(ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.) Three young African-American men stood up holding a sign that read "What About the Black Community, Obama?" as Barack Obama was talking about the economy at a town hall meeting here. Once the crowd realized what the sign, many started booing loudly, which caused Obama to turn around and look at the protesters.
Obama Supporters then started chanting, "Yes We Can", a regular Obama cheer.
Obama asked the protesters, whom a local reporter said were members of the state's black panthers legacy group, to "be courteous" and "respect." The Illinois senator said the men would have their chance to speak after his opening remarks.
Obama is in St. Petersburg this morning to launch a new "emergency" economy plan which would give $1,000 credits to financially struggling families. The credits would be funded by taxes to oil companies' windfall profit.
Update: During a question and answer session, Obama called on one of the hecklers.
The man mentioned a slew of controversial issues, such as the government's response to Hurricane Katrina and the subprime mortgage crisis and asked, "In the face of all these attacks that are clearly being made on the African community, why is it that you have not had the ability to not one time speak to the interests and even speak on the behalf of the oppressed and exploited African community or Black community in this country?"
"I think you are misinformed about when you say, 'not one time,'" Obama responded. "Every issue you've spoken about, I actually did speak out about."
The Illinois senator then went on to address the man's concerns, mentioning that he was a civil rights lawyer and saying, "I may not have spoken out the way you would have wanted me to speak out, which is fine."