It’s the black working class—not white—that was hit hardest by industrial collapse
Heather Gilligan
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An overdue narrative in the age of Hillbilly Elegy, a text being used to justify putting a man of the lowest character in the White House. Unfortunately, it is news and the talk of the political class when white working class Americans feel themselves on a downward slope but “business as usual” when the plight of black workers who never got up the slope is considered. African-American employment is a bellweather of the American economy. The historically low black unemployment rates of the 1990s marked a boom period followed by an economic crisis made worse for blacks by predatory lending practices that blew up places like Flint and Detroit even more. The pain of working class whites gets some relief by nationalists like Trump and Bannon who convince them that bad as they have things at least they are above “others.”