The Jobs Disaster Requires Aggressive Action Now

benjaminjealousBy Benjamin Todd Jealous, NAACP President & CEO Joblessness is already having a debilitating impact on virtually every community in the United States. And as is often the case, when life gets tough for America as a whole, it becomes devastating for black Americans. Today, the unemployment rate for African Americans stands at 15.8 percent, nearly double the national average. In our inner cities it is crisis time-joblessness for black men in Detroit is nearly 50 percent The personal toll of joblessness can be devastating.

Entire families are slipping into homelessness, and the impact of this disaster is tearing families apart from Baltimore to Los Angeles and from Cleveland to Houston. What happened to these families wasn't an earthquake, a hurricane or a flood. The causes of their joblessness were man-made. They are the victims of the housing bust and the criminal irresponsibility among of major financial institutions. When bankers and Wall Street investors are getting even bigger bonuses than last year- thanks in part to the government bailout-it is time to throw a lifeline to the millions of suffering families in this country. A man-made disaster must be addressed by man-made solutions.