Blacks Still Waiting for 1st 'Black President'

Frederick Harris: Obama afraid of supporting black issues
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2012 2:35 PM CDT
US President Barack Obama speaks to employees and guests at the Honeywell Golden Valley facility in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 1, 2012. AFP PHOTO/YURI GRIPAS   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Maybe President Obama really is the first gay president—because his policies certainly aren't doing much for blacks. "Obama has pursued a racially defused electoral and governing strategy, keeping issues of specific interest to African Americans ... off the national agenda," writes Frederick Harris in the Washington Post. That's nothing new, though: Other black politicians (former Gov. Doug Wilder of Virginia, former New York Mayor David Dinkins) "largely deemphasized race" so as not to scare off white folk, Harris sighs.

Still, it's depressing to watch Obama react so mildly to incidents such as the arrest of Henry Louis Gates and the shooting of Trayvon Martin, when "these two episodes offered opportunities for Obama to discuss reforms to the criminal justice system." Ultimately, Harris says, black groups will have to "steal a page from the LGBT movement" and pressure the president "to keep the few promises he made to black America in 2008. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass said it best: 'Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has, and it never will.'" Click for the full article. (Read more President Obama stories.)

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