LABOR DAY IN A TECHNICAL SOCIETY

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Labor Day is a federal public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer.

As we move into this new post Labor Day employment cycle, we can’t help but notice the continuing disparities between Black unemployment numbers and those of other groups. For instance, the unemployment rate is allegedly at an all-time low in America at 3.9 percent. African American unemployment, as of May, 2018, is 5.9 percent, the lowest that it has been since the numbers have been recorded by race. It is, however, higher than that among Whites, Asians, and Hispanics/Latinos. Moreover, there is a smaller population size when comparing Blacks to whites, which makes job data for Black Americans more volatile when comparing them to whites. Apparently, the jobs picture is improving for Blacks, but more needs to be done since Blacks are lagging behind every other group.

Why are Blacks historically more likely to be unemployed than others in this country? It may have something to do with historic conditioning! For example, Black people faced cultural shock when snatched from African shores in order to provide many years of FREE SLAVE LABOR. From the time the races intermingled, Blacks have been at a technological disadvantage. Regardless of what happened in Africa during ancient times, Europeans were able to influence modern indigenous Africans with beads and trinkets because they were not as technologically developed as the imperialists. White supremacy is a by-product of western technology, and is one of the main tools used to keep Black people subservient. As a result of deep oppression, many Blacks became technoholic; i.e., enamored of Western technology, and some have acquiesced to a notion of Black inferiority. There is a positive correlation between technological development and the power to control people’s minds.

Technology is directly connected to employment. Because of the ability of technology to replace human labor, available jobs for the unskilled are shrinking. Robots are actually being utilized in a number of industries, and the day may come when unskilled labor may actually diminish to near zero. In the meantime, a lot of African Americans are dropping out of schools and are foregoing opportunities for further education. The numbers seem to be trending so greatly toward mass unemployment of the unskilled that there is a renewed focus on vocational education. This seems like a logical strategy, but there is a problem. A lot of youth are not interested in vocational training, which is more rigorous than in earlier days. Also, many of them are opting to strive for the fast buck that comes from entertainment, sports, and illegal activities.

With this said, let’s be perfectly clear about one important thing; in order to do well in western society some type of education will be necessary. Those people who are waiting for society to stand still and/or go backward in order to accommodate unskilled laborers are in for a very rude awakening. A number of employers are lamenting a dearth of skilled labor; they have many unfilled jobs. Even entry level jobs, such as those that are available in fast food establishments, require a certain level of soft skills. To be employable, people must be able to drop clean on drug tests, be able to get to work on time, be able to follow directions, get along with others, and to think critically. Arguably, a lot of unemployed individuals don’t have these skills. It is true that racism exists and that for too many years Blacks have been the “last hired and first fired.” But in this new era, the former foe of advanced technology can become a friend to those who prepare themselves through training. Technology can level the playing field, regardless of race. In addition to decrying a need for more jobs, therefore, advocates should place more focus on making sure that applicants are willing to prepare themselves for employment. There are jobs waiting for them! Have a safe Labor Day Holiday! A Luta Continua.

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