December 11th, 2009
05:01 PM ET
6 months ago

Black Caucus sends strong economic message to Obama

Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver wrote Obama to plead for help for minorities..
Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver wrote Obama to plead for help for minorities..

Washington (CNN) – Members of the Congressional Black Caucus called on President Obama Friday to address the skyrocketing unemployment rate facing minorities - especially African-Americans and Latinos - and greater economic conditions plaguing low-income communities.

"Our job is to make sure the legislation that gets to the president's desk responds to the degradation and the crisis in our community," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, at a Friday news conference. "Our community is bleeding. And we are the worst hit."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in November 2009 for blacks is at 15.6 percent - and 12.7 percent for Hispanics. In comparison, the rate for whites is 9.3 percent.

The latest job numbers show that a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 10.2 percent to 10 percent in November.

"Our Nation has suffered substantial unemployment and underemployment over a prolonged period, which has imposed significant economic and social costs, particularly in communities of color," the December 9 letter, from Chairwoman Barbara Lee and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver to Obama, stated. "We appreciate your attention to these prescriptive measures and look forward to working with you."

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soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. Robin

    Hate to break this, but the raising unemployment rate does not descriminate.

    Americans in general need help and ALL races and classes are affected.

    December 11, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  2. PREDICTA

    "Our Nation has suffered substantial unemployment and underemployment over a prolonged period, which has imposed significant economic and social costs, particularly in communities of color,"

    You ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till the money runs out and the second recession (the double dip) starts next year.

    December 11, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. J.P.

    Don't worry... Barry is going to keep targeting those eeeeeeeevil rich people to pay more in taxes... which means they'll be sending more to the federal government and keeping less for investments... investments that lead to jobs... jobs that are worked by you and I.

    So the solution to the unemployment problem is to tax the job-creators more, eh? ... and we wonder why the economy isn't recovering.

    SOCIALIST POTUS FAIL.

    December 11, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  4. PREDICTA

    btw..nice hair Barb.. did you stick your finger in an electrical socket?

    December 11, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. S Callahan ..make your life better read Psalm 51

    Can the white Cacus join in with you guys....really...this is affecting everyone..poor, middle class...and some that were rich. We are with you on this one!

    December 11, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. voter

    As a Black Latina, unemployment has always been high for Latinos and African Americans due to the lack of education. This recession did not cause the problem. It might have made it worse, but it did not cause this. Unfortunately, it has been ignored for years. Where was the CBC for all these years when studies revealed that unemployment would become worse for these communities because of the lack of initiatives to promote education? If the CBC wants to help the community, try providing funds and promote training programs in a trade school, community college etc.

    December 11, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. T'SAH from Virginia

    Some of the problems of LOW employment in African American communities is the fact that MOST, if not ALL, of the business are run by Asians, Arabs, Chinese, etc. They WILL NOT hire African Americans.

    I am sure that the money from our government should be in the way of LOANS so African Americans/Hispanics etc. can start their own businesses because we have GOALS like everyone ELSE!!

    I know it's worse in some areas for African Americans and even after the economy does get better, those numbers ARE NOT going to change much at all for African Americans!!!

    December 11, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  8. joe smith

    maybe the black caucus could find out what happened to the Freddie Mac report; because, I'm sure some black brothers /sisters were affected by the meltdown, just like all Americans..and since the caucus has the ear of congress/The President, their demand for the report may wake some people up..what do you think..

    December 11, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. STAND AS ONE

    Well all have to be patient right now.. Things take time. I say lets give the President a little more time, God knows he deserve it. I have all the confidence in the world that Mr. President will fix this with or without the Party of NO...

    December 11, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    It looks like black caucus wants hand-outs form Barack Obama. Spread the wealth.. They do not want to work. Take the money from hard working people and give to these un-employed minorities who do not want to work. Besides black caucus is not smart enough to know that Barack Obama's policy to grow the Government and punish private sector cannot create jobs. I hope all of them are voted out including the members of democratic black caucus.

    December 11, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  11. cgillette369

    CBC is a racist organization and will not allow white jewish representative Steve Cohen who was elected from all black district in Memphis to join in.

    hence they judge people by the color of their skin.
    they sound like the Klan.

    December 11, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  12. Sam

    Maybe if minorities went to school and contributed to society like the rest of us they wouldn't be the worst hit by the recession?

    December 11, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  13. Mesa

    @T'SAH from Virginia December 11th, 2009 5:19 pm ET

    Read up on Condaleeza Rice. A black woman, who grew up in segregated Alabama and made it on her on accord without the government giving her a hand out. That was the way she wanted it, and that is why she became a republican.

    Don't you find it a little condecending that the government feels that minorities and women can't make it unless they get a hand out? I DO!

    Rice is an amazing woman, and a just as much a role model as Michelle Obama who grew up in a solid, middle class family.

    December 11, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. annie against biased news

    Maybe take back the cost of living raise politicians in dc gave themselves but didn't give cost of living to senior citizens. From the picture above, it is scaring her to death – got her hair standing straight up. Let her keep her raise she needs a beautician.

    December 11, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Latest statistic show that more minorities are in colleges than any other group because we of all people know the importance education. Hopefully, when the job market changes we will be center front for employment.

    December 11, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. IroNick

    Haha...actually, 90% of the jobs lost were held by white males. Poorer communities have actually been hit less by the recession though they are surely hurting. Just saying

    December 11, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  17. k williams

    obama is not a president for just minorities. to be a great president you have to be for all. the president cannot do much for the racist arab, chinese, business owners in the black community that dont hire blacks, like some who suggested on here. seems to me that if you want a job you would look outside of your community. who want's to work at miss li's nail salon anyway.

    December 11, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  18. Eric

    Typical black thuggery and reverse racism brought on my affirmative action.

    December 11, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  19. Otto

    Blacks, Whites, browns and all shades between are affected by this crisis. There maybe more in consentrated black areas but it does not pick or choose.

    This crisis should be a wake up call to everyone, in the fact that only the highest educated stand a chance. Education is the key and without it; no door will be open in this era of global economic activities.

    It is very clear however, if one go to a Chinese resturant; you won't find a black person working there. The same goes for many other race or nationalities. They like to keep it in the family and who can blame them?

    Being lazy or Getto, gets you no where; except of course you prefer to be in jail. I hate to say this but I see students on public transports everyday and I feel sorry for them. The way they speak, act and carry themselves has a lot to be scared for/of.

    I'd ask the Senator to begin by stating clearly that hand out or welfare will not work. Those who have the knowledge and wants to open a business should receive assistance BUT they must be held to the same high standard required by banks.

    December 11, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  20. Gale

    Why can Afro-American people have a Black Caucus, if there was a White Caucus, we would be called racists?

    December 11, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  21. Ricky Atlanta

    Education is the best bet in this matter, having an education will curb any unemployment rate.

    December 11, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  22. Kevin in Ohio

    Its time to stop listening to the black caucus.... they want what they always want...more and more handouts... free "Obama Money". Time to start listening to the biggest caucus of them all...that of the American people. Less spending, less taxation, and a chance for us to GROW our economy.

    December 11, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. single mom

    Americans first. All colors, races, creeds and so forth. That means no amnesty for illegal immigrants. No more anchor babies. Come here legally. And fine corporations and businesses who hire illegals.
    One more thing -
    No one is 'too good' for a job. Have pride in taking care of yourself and not being dependent on the government.
    If all Americans pull together, we can come out of this recession stronger.

    December 11, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  24. slp

    Mesa,

    I agree with you on every point you made but one. Condalezza Rice is more of a role model than Michelle Obama. Of the two, I want my daughter to look up to and emulate the former Secretary of State. An accomplished, principled woman is a treasure, whether she be black or white.

    December 11, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. WIlly Brown

    What, you want Barry to pay your light bill too?

    December 11, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
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