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Opinion: Obama Fails To Address Black America's Disappointments With His Presidency

The Right Politics

While President Barack Obama wants to sound admirable by saying he’s not the President of black America but the President of all Americans, the insinuation made by Black Enterprise Magazine that Obama has not done enough for African-Americans is a most-justified criticism.

Many who supported Obama in 2008 did so because they believed that, with his black heritage, he would help black Americans. The criticism four years later is that having a black president in the White House hasn’t helped the blacks at all. If anything, race relations in this country appear to have gotten worse. The job market for African-Americans is the worst of any group other than teenagers who can’t find jobs either. And the horrendous crime and violence data of the past – particularly among blacks – remains dismal. In fact, Obama’s hometown of Chicago has become the murder capital of the country.

When specifically asked by Black Enterprise Magazine how Obama responds to criticism that his administration hasn’t done enough to support black businesses, Obama again gave the controversial response that he’s not the President of black America. Nobody was really saying that. Obama then said that he wants all business to succeed. Obama claims that he has put programs in place that are directed at businesses that are least likely to get financing through conventional means – those who have been locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody in the past. He believes that these programs have assisted African American businesses.

Where are the results? Black businesses in America are not flourishing – under Obama’s programs or any other so-called governmental beneficial programs. For blacks, just like other races of people who are trying to have a successful business in the United States, business is poor.

Obama goes on, in the interview, to complain that the financial services industry hasn’t done its part after the American taxpayers helped that industry. The President complains that the financial industry has not been aggressive enough in lending to small and medium-sized American businesses in general – not just black businesses. But one would ask the President: Isn’t that how the banking industry got into trouble in the first place? There are still no solutions, regardless of Obama’s failed efforts in the past four years. Yet again, he passes on the blame for failure – not taking responsibility for what he and his administration have not accomplished since 2009.

So unfortunately, after giving Obama the chance to do something worthwhile for his fellow-black Americans, data shows that he has done little to nothing for them. If anything, things have gotten worse for them. It’s not only a disappointment to the blacks who supported him and have been counting on him to come through, but also to other races who truly hoped he was the answer to help black Americans as well as the other Americans – all those Americans Obama included in his response to the magazine.

The crime rate is still unacceptable – among blacks as well as other races. The unemployment rate is still unacceptable – among all races but especially among blacks with their incredible 14.1% unemployment rate according to the latest U.S. Department of Labor statistics released last week. And the growth of businesses, black or otherwise, has not formalized in the dismal economy.

Why these real disappointments aren’t the media’s current talking points is unknown. Derek T. Dingle, Black Enterprise Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, is to be applauded for bringing these topics and others – such as housing for minorities in America – to the forefront. He is, however, facing a difficult uphill battle in doing so with the current “left”-leaning media that continually avoids such topics.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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