I am so sick and tired of hearing the political rhetoric simplifying the challenges facing communities of color (both black & brown) to merely a need for more (and better-paying) jobs. As a social scientist (college professor) and licensed, practicing mental health clinician, I am keenly aware that the social problems bearing down and undermining some (not all) of these ethnically/racially marginalized peoples are complex. 

Hence the solutions also need to be multifaceted. The issues of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, gang and community violence, and the weakening of strong two-parent families interact to feed on each other and are further undermined by inadequately-resourced community schools and poor access to proper social, mental and physical health services.

People, please stop encouraging this naive narrative that all these communities need is some “Godfather” who will flood America with jobs — and all will be well again. That’s only part of the problems that need to be addressed!

Janice Matthews Rasheed, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Professor of Social Work
Loyola University Chicago

Licensed clinical social worker

 Oak Park

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