One of these days, the National Urban League will release its State of Black America report, and it will show the economic, social, education and other gaps separating African Americans and whites have closed.
Equality finally has been achieved in the second term of President Barack Obama, the country’s first black elected to the highest office in the land. Happy days have at long last arrived.
But this is not that day. The Urban League’s 2015 Equality Index released Thursday puts African Americans at 72.2, percent, which means that black people enjoy only three-quarters of the quality of life in this country that white people do. That’s up from 71.5 percent in 2014.
But it’s still low considering that the Constitution written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 put blacks as slaves as only three-fifths of a person — a compromise made with the South over political representation in the House. The Urban League’s Equality Index shows that little progress has occurred since slavery ended after the Civil War and with the 13th Amendment in 1865.
The index includes the topics of social justice, health education, economics and civic engagement. Social justice index rose from from 56.9 percent to 60.6 percent and that was despite the blowup in Ferguson, Mo., with protests and unrest following the fatal police shooting of 18-year-old African American Michael Brown.
But Brown’s death and the killings by other white police officers of Eric Garner in New York City and Tamir Rice in Cleveland did spark the “Black Lives Matter” movement, and that’s progress.
The Urban League’s health index, largely because of the Affordable Care Act, increased from 78.2 percent to 79.8 percent. Education fell from 76.7 percent to 76.1 percent.
Economics inched from 55.4 percent to 55.8 percent, and civic engagement fell from 104.7 percent to 104 percent. Economics is a huge problem.
The median African American household income was $34,815, or only 60 percent of the $57,684 for white households. Blacks were more than twice as likely as whites to live in poverty.
The black jobless rate is more than double whites’. The median black wealth is $6,314 compared with $110,500 for whites, meaning the median black household has only 6 cents for every dollar the median white household possesses.
The Latino equality index was somewhat better at 75.8 percent for 2014 compared with 77.7 percent in 2015, the Urban League reports.
Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., were included in the report’s unemployment data among about 70 cities for African Americans and Latinos.