Costs Money

More than 5.5 million African Americans don’t have a photo ID.

Without a photo ID you can’t drive, you can’t open a bank account and most importantly you cannot vote. 

source: 
MSNBC Politic Nation

Chex Systems is a national database that tracks your bounced checks

If your bank account is closed due to writing bad checks or being overdrawn your name is listed in a national database caled Chex Systems.  You may not be able to open a new bank account until your name is removed from the database (you pay off your debt). Read more about Chex Systems here.

source: 
ConsumerDebit.com

Robo-signing - the Latest Illegal Foreclosure Scam Perpetrated by Major Banks

Robo-signing fake docsRobo-signing is the robotic process of the mass production of false and forged signing of mortgage foreclosure documents by persons with no knowledge of the facts in the documents.  Often times the robo-signer does not even exist.  The following article was written by Jim Hightower and originally printed at OtherWords.org, a project of the Institute of Policy Studies. We thank him for his good work on this article. - Team Afro

Illegal Foreclosure Epidemic

Robo-signing foreclosure paperwork is a federal crime, but no bank or banker has even been charged.

"Robo-signing" is the latest illegal foreclosure scam perpetrated by major banks

Robo-signing is the automatic signing of foreclosure documents by people who haven't reviewed the documents.  In many cases the people "signing" the documents don't even exist.  Mass robo-signing is illegal and yet is done by Wells Fargo, Bank of America and others. No bank has ever been charged.  Read more here

source: 
Wikipedia

Republicans want to eliminate the capital gains tax, which would allow 20,000 MORE millionaires to avoid paying any income tax.

Know the true enemy to the middle class – policies like this offered by Michelle Bachman and other Tea Party candidates.  Also see: how many millionaires paid zero taxes

source: 
Tax Policy Center.org

Over 1,000 Millionaires Paid Zero Tax in 2009

In 2009, 1,470 millionaires paid no federal income taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service.  Instead the money was lost to tax deductions, loopholes, write-offs and in some cases taxes for governments in foreign countries.

source: 
Internal Revenue Service via ABC News Aug 2011

10 Corporate and Government Policies that Unfairly Punish Black Men

Corporate scale with black man, black woman, white womanIn a previous post we talked about the Black-White Wealth Gap.  In case you missed it there was an excellent video from Melissa Harris-Perry giving a very brief but effective overview of the some of the causes of the wealth gap and why blacks have been put at an unfair disadvantage.  This post continues that discussion and explains in a little more detail why things are the way they are:

Why are there ghettos and why do so many blacks live there?

Why is black unemployment always twice the rate of white unemployment?

Why black youth graduation rates are so much lower than white youth?

Of course this post can not address all the reasons for  our societal woes, but it is meant to give some insight into why the black community (and particularly black men) are at a disadvantage in 2011.  When you know the history, pitfalls and traps of the system you can avoid them, survive and prosper.

Black Unemployment is historically 50% - 100% higher than the US average

The chart shows the unemployment gap between black and white for 40 years (1972 - 2004). Currently (June 2011) the US rate is 9.2% while the African American rate is 16.7%

source: 
Economists View Magazine

America’s Cold Equals the Black Man’s Pneumonia

Black Men in unemployment lineThe current economic downturn, combined with the recent financial meltdown and the current housing bubble has made life for many Americans difficult if not unbearable.  One of the age old truths that is still holding water during this economic climate is the disproportionate affect that hard times has on African Americans versus the general population.   Last week the latest unemployment figures came out and they were very disappointing.  The jobless rate in America has risen to 9.3 percent and the number of new jobs created was way below expectation.  The numbers signify a stagnation of the economy and continued suffering for middle class Americans.  As bad as these numbers are, for blacks the problem is magnified.

Almost 40% of working people don't get health insurance through their job

Employer insurance of staff has been declining since 2000.  The worst rate of insuring employees is in the service industry where only 32% of workers get insurance from their job.

source: 
Employee Benefits Research Institute (June 2011 study)