Ebony, Black Enterprise, and Essence Magazines are hurting African Americans!

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If there is anything certain in the coming months, it is more economic pain for African Americans(AA). One of the major indications of this coming pain was an announcement, on September 24th by Janet Yellen, Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Bank (Fed), of a future interest rate increase by the end of the year, most likely in December. Of course an upward increase in interest rates could have a negative impact on job creation; as the cost of money increases, there is a good possibility hiring will slow or even stop, as higher interest rates cut into the profits of businesses.

It is the African American (AA) community on whose backs these interest rates are being raised and who will pay dearly in increased unemployment. Yet, the major media publications of the African American community do not write about this looming economic disaster. Additionally, in what passes for newspapers in the AA community, there are no references to this ill fated act. Black print media is outright failing the black community and have unwittingly become partners in bringing pain down upon the very community from which it derives income in terms of magazine and newspaper sales. They have a journalistic obligation to sound an alarm! Television news shows on Fox and MSNBC hosted by African Americans such as Al Sharpton of Politics Nation, do not bear the same responsibility. In most instances these people do not have complete control over the content of their programs. Nevertheless, when they can, television personalities have the same duty as those in the print media to at least be fair in reporting unemployment news. Fairness means, they have a responsibility to present a balanced view of how monetary policy, such as the coming increase in interest rates, will negatively affect an already highly stressed black community.

There is no question, there should be a vigorous conversation taking place right now, around arguably the greatest crisis facing the African Amerblackmagazineinternships-2015ican working population in seven years. One of the major reasons these conversations are not taking place is because the print media within the African American community acts a lot different from the print media of the majority population. In many mainstream print publications, on television news programs and political shows, the fact that the Fed will raise interest rates this year was a lead story. In AA publications, this was not the case! Increasing interest rates and its adverse affects upon the AA population was not even a secondary story in these publications! As a matter of fact, it was not a storyline at all in 99 percent of the publications oriented toward the black public. There is an ongoing myth that African Americans have no interest in economic discussions or education when it comes to the economy. That is all it is, a myth. Who among you do not want to discuss whether you will be getting a pink slip in the coming months due to the policy missteps in Washington, D.C.? You see, discussions about future lay-offs have no color. The possibility of losing one’s livelihood is a discussion that appeals to everyone if it is presented correctly. Mainstream media has no problem with having this discussion with their audiences. They also have no problem with bending the dialogue around this subject to their advantage.

Here is how the Fed is using the mainstream media to present the case for raising interest rates. However, before presenting that, let me give you a point of reference so you can better understand the situation blacks are facing. Here is a look at the August jobs report numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall black unemployment rate rose from 9.1 percent in July to 9.5 percent in August. The white unemployment rate for the same period actually decreased! The white unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in July to 4.4 percent in August.

The unjustified reason the Federal Reserve Bank’s (Fed) Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is using for increasing interest rates is that the U.S. labor market is at full employment! They say this even as experts who are familiar with these numbers know that the official numbers should be 2 to 5 percent higher. It’s officially called “slack” in the unemployment numbers.

Additionally, you might ask, full employment for whom?! The AA community is facing the highest unemployment rate reached during the economic downturn of the nation. Ten percent unemployment has largely been their rate for the last seven years! And just when their official rate dipped below 10 percent, the establishment has decided to raise interest rates. Guess what they called the nation’s condition at the time it reached 10 percent unemployment. You are right; The Great Recession. Get this, if you did not completely understand what was said above; the Fed is raising interest rates while the African American community is in the midst of a Great Recession! How callous, indifferent and insensitive is that?

Now, you understand why these magazines and newspapers in the African American community are hurting the black community as a whole. By refusing to dialogue about how increased interest rates can wreak havoc on black workers, they deprive African Americans of a discussion about solutions and “what if scenarios” ( what if we did this or did that). In doing this, AA publications are essentially abandoning the function of good professional journalism and they ought to be, if they have any respect for their profession, embarrassed! The Fed and FOMC have no regard for the suffering of African Americans and their families, as you can see. Friends, countrymen, sisters, I beseech you, kindly request these publications have this conversation – tweet them; write them; e-mail them; say bad things about them, but get it done! Act now. To make this democracy work for all of us, we have got to participate.

Order the “The Fix This Time” at Amazon.com. It depicts a masterful strategy for creating the jobs we sorely need and for avoiding the coming lay-offs. Share it with the African American press. Let’s get B-U-S-Y!

Staff Writer; James Davis

This talented brother is a graduate of Florida A. and M. University(FAMU), a former stockbroker, and a human rights activist who resides in Sanford, Florida. He was awarded the prestigious Governor Haydon Burns Scholarship to attend FAMU and while at FAMU was awarded the first Martin Luther King Scholarship. He is also author of three books, among them are “The Fix This Time,” Expanding Social Security Benefits to Create Jobs and Spur Demand( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MI3PD2M ) and “Hey…God’s Talking To You,” The Study Book ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYI3VQW ).

He can be reached through his blog @, (http://www.thefixthistime.com).