In the wake of two recent stories about people on Medicaid in which all the case histories were African-American, the New York Times today presented a story of brave and highly skilled Americans who have been looking for jobs so long that they have became discouraged and are no longer looking. The four people, whom the Times drew from four distinct parts of the country, represent what may be a total 1.4 million people who want to work, but are not even considered as in the labor force and therefore are not counted among the unemployed.
All four of the people in the article, which in the national edition is a third of the first page plus one other page, are white (one with a Hispanic surname). Just as the Times could not find a white who is on Medicaid in two articles on cutbacks hurting clinics, so it could not identify one black who wants to work but can’t find a job.
Interesting to note that both Medicaid articles limited the case histories to one city, whereas today’s article roamed from Kansas and Houston to North Carolina and Florida.
You can blame it on the reporters, but editors are also to blame for what is looking more and more like a subtle attempt to reinforce traditional racial attitudes by the Times.