What's Happening In Your World

Bob Johnson Implies that the Obama Camp Has Not Been Responsive to Black Unemployment

Billioniare Bob Johnson is pushing President Obama to encourage corporations to interview at least two qualified African American candidates.

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BET founder Bob Johnson is encouraging President Obama to get serious about black unemployment. The billionaire businessman met with the President last winter — along with a dozen other black business leaders — to discuss a plan to increase employment within the black community, but after arranging follow-up meetings with White House staff, he said the effort eventually “fizzled out.”

The plan Johnson presented to the president was to encourage U.S. corporations to voluntarily embrace a plan to interview at least two qualified minority candidates for every job at the vice president level or above. He added that companies should also interview two minority-owned firms for vendor supply and other contracts. “We are never going to close this gap unless there is a conscious commitment to do so,” Johnson said of the unemployment disparity. When the idea was presented to President Obama last year, Johnson says the president said he liked the idea and would pursue it with his jobs council — a panel of corporate leaders that advises the president on job creation. Johnson said the idea follows the Rooney Rule model used in the NFL that requires teams to interview minority candidates seeking head-coaching or general manager jobs before making hiring decisions. .

Johnson’s plan has been endorsed by the National Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus, the U.S. Black Chamber Inc., and leading civil rights leaders. He said he decided to issue a public statement pushing the idea after reading an article in the Washington Post about the racial unemployment gap. White House spokesman, Kevin S. Lewis, responded to Johnson’s remarks in  a statement saying: “President Obama is deeply committed to growing our economy from the middle out by ensuring a strong, secure, and thriving middle-class and ensuring that everyone has a fair shot, a fair shake and plays by the same set of rules.”

Johnson said the president seems to believe that an improvement in the economy would address the problem, but black joblessness needs to be tackled head-on. Although the nation funded billions of dollars towards education, which resulted in the number of black college graduates tripling over the past 25 years, Johnson said “it is not moving the needle” on unemployment.

Do you agree with Bob Johnson?

 


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42 comments

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  2. What do “Jet” and “Ebony” have to do with Bob Johnson being a billionaire? Get yor facts straight! Wrong Johnson Satchel!

  3. When I see a Black billionaire talking about the needs of the Black community that they have so removed themselves from it makes me laugh. When you ask them what are they doing to help black unemployment, their answer is nothing and when you look at the people they employ is white people, I have to question their loyalty to the Black Community. Actually there loyalty is to the dollar and whoever is going to increase their worth. They create employment standards, just as the whites, that eliminate Blacks from qualifying for positions. Bob Johnson talk about what the President is or is not doing, how many Blacks has he helped. I know it is easy for me to say cause I'm a broke black man, however how many Blacks have Bob helped by financing someone to start a business? For that matter how many times has he even sit down and talk to someone who is not in the upper eschilon of the Black community

  4. First of all this issue has been before obama was president..
    and this is being address because he's black lets stop doing the finger pointing and take johns billions and donate to help help….pool then he'll be in the same boat as us another unemployed black

  5. DID YOU KNOW?

    When blacks did have the opportunity to enforce positive black programming they punked out and backed off.

    They punked out and backed off when they were made to understand in no uncertain terms by the powers that be that there's a price to be paid.

    Once upon a time in real -time and not very long ago a television network went up for sale and a black man motivated by providing positive black programming for African Americans made an offer to buy the television network. He was told by the network that the price has increased and that he did not have enough money.

    Determined to provide positive programming for African Americans the brother gathered together other financially endowed African Americans and eventually raised the money he was short of. He returned to the television network and made the full price offer.

    The network flat out refused to sell the station to him. Angered by his persistence the powers that be warned him to leave it alone.

    However the brother was hell bent on providing positive black programing for African Americans so instead of leaving it alone the brother went to the news media and made the story public knowledge. Shortly thereafter the brothers one and only son is found shot dead along a highway from a bullet to the head.

    The television network that was for sale was Channel Five and the brother that offered to purchase it is Bill Cosby. After adding 2 plus 2 black people backed off and decided for the lack of courage that the price for positive black programming for black people was to high.

  6. Hey Johnson you are sell out…….You suck man……I would be a shame to show my face if I were you….You are a disgrace to the Black Race….Go jump in a cesspool…..

  7. We have no Community we only have Neighborhoods with all that Savage Behavior Fags BullDaggers Dopefiends We have an element of our people that need to be Reformed or Removed off the Planet! We lost our sense of Community along time ago! Johnson I would just take advice from Jarule or some Rap Dummies it’s all the same ignorance!

  8. I see America doing Dirty Work Starting Wars & Stealing these Arabs Oil & Some Dumb Negroes who go across Seas for these Devils to use they ignorant Ass! These Corporations are giving Blacks an inferior Education so Crackers can hold on to power! Obama might be a trick by placing a Blackface on White Oppression! Keep your Eyes on the Prize my Real Black Brothers & Sisters! He ain’t did nothing for us, Hispanics voted for Obama because he promised them something! Negroes will get nothing because they made no demands Smiling in Whitefolks faces next gone and Shine they shoes too! He better do something for my people or this might be another White Trick! Show me something O’Drama! Pardon a Negro or Sumthin’ Damn I’m glad I left the Country tired of these Demons!

  9. My People My People! Please focus on the bigger picture! Its not about Bob Johnson and TV programming! Its about a self made billionare who is a black american male giving his professional advice to the president of the united states to help find jobs for people of color, who btw have the highest unemployment rates among other americans! Bob Johnson sold BET to viacom, yes this is true. But remember under his leadership there were shows like Teen Summit, BET NEWS, Video Soul and BET tonight just to name a few! These shows dealt with issues that affected people of color of all ages! Yes He sold it to Viacom but remember BET was about to be cancelled all together. What would you do? Let them take away the network and walk away with nothing but debt? HE IS A Business Man FIRST! So I think he is living by the old saying of teach a man to fish….and you know the rest. The President has a responsibility of a Nation and I dont mean the USA. He acknowledged that himself in his first term. Yet all we here are generalizations and crickets when it comes to the African American Community…Peace..

  10. American mainstream businesses do not have to interview or hire black folks at any level. Affirmative Action policies began addressing such issues and yet was only an incentive for fairness. As it was dismantled effectively, many black folks lost their positions. The mainstream does not want to hire or pay black folks above a certain wage. The wave of at-will and rite-to-work laws keep wages low and produce a high turn-over of employees. The unemployment of African Americans is as much a reflection of high crime rates, an inadequate education system and a corrupt prison and criminal justice system as anything else related to race and poverty in our nation. Fix education and deconstruct corporate greed in the justice system and thereby tackle a whole host of social ills inside and outside of black American communities.

  11. Black people aren't responsive to Black unemployment. Why do we keep going the route of begging for bread at the gates of those who have told us in NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that they could care less if we all drop dead? Begging, begging, begging… black folk don't even have an EXCUSE for being that unemployed really. http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/Columns_4/The_So-Called_Negro_Must_Do_Something_For_Himself_2579.shtml

  12. The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  13. The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  14. The people who are most affected by unemployment in the African American community are those who are least educated, least trained and least willing to take advantage of the few training programs offered!! People at the level Bob Johnson is talking about are usually able to find a good job because they bring something to the table.

    Programs like the Job Corps program which is supposed to help young disadvantaged youth, is a joke and is just another way for mostly white controlled companies to rip the government off!! Most of the staff employed by these companies are mostly just there for a pay check and have no desire to really work with and teach kids. Many of these same companies are in the correctional business and run PRISONS too!! This billion dollar training program needs to be reviewed and overhauled, but Washington politicians protect the companies that oerate these Centers because of the money they bring into their states and districts.

    If the President is really serious, he would review all the current training programs, eliminate those that are not working and keep or overhaul those that are working instead of wasting big bucks on companies that are only interested in PROFITS!!

  15. This is a guy who sold BET to a white Corporation named Viacom how many black people lost their jobs ok we know he employees about 12 black people bobcats basketball game team.

  16. For the Love of money This Puke messed up a Generation of young Blacks with the Ignorance he had on BET ……He knew it was Ignorant because he did not want his own Kids to watch …….& now he wants to give Advice …….He needs to Sit his Ass Down & Shut up ……

  17. Yes & No coming from a role of an HR Recruiter his statement has it’s merits. The president may very well be onboard with the plan and take necessary steps to initiate the idea which is at best all he can do. At the end of the day even the president does not have the power to enforce this idea and force their hand in the hiring decisions these companies choose to make. I think more black business owners starting from the bottom up should practice this same principle in these urban areas. I have gone to several fast food chains for example where I see african american managers or above and most of the staff do not look like them. On the other hand I have seen Hispanic and/or other minority groups in these same situations and most if not all their staff look like them?? Why is that is my questions? I have not followed or heard much about Mr Johnson since leaving BET so I will not criticize his agenda but I would like to know more about where he’s investing his billions into the urban communities to overturn the unemployment record. I know many who have made a way and have started without give to some degree but I have yet to see many duplicates of Magic Johnson who walks the walk just has he talks the talk. IJS

  18. I DISAGREE WITH JONES. ASK HIM WHY BET IS MANAGED BY WHITE EXECUTIVES AND NO JOBS TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR LOW INCOME BLACK WORKERS?

  19. It’s people like Mr. Johnson that frankly get on my last nerves what does he expect for the President to do get a job for every black person who does not have one? It’s people like him Boyce Watkins and all his croonies that have all of these ideas but do nothing themselves to implement their ideas they just sit back and talk talk talk like a quacking duck all he has are plans well Mr.Johnson don’t wait for others too act put things in motion yourself you are the founder of BET so I am sure you have the financial means to do so

    • Once the Johnson media empire was the chief media outlet for Black people in the USA. Jet, Ebony and BET made Bob Johnson a Billionaire. Since, John has sold out to people who can care less for the welfare of black people. BET now does more to promote buffoonery and ignorance in our community, then the lack of jobs.

  20. DEAR BLACK AMERICA 2013.
    The President of the United States of America is not talking down or ducking black people. He is telling black people the way it is and I concur.

    Black people always want something for nothing.

    In Chicago a coalition of black men converge upon a construction site to protest no black men on the job. When the contractor attempts to comply with their demands the contractor discovers as do every one watching that the black men don't own their own tools, can/t read the blueprints nor have union affiliations or representation.

    Black people must be prepared for the demands they make. Why ask for what you are not educationally or physically prepared to take or endure?

    Is the following President Obamas fault? and pray tell what job is available in this society and culture for black people with the following black on black resume?

    1. One in four U.S. public high school students drop out before graduating.

    2. About 15 percent of the nation's public high schools produce more than half of its dropouts and 75 percent of its minority dropouts, according to the Everyone Graduates Center.

    3. The nation's 2,026 "dropout factories," where 40 percent of the freshman class fail to graduate three years later, are found in every state but are concentrated in 17 Midwestern, Northern-industrial, Southern, and Southwestern states, as well as in California.

    4. In 2006, America's 15-year-olds scored just ahead of the Slovak Republic and Lithuania in science literacy and on par with Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation in math literacy.

    5. More than half of the 81,499 U.S. high school students participating in the 2006 High School Survey of Student Engagement said they spend one hour or less each week reading and studying outside of class.

    6. At least 95 percent of students entering high school from the wealthiest communities are proficient in their eighth-grade state exams; in high-poverty, inner-city schools, less than 20 percent of students are proficient, usually possessing fifth- or sixth-grade math and reading skills.

    7. Of the class of 2008, 15.2 percent took an Advanced Placement exam and scored a 3 or above-the scores typically required by a college for credit-up from 12.2 percent in 2003. Low-income students made up 13.4 percent of successful examinees, up from 9.8 percent, in five years.

    8. Eighty-seven percent of high-school seniors surveyed by the U.S. Department of Education said they expected to go to college. Three-quarters of graduates enroll in college within two years.

    9. Approximately 40 percent of college students take remedial courses.

    10. The college graduation rate for low-income students is less than 10 percent.

    Of course there are pockets of success. Referring to the U.S. education system broadly, The Secretary of Education told his audience of educators and reporters that……

    Adult dysfunction has been at the heart" of the nation's educational ills.

    Sincerely, Enoch Mubarak.
    President/CEO Mubarak Inter-prizes.
    http://www.mubarakinter-prizes.com

    • hmmm so you are saying black men deserve nothing….wow

    • It is ironic that your title in part reads : Comprehensive High School
      and yet you can't comprehend that….

      Just as water seeks its own level you get what you deserve. You put nothing into it you get nothing out of it…education is no different.

  21. President Obama walked into 12-years of recessionary policies in 2008. While he cannot rely on using that as an excuse for sliw progress on various fronts, neither can he wave amagic wand and restore Affirmative Action. What were today's critics doing and saying while Affirmative action was being legally dismantled? Obama's attention to education and the economy may not be a panecea of progress for African Americans, but a move forward for the middle class does have a positive imoact for som African Americans. One thing the President cannot fi, especially in a climate of progressively racist policymaking

  22. I would be absolutely crazy if I did not agree with any person who issues a standpoint/statement about the seriousness of unemployment among black people in the United States. My issue with this from Bob Johnson is this: this man headed a media empire at one time that promoted outlandish ignorance, blatant misogyny, destructive disrespect and disregard for decency, promotion of violence in the black community via videos and movies…BET was not and STILL is not good example for black family. Bob Johnson essentially condoned this destruction as a leader of Black Entertainment Television…and now he wants to give advice to the President? Shameful!

    • Thank you ……..& at that time he would not dare let his own Children watch BET ……This Puke got some nerve ……….

    • Ok, and now its owned by Viacom, which owns MTV, VH1, CMT, BET, local news networks, and other channels, so who do you blame now! Black ppl always point the finger at other blacks, he created the medium, the platform, the content was solely on someone else! Who are you going to blame for the filth on NBC, CBS, and ABC as well as FOX?? The same people own all media forums, music, tv, movies, media print, advertising, and sports teams, look deeper the problems lie there!

  23. I still say that if there were more BLACK BUSINESSES and CORPORATIONS then this would not be an issue!!! We keep looking for "them" to give us a chance and include us and treat us equally and help us…I'm sick of that!!! I live in Detroit where the city is 85% black but most of the businesses here are owned by non blacks…and we don't see anything wrong with that!!! We control a half a trillion dollars in spending power yet we don't have jobs. If we did like the Jews and kept that money in our own communities then we could afford to hire our own people…THAT'S addressing the problem head on!!! Enough with this crap about expecting and waiting for the President and the government to "help us"!!!!

  24. what is middle class…stop all this white man and white women bullshyt….do black care make chickens by the 100 of millions…or any of it's food….what about material that make housing….black are just greed material slave…..and you can not be a material class with first getting your food system in place…..then you can be about material…and since it's already make it's simple to make…

  25. I got a question for Mr. Johnson. why did you sell BET to the white devil.
    instead of Black people, who would of created more jobs for black people.
    you steppin flectched sell.

  26. People need to help themselves in job search by going back to school or taking up some kind of trade. It's never to late to make these changes. The help is there, don't stop looking for that help.

  27. NO! DO NOT I AGREE WITH MR WEST OR SMILEY! YOU ASK NOT'SO YOU HAVE NOT! YOU DIDN'T ASK BUSH! BECAUSE YOU KNOW YOU WOULD GET(NOT) SO DON'T PUT ALL THIS ON PRES.OBAMA'S PLATE, THAT RUNNETH OVER! AND IF ANY OF YOU GOT THE SOLUTIONS, TOO ANY OF THESE PROBLEMS, SHARE IT WITH THE PRESIDENT I'M SUE HE WOULD BE GRATEFUL!

  28. I wish Bob and other black business leaders would've petitioned for small business grants to help us create our own businesses. F*ck these majority European owned and operated businesses… Let's "Own the land on which we stand," and experience REAL liberation through ownership. Download the Around the Way iPhone App to locate black businesses in your area. It's FREE!

  29. @Ms Gray..Mr Johnson sold BET 9 years ago. He has no control regarding the leadership there. To answer your question, of the 14 executive leaders at BET all are AA except for on. However BET is ultimately controlled by Viacom.
    To address the job and economic situation within the AA community at all tiers of the salary rung, Mr Johnson's suggestion is viable and not new, but needs the White House pressure and bully pulpit. The solutions also must be multifaceted as Ms Peck states with intra community action and business ownership. Pressure also to bring industry and manufacturing into AA communities as well. Community and church leaders need to confront violence, drugs and negative behavior and decisions in our community, fight for better schools and education. This is a complex problem that requires multiple solutions and approaches.

  30. Hmmm…

  31. I agree with Mr. Johnson but I also agree with Ruby Gray. There are many people who live in this country that are not in the middle class who need help. During the election process all you heard about is protecting the middle class. I live and work in what would be considered a working class community. The people in my community support the president but understand more focus need to placed on those at the bottom social economic level especially those brothers coming home from prison terms.

  32. Leontyne Clay Peck

    This is a very serious subject that needs to be addressed immediately. However, the community needs to be more proactive, creative, entrepreneurial and international. The government will not solve the issue…just my 2 cents.

  33. I have a question for Mr. Johnson, How top heavy is BET with minorities and were they hired in from interview or did they work their way up. I keep hearing about the middle class, what about those that's not middle class, with families struggling to make it. When will someone consider throwing us a lifeline.

    • "The plan Johnson presented to the president was to encourage U.S. corporations to voluntarily embrace a plan to interview at least two qualified minority candidates for every job at the vice president level or above. He added that companies should also interview two minority-owned firms for vendor supply and other contracts." Perhaps Bob is doing a little inside work as well to push this idea within Companies and Organizational boards… I'm assuming he is on some. Just checked…he is and much more… I'll assume he's doing his part to use his influence in the business world to galvanize other private sector leaders to take this on. Because we know…there's soo much more to implementing this ideas. All hands are needed on deck. Go "get em" Bob….and give us an update on how your efforts are fairing as well. That would be helpful. :)

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