Source: Steven Pitts, New Labor Forum, Vol. 16 no. 1, Winter 2007
Thirty-five years after the end of the modern civil rights movement and the end of legal segregation, the United States still has a blind spot which renders invisible the impact of institutional racism on black life. In the arena of employment, this blind spot results in the limited view of the job crisis in the Black community – a view which focuses exclusively on unemployment. Just as white supremacy is rarely seen as a constituent aspect of U.S society, the plight of low-wage Black workers is rarely seen. The racism which only sees two segments of Black society – the elite who have made it and the “underclass” who has not – also keeps Blacks who toil in bad jobs in the shadows. This limited view results in a set of policies and programs which are ill equipped to address the complexities surrounding the reality of work facing Black Americans.