Are Blue Collar Jobs the Answer to the Shrinking Black Middle Class?

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This week, we've been talking about the impact of the recession on the wealth of minority groups in America. Early in the week a new Pew Research Center report showed that Hispanics were the group hit hardest by the recession, with a 66 percent drop in personal wealth, and African-Americans saw a 53 percent decline since 2005. The public sector is the leading employer for African-American men, and the second-largest employer for African-American women — which means public sector lay-offs have disproportionately affected the black middle class. What is the solution?

John McWhorter, linguist at Columbia University, contributing editor at The New Republic, and author of the forthcoming book "What Language Is: And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be," thinks he has an answer. In an article he wrote for The Root, McWhorter suggests more black people should be steered toward blue collar jobs. Kai Wright, editorial director at ColorLines, disagrees with McWhorter's argument, saying it ignores the many people and organizations trying to change the economy to make it more equitable for all.