Yvette Carnell: President Obama Meets With Black ‘Leaders’ to Discuss Black Agenda, Now What?

by Yvette Carnell

President Obama met with black people from various spheres of activism, credentialism, and shepherdism to discuss issues which disproportionately impact black obama-black-leaderspeople on Thursday.

In attendance were Rev. Al SharptonAvis Jones-DeWeever, executive director, National Council of Negro WomenBen Jealous, president, NAACP; Judith Browne Dianis, co-director, Advancement ProjectMelanie Campbell, president, National Coalition of Black Civic ParticipationRev Derrick Harkins, 19th Street Baptist Church; Ralph Everett, president, Joint Center for Economic and Political StudiesWade Henderson, president, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; and Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, executive director, National Black Justice Coalition.

In a statement released after the meeting, Al Sharpton said, “I and other leaders had a very significant discussion with the President about concerns in the African-American community and the civil rights community in general and most specifically about voting rights.”

He then concluded: “On unemployment, which is also disproportionately impacting our communities, we must deal with job creation and job programs, educational inequality, the problems of unfairness in the criminal justice system, and the problem of gun violence.”

What Sharpton didn’t say, and this is key, is what he asked for during the meeting, and what, if anything,  Obama committed to during said meeting. Sharpton said that Obama engaged in a “spirited” discussion and was “listening intently”, but what does that mean?

I just want to highlight that we’re now pretty well into President Obama’s second term and so-called ‘black leaders’ are still happy to chop it up at the White House, happy to enter the room with presumably the most powerful man in the world, with only hat in hand.

Did anyone in that room demand that Obama support a 1:1 ratio to replace the 18:1 ratio in the crack to powder cocaine sentencing disparity? Did anyone bother to ask why no one on Wall Street has ever been charged with a crime,  meanwhile Jesse Jackson Jr. has been  prosecuted by Obama ‘s Justice Department? Did Sharpton bother to ask Obama why he’s  been so stingy with pardons? Doubtful, because it really only matters that Obama pays attention to black people, not what Obama says, does, or commits to.

Anyway, I hope there were photo-ops after the meeting. It really  is all about the Instagram isn’t it?

Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill and campaign staffer turned writer. She is currently an editor and contributor to Yourblackworld. You can reach Yvette via Twitter @YvetteDC or on Facebook.




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  1. Yvette,

    Love you and Dr. Watson. Keep going what you are doing and saying what you are saying and I will keep trying to help left my people up by practical means. God bless you and yours, and NEVER compromise with injustice even if it comes from a do nothing for black people president.

    God bless you and Dr. Watkins,


  2. Didn’t Rev Al and others beat down Travis for wanting to present a Black Agenda to the President, you mean there is a Black Agenda! He’s the President of all American not just Blacks, that’s what I’ve been hearing the last 5 years.

  3. “I just want to highlight that we’re now pretty well into President Obama’s second term…….”

    We’re actually one month into President Obama’s second term.

    “I just want to highlight that we’re now pretty well into President Obama’s second term…….”

    That’s actually pretty White of you.

    God alone is God.

    Pres. Obama is a man, Mrs. Obama’s husband, his children’s father and president of the United States of America. God alone is God.

    All of the negativity directed at President Barack H. Omama and all of the unreal expectations of him, because he self identifies as “Black,” says more about the outcome of a generation and a half of African Americans who partied, played and pissed away the past 60 years of human history in America than it does to portray Mr. Obama as an ineffective wet nurse for ex colonized overly dependent soul damaged people. FREE yourself! FREE your children and grandchildren. Read. Study History.

    What do you want to do or become that Mr. Obama is preventing you from doing or being because he and not Mitt Romney is President of the United States of America?

    • Oh, what a poignant question you ask! Yes, what is Obama preventing Black America from doing? Can we expect him to do more for us than we can do for our own selves?
      If the President evens the playing field, then should we not be thoroughly familiar with the rules of the game and sharpen our prowess for the competition?
      America is struggling to compete! Black America must struggle to compete as well. Do we expect any President to keep almost 80% of Black children being born out of wedlock? Do we expect the President to keep Black children in school and give them a zeal for education? Can we lower our unemployment rate by patronizing Black businesses and businesses of other races that hire Blacks? Can we not teach Black kids that crime pays by taking years from a productive young life? Can our churches do more than have appreciation days for their pastors who are ineffective as leaders both in and out of the church?
      Yes, all President Obama could do was listen. Because those who came to him were looking to pour old wine into new wineskins. That won’t work with Obama who wants America as a whole to move forward to compete and to win big on the world stage.
      Frankly, the wrong folk were at that meeting. Anybody on public payroll or receiving public funds needed to stay on the sidelines. That kind of leadership is obsolete! We need business heads and marketing professionals there – fok who understand how the dollar is made! We need folk who can show the Black community how to be industrious, properous, and how to put and keep big dollars in our pockets!
      Obama is not from the hood, you know! He was, in fact, raised by White folk. He thinks like middle class White folk. He’s going to do all he can for middle class White folk. And maybe if some of us want to join that middle class, Obama will keep the path clear for us to go through it . . . along with the White folk.
      That group would have done better by meeting with Herman Cain. Forget about his being a Republican! That man can teach us how to make money! And there are a lot of Black millionairs from who we can learn how to get ahead in America.

  4. As stated under a similar article written by Dr. Boyce, it would be more beneficial if attendees were invited to “YBW” to share what was presented to the President, what was discussed and what transpired at that meeting. Oftentimes “Black leaders,” if you may, participate at various meetings and on various commissions, but rarely report back, unless they are in the media, except for Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. He is pretty good in keeping us informed as to what goes on at the Capitol Hill.

    Yvette you used to be a Capitol Hill staffer, why didn’t you sit in on the meeting?

  5. You gotta love Al Sharpton and the way Obama uses him to appeal to the “base”. It’s just like when the republicans wish to appeal to their “base”, so they say all kinds of ignorant and divisive things; Obama just calls the Victim-In-Chief and the rest of the self appointed “leaderss, and they talk about the “black agenda” as if every person in America who happens to be black has the same ills that plague Al Sharpton’s “black community”

    A few weeks ago the manufactured “FISCAL CLIFF” crisis was in full swing, and Al Sharpton was talking about a black agenda then. They came out of the meeting and he started yapping about the DISASTROUS effects the crisis will have on the “black community”.

    Now it’s the manufactured ‘SEQUESTRATION” and the Demagogue-In-Chief is still talking about a “black agenda” and the DISASTROUS effects the crisis will have on the “black community”.

    Obama probably knows his “base” are not that intelligent. That’s a good explanation of his continued association with people like Al Sharpton and him sending him as his propaganda machine to the “black community”.
    Haaaa lol, you just have to love it.