TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An American political science professor said African-Americans have always been victims of discrimination in the US.
“African-Americans have always been the victims of discrimination. What has changed is that social media now allows for the recording of incidents of victimization, especially by police. The Great Recession of 2009 has made life much more difficult for African-Americans. The wealth, job, income, and poverty disparities between Blacks and the rest of American society have become worse,” James D. Savage told the Press Shia News Agency.
Savage is a political science professor at the University of Virginia and teaches public policy in the Department of Politics and at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He is an expert in government budget and fiscal policies and budget theory. He completed his undergraduate degrees in political science and psychology at the University of California, Riverside, his graduate degrees in political science, public policy, and economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and his post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University.
Following is the full text of the interview.
Q: A new wave of protests has gripped various states in the US after unarmed African American Keith Scott was shot dead by police on September 22, in Charlotte. As you know the United States has been a self-declared champion of human rights across the globe. However, the recent killings of African-Americans by the US police have raised questions about Washington's own record. What is your take on the human rights situation in the US?
A: The United States is undergoing a dramatic change in its demography. By 2043, Whites will no longer be the majority race in America. The nonwhite population is now 37 percent of the US. The fastest population growth is taking place among multiracial Americans, followed by Asians and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic whites make up 63 percent of the US; Hispanics, 17 percent; Blacks, 12.3 percent; Asians, 5 percent; and multiracial Americans, 2.4 percent. So Blacks are competing for good jobs and access to good schools with these other racial and immigrant groups, as well as with Whites. America’s human rights challenge is to ensure that equal opportunities are available for all of these groups.
Q: African American communities in the US are increasingly falling victim to violence and discrimination. Why? Do you believe the white-dominant system has waged a war on the blacks?
A: African-Americans have always been the victims of discrimination. What has changed is that social media now allows for the recording of incidents of victimization, especially by police. The Great Recession of 2009 has made life much more difficult for African-Americans. The wealth, job, income, and poverty disparities between Blacks and the rest of American society have become worse. Black unemployment was 9.5 percent during the third quarter of 2015 compared to 4.5 percent for whites. The annual median income of Black households in 2014 was $35,398, compared to the US medium income of $53,657. The Black poverty rate in 2014 was 26.2 percent, compared to 14.8 percent nationwide. The July 2016 unemployment rates for White youth ages 16-25 was 9.9 percent, compared to higher rates for Blacks (20.6 percent), Asians (10.0 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent).
Q: Back in June, the US Senate rejected a series of gun-control measures just days after the Orlando nightclub massacre shooting, including proposals to keep weapons out of the hands of people on terror watch lists. Every year, more than 30,000 people are shot and killed in the United States. What do you think about the Senate move?
A: Gun control is a politically difficult issue in the United States because owning guns is a way of life in much of America, especially in rural areas. Reasonable gun control could include registration of gun ownership and the prohibition of gun ownership for the mentally-impaired. Gun owners are concerned that the government would use this information to confiscate their guns, and are able to block this legislation.