After a rousing call to action on behalf of his Jobs plan, President Barack Obama concluded his speech to the Congressional Black Caucus with a message in which, according to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, the Head of State “took his gloves off.” Obama spoke on Saturday night at the Congressional Black Caucus annual gala to address their concerns about the growing rate of poverty and joblessness within the Black community – as well as requesting their support in passing his jobs bill.
“So I need your help. We have to do more to put people to work right now. We’ve got to make sure that everyone in this country gets a fair shake, and a fair shot, and a chance to get ahead. And I know we won’t get where we need to go if we don’t travel down this road together. I need you with me.”
In what’s been suggested as a counterpunch to criticism of the president’s commitment to the Black community, Obama spoke directly to his constituency, urging them to “press on” despite their numerous misgivings.
“So I don’t know about you, CBC, but the future rewards those who press on. With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I’m going to press on for equality. I’m going to press on for the sake of our children. I’m going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I am going to press on.”
The POTUS employed the use of straight talk during the last moments of his speech proclaiming:
“I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on. We’ve got work to do, CBC.”
Coverage of the president’s address to the CBC below:
As a highly significant aside, the legendary comedian/activist Dick Gregory and celebrity/businesswoman Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth received the first ever 2011 Love Leadership Award at the CBC event Saturday night as well.