DID CLINTON REALLY HELP AFRICAN AMERICANS?

Jan 26, 2008 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

In a recent Slate article, Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton University, writes that African Americans didn’t experience a rise in economic wealth under Bill Clinton’s presidency, despite what many, including blacks, think. From her Web site, it is clear that she supports Barack Obama for the nomination, but that bias does not diminish the evidence she presents in her article.

Harris-Lacewell argues that African Americans liked Clinton because he courted to the black vote while establishing real ties with the community. She writes that during the Clinton administration:

“The poorest African-Americans experienced an absolute decline in income, and they also became poorer relative to the poorest whites. The richest African-Americans saw an increase in income, but even the highest-earning blacks still considerably lagged their white counterparts. Furthermore, the ’90s witnessed the continued growth of the significant gap between black and white median wealth.”

So besides the Clintons, who else believes that Clinton’s presidency resulted in greater economic wealth for African Americans?

David A. Bositis, a senior political analyst for the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, told journalist Michael Cottman in an article for Black America Web that during Clinton’s last four years as president, black household incomes increased by $5,000.

Others back Clinton and these numbers. Case in point, Bill Clinton is the first white member of Arkansas’ black hall of fame.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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