How have black families fared financially under the Barack Obama Administration? Not well.
A couple of days ago I read a fascinating column by Thomas Sowell over at LewRockwell.com: “Race, Politics, and Lies.”
Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri — but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.
Totally ignored was the fact that a black policeman in Alabama fatally shot an unarmed white teenager, and was cleared of any charges, at about the same time that a white policeman was cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
In a world where the truth means so little, and headstrong preconceptions seem to be all that matter, what hope is there for rational words or rational behavior, much less mutual understanding across racial lines?
When the recorded fatal shooting of a fleeing man in South Carolina brought instant condemnation by whites and blacks alike, and by the most conservative as well as the most liberal commentators, that moment of mutual understanding was very fleeting, as if mutual understanding were something to be avoided, as a threat to a vision of “us against them” that was more popular.
Sowell goes on to point out the further irony that people are blaming racism on the crime rate among blacks when, in fact, there was far less crime among blacks back when there was far more racism. Something derailed progress and it wasn’t a growth in racism.
But he also made another statement that really intrigued me:
One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.
I wanted to know more so I did a bit of searching and found this website with stats to back up Thomas Sowell’s statement.
Poverty rate of Black married-couple families in the U.S. from 1990 to 2013
This statistic shows the poverty rate of Black married-couple families in the U.S. from 1990 to 2013. In 1990, 12.6 percent of all Black married-couple families in the U.S. lived below the poverty level. Poverty is the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter.
This graph shows that Sowell is right—up until 2013. We’re still waiting for the data for 2014 (or still were when I viewed the website).
But it also shows that there have been plenty of ups and downs under that ten percent line. At one point the poverty rate was 6.3% for black families (the year 2000). But at other times it has reached 9.9%.
That last number was reached in 2013.
In fact, the poverty rate for black families has climbed ever single year since 2007, when it was at 6.8%. During the entire Obama Presidency the percentage of black families in poverty has grown to the point that it had almost reached that ten percent number by 2013.
Is anyone surprised by this?