Obama Seeks Ideas on Reducing Black Joblessness

Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press, November 10, 2011

In a shift in White House tactics on the cusp of an election year, President Barack Obama isn’t shying away these days from saying that many of his policies were designed with African-Americans in mind.

Until now, the nation’s first black president has carefully avoided putting any emphasis on race, ascribing to a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats approach to governing. {snip}

But on Wednesday, the White House convened a gathering of black business, political and community leaders to share a report on the multiple ways the president’s agenda has benefited African-Americans. The president made a direct appeal for help on proposals “where we don’t have to wait for Congress” to act. And he asked for initiatives he can pursue administratively “that would make a difference in the communities that all of you represent.”

Obama acknowledged that black Americans have faced “enormous challenges,” especially with unemployment, on his watch. He told the African-American Policy Agenda Conference that his three years of accomplishments have “lessened the severity” of the economic crisis for millions of people, made sure millions have health care and unemployment benefits and kept millions out of poverty.

{snip}

The current 15.1 percent unemployment rate among blacks is “way too high,” the president said, and various other problems that plagued black communities before he took office, such as housing and education, have worsened.

{snip}

“Since Day One, the president has fought for the policies that matter to the African-American community,” as senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters leading up to the summit.

The summit’s first two panels, which featured Cabinet members, high-level White House advisers and deputy secretaries, gave laundry lists of the programs they said had benefited African-Americans. The lists mentioned a crackdown on states that have done a poor job of enrolling people who qualify for food stamps, bailing out the auto industry and helping community colleges to work with local businesses.

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • chuck

    How to employ the chronically unemployable? Who would hire a black knowing that many white people are looking for a job and are better workers.

  • Anonymoose

    Don’t get too down on him. At least he’s finally paying attention to a real issue. In 30 years or so, he might actually start to get it.

    What bothered me the most about his membership in Trinity UCC was that he could sit there for 20 years and not know what the issues affecting real people in America are. Truth is, the profile of the membership at Trinity UCC was not so different from the profile of a large all-white evangelical church. Gang members and model students. Manual workers. Professionals. PhD’s. Millionaires. Middle managers. Ex-offenders. Welfare and disabled.

    He claimed that he never heard any of Jeremiah Wright’s worst rants. Maybe that’s possible. Anybody who thinks that it is not possible for someone can go to a church for 20 years and not hear anything has just never been there.

  • Jim

    There are plenty of field worker jobs in this country that are ideal for a people with a mean I.Q. of 85. This would solve both the black unemployment and the illegal immigration problem.

  • Dance

    End the host of freebies, and people may just work to eat and keep a roof over their heads. Farmhands are needed in Alabama now, I hear.

  • Anonymous

    The White House may want to start with the baseline assumptions that wanting to be educated and wanting a job without an attitude is key. Who wants to hire someone that didn’t apply themselves in high school, dresses like a thug and comes with a ‘tude.

  • ice

    “Throwing race-neutrality to the wind.”

    He’s been doing exactly that, but in a low key way, like having the justice dept. refuse to prosecute black on white voter crimes, plus others as well, I’m sure. His FEC black stooge, Mark Lloyd, has intimidated T.V. stations into hiring unqualified blacks, because as Lloyd says, “Whites should step aside and allow blacks in their positions now.” Notice the increase in black faces on T.V. news?

    But wait until he gets re-elected. All the stops are out. The only thing that will deter his pro-black agenda are white riots, and it’s questionable whether most white weenies have the stomach for violent confrontation, so anything is bound to occur.

    One thing is for certain, though. This economy will continue to head south.

  • Bill R

    Well, maybe Obama didn’t directly say his policies were meant to benefit mainly or only blacks, but anybody with a modicum of discernment and reasoning could see that all along. Everything, and I mean everything, he has done from mortgage bailouts, kissing up to muslims, transfer of wealth, jobs programs, tax programs, medicare and medicaid, everything has had ONE goal. Give to the black man and take from the white man.

  • Anonymous

    From the article: “that would make a difference in the communities that all of you represent.”

    – The only thing Blacks need is for Whites to leave them alone. Alone in their own nation, Blacks would be free of all the White people who treat Blacks like children. Whites give them food, health care, unemployment benefits, and yet Blacks remain in poverty. It is the fault of Whites that we continue to do this to the Black community. I think the President should offer a new nation to American Blacks, where they can ALL reside in a new White-free, Black paradise. Unemployment would vanish as they all pitch-in together to develop their new White-free nation. Without the oppression of Whites, Black educational standards would rise to compete with the best the world has to offer. With their inventiveness, Blacks could then lead the world to a new epoch of greatness. Our efforts at helping the Black world has failed and we must repent. Only by giving them their freedom, their freedom from the White world will they then, left alone, be able to achieve their true glory. With primary concern being for the Black world, may this come to pass. Amen.

  • Anonymous

    First they tell us…

    Until now, the nation’s first black president has carefully avoided putting any emphasis on race, ascribing to a rising-tide-lifts-all-boats approach to governing.

    …But then just a few paragraphs later they tell us…

    “Since Day One, the president has fought for the policies that matter to the African-American community,” as senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters leading up to the summit.

    So which is it, HuffPo? Obama has governed in a race-neutral way? Or, Obama has governed with black people at the forefront of his policies?

    I’m guessing it’s the latter.

  • Auntie Em

    The black unemployment rate is only 15%? I seriously doubt it is that low. Any afternoon drive reveals large numbers of apparently able-bodied black men taking leisurely strolls or hanging out around the liquor stores and parks in my town.

  • Alexandra

    Who says blacks are jobless, when they seem to consider “victim” to be a full-time position with great pay?

  • Dreams of days gone by

    I recently came across an article on Fox News that said farmers in the Northwest are facing a shortage of pickers after the illegal aliens that usually fill these positions abandoned them over new laws.

    Why isn’t Obama pushing for blacks to fill these spots in order to help the farmers and relieve black unemployment at the same time?

    Maybe it’s not a solution to the whole problem but at times like these isn’t anything better than nothing?

    If I were in a position of needing fast employment or facing another bout of monetary uncertainty I would be the first one there with my boots on and a bucket to hold the produce, but I guess blacks are too good to pick anything since pulling them out of the cotton fields.

  • Anonymous

    Blacks are jobless? Well, all other things being equal, who are you going to hire, sight unseen? Shaniquia Washington or Julie Schultz?

  • Rhialto

    I think your president is just doing a bit of “fence mending” with the black constituency. He knows if blacks vote, they will vote 90+% for him. His problem is getting them to vote.

    He won’t do anything to seriously reduce black unemployment like Hispanic immigration reduction. That would antagonize not just the Hispanics, but the pro-immigrationists as well.

    He could use federal enforcement (i.e. coercion) only to address black employment disparities. Other groups, Asian, Hispanic, female, etc. would have to file law suits at their own expense. This, of course, would antagonize not just Hispanics, but other groups which strongly support Obama with cash, as well as votes.

    Nothing to see here, folks, just keep moving.

  • Anonymous

    Why would they want to work when they get the govt to pay them for doing nothing new? Come on. Get real. Obama who never worked in his life assumes these people have a burning desire to get up every day and work 8 hrs to pay their own way. Wrong.

  • olewhitelady

    Obama is really getting worried about the black vote–not that poll-going blacks won’t vote for him, but that disenchanted blacks will simply not vote at all. All the first-time-black excitement is well over, and many blacks are no doubt totally disillusioned with him. It would have taken a true messiah to give blacks what many of them expected–everything from new homes in the suburbs to million-dollar reparations checks. Many believed whites would be totally tossed out of power, that all government and commercial top spots would be filled by blacks. Thousands in the ghettoes are no brighter, wiser, or sophisticated than Africans living in simple villages.

    And, of course, what blacks have gotten is a worsening of their situation. Millions of jobs have been lost to illegal Hispanics. Whitey is still firmly in power, and the black President has to seek him out for counsel and funds. Whites are becoming even more critical of blacks and are saying so more overtly. A brother still can’t get a break, despite 50 years of supreme efforts from white liberals and even a black “most powerful man in the world”.

  • jewamonyou2

    Simple solution: Expand the NBA to 1200 teams

  • Istvan

    The only way to reduce black unemployment is to reduce the number of blacks. Of course our fine government continues to import Haitians, Nigerians and assorted other blacks, as well as hispanics who compete with them for jobs. Jobs that they believe are beneath them. We truly need to let them go out on their own and only worry about us.

  • Anonymous

    “Obama Seeks Ideas…”

    ———————-

    The sign of an incompetent person. He has no idea what the real problem is, so he can’t find a solution.

    Observation #1: This country was great when it was a white majority and had no affirmative action.

    Observation #2: This country is a joke, whites are a minority, and affirmative action bullying is rampant.

    Problem: This country is a mess and needs to be fixed.

    Solution: See observation #1

  • margaret

    ” Who would hire a black knowing that many white people are looking for a job and are better workers.”

    You would if you were under judicial order with fines and lawsuits looming if you did not hire useless blacks. That is what the government has done since 1964.

    There are just so many government and affirmative action jobs around. Back in 1968 the Ford Foundation decided it could not achieve its goals for blacks without including another and larger grievance group. So the Ford Foundation invented LARAZA, MALDEF, MECHA and the hispanic race.

    It backfired for blacks. Businesses that would have been compelled to hire only blacks were now compelled to choose between blacks and hispanics. So they choose the infinitely more competent and civilized hispanics.

  • Question Diversity

    2 Anonymoose:

    The excuse that he never heard Wright or paid attention doesn’t wash. Obama deliberately chose Trinity UCC for two reasons: One, because it and its preacher were that radical, and Obama was trying to establish “street cred” in a city where he was a strange lanky “not down for the struggle” outsider, and two, Trinity UCC was outside of his “community organizing” zone; If he would have chose a church within it, it would have ticked off the other ministers he would be working with regularly.

  • Anonymous

    I have an idea.

    Obama could force companies to hire less qualified blacks. We could call it Affirmative Action.

    We could start a program where we raise the level of self-esteem for blacks and lower the self-esteem of whites. We could call it black history month.

    We could spend billions on job training for blacks. We could call it job training for the disadvantaged.

    The government could favor blacks in federal employment. We could call it celebrating diversity.

    Oh, never mind, I guess they have been doing this for 40 years now.

  • Anonymous

    Many Blacks would be more attractive to employers if they

    applied as part of small Bl;acl “work groups” headed by a bright Black who would control the rest of the unit. A big problem is Black brain drain in that abler Blacks tend to move out of areas of high Black concentration within cities. This leaves vast pockets where the brightest person maybe is what would otherwise be called a “dull normal”. If Blacks on the left side of the Bell Curve could for employment purposes be “integrated” with their numerous less able race brothers and sisters–an important control and productivity function would be attained.