Sorry this is four days into the posting –Imara Jones at Colorlines published a fair rundown on why shutting down the government impacts people of color disproportionately. I think it’s an important read.
As the parts of the government affected by the shutdown disproportionately impact economic opportunity programs for the working poor,historically marginalized communities are likely to the feel the effects of a shutdown acutely as time goes on.
What’s particularly distressing about the shuttering of the government is that it comes at a time when unemployment remains in the double digits for blacks and Latinos. As the Center for American Progress points out,federal,state and local governments since 2008 have eliminated 750,000 public sector jobs. Given unionization and strong anti-discriminatory hiring practices,people of color are more likely to have jobs in the public sector. This is particularly true for African-Americans,and it’s why joblessness remains so stubborn in communities of color.
The truth is that people of color represent a larger proportion of the federal workforce than the workforce overall. According to the Washington Post,35 percent of federal workers are non-White versus 30 percent of all workers. This means that a shutdown will only add to the economic woes and employment worries in communities of color.
Equally important,Joan Walsh’s piece at Salon on the Shutdown and GOP race-baiting:
On the day the Affordable Care Act takes effect,the U.S. government is shut down,and it may be permanently broken. You’ll read lots of explanations for the dysfunction,but the simple truth is this:It’s the culmination of 50 years of evolving yet consistent Republican strategy to depict government as the enemy,an oppressor that works primarily as the protector of and provider for African-Americans,to the detriment of everyone else. The fact that everything came apart under our first African-American president wasn’t an accident,it was probably inevitable.