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Governing of the People Bypassed by Politics


Op/Ed

With less than six days left to reach an agreement and come up with a viable solution to address the national debt crisis and balance the budget; arguments, accusations, name calling and the old bait and switch is in full force. While politicking is in high gear; the American people that are affected the most are continuing to suffer and be plagued with a horrifying reality come August 2nd, if no agreements or solutions are met.

Things were heated well before President Obama won the 2008 election. However, the heat has increased exceptionally. Lines have been drawn in the sand. The gloves have come off, and the blows are striking well below the belt.

The war going on in the government seems to be reaching epic proportions; that it has even left some pundits scratching their heads and searching for the correct words to express what is happening on Capitol Hill.

Lies and accusations are flying fast and furious, leaving more people confused and uninformed about what is really going on, and what this battle is really all about.

Lets face it people: we are not just talking about a budget or a deficit. No. We are talking about politics and the endgame being the 2012 Presidential election. Politics in the land has taken the place of governing the people, with leaders willing to sacrifice the “small” people in order to retain what power they have, and regain any power they felt they have lost.

The consensus amongst many Democrats, Liberals and just some of us plain “small” folks, is that the Republicans and Conservatives will do anything to see that President Obama fails. That he will not get a second term. And they are willing to accomplish this by sacrificing millions of Americans to reach their agenda.

If division in the country is what there were going for: Well done! Division accomplished. But what about the bottom line? What does all of this talk, and compromise mean for African Americans and Latinos?

Recent polls show that 68% of the public wants a compromise concerning the debt ceiling crisis, even if they are not in total agreement with it. Whereas, a good number of Republicans that identify greatly with the Tea Party, want to stick to their principles; even at the expense of going into default.

But who are we kidding here? Who do you think is going to suffer the most? You guessed it! Minorities. The African American and Latino communities. Equal opportunity may exist, but it has yet to reach many Black and Latino households; especially when policies prevent us from gaining a secure foot-standing, that should a crisis occur, our families would not only be able to survive, but be able to build again.

There's been a lot of numbers being thrown about. A lot of finger pointing and blame going on; much of it at the President. However, it must be interjected that the President and current White House inherited a boat load of debt and bad infrastructure left from previous administrations. And to expect President Obama to be able to solve eighteen years of problems in three years is absurd. Yet, this is the picture being presented to the public, and what is being bought: hook, line, and sinker.

Okay. Suppose we do default? Let's look at the worse case scenario, and who really is going to suffer. To get a clear picture of where we stand in Black America and Latino America should this occur, we have to look at the numbers.

In recent research done by Pew Research Center, showed the wealth gap between whites, African Americans and Latino households is on a rise, not a decline. And, it will only be widened should the government default, and “start-all-over”, as was heard by some Republicans, Tea partiers, and their constituents.

The gap has reached record highs of a ratio gap of 20 to 1. This means that for every $2.00 contributed to a white household, Black and Latino households are at .10cents. Ten cents for every $2? Yes.

The Pew Research Center cited the following: ”...in percentage terms, the bursting of the housing market bubble in 2006 and the recession that followed from late 2007 to mid-2009 took a far greater toll on the wealth of minorities than whites. From 2005 to 2009, inflation-adjusted median wealth fell by 66% among Hispanic households and 53% among Black households, compared with just 16% among white households.

As a result of these declines, the typical Black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009, the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth and the typical white household had $113,149.

Moreover, about a third of Black (35%) and Hispanic (31%) households had zero or negative net worth in 2009, compared with 15% of white households. In 2005, the comparable shares had been 29% for blacks, 23% for Hispanics and 11% for whites.


It is time for us to educate ourselves on what is going on around us. We have to take a stand and start voting and electing officials that are going to represent us in policy making. We have to recognize, as well, that change does not occur overnight, but is a process. A process that requires us to vote more than once. We cannot vote just during a presidential election. W e must exercise our vote in every mid-term and special elections.

There is a widespread agenda to keep African Americans and Latino's from voting. It is spreading like wildfire across the nation. We must fight for what rightfully belongs to us. We must educate ourselves and our communities to the politics that are hindering the governing of our communities, and taking opportunities away from our children and their children.

This current crisis is designed to turn back the clock, and create an America that does not take care of all its people, but only the elite. It's time to take our leaders to task, and make them accountable for their actions. The numbers don't lie.

*To check out the entire Pew report: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2069/housing-bubble-subprime-mortgages-hispanics-blacks-household-wealth-disparity





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Content copyright © 2014 by Ruthe McDonald. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.

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