Outspoken author, radio host and Obama critic, Tavis Smiley is assembling some of the top Black leaders--Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Cornel West--for a nationally televised forum at Chicago State University to discuss how to push for a Black agenda in the White House. In the wake of Al Sharpton's recent support for the President, it seems a line is being drawn that separates African Americans who feel Obama is doing all that he can given the state of the economy, and those who think he ought to be taking more definitive action in favor of the Black community. As bank execs cash in their bonuses and Blacks collect unemployment checks, is it wrong to feel a little slighted by the President? Read More: Al Sharpton Responds to Black Critics of ObamaPresident Obama Addresses Black Critics Here's what you had to say: Mojo commented: "BTW...I'm so proud of my commenters on this thread. I think it's starting to seep in that Black folks don't need any hand outs. All we need to do is believe in ourselves... President Obama is putting issues on the platform that will help all Poor, Working, and Middle Class Americans. Poor is not a race. It's a class and we should be happy that we have advocates in office who are addressing the woefully neglected issues of poor people."   Jeanette wrote: "Let's be real. If [Obama were] a White president who specifically did favors for other Whites, we'd start picketing because of discrimination. The policies that the Obama Administration are putting into place will support everyone in some way, shape or form." Elbry4 said: "This is what happens when we vote for someone based on race and not the issues they are in favor of or against... Keep yourselves posted--the gap will get even bigger!"

Mar, 19, 2010

A strong divide between Black Americans is surfacing. A line is being drawn that separates those who feel President Obama is doing all that he can given the state of the U.S. economy, and those who think that he ought to be taking more definitive action in favor of the African American community--hit disproportionately hard with the Great Recession. A leader of the latter group, outspoken author, radio host and Obama critic, Tavis Smiley, is assembling some of the top Black leaders--Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and Cornel West--for a nationally televised panel discussion at Chicago State University, NYTimes reports. "We Count: The Black Agenda Is the American Agenda," airs on Saturday on C-Span and will discuss how to mobilize Black leaders to push for an agenda that benefits Black America (i.e. a plan that will combat poverty, poor education, infant morality and the crushing unemployment rate). As more houses go into foreclosure and more jobs are lost, many African Americans feel let down by the President. The NYTimes article mentions a feeling of "unrequited love,"--after enthusiastically rallying behind Barack Obama and going out in droves to vote him into office, the least he could do is look out for us, right? Bamani Obadele, a Roseland youth program coordinator who worked with the President when he was a community organizer, told NYTimes, "He absolutely understands the struggle of Black folks, but he's not the same Barack I knew. The Barack I knew wouldn't bail out the banks and let the people go hungry." Other Black leaders, like Rev. Al Sharpton, have recently spoken out in defense of Obama--stating that the President simply can't push an African American agenda without losing ground on initiatives that could benefit the Black community in the long run. However, as bank execs cash in their bonuses and Blacks collect unemployment checks, do you feel a little slighted by the President? What side are you on? Read More: