Tuesday, December 30, 2008

African Americans and the Auto Industry

As we have been hearing much about the automakers' bailout by the US Government, I thought it interesting to share this article from the New York Times in today's (12/30/08) issue and offer it up to all of you for prayer and reflection.

Some of the statistics that are offered in this article really highlight the difference between this industry and say, the financial/banking area. "In all, blacks made up 14.2 percent of the total automotive work force in 2007, according to the policy institute report, compared with 11.2 percent of the overall American work force."

A study from the US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission states the following statistics: Within the Financial Industry subsectors, the percentage of African American officials and managers is highest in the Banking/Credit subsector (7.0 percent) with over 9.7 percent in overall professional jobs in this sector. In the Securities subsector, African Americans made up 4.4 percent in officials and managers but 7.0 percent of the professional jobs. The highest percentage of professional positions in the financial industry subsectors for African Americans is in the Central Banking area at just about 13.3 percent.

So, as we move forward in 2009, with this economy and the hard economic times ahead, let us remember that our language does matter and that we need to be aware of the complexity of these situations. I can't help but imagine that the commentary on the auto industry has been vitriolic because of our own prejudices about minorities, labor unions and the competition between the middle class and the poor.

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