Tag Archive: African-American

Watching an Old Man Watching Obama in Charlotte

… with liberty and justice for all.

              – Former Rep. Gabby Giffords, Democratic National Committee                

Most of all, the President had faith in our special forces–the finest warriors the world has ever known.

               Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic National Convention

Earlier today, Jason wrote about his most moving experience in Charlotte, a wonderful moment involving a military family he knows personally. I wasn’t a delegate, and though I stayed with and traveled with the delegation, most of my convention was via the nightly watch parties at the NJ Delegation hotel. I sat with Gov. James and Lucinda Florio for Bill Clinton’s speech, and watched him intently absorb Clinton’s words. I saw Michelle Obama’s speech with a jubilant Loretta Weinberg, who left the convention early to watch on TV.

It was a stormy week. When the DNC pulled the Obama speech from the stadium (73,000 seats) into the Time Warner Cable Arena (19,000 seats, fewer than the stadium waiting list), credentials for Obama’s speech were a hot ticket. I wasn’t one of the many people begging for credentials but thanks to the good graces of one of New Jersey’s senators, I was amazed to find myself in the Arena (and wow, thank you so much).  

The walk to the Arena was joyous. Charlotte is a Democratic city with a high African-American population. So much of the street life – both vendors and families who came just to be part of it – was black and local. Inside the Arena, I was seated among some older folks in wheelchairs. That’s where I saw the man who stood up.  

NAACP says Black women disproportionately hit by cuts

Note: We don’t normally post press releases, but I thought this info was interesting and germane to the proceedings going on right now in the State House, in terms of their impact, according to NAACP, on a particular population segment of African-American women & professionals. And, with all that’s going on, I don’t have time to tease this into a diary. So, here word-for-word is what NAACP has to say –

Study: Black Women, Professionals Would be Disproportionately Affected by Trenton’s Cuts

Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP issued a strongly worded statement, calling on Trenton leaders to respect the right to collective bargaining as a new report says moves to significantly cut the health care and pension benefits of state workers could fall hardest on New Jersey’s black middle-class – particularly on black women and black workers with professional degrees. Ben Jealous:

We see this same pattern in many states and cities across the nation.  Public sector jobs are critical in communities of color and attacks on bargaining rights and health care disproportionately affect our communities.  The NAACP nationally and in NJ supports bargaining rights, not stripping these rights at this critical time.  This recession will never end if benefits and wages continue to decline in all sectors.  Now public workers are under attack everywhere and we stand with them.

Public sector jobs have served as the gateway to the middle-class for thousands of black New Jerseyans,” said Jeffrey Keefe, a professor of Labor and Employment Relations at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations and author of today’s report. “But those quality jobs are now threatened by Trenton’s proposed cuts to public workers.  These cuts will fall disproportionately on African-American workers and their families, further damaging a community still struggling to recover from the economic downtown.  Black women, who make up 78% of the black public sector workforce, and Black workers with professional degrees will be particularly hard hit.

The report’s key findings include:

  • Black workers earn 93% more each year working in the public sector than the private sector ($38,091 compared to $19,698).

  • 89% of Black public employees have employer-provided health insurance, compared to just 50% of Black workers in the private sector.

  • Public sector jobs are particularly important for Black women.  78% of the Black public sector labor force is female, compared to 53% of the private sector Black work force.  

  • The public sector employs five times the proportion of Black professionals as the private sector.  40% of Black workers employed in the public sector are professionals.

  • The public sector employs college-educated Black workers at 2.5 times the rate of the private sector.  

    Approximately, 37% of Black public employees are college-educated, compared to 15% of private sector Black workers.