Unemployment of Blacks Exceed that of Whites at Every Level of Educational Attainment

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Here is another salvo in the culture wars that have been reflected on this blog. An article in a newspaper today begins with this sentence: “From advanced-degree holders to high-school dropouts, Black workers have substantially higher unemployment rates at every level of educational attainment than white workers….”

And which woke newspaper with a critical race theory bias ran this article? Why, the Wall Street Journal, of course!

The article goes on to say that the disparity between Blacks and whites increased this year during the pandemic. (Black unemployment levels exceed those of Hispanics at every educational level, as well.) Finally, not only are Blacks more likely than whites to be unemployed, they are more likely to be underemployed. “Black employees with full-time jobs also earn less than similarly educated white workers.”  The article quotes one economist as saying, “Frequently, Black workers need to send additional signals about their qualifications to get the same job. That’s why you’ll see a Black person with a master’s degree in a job that only requires a bachelor’s.”

The article suggests several reasons for these discrepancies:

  • “Black Americans more frequently attend lower-quality elementary and high schools in racially segregated neighborhoods, which may leave them less prepared to succeed in college or at their first jobs.”
  • “Black workers also can lack access to better, more stable jobs because they may not have the network of contacts to know about them.”
  • “They may face challenges like lack of access to transportation or child care.”
  • Finally, the economists interviewed in the article suggest that old fashioned discrimination plays a part. “There are negative penalties in the labor market associated with gender and race that can’t be explained by anything else,” they contend.
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41 responses to “Unemployment of Blacks Exceed that of Whites at Every Level of Educational Attainment

  1. Hint: WSJ news is yet again getting shaky and ever more suspect generally, though I’ve yet to read article in Question. Usual suspects.

    • Yup, I have read WSJ article in question. It’s got a serious case of WaPo disease. How is your Sh-t Detector doing? Can you see WaPo in front of your nose?

  2. I notice the data they are citing comes from the Labor Department, right?

    There you go, even Trump’s Labor Dept has been co-opted by the CRT zealots… geeze, they’re everywhere and now even in WSJ.

    What next?

    • “The jobless disparity between Blacks and whites increased this year.” That statement in the story underlines that pre-pandemic, the gap was smaller, and has been shrinking in recent years. I don’t doubt there is a gap and I don’t doubt in the pandemic it got worse. As to reasons, I would add age and length of seniority. Perhaps the minority employees with those degrees have shorter tenures in the workforce. Last in, first out is common — often mandatory in unionized situations.

      If you open the story the other chart is the more telling. With that you can see how much wider the gaps were a decade ago, after the last recession. The period 2011 to 2019 showed incredible progress on this score. Damn, again, Trump was right…The booming economy was diminishing this situation.

      • Bingo – Haner nailed it. And the misleading nature of the WSJ article runs far deeper as well. The WSJ article is worse than no article at all. It’s journalistic porn, because it cherry picks facts, conclusions and illusions.

        For example, consider this:

        Why is the Weird book, and the Aeon article, on fatherless children so vitally important today, times that demand that we read them? All boiled down, the base reasons are:

        The Weirdest People in the World explains how how the Catholic Church’s uncompromising demand that one man marry only one women who bore his children became the one essential building block of Western Civilization. In essence, this demand gave children the critical ingredient to their success, responsible and caring mothers and fathers. For, without responsible and caring mothers and fathers, the great majority of kids are lost in a dark and dysfunctional society, without opportunity, hope, or inherent value as individual human beings.

        Later, Martin Luther at the end of the dark ages, put this Christian idea on steroids when he demanded that mothers and fathers teach themselves and their children to read, thus become literate, fully aware, and cognitively advantaged, as empowered human beings, full and complete as human beings in God’s image. This was and still is the crowning achievement of the modern age of the human species.

        Now, why is the Aeon article important, the one found here”https://aeon.co/essays/how-raising-children-can-change-a-fathers-brain

        This article explains how highly involved fatherhood radically changes men and society for the better, and how the LACK of active, highly involved fatherhood promotes violence and high dysfunction in society. The article raises an important and novel insight. Heretofore, we have focused on the damage done to children by irresponsible fathers. Now we also know about the great damage that irresponsible fathers do to themselves; it often results in a downward spiral of human destruction not only for the child, but for their father, and their mother, and the entire community around them.

        So now we see how The Weird book and the Aeon fatherless article powerfully fit together for cumulative and exponential advantage and benefit, or living hell, in modern times.

        • I agree with the proposition that it is much better for a child to have two good parents. But, what does that have to with the fact that Blacks are more likely to be unemployed than whites with the same educational levels or be paid less than whites with the same educational levels?

          • Shhh Dick, that sounds like systemic.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Dick –

            There are many elephants in a long line stacked up in front of your nose. Now that you refuse to deal with the first huge elephant, you might confront the second elephant starting with the horrendous education most all disadvantaged kids receive in college, with or without preferences, or the fact they should not be in college at all but are cause colleges want their money, so most of these kids are greatly abused by the entire system, irrespective of college. You can start anywhere from Harvard on down. But look at black colleges for one of many examples,

            ” These cost are rising even among students graduating on time. But most don’t. Many colleges accredited by the Southern Commission graduate fewer than 25% of those who enroll. Many take six years to earn a four-year degree, dramatically increasing their cost and debt — and they’re the lucky ones. At least they get a degree. Others simply get a bill. Dropout rates are scandalous. Many students pay for years before dropping out. Of those who do manage to graduate, some discover that they have earned worthless degrees. Forty-five percent of students learn “nothing” their first two years at college, and 36% have still learned nothing after four years, according to Professors Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa who tested 2,300 students from the Class of 2009 that attended 24 accredited colleges. (See “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.”)

            Instead of turning its inquisitorial gaze upon UVa, the Southern Commission would do well to examine some of its 800 member institutions with demonstrable problems. Take Texas. Seventy-nine of every 100 public college students in Texas start in junior college. Only two of those 79 earn a 2-year degree on time; only seven graduate in four years. Only 5 of 21 students who begin at a four-year Texas college graduate on time, and only 13 of those 21 earn a degree after studying for eight years. Far too often, college students throughout the other ten southern states accredited by the agencyconfront similar fates. Four-year graduation rates include:

            Florida – 35.6%
            Georgia – 24.3%
            Kentucky – 20%
            Louisiana – 15.8%;
            Mississippi – 22.4%
            North Carolina – 36.5%
            Tennessee – 31.9%
            Virginia – 45%
            West Virginia – 22.2%

            The reasons are many for such drop out rates. Students often are not prepared for college work but are admitted anyway. Many get lost in higher education’s “Bermuda Triangle,” taking so many remedial courses they never get to take a college course for credit. But they get the bill, and oftentimes too so does Uncle Sam.

            Who is supervising this awful state of affairs? The leaders of the Southern Commission include:

            The president of Delta State University, which graduated only 19.9% of its four-year students within four years. Fewer than half (46.6%) matriculate within six years. Its president is chairman of the Commission.
            The president of Huston-Tillotson University, which graduated some 11.5% four-year students in 4 years, while another 12.7% earned a degree after six years.
            Along with the chairman and vice chairman, the presidents of 11 other colleges sit on the Commission’s powerful Executive Council. A sampling of their four-year graduation rates ranges from 13.1% to 22%.

            What are these leaders doing, and why? Who knows? Over its 60-year history of accrediting colleges to qualify for Federal student aid, the Southern Commission, as best we can tell, has never revoked an accreditation unless the member was on the verge of bankruptcy anyway. Nor has it established, published, or enforced clear fact-based performance standards that work to insure that our students in need receive the education they pay for. Why? And why instead is the Commission investigating the University of Virginia?

            “https://www.baconsrebellion.com/wp/inquisitor-investigate-thyself/

            The awful truth is that most of these kids learn next to nothing in school, including those with degrees that prove worthless. And this is playing out now with this now Loudoun Academy proposal.

          • Dick – To answer your question regarding two parent families, you need to consider the difficulty of being a single parent.

            How does a single parent continue to work when schools have closed because of COVID-19?

            For us, two incomes and working as a team to accommodate the needs of our children was essential. That’s even more true today.

        • And then of course, Dick, behind the college elephant lined up behind the fatherless elephant in front of your nose, we have the corrupt k-12 elephant that abuses disadvantaged children daily in Virginia.

          So example consider these earlier comments, posted Oct. 3, 2020 under John Bucher’s post here labelled More Graduates, Less Learning.

          “Reed Fawell 3rd | October 5, 2020 at 7:51 am | Reply

          James Wyatt Whitehead V, a long time teacher in Virginia’s public schools said above that: “I think the main point Mr. Butcher is making: the books are cooked. You have to dig deep to get to the real data that reveals the true current outcomes in education.”

          Unfortunately, as concerns the Virginia Department of Education, Mr. Wyatt is right. “The books are cooked” and have been for some times. Indeed, within VDOE, dishonesty is the norm, not the exception, and this chronic institutional dishonestly goes to the heart of the ongoing gross failures of public education in Virginia. This has long been reported on Bacon’s Rebellion. For example, consider the following:

          In reply to Tom Banford.

          Banford says:

          “There is no evidence that Virginia schools are resembling re-education camps and are neglecting math, reading, and writing. In fact the criticism is that they are focused too much on this due to standardized testing and are ignoring critical thinking and long term learning. Further, you have yet to explain what “restorative justice” means in a school setting. Home schooling is a very good alternative for some parents. It would be nice to hear from people that actually have experience in Virginia’s public schools.”

          Virginia public schools K -12 are rampantly expanding reeducation camps. See Uva. curry school of education website for details. (Note School by now may have renamed itself to rid itself name Curry).

          As to many Virginia K – 12 public schools neglecting math, reading, and writing:

          Please remember that Virginia Board of Education falsified achievement tests of Virginia high school students by upward of 40% so as to falsely claim these kids qualified for a college education when surely the Board of Education knew that these students did not qualify.

          This conclusion is based on a related series of earlier articles on Bacon’s Rebellion, including for example, these comments of mine, under post titled : Virginia Reading Test Scores Plunge, dated Oct. 30, 2019, namely:

          “Reed Fawell 3rd | October 31, 2019 at 11:06 am | Reply

          Here is an important question on this NAEP reading Proficiency Chart that shows that ONLY 33% OF VIRGINIA’S EIGHT GRADERS ARE ABLE TO READ AT OR ABOVE THE NATIONAL 8TH GRADE LEVEL.

          If that is true, then why should we believe that its true that 12th grade kids in Virginia pass Virginia’s Standards of Learning (SOL) at far more than double the NAEP rate (at 8th grade), namely:

          “Reading: 78% pass rate, down 2 percentage points from the previous year.

          Writing: 76% pass rate, down 2 percentage points.”

          See: baconsrebellion “latest-sols-more-declines-in-reading-writing”

          In fact, what normally happens after the 8th grade is that disadvantaged kids and other poor learners (whether advantaged or not), fall even further behind their grade level achievement after the 8th grade. This happens for well known reasons. Thus the majority of American kids are no where even close to “college ready” after they “graduate” from 12th grade, assuming they did not drop out altogether from schooling before then.

          In short, what do 12th grade federal NAEP proficiency charts tell us about Virginia students who graduate? And how do those figures compare to Virginia’s own SOL charts, and what do the latter have to do with telling us about College readiness? Can we believe them? If so, why?

          “2015 12th graders reading at 12th grade level nationally per NEAP tests – In 2015, thirty-seven percent of twelfth-grade students performed at or above the Proficient achievement level in reading, according to NEAP test results.

          These test results include following percentage breakdowns for students whose parents had variant educational levels:

          18% pass rate for students whose parents did not finish high school.

          24% pass rate for students whose parents did finish high school.

          36% pass rate for those whose parents had some education after high school.

          And AMAZINGLY ONLY 49% PASS RATE for AMERICAN STUDENTS WHOSE PARENTS HAD GRADUATED FROM COLLEGE COULD READ AT 12th GRADE LEVEL.

          What a remarkable record of gross failure. No wonder most kids learn nothing in college. Now, if we compare Virginia students proficiency rates in 12th grade to their grade level, we will see how honest or dishonest Virginia’s SOL testing is. Good luck finding it.

          Now too, we know why 12th grade NEAP testing results are so hard to find, and often are not published at all, including since 2015.

          See nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_g12_2015/#reading

          Given these NAEP test results, the key question is can Virginians trust the reported results of the Virginia Department of Education’s SOL tests? The answer is a resounding NO. This tests cannot be trusted. Why? Because they are grossly inflated.

          For example, compare the following SOL results with NAEP results reported in Jim Bacon’s August 13, 2019 post entitled “Latest SOLS: More Declines in Reading, Writing”:

          “Here are the top-line results for the state:

          Reading: 78% pass rate, down 2 percentage points from the previous year.

          Writing: 76% pass rate, down 2 percentage points.

          Math: 82% pass rate, up 5 percentage points.
          Science: 81% pass rate, unchanged

          History/social science: 80% pass, down 4 percentage points

          Asians, as usual, out-performed all other racial/ethnic groups, followed by whites, Hispanics, and blacks. Despite a heavy emphasis by the Northam administration to address racial inequities in schools, the black-white achievement gap grew wider last year in reading and writing, while remaining the same for science.

          VDOE instituted two main changes to its testing. First, it reduced the number of tests high school students must pass to graduate. Under the revised regulations, explains the VDOE press release, “students who meet the testing requirement in a content area do not have to take another test in the subject unless additional testing is required for the school to comply with federal testing requirements. Previously, high school students continued to take end-of-course tests even if they had already earned the credits in the content area necessary to graduate.”

          “The reduction in high school testing is most apparent in history where there is not a federal requirement that students take at least one test in the subject in high school,” VDOE spokesman Charles Pyle told Bacon’s Rebellion. The Every Student Succeeds Act “requires that students take at least one test in reading, math and science during high school.”

          Second, VDOE introduced new tests and standards for math. Some educators have expressed concern that the math standards were watered down. (See “Did the State Reduce the Rigor of Math SOLs?”)

          School Superintendent James Lane said VDOE staff will collaborate with school divisions to address the achievement gaps in reading, especially in the elementary grades. VDOE will work with schools and divisions that did not see declines in reading performance in order to identify best practices and successful strategies for improving reading skills. The effort will include a review of the effectiveness of interventions to assist young readers not reading at grade level.

          “School divisions must ensure that all children receive research-based reading instruction — beginning in kindergarten — that addresses their specific needs, and that students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade,” Lane said. “This includes making sure that students read a variety of challenging content, including non-fiction and literature that expands vistas and vocabularies. We must meet students where they are, but we must also move them to where they need to be: reading at grade level or above and ready for success in the 21st century.”

          Obviously, VA’s SOL numbers are bogus. They inflate real test results by a factor of two. Surely this is an effort to buttress repeated claims within VA’s educational cartel that some 70% of Virginia’s high school graduates are “college ready” when only some 37% could possible meet that test even under NAEP’s watered down definition of “college ready.”

          Simply put the Virginia Department of Educations SOL test results grossly mislead parents, students, and the public paying the bills that support a failing system.”

          So, Dick, these are the sorts of facts, most of them gross government failure, that cause disadvantaged kids to lose their jobs first in the case of recession, no matter their educational level.

          And it is for this reason that the Wall Street Journal article on this subject is HIGHLY MISLEADING, AND IRRESPONSIBLE JOURNALISM, unworthy of a reputable newspaper.

          • My suspicion is that Virginia government agencies are about as honest about their performance as Enron was about their profitability.

  3. Dick Hall Sizemore is right!
    Even here on Bacon’s Rebellion, where are the POC, the LGBTQ, the marginalized?
    I think Dick, and Nancy, and Larry and Peter and all others who seem to see everything only through their race-colored glasses need to put their money where their mouths are and put up a sufficiently oppressed person in his/her/xe/xer stead. Whose with me?
    Why even SlowJoe is with it. Besides building the most extensive AND INCLUSIVE vote fraud organization, he is appropriately virtue-signaling with his Corona Taskforce with a Professor of Health Equity, cuz, you know, if everybody doesn’t die exactly the same…RACISM!
    And I’ll hand it to Covid, it is nefarious… It knows not to be infectious at “protests” or SlowJoe celebrations…BUT…it is GUILTY of AGEISM. Come on Health Equity Czarina (oops, was that sexist to call xer Czarina…damn, it is tough to know which rules apply) – make young people die “equally” to show you care!

  4. First question, does the WSJ article adjust for the average age of whites and blacks in the workforce? The median age for whites in 2014 was 43.1 years. The average age for African-Americans was 33.4, (Source: https://overflow.solutions/demographic-data/what-is-the-median-age-in-the-us-by-race/) As Steve observes, seniority and experience are significant factors in who gets hired and who gets laid off.

    I would be far more impressed with the WSJ data if it compared the experience of whites and blacks of comparable age.

    The second major question is what is the occupational mix of blacks and whites? To what extent are whites more likely than blacks to earn degrees in business and STEM?

    I remember graduating in the recession year of 1975. The word was that the only kids not having trouble getting jobs had graduated from the engineering and commerce schools. We arts & sciences types had a harder time finding a job. I’m confident that pattern still applies. If there is a disparity in the degrees that blacks and whites earn, that disparity will carry into the workforce for reasons that have nothing to do with discrimination or prejudice.

    To present the data as the Wall Street Journal did, with none of the obvious caveats, is recklessly irresponsible.

    As for the implication (not stated but implied) that the WSJ might be lean to the right in its analysis, that has long ceased to be the case. There is a huge difference in the corporate culture between the news side and the opinion side of the operation. The opinion pages are unquestionable conservative/libertarian in outlook. However, the newsies on the Journal are largely indistinguishable in their partisan sympathies from their counterparts on the New York Times. Never let it be forgotten than Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS and architect of the Russian collusion conspiracy theory, was a former WSJ reporter.

    • This is interesting. Whenever I cite articles in the Washington Post or the New York Times, they are dismissed by readers on this blog as being hopelessly biased and I am encouraged to look at other media sources and the WSJ is often cited as such a source. So, I went out and subscribed to the Journal and now find that its news coverage is not trusted either.

      • Well yes, they do say that Dick – but then they’ll turn right around and directly quote the WSJ, NYT, and WaPo when they LIKE an article and they are not dissuaded at all from referencing “news” sources that are known to traffic in conspiracy theories and fabrications that they also like.

        So they “believe” WSJ when it agrees with their own opinions and relegate it to “fake” news when they don’t like the reporting.

      • Uh Dick, they believe Trump. Kinda says it all.

        I’m grateful to Trump for one thing. He marginalized Limbaugh by out-buffooning him.

      • Dick – you need to ask them what media they trust and prefer. Then you can subscribe! 😉

  5. I do not have access to the WSJ; however, the original article says that the WSJ “suggests” reasons. We need more research into the causes before we can conclude anything. Jim Bacon suggested some causes (e.g., ages and different college degrees) that would easy to investigate.

  6. It’s all building toward Reparations which I suspect will happen under Biden’s first term.

  7. I think Jim had some good observations on the data but would ask why blacks are “younger” and less senior to start with?

  8. Dick. iT’S ALL TAINTED!!!!!

  9. Dick, you have identified a problem. What do you propose as a solution?

    • It is a symptom of an underlying problem in our society. There is probably not one solution but a combination of solutions. The first step is for society generally to recognize the existence of the problem.

      • There are two aspects of this problem that the left fails to recognize.

        The first is inputs and outputs. We cannot treat people differently based on race and then expect the same result. If we continue to make decisions and accentuate race, it will only perpetuate the problem. Here’s an example.

        I was never encouraged to “study myself” (African American Studies) or to pursue numerous other trendy but questionable degrees. African Americans are.

        “More African-Americans are going to college than ever before. But according to new research from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, African-American college students are more likely to pursue majors that lead to low-paying jobs, setting up many for future debt and underemployment. And over time these occupational choices contribute to the wealth and opportunity gap between whites and blacks that spans generations.”

        “Basically, African-Americans have been going to the right church but sitting in the wrong pew,” director Anthony Carnevale said. “In a way they are using education to climb the social and economic ladder, but they’re being steered toward majors that will make them low-earners.”

        https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/african-americans-over-represented-among-low-paying-college-majors

        • The above is but one example of how many African Americans experience life differently. Another was mentioned already, which is the percentage who are raised in single parent families. That has a huge impact for girls and boys, which has been documented in numerous studies. Male and female role models are extremely important to a child’s development.

          I said there were two aspects of the problem typically overlooked by the left – the other is personal choices. In a free society, we all make choices.

          I once worked in a factory that would be more than suitable for the show Dirty Jobs. In spite of the work and conditions, I showed up every day for work. Most others quit after experiencing what the job entailed. I remember one guy left at lunch on his first day of work.

          So if one person is working at a very undesirable job and another quit, who is responsible for the one who is unemployed?

    • The solution is to stop emphasizing race and treat people as individuals who are all created in the image of God.

      Encourage everyone to embrace education, hard work and responsibility.

      Encourage and support NGOs that provide assistance to those who have lost their way or otherwise find themselves in need.

  10. There is the also disparate impact of COVID-19. African Americans are hit especially hard in two ways that I haven’t seen in this discussion. (Maybe I missed it.)

    First, Democrats are much more likely to be fearful of contracting COVID-19. That’s a fact. We’ve discussed endlessly on this blog about whether Republicans or Democrats have the more realistic view, but that’s not relevant here. What matters regarding unemployment is the very real difference in how each group assesses the danger posed by COVID-19. Democrats as a group perceive it to be more dangerous and are therefore more likely to be reluctant to work where they might come into contact with the virus. African Americans are overwhelmingly Democrats.

    Second, African Americans are also more likely to die from COVID-19. That too is well documented, and cannot help but impact their risk assessment of returning to work, or accepting a job that carries some risk of COVID-19

    • Good discussion going on here immediately above and below. For example, Jame’s discussion of the the effective single parent. See his November 30, 2020 at 8:58 am comment. It perfectly describes that one critical and essential ingredient of the typical child who succeeds in the Success Academy in New York City.

      I believe it is fair to say that Success Academy finds that without a least one committed and responsible parent, the disadvantaged child’s chances of success is very slim indeed. It’s the one nearly irreplaceable ingredient to childhood success. Hence the Success Academy demands this kind of parent for all its students. Why will not anyone else in leadership do this? That is the crime here, one compounded by blaming a child’s failure on everything but parental failure. And injecting toxic race baiting scapegoats into the issue instead. This is evil. It solves nothing. It acerbates everything. And it insures systemic failure for generations of innocent children, of all colors and circumstances, but particularly those otherwise disadvantaged as well.

  11. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    There is another way of looking at this. There are about 6 million black children in a single parent environment. Not all are destined to poverty and social ills. Many succeed. As a school teacher I have seen this with my own eyes. The ones who do make it. How did that happen?
    1. Single parent creates a stable home environment.
    2. Single parent creates a household based on discipline, boundaries, and expectations.
    3. Single parent recruits additional help in raising the child. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, the neighbor, a reliable boyfriend/girlfriend.
    4. Single parent involves child in neighborhood social institutions such as church, scouting, the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, sports, drama, or music.
    5. Single parent is daily involved in the monitoring and support of academic success.
    6. Single parent explores support for continuing education beyond high school. Seeking out scholarships, apprenticeships, the military.

    There are many examples of single parent success. They have a winning recipe. It is not an easy recipe to follow but it does work.

    How can society promote and expand the winning ways of the successful single parent?

    • My aunt also raised 5 children herself because her husband abandon them. The fact that this hardship can be overcome is not justification for failing to acknowledge the desirability of two parent families.

      Having a criminal background can also be overcome, but that hasn’t stopped me from teaching my children to be law abiding and respect authority.

      As a society, we must strive to give our children the best possible chance for success in their career and in life. All our children.

      But whatever hardships one faces, they can be overcome. In that I completely agree. But that too will be controversial, as some might suggest that what you are promoting is “whiteness.”

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        Dave F. my room mate for 3 years in college at VPI was able to overcome all of this. I don’t think his mother cared about “whiteness”. She wanted what was best for Dave and she delivered. Very interesting. A white southerner raised by a single mother. A black northern Virginian raised by a single mother. WE had so much in common. Our stories, obstacles, and triumphs were very much the same. We both made it out thanks to our mothers and their commitment to good single parenting “habits of mind”. If you want want to label the blueprint to success in your Smithsonian chart “whiteness” go right ahead. Dave and I always made sure to thank our mothers on that special day in May. I don’t know where we would be right now without them.

        • I’ve never labeled anything “whiteness,” but it’s being done. That thinking is toxic and needs to be addressed, particularly when discussing the cause of disparity of outcomes.

          The example you provided of commonalities between you and Dave demonstrates my point above of stressing our common humanity and the values that benefit individuals and society.

          Almost any situation can be overcome, but not by giving up. I too faced some difficult times in my youth and even contemplated suicide at one point.

          Whatever I have overcome and achieved, much of the credit goes to my parents. But at my lowest point, I also needed faith in God. Without that, I doubt I would have been able to succeed.

          I don’t seek to impose my beliefs on anyone else, but I would not be honest if I didn’t admit that faith was a key ingredient for me and others I have known. I’ve not done so in many years, but have ministered to people in prison. Changing laws cannot make the difference in troubled lives. Changing people can.

          • That was good Nathan. The only thing I would add is that different kids needed different kinds of “help” growing up and some are not so fortunate to have two parents or even one parent but other adults can serve in role to help them and guide them and in my case, it was a teacher who provided the things I needed that I did not get at home as my Mom became single, had no skills, ended up working long hours as a clerk in a small grocery store, and I found help in that teacher who motivated me to stick to school and stay away from some of the guys that were headed for trouble.

            Every child deserves such a chanceat life if they don’t get the parental help they need.

            We should never abandon those kids because one or both of their parents are not good.

            And unfortunately, that’s the way the world works sometimes.

          • Other adults can only do what the parents agree with and support.

            We had a neighbor who was bringing up her son by herself. We got along very well overall, but I wasn’t able to help her son very much. When he was with us, I treated him just as I treated my own boys. That was fine, until he needed correction.

            The mother was overly protective and thought she could compensate for his absent father by buying things for him. In any dispute, she would side with her son. I would not bend in how I thought boys should behave, and would not allow the neighbor boy to be treated differently when in my home or on my property.

            The neighbor boy very much needed structure and authority, but whenever I tried to provide it, he typically went home to his mother who would then go out and buy him a new toy.

            Unsurprisingly, he was a discipline problem at school. He eventually had to go to a special school for discipline problems. Then he dropped out of school. Sad to say, he’s not doing well now.

            This boy is white, he was raised in the same neighborhood, rode the same bus and went to the same school. Aren’t these the things that supposedly determine outcome?

            A mother like my aunt, like Mr. Whitehead’s mother, like Dave’s mother, or like Ben Carson’s mother would have made all the difference for that boy. Our neighbor loved her son and did what she thought was best for him. She just was mistaken as to what her son needed most (in my view).

            The needs of children are the same regardless of race. People are people and children are children.

          • James Wyatt Whitehead V

            You made some great comments today Mr. Nathan. Appreciate it.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Yes, Nathan’s contribution was magnificent, and vitally needed.

  12. I agree and good thoughts!

    I would also think these things would work for ALL single-parent households regardless of race.

    But I also think that houshold income plays an important role also – for instance, what kind of housing they can afford to live.

    If you can afford to live in an affluent neighborhood, the school in that neigborhood is likely going to be better than if you can only afford to live in a neighborhood with a lot of poverty and crime.

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