It Takes More Than A Cabinet Post

In his press conference today, President Bush expressed confusion and disappointment about his standing in the African American community, saying:

I was disappointed, frankly, in the vote I got in the African-American community. I was. I’ve done my best to elevate people to positions of authority and responsibility — not just positions, but positions where they can actually make a difference in the lives of people. I put people in my Cabinet. I put people in my sub-Cabinet.


Maybe President Bush should take a look at the facts if he wants to clear up his confusion:

— Today, 33% of black children live in families under the poverty level.

— Last year, African American households had the lowest median income of any racial group ($30134), down a full percentage point from the year before.

— The unemployment rate for African-Americans is double the rate for white Americans. Over the past six months, the average unemployment rate for white Americans was 4.39 percent; for black Americans, it was 10.06 percent.

— President Bush’s political appointees in the Department of Health and Human Services doctored a report about racial disparities in healthcare. The department deleted a key section detailing racial ‘’inequalities” and ‘’disparities” in health care from its findings. Deleted: conclusion by HHS scientists that healthcare disparities are “national problems.” Deleted: key examples of health care disparities, including findings that racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, die of HIV and be subjected to physical restraints in nursing homes.

— When a racial profiling report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed African Americans were more likely than whites to have their cars searched or be threatened with force after being pulled over in traffic stops, political supervisers at the bureau ordered the findings deleted. When the study’s author refused, he was fired.