While we at Sisters of Resistance have been contemplating the US government shutdown as indicative of the imminent collapse of an empire, the incisive Imara Jones over at the excellent news site Colorlines.com has written this important and practical piece about how the shutdown will disproportionately affect communities of color, poor communities, and women and children who rely on the government for employment and services.
What’s particularly distressing about the shuttering of the government is that it comes at a time when unemployment remains in the double digits for blacks and Latinos. As the Center for American Progress points out, federal, state and local governments since 2008 have eliminated 750,000 public sector jobs. Given unionization and strong anti-discriminatory hiring practices, people of color are more likely to have jobs in the public sector. This is particularly true for African-Americans, and it’s why joblessness remains so stubborn in communities of color.
The truth is that people of color represent a larger proportion of the federal workforce than the workforce overall. According to the Washington Post, 35 percent of federal workers are non-White versus 30 percent of all workers. This means that a shutdown will only add to the economic woes and employment worries in communities of color.
We leave you with a brief but critical message to those in government who created this mess: