NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous is known for making headlines, and he’s at it again. In an interview with David Gregory on Meet The Press, Jealous said that African Americans are doing worse under President Obama than under President Bush.
“When you look at joblessness in this country, the country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” he said. “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”
Now that election season is over, it’s clear that the honeymoon between the Obama administration and the NAACP is over. Jealous referred that the latest Department of Labor statics, which reveal that the black jobless rate was up from 12.9 percent to 14 percent in December. And back when President Obama first took office, unemployment rate in the U.S. was below 8 percent, but among Blacks it was 12.7 percent.
Jealous also blamed Congress for being uncooperative in President Obama’s efforts to benefit struggling communities.
“With this president having said to us we need to invest in strategies to lift all boats, now that some boats are clearly more stuck, the question is will Congress join him in getting those boats unstuck, too,” he said.
Other vocal critics of President Obama include Rev. Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West, who have all spoke publicly about what they feel is a lack of concern for African-American issues. Sharpton has teamed up with the National Urban League to push the POTUS to create an urban jobs plan.
In response to the criticism that he’s not tackling enough Black issues, President Obama told Black Enterprise magazine in August, “I’m not the president of Black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.”
Do you agree? Should President Obama do more to help the unemployment rate in the Black community?