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African Americans Social Issues

Updated on January 10, 2011

One would think that in this day and age that there wouldn’t be as many issues facing minorities as there are. African Americans in the United States have come far but many people in the African American community feel that they haven’t come far enough. Sure the United States now has an African American president, although many people still believe him to be a Muslim. (One important issue) African Americans may have endured many hardships from slavery to the civil rights movement, but now, they have modern issues.

Safety and lack of opportunity has been a major source of conflict. African Americans have experienced the failure of industrial jobs and law enforcements failure to control crime throughout the country. This coincides with the breakdown of the family itself. (McGrath 2002) In recent years, welfare was a right and it made government dependency much more reliable than fathers and husbands. Illegitimacy has increased from a mere twenty three percent in the early nineteen sixties to almost seventy percent in African American families today.

One important issue facing African Americans is the lack of education especially those in urban areas. The education system in America is lacking greatly. Too many children are being left behind, many are dropping out.  The number of children still living at home with their parents is at record levels.  Furthermore, schools are closing down left right especially those in urban cities.  This results in the overcrowding of schools. Poverty is another issue facing African  Americans.

Crime is a major issue facing African Americans. High levels of crime exists in poverty stricken urban inner city areas.  Children are often growing up on the streets and use crime as their only means to survive from drug dealing to prostitution among other things. They have no guidance and no one to help shape them.

Have African Americans assimilated within society? Some people say yes and they are referring to members of the African American community that they believe to be “acting white”. Acting white is often referred to as someone who dresses like white people are perceived to dress such as the preppie look with the sweater around the neck, or using certain speaking terms or speaking and enunciating and not using slang terms often used in many African American communities. Looking at demographics of certain areas in the United States as well as individual background plays a role in determining whether or not a particular group has assimilated. (Morin 2005)

Pluralism is very well evident as the African American community continually involves itself in many aspects of every minority as well as the dominant group in the United States.  African Americans are eating at Hispanic restaurants as well as Asian, Mediterranean, and other ethnic restaurants. They work with people in all areas, sometimes; they will even find themselves the only minority in some of there classes in school, or on their shifts at work. Interacting with the majority is becoming more and more common, and what’s interesting is the fact that majority doesn’t fall into the group of dominant majority, many times, one person within one minority will find themselves the minority among other minorities such as Hispanics or Asians or Indians.

Prejudice and discrimination continues to run rampant in this country. Many minorities often find themselves on the end of hate. One would think that in this day and age, even with the succession of an African American president that hate would be obsolete. To no avail, it is not. During the presidential campaigns you could still hear people calling in on the radio stations stating that a black president would be awful and that color meant everything. It’s sad world that we continue to live in and one that won’t be changing anytime soon. You have hate speech running amok, political parties taking sides to their own advantages, and often, to societies disadvantage.  It is stereotyping that ultimately leads to bigotry, hate, and racism. Society often thinks that education can help end it but ultimately, to end hate, it needs to start at home. Schools are trying to teach our youth to practice tolerance, but who wants to be tolerated. Some people who feel they are just being tolerated may take offense to that as well. (Morgan)

 While politics within the African American community are not as vastly different from other minority groups; there are some key differences such as slavery and the civil rights movement in the sixties. These particular differences have significantly shaped and changed the political dynamic in the present and formed the basis of public policy related to civil rights and affirmative action alike.  Currently, the African American community is in a unique position because of the number of battles; socially, economically, and physically that they have endured over the last one hundred years. Because of this they have systematically created a set of leaders from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to our very own current president, Barack Obama. Though public policy has helped shape the economic  realities, it is still quite clear that the African American community still struggles with unemployment, education, wage inequality just to name a few, albeit not in all areas of the country. It’s clear that though African Americans have come far, there is much work that is still needed to be done.


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      Lee Baker 4 years ago

      Blacks Ridiculed again by the Mormon Church

      By Lee B. Baker, Former Mormon Bishop

      For several years now, every Tuesday evening I have had the great privilege of addressing the Christian and Mormon listeners of Worship FM 101.7 in Monrovia, the capital City of Liberia, West Africa.

      I have come to know several of the station managers and a number of the more frequent callers to the weekly program. Through their comments, questions and photographs, I have been genuinely moved to see the application of their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Over the past few months the question of racist teachings in the Book of Mormon and from the past Leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been on the minds of the Liberian converts to Mormonism and the many Christians who struggle to understand how such a Church can be growing in Africa.

      I believe the answer is relatively simple; it has been the perfect merging of a sincere lack of knowledge on the part of the Mormon converts and a disturbing lack of accountability on the part of the Mormon leaders. A near total lack of knowledge across Africa specific to some of the more explicit teachings found within the Mormon Scriptures, principally that Black Skin is a representation of wickedness and even less information concerning the racism and bigotry openly and officially taught by the early Leadership of the Mormon Church. This combined with the current Church Leadership’s inability to clearly and specifically reject its own racist teachings both in print and from its past Senior Leadership, has left the Black Race with only a short irresponsible and offensively juvenile Official Statement that claims the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows very little about its own race-based policy that had lasted for well over 100 years:

      “It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended.”

      Maintaining a detailed and comprehensive history of every aspect and teaching of the Church has been both one of the hallmarks and one of the downfalls of Mormon Church. Within the relatively young Church, authoritative documentation, however corrupt it may have been, has never been in short supply. Each of the Senior Leaders of the Mormon Church has had several official biographers as well as an army of Church authorized historians to record for the faithful Mormon all facets of the History of the Church. In fact, one of my first of many “Callings” in the Mormon Church was that of a Ward (Congregational) Historian, long before I became a Bishop.

      The peculiar assertion that the Mormon Church itself does not know the details of its very own race-based policy of restricting the Blacks from holding the Priesthood is tremendously embarrassing for all Mormons and exceptionally degrading for anyone who actually believes it.

      As a former local leader of the Mormon Church, I have repeatedly assured the African members of the Mormon Church that the documents and “Scriptures” I have read to them over the air are both Authorized and Official for the time period they are relevant to. I clearly state the current position of total acceptance of all Races by the Church, but I must highlight the fact that the Book of Mormon still carries it’s obviously racist message that dark skin was a curse and Jesus was white. I have said many times on-air that like the Mormon Missionaries, I too believe that every African should have a copy of the Book of Mormon, if only to learn the truly racist teaching of the Mormons.

      I have and will continue to teach the African Nations from the authentic Mormon Scriptures and the Church History documents, which I had purchased from the Mormon Church to know my past responsibilities as a Mormon Bishop. The official records of the Mormon Church include many jokes and sermons given within the Official Semi-Annual General Conference of the faithful Mormons, using the “N-word”, Darky and Sambo. Additionally, these Church published books record nearly 100 graphic sermons and lessons that clearly teach the principle, practice and policy that Black Skin was, is and will remain forever the Curse of Cain.

      Only in the recent past has the “Complete History” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come to the attention of its own membership, much less to the under developed regions of the world. As this information is discovered, an ever increasing number of members of the Mormon Church have come into a personal crisis of faith, most notably Elder Hans Mattsson of Sweden, a General Authority of the Mormon Church who has gone public with his doubts and questions.

      Not unique to Africa, has been the Mormon Church’s training of young Missionaries to strictly avoid any discussion of several of the more embarrassing, yet true, teachings of the 183 year old Church. Chief among these subjects has been Polygamy and Blacks and the Priesthood.

      With the smooth talent of a skilled politician, the Mormon Church has ended its Official Statement with the following hypocritical and deceitful, but technically accurate quote:

      “The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

      As a former Mormon Bishop and member of the Mormon Church for over 32 years, let me be of some help with the translation of this very carefully crafted message. The two key noteworthy phrases are: “in the absence of direct revelation” and “These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

      I will address the most obvious first, clearly the “previous statements” from the Church and its Leadership “do not” represent the Church doctrine today. The policy was reversed in 1978 and there is no question as to the policy today. The hypocritical deception is that between 1845 and 1978 those “statements” did, very much “DID” not “DO” represent past Church doctrine. Yet, I do give full credit to the clever Mormon authors and editors for their most skillful use of the English language.

      And finally, the most revealing and enlightening statement from the Mormon Church is: “in the absence of direct revelation”. So then, it is incredibly true and accurate that without any mockery or sarcasm; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had for nearly 100 years, restricted a significant portion of the human race, millions and millions from God’s intended blessings of Eternal Marriage, Salvation and even Godhood, without knowing why they did it, all without “direct revelation”.

      This Official Statement of religious shame and embarrassment comes from the Headquarters of a Church that claims to be guided in all things by “direct revelation”. How did such an exclusive doctrine based on prejudice, bigotry and racism become so accepted, so authoritative, so convincing and so commanding for so long, without “direct revelation”?

      As a former Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I give testimony that what they have stated is true, in that, they are racist and do not hide the History of the Church from its members or the public, this, their Official Statement on Race and the Church demonstrates that fact.

      I believe that the truly wicked teachings as well as the repulsive history of the Mormon Church concerning Polygamy, Polyandry, Blood Atonement, and Blacks and the Priesthood is available for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

      It is my prayer that all Mormons and non-Mormons will come to know the true history of the Mormon Church. That every man, woman and young adult on the earth today will find the time to read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price from cover to cover to see the evilness they hold, and then… read the Bible with the eyes of a child, and follow the true Jesus the true Christ found only in the Bible.


      Lee B. Baker

      Former Mormon Bishop

    • mintinfo profile image

      mintinfo 5 years ago

      Great article. I believe that the issues of race in America and any other multicultural society will never go away. It is shackled to the basic human instincts of "fairness and equity" but on a macro level. That is why one person either feels less or more than another. They say "is it because of me or the system" and either feel victimized or empowered to victimize others because of their disposition.

      I just wrote an article on the Stacy Dash issue. Like to get your input.

    • profile image

      B-Dawg 5 years ago


      I am a biracial man half black/white. I have been studying race for 6 years. I live in the suburbs. I see black skin for what it truly is protection. Black skin is like a shield. Like a monster truck. Nobody will mess with you. White people want to be friends with you cause they feel safe around you. Women love black man. In my eyes black skin is a blessing. I was raised not to have a slavery mentality but to know that black skin is a blessing. I even tell my white friends that they should get a black spray tan go bald and pass as a black man. peace.

    • 34th Bomb Group profile image

      34th Bomb Group 5 years ago from Western New York State

      ALL Americans are suffering in this economy. I'd go so far to say that Blacks have a leg up in that they receive preferential treatment in hiring, etc. as they are still throwing the "race card."

      I, for one, am sick and tired of it. I know I'll be blasted for this but "being black" is NOT a reason to vote for a guy to be President.

      I had high hopes for him though I did not vote for him. I didn't vote for him because I couldn't find proof of a single thing he did at Occidental or Harvard Law. That's very weird.

      The NATION is in trouble and this guy is cozying up to every enemy, foreign and domestic, we have. Why does he dis America whenever he gets a chance? Why is it okay for his wife to say (paraphrasing) that NOW she likes her country? Why does he get away with crap like flying to New York for a date?

      No one (no white man) wants to bitch about a single policy, action or inaction on his part because we are then labeled "RACIST."

      If you consider Sharpton a "leader" look into his background a bit. He's not as bad as Ayres and Dorn but he sure has substantial baggage, like the case up here which ruined a man's life based on a false allegation.

      I could go on but I'll save you the trouble.

      I can't criticize him, or Holder, because now I've been labeled a racist. I'm sick and tired of it and those who label someone like me should be ashaamed of themselves.

      All I want is what's best for my Nation and Obama is NOT it.


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