While watching a TV commercial recently, I realized how often black Americans are being depicted as successful, middle-class folks, as if all is well. But all is not well. Unemployment rates for black Americans are more than twice the national average. Young black men are incarcerated at five times the rate that young white men are. And while we hear a lot about equal pay for women, it’s much worse for black people but no one talks about it.
I’m not saying TV producers should depict black people as poor or anything. But ignoring reality is a disservice to everyone. The deck is stacked against black Americans, and the media need to remember that fact. In a country founded on the idea everyone is created equal, the fight to make that a reality must be acknowledged. Affirmative action is still needed, and those who say it is not are just wrong.