Should President Obama have a black agenda since he is the first black President?

By: Amanda Anderson

Recently, the Reverend Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley got into a very heated debate live on the radio regarding rather President Obama should have a Black agenda. Apparently, some of the leaders of the Black community feel that Obama is not creating enough policies to aid African Americans. And apparently, the remainder of the Black leaders (Sharpton included) believe that maybe it is time for we the people to make the change.

It is understandable why Smiley is concerned. Currently, the nation holds an unemployment rate of 8%. However, African Americans have an unemployment rate of 16%. In essence, African Americans are unemployed more than any other racial group.

Now we can all agree that President Obama did not create this problem. In fact, he inherited all this debt from the former President George W. Bush. Under the leadership of a conservative for eight years, this country has accumulated more debt than it ever has under any other president. And although the war in Iraq plays a huge factor in that, the transfer of jobs overseas is the main reason why people have lost jobs in the first place. And under Bush’s leadership, companies were indeed rewarded with lighter taxes by transferring jobs overseas.

Regardless of the last administration’s failure to lead the country in the right direction, President Obama is expected to save the country in one year of his administration. And although health care is a major concern for most Americans, we can all agree that job creation should be number one on this administration’s agenda. And unfortunately, it is second.

While it is not completely clear on why African Americans face an unemployment rate doubled the country’s average, I can see both sides of Smiley and Sharpton’s arguments.

President Obama is not like the other presidents, he is a black man. He is in the position to create policies that will be beneficial to African Americans, and make a positive impact on the black community. Most would argue that we are in great need of his undivided attention.

However, we would not expect a black agenda from Obama if he was not a black man. And that is the truth.

And maybe it is time that we become the change that we want to see in our communities.

I have always wondered how strong the black community would be if we adopted the beliefs of our elders. In their days, they created black businesses and the black community supported these businesses. Black people were doing well and they did not have a black President then.

Sure, most people would say this is a difficult time to create a new business. But some of the most lucrative businesses were created in a recession. Maybe if we created more black businesses, then we could create more black jobs.

Regardless, I cannot say that I honestly believe President Obama is ignoring the black community. I believe he just has a lot on his plate, and maybe we the people should step up and make the changes that need to be made. Besides, it’s not easy being the President of the United States while tackling a broken government and trying to make these politicians do the jobs that they are paid to do (Hey Congress, I’m talking about you!).

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