Not exactly a "beer summit", but an unprecedented move indeed; especially since it's been said that Obama cannot specifically help our melanin afflicted brothers and sisters in the struggle; a claim that I unequivocally dispute:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama and three prominent African-American leaders grappled Wednesday with how to improve economic opportunities for blacks, whose joblessness looms well above the national average and is nearly twice that of whites.Well look-a-here, look-a-here! Isn't this the same stuff I've been saying on this blog for some time now? Uh-huh, but yet I'm met with nothing but opposition from Neo-Negroes and trolls alike on this issue? I've said it from day one: steps should have been taken with the stimulus bill to ensure that these funds trickle down to the areas that are most affected. Areas within which a disproportionate population of people of color exist. And in the shaping of a so-called jobs package, it is imperative that these areas are considered.
On a day of treacherous weather in Washington, Obama kept his scheduled meeting with Benjamin Jealous, president of the NAACP; Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and the Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network. Dorothy Height, chairwoman of the National Council of Negro Women, could not make it to the White House because of the pounding snow and winds that kept most of the nation's capital shut down.
The meeting did not yield immediate announcements or initiatives.
Obama and the other leaders focused on targeting aid to regions to help black people and other groups that have been hit disproportionately hard by the recession, Jealous told The Associated Press.
"When you try to focus on how to lift all those boats, what you come back to are places -- geographic areas, urban and rural, where assistance should be located," he said. "That approach can work if Congress lets it work."
He added: "This is about place. It's not about race."
Obama, the nation's first black president, has consistently held that he cannot adopt employment strategies that are designed to solely help blacks. But he supports targeting help to regions most in need, which in turn, he says, would lift the African-American community. (Source)
But nah, RiPPa is trippin', and he needs to get outta here with all that black president helping black people talk. And surely some of the militant brothers and sisters among us (as well as wingnuts on the right) may see this as the White House (i.e. Barack Obama) buying or paying off black folks for their support. But the truth is, he has done very little in that regard and black people as well as other minority groups are practically on life support due to the economy. My man Kevin Myles of The Wichita NAACP Blog had this tidbit to share recently:
The Obama administration was quick to herald a drop in the nation’s unemployment rate last month from 10 percent to 9.7 percent. But everyone is not cheering. The unemployment rate for African Americans actually increased from 16.2 percent to 16.5 percent. The unemployment rate for black men rose from 16.6 percent to 17.6 percent. Nearly 44 percent of black teenagers who were looking for work could not find a job.So yeah, while some of you sit by the sidelines and refuse to hold our president accountable to enact policies that would greatly impact the people most affected. The unemployment rate for black folks continues to rise. I applaud Obama on this move in extending an invitation to these leaders. One can only hope that this is the first step in something substantial by way of any upcoming and much needed policy implementations for regular everyday working citizens.
QUESTION(S): Do you still think the president cannot direct policy to specifically assist people of color? Is this enough to satisfy his disaffected black supporters? Or do you see this as yet another form of political pandering to black folks that will have no follow through or impact? What say you?