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senate Bill S. 2163

Should a Federal Commission Study the Social Status of Black Men & Boys?

Argument in favor

The lack of economic opportunity and prosperity for black men and boys is a national problem that has far-reaching consequences. In order to craft effective federal policy to address this problem, Congress and the executive branch need to fully understand it. This Commission would help them do so.

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08/21/2019
I’m sure there’s massive data out there, maybe already collected, but with US Govt seal of approval, maybe someone will finally pay attention!! If we post data regarding issues we support or object to, Just.Dave and others, it is advisable to check the source’s bias and credibility: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/cns-news/
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AnthonyWelsh's Opinion
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08/21/2019
In general, there is no reason to not support a commission. However, this is not the highest priority either. I think the problem is understood and Congress is failing to act on known data. But that’s no reason to avoid a commission so that the evidence is official.
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Rebekah 's Opinion
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08/21/2019
Death by cop is now the #6 cause of death in young men of color. We need to figure this out and fast.
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Argument opposed

The challenges facing black men and boys are well documented, so academics and policymakers already have strong hypotheses and proposals to address them. Rather than expanding bureaucracy with yet another commission, it’d be more effective for Congress to enact policies that address the challenges already known to affect the black male population.

jimK's Opinion
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08/21/2019
We know the issues facing disenfranchised youth and young men. I am a firm believer that as a society, it is our obligation to ensure that everyone has a pathway to a whole, happy and fulfilling life. We need a philosophy of leaving no person behind. Most of the issues that limit black youth and young men have been studied and well documented. These principles do not need another study group, they need legislative action to ensure pathways to adequate education, exposure to open dialogue with others, meaningful valued work opportunities and general community rebuilding. These programs should also attempt to do this for poorer communities characterized by heavy concentrations of racial or religious groups. Actions are needed, not more study groups. Can’t help but believe this legislation is yet another attempt to buy Election Day ‘creds’ by having an emotion grabbing title but accomplishing nothing. More fodder for those awful 30 second election year TV charades listing ‘accomplishments’ by title without any detail.
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Gopin2020's Opinion
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08/20/2019
Were all Americans, stop with this hyphenated crap and separating by race etc. I’m opposed to Senator Rubio’s bill based on those reasons. It’s time for us to unite. #MAGA
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ManfromNebraska's Opinion
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08/20/2019
This is a waste of money. It doesn’t matter if you are black white brown etc. We all have the same freedoms to take advantage of living in the USA!
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What is Senate Bill S. 2163?

This bill would establish a Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights’ Office. The Commission would consist of 19 members, and would include bipartisan members of Congress, federal agency experts, and appointed subject issue area experts. It would be charged with investigating potential civil rights violations affecting black males and studying the disparities they experience in income, poverty, education, criminal justice, health, employment, fatherhood, mentorship and violence. 

On an annual basis, the Commission would produce a report addressing the current conditions affecting black men and boys. In its report, the Commission would also make recommendations to improve the social conditions and provide guidance to Congress on effective strategies to reduce the racial disparities in education, criminal justice, health and employment. The Commission’s report would be submitted to the president, Congress, members of the president’s Cabinet, and the chairs of the appropriate committees of jurisdiction. It would also be publicly available online on a centralized federal website. 

This legislation wouldn’t authorize any appropriations, and the members of the Commission wouldn’t be compensated.

Impact

Black men and boys; study of the factors affecting black men and boys; United States Commission on Civil Rights; relevant Congressional committees; the Cabinet; and the president.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2163

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced this bill to establish a Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys at the United States Commission on Civil Rights’ Office to recommend policies to improve current government programs

“A lack of economic opportunity and prosperity for black men is a tragedy for our nation. The United States needs their talents to solve the challenges of our time. It is intolerable and unacceptable that many black men come to believe, often for good reason, that the American Dream is not available to them. I remain passionate about working to find a solution to these problems and am proud to join Senators Harris and Booker in introducing this important, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to establish the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, adds

“We must speak truth that slavery and our country’s long history of institutional racism continue to cause great pain and inequality toward communities of color—particularly Black males. This bipartisan commission is just the start of a long overdue effort to confront the negative treatment Black men and boys face every day in America. I am proud to support.”

House sponsor Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), who also introduced this legislation in the 115th Congress, says

“It’s not easy being black and male in America. Despite historic gains made in the last 50 years, black males from all walks of life continue to face challenges and hardships that have created significant disparities in the areas that are most critical to ensuring that our boys have equal opportunities to develop the skills required to become successful men. The commission and its work will provide the atomic blast of long overdue support that this issue merits and desperately needs.”

In an email to the Charlotte Observer, Rep. Wilson explained the reasoning for excluding black women from this Commission’s directive

“There are many programs to address development for women and girls but far fewer programs for boys. Minority males are disproportionally incarcerated and their representation in the nation’s prison population is at record numbers. Conversely, U.S. Department of Education statistics show that African-American women account for a greater percentage of college degree conferees than any other group by race and gender. In addition, black women earn two college degrees for every black male that earns a degree.”

Erika Wilson, assistant professor of law at the University of North Carolina, argues that it’s an “oversight” to study only black men’s experiences

“The issues that impact the black male community also impact black women and girls, too, especially given the high rate of families that are black families that are headed by black women. This is an oversight to singularly focus the study on black men.”

Ruben Roberts, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP, is skeptical about how much of a difference this commission would make. He says

“I just know [the commission] can bring about some awareness, but I think we all are aware, but it could be part of the official record of how we got here. I think there’s some benefits to that. But to rely on the current government to try to find real effective remedies to that, I don’t have real confidence in that. You can’t depend on the group of people that put them in that position to elevate them and bring them out of that."

As an alternative to establishing the commission, Roberts suggests reparations instead

“Allow Black youth to be able to complete their undergraduate education for free. That could be a form of reparations. Allow Black families to build by purchasing homes. Those things can help financially repair some of the damages that were done over 400 years and continue to be done today.”

This legislation has two Democratic Senate cosponsors. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), has 66 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 65 Democrats and one Republican. Both bills have yet to receive a committee vote.

In the 115th Congress, Rep. WIlson’s House version of this bill had 47 bipartisan cosponsors, including 46 Democrats and one Republican, and didn’t receive a committee vote. There was no Senate version of this legislation in the previous Congress.


Of NoteRuben Roberts, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP, says that the issues facing black men in America are too many to number

“Black men are stigmatized. We are seen by the larger society a lot of times as criminals. It’s evident when we walk across the street and people lock their car doors. We’re seen as angry, both Black men and women, when we are passionate sometimes. Definitely undervalued in terms of our work and contributions to society and this nation.”

In a 2011 report, The Opportunity Agenda noted that African-American men and boys face challenges that differ from those facing African-American women and girls or men and boys from other racial and ethic groups. Those challenges include public perceptions and attitudes against them as a group; self-perceptions that hinder achievement; expectations and biases by potential employers, teachers, health care providers, police officers, and other stakeholders that negatively affect their life outcomes; and mass media representations that create higher tolerance for race-baced socioeconomic disparities, reduced attention to structural and other big-picture factors and public support for punitive approaches to problems.

In a letter to her Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this legislation in the 115th Congress, Rep. Wilson noted that black males “face crippling hardships that result in significant disparities in education, criminal justice, health, and employment.” As evidence of this, she cited a few key figures: 1) that 50% of black male students attending schools in urban areas don’t graduate; 2) that the low high school graduation rate among black males directly leads to elevated rates of joblessness and incarceration; 3) that black men are six times more likely to be incarcerated than their white counterparts, and they’re also likely to receive harsher punishments for the same crimes; and 4) that although the black male population comprises approximately 6% of the total U.S. population, 1 million of the 2.3 million people incarcerated nationwide are black males. 


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / alvarez)

AKA

Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act

Official Title

A bill to establish the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, to study and make recommendations to address social problems affecting Black men and boys, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house Passed July 27th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 368 Yea / 1 Nay
  • The senate Passed June 25th, 2020
    Passed by Voice Vote
    IntroducedJuly 18th, 2019

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    I’m sure there’s massive data out there, maybe already collected, but with US Govt seal of approval, maybe someone will finally pay attention!! If we post data regarding issues we support or object to, Just.Dave and others, it is advisable to check the source’s bias and credibility: https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/cns-news/
    Like (131)
    Follow
    Share
    We know the issues facing disenfranchised youth and young men. I am a firm believer that as a society, it is our obligation to ensure that everyone has a pathway to a whole, happy and fulfilling life. We need a philosophy of leaving no person behind. Most of the issues that limit black youth and young men have been studied and well documented. These principles do not need another study group, they need legislative action to ensure pathways to adequate education, exposure to open dialogue with others, meaningful valued work opportunities and general community rebuilding. These programs should also attempt to do this for poorer communities characterized by heavy concentrations of racial or religious groups. Actions are needed, not more study groups. Can’t help but believe this legislation is yet another attempt to buy Election Day ‘creds’ by having an emotion grabbing title but accomplishing nothing. More fodder for those awful 30 second election year TV charades listing ‘accomplishments’ by title without any detail.
    Like (271)
    Follow
    Share
    Were all Americans, stop with this hyphenated crap and separating by race etc. I’m opposed to Senator Rubio’s bill based on those reasons. It’s time for us to unite. #MAGA
    Like (96)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a waste of money. It doesn’t matter if you are black white brown etc. We all have the same freedoms to take advantage of living in the USA!
    Like (70)
    Follow
    Share
    In general, there is no reason to not support a commission. However, this is not the highest priority either. I think the problem is understood and Congress is failing to act on known data. But that’s no reason to avoid a commission so that the evidence is official.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    Death by cop is now the #6 cause of death in young men of color. We need to figure this out and fast.
    Like (54)
    Follow
    Share
    We already have all the data we need!!! Only 19% of Black men have a bachelors degree compared to 32% of ‘all men’. Nationwide, research shows the graduation rate for black males is 59 percent — the lowest of any population in the country. African American males ages 16 to 64 had a lower participation rate in the labor force (69%) compared to ‘all males’ (79%) 37% of African American males who worked full time all year in 2018 had median earnings of $30,928 compared to $41,119 for ‘all men’ Black men ages 16 to 64 years old, 41% had no earnings in 2018 which was higher than the 30% of ‘all men’ with no earnings in the same age group. Only 41% of working Black men held so-called white collar jobs compared to 50% of ‘all men’ 6% of working-age (18-64yrs old) Black men were in state or federal prison, or in a municipal jail (see chart right). This was three times higher than the 2% of ‘all men’ in the same age group. What’s even more concerning is that approximately 34%* of all working-age Black men who were not incarcerated were ex-offenders A larger percentage of working age Black men were considered disabled (16%) compared to ‘all men’ (11%). Above data-Black Male Statistics Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools. (NY Times) Time to stop gathering data! It’s time to look at root causes & do something about it!!! QUALITY EDUCATION & a country that is intolerant of racism is key.
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    Yeah I don’t trust anything from Republicans especially in the senate. Why is that?
    Like (42)
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    I'm begging...on my knees...please Congress please...use your time to resolve priorities instead of looking for ways to spend money the county doesn't have just to mollify and entice your base. Please. Please. Please.
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    Maybe we should have a study as to why IQ45 is so obsessed he can remember 5 words. Better yet, send him packing.
    Like (28)
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    How about a study to find out why black families are disproportionally fatherless, why there is a high rate of abortions among blacks, why so many black children perform poorly in academics and the list goes on... As enlightened and woke as America is today, bigotry still exists against almost any race, gender, thin, obese or any other descriptor you choose to apply. A study is useless. I’ve been chased from school by black kids throwing bottles and rocks, I didn’t need a study then or now to explain or excuse that behavior.
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    There are so many studies that there are numerous meta analysis (studies combing existing studies) on black men & boys. What is needed more is some action like Justice in Policing legislation as recommended by the black caucus. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0095798409353756?journalCode=jbpa https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228650010_A_Meta-Study_of_Black_Male_Mental_Health_and_Well-Being https://www.pnas.org/content/114/41/10870 https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/Media-Impact-onLives-of-Black-Men-and-Boys-OppAgenda.pdf https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/39551/2000095-Reducing-Harms-to-Boys-and-Young-Men-of-Color-from-Criminal-Justice-System-Involvement.pdf https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/208129.pdf https://www.vera.org/downloads/publications/for-the-record-unjust-burden-racial-disparities.pdf https://www.phila.gov/media/20190314105459/Brotherly-Love_Health-Of-Black-Men-And-Boys_3_19.pdf https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/puar.12956 http://nationalmentoringresourcecenter.org/images/PDF/BlackMales_Population_Review.pdf https://hbr.org/2017/10/hiring-discrimination-against-black-americans-hasnt-declined-in-25-years https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/spectrum.6.2.01 https://www.jstor.org/stable/40034575 https://openscholarship.wustl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1060&context=brown_facpubs
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    I don’t trust the trump administration to do this-trump is racist.
    Like (21)
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    We already know all the problems faced by black & for that matter, any guy & even some women, WHO ARE NOT WHITE have. Studying this AGAIN is just a waste of time & covering up for what should be done - CHANGE THE WAY THEY ARE ALL TREATED. That would take some REAL EFFORT on the part of Congress. Not sure the republicans are ready for that, especially the Senate because the republicans haven’t done anything of any consequence for the last 10 years
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    Not sure why the GOP would need to study for this when all they have to do is open their eyes and look around.
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    Last season of Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas should be the primer course for this committee. Study up on racial disparity starting in schools and communities, it’s systemic.
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    Do things that we know work: Support intact families in all laws, and regulations. Encourage work to allow people to develop a good self-image. Encourage marriage so young men marry young women, and raise families This will instill a sense of purpose, and a positive self image.
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    No on S2163. Talk to Dr. Benjamin Carson. No more bureaucracy! Go speak with some Black pastors that serve the Black community. They’ll tell you the youth need good role models, some good ol discipline and a father in the home. Finish high school, get married before you get pregnant, and get a job.
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    We already have all the data we need!!! Only 19% of Black men have a bachelors degree compared to 32% of ‘all men’. 15% of Black men over 25 did not complete high school, ten points lower than the national average. Nationwide, research shows the graduation rate for black males is 59 percent — the lowest of any population in the country. African American males ages 16 to 64 had a lower participation rate in the labor force (69%) compared to ‘all males’ (79%) 37% of African American males who worked full time all year in 2018 had median earnings of $30,928 compared to $41,119 for ‘all men’ Black men ages 16 to 64 years old, 41% had no earnings in 2018 which was higher than the 30% of ‘all men’ with no earnings in the same age group. Only 41% of working Black men held so-called white collar jobs compared to 50% of ‘all men’ 6% of working-age (18-64yrs old) Black men were in state or federal prison, or in a municipal jail (see chart right). This was three times higher than the 2% of ‘all men’ in the same age group. What’s even more concerning is that approximately 34%* of all working-age Black men who were not incarcerated were ex-offenders A larger percentage of working age Black men were considered disabled (16%) compared to ‘all men’ (11%). Above data-Black Male Statistics Even when children grow up next to each other with parents who earn similar incomes, black boys fare worse than white boys in 99 percent of America. And the gaps only worsen in the kind of neighborhoods that promise low poverty and good schools. (NY Times) Time to stop gathering data! It’s time to look at root causes & do something about it!!! QUALITY EDUCATION & a country that is intolerant of racism is key. TY Laurbia - I want my reps to see this!
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    This bill from a son of the Cuban Revolution, is a step that does not go far enough nor responsibly enough to begin the great need for closure in White America ‘s war against people of color which began and continuous against the Indigenous Nation’s of America as well as the colonies beyond our immediate shores!! Yes, this is a conversation that requires study not only of the plight of Blacks, but also the marginalization of Indigenous communities and the squalor created by the negligence of our federal government and the lack of power afforded our indigenous nations to combat addiction and hopelessness!! 1.2 million Boricuas took to the streets this year to protest the ills of colonialism, namely corruption by vulture capitalists and internal corruption in the colonial government!! This bill is ok . But there are 300 Latino citizens arrested in Trump’s raid in Mississippi!! The employers who were guilty of several crimes on the face of the evidence, have not been charged!! Yes this bill speaks to a need. But the need is much more encompassing than inequality for Blacks! Discrimination against Latinos , Boricuas in Puerto Rico and other cultural nations in America is much worse!!
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