A choice for the '90s.

Author:Graves, Earl G.
Position:The African American vote during the 1992 elections - Column


On Tuesday, the third of this month, we will make a choice likely to set the course of the nation and the world for the rest of this century. The 1992 presidential election is the first of the decade. For African-Americans, it comes at a crucial juncture in our collective struggle for equality and economic opportunity.

As detailed in our Special Report On Small Business in this issue, although small and emerging businesses fueled job growth during the past decade, there is still no credible national policy for the growth and development of small businesses. Black businesses, in particular, spent the 1980s battling repeated attempts to exclude them from the economic mainstream, even as the rest of American businesses rode the wave of economic expansion and generous capital markets. The nation will pay a terrible economic price if a proactive, results-oriented stance toward black business development is not adopted by whoever sits in the White House during the next four years.

Police brutality and rampant crime remain double-edged realities for African-Americans. As tragically underscored by the Simi Valley verdict in the beating of Rodney King, we endure a justice system that too often is criminally unjust. The deadly and destructive outrage in response to the verdict was a costly wakeup call to the price we pay in lost potential and human suffering every day in our cities, not just when buildings burn and violence erupts on national television.


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