Recently, President Obama sat down for an interview with Black Enterprise. During the conversation, the president was asked about the criticism from some Black folks who assert he hasn’t done enough for African Americans.

While the President has often shied away from speaking specifically on race, he has said that his policies would help all Americans, including blacks. But in the Black Enterprise interview he took it a step further.

Peep the excerpt:

How do you respond to criticism that your administration hasn’t done enough to support black businesses?

My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.

The resurrected financial services industry hasn’t stepped up in terms of providing adequate capital to small- and minority-owned businesses.

There is no doubt that American taxpayers stepped in and pulled the banking industry out of the fire. It was controversial. It was messy. Ultimately it was the right thing to do for the economy. But it is true that once banks got back on their feet they haven’t been as aggressive in lending to small and medium-sized businesses as we would like. And I’ve had conversations with the major banks about this issue. What they will say is that some of the additional regulations have impeded some of their capacity to lend. We don’t see major evidence of that.

President Obama has had to walk a tight rope. As the first African American president folks on the left and the right have been watching to see if he gives preferential treatment to minority groups, but he’s consistently tried to frame his policies to affect all Americans.

But is it enough?

Do black folks want President Obama to be the president of black America or of all America?

Speak on it! 

*Photo via Luke Sharrett/The New York Times

  • Joy

    James then don’t vote for him…vote for Romney. I for one will be voting for Obama. Not because he’s black……but bc I think he has our best concerns at heart. I don’t agree with Romney’s general philsopy on anything….so I sure as h won’t be voting for Mitt. Especially bc of his position on woman’s issues.

  • Nila

    So what exactly is Obama supposed to do for black people? There is only so much that can be done for a community that is unwilling to take responsibility for their faults and prefers to point fingers. He can’t finish high school for you, or force you to take the initiative to go to college. America is the only country I know of that rewards their citizens for their hardwork and intelligence. And yet majority of blacks refuse to take advantage of this. You have nobody to blame but yourselves. It’s time to WAKE UP.

  • Joy

    edub: “chitlins and pot liquor?!? What’s that comment about. It’s simple….if you don’t agree with his stance, and with what he’s done then don’t vote for him come November. And see how far that will get you

  • jsajsa

    I definitely agree, he has no problem with addressing gay marriage or immigration! obviously he is not the president of black America but America which
    Includes us as well, so there was no need for him to state that a second time. Lets not kid ourselves, there has been presidents for white America for decades! Therefore black people have been left behind and need to catch up! We need for the President to help with that process, no handouts but bills passed, a new school curriculum that motivates more black people, with history from Africa as well, etc, etc. how about letting afew Haitians in, just like the Cubans who once are on dry land are able to stay in America. So no we don’t need for you to be the black president but we do need you to help start the process of us moving forward, Just help not do everything, because we have to help ourselves as well.

  • Joy

    OSHH: So please tell us in EXACT DETAILS exactly what you want President Obama to do for black folks. Guarantee each and every one of us a job, a new home, a new car? No president can guarantee this for everyone; nor does any president (I don’t care who it is) have complete control of the economy. And for the record LOTS of black people are doing quite well. So are, and some aren’t….it’s called life

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