For Obama, Nuance on Race Invites Questions

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, February 9, 2010


On Capitol Hill, members of the Congressional Black Caucus have expressed irritation that Mr. Obama has not created programs tailored specifically to African-Americans, who are suffering disproportionately in the recession. {snip}


Some black scholars say Mr. Obama has failed to lead on the race issue. {snip} After analyzing the State of the Union address, the institute’s [.The Kirwan Institute, which studies race and ethnicity] scholars warned that “continued failure to engage race would be devastating.”

Michael Eric Dyson, a Georgetown University sociologist and longtime supporter of Mr. Obama, is exasperated. “All these teachable moments,” he said, “but the professor refuses to come to the class.”


But Elinor Tatum, the editor and publisher of the black-owned Amsterdam News, says that if blacks were asked “Is he doing a good job for African-Americans?” his numbers would be lower.



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