Obama Tells Blacks to Stop Whining and Complaining and Start Fighting
President Obama admonished blacks against constantly “complaining” and “whining” and implored the 3,000 in attendance at the Congressional Black Caucus convention to begin fighting with him in his war on unemployment and political discontent.
At the Phoenix Awards black tie gala on Saturday night, the climax of the CBC’s Annual Legislative Conference, Obama answered the growing tide of black critics who believe this administration is compromising too much political capital to the Republican Party.
“Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes,” he said as his voice escalated amid growing cheers. “Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”
Obama was the keynote speaker at the coveted soiree for the fourth consecutive year —one as an Illinois senator and presidential candidate and three as the Commander-in Chief — and he focused on the record setting unemployment rate among African Americans. The 16.7 jobless rate is double the national average, according to government statistics.
There has been talk that Obama is not doing enough to reverse this negative trend and that makes him particularly vulnerable as he seeks reelection.
“It gets folks discouraged. I know. I listen to some of y’all,” Obama said inside the Washington convention center. “So many people are still hurting. So many people are barely hanging on,” he said. “And so many people in this city are fighting us every step of the way.”
But he asked for the CBC’s and blacks’ help if he is to win the jobs bill fight and other badly needed concessions. “I need your help,” Obama said.
This was avery important speech because, after the historic turnout in 2008 to help put Obama in the White House, the black community seemed to retreat into a slumber from which they have yet to awaken. Obama and the Democratic Party were on the wrong side of a Republican/Tea Party led bloodshed that saw Democrats lose a record number of seats in Congress during the 2010 mid-term elections. Mere trickles of the black electorate bothered to turn out last year.
Nevertheless, Obama said the package of payroll tax cuts, business tax breaks and infrastructure spending will benefit 100,000 black-owned businesses and 20 million African American workers.
Obama will ride the momentum of his caucus speech out to Washington state and California in his continued push for the jobs bill and raise funds for his reelection aspirations. He has fundraising receptions in Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego planned within the next couple of days. –terry shropshire