The correlation that stuck with me the most from my service at the Department of Labor during the Clinton years was the one between learning and earning, simply, "The more you learn, the more you earn."
Yes, people of all races are suffering mightily in the Great Recession, with one in eight families now receiving food stamps. But as our grandmothers used to say, when whites catch a cold, Blacks catch pneumonia.
Voters didn't throw some disembodied, decontextualized essence of blackness on the table in deciding whether or not to vote for Barack Obama. His racial identity was one part of a complex mix of considerations.
Research shows that when asked about the racial makeup of assistance programs, most people assume far higher percentages of people of color than is actually the case, and these perceptions impact political support.