50 Years Later: Much Progress, More to Do

August 28, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march took place during a very different time. Analogous to today’s civil rights fight for gender-neutral marriage, almost half of the United States still prohibited interracial marriage in 1963. Sadly, also analogous to today is the systematic way in which minorities in the American South are prevented from equal access to voting. This is a reversion from the progress this nation saw after the Jim Crow era, when during the last session, the United States Supreme Court overturned crucial portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Shelby County v.
Holder
, 570 U.S. ___ (2013).

Endemic racism is so common in the United States that foreigners are often shocked that besides the “melting pot” cliché, race itself is a taboo subject for most Americans, let alone racism.

Black Americans’ access to full employment without harassment is still part of Dr. King’s ubiquitous yet unfulfilled “dream.” It is common knowledge that the method used by the United States Department of Labor to calculate unemployment is flawed and under-representative. Nevertheless, when those figures are compared to themselves, a big problem for the United States becomes clear. The unemployment rate for black Americans is 12.7% in August 2013. That is more than 70% higher than white Americans’ unemployment rate, which is just 7.4%.

The Harman Firm, LLP is very familiar with the discrimination behind black people losing their jobs for “restructuring” or even “not being a good fit,” when in actuality, racism was a driving force behind a termination.