Economic recovery is evading our most struggling populations. But as we celebrate Earth Day, now is a fitting time to highlight how the emerging green sector can bridge our communities to economic opportunity.
There is $850 billion moving through black consumers' hands each year, with 90 percent of that amount going to businesses owned and controlled by non-black businesses, according to James Clingman Jr. That is a vast amount of revenue that never makes its way to the African American community.
While the recent drop in unemployment numbers is great news, I wonder about how it will impact older African-American baby boomers. Our looming retirement security crisis, disproportionally affects African Americans, many of whom are retiring in poverty after a lifetime of work.
The recession continues to fall hardest on African American and Latino communities, with 16.7 and 11.3 percent unemployment respectively -- far above the national average. The president was right to highlight programs that can target these communities directly.
There needs to be an immediate, aggressive approach in tackling these issues for minorities to stay engaged in the political process. High unemployment, foreclosures, health insurance issues, etc. are forcing this demographic to wonder what's in it for them in 2012.
Obama is right to note that he must "get the economy as a whole moving to be able to help anybody," but that effort should not be mutually exclusive from assisting those communities disproportionately impacted.