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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The 21st Century Great Disconnect in Economy, Race & Sexual Orientation

There is such a great disconnect today between reality and perception, its getting to the point of being truly scary; the masses of the ignorant and uninformed believing things are better now or at least holding steady because of a sunny, rosy news article or worse, a rising stock market.

There's just too many days like yesterday -- a stock market that at one point rose over 160pts to ultimately close +106 at 14,800 or thereabouts..

Why?

“The reality is that investors are only enamored with what the Fed and other central banks are doing. They’re shoveling money out the door,” says Gary Shilling, president of A. Shilling & Co., an economic consulting firm. Investors, in turn, have adopted a “don’t fight the Fed,".  (Yahoo!)
So it doesn't matter that corporate growth is weak and that "is likely to spell an equally troubled bottom line for the 11.7 million unemployed."  (CNBC)

Nope..  No one in the world of finance and investing gives a flying fig about your unemployment situation or the nation at large.  For them to care, the person unemployed would need to be him or her.

This doesn't matter to the finance world either:
"Millions of Americans suffered a loss of wealth during the recession and the sluggish recovery that followed. But the last half-decade has proved far worse for black and Hispanic families than for white families, starkly widening the already large gulf in wealth between non-Hispanic white Americans and most minority groups, according to a new study from the Urban Institute.

“It was already dismal,” Darrick Hamilton, a professor at the New School in New York, said of the wealth gap between black and white households. “It got even worse.” " (NY Times)

We wonder, to be blunt, if President Obama cares either?
If a white man were currently President whether it be Bush or Biden, the Black leadership would be screaming until their voices were hoarse about double-standards, racism and how an entire group of people were being collectively ignored and brushed aside.

Hard for people to protest when 98% of blacks voted for and love Obama while blind to the fact he's done nothing for them.

Could a white President get away with this:

"Obama told the audience at the annual gala (of the Congressional Black Caucus) to “take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.""  (Politico 9/26/11)
We'll never forget how truthful California Representative Maxine Waters was in remarks made in a town hall meeting in Detroit back in August, 2011...  She said:

"We do not put pressure on the president because y'all love the president... You're very proud ... to have a black man (in the White House). ... First time in the history of the United States of America. If we go after the president too hard, you're going after us...

When you tell us it's all right and you unleash us and you tell us you're ready for us to have this conversation ... we're ready to have the conversation. The Congressional Black Caucus loves the president, too. We're supportive of the president, but we're getting tired y'all. ... We're getting tired."  (USA Today 8/11/11)

Such a disconnect, its sickening!
What does it matter the Dow is at all-time highs and closing in on 15,000 like that number means something when so many people are out of work, overworked, under-valued and fearful of what will happen if that next paycheck does not come?

What does it matter if someone of your own race or gender or sexual orientation is leading your nation when your life is exponentially Worse than when leaders of opposite race, gender or sexual orientation were in power?

And what does it matter if a male professional sports figure that very few to no one has ever heard of, comes 'out' as publicly gay when despite the trumpeting that he's "brave", the truth is that he isn't and the announcement means nothing?
NBA journeyman Jason Collins acknowledged publicly that he was gay yesterday.

We're sure it was not easy and and nothing we write about Collins is meant to be negative against him in any way, but rather to address this great disconnect that permeates all aspects of society between what some people may want to be true and the greater reality of what Is.

So we are only addressing this from an economic perspective...

Not that it matters either way to us personally, but a famous male athlete coming out as gay is only socially relevant or can be considered brave when it is a star or at least someone known to the public; someone with something to lose
Collins is a mid 30s, 12 year NBA veteran who's played with 6 teams,and is probably at the tail end of his career with no contract going into next season.

Here's why Collins coming out of the closet was not That brave and will ultimately mean little to nothing:

1) It is conceivable that had Collins not came out, no NBA team would be have been clamoring to sign someone who this season averaged 1.1 points per game and 1.6 rebounds.  In his career, Collins has averaged 3.6 pts per game.
2)  We will go out on a limb and say based on Collins' stats that he receives not a penny in endorsements. Thus there was no worry of upsetting any sponsors and the subsequent fear of public backlash that companies deal with when signing athletes and celebs to endorse products.

3)  The team he played for this year, the Washington Wizards were not in the playoffs.. So Collins came out without having to privately or publicly interact with the team he played for.  The Wizards' season ended two weeks ago.. So we have no idea how "liberal-minded" his teammates sincerely would have been.

Its kinda like a President coming out of the closet after his second term in office is completed and never has to face voters...
4)  Being the first means nothing

For example, ever hear of Earl Lloyd?  Any guesses?

You know who Jackie Robinson is, right?  Well Lloyd was the NBA's equivalent-- first black person to play in the NBA-- Oct 31, 1950 for the then Washington Capitols.

Where's his bio movie?  Why isn't his number retired in every NBA arena?  Guess we as a society demand more of our civil rights trailblazers 8.4 points and 6.4 rebound career averages...

Think back to 1991-- Who was the first pro athlete to announce he had AIDS?   Magic Johnson..  Think the impact would have been the same around the nation if it was journeyman Joe Java?
So in spite of all the positive press and hype, the truth is this-- If/when a true star in the prime of his career comes out of the closet while risking millions in endorsements and the potential for the public to turn on him (someone like LeBron James or Robert Griffin III in the NFL), that will be Brave..

And a Big Deal.

We all want economic recovery for this nation, economic equality and a world where we are all judged on content of character rather than periphery things of inconsequence.

But without substance, its all agendas.