walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Black Women Lead Shift To A Post-Blue World

Between the travails of the U.S. Postal Service and the slower shrinkage of the public sector at the state and local level, the dependence of African Americans on government and quasi-government employment will create problems as both wages and employment in the public sector come under pressure.

But there is also some good news from the female half of the community. A piece in the Washington Post analyzes a recent survey which finds Black women doing well in nearly all conceivable metrics. As increasing numbers of Black women enter the professional world, they are beginning to close the the earnings gap between themselves and their white peers. And the good news goes beyond the monetary: the survey finds Black women to be more ambitious, more religious, and more optimistic about their future than many other groups, with a strong understanding of the value of hard work and achievement.

Condoleezza Rice, in other words, is not alone.

One very interesting finding: more and more Black women are setting up as entrepreneurs. According to census bureau figures, 900,000 businesses are owned by Black women, a sharp expansion in recent years.  Moving from bureaucracy to business is necessary to success in the 21st century; that so many Black women have figured this out and are acting accordingly is excellent news.

As is perhaps true for women of many races, the biggest problem Black women face today, according to the Post/Kaiser Foundation survey, is all about men. The disproportionately high incarceration rates and lack of job opportunities for many Black males means that many Black women are not in long term relationships or stable marriages.

The confident, entrepreneurial, faithful and optimistic women found in the Post survey are one more reason to be bullish on America in the 21st century.

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  • Mitch_CALI_Sux

    Of course Black Woman are becoming entrepreneurs in greater numbers. The Govt has been picking winners and losers for a few decades now and Black Woman are at the top of their list. That it has taken so long, with so many advantages shows the real issue… When a Govt takes from me to give a certain groups it deems “special” privileges that others do not get it’s called tyranny… When its my money its criminal…

  • David Davenport

    “Black women are setting up as entrepreneurs” — or as Affirmative Action gooberment or Big Corp. employees?

  • Dr. K

    I second the comment above. Programs for WMB (women and minority owend businesses) definitely give preferences to these groups. I know of a few people who put their wives/significant others as 51% owner of the company just to take advantage of the programs; they do no work and are not capable of running the business.

    They are essentially fronts for the men who know how to do the actual work.

  • John Doe

    I’d be ambitious and optimistic as well if the government was stacking the deck in my favor in the form of quotas and set-asides.

    I live in DC and the number of female/minority-owned businesses that fail after they lose their special status for government contracts would be humorous if it didn’t mean that someone else got screwed because of them.

  • harumpf

    This is completely absurd. AA at work produces some results, and quite mediocre ones as well, and you completely ignore the reality behind it.

    It is comic to hear you claim this is the result of “hard work and achievement”. It is anything but these. What silliness. Next you will be calling Obama competent.

    It is really just a transfer payment that they are in business at all. Go back to a real meritocracy they will not last long.

    (and one wonders just how much money was transferred to these folks along the way as they came up.)

    Ultimately it will come to that, you know. The real producers will take the country back from the “victimology” puppets of the Democrats, and most particularly. Let us revisit these “black, female entrepreneurs” in 15 years, preferably once they have been cut off of the Democrat gravy train.

    And it is comic to hear the grousing about “men”. The welfare state set out to destroy the family long ago.

    Beyond that, when feminists of any race whine about relationships, it is hard to feel sympathy. Feminism ultimately means the end of marriage and any meaningful relationship between the sexes. If you think any self-respecting man is going to mary creatures such as these you do not live in the real world.

    You would know all this if you where no so co-opted and deracinated by liberal-think.

  • http://www.northtexasteaparty.com MikeO

    Political opinions are also start to change to some degree as well. Check out http://www.thelastcivilright.org and a group of middle-class conservatives- all of whom are African-American women.

  • MJB

    Comments one through five are extraordinary; possibly the best I’ve read on this blog. To be sure, the fact that “…more and more Black women are setting up as entrepreneurs.” Is not good news overall.

  • texmex

    don’t say it too loud [President Obama] might hear you and start destroying that part of the economy too…

  • vanderleun

    “Let us revisit these “black, female entrepreneurs” in 15 years, preferably once they have been cut off of the Democrat gravy train.”

    Well, absent a complete implosion of money across the planet, the end of that gravy train will never, ever come.

    I admire Prof. Mead overall but he does have a consistent very large blind spot in this part of his rear view mirror.

  • BCT

    Well-educated black women are also statistically marrying far less and not having kids like their white counterparts so they do have more time for their businesses and don’t have to do the crazy balancing act.

  • Mr. G

    Most entrepreneurships fail, all business that get government money succeed at a higher rate than those that don’t but if you don’t think black women are entrepreneurs in increasing numbers these days take a look at meetup.com and go to a few business networking meetings. It might open up your eyes.

    By the way I have a mortgage and I’m a taxpayer and no other group carries America on its back like I do self-pity is meat and potatoes for the Democratic clubs. They’ll whisper in your ear about how they’ll be helping you behind the scenes while they are trashing the country openly.

  • Jack

    WRM shows once again that he doesn’t understand contemporary women.

    Upwardly mobile young women today often are not looking for a stable long-term relationship with a man. Such women do not need a man to support them materially, so they mate as their natural instinct impels them – with dominant alpha male types, some of whom are irresponsible, risk-taking “bad boys”. These men were often highly successful in the pre-modern world in which physical aggressiveness was a valuable attribute. Nowadays, such men often end up in jail. This does not matter to a woman’s natural instinct.

    As harumpf mentioned, feminism means competition among the sexes, divorce on demand, and the dissolution of the institution of marriage. It also means that women largely devalue clean-living, reliable, boring men and value exciting, irresponsible, suave and unpredictable men, even though the latter do not make good long-term mates. This also means more single motherhood and below-replacement fertility rates – two things that are unhealthy for any properly functioning society.

    The solution to this problem is not to dump on men for being inadequate; that does not address the root of the problem – female choice. The better approach is to train women to reward good male behavior and to shun the exciting “bad boys”, no matter how much women yearn for the latter. Men desperate for a little female affection will “man up” if women reward them for doing so.

  • ALA

    Interesting how many are so quick to credit AA for the success of black women. How many of you intimately know an educated successful black woman. Ambition, talent and brilliance can come from any race…just as ignorance can.

  • Jim.

    The numbers for illegtimacy rates among African Americans are far higher than their incarceration rates. They’re higher than their poverty/welfare rates, for that matter.

    The only number that comes close is the rate of African-american membership in the Democratic Party.

    The cultural promoted by that party– feminism, moral relitivsm — has left more Americans fatherless than all of our wars put together. It is a tragedy and a disgrace, and every human being of good conscience should be thinking about how to wipe that blot off of the face of our coutry.

  • ari

    Hey! Oprah Winfrey totally champions black women owning small businesses. These women are raising women who will become owners and managers of mid-size to large businesses. DC might have gov’t service businesses, but the rest of the nation? Women, probably with a partner, building real, private sector businesses. It’s a good thing.

    Do you think an executive mom is going to be okay with her sixteen year old daughter playing the fool? Nope, she’s dreaming the same dream as any other immigrant to the American way of life- college, house with pool, married, kids, success.

    67% of blacks are socially conservative. They are harder working, and less socially understanding ( gays aren’t adorable, for instance) than whites.

    I’m glad somebody’s noticing. This really is sisters doing it for themselves.

  • Flandry

    Why does WRM capitalize “Black” while down-casing “white” when referring to the races? I thought we were striving for equality.

  • TTT

    Walter Russell mead has jumped the shark.

    A tiny number of black women becoming entrepreneurs does not negate the fact that 95% will still vote for Obama. ‘Post-blue’? In your dreams.

    And the ‘it is all about men’ is stunningly ignorant. The feminist police state jails men for non-crimes that would not be crimes in any other country. It is high time people stopping asking what is wrong with men, and started seeing the obvious about what is wrong with women.

  • TTT

    67% of blacks are socially conservative.

    Social conservatives are economic leftists.

    I am surprised that there are still fools who think the % of blacks who will vote for Obama will be under 95%…

  • TTT

    WRM shows once again that he doesn’t understand contemporary women.

    I agree. His level of denial and groveling is becoming pathological at this point.

    Everyone needs to read The Misandry Bubble. It is the most comprehensive essay on the topic of misandry.

  • http://alankhenderson.blogspot.com/ Alan K. Henderson

    Are these the angry black women I keep hearing about?

  • vanderleun

    “DC might have gov’t service businesses, but the rest of the nation? ”

    State and local gov’t service businesses and NGO easy hiring all the way down, Ari.

  • Baron Elmo

    “I am surprised that there are still fools who think the % of blacks who will vote for Obama will be under 95%…”

    Read the comments on this page… then ask yourself why any black person in America would ever want to vote Republican. Who would be crazy enough to support a party filled with folks who actively despise them?

  • http://theladiesmap.com Pedro Marquez

    Jeez, some crazy haters in these comments. Can’t you guys just be happy that black women are moving up in the world? Not everything is about Obama.

    Hate to be a one-trick pony here but with high incarceration rates being such a big problem for the black community, and so much of it drug crime-related, isn’t it time to end the War on Drugs?

  • Jhn1

    Mitch_CALI_Sux is right.

    You start with minority contract set-aside requirements.
    And then subcontract set-aside requirements within “normal” contracts.
    Add in specific monies within Federal bureaucracies like the Small Business Administration for minorities only…

    Look, when free markets operate, we all win.

    But what we have here, is something more resembling the Walmart version of the grocery store contracts. Guaranteed profits, within guaranteed sales base (what set-asides do) simply for existing. In this case within their protected minority.

    There might be beneficial spin-offs, having to meet regulation, having to make payroll (if they have employees), ect.

    But a guaranteed minimum of every level benefiting the ones who failed is protected minority corporate welfare. Even then, those who could compete have been removed from the welfare pool, so the set-asides are not the minimum, or even the floor, but the additional.

    And that “ain’t” free market anything.

  • carl

    a) in effect they have jumped over an entire generation of social growth to wind up ahead of their men, who thinks that a good thing? b) aside from the ERA et al in the 60’s 70’s, the ‘system’ declared war on boys in the mid to late 80’s the dept. of education et al piling on, it just took longer to pile on the black men becasue they had protection via their race, the damage has caught up with them too, so now its “hey were da mean at”..

    hello, they are over in the corner playing video games and blubbering, where you wanted them….remember?

  • Mrs. Ferris

    Thank you for an excellent article. I was surprised by the tone of the comments in the response section, but I appreciate your willingness to give credit to a community of women who are working very hard to achieve the American dream. Also, just another comment, 85% of African American women marry in their lifetime. They just tend to marry later in life (i.e. after the age of 30).

    Again, thank you for your column.

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