is correct, then perhaps Jealous and his fellow “leaders” should be considering another line of work because the spotlight that once shown brightly on the progress made by Blacks following the 1964 Civil Rights Act has shifted to anything even closely identified as “Hispanic” or “Latino.”
And it’s not because blacks now believe they have “finally arrived.”
All of this reminds me of a trip to Washington, D.C., in February 2002, during which I met with the immigration legislative aide of my then congressman Henry J. Hyde. During our conversation, in which he took time to remind me that, “Without immigrants, we wouldn’t be able to invent anything,” he gushed over the work ethic of the El Salvadoran construction workers who were brought in to repair the damage done to the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks.
“Many of those jobs used to be done by blacks,” the aide said. When I asked what happened to these black workers, he changed the subject and never returned to my question.
But we all know that you don’t need an advanced degree in economics to know what happened to them.
Some argue that blacks’ silence on the immigration issue is the result of an “alliance” with Latinos to help offset “whitey’s” influence on American society, but others deny such a coupling and, in fact, argue that there is growing tension between the two groups because of the exploding Latino population.
But if there is to be an alliance, why not one against a federal immigration policy that allows 7 million illegal aliens to keep their jobs in construction, manufacturing, service and hospitality, and transportation, and the issuance each year of 1 million permanent work permits to legal immigrants, most of whom have few skills and little education, so they can compete is a dismal job market? What better foundation for such an alliance than unemployment rates of 14 percent and 10 percent, respectively, for blacks and Hispanic-Americans?