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As the Commander in Chief, Barack Obama embarked on a brief radio tour to push Republicans and Congress to prevent sequestration, which would impose across-the-board cuts on most types of federal spending that would have a severe impact on many Americans, he also spoke briefly on the state of Black America.
When appearing on Reverend Al Sharpton’s “Keeping it Real” radio show, The President said, “To reflect on where we have made progress and where we are still falling short, I think these are both the best in times and the worst in times for large portions of the African American community. I think if you work hard, and you have opportunity and you are able to take advantage of it I think the sky is the limit for African Americans in our country in a way that just wasn’t true a generation ago. On the other hand, the lingering effects of the Great Recession means there are a whole lot of communities and a whole lot of people who still out of work, still struggling and thats why some of the initiatives I talked about at the State of the Union are so important. We’ve got to make sure as a society we are creating ladders of opportunity for every child, not just a few.”
We live in a United States where a former drug dealer like Jay-Z used hip-hop music and culture to become a powerful business man and mogul, where one of the most powerful business minds in the world of media is a Black woman by the name of Oprah, also where an African-American President, is serving his second term. We also live in a United Sates where more one in every three Black men can expect to go to prison versus only one in every 36 white men go to prison. The Black unemployment rate lingers around 14% while the national average is about 7.9%.
With that being said, President Barack Obama hit it on the head. So the question of the day is this: Since the civil rights movement, have African Americans really progressed if only a few have “made it” ?