Explaining the Congressional Black Caucus’ Abandonment of Its Core Constituency

Published on August 1st, 2011

A recent Fox News survey shows that the economic crisis currently engulfing African-Americans is worse than previously estimated. Since the earlier statistics about black unemployment and income were horrible, the fact that the latest data is worse led Fox to label 2011 as “The Great Depression” for African-Americans. [African-American Middle Class Eroding as Unemployment Rate Rises, by John Roberts, FoxNews.com, July 28, 2011]

As an example, Charlotte, North Carolina which is the nation’s largest financial center outside of New York and the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention has a black unemployment rate of 19. 2 percent. Summing up African-Americans’ dismal job situation, Duke University economics professor William Darity said: “The differential in unemployment between blacks and non-blacks in the U.S. is perhaps one of the most dramatic indicators of discrimination in this society.”

As a result of African-Americans’ continuing economic deterioration, the Congressional Black Caucus is leaning on President Obama to create job programs specifically designed for blacks. So far, Obama has resisted.

But imagine how lower immigration levels could improve the lot of unemployed blacks. Nothing is clearer than the adverse relationship that more under-educated, unskilled illegal immigrants has on black unemployment.

Yet when it comes to supporting amnesty and more non-immigrant worker visas, the Congressional Black Caucus votes as a bloc: Yea to amnesty and yea to more visas.

The explanations for this seemingly conflicted voting pattern are simple and troubling. First, Congressional districts once predominantly the domain of black American citizens have gradually shifted toward higher Hispanic populations. In Charlotte, referenced above, the most recent U.S. Bureau of the Census shows an 11 percent Hispanic population, up from 7 percent in 2000.

As the illegal immigration population continues to grow across the United States, craven politicians prefer to cast their lot with what they foresee as the fastest growing voter base. Sympathy for their traditional black constituents is non-existent.

Second, the Congressional Black Caucus’ failure to defend unemployed African-Americans from over-immigration was explained to me years ago by my late friend Terry Anderson. According to Anderson, black leadership distrusts the patriotic immigration reform movement, which it perceives as led by aging, white men, so deeply that it prefers to take its chances with the Hispanic lobby even though the evidence supports that they should do otherwise.

If African-Americans want to improve their job prospects, they will first have to put heavy pressure on their Congressional representatives, black and white, to control the borders and to pass E-Verify legislation which will assure that only U.S. citizens and legal immigrants from all races, colors and creeds get jobs.

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