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I think most everyone would agree that the main problem facing black people in America is poverty. According to the National Poverty Center, in 2010, 38.2% of black children were living below the poverty line, as compared to only 12.4% of white children. 35% of Hispanic children were below the poverty line, along with 13.6% of Asian children.
This poverty disparity along racial lines is partially, but not completely, explained by differences in unemployment rates. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS), 2010 unemployment statistics for the different racial groups were: Black - 16%, Hispanic - 12.5%, White - 8.7%, Asian - 7.5%. From this, we could extrapolate that black/Hispanic poverty should be roughly double white/Asian poverty - but black poverty is TRIPLE that of white/Asian poverty. Unemployment statistics alone don't fully explain things. There must be a difference in the quality of black jobs as compared to white/Asian jobs in addition to the difference in the quantity of jobs. This can be verified by looking at median income by race. The statistics bear out the difference in job quality. From the Census Bureau, the 2009 median income for white families was $62,545. The median income for Asian families was $75,027. For black families it was $38,409. Thus, black families have fewer jobs as well as lower paying jobs. This is the situation that needs to be addressed.
Over the last week, I've heard many of the usual race baiters, who I'll refer to as the Al Sharpton-Jesse Jackson-MSNBC (SJMSer) crowd, attempting to portray the Zimmerman-Martin verdict as being typical of the way mean old racist America works, where a black man can't get justice in a white world (and never mind the actual facts of the case. Those are irrelevant). The SJMSers invoke slavery and Jim Crow, as if those things are still happening, as if the last 50 years of progress have not occurred. I've discovered that when it comes to race relations, many so-called "progressives" are ironically stuck in 1955.
Even President Obama weighed in once again on the Zimmerman-Martin case. His remarks weren't that bad, but he didn't have anything very helpful to say either, not that I expected much from him. I gave up on Obama providing real leadership long ago. Pretty much his only concrete suggestion was a political one, about reworking Stand Your Ground laws, which had little if anything to do with the Zimmerman-Martin case.
The jury in the George Zimmerman trial reached the correct LEGAL VERDICT by finding Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin, because the evidence showed that Zimmerman was not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The evidence showed that Zimmerman had a credible self-defense claim. I emphasized the words "legal verdict", because the jury could have returned an emotion-and-politics-based verdict and found Zimmerman guilty. It is to the jury's credit that it did not do that. Our legal system wouldn't be worth spit if it bowed to political pressures and based outcomes on emotion. If we had an emotion-and-politics-based justice system, we wouldn't have justice at all. Instead, we'd have a series of Salem witch trials based on the desires of the pitchfork-wielding mob.
There is no joy or celebration with this verdict, because the death of Trayvon Martin was tragic and unnecessary. It consisted of a series of unfortunate events. The evidence showed that Zimmerman profiled Martin, not because Martin was black per se, but because there had been a series of crimes in the neighborhood and Zimmerman thought Martin fit the profile of the criminals (thus the "these b*st*rds always get away") comment from Zimmerman. Zimmerman called 911 and then followed Martin. These facts were stressed by the prosecution to contend Zimmerman's guilt. Unfortunately for the prosecution, those pre-assault facts basically constituted their entire case. The problem for the prosection was, nothing Zimmerman did up to that point was illegal or criminal. That's why the prosecution tried to get the jury to look into Zimmerman's allegedly craven heart to find bad intent, an intent Zimmerman allegedly had to murder Martin, which is a fairly ridiculous notion. It would mean Zimmerman basically called the cops (911) on himself. This is where the prosecution's case fell apart, because the evidence indicates that Martin attacked Zimmerman, not the other way around. While the prosecution contended that Zimmerman's initial actions were what led to Martin's death, it is equally if not more credible to say that Martin's actions led to the death of Martin. Until violence actually occurred between Zimmerman and Martin, there was no crime at all.
Because most of you are familiar with this national spectacle, I won't rehash all the details of the Florida case for the umpteenth time. Here's a quick rundown of the facts as best I know them for those of you who have been living in another country for the past 17 months:
George Zimmerman, a biracial guy (part Hispanic, part white), was part of a neighborhood watch group. There had been several break-ins in the area. Zimmerman saw 17-year old Trayvon Martin, a black youth, walking between houses in the gated community, and, according to Zimmerman, looking around and acting suspiciously. Zimmerman called 911. Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher he was going to follow Martin. The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman "we don't need you to do that". Zimmerman apparently followed Martin anyway. Zimmerman was lawfully carrying a concealed firearm. Martin was unarmed. There is some question about exactly how the confrontation took place, but a confrontation occurred. Martin asked Zimmerman why Zimmerman was following him. Zimmerman asked Martin what he was doing there. A fight ensued. Witnesses stated that Martin was straddled on top of Zimmerman, beating him. Witnesses heard cries for help. Most witnesses said the cries came from Zimmerman. Others, mostly Martin's family members, said the cries for help came from Martin. At some point in the struggle, Zimmerman pulled his gun and shot Martin point blank in the chest, killing him. Zimmerman claims self-defense, saying he feared for his life. He had a broken nose and cuts on the back of his head to support his claim.
In my opinion, President Obama made one of the smartest decisions of his presidency last week, when he temporarily delayed the Obamacare employer mandate until 2015. Under the mandate, companies with 50 or more employees have to provide qualified health insurance (read: insurance of which Obama and the Democrats approve) for their employees or pay a fine of up to $3,000 per employee. By delaying this onus Obama and the Democrats have put on the backs of American businesses, which included extensive new reporting requirements from businesses, they also delay the political backlash from a mandate that will cause employers to cut employee hours and hire fewer employees. Most importantly, it delays the backlash until after the 2014 midterm elections. Obama is a lousy legislator, but he's a clever politician.
$6.3 trillion and counting. That's the amount of national debt added since Democrat Barack Obama became President. We had four years with deficits over a trillion dollars on Obama's watch, and an estimated deficit of $642 billion this fiscal year, which is still a higher annual dollar deficit than any by a President not named Barack Obama. The Democrats and Obama take absolutely no responsibility for it. They blame it all on Dubya instead, as if Obama is just a leaf floating helplessly along the unalterable current of Bush's River Of Destiny.
When the Democrats took control of Congress at the beginning of 2007 (and have retained control of the Senate ever since), the national debt was $8.67 trillion. Today, it is nearly $16.9 trillion, which means the national debt has almost doubled in only seven years. Think of that. It took this country 231 years to accumulate it's first $8.6 trillion in debt, and seven years to accumulate the next $8.6 trillion in debt. Does this sound like a country that is headed in the right direction ? It sounds like fiscal irresponsibility on an unprecedented scale to me.