Since Obama's re-election I have been thinking about all of my "White" friends and listener friends who five years ago shared with me some of their fears surrounding the election of this country's first Black President...well, half Black anyway.
Their comments ranged from the simple to the absurd, with the most bizarre statement coming from a White woman who said that "she feared she would have to start "moving off the sidewalk" when a Black person passed her by (still trying to figure that one out!). Kind of a reverse Jim Crow I suppose. At any rate the overall feeling that I picked up on was that Black Americans were some how going to benefit from the first Black president. I for one didn't feel like that was going to be the case...quite the opposite in fact. I have never felt a "kinship" with Obama, nor did I feel that he understood MY life nor was in touch with what it meant to be "Black" in America.
Now comes the confirmation to my thoughts by way of the President and CEO of the NAACP, Benjamin Jealous who in a recent article I read on washingtontimes.com stated that black Americans “are doing far worse” than when President Obama first took office.
“The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” Mr. Jealous told MSNBC host David Gregory on “Meet the Press.” “White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”
The black unemployment rate was 12.7 percent when Mr. Obama took office. While the unemployment rate in the U.S. as a whole is below 8 percent, the Labor Department reported the black jobless rate was up from 12.9 percent to 14 percent for December.
The worst during Mr Obama’s first term was in September 2011, with 16.7 percent unemployment for blacks — the highest since 1983, the Department of Labor reports. The black teen jobless rate hit a staggering 39.3 percent in July 2012.
The NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, among others, met for the second time on Friday to discuss a “black agenda” for the president, Politic365 reports. The coalition stated it will urge Mr. Obama to mention an urban jobs plan in his State of the Union speech on Feb. 12.