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Capitalism has been difficult on people of color, and African Americans in particular, who persistently face discrimination in employment leaving them often shut out and left out of the so-called “American dream.” For many black youth, the vision of better days ahead remains ever illusive, especially for black folk that are continually told in direct and nondescript ways that they do not matter much in the world. One way this is materialized is through the process of work.
We Americans live to work rather than work to live, unlike our European counterparts, and much of our day is spent working. With an astounding unemployment rate as high as 49.1 percent in November 2009 to a precipitous drop to 38.5 percent as of January 2012, a large number of black youth have tuned out and are no longer in the labor force, which explains some of the drop in the unemployment rate.
Those in power, the government, large business and various interests groups, elicit policies and influence that produce oppressive structures that uphold capitalism as an unequal system that disproportionally benefits white Americans while continually oppressing black youth and other communities of color. More importantly, many folks are quick to blame black folk for their own failures under capitalism’s “benevolent” hand, maintaining the system is fair and impartial while the unemployment figures speak differently. Even black Americans misguided by their own personal success are duped to believe this fraudulent form of thinking.
Even when the marginalized organize at the grassroots level for efforts toward reform, the government still fails to pass policies that are beneficial to the general populous and to black communities more specifically. Only when death, violence or mayhem ensue will government finally (albeit with bitter bipartisanism) act on behalf of the citizens and, in this case, black youth. We as a society need to build a movement that no longer allows the government to put capitalist values above the values of human dignity, safety and health.