Category Archives: Economics

Shea Moisture Receives Backlash Over Controversial CommercialShea Moisture Receives Backlash Over Controversial Commercial

By Free Radical

Shea Moisture has been accused of alienating its fan base with its most recent commercial.

Shea Moisture has been accused of alienating its fan base with its most recent commercial.

Shea Moisture has been the target of intense derision over what many members of the natural hair community allege as tone deaf advertising.

 

A recent commercial spot featured a lighter skinned Black woman, a blonde White woman, and a White woman with red hair. All three discuss what they call “hair hate” where they were ridiculed for their hair texture.

 

Black Twitter, in particular, responded with a variety of critiques. Many, however, centered on the fact that Black women have served as the backbone of Shea Moisture’s customer base but are underrepresented in the commercial.

 

Furthermore, while brands such as Shea Moisture have grown popular due to White supremacist “hair hate,” which normalizes European hair styles and textures, darker-skinned Black women with coarse hair textures were not represented in the ad.

Free Trade May Soon Come to US Products

By Free Radical

Items produced in the US are now eligible for the Fair Trade designation.

Items produced in the US are now eligible for the Fair Trade designation.

You may have seen the label “Fair Trade” when purchasing coffee, soap, or some other product imported into the US. To warrant that designation, products have to meet more than 300 standards dealing with working conditions and environmental safety. 

Though the program was initially designed to help workers abroad, Fair Trade USA, one of the organizations that issues these designations, sees that workers in the US often toil in unsatisfactory conditions. Given this understanding, FairTrade USA gave its first designation to a US company to Wholesum Harvest, an organic farm in Arizona.

Workers at Wholesum will receive the gained revenue from the premium fee attached to Fair Trade products. They will vote on how to use these funds. This is the standard model for businesses that participate in the Fair Trade program.

According to npr.org, Fair Trade USA expects nearly a dozen more companies to achieve this status in the next year. Organizations such as Agricultural Justice Project and Equitable Food Initiative have developed their own certifications.

Unemployment Drops, Despite Sputtering Economy

By Free Radical

Black unemployment dropped 0.1% in March.

Black unemployment dropped 0.1% in March.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Black unemployment dropped slightly in March to 8.0%. It was 8.1% in February.

The trend reflects the broader national trend which saw a reduction of 0.2% in March to 4.5%. White unemployment also dropped by that rate to 3.9%.

Despite the dip in unemployment, many economists are worried about the nation’s rate of job growth. The US added 98,000 jobs in March, which was much lower than expected, and half the number of jobs created in January and February.

While gains were seen in professional and business services and mining, retail was hit hard with a loss of 30,000 jobs. This sector has lost 89,000 jobs since October, which is seen in the bankruptcy of Payless Shoe Source stores and the closing of many JC Penney, Macy’s, and Sears stores.

Though some members of the business community had high expectations of the Trump presidency, those sentiments have largely been tempered. As opposed to passing fiscally-effective legislation, he has relied on executive orders, fiery rhetoric, and political gaffes.

Autonomous Cars May Especially Impact Drivers of Color

By Free Radial

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Oct. 4, 2013)  - Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.'s Autonomous Drive technology has won the Grand Prix in the CEATEC Innovation Awards, the top prize. It was awarded by a panel of independent US journalists working in the fields of IT and consumer electronics.

It is likely that driverless cars are the wave of the future. Over the past decade, tech companies and car manufacturers have invested large sums of money for this new innovation which has both its supporters and detractors.

Its advocates argue that driverless cars will be safer and more cost effective than human drivers. Critics, however, argue that the technology still has not been vetted thoroughly and driverless cars can potentially displace many workers employed as drivers.

Research conducted by the Center for Global Policy Solutions shows that drivers of color are acutely positioned to be displaced by driverless cars.

The study shows that while 62% of all driver jobs are held by Whites, these jobs grant Blacks and Latinos higher paying incomes than most other occupations. According to a recent NPR article, “African-American professional drivers earn a median