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FLASHBACK: Jesse Jackson Says “Obama Failed Black People”

Remember this?


I had to do a quick flashback post.

I remember when this happened in 2015, seeing Jesse Jackson actually say this.

It was shocking back then and just as shocking in 2019 when I saw it again from someone who had posted in my Facebook feed.

But as I was reading the article from Business Insider again one thing really jumped out at me.

In 2015, the article cites black unemployment as being 9.5%!

And in addition to that, the article says this was the first time in 7 years (so that’s entires full 2 terms in office) that the number had dipped below 10%!

Based on those numbers, Jackson was right:  Obama DID fail black people.

But of course we know how the story played out.  Fast forward to 2019 and the Trump economic policies kicking in and we all know what happened to black unemployment:  it hit RECORD lows.

According to CNBC, the rate is now 5.9%:

The employment picture for black Americans is better than ever.

On Friday, the rate of unemployed Africans Americans in the United States fell 0.3 percent to 5.9 percent, a tying a new record low reached in May.

A better unemployment rate doesn’t tell the whole story though. The demographic still lags behind the national unemployment rate, which remained unchanged in November at 3.7 percent.

Don’t ya just love it?

Trump breaking his own records!

So walk down memory lane with me and enjoy this article from Business Insider from 2015 where Jesse Jackson said "Obama failed black people":

President Barack Obama hasn't leveraged the full force of federal agencies to target systemic and historical inequities that keep blacks in the U.S. behind whites in employment, opportunity and wealth, the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said.

The veteran civil rights activist criticized the president this week amid a nationwide campaign to inspire a sense of empowerment among African-Americans and accountability in government and corporations toward disadvantaged populations. 

Jackson, who fought poverty and racism alongside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, launched the campaign this year amid ongoing strife over police shootings in communities of color and economic inequalities. 

He said the high rate of black unemployment has been a lasting consequence of slavery and past legal discrimination that Obama, the first African-American commander in chief, should have dealt with more directly. 

"The unfinished business is this issue of targeting racial justice," Jackson told International Business Times in a wide-ranging interview about ideas for lifting people out of poverty. Even as job growth has been sustained month-over-month during the bulk of Obama's presidency, the recovery from the 2007-09 financial crisis has been slowest for African-Americans -- and that has troubled both Jackson and economists. 

"He has the view that racial injustice is something that requires a vote [in Congress]," Jackson said, referring to the president. "Blacks are without a targeted plan. Without one, we'll never have an even playing field." 

In the second quarter of 2015, the black unemployment rate dipped below 10 percent for the first time in seven years, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. In June, the national unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, while the rate for African Americans was 9.5 percent. Whites have had an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent. Asians and Latinos were jobless at a rate of 3.8 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively. 

Valerie Wilson, an economist and director of the Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, said a national unemployment rate above 10 percent was considered a crisis. But when the rate remained above 10 percent for blacks, there was less urgency outside of the black community to consider it a crisis, she said. 

"The steps that were taken at the beginning of the recession, the Recovery Act, was a broad intervention for the economy as a whole and that helped African-Americans," Wilson said. "Beyond that, I can't point to anything specific that has been done by the White House to target black unemployment."

Obama has continuously acknowledged African-American joblessness as a problem, but recently framed it as a symptom of bad criminal justice policies. "In the African American community, a big reason [for high unemployment] is that you've got young people with criminal records who are finding themselves unemployable," Obama said in talk at the historically black college St. Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina, in May. "Now, that's not just bad for that individual, that's bad for their children, that's bad for the community." 

Jackson said the president has experienced an unfair amount of opposition, much of it racially motivated, from conservatives in the federal government. But that should not have prevented him from directing his Cabinet to do more without Congress' help, the civil rights leader added.

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