AP News reports that President Obama’s presentation of his much awaited jobs speech was a hit with the African American community, claiming that his message and rhetoric indicated that he is indeed about the business of getting Americans back to work, so to speak, and the infrastructure of this nation back on track.

Obama’s speech couldn’t have come at a better time. According to AP, current unemployment rate in the US is 9.1%, but the rate for the Black community has risen to 16.7%, which is the highest since 1984. CBS News states that more than 26 percent of African Americans are currently unemployed or underemployed. Additionally, the unemployment rate among Black men is at 18 percent. Black teens are at a jaw dropping 46 percent. When Obama said “They need help…and they need it now”, he wasn’t lying.

Social media sites such as Twitter are being used as a gauge of public optimism amongst the African American community. Many politicians are on board as well. CA Representative Maxine Waters, who’s gone on record saying that the president must prove that unemployed blacks are as significant to him as swing voters, “wanted him to say something about the intolerable rate of unemployment in the African American community.” However, she holds cautious hope for the future saying, “I do think we have a chance to do something substantive and to get at this terrible unemployment in this country…I think he got it right.”

Tonia Thomas shares a more enthusiastic outlook on the president’s intentions, “Do I think he’s doing everything he can? Yes, of course.” Thomas is a divorced Atlanta mother who was unemployed for more than a year before taking a $30,000 pay cut to work as a hotel clerk. “A lot of what’s going on is being used to exclude people of color in general. I don’t know what he can do.”

AP states that Administration officials said the $450 billion American Jobs Act would extend unemployment benefits and provide support for 1.4 million Black folks who have been unemployed six months or longer. It also would provide summer and subsidized jobs for youth, help boost the paychecks of 20 million black workers through an extension and expansion of the payroll tax, and benefit, in some way, more than 100,000 black-owned small businesses.

Sounds like a plan, and the Obama Administration has definitely got their work cut out for them. We’d like to know what you think of Obama’s ambitious American Jobs Act?

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  • TR

    Great, next he needs to hit education reform, and he needs to do it in a way that doesn’t just hold teachers accountable, but also holds parents and students accountable. It’s no coincidence that countries like China, who outrank us in math and science, are also in better economic shape than we are.

  • justSaying…

    I’m not feeling it.

    Who the hell is going to pay for this ish? This country doesn’t have $450 billion dollars to spend.

    This is why I believe President Obama is going to be a one term president. He is lame duck.

    The government doesn’t create jobs. The government is not in the business of creating jobs.

    While I agree job creation should be a priority right now, the government is not going to be the one to create those jobs. And Bull-ish like this…

    “AP states that Administration officials said the $450 billion American Jobs Act would extend unemployment benefits and provide support for 1.4 million Black folks who have been unemployed six months or longer.”

    Is not going to help solve the problem. How many times are they going to extend unemployment benefits? They keep extending the nonsense (and borrowing more money to extend those benefits) and it’s not working.

    There are SOME jobs out there. They may not be the highest paying jobs or even jobs of quality but they are there. People need to swallow their pride and take those jobs until they get back on their feet. SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Sometimes you have to humble yourself and start over again or start at the bottom.

    Anyway, this plan is a fail. I highly doubt it will get the votes needed to pass.

    He’s keeping the tea party in business.

    • Alexandra

      I agree, I wish Obama luck for the next election but his approval ratings might go even further down with this. He wants to fix unemployment by spending more (we’re already broke as hell), this is why more and more people side with the GOP. I have no hope for this plan. We’re doomed.

  • justSayin..

    I’m not feeling it.

    Who the hell is going to pay for this ish? This country doesn’t have $450 billion dollars to spend.

    This is why I believe President Obama is going to be a one term president. He is lame duck.

    The government doesn’t create jobs. The government is not in the business of creating jobs.

    While I agree job creation should be a priority right now, the government is not going to be the one to create those jobs. And this…

    “AP states that Administration officials said the $450 billion American Jobs Act would extend unemployment benefits and provide support for 1.4 million Black folks who have been unemployed six months or longer.”

    Is not going to help solve the problem. How many times are they going to extend unemployment benefits? They keep extending the nonsense (and borrowing more money to extend those benefits) and it’s not working.

    There are SOME jobs out there. They may not be the highest paying jobs or even jobs of quality but they are there. People need to swallow their pride and take those jobs until they get back on their feet. SOMETHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Sometimes you have to humble yourself and start over again or start at the bottom.

    Anyway, this plan is a fail. I highly doubt it will get the votes needed to pass.

    He’s keeping the tea party in business…that’s for sure.

    • justSayin..

      And I apologize in advance if this^^ comment post more than once.

    • Gigi Young

      I agree.

      To be honest, this post looks like a puff piece because it’s worded as though President Obama is targeting his Job Initiative specifically at black Americans when he clearly is not. This part in particular “and benefit, in some way, more than 100,000 black-owned small businesses.” made me go “Really?!”

      Could you vague that up for me?

      On a whole, I appreciate the President’s aspirations and his ability to command attention, but the reality is that the government doesn’t create jobs, and if they did, you won’t be waltzing into a $50k+ a year job if you’re not qualified for the position. You know what jobs the government can create? Low-skilled jobs–$8-10 an hour–like picking up litter, or moving offices, or conducting the Census.

  • Dorsey

    Never thought I’d agree with Justsayin but it’s

    COMPLETE GARBAGE.

    This IS a Puff Piece and it frequently happens at The Root too.

    He’s like a teenaged girl in the Mall w/ a stolen credit card.
    ENOUGH ALREADY.

    “Great, next he needs to hit education reform, and he needs to do it in a way that doesn’t just hold teachers accountable, but also holds parents and students accountable. It’s no coincidence that countries like China, who outrank us in math and science, are also in better economic shape than we are.”

    Settle down there Socialist!!! If you like China so much why not move there and live in Utopia with the other social restraints and consequences.

    ..and since parents and students are the clients I maintain they should be holding teachers Wholly ACOUNTABLE EXCLUSIVELY. You want Socialist Totalitarianism in education then get packing and take the unions with ya.

    Socialist.

  • African Mami

    ummm….it’a a little too late to be giving hope…sounds like a well-crafted re-election tactic, Wish him the best, but question the timing of tackling unemployment issues, and targeting certain communities more than others. Makes me go hmmmmmmmmm……………why didn’t he address this issue before with as much energy as he is now.

    I loves him, I really does BUT lets keep it 100 shall we! Political move right thurr.