By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In the Twin Cities, we’re used to being on top of lists about quality of life, online connectivity, and physical fitness. But Wednesday’s headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune screamed: “Our Black-White Jobless Gap: WORST IN THE NATION.” Why?

According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, the unemployment rate for Whites in the Twin Cities metro area is 6.6 percent, but for blacks it is 20.4 percent, a gap of 13.8 percent.

“That’s unacceptable,” said Olajuwa Green. “We live here too.”

The Twin Cities ranks worse than Memphis, Atlanta, and Houston.

“The gap feels real for us at the Minneapolis Urban League,” said Scott Gray, CEO of the Urban League, where job training and opening a “gateway to opportunity” is the prime focus.

Isolating why this problem exists, however, is a challenge, because the issues are so intertwined, he said.

“This is a highly skilled, educated community; jobs are positioned around that. And you have to have the credentials to get those jobs,” he explained, pointing to the primary problem, the education gap.

Eighty-one percent of white students graduate high school here, according to the Wilder Foundation, compared to just 43 percent of black students. According to the Children’s Defense Fund, 86 percent of African-American fourth graders are not reading at grade level.

“We have to get employment, but first we have to get people employable,” said Jariland Spence, founder of the Prayer Center on Minneapolis’ north side.

“A lot of the people I deal with don’t have a GED. They don’t even have a drivers’ license. And many of them have a criminal background,” she said.

Among them are people like Warren Williams, a 41-year Minneapolis resident who said he’s done prison time, and said it’s made it harder for him to find a job.

“Of course it has,” he said. “I got my GED at 38, now all I want is a person or company to give me an opportunity.”

But the relatively small size of the Twin Cities’ black community coupled with a lack of blacks in key hiring positions in the Twin Cities is also a big issue, especially when it comes to getting entry level jobs.

In this economy, so many jobs go to people with personal connections to those making the hiring decisions, according to Gray.

“If you don’t have the relationships, you feel blocked out, which is as bad as racism. You feel blocked out from the opportunities,” he said.

All those WCCO-TV spoke with talked about the issue of racism, but they didn’t blame the problem on prejudice. Rather a combination of a lack of education, a lack of dedication, and the challenges in hiring.

“We’ve got to get CEOs to the table, and people who come to the doors to the table, and get them to realize that this economy is asking more of them,” said Gray.

Green, who said he’s lucky to be in the 80 percent of the black community that is employed, said more simply, “Honestly, the black community needs to go out and look harder to find a job.”

Jason DeRusha

Comments (102)
  1. Lance says:

    Sounds like a parenting problem. What they fail to mention in the article is the extremely high single parent famillys in the black community. I have heard it is near 70% nationaly. Its hard to work with your children on school when your working to provide for the family.

    1. thomas Burns says:

      I have been HOT about this for some time, I certainly feel a number of contributers are there.
      I am Afro-American, I moved hear from Iowa nearly 30 years ago and have had large stents of unemployment during those years , most recently nearly the past two years even though I came hear with a college degree , I have No Police record never been finger printed or in any such trouble.

      If fact I have coached soccer in Richfield Bloomington Hopkins in for the most part very successful programs My three children are all eaducated as well as my wife of 33 years. But I could not understand why my oldest who graduated from Macalestor College a strait A student for her fours there just got her 1st 40 hour a week job this past Jan., 2011.

      My last appearence on a soccer field was 2007 I received no calls after achieving 2nd place in the state finals. The year before that winning the state championship for 18 years old boys.

      Please stop falling on education and beating that near dead horse, it is factual but it alone does not place the Twin Cities in LAST place.

      Last Place !!!?

      Is fear the problem? I am a big man but books are rarely judged accurately by there cover,
      Is itRacism? Thats an easy answer check your hearts for the answer to that one.

      Is it Education, Last place in the entire USA, I came hear from Iowa by way of Southern Alabame to get a chance I was not afforded then and there.

      Is desperation the cause? When you can’t work you ultimately become desperate , Last in the USA , and its all who’s fault, Maybe the bad family condition, but if you can’t make a living that gets worse. Being called a looser does’nt help. And insuring a man becomes a looser by not giving him or her a chance makes for great desperation.

      It has been written that old men live lives of quiet desperation. During my unemployment I acted as though I was very old. It costs money to be out and about looking for the next opportunity. I have been told that I should be further along than I am . But never given the opportunity to manage or handle the lead. Finally Wcco for years (along with all the other local TV stations) has prevented me from getting gainful employment.

      You tell my fellow citizens that I should be feared, because of ,,,,of what? We know a tree by the fruit it bares, no such fearful fruit has come from me or any Afro -Americans that I know,

      Whats wrong with this picture Minneapolis/St Paul Last of 50 states? No wonder our sports organizations can’t seem to pull through in the clutch, .

      Finally, The one thing I have always taught the teams I have coached is the value of pulling together. Something changed here in Minnesota and it was not a good change. The best team almost always Wins! The teams with the best fans Packers , Steelers almost always win. Who leads the push hear in Minnesota ,

      Last Place, and the job I work now finally pays less than $10.00 per hour, that should get me out of my house and desperate real soom.


      1. Jenny says:

        When someone who claims to have a college degree ignores/doesn’t know basic rules of grammar and punctuation, it undermines your entire argument. If your resume is full of this many spelling and grammar errors, it will go right in the trash. If someone can’t even be bothered to run spellcheck, why should they bother to interview you?

        1. Black Guy says:

          I have to agree with Jenny on this one.. and I’m a black guy

          Here is the formula for success my friend
          You + Motivation = Success
          (You + Motivation)^Education = (Success)^Education

          Being black and having a degree doesn’t mean you are entitled to jack…

        2. Ronald S. Jordan says:

          Jenny, to condem someone about their grammar serves no purpose. What Thomas had to say, made sense, did it not? I am a College Educated Black Man with my own business, I have brought college educated black attorneys to Minnesota. So, I know the difficulty in finding a job, my clients there in Minnesota have reached out to me, to find educated black professionals. Thomas makes a good point and the point is that is he is a “winner” not a loser. Use the time to comment on some positive aspects of his comments. Otherwise, stay off the commentary pages!

        3. Jenny 2 says:

          I am simply pointing out a documented fact. One major resume killer is poor proofreading. Even if you are a highly qualified candidate, if you have basic errors, you will be passed over for someone else. Also, in general, when people have poor writing/speaking skills, it is harder to see them as an expert in an area.
          Yes, Thomas had some good points and I can tell he is speaking from the heart. That said; I had to reread some areas to try and figure out what he was trying to say. I agree that this is a shameful thing to happen. No one should be denied an opportunity to better themselves, let alone make a living wage. I agree with Thomas that this is a multi-layered issue. You can’t point a finger and say, “There! That is the sole cause of this problem!” What can one individual do? You can take one step at a time to move forward. Research what hiring managers are looking for and prepare for those things. Attend networking functions. Life is often a matter of who you know. Try and expand your connection base. Each small change helps.

          It does serve a purpose to comment on grammar. If a comment makes people aware of how they are perceived, it allows them to improve on that in the future. If people only ever hear about the positive things in life, it leaves them unprepared for the realities of life. I thought this article was about finding jobs. I made a pertinent point in that discussion. Maybe it wasn’t a positive one but that doesn’t negate what I said.
          If you expect only positive aspects on the commentary pages you are not in fact looking for commentary. You are looking for a crowd of “yes men” without consideration for how new ideas are formulated. In your company do you only hire people who agree with you? No one person can see every side of a topic. It requires collaboration. I hope in the future you think of that before telling someone they shouldn’t be heard. Everyone has a right to their opinion, even if it isn’t popular.

      2. Mel says:

        Well, I don’t think we can judge someone’s educational level based on a few typos and grammar errors. This isn’t a college Literature class, it’s a forum of ideas and opinions. I think Thomas made some very good points, and I can ignore grammar and spelling errors when someone is speaking from the heart.

  2. I'm Just Saying says:

    I’m not unsympathetic, but I’m not an idiot either. And while I agree with Lance, poor parenting is just another part of the cycle that needs to be broken. Here’s a “Good Question” for you, Jason; why should people bust their butts to overcome problems in society or educaiton when they know the government’s is waiting to give them a big, fat check and some food stamps to sit around on their butts anyways. You’ll get more money living off the government than you will in an entry-level job anyways. You want to close this gap? Start by closing the state’s free lunch program for able-bodied lazy clowns.

    1. Bill says:

      Well said. Typical left-wing story from a liberal Twin Cities media. Want another “good question,”Jason DeRusha? Figure out what the gap is between black and white people with regard to percentages of those living off of government aid…then ask “why the gap.” I bet you’ll find it’s inversely proportional to the gap between who pays more into the tax base, blacks or whites? Just to be fair, try it!

      1. ryan says:

        This would actually address part of the core of this issue. That’s a real big “no no”……especially since one political party’s survival is entrenched in making sure racism stays at the forefront of as many issues as possible.

        We have perverted the intentions of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s. The government no longer looks at people based on the content of their character or their actions – its now determined by skin color, gender, and income. If you hit the right combination than you will receive “victim status” – the jackpot!

        Minorities can fix their neighborhoods and societal structure if we allow them too. Unfortunately, many people still think that minorities should only be allowed to wear diapers and do what we say they can do. The “dependency” issue needs to be addressed, but you will be called a “racist” by the “professional left” if you get near it.

        1. Jason DeRusha says:

          If people don’t have jobs, they’re obviously not paying into the tax base. And I don’t think anyone we interviewed really blamed this on racism – they all said that the black community has to step up and stay in school and get the education. So I think you guys are reading into this something to fit your own political agenda.

          1. Munira says:

            But the study’s authors looked at levels of education as a possible reason, and ruled it out. “For example, African Americans with a high school diploma or GED were three times as likely to be unemployed as whites with the same level of education.”(Birkey, If it’s not education and we’re the worst in the nation, then what else could it be?
            I’m an African American College graduate and in the past 2 years of unemployment I just recently got a job. I’m really excited and happy to be employed, but sad to hear this report.

      2. Bill B says:

        Far more whites get gov aid in Minnesota than blacks due to sheer numbers. Gov aid includes Social Security, Medicare, medicaid, food support and housing. Now if you consider one program of MFIP ( Minnesota Family Investment Program ) truth is the percentages are very close. If you look at any medical program just think if each had to contribute to a health plan. Yes that is what Pres Obama has asked for.

      3. Black Guy says:

        I agree.. I see this all to often from the other side of the fence( other side of the fence meaning fro a black man’s perspective)
        Hey I went to HS and finished.. went to college and got a degree. Hit the streets and busted my butt for my job.. This was 13 years ago. I’m still the only black guy here amongst all the other engineers and I got here by my hard work and determination. It was my choice and what I wanted to do.. No hand out here.. No expectations.. and absolutely no feelings of entitlement or that some one owed me something cause I was black…

        Time for other black folks to get off their butts and be responsible for their actions and their futures

        My 2 cents

    2. Lance says:

      I agree and if you look at the qualifications for getting aid a single mother gets the most. The government nanny state has created this problem and is the only one that can fix it.

    3. Saints #1 says:

      Oh Bill, whites outnumber any other race living off welfare and government assistance. Sorry to break the news to you. Look at Michelle Bachman district. Largest foreclosure and government assistance district in state of Minnesota!!! Drive through there and see if you see any minorities!!!!

      1. Hannah says:

        My husband went into the St.Cloud social security office to get some information on social security. He will be 62 in June. He was dressed in a suit and went on his lunch hour. He went in and there was a line up of about 60 able bodied people waiting in line for their checks. Most of them were blacks, hispanics and somali’s.
        St.Cloud is in Michelle Bachman’s district!

      2. Gabby says:

        I agree, you are so correct. People who feel people on government assistance stay on it is not true. There are time limits. For a few minutes imagine yourself as a poor black person with one child because your husband has died. The government gives you $437 a month. How do you find a place to live? Afford transportation, daycare for a job or job search? The people who really need the help don’t go ask for it because of the many hoops one must go through to get approved for assistance so there are some receiving who should not be. What would you do if you were this person? How would you survive?

    4. JL says:

      Of course there’s always bad seads in a bunch, but puh-lease do not even say that welfare, etc, is a contributor to this problem, There’s no “big, FAT check” in the welfare system. Have you seen how low-income people live? There’s no white picket fence and 2 SUV’s in the driveway and a cabin up north. Having hungry kids is not going to help low-income people improve their lives. If people got paid a living wage for their work, they might be a little more inspired to look for jobs. Or, better yet, if they believed they actually had a shot and could compete fairly… And if we didn’t look down on people who work min. wage jobs, they might be more likely to apply at Burger King, etc.

  3. Lorraine says:

    I am educated and grew up in the Twin Cities area. I have a Masters degree, but found that my white counterparts received a llot more opportunities to get in the door and could also advance very easily. I had to leave the Twin Cities and move to the Atlanta area to finally get the respect I deserve. I have to say that as a 3rd generation Minnesotan, the opporunities for Blacks are very hard to come by. This must stop. I really like the Twin Cities and wanted to stay.

    1. ryan says:

      Perhaps your attitude might be part of the problem? There could be all kinds of variables as to why certain people progressed up the ladder faster than you did. I know at my current job, I see more minorities move up the ladder than white people. Do I hold a grudge against them? Not at all. They might have had a better relationship with the manager or better qualifications. Again, good for them.

      The hiring process is complex. I know white people who have applied to over 80 job openings in the past year and have yet to get hired (they have a college degree as well). If they interviewed with a manager who was black, but decided not to hire one of my friends – does that mean that the black manager is racist or discriminatory when they hire a black person instead? Nope.

      This mindset of being a victim has to stop. This is a HUGE HUGE HUGE part of the problem. Even white people these days are claiming to be victims of what they view as backwards racisim.

    2. ex-banker Rob says:

      I have no doubt that what you stae is accurate. I was mid-management for years in the banking industry and saw this go on year after year after year.
      The exceptions were there to appease the lawyers and meet Federal and State hiring guidelines or in the communities where we had branches that were in a specified zone. There we had some minority hiring in clerical and management.
      It remains a fact – Minnesota prefers to hire non-blacks for management if at all possible. Snow white managers we used to say. It’s wrong but how we do business mostly here.
      In many ways this state is still living in the 40’s and 50’s. There is a reason that is not tax related that is why some companies stay here – and some want no part of us.
      Land of 10,000 racists carries a lot of merit. Sorry

    3. Just my two cent says:

      I completely agree with Lorraine. I’m an African American who graduated from North High School in the 80’s. My family has been in the Twin Cities since the very early 1900’s. What I don’t understand is that if you are an educated Black coming from the area, job opportunities are far and few compared to Educated Blacks coming from out of state. Look at the Mayor of Minneapolis. His assistant, a Black Man came from out of state who was (prior to getting the position) working on a Degree. The CEO of Summit Academy. Another educated African American coming from out of state. For years the Presidents and CEO’s at the Minneapolis Urban League came from out of state. Even their hiring reeks of cronyism and nepotism. While people like myself and Lorraine are forced out of state to get an even shot at employment comparable to our educations. The influx of immigration of foreigner and people moving to the Twin Cities area from Chicago and Gary all within the same decade didn’t help matters much either. As much as I disliked what some of you white folks have said, the problem in the black community along with the lack of opportunities for the education African Americans is lack if Parenting in some homes. Single parent homes are not the problem but Non-Parenting homes are! If any parent is not parenting, helping with their child’s education and monitoring what their child does or who they do it with, you will have the problems that we see so often in any community. The Twin Cities just have a higher concentration of those homes (sad face)

  4. ryan says:

    Ok let me get this straight. All those that WCCO spoke with said:

    “All those WCCO-TV spoke with talked about the issue of racism, but they didn’t blame the problem on prejudice. Rather a combination of a lack of education, a lack of dedication, and the challenges in hiring.”

    So they have to bring up racism even though its not credible in this situation? So why bring it up? Perhaps we should look at this from a broader view and ask ourselves if some of these issues or mentalities are caused by a societal structure that encourages a “victim status”. Until we stop acting like victims, then we will always think we are one (and yes, there are some legitimate victims in society – but not to the extent our media plays it up to be).

    After you get passed the usual “racism” ploy in these article, then you see the substance. The reason why minorities aren’t getting employed is because they lack education, have a criminal record, lack dedication, and lack connections (sorry, knowing every local rapper doesnt mean you will land a real job).

    Now can we focus on why these people aren’t educated, have a criminal record, lack dedication? Or do we still have to line the pockets of those on the upper tier of the victim industry.

    1. NavyVet says:

      Racism is being addressed because most minorities are educated, don’t have criminal records, and also have just as much dedication as the next individual! I don’t know where they found the people that were interviewed or how they edited the story but everyone knows this state and country is filled with racism, by all races! Black people just seem to get the worst of it!

  5. ryan says:

    And your solution is???? Putting diapers on minorities and making sure we SAY they are individuals but then at the same time make sure they are dependent upon your tax dollars for survival?

    Typical lefty response. No solutions. A bunch of name-calling. Absolutely no analytical skills.


    1. yesssir ryan says:

      sounds like you that deguirlius redneck from Princeton. I got ya dufus , I got ya by your junk. 😉

  6. Saints #1 says:

    walk through skyway during lunch and you see no black person at all except standing at bus stops!! It is pathetic in a waywhere everyone looks a like

  7. Bluepmil says:

    Is there any personal responsibility on the individual? There are people who come here from other countries and get jobs and start companies. Some never left the international airport and are doing just fine.

    1. Jason DeRusha says:

      read the article. It clearly talks about personal responsibility.

  8. Saints #1 says:

    Oh also Bill on here, whites outnumber any other race living off welfare and government assistance. Sorry to break the news to you. Look at Michelle Bachman district. Largest foreclosure and government assistance district in state of Minnesota!!! Drive through there and see if you see any minorities!!!!

  9. ThomasY says:

    Yo Minnesota hypocrites and racists ……………. I’m lilly white and in Oak Park. I’ll call it as it is since you refuse to see yourselves for what you are.

    Racists – bigots-hypocrites-fascists- sick SOB’s. Sad

    1. w says:

      I see no race issue here we have a homie in office, I thought obama would save everyone!

      1. NavyVet says:

        Obama has not ever touch any issues regarding race, and I think he needs to get a backbone! There was a world conference of race issues the he refused to attend! So who is he saving?

  10. Lorraine says:

    I really wanted to remain in the Twin Cities. I didn’t grow up on welfare, and I’m not knocking the one’s who did, but my point is, why are companies getting away with this. There are lots of qualified Black candidates that can’t get in the door. Is it systematic corporate-based racism?

    1. Hokkusai says:

      Maybe you forgot to read the article. It specifically said that most were not qualified in this market….only 43% graduate H.S. and many have criminal records.

      1. NavyVet says:

        And since they said it it must be !00% true! That is like saying everyone else is highly qualified except that black people! really?

    2. Unknown says:

      I strongely agreed with Lorraine. I’m currently employed at this company for 10 years now and have seen many unfair opportunities. One that had caught my attention is the fact that many minorities would come in for orientations but only 1 out of 10 will get hire. You would think the minorities don’t meet the qualifications but all you need is a GED or Diploma to get in and I’ve know many current employees who don’t have as well! It had just started being this way since economic crisis. I don’t want to judge or take side but with facts I can’t lie. White people have better chance to get employ anywhere!!

  11. I'm Not a Racist on Purpose says:

    Yes, let’s focus on why people of color, black people specifically, often aren’t educated, have been incarcerated, and/or lack dedication. RACISM is real. Institutional racism is a part of American culture – we live and breath it, but for the vast majority of white people and many assimilated people of color it is just the way it has always been a.k.a life as we know it. We have been socialized to not see racism or feel it or believe it. The education and job system in MN and much of the US promotes achievement for white middle-class people by building on aspects of European culture. The same system has promoted underachievement for many people of color by ignoring the strengths of other cultures. Conventional reforms are destined to fail because they continue to view people of color as deficient. The best-quality educational programs and practices can never be accomplished if some ethnic groups and their contribution to the development of US history, life, and culture are ignored and demeaned.

    I think Jason D. is on the right track and should continue to ask: 1) Why is the racial based achievement gap disproportionate for students of color – specifically black males? 2) Why are referrals and suspensions in schools so over-represented by students of color – specifically black students? 3) Why is our current education system a pipeline to incarceration for so many black males?

    When the word racism comes up people feel discomfort and often want to dismiss it quickly to avoid dealing with the questions of race. MN is filled with people who have good intentions and goodwill toward one another, regardless of their race, language, and ethnicity. But, those good intentions do not help us deal with the problems of race and racism that pervade our state and country at every level. Systems of power are operating to keep the current social order intact. Those benefiting the most from that system are usually the ones most resistant to engaging in emotional and psychically difficult conversations about race for fear of losing something. Until we all begin to think critically and confront our own deeply held ideas and perceptions about race the system will continue to host the disease of racism that is so prevalent in US life. Even when we avoid talking about race, we are talking about race by engaging it.

    1. A. Minneapolitan says:

      Well said. Critical thinking is a skill that, too often, the folks who comment on these issues don’t have. Thank you for being a ray of light in an otherwise dark hole.

    2. Jamie says:

      Your argument is based on a white euro culture but this does not explain why asian and hispanic numbers are not this low. This is not racism it is parenting, specifically single parenting. If this is a cultural thing that black culture has only one parent than they truely are in trouble in this country.

      1. JL says:

        Ok, another comment. Does anybody see the horrible writing mistakes in these comments? People! Hear and here; there, they’re, and their. Punctuation. Capitalization. Maybe people don’t get jobs because they have poor grammar and can’t spell despite being college educated. Maybe employers should tell people, “You have great credentials, but you made all these mistakes in your cover letter. I can’t trust that you’ll represent us well”

      2. NavyVet says:

        Did they give statistics on Asians or Hispanics? I guess I missed that part!

    3. Self-Accountability says:

      Agreed, but you are skating around the #1 issue here: As Mr. DeRusha articulated with this retort: we are talking about PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. So many others are quick to point fingers, file ridiculous lawsuits and not take any responsibility for any of their actions. Stop making excuses and start working hard for your future and that of your children PERIOD. That is all.

      1. NavyVet says:

        Racism is real!

  12. Kyle downtown says:

    White – Male – mid-40’s – Work in the financial industry in MPLS – 93 employees on my floor – 4 are black – 7 of Asian descent – 82 are white.
    Managers are white and they do most of the hiring.
    I have seen and met some high caliber black canidates for openings we have had for years that far outshine those that were hired in the end. Far to often decisions are made based on a skin color in Minnesota. It the old way of doing business that still exists where it truly should not. Hard to change old and ingrained bad habits or phobia’s that some still have.

    1. A. Minneapolitan says:

      Thank you for keeping you mind, and your eyes, open. There are multiple problems to be address within the context of the issues discussed in the article, but we can not address any of them if we dismiss them all.

  13. Rick says:

    The gap is directly related to MN’s lax welfare system. Minorities come here from other states specifically for that reason. If welfare was better controlled the gap would decrease.

  14. john Fee says:

    BULL…….Get an education. My sales manager is black, as are some of my colleagues. Our telemarketing department is filled with minorities. Get an education. Parents make sure your kids have done their homework, and more important, set an example by working a 40 hour work week even if it is at a fast food joint. The Hispanic population isn’t complaining. They love it here!

    1. NavyVet says:

      How many Hispanics do you know?

  15. Sharon says:

    I live in a black community. I am white, have some college, and unemployed. MN is who you know and education. They require one year of college to answer a corporation phone. Is the education here so bad that higher education is required? It is not that bad in other states. I lived here in the 80’s and had the same problem. If I were a foreigner all red tape is cut and everyone would make sure I got the education and job the same day! I have gone to centers to get jobs only to see the non english speaking people talked to with interpeters and the blacks and I wereturned away.

  16. SayWhatIMean says:

    I see we are treating color as a race again. Sticking with that theory the most destructive, self righteous, cruel and violent humans to ever walk this round earth since the very beginning have been and are still whites. Possibly a moot point in this case but a cool relative fact nonetheless. That stated Minnesota is more discriminatory than every other places I’ve lived, I.e Germany, NY, CA, CT,MA,RI,FL etc. No place has been this bad. You wouldn’t get the correct answer from most of the indigenous because they see themselves as non-racist and liberal and most have lived few other places. Look at the Jazz scene – where’s the black Jazz musicians.They’re here…I know them..where are they playing? Minnesota is a passive aggressive area that despite it’s attempt to be cultured and metropolitan it’s lagging far behind other cities. Also very self absorbed as evident in their lack of courteous and unsafe driving practices. (ask anyone not from Minnesota). Historically people like to defend themselves, including whites – so statistics and media are often good methods to pad “other” real issues. I hear more often people complain about blacks in North Minn, or B.C. and then I reflect on my life that the only people ever to do harm, keep me/ family out of a number of jobs for non legitimate reasons, (Master Deg. also) has been whites and for me “only” in Minnesota. Other states no issues, but then again no passive aggressive to assist the racism. Cheers all!

  17. Blame it on Whitey says:

    If you insist on posting comments about how stupid and ignorant all the white people in Minnesota are, please learn how write a grammatically correct sentence. Learning how to use to/too/two properly would help also. Maybe that’s the reason no one will hire you.

    1. KracktUp says:

      “Blame it on Whitey”

      My – we have the perfectionist here now. My Webster shows no such word as “whitey”. I wonder if you may have been home schooled? 😉

      1. Same old says:


        Really? Or are you just assuming it’s not in there because you’re too lazy to actually look?

        Definition of WHITEY
        usually disparaging
        : the white man : white society

        1. NavyVet says:

          You seem like a very negative person!

  18. Bruce says:

    Rick above connects to the problem 100%.
    As an owner of a small business there is no way I would employ the black who was interviewed that had dreadlocks. Never would I or could I expose my customers to an individual who looked like that and expect them to come back. Am I a racist? No, just a realist!

    1. JL says:

      Dreadlocks don’t equal bad employee OR any sort of personality type. Would you hire a white guy with a crew cut? Do you assume he’s going to be a racist pig? I you won’t “expose” your customers to an individual who looks like THAT.

      1. c_realla says:

        Bruce, you are racist and practicing discrimination. Obviously you a own a small business that will probably go under so that will work out quite nicely for all of us. What exactly is your line of work anyway?

  19. Yikes says:

    The hiring situation has become such a HUGE game of who you know…I am a caucasian male, 30 years old with a Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of experience in sales and 9 years in customer service. I was unemployed for almost 2 years. There were numerous companies that, after I applied and contacted them numerous times, wouldn’t even give me the time of day. Unfortunately, the longer you are out of work, the harder it is to get work. I finally got a position because someone I know recommended me to someone HE knew and I got an interview.
    How sad is it that to get an interview I needed to know someone instead of a resume that was referred to (by the MN Workforce Center employee) as a very strong resume.
    How sad is it that I was able to get unemployment for close to 2 years!? Sure, it was nice to have that support. It was very useful for my family, but it is so simple to cheat the system. I was applying over and over, but someone could just as easily respond to the unemployment office as “I’m looking for work” and sit on their butt all day doing nothing…for 2 years. Then all they need is 60 days of employment to do it over again. INSANE…

    1. Feeling mighty sick stuff says:

      Call yourself blessed – I’ve been self-employed for 37 years as a sub-contractor. In the last 3 years I have had 6 months of employment. At 70% wage of years past. No safety net- no unemployment. I look every day for work. Every day from 6am until night time.
      I am amazed how so many people make light of what the job market truly is – hell, my savings is down to 1 months mortgage payment and food for my family. Then I have no clue where or what we will do. None.
      If that UE was not available for as long as it is I suspect things would have fallen off the cliff for all who are on it by now. We are avoiding a repeat of that Great Depression only because many have that saftey net. Lucky for those that do – but it pizzes me off that people like me have nothing to assist us either. I’ve paid a ton into the system. Just one time I would like the sysytem to help me out too.

  20. Race Card? says:

    I worked in HR I have found that a large number of younger blacks can not pass a UA. And the ones that are hired dont want to be told what to do, have a hard time showing up for work!

    1. BBrooks says:

      LMFAO – the white kids probably don’t need the job or don’t bother as they know they will fail the UA and don’t bother.
      It’s not just a black thing you are talking about – it’s the generation. High times and fun times.. Skin color is irrevelant.
      You worked in HR? No longer then?

  21. JB says:

    There seems to be common themes represented throughout the comments on this article. Minorities, in this case blacks, not getting the opportunities in upper level management; having an unemployment rate that is far higher than whites; having a lower graduation rate; having a high level of incarceration; higher rate of suspension/expulsion in schools; higher rate of single parents; and higher rate of welfare use (if you consider welfare as a percentage of the black population versus the percentage of the white population on welfare). When are we going to quit listening to the Jessie Jackson’s and Al Sharpton’s of the world that the white man is putting us down? It is time that we as a black community takes some responsibility upon ourselves for the inequities that we seem to believe exist in society. We need to start by parenting our children and raising them with morals and values and teach them hard work ethics. We need to sit down with our kids at night and help them with their homework and take an active role in their development. We need to ensure when we have children that we have the means to take care of them both economically and socially. We need to form relationships with our spouses that last a lifetime rather than those which result in divorce. Most importantly we need to be a positive influence on our children and be their role model instead of letting gang banging rappers and drug using athletes take that role. It starts with providing an atmosphere in which our children can develop and flourish and only then can we expect to rise up from where we as a community are today.

  22. THE TRUE FACT says:

    Why Is Jobless Gap By Race So Bad In MN? Racism is the Highest in MINNESOTA!!!

  23. T-Rock says:

    To all of those who don’t view this as a racist issue, go drive through North Minneapolis, specifically North High (which is now closing). This predominantly black neighborhood lacks many of the resources that most Minnesotans take for granted: clean streets, school transportation and more. This is the most run-down place in Minnesota, and anyone who thinks this isn’t all of our problem is delusional and insensitive.

    There has been a permanent underclass created in North MPLS, and the only way to get out of this is to fix up this neighborhood, and invest HEAVILY in education and rehabilitation to get these parents back to a position where they can succeed. I have several close friends who live in North, and they are very good people who have been dealt a bum hand in the game of life.

    1. laura says:

      People get dealt a bum hand everyday it is called life, I am white but did not grow up rich or even middle class. My parents worked 40 hrs a week and then some and struggled to make ends meet so that my sisters and I could have the basics in life, a house, food, and clothing. My parents taught us that education and hard work are the keys to bettering yourself. They also taught us to take pride in what is ours, from our house to our yard. My parents took an interest in our lives, they made sure our homework was done they made sure they knew who our friends were, they wanted better for us than what they could provide for us. Their hard work has paid off my sisters and I are able to provide our families with a better quality of life than what we had growing up. Our children don’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from or if they will have a roof over their heads because of the values and morales my parents taught us. It starts with parenting and values… if your street is dirty get out there and clean it up, I know it takes more than 1 person but take pride in what is yours. My point is that everyone in some way at some time gets a bum hand in life the difference between those who succeed and those who fail is how you deal with that hand you are dealt.

      1. T-Rock says:

        Did you live in a neighborhood where people are getting gunned down by gang members on a regular basis?

        Did you live in a neighborhood where your high school closed down due to an insanely high drop-out rate?

        Were your neighbor’s houses shuttered with boarded windows and being squatted by crackheads?

        I appreciate your sense of rugged individualism, but we need to look at things more on a community basis here in Minnesota and the US.

        1. laura says:

          nope I live in a small community but that is my point, parenting if parents would take more interest in their kids lives and worry less about their own you wouldn’t have gangs or crackheads. If I wanted to drop out of school at 10 or 12 or whatever the age is my parents would have kicked some serious butt and then told me to go find a job and see how far i got! Kids need guidance they need someone to tell them to shut the tv off and do their homework, they need someone to tell them no you can’t play with that kid because he is always in trouble or if you play wth him it will be under my supervision. My son would play video games or baseball 24 hrs a day if I didn’t tell him he had to do his homework or do the dishes or play with his little brother and sisters. Kids can’t drop out of school if their parents drive them and if they have to sit in the class room with them, I know my parents would have sat with me if that was the only way to keep me in school and being a mom I can guarantee you that i would sit with my children if the end result was they arent’ going.

          1. T-Rock says:

            Being from a small community, you really have no frame of reference on how to deal with inner city race issues. While parenting definitely has a large role in the future success of a child, there are many other factors at play, especially in North MPLS. The next time you are in MPLS go for a drive through North MPLS during the daytime, and drive by North High. Then you will understand where I am coming from.

            1. laura says:

              When I was in college I toured N high school as part of my teaching requirment for a class, and I was shocked by what I saw mind you this was almost 15 plus yrs ago but I would not have sent my kid to that school I would drive my kid 100 miles if necessary. Small communities have minorities in them as well, just because I live in a sm community doesn’t mean I have no idea about race issues. Try teaching in a class where some of the kids don’t understand English let alone have a concept of what you are trying to teach them. I choose to live in a small community for a number of reasons, I drive up to the cities every 6 months for my daughters dr appts she needs to go to and I say I would never live up there for a million dollars and race has nothing to do with it. Kids need to be guided as I stated before and it doesn’t have to be by a parent. If you live in N Minneapolis you should do something about the way your little community is perceived instead of whining about it or making excuses.

            2. Mel says:

              I have a friend who lives in N Minneapolis who happens to be white. She’s been spit at, cussed at, and her neighbors won’t let their kids play with her kids. Racism goes both ways, and although blacks have suffered far worse than being spit on, it doesn’t negate the hostility and hatred some black people show white people. Before we moved I went to church in North Minneapolis and we had a small group series on race issues. There was a lot of misconceptions from both races shattered, and a new understanding and new respect resulted. White people need to understand that despair and desperation drive a lot of crime and poverty, and black people should stop hating white people just because they are white.

  24. the realist says:

    Me, 35year old snow white typical mid-class hard working citizen. I have seen first hand in the job field that minorities are babied to a certain degree, however in the big picture we have created this environment by doing it to ourselves.

    We are ignorant to reality, and that is, there is racist unfair corporations and agencies out in the world (not all, but it is there), that is why laws as affirmative action exist. We are a victim to our own doing.

    We clothe,feed, provide them with free living, but when there is a few hard working minorities who overcame the odds, we don’t give them a open opportunity to succeed (the stats speak for themselves) by blocking their move to the top and hold them in gridlock.

  25. realist says:

    Me, 35year old snow white typical mid-class hard working citizen. I have seen first hand in the job field that minorities are babied to a certain degree, however in the big picture we have created this environment by doing it to ourselves.

    We are ignorant to reality, and that is, there is racist unfair corporations and agencies out in the world (not all, but it is there), that is why laws as affirmative action exist. We are a victim to our own doing.

    We clothe,feed, provide them with free living, but when there is a few hard working minorities who overcame the odds, we don’t give them a open opportunity to succeed (the stats speak for themselves) by blocking their move to the top and hold them in gridlock.

  26. Kristin says:

    Jason, Does the report include and recognize the influx of African immigration? I would think that this would increase the number of jobless blacks.

    1. I see it says:

      In my experience the “African” worker, is a harder worker and a more respectful person than the “Black American”.

  27. I see it says:

    JB – thank you. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

    I work in the retail sector in a low income demographic. Most of the people are paying with EBT cards/cash. Government assistance is to provide with nutritious meals, however they are buying candy, pop, and chips all day long. They let their children run wild and destroy the merchandise. The language they use toward their children is not appropriate and degrading. The more kids you have the more money your government checks are. I will also agree one comment above about the illegal drug use. You can smell it them, I choose to hold my breath while assisting the ones who use.

    There appears to be no desire to have a job with this income level because they get money for doing nothing. They don’t get married because the man would then be required to have a job to provide for the family. The drug business is much more lucrative than actually working for minimum wage. The children don’t do well in school because the parents are not teaching them at home. They have been taught that the white worker owes them something, and they are going to sit back and collect. Also they throw racism in your face when you question their behavior or check their $20 bills for authenticity. After President Obama was elected, I was told by a black male about 40, “Now you work for me.” I could not respond so I didn’t reflect badly on my employer.

    It should be harder to get the benefits. There should be closer monitoring of how these benefits are used. Drug testing should be enforced for benefit recipients. My credit card company can see every item I purchase on their card, the government can most likely have the same technology for their EBT cards and junk food should not be allowed, period. The report cards of the children should also be a factor in benefit dollar amounts. If you started making it harder to collector holding them accountable for their actions there will be better results in the graduation rates and in the workforce.

    I also think that when the government counts the number of people on unemployment they are missing a whole group of people. The people on Welfare ARE unemployed, just called something else.

  28. Tyce says:

    Why do these types of piece ALWAYS seem to reach from “lower strata” of society? No disrespect to the guy who’s done prison time but come on, REALLY?? You’re telling me “Star Trib” this is the BEST you could find out there of Black people that aren’t working??

    Does this along with the statistic fuel the stereotypical perception that most Blacks are “ignorant” and “attracted to crime?”

  29. working says:

    just another PAC looking for a statisitc to complain about and get government funding to study further. Try what has been suggested, get an education, then get a job, then get a better education if you want something better,

  30. laura says:

    If Minnesota is such a racist state and what not why do blacks and other minorities stay here? Obviously it isn’t the jobs holding them back and I am pretty certain it isn’t the weather so why exactly do they stay? That is the question, if it is soooo bad why stay. I am white, spent my whole life in MN, have visited a few other states and would not move to any of them. However, no matter what my skin color is if I didn’t have a job and couldn’t provide a better quality of life for my children I would move to another state if I knew there were more opportunities for me somewhere else.

    1. SayWhatIMean says:

      That’s the cliche statement of yore that sounds good but really amounts to nothing. “If you don’t appreciate or like the area then move!” – Okay so you move; which many like myself did and do, but how does that change the area or it’s negative aspects. Just because you don’t see it, agree with it or believe there is an inherent problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. I notice most from here aren’t comfortable with anywhere else to call home. You don’t really like to mix it up for real with other societies, races and religions. Most Minnesotans are liberal in the fact that as long as you think, talk, walk similar to them then generally you’re OK, despite other factors. But actually bringing you home for dinner might be a tad pushing it too far. To be blunt, you’re phony; you pretend to be a certain type rather than actually being that person. You’re offended easily, hold grudges as adults for long periods of time and have no problem “back stabbing” even you’re own. Whomever writes in magazines that Minnesota is one the premier places to reside I guarantee aren’t black or generally well traveled and aged folks. The things I see transpiring in Minnesota are things I rectified years ago when I was in grade school in an area that was truly integrated. Well be it was wanted integration or not it was there and not going anyplace. A place called New York. Minnesota as a state is beautiful, healthy, relatively low cost of living and has a decent not fantastic school system. It sure as hell is no melting pot however and the natives will never admit they have an issue socially nor will they admit that their driving skills are atrocious! Ciao lady!

    2. MLK says:

      You are so dump. Do you think they have choice? Do you think it’s easy to just pick up go.

      When they do move, it sure does become one less problem for you to handle.

    3. Just my two cent says:

      I’m one of the blacks that couldn’t stand the racism, cold and attitudes like yours and did move to the south. Imagine that, I had to move to the south to escape racism…. I’m also from North High School and will put my education up against yours any day of the week so I feel well qualified to answer your nasty question. Many don’t leave because that is where their families and friends are. Their support system. Many don’t have the money and other resources to leave. But my question to you is, why the heck should they have to leave their home because of the environment that attitudes like yours has created over the past 30 years or so. I’ll say attitudes like your because in the 1940-70’s our parents didn’t have a problem finding employment. Granted, they were never paid the same as your parents for the same work, but they made ends meet with less and still brought their own homes. Folks with your attitude decided to cut jobs, deny their right to move out of quickly deterioration neighborhood into your neighborhood (redlining), put nasty teaches like you into their school system and stop educating their children. You see, the parents didn’t know that they were going to have to fight the school system just for their children to get a decent education, thus helping to create the state that much if the inner-city is in now. SMH, the ignorance amazing me even to this day and I don’t know why….Its so abundant.

  31. Lisa Gonyea says:

    It starts in the family. When you have a 15 yo bringing home a baby to her welfare funded apt, foodstamps, WIC ect..but no idea how to parent..perhaps an abusive boyfriend in the picture, you can not expect much. These girls and their babies need mentors from the black community to give them some motivation that there is a better life out there. It needs to be mutifaceted with little govt support…from chriches, and other charitable organizations. The welfare is just a bureaucracy with too many falling through the holes. This family needs a boost well before he is ready for headstart. Anyone remember a few weeks ago where the mom threw the newborn in the snowbank? Intervention is needed well before that..then maybe the black childrer will have the desire to learn and be productive, and not be willing to fall into the cracks.

    1. Kathy says:

      And, that child should be taken away – anyone knows you do not throw a child outside in the snow barely dressed. The child will be better off being adopted than being raised in an abusive relationship and an ill equipped mother. These are our first mistakes within a system wanting to help but not willing to make the hard decisions.

      We all need to address this issue head on and recognise blank, white, brown, or any other color – we are people of the United States. The more we break down each other, the weaker we are as a nation. We need to start at the top and change the pay & benefit system of those in government and work our way down. A country of the people, for the people. We have forgotten what that statement truly means.

  32. Victim Du Jour says:

    Strange how black people come here from Africa and graduate from College.

    That’s because nerdy white liberals want blacks to feel sorry for themselves and use it as a crutch, so nerdy white democrats have to save them.

  33. Twinsfan says:

    Years ago (2003), when I started a new job, I was feeling out of sorts with my new employer and I couldn’t put my finger on it. About three weeks in, I realized of the 200 employees there, only three were minorities. Luckily, I received another job offer about a week later and took it. I was not comfortable with the lack of diversity at that job. I want my employer to have a balanced workforce, not look like a McDonald’s commercial.

  34. Darren says:

    jason while we look at ecucation and look and criminals there are employable blacks im one but it seems to be that same 80% that graduate high school continue on to college graduate and frown on the 46% of blacks that didnt and wont and cannot see offering opportunity not to just that 46% but to others that have a work history a can pass a background check jason you might as well say that blacks are not welcomed in mn and we shouldl not be here im here jason and have a family i have a good work history and i can pass a background check the hr lady told me yesterday i had a gap in between my last 2 jobs i explained to her that i return to collge she preceded to tell me that it showed a pattern that if im going to work for her 2 years then go away she would not be interested in me but she didnt mention my previous 12 work history previous to the last 2 jobs all she was interested in was me to commit to forever be a nursing assistant and be the providing dad i am and not to reconige the only way i can get better is through education i know that as a fact and just had to take that as she was another white person not believing that this black can have something to offer her and so many other people in this world. continue to do these studies because they bring out valuable info for those who may want to make a difference in someones life good job jason bring me along next time i have some good ideas for you.

  35. Darren says:

    most foreigner are tax credit its another business that many blacks reconiged long ago. i ‘m not blaming the man but this problem just didnt start yesterday this problem started long ago before even when jason was born i’m talkn 100 yrs or more the people of mn just seem to not want to change the way things used to be and judging people by their skin color is just unfortunate for blacks and thats means me too i guess mn will win in the end because i have morals and good intentions good work ethics and i must go where i use all this good upbringing by my parents. all blacks are not the way you perceive them god bless you and find me if you want to gain that knowledge .

  36. sambo says:

    just another comment people mention somalians why? blacks were here tryn to gain employment but its cheaper to hire a somalian and then the government gives a tax credit for hiring immigrants blacks were born here and we dont have tax credit on our heads and we many of us know that we cant work for a ridiculous wage when our grandparents and parents built the great usa and so many other thing come in to play but its not that we are failures most blacks have great interpersonal gifts from god whether its a talent or a special trade or skill we have something to offer and often that threatned the white race obama is a example but he is so fortunate for his education but unlike the average black man everything works against him and theres nothing no one can do about it we will have to be in the right place at the right time for most of our opportunities and you can say that we have been cursed especially here in mn. theres no doubt that education is the golden key along with self discipline when that fail then you can see blacks dealing drugs robbing banks and so on the cycle continue i hope that i can score a job that will let me do my job and wont have to worry about if my kids will be taken care of i try but im running out of opportunities and most of the core of mn knows whats going on its good jason brings this topic but jason this wont change if you want a closer look jason theres a news reporter in chicago named walter jacobson look at his old perspectives this will give you ideas on how to unfold the untold stories here in mn you obviously know that there is something definitely wrong with that gap a discrimination is the hardest case to prove in a court of law but like darren said blacks should just leave the state they will be happy and mn can have it the way they really want it now watch them call us all back to fix it this is just history and thats how it goes

  37. RG says:

    Great Story! Important topic!
    But I must say, a bit ironic that 3 white anchors are talking about how shocking those statistics are following Jason DeRushas story.
    Maybe WCCO needs to take the lead, as there are only 2 African Americans in front of the camera at WCCO.
    Sadly t.v. stations in the Twin Cities don’t reflect the demographic of our community. With other stations around the country that have plenty of t.v. “personalities” on camera who are African American, I have to believe there must be a great pool of candidates to select from.

    1. Whiners says:

      Blacks don’t watch the news. Do you really think the thugs gather around the TV at 10pm to watch the latest headlines? Not a chance, that’s prime street thugging time. The suburban whites who actually watch the news don’t want to see a bunch of minorities on the news just to satisfy the PC nazis.

      1. what? says:

        I am sorry but do you expect every radio and tv channel to supply one person from every single race?!?!? That is ridiculous. Go out for the job if you think there is no representation!

  38. Whiners says:

    Black people all think they are entitled to the white man’s money. That’s just their culture. Their culture teaches no self respect, no values, no respect for others. Until leaders in the black community (where are you Obama?) start speaking out as Bill Cosby has in the past about the problems in black culture, nothing is going to change. The steal, kill, deal, and menace, and something needs to change at the cultural level before any of these statistics change. The only thing we can do is eliminate all of these benefits they get for staying unmarried and having more children. Force them out of the degenerate lifestyle.

  39. Hideous Baby Names says:

    When you give your Litter of Baby Niglets hideous ghetto birth names like Shameeka,LaQueesha,JaSinta,Daunteezee & more, you risk any resume’ with such an obvious ghetto name going straight to the garbage. Stop trying to “keep it real” & consider the future for once.

  40. Really!!! says:

    I have a question, how is that people can come from Chicago and into SE MN town at the first of the month to get their welfare check from MN since they claim this as home and then head back to Chicago to their real home. How is that not taking advantage of the system!!!!!

  41. Black Hill Billy says:

    I like to say im 28 years old. Black, single unmarried male. I am an II professional. I dont have a college degree., but because I had experience was able to obtain a job for 16 an hour. I know with my experienced I am worth more than that. Lets face it the average technical support gets 40k a year….but because I am not certified or do not have that piece of paper, someone can always say hey man you aint qualified for this 20 plus an hour. I have what I have because of my choices. My mom told me when I was child it gone be hard for me. She said; people will try not to hire you, you will treated different because of who you are. Your peers will call you an uncle tom or a nerd for working. all of that. So you really have to ask yourself what do you want. The odds is stacked against but now it is either you rich or poor. If you are poor you will not have the options as someone who has more.

  42. Donald Allen says:

    WOW! I can’t believe you asked the Minneapolis Urban League’s Scott Gray anything.