Statistics show that the African-American community is in bad shape under the Obama Administration. The Labor Department reports that the black unemployment rate was at 12.7 percent when Pres. Obama initially took office. As the employment rate for the nation dropped below 8 percent, black unemployment increased to 12.9 percent and then to 14 percent for December.
In a recent interview on MSNBC’s “Meet the Press,” NAACP CEO and president, Ben Jealous, told the show’s host that black Americans “are doing a full point worse” than when President Obama first took office. “The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” Jealous told show host David Gregory. “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing a full point worse.”
The most staggering statistic is reported in September 2011, when black unemployment reached 16.7 percent — making it the highest unemployment rate for African-Americans since 1983. The black teens jobless rate was even more staggering at 39.3 percent in July 2012. The NAACP, the National Urban League, and the National Action Network met alongside other organizations for the second time on Friday to discuss a “black agenda” for the president, Politic365 reports. The coalition stated it will urge Pres. Obama to mention an urban jobs plan in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 12.
Commentators such as Yvette Carnell, Dr. Wilmer Leon and Dr. Boyce Watkins at Your Black World have consistently stated that the president’s performance in the black community should be judged based on the quality of his results, not the color of his skin. Also, Dr. Julianne Malveaux recently wrote that the Obama Administration needs to speak out more about existing racial disparities and persistent problems in black unemployment.
Dr. Watkins says that he applauds Jealous for speaking up about this issue.
“I’m hopeful that Ben is serious in what he’s saying about the Obama Administration, since I’m sure he’s getting into trouble with Obama’s cabinet over his remarks,” says Dr. Watkins, who has a PhD in Finance. “Anyone who knows the basics about economics knows that when you neglect an entire community for this long, the wounds are going to fester. I have a hard time finding any concrete evidence whatsoever that the black community at-large has benefited from having a bi-racial president. I hope Obama can one day give me a reason to be more optimistic.”