Diane Rehm


Pat Buchanan on How to Lower Black Unemployment

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Political commentator and former presidential adviser Pat Buchanan.

Conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan discussed his views on how diversity harms America this morning on WAMU 88.5′s “The Diane Rehm Show.” After the show we caught up with Buchanan, who is a native Washingtonian, and asked how he proposes addressing D.C.’s wealth disparities that break down along racial lines.

Buchanan said that D.C. is one of the wealthiest places in America, in part because of federal government jobs. “D.C. has problems, but I don’t think D.C., with its unemployment rate and things like that, is hurting as bad as some of the other cities and states around the country,” he said.

D.C.’s unemployment rate is 11.1 percent, which is higher than the national rate of 9.1 percent, but still lower than some of the hardest-hit states, such as Nevada. The District is also home to extreme poverty. Some nearly all-black wards of the city face Depression-era unemployment levels. Buchanan suggested a solution to the disproportionately high national unemployment rate among African Americans, now at 16 percent:

“One thing I would do is stop immigration into the country until all unemployment is down to 6 percent,” he said. “We’ve got to start putting our own people first.”

The notion that immigrants take jobs from out-of-work African Americans is the subject of recent debates in D.C. where 13 percent of the population is foreign born. Critics have raised the issue in response to Mayor Vincent Gray’s signing last week of an executive order that prevents police officers from inquiring about the immigration status of those arrested. Leo Alexander, 2010 mayoral candidate, told the Washington Examiner that Gray was “blowing the opportunity to make sure undereducated populations have jobs.”

Overall, Buchanan said “a lot of these things demand national solutions rather than local ones.”

America’s Widening Wealth Gap: Your Take

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"Grace" Mixed Media on Wood, by Zeal Harris

Earlier today, The Diane Rehm show discussed how the widening wealth gap in America is marginalizing African American and Hispanic families:

That’s the finding of a new study by the Pew Research Center. The median wealth of whites is now 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households. And though the recession cut across all races and ethnicities, Hispanics were especially hard hit. Hispanic families accounted for the largest single decline in wealth in the last few years.

Some listeners took the time to comment on the show’s official site. Commenter
had a request:

Please include in this discussion how the role out of wedlock births and the exploding number of single parent households figure into these wealth gap figures. Single parent households, black 70%, hispanic 50%, white 30%.

The effect of government welfare subsidies that in reality destroy the work ethic of minority groups. Also the cultural disrespect of education.

This Black Voices article from 2010 corroborates those numbers for single-parent households; “Compared to the 72 percent in our communities, 17 percent of Asians, 29 percent of whites, 53 percent of Hispanics and 66 percent of Native Americans were born to unwed mothers in 2008″.
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Juan Williams on WAMU, tomorrow!

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Juan Williams

A few of you have emailed and asked if I’m going to comment on Juan Williams– how about hearing from a far more distinguished employee of WAMU, instead? I’m referring to Diane Rehm; Williams will be on the second hour of The Diane Rehm Show, tomorrow.

Juan Williams is a political commentator for Fox News and until last week he was also a news analyst for NPR. He joined NPR in 1999 as the daily host of Talk of The Nation, and in recent years he’s served as an NPR senior national correspondent. His comments on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor last week prompted a seemingly abrupt dismissal from NPR. Juan Williams talks about his career, his roles as news analyst and commentator, and his reaction to the recent controversy over his dismissal from NPR. [link]

Tune in to 88.5 FM  at 11am to hear everything.