Skip to content

The politics of understanding what we do here, will just not be enough


Practical Politics

A couple weeks ago, Our Weekly announced the publication of the 2023 edition of the National Urban League’s signature report to the people, “The State of Black America.” The NUL has been making this report for over 40 years, annually since 2005, and overall since 1976, when the national head of the organization was high-profile attorney Vernon Jordan.

As stated in the earlier OW article, according to the NUL, the present state of Black America is grim, indeed. This overall assessment is in spite of the continued movement forward and upward for Black folk in this country. No matter how far we go, however, the distance keeps getting longer; and no matter how many achievements we can claim—and there are innumerable—they are not now and seemingly won’t ever be enough.

We are reminded of the definition of insanity.

Our common task, from the 17th century onward, has been to fit in, to do everything necessary to be acceptable and accepted as free and equal in what is, has been, and remains a white man’s country. The architecture, the building plans, the militant execution, and most of the construction of the U.S.A. has been for and about WP. We can claim it to be otherwise, but that’s just silly and wishful thinking. It is what it is, and what it was intended to be.

We can—and will—keep struggling to change what the numbers are, but we will always be outmaneuvered by the American educational and political systems, no matter how many Black millionaires and rich entertainers we produce. Our second-class status seems to be hard-wired deep within America.

The Urban League’s Equality Index, a comprehensive social-political tool it uses for looking at the overall condition of Blacks in America viz-a-viz the white population, particularly in economics, health, education, social justice, and civic engagement, says that as of 2022, Black Americans collectively own or control approximately 73.9% of the proverbial American pie, which is 26% less than what white Americans own and control. This correlates to information that the gap between blacks and whites regarding wealth in America remains very wide, in spite of what social media says, such that the median income of an average Black American household  remains 37% less than that of a typical white household.

Other conclusions show that in spite of modern life and a plethora of federal programs, the life expectancy of Black children has again declined, with a Black child now expected to live only up to 74.7 years, while a typical white child’s life expectancy is 78.5. Additionally, Black women are 59% more likely to die from childbirth, they are 31% more likely to die of breast cancer, and Black men are 52% more likely than white men to die of prostate cancer.  Medical care for Black Americans is overall still abysmal in this country.

The Urban League’s report also states that despite the massive social movements connected to the George Floyd death, and other such events, Black people are still twice as likely to experience police overuse of force, and Blacks remain three times more likely to be arrested, regardless of the situation.

By the way, the NUL’s analysis was bolstered by data and reporting from seven other stellar civil rights organizations, including the NAACP, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/Black Women’s Roundtable, Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and the National Council of Negro Women.

And still we strive….

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 Friday.

DISCLAIMER: The beliefs and viewpoints expressed in opinion pieces, letters to the editor, by columnists and/or contributing writers are not necessarily those of OurWeekly.