OK, let’s just make this real simple.
In case it isn’t obvious, the above is a graph of the unemployment rate for the last ten years (2012, naturally, has only eight months’ worth of data; equally naturally, the Obama administration isn’t going to be improving said rate any time soon anyway). I’ve sorted it out by the whole population; whites; and blacks. (data via the Bureau of Labor Statistics). And as you can see from that graph, African-Americans have been more seriously hurt by this thoroughly rotten economy than whites have; the slow convergence towards the average rate that we saw happening throughout the Bush administration was wiped out in a quarter. And they will apparently continue to be more seriously hurt by this thoroughly rotten economy. And, as near as anybody can tell, the Obama administration is remarkably indifferent to the widespread economic problems being faced by one of the Democratic party’s most loyal constituencies.
All of which is my way of politely suggesting that the Economist stop regurgitating somewhat peurile Democratic agitprop about why Republicans supposedly have given up on African-Americans, and instead start asking why the Democrats have. Because what is actually happening in this country is that one particular voting bloc is discovering the implications of uncritically embracing one political party; to wit, that party stops taking them seriously. This always happens; and it’s the major reason why, say, Republican social conservatives are so deliberately touchy*. It’s the only way to keep the party from taking them for granted.
Because, honestly, African-American voters are a pretty potent Horrible Example of what happens when you let a political party take you for granted.
*I may think that they may take this a bit far at times, but you should probably take into consideration the fact that I’m not a social conservative.