“Making matters worse, a forthcoming book, which includes a study of nearly 1,500 private employers in New York City, found that black job applicants with no criminal records weren’t any more likely to get a job than white applicants who were just out of prison.”
Black folk who know that racism, albeit in different forms, is still part of the problems surrounding black men in our society. At Church you’ll hear about personal responsiblity, morals, etc. (“Being a father ain’t just about makin’ babies” and so on.) But you will also hear about racism in our society. When studies show employment issues for black people, we call that institutional racism. When a clean black man is as likely to get hired as a white ex-con, that’s pretty bad. That racism isn’t carried out by aliens, or “institutions” or “society;” it’s carried out by people. No amount of personal responsibility on the part of victims will cure this. Personal, or rather social, responsibility on the part of the prejudiced is also required. Prejudice is in all of us and is most dangerous in those with power. If you want to talk about racism in our society in the context of personal responsibility, then ask that we all accept it.